John Dillon Park
A fully accessible wilderness area located near Tupper Lake, it has picnic areas for day trips.
Approximately 17 miles south of Tupper Lake you will find John Dillon Park. Operated by Paul Smith’s College, this park is one of the only parks of its kind in the Adirondacks. This unique facility was a dream of retired International Paper CEO and Paul Smith’s College Alumnus John Dillon. He envisioned a place where everyone could enjoy the Adirondack landscape - no matter who you are!
Park will be open May 29 through September 1 each year.
Reservations are required, but the park is available to anyone free of charge.
All of our nine lean-tos are built for accessibility. Bear Cub is close to our Welcome Center and is the only site that can be driven to. The lean-tos are built in pairs, with the exception of Bear Cub, to accommodate larger groups. Two lean-tos are located at Handsome Pond, our “backwoods” site, and will be available at the end of a two-and-a-half mile long trail. Each site has a fully accessible outhouse, each equipped with a modern composting toilet. Water is available at the Welcome Center.
Bring your canoes and kayaks, go fishing, or just take a relaxing paddle around Grampus Lake. If paddling is not your thing, we have an electric pontoon boat which you can request to have a staff member take you out on. There are great places all along our trails to find a seat at an outlook and watch our resident family of ospreys raise their young, or see loons and bald eagles fishing in Grampus Lake. If you’d rather just get away from everyone, take a hike on our three miles of trails and bask in the quiet of the wilderness.
There are nine lean-to sites - All are fully accessible either by ramp or by transfer from a wheelchair, and are equipped with a fold-down bed, fireplace, and picnic table. Composting accessible outhouse at all sites. Firewood is delivered daily to each campsite by park staff. Portable solar recharges are available for battery-powered wheelchairs.
- Venue have an accessible welcome/host stand or ticket booth that is 36” high maximum or with a lowered section for wheelchair access.
- Facility has level access or ramp/lift to enter.
- Entrance is at least 32” wide.
- Stall/bathroom has clear floor space that is at least 60" in diameter (allows 180 degree turning radius).
- Stall/bathroom has grab bars next to and behind the toilet.
- Stall/bathroom has a sink/counter that is open underneath to allow for wheelchair user to approach the sink directly.
- Stall/bathroom has faucet control, soap and paper towel dispensers within reach for a wheelchair user.
- Stall/bathroom is unisex/allows for companions.
- Stall/Bathroom has an accessible entrance (32" minimum entrance, level access or lift/ramp, non-revolving door).
- Accessible Car Parking.
- Accessible Van Parking.
- Discounted prices for visitors with disabilities.
- Discounted prices for companions.
- Service Animal relief area.
- Special programs for visitors with disabilities or standard programs adapted to accommodate these guests.
- Staff orientation available.
- Informational signage has large print.
- Informational signage uses non-glare materials.
- Accessible outdoor tables.
- Accessible sites have a flat, firm, and stable surface with less than 5% grade to allow for wheelchair mobility.
Gentle, crusher-lined trails can accommodate hikers and campers of all abilities and are wheelchair accessible.
Handicap accessible fishing docks, or bring your own canoe or kayak.
Explore the shores of Grampus Lake.
Electric pontoon boat rides available