The Turner Camps
Cottages on Fourth Lake
5132 State Route 28
Old Forge, New York  13420-9705
315-357-4221 (6/22 - 9/8)
585-703-5396 call or text (9/9 - 6/21)

About Us

The Turner Camps are the longest continually operating housekeeping cottage business in one family on the Fulton Chain of Lakes!

We are celebrating 106 years in operation this year!

Our family started renting to hunters, trappers, and fishermen in a boarding house back in 1914. Since then we have evolved into a destination for families who enjoy our peaceful setting on beautiful 4th Lake.

We have a total of 9 cottages on 4 wooded acres, all near or a short walk to the sandy beach and large dock. Make plans to visit us and discover why some families come back year after year!

click here to visit our "Memories" page

The history of The Turner Camps
Carved out of the woods and reclaimed from undeveloped land, Turner Camps continue to offer premium vacation housekeeping cottages to families from all over the country. For one hundred years, the traditions and facilities initiated by Alexander and Ina Turner in 1914 are still maintained and operated by the same family, which makes Turner Camps the oldest continuously family-run housekeeping cottage colony on these lakes.

In the beginning, Al and Ina operated a Boardinghouse which was on the property when they purchased it. Over the years, Al used his carpentry skills to build additional cottages, sometimes combining old outbuildings with new construction to create a new lodge. Hunters, trappers, fishermen and the random tourist frequented the Camps in the early days, prior to the construction of a good road.

Edwin Turner, Al's younger brother by 20 years, spent summers during college in the 1920's working at the Camps and operating the “La Belle,” a 28' launch/tour boat on the chain of lakes. Picking up train travelers arriving in Thendara, he would transport them to various camps along the way to the Fourth Lake area. Frequently, the “La Belle” would “scrape paint” with the “Clearwater” or “Uncas” in the 3rd Lake channel.

In the early 1920's, a tent with wooden platform was converted to what is now Spruce Lodge. In the 1930's, Hemlock was built, with Birch, Maple and Beech Lodges to follow. Beech was a combination of 3 smaller buildings where original tree trunks can still be seen in the house as primary studs. The Boardinghouse burned in the late 1940's, and it was replaced by Locust. Fern Cabin was converted from a pre-1914 icehouse into a cabin.

Advancing in years of Al and Ina led to the transfer of ownership to Edwin and Thekla Turner in 1958. Al and Ina remained in Cedar Lodge, and in 1961, Popple, a mobile home, was added to the property to house Edwin and Thekla. Carrol Turner, son of Edwin and Thekla, built Tanglefoot Lodge in 1964.

Major changes took place when, in 1971, Cedar Lodge burned and Al and Ina Turner moved to the Masonic home in Utica, where they remained until their deaths. Their house was rebuilt, moved on the site and renamed Balsam, where Edwin and Thekla then made their summer home.

With tourism in full swing, operation of the Camps continued with improvements being made each, year. Edwin Turner passed away in 1984, and Thekla in 1996. At that time, ownership passed to the next generation, the Rev. Dr. Carrol Turner and Joyce Turner, formerly of Rochester, NY.

Fern Cabin, no longer able to stand on its own sills, was razed in 1994, and Evergreen, home for Joyce and Carrol Turner, was built in 1995 on the same site. Early retirement was chosen by the Turners – Joyce from Xerox Corporation and Carrol as Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of the Rochester/Genesee Region. Presently, they can be found at Turner Camps from mid-May to the end of September. After that, Joyce and Carrol can be found at their home in Rochester, NY.

In 2002, the Camps experienced another “new birth,” in that Popple Lodge was replaced with a three-bedroom winterized mountain chalet named Tamarack. Numerous other improvements and additions have characterized the years since 1996.

The north shore of Fourth Lake in the Adirondacks is a very special place in a very special part of the world. Joyce and Carrol Turner are committed to providing optimum conditions for vacationers, and they consider themselves quite fortunate to have this opportunity. What began over 100 years ago will continue for years to come as the training of the next generation is in process.

Carrol and Joyce Turner, June 2013