photograph by Daesha Devón Harris
An Adirondack landmark gets a stylish update
This 14-acre spread perched on Fourth Lake between Old Forge and Inlet has been welcoming guests since 1896—first as Camp Onondaga, then as various iterations of the North Woods Inn. It had been well loved and well worn by the time Britta and Devlin Hennessy, along with their partner Keir Weimer, bought it in 2015.
Britta and Devlin, both 32, left high-flying careers in New York City to take on this total rehab—a six-month endeavor that Britta calls her “dream HGTV project.” The result is a mix of Great Camp camp and rustic elegance, pairing modern style and comfort with ample nods to the past. The property is now home to both its original riverstone fireplace and a handful of electric-vehicle charging stations.
Britta has always adored this slice of the park; her family roots go back five generations, and she says she’s been spending summers in Inlet “since I was zero.” When she met Devlin, she knew he’d have to pass the love-the-Adirondacks-or-leave-me test. “If we were going to be together, he had to like it here,” she says.
The couple was drawn to the former North Woods Inn because “it held the opportunity for an immense amount of change,” Britta says. Together with Weimer, who had been the property’s listing agent, they overhauled the resort, making decisions that honored its past and its place in the community. When a postcard of the lean-to at Camp Onondaga turned up, they used it to fashion the Lean-To, a casual eatery that mimics the feel of those iconic wilderness outposts. Its menu plays on traditional fare, including an extensive poutine selection. (The dishes’ cheese curds are hand-delivered—squeaky fresh—by a Fort Covington farmer.) The Lodge is the resort’s fine-dining alternative, with a more polished woodsy vibe, a wine cellar and a mixologist.
The compound has 30 rooms, divided between an upscale main lodge, hip motel-style units and three cabins. There’s woodwork and furniture by local craftsmen throughout, as well as what Britta calls “extra touches of thoughtfulness and luxury”—like the spread of cookies and infused water that greets you near the front desk. Still, it’s not fussy; Great Pines is both kid- and dog-friendly. Britta says Maple Scout, the Hennessys’ Bernedoodle, is their “unofficial official mascot.” Just don’t tell Bindi and Rhino, the two other resident pups.
Learn more at https://greatpines.com/.