Friday, March 13, 2015

Local Ski Hills: Beartown Ski Area

Beartown Ski Resort - Photo Zach HirschThe City of Plattsburgh is one of the busiest places in the North Country. There’s a mall, stores like Walmart and Target, and four Chinese food restaurants right in a row.

But just ten minutes away, it’s another world: barns, fields. And tucked behind it all: Beartown Ski Area. It is 99 acres in all, but the downhill skiing part is just a small fraction of that. There are two little slopes, a couple of side trails, and a trick park for snowboarders. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

DEC: Fishing Shanties Must Be Removed Saturday

nys-dec-logoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding ice anglers that all ice fishing shanties must be removed from water bodies by March 15.

Shanties that fall partially through the ice may be difficult to remove and also create hazards for snowmobiles and other motorized vehicles on the ice. Shanties that remain after the ice has gone out also present navigation hazards for boats. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Mountain Biking and Wilderness Survey Results

All_Mountain_Mountain_BikeA month ago I published a little survey on mountain biking in the Adirondacks. Since the issue of mountain biking is front and center in the ongoing discussion of land use and in potential amendments to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (SLMP), I was curious to take the pulse of Almanack Readers.

What were the prevailing opinions? Did they bear resemblance to the claims various interest groups put forth about public support for mountain biking in the Park? » Continue Reading.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Adirondack Search and Rescue Highlights (February)

DEC Forest RangerForest rangers and other emergency organizations responded to search and rescue incidents throughout the Adirondacks in February. Below are summaries of each of the rescue incidents.

Personal locator beacon activated in High Peaks
A dispatcher in DEC’s Ray Brook office received a report at 5:50 p.m. Tuesday, February 10, that a personal locator beacon had been activated in the High Peaks Wilderness. The coordinates placed the hiker at the intersection of Hopkins Trail and the Van Hoevenberg Trail on Mount Marcy. As a forest ranger was responding, the PBL’s coordinates changed to indicate the owner was still on the trail and heading to Marcy Dam. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hiking: Stop and Smell the Bunchberries

Old logging roadEveryone seems to be in a hurry these days and the Adirondack backcountry is not immune to the hustle and bustle of modern life. Outdoor enthusiasts set a premium on their time, often racing to their destination, and trying to squeeze every ounce of excitement from their experience in the wild.

Drivers speed along Wild Forest access roads, late for an appointment with who knows what. Snowmobilers fly down forested trails in what seems an unquenchable thirst for speed. Even hikers often dash (or actually run) down trails in a hurry to occupy their favorite campsites or make the best time as wildlife scurries out of the way.

With proponents of backcountry skiing, mountain biking and ATVing all looking more access, it looks like the need for speed is bound to accelerate in the backcountry. What ever happened to a nice short walk through the forest? Is it no longer exciting enough? Has the bar for adventure been raised too high to accommodate such a passive pursuit? Has it become old fashioned? » 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 Adirondack Ski Touring Council. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Local Ski Hills: Mt. Pisgah in Saranac Lake

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s a Saturday afternoon and a really rare bluebird day in the Adirondacks, so mild that I have my gloves off.  I’m riding up the T-bar lift on Mt. Pisgah, one of the most beloved ski mountains in the North Country.  There’s a smattering of kids and grown-ups on the slopes.  This is a place where my own son grew up learning to ski and we’ve spent many happy hours here, so it’s kind of a great spot.

Up at the top, I find myself looking over a great little tangle of trails.  Pisgah’s not a huge mountain, but there’s a surprising amount of terrain – fun little choices, small crowds, and perfect snow.  After pulling on my gloves, I launch. » 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. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wilmington Route 86 Bridge Closing Begins Monday

Route 86 Bridge in Wilmington photo by Peter FraileyThe Route 86 bridge over the West Branch of the Ausable River in Wilmington, Essex County, will be closed starting on Monday, March 2 for a bridge replacement project.  The NYS Department of Transportation is expected to post signs alerting residents and visitors that businesses near the bridge are open. The bridge will also be closed to pedestrians during the closure period. » Continue Reading.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Local Ski Hills: Snow Ridge In Turin, NY

Snow Ridge Ski Resort Turin NYSnow Ridge is a small ski area in Turin, NY, in the nearby Tug Hill region. The ski area’s loyal fans come for the cheap tickets, night skiing, and the kids’ programs.

They stay for the fluffy, powdery snow. Some people call Snow Ridge the best kept secret in the east. » Continue Reading.


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