The Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway in Wilmington, N.Y. kicked-off the openings on May 20th. The highway allows visitors to drive to the top of the fifth-highest peak in the Adirondacks, one of only two whose summit is accessible by car. The highway is an eight-mile drive from Wilmington to the summit, where a castle made of native stone and an in-mountain elevator await. The highway is open daily from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. thru Oct. 10. » Continue Reading.
- Todd Moe: Hunting Morel Mushrooms
- Glens Falls: First Food Co-Op Meeting
- WPTZ: The State Of Lake Champlain
- Johnsburg: Emma Playing With the Boys
- Mark Wilson: Local News Circ Collapse
- Brian Mann: What if Conklingville Dam Failed?
- Bill McKibben: Climate and Joplin Tornadoes
- The Goat: 70 California Parks Facing Closure
- Flooding: The Great Adk Scavenger Hunt
- Flooding: Part of ‘Global Weirding’
On Friday afternoons Adirondack Almanack compiles for our readers a collection of the week’s top weblinks. You can find all our weekly web round-ups here.
“We may be part of extended families, or be involved with the school if our children are students, or belong to clubs or a church, but we never seem to come together in one place, for one purpose, as a true community should,” she said. » Continue Reading.
Hudson River Rafting Company owner Pat Cunningham pleaded not guilty in Hamilton County Court Thursday to two counts of reckless endangerment. He is scheduled to go to trial in August. Adirondack Life just posted details of the case in “Risky Business,” a story Mary reported for its May/June issue. The Almanack asked Mary Thill to bring our readers up to speed on the latest developments – ed.
The charges are connected to two trips on the Upper Hudson River last summer. But for more than a decade, guides who’ve worked for Cunningham have said that the Hudson River Rafting Company sometimes 1.) overbooks rafts 2.) sends customers in rafts piloted by unlicensed guides-in-training and 3.) launches inexperienced customers in their own boats without guides. The company’s reputation among the guiding community and in rafting towns like North Creek and Indian Lake has not been good for a while. For reasons that are explored in the article, that reputation has been held as local knowledge, until recently. » Continue Reading.
- Champlain Group Loses 25% of Budget
- Endangered Falcons Returning
- Gov Seeks Federal Disaster Designation
- Keene Landslide ‘Largest in NYS History’
- Essex Ferry Reopens, DEC Investigates
- Nova Bus Lands Huge MTA Contract
- Renewed Lake Champlain Flooding
- Ti Orders Closed-Circuit Cameras
- Warren Co Adopts Law Barring Protesters
- DEC to Hire Asst Rangers, Stewards
Each Friday morning Adirondack Almanack compiles for our readers the previous week’s top stories. You can find all our weekly news round-ups here.
The Adirondack Almanack publishes occasional Forest Ranger incident reports which form a stern reminder that wilderness conditions can change suddenly and accidents happen. Be aware of the latest weather conditions and carry adequate gear and supplies.
SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND
** indicates new or revised items.
** HEAVY USE – MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
A larger number of visitors can be expected in the backcountry and on the waters this weekend due to the weather forecast and the Memorial Day Holiday. Popular parking lots, camping sites, motels and hotels may fill to capacity, especially in the High Peaks region. Plan accordingly and seek backcountry recreation opportunities in other areas of the park. For suggestions, pick up a copy of The Other 54.
** HIGH WATERS – FLOODING
Due to additional rains again this past week, many waters remain well above normal, notably the Raquette, Oswegatchie, St. Regis, Saranac, Salmon, and Hudson Rivers. Caution should be used when crossing streams without foot bridges. Trails and campsites adjacent to waters may still be flooded. Some low-lying waterfront properties remain submerged by high waters. Many boat launches in the region remain flooded or nearly so, making it difficult to launch and retrieve boats. Boaters and paddlers should be aware that waters are cold and swift and may contain logs, limbs and other debris. High waters also conceal navigation hazards such as boulders, rock shelves, docks and other structures that normally are easily seen and avoided. Consult the latest streamgage data and use extreme caution.
** LAKE CHAMPLAIN REMAINS ABOVE FLOOD STAGE
During the recent flooding Lake Champlain reached the highest level ever recorded on the USGS gauge at Burlington; the lake remains above flood stage. The Ausable Point Campground is closed, as is the campground access road. Many Valcour Island campsites and access points are flooded. Due to the high waters, floating docks have not been installed and bathrooms are closed at Peru Dock, Port Douglas, Willsboro Bay and other boat launches. The pump station is closed at the Peru Dock Boat Launch. Launching and retrieving boats will be difficult, especially for boaters not familiar with the location of ramps, walkways, docks, posts, etc. that are now underwater.
** MUDDY AND WET TRAILS
Hikers should be prepared mud and water on trails by wearing waterproof footwear and gaiters, and remember to walk through – not around – mud and water to prevent eroding and widening the trail.
** ROAD CLOSURES
Many secondary roads and backcountry roads remain closed due to flooding and/or mud season including some in the Lake George and Moose River Plains Wild Forests (see below). Rock Dam Road, the Cedar River Gate and the Wakely Dam camping area at the eastern end of the main road of the Moose River Plains Road remain closed at this time; Old Military Road and Jessup River Road, preventing motor vehicle access to the Pillsbury Mountain and Spruce Lake trailheads; Haskell-West River Road along the West Canada Creek from Route 8 into the Black River Wild Forest; Old Farm Road near Thirteenth Lake, preventing motor vehicle access to the trailhead; Lily Pond Road near Brant Lake; Jabe Pond Road near Hague; Gay Pond Road in the Hudson River Recreation Area; Dacy Clearing Road. Elk Lake Road the unpaved section of Coreys Road have reopened as has Connery Pond Road between Lake Placid and Wilmington. Gates on roads designated for motor vehicle traffic will be reopened when conditions warrant. The Adirondack Explorer has posted the DEC’s list of currently closed roads.
** MOOSE RIVER PLAINS ROADS OPENED [Late Update]
The Moose River Plains road system in Hamilton County was partially opened Friday. The Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road has been opened to motor vehicles from the Limekiln Lake gate at the western end near Inlet and to the Lost Ponds access road. Also the Otter Brook Road is passable to motor vehicles to the Icehouse Pond trailhead. Rock Dam Road, the Cedar River Gate and the Wakely Dam camping area at the eastern end of the main road remain closed at this time. The open section of the road provides access to 30 roadside campsites and numerous waters popular with anglers including Icehouse Pond, Helldiver Pond, Lost Ponds, Mitchell Ponds and Beaver Lake. The opening of the Moose River Plains roads is due to the hard work of the local highway department staff and the successful partnership between DEC, the Towns of Inlet and Indian Lake and Hamilton County.
** SNOW AT ELEVATION
A foot or more of snow is present in elevations from 3700 feet to tree line. Snow may be found below 3700 feet on north and east facing slopes. Wear proper clothing and footwear (NO running shoes or shorts) and expect it to take much longer to traverse trails with snow.
** MOST DEC FACILITIES ARE OPEN
43 of the DEC’s 44 Adirondack Campgrounds and related day use areas, including Prospect Mountain Highway and Lake George Beach will be open this weekend. The Ausable Point Campground is closed due to flooding on Lake Champlain. Also, a third of the campsites at the Northampton Campground are not available for use due to high waters on Great Sacandaga Lake. All campgrounds are expected to be full. DEC has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking and public intoxication. Fireworks are illegal in New York State and quiet hours are from 10 pm to 7 am. DEC staff will be patrolling campgrounds throughout the weekend. Black bears are plentiful in the Adirondacks. Food and coolers should be stored securely and out of sight in either a car trunk or the passenger area of truck with the windows closed.
** FLUME BIKE TRAIL SYSTEM
The Flume Bike Trail System in Wilmington is wet and muddy. Bikers are asked to avoid using the trail system to prevent damage to the trails.
It is “Bug Season” in the Adirondacks so Black Flies, Mosquitos, Deer Flies and/or Midges will be present. To minimize the nuisance wear light colored clothing, pack a head net and use an insect repellent.
** FIREWOOD BAN IN EFFECT
Due to the possibility of spreading invasive species that could devastate northern New York forests (such as Emerald Ash Borer, Hemlock Wooly Adeljid and Asian Longhorn Beetle), DEC prohibits moving untreated firewood more than 50 miles from its source. Forest Rangers will ticket violators of this firewood ban. More details and frequently asked questions at the DEC website.
Saturated soils have resulted in additional trees being toppled on and over tails and campsites. The large storms expected Thursday afternoon will add to the problem. Blowdown may be present, especially on lesser used side trails.
** KEENE VALLEY LANDSLIDE
NYS geologists have told North Country Public Radio that the massive 82-acre landslide on Little Porter Mountain in Keene Valley is the state’s largest ever. A half-dozen homes are threatened and the slide has moved 150 feet downhill. The town is urging hikers and people curious about the slide to stay away as the situation is dangerous. Dry weather is expected to slow the slide, but the hillside could begin moving again next spring.
BEAR CANISTERS NOW REQUIRED IN HIGH PEAKS
The use of bear-resistant canisters is required for overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, and recommended throughout the Adirondacks, between April 1 and November 30. All food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in bear-resistant canisters.
** ROCK CLIMBING CLOSURES
All routes at Willsboro Bay Cliff have been closed due to active peregrine falcon nesting. Rock climbing routes have reopened on Moss Cliff in Wilmington Notch but the Labor Day Wall has been closed. At Chapel Pond the Upper Washbowl has reopened, but the Lower Washbowl remains closed as does 54 routes on the Nose of Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain between and including Garter and Mogster (Routes #26 through #82 in Adirondack Rock) through the nesting season. See Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures for more information.
Know The Latest Weather
Check the weather before entering the woods and be aware of weather conditions at all times — if weather worsens, head out of the woods.
Fire Danger: LOW
** Central Adirondacks LOWER Elevation Weather
Friday: Occasional showers and thunderstorms, high near 70.
Friday Night: Occasional showers and possible thunderstorm; low around 55
Saturday: Chance of showers and thunderstorms; mostly cloudy, high near 75.
Saturday Night: Chance of showers and thunderstorms; mostly cloudy, low around 54.
Sunday: Chance of showers and thunderstorms; partly sunny, high near 79.
Sunday Night: Chance of showers; mostly cloudy, low around 59.
Monday – Memorial Day: Partly sunny, with a high near 80.
The National Weather Service provides a weather forecast for elevations above 3000 feet and spot forecasts for the summits of a handful of the highest peaks in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties. [LINK]
** LIGHTENING SAFETY
The possibility of encountering thunderstorms at this time of year means it’s a good time to review lighting safety. There is NO safe place outside in a thunderstorm, follow local weather closely and avoid storms. Hundreds of people are killed or permanently injured each year by being struck by lightening. If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance so seek safe shelter immediately. If you are caught outdoors away from the safety of cars or buildings, then avoid open fields, hill-tops, and isolated trees, and stay away from water. Hikers should never be above the treeline when there is lightning.
HUNTING AND FISHING REPORT
** Spring Turkey Season Ends Tuesday
The Spring Turkey Hunting Season end Tuesday, May 31st. DEC biologists expect the spring turkey harvest to be well below the state’s 10-year average of about 34,000 birds, and likely below last year take of 25,807. This is likely to be a third year of poor production in the Adirondacks. 2009 was one of the worst poult production years on record and as a result there will be fewer 2-year-olds, last year’s poor production means fewer yearlings (jakes). Because those birds make up most of the spring turkey harvest, it will likely be considerably lower than average.
** Freshwater Fish Regulation Changes
DEC is considering changes to current freshwater fishing regulations. The proposed changes are available for public review and feedback. Changes being considered include modifications to the current seasons, size limits, and creel limits on certain waters for popular game fish species such as trout, salmon, walleye, black bass, pickerel, muskellunge, and tiger muskellunge. Additional suggested changes pertain to ice fishing on certain waters, as well as for establishing specific gear requirements for certain angling practices. The proposed changes are on the DEC website which provides instructions on how to submit input and quick email links to easily submit comments online. Comments will be accepted through June 24, 2011, regulation changes would become effective on October 1, 2012.
** 2010 Fish Stocking Numbers Available
The 2010 Fish Stocking List which provide the numbers of freshwater fish stocked by county for last year’s fishing season is now available online. The fish are stocked to enhance recreational fishing and to restore native species to waters they formerly occupied. Each year, DEC releases over one million pounds of fish into more than 1,200 public streams, rivers, lakes and ponds across the state.
Trout Season Open
Trout (brook, rainbow, brown and hybrids, and splake) and landlocked Salmon season opened April 1st, but the season is still suffering from high and cold waters. With large lakes like Lake Champlain and Lake George at record levels, smaller lakes and ponds are your best bet. For catch and size limits view the freshwater fishing regulations online.
Warmwater Sportfishing Season
The fishing season for many popular warmwater sportfish species, including walleye, northern pike, pickerel, tiger muskellunge, and catch and release fishing for black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) is open in many waters across the state. Muskellunge fishing season and the regular (harvest) season for black bass open on the 3rd Saturday in June (June 18). Spring also provides outstanding fishing opportunities for yellow perch, sunfish and crappie. A complete listing of 2011 warmwater fishing hotspots recommended by DEC biologists can be found online.
Use Baitfish Wisely
Anglers using fish for bait are reminded to be careful with how these fish are used and disposed of. Careless use of baitfish is one of the primary means by which non-native species and fish diseases are spread from water to water. Unused baitfish should be discarded in an appropriate location on dry land. A “Green List” of commercially available baitfish species that are approved for use in New York State has now been established in regulation. A discussion of these regulations and how to identify approved baitfish species is available online. Personal collection and use of baitfish other than those on the “Green List” is permitted, but only on the water from which they were collected and they may not be transported overland by motorized vehicle. Anglers are reminded that new regulations for transportation of baitfish are currently under consideration, and these proposed regulations can be viewed online.
Preventing Invasive Species and Fish Diseases
Anglers are reminded to be sure to dry or disinfect their fishing and boating equipment, including waders and boots, before entering a new body of water. This is the only way to prevent the spread of potentially damaging invasive plant and animal species (didymo and zebra mussels) and fish diseases (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) and whirling disease). Methods to clean and disinfect fishing gear can be found online.
Lake Champlain Anglers
Warmwater anglers on Lake Champlain are requested to report any catches of sauger to Emily Zollweg at the DEC Region 5 office in Warrensburg at (518) 623-1264. The status of sauger, a close relative of the walleye, has been unknown in the lake for a quite some time, until a single sauger was caught in a DEC survey last spring. Sauger can be distinguished from walleye by the three to four saddle-shaped dark brown blotches on their sides, the distinct black spots on the first dorsal (back) fin and the lack of a white tip on the lower lobe of the tail fin.
LOCAL BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS
NORTHVILLE PLACID TRAIL
West Canada Lakes Wilderness: The bridge over West Canada Creek on the Northville-Placid Trail has been washed away.
The Northville Placid Trail (NPT) is the Adirondack Park’s only designated long distance hiking trail. The 133 mile NPT was laid out by the Adirondack Mountain Club in 1922 and 1923, and is now maintained by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Up to date NPT trail condition information can be found online.
Upper Benson to Whitehouse: About 1.8 miles north of the Silver Lake lean-to and just south of the Canary Pond tent camping area, the trail is flooded and may require wading through water and mud.
West Canada Lakes to Wakely Dam: The bridge over Mud Creek, northeast of Mud Lake, has been washed out. Wading the creek is the only option. The water in Mud Creek will vary from ankle deep to knee deep.
Lake Durant to Long Lake: About a half mile north of the Lake Durant trailhead at Route 28/30 the trail crosses several flooded boardwalks. Use extreme caution as the boardwalk is not visible and may shift. Expect to get your boots wet and use a stick or hiking pole to feel your way along to avoid falling off the boardwalk.
Lake Durant to Long Lake: About 4 miles north of the Tirrell Pond the trail is flooded by beaver activity. The reroute to the east is now also flooded in spots.
Duck Hole to Averyville Rd. and Lake Placid: Beaver activity has flooded the trail about 3 miles south of the Averyville trailhead and will require a sturdy bushwhack.
ADIRONDACK CANOE ROUTE / NORTHERN FOREST CANOE TRAIL
** High Waters – Cold Temperatures: Water levels are very high, especially on the Raquette and Oswegatchie rivers, and water temperatures are low. Paddlers and other boaters should be prepared for high waters that may contain logs, limbs and other debris. See High Waters Warning Above.
** Busy Memorial Day Weekend: A higher number of people can be expected in the backcountry and on the waters this weekend due to the weather forecast and the Memorial Day Weekend. Popular parking lots, camping sites, motels and hotels may fill to capacity, especially in the High Peaks region. Plan accordingly and seek backcountry recreation opportunities in other areas of the park. For suggestions, pick up a copy of The Other 54.
No Fires in Eastern High Peaks: Fires of any kind are prohibited in the Eastern High Peaks
** Snow at Elevation: A foot or more of snow is present in elevations above 3700 feet and at lower elevations on north and east facing slopes. Wear proper clothing and footwear (NO running shoes or shorts) and expect it to take much longer to traverse trails with snow.
Porter Mountain / The Garden: Both the lower (old) and the upper (new) bridges on the Porter Mountain Trail from The Garden are unusable. The lower bridge is completely gone and the new bridge is severely damaged.
** Dix Mountain Wilderness / Elk Lake Road: Elk Lake Road has reopened.
East River Trail: The first bridge on the East River Trail has been washed away, high waters make crossing risky.
** Corey’s Road Open: The unpaved section of Corey’s Road, the main entrance to the Western High Peaks Wilderness, has reopened.
Preston Pond Trail: The first bridge west of Henderson Lake on the trail to Preston Ponds and Duck Hole went out with an ice jam and is now impassible.
Opalescent Cable Bridge: The cable bridge over the Opalescent River on the East River/Hanging Spear Falls trail has been washed out. The crossing will be impassable during high water periods.
** Lake Arnold Trail: A section of the Lake Arnold Trail, just north of the Feldspar Lean-to is impassable due to mud and water.
** Algonquin Mountain: Significant amount of blowdown is present in the higher elevation of all trails on the mountain.
Johns Brook Valley: The Bear Brook Lean-to has been removed and will not be replaced.
Bear Resistant Canister Now Required: The use of bear-resistant canisters is required for overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, and recommended throughout the Adirondacks, between April 1 and November 30. All food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in bear-resistant canisters.
** Giant Mountain Wilderness: All rock climbing routes on Upper Washbowl Cliffs have reopened. Peregrine falcons are nesting at the Lower Washbowl Cliffs and they remain closed. See Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures for more information.
** McKenzie Mountain Wilderness: Peregrine Falcons are nesting on the Labor Day Wall. All rock climbing routes on Labor Day Wall are closed. Climbing routes on Moss Cliff are open. See Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures for more information.
** McKenzie Mountain Wilderness: Connery Pond Road is open, but in rough condition. Hikers accessing Whiteface Landing should park at the newly developed and paved parking area along Route 86 immediately west of the bridge over the West Branch of the Ausable. A trail connects the parking area and Connery Pond Road.
Johns Brook Valley: Lean2Rescue, in cooperation with DEC, will be undertaking several lean-to projects in the Johns Brook Valley over the course of the next several months. DEC will post notifications at the Garden trailhead prior to work being started. The Deer Brook lean-to is currently closed while it’s being moved.
Western High Peaks Wilderness: Trails in the Western High Peaks Wilderness are cluttered with blowdown from a storm that occurred December 1st. DEC has cleared blow down along the Corey’s Road, and in most areas accessed from the that road, including the Seward Trail, although not along the Northville-Placid Trail.
Sentinel Range Wilderness: The Copperas Pond/Owen Pond Loop Trail was impacted by serious winds resulting in significant blow down. While most of the blowdown has been cut out, some downed trees and limbs are still present.
Bushnell Falls: The high water bridge at Bushnell Falls has been removed, the low water crossing may not be accessible during high water.
Caulkins Brook Truck Trail/Horse Trail: While much of the blowdown on the Caulkins Brook Truck Trail/Horse Trail between the Calkins Brook lean-tos and Shattuck Clearing has been removed, the trail remains impassable to horses and wagons.
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN ADIRONDACKS
** Wakley Dam: The Wakely Dam Area is closed due to significant damage from flooding.
** Moose River Plains Wild Forest: The Moose River Plains Road System was opened late Friday (see above for details).
** West Canada Lakes Wilderness: The bridge over Mud Creek and West Canada Creek on the Northville-Placid Trail have been washed away.
** Ferris Lake Wild Forest: The Powley-Piseco Road in the Ferris Lake Wild Forest has reopened.
Ferris Lake Wild Forest / West Lake: The West Lake Boat Launch was impacted by rains and floods last August. DEC staff have made repairs to the roadway, parking lot and ramps, however, be aware that the waters off the boat launch are more shallow than before.
** Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement: The Town of Lake Pleasant has opened the Perkins Clearing Road. The Old Military Road and Jessup River Road remain closed due to washouts and soft spots. The Pillsbury Mountain and Spruce Lake trailheads cannot be accessed by motor vehicles at this time.
EASTERN / SOUTHEASTERN ADIRONDACKS
** Pharaoh Lake Wilderness: Lean-to #6 was recently destroyed by fire. You can see video here. This is a stern reminder to properly extinguish fires and never leave a fire unattended.
** Lake Champlain: During the recent flooding Lake Champlain reached the highest level ever recorded on the USGS gauge at Burlington; the lake remains above flood stage. The Ausable Point Campground is closed, as is the campground access road. Many Valcour Island campsites and access points are flooded. Due to the high waters, floating docks have not been installed and bathrooms are closed at Peru Dock, Port Douglas, Willsboro Bay and other boat launches. The pump station is closed at the Peru Dock Boat Launch. Launching and retrieving boats will be difficult, especially for boaters not familiar with the location of ramps, walkways, docks, posts, etc. that are now underwater.
** Western Lake George Wild Forest / Hudson River Recreation Area: In the Hudson Recreation Area, the two designated campsites at Scofield Flats and the two designated campsites at Pikes Beach are restricted to day use only at this time. The water access paths at Darlings Ford and the Gay Pond Road intersection were damaged by flooding but can be used with caution. The Jabe Pond Road and River Road in the Hudson River Recreation Area are open, however the latter is muddy and rutted. It is recommended that only high clearance vehicles use the road at this time. Gates on the Buttermilk Road Extension in the Hudson River Recreation Area remain shut and the roads closed to motor vehicle traffic.
** Lake George Wild Forest Road Closures: Gates on Gay Pond Road and Lily Pond Road remain closed for mud season. The following ADA-accessible roads have been closed for mud season: Scofield Flats, Pikes Beach, Darlings Ford, and the Huckleberry Mountain and Palmer Pond access routes. The Bear Slides ADA-accessible route is open. The Dacy Clearing Park Area is open, however, the Dacy Clearing Road remains closed due to washouts.
Hammond Pond Wild Forest: The Lindsey Brook Trail is closed due to flooding by beaver activity.
Hoffman Notch Wilderness: Some stream crossings do not have bridges and may be difficult to cross in high water conditions.
** Siamese Ponds Wilderness: There is a culvert out on Old Farm Road preventing motor vehicle access to the trailhead – park at the snowplow turnaround. The bridge over Chatiemac Brook on the Second Pond Trail is out. DEC will be replacing the bridge with a natural log bridge. A bridge over William Blake Pond Outlet on the Halfway Brook/William Blake Pond Trail is out. DEC will be replacing the bridge with a natural log bridge. The 11th Mtn/Siamese Ponds to Old Farm Road Trail has been brushed out in the area of the Sacandaga lean-to. The old trail will no longer be maintained and the marked trail will go to the bridge/lean-to intersection with the Siamese Ponds Trail.
** Lake Champlain Islands: The Ausable Point Campground is closed, as is the campground access road. Many Valcour Island campsites, access points and portions of trails are flooded. Due to the high waters, floating docks have not been installed and bathrooms are closed at Peru Dock, Port Douglas, Willsboro Bay and other boat launches.Launching and retrieving boats will be difficult, especially for boaters not familiar with the location of ramps, walkways, docks, posts, etc. that are now underwater. The pump station is closed at the Peru Dock Boat Launch.
** Madawaska Flow/Quebec Brook Primitive Area: The Madawaska Flow Road has reopened to public motor vehicle access.
** Santa Clara Tract Easement Lands (former Champion Lands): The Pinnacle Road has reopened.
** Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: Both the Upper and the Lower Locks on the Saranac Lakes Chain are open.
** Connery Pond Road: Connery Pond Road is open, however hikers accessing Whiteface Landing should park at the newly developed and paved parking area along Route 86 immediately west of the bridge over the West Branch of the Ausable. A trail connects the parking area and Connery Pond Road.
** Moose Pond Road: The Town of St. Armand has opened the Moose Pond Road, the waterway access site can now be accessed by motor vehicles.
** Corey’s Road: The Town of Harrietstown has opened the Corey’s Road.
Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: The gate on the Lake Clear Girl Scout Camp Road is open, but due to the condition of the road, until further notice it should only be used by pickup trucks, SUVs and other vehicles with high clearance. This road is used to access Meadow and St. Germain Ponds.
** St. Regis Canoe Area: Significant work on campsites was conducted last year. 14 new campsites were created, 18 campsites were closed and rehabilitated, 5 campsites were relocated to better locations, 5 campsites were restored to reduce the size of the impacted area and to better define tent pads, and one lean-to was constructed. DEC is appreciative of the hard work done by crews from the Student Conservation Association’s (SCA) Adirondack Program. This summer DEC and SCA will continue work on this project, but the number of campsites involved will not be as significant. As described in the St. Regis Canoe Area Unit Management Plan this work is needed to bring the campsites into compliance with the quarter-mile separation distance required by the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan and to address negative impacts that have occurred through use of the campsites. A map of current campsites will be posted in the near future.
** St. Regis Canoe Area: A section of the canoe carry about half way between Long Pond and Nellie Pond has been flooded by beavers. This will required a short paddle across the beaver pond.
** Whitney Wilderness/Lake Lila: The Lake Lila Road is open but rough in some areas – use caution. Do not block the gate at the Lake Lila Parking Area.
Taylor Pond Wild Forest: Peregrine falcon nesting has been confirmed on The Nose on the Main Face of Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain, rock climbing routes between and including Garter and Mogster (Routes #26 through #82 in Adirondack Rock) will remain closed through the nesting season. See Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures for more information.
Norton Peak Cave / Chateuagay Woodlands Conservation Easement Lands: Norton Peak Cave has been reopened to the public following the expiration of the cave closing order on March 31. The cave is a bat hibernacula with white nose syndrome present. DEC is considering whether to close all bat hibernacula caves on state lands and easements to protect the bat population. It’s best to stay out of caves at this time.
GENERAL ADIRONDACK NOTICES
Accidents Happen, Be Prepared
Wilderness conditions can change suddenly and accidents happen. Hikers and campers should check up-to-date forecasts before entering the backcountry as conditions at higher elevations will likely be more severe. All users should bring flashlight, first aid kit, map and compass, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods and always inform others of your itinerary.
Cave And Mine Closings
White nose syndrome, the fungal disease that’s wiping out bat populations across the northeast has spread to at least 32 cave and mine bat hibernation sites across the New York state according to a recent survey. Populations of some bat species are declining in these caves and mines by 90 percent. White nose was first discovered in upstate New York in the winter of 2006-2007 and is now confirmed in at least 11 states. An order closing all bat hibernacula caves on state lands and easements to protect the bat population expired on March 31. DEC is reconsidering whether continuing the closing to protect the bat population is warranted. At this time it’s best to stay out of caves that may contain bats.
Practice ‘Leave No Trace’ Principles
All backcountry users should learn and practice the Leave No Trace philosophy: Plan ahead and be prepared, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate of others. More information is available online.
Warnings and announcements drawn from DEC, NWS, NOAA, USGS, and other sources. Detailed Adirondack Park camping, hiking, and outdoor recreation and trail conditions can be found at DEC’s webpages. A DEC map of the Adirondack Park can also be found online [pdf].
The DEC Trails Supporter Patch is available for $5 at all outlets where sporting licenses are sold, on-line and via telephone at 1-866-933-2257. Patch proceeds will help maintain and enhance non-motorized trails throughout New York State.
In this northern climate, the red fox breeds during the very end of January through the first few weeks of February. As a result, the females give birth to their annual litter toward the very end of March, or during early April.
In the weeks prior to giving birth, each pair of red fox establishes a den that serves to shelter their pups from the bouts of inclement weather that often occurs in spring. A den also protects these helpless infants from being attacked and killed by other predatory creatures, such as coyotes, bears and various birds of prey. » Continue Reading.
Fort Ticonderoga’s newest exhibit, The Art of War: Ticonderoga as Experienced through the eyes of America’s Great Artists brings together for the first time in one highlighted exhibition fifty of the museum’s most important artworks. Fort Ticonderoga helped give birth to the Hudson River school of American Art with Thomas Cole’s pivotal 1826 work, Gelyna, or a View Near Ticonderoga, the museum’s most important 19th-century masterpiece to be featured in the exhibit. The Art of War exhibit will be through October 20 in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center exhibition gallery.
The Art of War exhibit includes paintings, prints, drawings, photographs and several three-dimensional artifacts selected for their historical significance and artistic appeal. Artists whose works are featured include Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, Charles Wilson Peale, and Daniel Huntington among many others. As reflected in the exhibit, 19th-century visitors to Fort Ticonderoga included some of the greatest artists of the period who found inspiration in Fort Ticonderoga’s epic history and exquisite landscape.
Regional photographic artists such as Seneca Ray Stoddard recorded Ticonderoga’s ruins and landscapes over the course of twenty years. Many of his photographs were published in area travel guides and histories during the last quarter of the 19th century, keeping alive Ticonderoga’s place in American history while documenting early heritage tourism.
The Art of War uses the artworks to present the story of the Fort’s remarkable history and show how its history inspired American artists to capture its image and keep Ticonderoga’s history alive. The exhibit will graphically tell the history of the site from its development by the French army in 1755 through the beginning of its reconstruction as a museum and restored historic site in the early 20th century.
The Art of War: Ticonderoga as Experienced through the eyes of America’s Great Artists is organized by Christopher D. Fox, Curator of Collections.
Illustration: Gleyna, or A View Near Ticonderoga. Oil on board by Thomas Cole, 1826. Fort Ticonderoga Museum Collection.
We had heard that Indian Lake was quite busy this winter with snowmobilers aplenty. Unfortunately, it didn’t make it to our itinerary until now, mid-May. After driving through town several times looking for The Bear Trap Inn, we concluded that May might not be the best time to visit Indian Lake. We stopped at the Indian Lake Restaurant and Tavern to ask for directions, stayed long enough to gather intel for a review, and went on our way. We just hadn’t driven far enough through town.
The Bear Trap Inn had been recommended to us by several people we’ve met while doing our reviews elsewhere. As we entered the tavern, Pam had two thoughts; “My, how little!” and “I’ve been here before.” The main tavern was about 10′ x 12′, but there was obviously more seating in an adjacent room. The bar seated about 10 to 12 people, but there were also a few stools and a small bar on the wall as well. Not wanting to be away from the “action”, we found one empty seat at the bar. It was only a few minutes before people started shuffling to seat us both. Pam jokingly said to the bartender, “I’ll have a frozen margarita!” She flashed a playful grin and asked for a vodka and grapefruit instead. We were obviously strangers a little early for tourist season, and we felt a sense of curiosity buzzing in the air.
Kim engaged someone next to her in conversation and Pam looked to the man on her left. There was something familiar about him and her mind raced for the connection. She recalled a man in North Creek, at The Barking Spider, many months ago who had told us about the snowmobile activity in Indian Lake, and who had suggested we visit The Bear Trap. He had also mentioned that he owned the Adirondack Trail Motel across from the Bear Trap.
Pam decided to go for it, and suggested that they had met before in North Creek. He didn’t recall immediately, until she mentioned “Happy Hour in the High Peaks”. It’s a small bar, so others took in the news as well. The mood changed much like the Group W Bench verse in Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant – they all moved back over on the bench. We were in, and the conversations came from all directions. Our cards were circulated and everyone seemed to have a story to tell. So many stories were fired at us at once, it was difficult to take notes, so we have only memory to go on.
Kim spent quite awhile talking to the woman next to her. Patty has worked for years in bars all over the area and offered suggestions as to where we should go and where we should not. She was very interested in what we were doing and mentioned that the Bear Trap had been visited by someone writing about restaurants in the Adirondacks.
When we mentioned where we were from, Pam’s long lost friend, Al, asked if we knew his motel manager, Martha, who came from the same town. Pam thought she was someone she had met through her mother. Well, didn’t Martha show up sometime later only to confirm that they knew each other many years back. We met her granddaughter who was absolutely charming.
It was getting to be time to go so Pam quickly whipped out her “official” questionnaire and started asking some factual questions from the bartender. How long has this bar been in business? After taking in input from all around, we narrowed it down to the 1950’s. How long has the current owner been in business? I believe that question settled on “since the 1970s”. They are open year-round, seven days per week. They sometimes have private parties, but the public is invited as well. Every hour is happy hour and every drink is “special”. Of the two bars in Indian Lake, the Bear Trap is the latest bar open. They occasionally have live entertainment, typically for parties.
In the two hours we were there, the population swelled from eight to about twenty, becoming a little cramped and noisy. The Bear Trap seems to cater to bikers, snowmobilers and hunters, though we felt quite welcome. One man, whose name we didn’t catch, was a wealth of information regarding the ownership history of the place. He also recommended we track down a guy named Jerry, a locally notorious bar historian and musician who has played in every bar in town (both of them?).
Just before leaving, Pam recalled something unique to the bar that confirmed that, yes, she had been there before. The Bear Trap is definitely a local bar, and we aren’t sure they would want us to be sending new people to them, but we had such a warm reception that we have mixed emotions. We would suggest that our readers might have an interesting time if they mentioned that they heard of them through Happy Hour in the High Peaks.
Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog.
The Adirondack History Center Museum in Elizabethtown, Essex County, is opening for a new season beginning on Saturday, May 28. The museum will be offering some new exhibitions including What do You Want to Do? that focuses on the Brewster Memorial Library’s collection of old recreational brochures related to Essex County’s past attractions.
The Human Face exhibit highlights paintings of local people from the past, emphasizing the human presence within one of the Adirondack Park’s most fascinating corners. Opening on Saturday, July 23, is the new permanent exhibition, Worked/Wild. Through artifacts, photographs and stories that examine a wide spectrum of community life, this new exhibition explores the dynamic environmental and social structure of our region.
The museum is located at 7590 Court Street, Elizabethtown. It is open every day from 10am -5pm. For more information contact the museum at 873-6466 or visit the website at www.adkhistorycenter.org.