Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Behind the lens: Trail signs

When out on assignment in the Forest Preserve, I seem to take photos of every trail sign I come across. However, after I download them, they disappear into my archives and are never seen again.

This image isn’t necessarily one of my favorite trail sign shots, but the photo assignment when I took the image was interesting.

That day, in late June, I was tasked with meeting writer Betsy Kepes at 10:30 a.m. at the Cold River near Shattuck Clearing. Kepes was writing a story about backpacking through lowlands in the western High Peak Wilderness.

So that day I got up early, paddled roughly 8 miles to the lean-to at the north end of Long Lake, where I could connect with the Northville-Placid Trail. From there, I hiked in the rain for another 5 miles to meet Betsy and her two friends at a bridge over the Cold River.

I was a few minutes late, but we met up, and I hiked with her for about an hour or so to get photos. After getting what I needed, I turned around and hiked back to the lake in the pouring rain. Completely soaked, I dried out in the boat and caught a tailwind that took me down the lake at a breakneck pace. It was a long but fun day.

Click here to see that gallery

Click here to see Explorer photo highlights from Sept/Oct

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Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch is a staff writer and photographer for the nonprofit Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly news magazine with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues.

Mike’s favorite outdoor activities include paddling, hiking, fishing and backcountry skiing. In 2011, he paddled the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail from Old Forge to Fort Kent, Maine.

From 2007 until 2014, Mike worked as an outdoors writer and photographer for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in Saranac Lake.

Mike welcomes story ideas and can be reached at [email protected]




4 Responses

  1. Steve B. says:

    I can finally say “Hey, I’ve been there !”, when I did the northern half and finished the NLP in ‘75. I remember seeing Rondeaus camp as well, I think it was before the State of NY relocated the cabins.

  2. Philip Terrie Phil Terrie says:

    I know that junction. Walk past there many times every summer. If you paddled from Plumleys back to the village of Long Lake with a tailwind, you were super lucky! On almost any day in June the wind on LL comes from the southwest. How were the flies?

  3. Peggy VerDow says:

    Love trail signs in the ADK’s. Our grandson, who is a new resident from Ohio, built a short trail with a small bridge and outlook and dedicated it to his great grandparents. He made a ADK style trail sign and named it the Glad-Walt Kelley. Walter Kelley started hiking in the ADK’s in the 1920’s with the Utica Tramp and Trail Club which, I believe, still exists. He did the Great Range and many of the high peaks before the 46’rs existed. He served as its president for a couple of years in the 1930’s. The trail is on our grandson’s property near Saranac. The Utica Tramp and Trail Club has a nook in the Utica Public Library. There are many great pictures in our family archive, from those days.

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