Friday, June 12, 2015

DEC Seeks Major Backcountry Development Of Essex Chain

Essex Chain MapA draft plan for the Essex Chain Lakes Complex produced by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) calls for major back-country development in some of the most unique lands in the Adirondack Park, only recently acquired by the people of New York.

The plan for the Essex Chain Lakes Complex, located in the towns of Minerva, Newcomb, and Indian Lake, includes a snowmobile trail that would cross the Hudson River on the Polaris Bridge and the Cedar River on a newly constructed bridge; extensive mountain biking and equestrian trail networks; new ski trails, carry trails, and lean-tos; and expanded road access and parking areas. The proposal also seeks to maintain the Outer Gooley Club’s farmhouse building. » Continue Reading.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rail-Trail Decision Announced

NYC Railroad from Lake Clear LodgeThe Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) have announced their long-awaited decision in a controversial effort to tear up most of the 119-mile historic railroad running through the central Adirondacks. The decision has been issued in the form of a proposed amendment to the Remsen to Lake Placid Travel Corridor Unit Management Plan (UMP).

The plan would remove the rails between Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, and Lake Placid in favor of a multi-use recreational trail for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. It also calls for maintaining the railroad from Remsen to Big Moose Station and rehabilitating the 45 miles of rail from Big Moose to the Village of Tupper Lake.  Also included is a plan to use at least some of the corridor as a long-range snowmobile trail that would connect to communities along the line, including Beaver River. » Continue Reading.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Panther Gorge: Climbing New Routes on Haystack

Panther Gorge Climbing-Allison RooneyMy anticipation reached a crux; the snow was gone and the rock was exposed. It was time to venture again into Panther Gorge. Two local climbers, Adam Crofoot and Allison Rooney, were my willing partners, eager to explore new routes in the gorge after a winter of backcountry skiing. The only disagreeable partner was the weather, which left us only a small window of time on Saturday, May 30th.

Adam and Allison trekked to Slant Rock Lean-to from the Garden in Keene Valley on Friday afternoon and I joined them near midnight. The lean-to was full, so I found a comfortable place in my bivouac sack in the woods nearby to watch the moonlit clouds blow by. » Continue Reading.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Adirondack Search and Rescue Highlights (May)

DEC Forest RangerForest rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, forest rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.

The following is a summary of rescue missions in May. The information was provided by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. » Continue Reading.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

New Online Boater Safety Course Offered

Boat AccidentBoaters and personal watercraft operators can now obtain a boating safety certificate by successfully completing an approved online course.

Until now, the only option for the 20,000 people seeking a boating safety certificate in New York each year was to complete an eight-hour classroom-based course. » Continue Reading.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Adirondack Stand-Up Paddle Festival Planned

Adirodnack Stand Up Paddle FestivalAdirondack Lakes & Trails Outfitters will present the 3rd Annual Adirondack Stand-Up Paddle Festival from Friday, June 19th through Sunday, June 21st in Saranac Lake, with the main event happening Saturday at Lake Colby Beach.

The festival will include SUP inspired family activities, Long and Short Course World Paddling Association sanctioned races, and family fun races. There will be on-water and dry-land clinics, SUP fitness and yoga classes, SUP demos, a guided group tour for all ages and abilities and dealer representatives on hand to answer SUP related questions. » Continue Reading.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Canadian Hiker Drowns In Raging Feldspar Brook

DEC Forest RangerThe body of a Canadian hiker who drowned in a raging Feldspar Brook while hiking in the High Peaks on Saturday has been recovered. State Police say that 34-year-old Julie Belanger of Montreal, Quebec, and a female hiking companion had been hiking Skylight and Grey mountains. A localized deluge of rain accompanied a line of violent storms that passed through the Adirondacks on Saturday and quickly raised the levels of local rivers and streams.

Belanger fell off a log and into the swift water of Feldspar Brook, a tributary of the Opalescent River in the Town of North Elba, and was swept away by the current of the flooded waters. » Continue Reading.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Trail Needed To Access New State Lands Near High Peaks

Allen Mountain is the 26th-highest peak in the Adirondacks, but it may be the toughest to get to. Not only is it an 18-mile round trip, but you have to ford the Opalescent River

In theory, the state’s recent acquisition of the 6,200-acre MacIntyre East tract could shorten the hike and eliminate the ford.

The parcel lies between the Hudson River and Allen. A logging road extends several miles into the tract. If the state opened the road to motor vehicles, hikers could begin their hike closer to the 4,340-foot peak.

I won’t offer an opinion as to whether making Allen easier to get to is a worthy object. I suspect many Adirondack Forty-Sixers feel it would detract from Allen’s reputation as a monster hike.

In the debate over how the state should manage MacIntyre East, the road could become an issue. Fred Monroe, executive director of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board, has said he’d like to see at least part of the road open to vehicles.

Last Friday, I walked the logging road to see if it is passable by vehicles and to see the lay of the land.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The View From Pitchoff Mountain

PitchoffOne of the many views from Pitchoff on Monday. When you plan your trip, spot cars at Cascade Mountain’s trailhead and Pitchoff’s East Ridge trailhead to make it a through-hike. We started at the West trail, directly across from Cascade Mountain’s trailhead. This is such a pleasant hike with several lookouts and only 4.9 miles (when hiked as a traverse).

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Illegal Trails In Five Ponds, Pepperbox Wilderness Areas

Illegal yellow trail westDiscovering old trails – old logging roads, hunting trails or herd paths – in the northwestern Adirondacks is common while bushwhacking.

What I found along the border of the Five Ponds and Pepperbox Wildernesses recently however, was an extensive illegally-marked trail system cut through some of the wildest backcountry of the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.

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