Sunday, March 27, 2022

Old Forge grandmother, Beth Pashley, chronicles her picturesque Adirondack hiking adventures

Spring has sprung in the Adirondacks, and although the coming of springtime signals a time of renewal and helps many to come out of the “winter blues,” early Spring also means gray skies, soggy yards, and mud, lots of it.

What better time to showcase the serene beauty of the Adirondack region, while highlighting the artistic talents of one Adirondack grandmother who found rejuvenation, peace and serenity in the mountains, igniting a newfound adoration for hiking that she hopes will span across many generations in her family.

Beth Pashley, who lives in Old Forge with her husband of nearly 48 years, Mike, works at the Old Forge Library part time and has an affinity for arts & crafts, reading, and thinking outside the box when it comes to spending quality time with her two children and five grandchildren.

Other than small hikes with family during their camping excursions, Beth didn’t embark on her first big hike until age 17 at Blue Mountain along with a group from high school.

“I had no idea at that time just 2 short years later in 1973, I would be living in the Adirondacks full time,” Beth said. “Even then, other than a few hikes here and there with friends, [our] cub scout pack, etc., hiking was not a big thing.”

Like most locals, Beth found she was too busy working (as a clerk at the Old Forge Post Office for 10 years and then as Postmaster in Inlet for 15 years, retiring in 2009), and raising a family, to be able to take advantage of all the Adirondacks have to offer. Fast forward to the summer of 2020, the first summer of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beth said she was looking for outdoor activities she could do weekly with her grandkids which is when “The Grandma Chronicles” came to fruition.

“[The Grandma Chronicles] wasn’t always hiking, but that led me to wanting to be outdoors more and I started hiking in earnest,” she said. “I wasn’t in the best shape and some hikes were a challenge. Blue Mountain certainly was a challenge at 66 years old, [and] it had been 49 years since I had last hiked it!  [The] winter of 2020-21 was my first experience winter hiking. I find it actually to be easier, in some respects, than other times of the year, as long as you are dressed  properly and have the right gear…snowshoes, poles, spikes depending on the conditions.”

Now, Beth said she is proud to proclaim that she is officially “hooked on hiking,” noting she has reaped both mental and physical benefits over the last couple of years.

“I hope I’m able to continue [to hike] for many years to come, and just maybe I’m teaching the grandkids [that] you are never too old to start something new!” Beth said.

Beth said she hiked the backside of McCauley Mountain yesterday morning (March 26) and will definitely hike somewhere semi-local this coming week.
“I try to hike at least 2 times a week …retirement is grand!” she said.
See below for a collection of some of Beth’s favorite hiking adventures: 

Cascade Mountain in October of 2021

Blue Mountain in the Fall of 2021

A Grandma Chronicles excursion at Pixley Falls. Pictured from left: Leigha Pashley, Savannah Pashley, Christian Olsen, Nick Olsen, and Shawn Pashley.

Goodnow Mountain in Newcomb

Blue Mountain in the Fall of 2021

Moose River Plains in June of 2021

Pashley Falls hike route

Pashley Falls on the Cedar River in Indian Lake in early March of 2022.

Bald Mountain in January of 2022

Twitchell Creek in December of 2020

The Abenaki mountain biking trail at Maple Ridge looking out toward McCauley Mountain in Old Forge.

Photo at top: Old Forge resident Beth Pashley at Cascade Mountain in 2021. 
Photos by Beth Pashley.


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4 Responses

  1. NOEL A SHERRY says:

    Wow, Beth, fantastic, thanks for sharing your ADK adventures, most of them cold weather, you are a trooper, loved this.

  2. Mary Therese Flanagan says:

    Beth, this is a great article and a wonderful hobby for you and your grandkids! Hope to see you in Sept for our UCA reunion! Keep up your great adventures!

  3. Colleen Olsen says:

    I think you should be a photographer…your pictures are amazing!!

  4. TIM LECLAIR says:

    Wonderful summary Beth.

    I just heard that we lost Mike last February.

    Send a message when free.

    Tim LeClair, 858-449-2316 San Diego

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