Almanack Contributor Phil Brown

Phil Brown

Since 1999, Phil Brown has been Editor of the nonprofit Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues, the same topics he writes about here at Adirondack Almanack.

Phil is also an energetic outdoorsman whose job and personal interests often find him hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, trail running, and backcountry skiing.

He is the author of Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, which he co-published with the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the editor of Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology of Marshall’s writings.

Visit Lost Pond Press for more information.


Monday, March 23, 2015

A Fish Creek Ponds Ski Tour

Follensby_snow-600x308The winter started out promising with a good snowfall in December, but later in the month rains washed away most of the snowpack. We received a bit of light, fluffy powder the week after Christmas, but not enough to make most trails skiable.

And so, not for the first time in recent winters, we opted for a ski tour across backcountry ponds.

When people think of pond skiing, they usually think of the Seven Carries in the St. Regis Canoe Area. Indeed, Carol MacKinnon Fox and I skied the Seven Carries route on January 2 and found the conditions ideal: a few inches of light snow on top of rock-solid ice, with no slush. We had » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Skiing The Marcy Trail

Tim Peartree ascends Mount Marcy in a whiteout Sunday. Photos by Phil Brown.This has been a great winter for powder skiing in the backcountry, thanks to a two-month-plus stretch of cold weather without a serious thaw. Alas, that stretch ended last week, leaving me a bit apprehensive about ski conditions.

On Sunday, I skied Mount Marcy with my neighbor, Tim Peartree, starting from Adirondak Loj. As it turned out, the trail was in great shape for skiing.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Push For Clustering Of Developments

Woodworth_lots Courtesy of APAEnvironmentalists say the approval of a housing development at a former Boy Scout camp underscores the need for tighter regulation of privately owned backcountry lands in the Adirondacks.

All four of the Adirondack Park’s major environmental groups opposed a plan to subdivide 1,119 acres in Fulton County into twenty-four building lots, most of them bordering two water bodies, Woodworth Lake and Hines Pond.

Nevertheless, the Adirondack Park Agency board voted unanimously to approve the subdivision in January.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

TR’s Diary Of An Adirondack Birding Trip

63061_covThe State University of New York Press is coming out with an edition of Teddy Roosevelt’s diaries from 1877 to 1886, when the future president was in his late teens and twenties. Given TR’s ties to the Adirondacks, I expected to find some entries from our neck of the woods and was not disappointed.

In 1877, Roosevelt and a friend, H.D. Minot, wrote a short article with a list of birds they had observed near Paul Smiths, The article – “The Summer Birds of the Adirondacks in Franklin County, N. Y.” – was TR’s first published work. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bike Trails In Wilmington Are Great For Skiing

Keith on PMDWilmington is gaining a reputation as a mountain-bike mecca, but what’s less well known is that many of the biking trails in town make great ski trails.

Mike Lynch, a writer/photographer with the Adirondack Explorer, and I learned this firsthand when we skied a trail called Poor Man’s Downhill with Keith McKeever this week.

Keith happens to be the spokesman for the Adirondack Park Agency, but he also is active in the Barkeater Trail Alliance (BETA), a group of mountain bikers that has been creating and maintaining bike trails in Wilmington, Lake Placid, and Saranac Lake. As noted in an earlier article on Adirondack Almanack this week, BETA recently merged with the » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Goodwin Stepping Down As Head Of Ski Touring Council

tony-ski2After nearly thirty years in the post, Tony Goodwin is resigning as executive director of the Adirondack Ski Touring Council, the organization that created and still maintains the Jackrabbit Ski Trail, a popular backcountry route that connects Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, and Keene.

“I am actually of retirement age. I had been thinking that when someone with the right skill set comes along that it would be time to bow out,” said Goodwin, who lives in Keene.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Should DEC Plan For The Return Of The Wolf?

March coverCan wolves return to the Adirondacks on their own? If so, should the state Department of Environmental Conservation develop a plan to facilitate their recovery?

These are questions discussed in Mike Lynch’s cover story for the March-April issue of the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine—the second in a series of articles on the Adirondacks’ missing predators.

Some people believe that the wolf, like the moose before it, could disperse to the Adirondacks. The nearest wolf population is only a few hundred miles away in Algonquin Provincial Park. There also is a substantial wolf population in the western Great Lakes states.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hunter Admits Shooting Bull Moose

MooseA New Hampshire man has admitted illegally shooting a bull moose in the town of Croghan just west of the Adirondack Park.

Steven Zehr of Walpole, New Hampshire, turned himself in after shooting the animal on private land on the morning of November 25, according to Stephen Litwhiler, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Litwhiler said Zehr was in a tree stand and mistook the moose, which weighed nearly 690 pounds, for an antlered deer. It was about 10 a.m. when the moose was killed. Zehr was charged with illegally taking wild game, a misdemeanor, and paid a $1,200 civil fine.


Monday, January 26, 2015

A New Hike To Lake Andrew

Lake_andrew by Carl Heilman IIAfter writing about the state’s acquisition of the MacIntyre West Tract for the last issue of the Explorer, I was eager to explore it, and Lake Andrew seemed like the logical place to start.

In early December, my friend Carol and I hiked the 4.7 miles to the lake and, on the way back, took a side trip to a spectacular view of the Twin Slides on Santanoni Peak.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cross-Country Skiing Tips For This Weekend

A skier starts out on the Upper Hudson Ski Trail. Photo by Phil Brown.It’s late January, but we’re still waiting for midwinter ski conditions. That said, you can find good skiing if you pick the right spots.

At lower elevations, you want to stick to smoother trails – such as former truck trails and old woods roads – as there might not be enough snow to cover big rocks and roots.

At higher elevations, this is less of a problem. Tony Goodwin reports on the Jackrabbit Trail website that there is 26 inches of snow at » Continue Reading.


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