Hartwick College's Pine Lake Environmental Campus is a private facility for the use of the Hartwick College community. Public access is available through our Friends of Pine Lake membership program. For more information, visit our Membership page.
Members can take advantage of all that Pine Lake has to offer - swimming, hiking, biking, a sauna, muscle-powered boating, nature trails, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, and more!
The "high summer" season at the Environmental Campus begins mid-June and runs through August. The trees are in full leaf, the birds are back, and day visits at the lake are at a peak.
Swimming is allowed when lifeguards are on duty during posted hours..
Rowboats, canoes and kayaks are available for use during daylight hours.
Fishing is permitted in the lake and the adjacent trout stream, the Charlotte Creek. Catch and release is encouraged for bass only. All New York State regulations apply.
Pine Lake's trails and grounds are open dawn to dusk for hiking and biking.
College students begin to return at the end of August; the first students to arrive are the Awakening staff preparing for the arrival of a new first year student class. After Awakening, Pine Lake resident students arrive to move into their cabins for the year. Around the first weekend in October, the fall colors reach their peak. Red Maples, sugar maples and beech and oaks transform the woods. The hawk migration is underway, and migrating Canada geese are a daily sight.
Swimming is closed after Labor Day.
Boats are available in the summer are available for Hartwick College students, faculty,and staff.
Hiking and biking continue all year; in the fall the changing leaves make a new world out of Pine Lake's trails.
Snow! Sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Pine Lake has snowshoes to loan. The hill by the lodge is popular for sledding. Skating, when the lake is frozen. Pine Lake doesn't have skis or skates to loan; bring your own.
On the trails, look for tracks and signs of wildlife: snowshoe hare, deer, fox, bobcat, owl - predator and prey both write daily journals in the snow.
The lake thaws, and open water brings evidence of beaver activity, returning migrating geese and fisher-people. Some students are at the lake every day after class to relax and unwind with rod and reel. Frisbees, shorts and tanktops appear when the weather breaks and the ground is dry and the air warm.
The boats are set out again. Students come and float around after class, watching returning songbirds. Laughing voices from evening picnics echo across the lake.
Trails are raked (with the help of volunteers) and hikers and bikers return to the summer routine.
The days get warmer and swimmers appear around when the turtles are laying eggs. Summer is coming!