Covewood is a place to reconnect with family away from the technology and fast pace of the “real world.” As such, there are no TVs, no cell phone reception, and no phones in the rooms or cottages. Wifi and a payphone are available in the Main Lodge.
For the sake of our natural environment, Covewood does not allow smoking or pets on the property.
From points north and west of Albany:
Take the Thruway to the Utica exit (#31). Proceed north on Routes 12 & 28. When you reach Alder Creek, the divided highway ends in a "Y". Bear right and follow signs for Route 28 to Old Forge. Continue straight on Route 28 through Old Forge, and go another 9 miles to the hamlet of Eagle Bay. Immediately past the grocery store (Dan's Big M), turn left on the Big Moose Road (if you find yourself in the Village of Inlet, you have gone about a mile too far on Route 28; turn around and go back to Eagle Bay). Stay on the Big Moose Road for approximately 4.5 miles, and you'll see our sign on the right.
From points south of Albany:
Take the NYS Thruway to Albany. Exit in Albany via exit 24 to continue on Rt. 87 North, the Northway. Take the Northway to the Warrensburg exit (#23). Follow signs for Routes 9 & 28, heading north and west. When the two routes separate, follow Route 28. You will stay on Route 28 all the way to Eagle Bay, successively passing through the villages of Wevertown, Indian Lake, Blue Mountain Lake, Raquette Lake, and Inlet. Just before the grocery store (Dan's Big M) in Eagle Bay, turn right on the Big Moose Road (if you find yourself in Old Forge, you have gone about 9 miles too far on Route 28; turn around and go back to Eagle Bay). Stay on the Big Moose Road for approximately 4.5 miles, and you'll see our sign on the right.
The groundwork for Covewood's history begins with the Adirondack Great Camps and the influx of tourists into the Adirondacks in the late 19th century. Big Moose area tour guides like Henry Covey and Jim Higby did much to open the region to interest from the "civilized world", but the vision from which Covewood Lodge sprang belongs to Henry's son, Earl Covey. The vision of Covewood as a woodland retreat combining superb craftsmanship of native wood and stone with a harmonious and relaxing atmosphere inspired the late Earl Covey throughout his younger years. Here, amid his beloved trees close to the clear waters of Big Moose Lake, he dreamed of building his ideal structure — a dwelling as faultless and handsome as human hands could fashion where guests could come to play and enjoy themselves.
This image was so firm in Mr. Covey's mind that in 1924, after laying the foundations of Covewood, he could proceed and complete the building without a single blueprint. Plain brown wrapping paper sufficed for rough sketches of arches, bedrooms, and closets.
Having spent his boyhood days since 1888 at Camp Crag on Crag Point halfway across Big Moose Lake, Earl Covey knew the woods intimately. There he searched for posts, beams, slabbing, and other lumber needed to build the main house.
The graceful arch between the living room and foyer is a natural one found after months of combing the forest. No steaming or processing was used to shape it. At Covey's mill, then located by the Big Moose outlet south of the bridge, the trees were cut and proportioned. Stones for the fireplaces, foundations, and road were obtained from around the river's outlet.
The symmetrical round stone in the foyer's mantel came from the Covewood road at the top of the hill. Only the stone for the living room hearth came from any distance — hauled from White Lake at the southern edge of the Adirondacks. It took four weeks to build this fireplace.
Just a note on some of the buildings at Covewood: Mary Alden, the honeymoon cottage, was originally a playhouse for Covey's daughter, Mary Alden. Outlet was once located near the old mill on the river's bank to house the mill's foreman. Henry Covey used to be Mr. and Mrs. Covey's house and later Mr. Covey's father's. A farmer who attended the garden lived in the cottage Hill.
The Early Covewood Years . . .
Early guests at Covewood lived the life of simplicity. Electricity was provided by a primitive generator, a garden provided fresh produce, and perishables were stored in a large icebox cooled with ice from an icehouse on the property (now the garage behind the Main Lodge). Other supplies had to be brought him by the pickle boat from the general store at the far western end of the lake since the road to Eagle Bay was treacherous and difficult to travel. The train provided transportation in and out of the Adirondacks, with daily stops at the Big Moose Station.
Social activities were numerous despite the poor transportation, strict hours, and close surveillance. For years, no lady was permitted to smoke at Covewood! Covey planned steak suppers, camp-outs, songfests, moonlight walks, hiking, boating, and horseback riding.
Church services, now held in the beautiful Big Moose Chapel, were held right in Covewood's living room. Best of all were the weekly square dances with Covey as the caller.
Mr. Covey never intended to part with Covewood, but due to poor health, he was forced to sell. In 1938, Covey gave up management of Covewood, first leasing the property to Walter Reid, and later selling to Gladys Bourner. In 1952, Miss Bourner sold to C. V. (Major) Bowes, Jr., a postgraduate of the Cornell University Hotel School.
Under Major and his wife Diane's continuing care, none of the natural beauty, serenity, or congenial company has changed. Apartments in the Lodge, a children's program, beach, modern kitchens in the cottages, and new furnishings have been added. In 1964, Major and Diane purchased the Buzz Point Estate just across the outlet. The cottages on Buzz Point were remodeled and connected to the main Covewood property with the footbridge. This picturesque point adds new beauty and dimensions to Covewood Lodge, as well as some of the best fishing on the property! Major continued to run the hotel until his death in 2012. Diane, her daughter Becca, and nephew Doug operate Covewood today.