Henry Van Hoevenberg, the namesake for Mt. Van Hoevenberg—home to the Olympic cross country ski trails, was one of the first stewards of the Adirondacks. This is the story of Henry Van Hoevenberg and Josephine Schofield as told by Adirondack Mountain Club's Education Programs Coordinator, Seth Jones:

I frequently tell the love story of Henry Van Hoevenberg and Josephine Schofield to guests of the Adirondak Loj and to participants of Adirondack Mountain Club's (ADK) education programs. It's a tragic love story, but it is one that started the foundation of the work that ADK is still currently doing. I often tell guests that the love between Henry and Josephine and this landscape continues with all of us today...

A little background...

Henry Van Hoevenberg and Josephine Schofield's love story started in the late 1800's and continues with the Adirondack Mountain Club at the Heart Lake Program Center today. Henry and Josephine fell in love on a climb up Mt. Marcy in 1877. At the summit, they looked out and saw a small glistening lake, today called Heart Lake, off in the distance. They decided this is where they would build a rustic lodge and make a life together. Tragically, Josephine passed away before their vision was complete, but Henry persisted. He bought one square mile of property around Heart Lake and built the original Adirondack Lodge.

Henry welcomed guests with open arms to his Adirondack Lodge. Made from over 600 spruce trees, the lodge was an ornate, rustic hotel that included a 70 foot tall tower in which guests could look out at the High Peaks. Henry was well known for his entertaining character and elaborate campfire stories, a charisma that drew guests from near and far. Unfortunately, in 1903 a forest fire swept through the area, burning down Henry's beloved lodge.


A new lodge stands adjacent to where Henry's lodge stood. The Adirondak Loj and the surrounding one square mile of land, which includes Heart Lake and part of Mt. Jo (named after Josephine Schofield), are owned and operated by the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the protection and responsible recreational use of the New York State Forest Preserve. The love that Henry and Josephine had for each other and for this special place is one that is carried on by ADK, by helping others fall in love with this beautiful landscape and encouraging them to help protect it.

As an environmental and outdoor educator, my goal is to have participants fall in love with the Adirondacks and other wild places so that they leave with the desire to protect them. It's a continuum of awareness, knowledge and then ultimately stewardship of the Adirondacks that I hope to guide others through. My hope for catalyzing this continuum in others is for the Adirondacks to continue to be vast parcels of undeveloped land where the spirit of wildness is withheld. Henry created an atmosphere at his original Adirondack Lodge that welcomed a diverse background of guests, helping them enjoy and fall in love with the Adirondacks. He was one of the first stewards of this place, building many of the original trails that radiate out of the Adirondak Loj today. Without Henry's love for Josephine and the property around Heart Lake I might not have the opportunity to use this beautiful place to inspire the next generation of Adirondacks stewards.

we invite you...

This winter, the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Cross Country Ski Center invites you to the recently constructed Josie's Cabin. This woodland retreat honors the spirit of Henry and Josephine and is a destination for friends and family to enjoy entertainment, warm fires, delicious food and unique experiences, all amidst the natural beauty and wonder of the Adirondacks. 

Winter on Heart Lake in Lake Placid, NY
Winter views from Mt. Jo, Lake Placid, NY
Autumn colors and Heart Lake from Mt. Jo, Lake Placid, NY
Skiers at Josies Cabin
josies cabin exterior
group by fire josies
josies menu
lice music josies
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