Lakeside Living in Johnstown, NY
PHOTO CREDIT: Kevin Young
You might think that Sandy and Ian Biggi’s 120-mile round-trip commute to their jobs in Albany would be stressful‚ but in fact it’s just the opposite. Their home‚ called ’Tween Waters‚ sits between the Great Sacandaga Lake and Northville Lake‚ and they don’t mind the long daily drive at all.
“It’s worth it‚” Sandy Biggi says. “When we come over that Northville Bridge‚ we have a sigh of ‘Oh‚ peace.’ We can walk into town – to church‚ the post office‚ the grocery store – and when we come home‚ we have that privacy. It’s the best of both worlds. It’s like a throwback to 20 years ago.”
Even though Fulton County’s 44 lakes have been known as a resort area since the 1930s‚ there is now renewed interest in year-round living on the lakes. Only 40 minutes from Albany and a few hours from New York City‚ Syracuse‚ Montreal and Boston‚ the lakes are attractive to both seasonal and permanent residents.
Carol and Peter Lohne loved their vacation home on the Great Sacandaga‚ and though only in their mid-50s when Peter retired in 2006‚ they decided to leave Burlington‚ Conn.‚ and make the lake their full-time home.
“We decided after five years of vacationing here that we loved the area and the lake. The kids and grandkids love coming here‚” Carol Lohne says.
Apparently‚ they are not alone.
“There’s absolutely a trend toward people moving to the lakes‚” says Terri Easterly‚ a Fulton County realtor for 10 years. “People are looking for more of a family atmosphere. We’re only a few-hour commute to Manhattan‚ and you can get back to nature in the Adirondacks here. In summer‚ there’s fishing‚ boating‚ skiing. In winter‚ there’s ice fishing and snowmobiling.” Area lakes also offer opportunities to golf‚ hike‚ swim‚ picnic and camp.
Diversity Among Area Lakes
Although the Great Sacandaga is the biggest and best known‚ there are 43 other lakes in the county‚ each with its own personality.
“We have lakes that would satisfy any lifestyle. Peck’s Lake has become quite popular in the past three to five years‚” Easterly says.
And the housing options are as varied as the lakes themselves‚ from simple dwellings to million-dollar homes. The Lohnes‚ who added on to an existing home on the five acres they purchased close to Northville‚ say there is a mix of year-round residences and vacation homes in their area.
Although Sandy Biggi says most of their neighbors are seasonal people‚ she’s noted that “it’s becoming more year-round. People are realizing the quality of life this area affords.”
Carol Lohne says she and her husband are definitely among those now savoring the Fulton County lifestyle.
“We look out on the mountains and the sparkling water every morning‚ and we’re just in awe‚” she says. “We just love watching the lake‚ seeing what the water is doing‚ watching the sun play on the water. It’s so beautiful at all different times of day. It’s so quiet here.
“It’s everything we were looking for.”
Read about more great areas to live in Johnstown, NY.