Minerva is a place that's rich in history and beauty. Surrounded by wilderness, at one point it was solely populated by the town's founder, American Revolutionary War soldier Ebenezer West, and his five sons. In 1808, Solomon Northup was born there. The free-born African-American attended local schools and later became famous for his book "Twelve Years a Slave," which was published in 1853. It detailed how he had been kidnapped and sold into slavery for twelve years before regaining his freedom.
Today, residents celebrate Minerva's history and natural wonders. Half of the town consists of state land and is rightfully known for the amazing scenery of its hikes, the liveliness of its fish, and the centrality of its location for snowmobiling. Many of the hiking trails lead to bodies of water, so the area is especially notable for hikes that form chains to different ponds from the same trailhead.
On Minerva Lake, the town beach and campground is a beautiful spot for an overnight adventure or day in the sun. The lake is cool, the sand is warm, and the scenery can't be beat. There are play structures and swings for kids, picnic tables, tennis and basketball courts, gazebo, and a pavilion perfect for family gatherings. The campground, open through mid-October, is loved for its family-friendly atmosphere.
Don't miss a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike, Sporty's Iron Duke Saloon. Much more than an ordinary restaurant or bar, Sporty’s is a wonderfully unique destination that’s part museum, part dining hotspot, and all fun. It even offers free camping for those who want to have a safe night in. Located across the street from Lake Minerva and the town beach, Sporty's is family-friendly and welcoming to tourists. Stop in for classic, delicious American food for great appetites. Sporty's has fascinating items on display, including motorcycles, celebrating the joy of the open road.
The nineteenth-century painter Winslow Homer was a summer visitor who painted almost all of his famous Adirondack works in the area around Minerva. Today, his presence is celebrated at the museum operated by the Minerva Historical Society. Homer's Adirondack works capture the serenity of fishing, the majesty of our peaks, and the beautiful range of colors, even on a rainy day. To learn more, read the blog post Adirondack Inspired Art: Winslow Homer. Homer often highlighted hunting or fishing in his Adirondack paintings. Today, sportsmen still come to the Minerva area for the excellent outdoor opportunities. The woods are rich in game and the fish are plentiful. In winter, extensive backcountry trails provide snowmobile enthusiasts with miles of snow-laden wooded scenery.