The Return of the Black Flies (Ellen Rathbone)
It’s fitting that this year’s most read story was written by Ellen Rathbone, one of the Almanack‘s most popular contributors in 2010. With the state’s economic problems resulting in the closure of the Newcomb Visitor Interpretative Center, Ellen lost her job and we lost her regular contributions on natural history and the environment. In this gem from March, Ellen reminds us that the black flies are much more than a nuisance.
The Cougar Question: Have You Seen One? (Phil Brown)
There is perhaps no wildlife question in the Adirondacks that raises so much ire as the question of whether or not there are mountain lions (a.k.a. cougars, pumas, panthers, catamounts) in the Adirondacks. When Phil Brown asked the age old question in August, he stirred the pot one more time. Other big mountain lion stories this year included a hoax, Phil’s own encounter stories, and even a story from 2005 which still tops the charts.
Adirondack Conditions Report (Edited by John Warren)
Although not strictly a typical Almanack post per se, the weekly conditions report’s enormous popularity guarantees a spot on this year’s list of most popular stories. The report owes a great debt of thanks to all the folks around the region whose work I rely on. Special thanks to the DEC’s David Winchell, Tony Goodwin, Tom Wemett, the folks at Adirondack Rock and River Guide Service, the USGS, NOAA and the National Weather Service, and everyone who out there who writes about conditions in their area.
Dannemora Notes: The Clinton Prison (John Warren)
Some of the most popular posts of all time here at the Almanack are about the history of the Adirondack region. In fact, the history category is the currently the 13th most clicked-on page of all time. The single biggest story each month remains a piece I wrote in January 2008 about Gaslight Village. This year is continuing proof that Adirondack history is a big draw, as my short post about Dannemora Prison drew an astonishing number of readers.
A Long Standstill Over Paddlers’ Rights (Phil Brown)
Phil Brown’s regular weekly posts raise important questions about the Adirondack Park and how we use it. Among the issues that loomed the largest this year was the navigation rights of paddlers. Phil wrote controversial pieces about the Beaver River, the West Branch of the St. Regis, and for all his effort, found himself headed to court.
Famous Jerks of the Adirondacks (Mary Thill)
When I thought I was clever by coming up with the 10 Most Influential People in Adirondack History, Mary Thill put me to shame by listing the all-time top Adirondack jerks. Mary has been on hiatus from the Almanack for most of this year while she works on other projects, but her wit, wisdom, and insight into all things Adirondack remains.
Siamese Ponds: The New Botheration Pond Trail (Alan Wechsler)
Alan Wechsler’s regular forays into the outdoors are something even the most active Adirondackers envy. Not a week goes by when he’s not biking, hiking, skiing, climbing, or thinking and writing about getting outside. When he wrote about the new eight-mile Botheration Pond Loop, a route that circles around the Balm of Gilead Mountain and several lesser hills in the 114,000-acre Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area, Alan grabbed the interest of readers.
A Short History of the Moose River Plains (John Warren)
It’s been a big year for the Moose River Plains. road closures, new trails and bridges, and some reclassification brought Adirondackers out in big numbers to learn more about the plains, and to chime in on how it should be managed.
The Death of Climber Dennis Murphy (Phil Brown)
The death of Dennis Murphy at Upper Washbowl Cliff in Keene Valley was tragic. Dennis worked at Eastern Mountain Sports in Lake Placid and was a regular at local climbing hot-spots. This post by Phil Brown, written just a week after they had a lengthy talk about climbing gear and soloing Chapel Pond Slab, struck a nerve with readers. Two other stories of danger and disaster this year also ranked high: Ian Measeck’s first hand account of surviving an avalanche while skiing Wright Peak, and the High Peaks disappearance of Wesley Wamsganz.
Commentary: The Cast of ‘Opposing Smart Development (John Warren)
Commentaries are always popular at the Almanack, and my own short piece on those who have traditionally opposed smart development in the Adirondacks raised not just a few hackles, but also the readership numbers.
You can also check out the top stories of 2009, 2007, 2006.