Almanack Contributor Melissa Hart

Melissa Hart

Melissa is a journalist with experience as a reporter and editor with the Burlington Free Press, Ithaca Journal and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. She worked as a communications specialist for the Adirondack North Country Association and runs her own New York State Women owned Business-Enterprise Bootstrap Communications, which includes digital marketing, strategy and design. She enjoys hiking, camping and other outdoors activities, and spending time with her husband, their twin daughters, and rescue animals -- two dogs and a cat.


Saturday, September 26, 2020

Weekend read: Fall and animals

We’ve had a lot of history stories this week from contributors, which has been great! But I realized we were short on nature/wildlife content so I pulled a few from the Almanack archive:


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Send us your story ideas

Feedback time

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know how you’re doing by giving some feedback. Send us your Adirondack story ideas: Topics you’d like to see covered, content suggestions, article ideas, and whatever’s on your mind. Comment below or send an email to [email protected].


Saturday, September 19, 2020

From the archive: Fall colors

Happy (almost) fall! While the fall equinox falls on Sept. 22 this year, the cooling temps and foliage color changes have found me peeking through the Almanack archive for articles about autumn.

Here are a few for your review:

Stay informed about news and information about the Adirondacks by signing up for the Almanack’s daily news digest: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/sign-email-updates


Monday, September 14, 2020

More thoughts on permits

Whether the time has come to install a permit system for hiking/backpacking in the High Peaks Wilderness has been in the news lately, and a topic for debate in this recent commentary by Dave Gibson.

Here are a few recent comments that came in via email:

“Sustainable Trail design, rather than our 100+ year old trails.  One way trails on the 2-3 busiest peaks, one trail up a separate trail down.  One half the foot traffic, and, except for the summit, hikers won’t be passing each other all the way up and down, especially since most people hike at roughly the same pace.  Now the real problem is that this will take MONEY.  We need a lot more Rangers as well, so that some of them can go back to their core duties, not just rescues. Gov. Cuomo is good at promoting tourism in the Adirondacks, but woefully lacking in the financial support this extra traffic requires.   This is the People’s park, we all deserve to enjoy it, it soothes the soul. — John Marona

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Bear tales: Readers share their stories

In my weekly “Adk News Briefing” newsletter, I asked readers to share stories of backcountry bear encounters. Here are a few that came in via email (and one was kind enough to share some skat photos too):

A DIFFERENT KIND OF EXPOSURE: My wife Brenda and I have been wilderness camping for forty years in the Daks.  We advanced from backpacking to canoe camping to small boat camping over many years. We finally got a pontoon boat so we could take our two dogs and as many “creature comforts” as we wanted. One of our favorite boat-in camping lakes is Lower Saranac.  In 2018 we received a notice from DEC prior to our departure that there was a bear problem. We were used to bears in our back yard in Pennsylvania so we didn’t give it a second thought. We had an aluminum clad lockable box to store our 50 pounds (two other couples were going to join us later) of food.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Weekend read: black bears

black bearBear stories. We all have them and often enjoy telling them.

This week, there was plenty of bear activity in the news. Take the viral video from Indian Lake. And we posted a story by Tim Rowland about a search party in Old Forge that was launched to locate a missing teen. When she was found right away, she told the rescue team that she encountered an angry mama bear and cubs while jogging and in her efforts to put some distance between them, the teen ran up a tree and spent the night in the tree.

Which prompted some questions, including “What’s the best way to handle bear encounters?” You can read that one and weigh in here.  Tell us your best bear story, too, in the comments here or email me at [email protected].

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Corrections on Saranac Lake Marina Commentary

The Adirondack Almanack has removed the commentary by Tom Jorling “Weighing in on Saranac Lake Marina plans” because it contained inaccuracies brought to our attention by representatives of the Marina. For the record, Mr. Jorling’s comments are filed publicly with the Adirondack Park Agency. We regret the inclusion of incorrect and outdated information on the Almanack.

From a spreadsheet of facts provided by Matt Norfolk of Norfolk Law, Lake Placid, representing Saranac Lake Marina:

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

It’s debatable: The last big piece of land

John Hendrickson, owner of the 36,000 Whitney Park estate outside of Long Lake, announced his intentions last month to sell the property, setting off speculations of who the next buyer could be — or should be.

Hendrickson, the widower of philanthropist, thoroughbred owner and Saratoga Springs socialite Marylou Whitney, told the Wall Street Journal at the end of July he was listing the property for $180 million — $5,000 an acre.

The news had environmentalists calling for the parcel, which includes 22 lakes and one of the great Adirondack camps called Deerlands, to be part of the Adirondack Park’s forest preserve.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Weekend read: Women’s suffrage

This week marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

For those fighting for women’s suffrage, this victory was hard-won. In honor of the milestone, here are a few stories from the Almanack archive.

Inez Milholland: A fervent fighter for suffrage and Adirondack resident. Born and is buried in Lewis, she died young and never lived to see the fruits of her labor.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Should ‘secret spots’ stay that way?

SECRET SPOTS: We all have them. In a commentary in the Almanack, outdoors enthusiast Paul Kalac questions whether the rise in social media is doing a disservice to our treasured places.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS: Should ‘secret spots’ stay that way? Is the internet to blame? Join the conversation in the comments section or send an email to [email protected].


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Weekend read: Leave no Trace

The DEC had a special reminder to treat the High Peaks with care and respect in this week’s Outdoor Conditions report.

Also, in the Adirondack Explorer, Mike Lynch reports on Marcy stewards’ frustration over lack of preparedness and the flood of hikers this summer. (Mike’s photo from the Marcy summit shown here)

One of those stewards, Michaela Dunn, wrote about her own experiences in this blog entry that’s been widely circulating online.

In the spirit of “Leave no Trace,” a look through the Almanack archive found this post from 2014: Brandon Wiltse writes about a wildlife encounter he had: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2014/01/leave-trace-dont-feed-wildlife.html


Friday, August 7, 2020

What’s on your Adirondack summer bucket list?

Phil Brown canoes Shingle Shanty Brook in 2009People all over the country are flocking outside during this pandemic summer. And recent top stories from AdirondackExplorer.org and AdirondackAlmanack.com reflect the strangeness of recreating amid Covid-19, I as wrote about in my weekly “Adk News Briefing” e-mail newsletter. (Click here to subscribe to it.)

I’m curious to know what’s on your Adirondack summer “to do” list. Have you tried something new this summer? Have you joined the crowds or ventured into more remote territory? Feel free to leave a comment or share an email: [email protected]

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Weekend reads: Some of our most-read wildlife stories

From time to time, an animal story (or two or three) pops up in the analytics as gaining a noticeable amount of attention, due to people’s searches that land them there, or other online referrals.

Here’s an offering of a few of those popular stories for your reading pleasure:

» Continue Reading.


Monday, July 27, 2020

‘Name that Place’ photo contest tests your Adirondack knowledge

How well do you know the Adirondacks?

Each day this week (July 27-31) we’re posting a photo of a “mystery location: to the Adirondack Explorer’s website.

You let us know where it is by leaving a comment in that post. Come back each day for a new photo/entry.

At the end of the week, we’ll draw a winner for a grab bag of Adirondack Explorer swag and books by locally renowned authors Bill McKibben and Phil Terrie. As a bonus, the first person who gets all 5 entries correct receives special recognition.


Saturday, July 25, 2020

Weekend read: Climbing the trap dike

A recent DEC ranger report about hikers getting stuck in Mount Colden’s trap dike had me searching the archive for stories about hiking the dike.

Is it a hike or a climb? In 2011, former Explorer editor Phil Brown tackles the tough question: Is the Colden trap dike a hike or a climb? Esp. in light of a hiker who died from a fall at the dike that year. https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2011/10/phil-brown-is-the-trap-dike-a-hike-or-a-climb.html

Magazine feature: In 2015, Brown writes about the tap dike being featured in Climbing magazine: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2015/04/magazine-recommends-alpine-trek-adirondacks.html

Marcy’s trap dike: From 2017, Kevin “MudRat” MacKenzie writes about scaling Mount Marcy’s trap dike: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2017/06/marcys-great-chimney-new-climb-mt-marcys-trap-dike.html

Photo: DEC Forest Rangers assist in hoist rescue on Trap Dike/provided by DEC

 



Support the Adirondack Almanack and the Adirondack Explorer all year long with a monthly gift that fits your budget.

Support the Adirondack Almanack and the Adirondack Explorer all year long with a monthly gift that fits your budget.