Alice Grether says there is more to Glens Falls than charming shops, upscale restaurants and world-class art. The director of tourism said a weekend in the small city can be spent visiting the more remote and slightly quirky haunts frequented by residents in the know.
They include friendly eateries, outdoor splendors and modestly priced boutiques. Below is a list of must-go stops for the more adventurous visitor to the city’s four square miles.
1. Cooper’s Cave, under Cooper’s Cave Bridge (Route 9) over the Hudson River. 761-3864. Free. The cave is not open itself, but people can see it from an observation deck accessible on the South Glens Falls side. Open between Memorial Day and Columbus Day.
Visitors can take a peek into the cave made famous by James Fenimore Cooper and his epic novel “The Last of the Mohicans.” Cooper imagined the cave, hovering above the river, as the hiding place of Hawkeye and his companions. Interpretative signs along the trail down tell the back story.
2. Cooper’s Cave Ale Co., 2 Sagamore St. 792-0007. A micro-brewery that specializes in ice cream? That’s right. Enter into the tasting room for English ale or gourmet soda or wait at the outside window for homemade ice cream.
The company brews 28 barrels a week and serves 15 flavors of ice cream a day. The ale company, ice cream window included, is open year-round.
3. Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council’s Lapham Gallery, 7 Lapham Place. 798-1144, Ext. 2. LARAC is known for its arts advocacy. And as part of its work to support artists, the council operates a spacious, white-walled gallery that displays treasures by area artists.
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The gallery is currently showing “It’s About Time — Glens Falls Centennial Juried Exhibition,” with works by Kate Hartley, Trudi Smith and Beverly Saunders, among others.
During the Christmas holidays, the gallery is transformed into a gift boutique with fine crafts by area artisans.
4. New Way Lunch, 54 South St. 518 792-9803. Find out why New Way Lunch ships hot dogs around the nation. The specially created beef and pork frankfurters are served with mustard, onions and meat sauce on steamed buns. Also known as Dirty Johns, the clean and bright eatery is a favorite among locals, the late-night crowd and anyone looking for comfort food cooked to order.
5. Poopie’s Diner, 54 Lawrence St. 792-6155. This restaurant is an institution in Glens Falls where everyone from politicians to truck drivers grab breakfast and lunch. Named after its owner Jerry “Poopie” Dimanno, it’s not fancy, but it’s friendly and reasonably priced.
6. The Shirt Factory, corner of Cooper and Lawrence. Small speciality shops and galleries have taken over this former Troy Shirt Factory. The large, multistore brick building houses SensibiliTeas, where all things tea can be savored and Adirondack Quilts, where fabrics, kits and other sewing supplies are available.
Artists Dave Francis and Tom Myott also maintain studios in the factory where their art can be seen and purchased.
7. Warren County Bike Trail, from Lake George to Fort Edward. The bike trail cuts through the eastern end of Glens Falls, passing the Glens Falls Country Club and connecting with the Feeder Canal Trail, an abandoned railroad right of way.
Managed by the Warren County Department of Parks and Recreation, the trail extends 9.5 miles one way. The ride is scenic and best tackled on a mountain bike, as the canal trail portion is gravel.