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.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Latest news headlines

Here’s a look at news from around the Adirondacks this week:

» Continue Reading.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Discussion time: Boat inspections

boat inspection stewardsThis week is NYS’s 8th annual Invasive Species Awareness Week and we’ve got aquatic invasives on our mind. In light of the current law expiring, here’s an excerpt from Explorer reporter Gwen Craig’s recent story:

“The old law in question requires boaters recreating in the Adirondack Park to take reasonable precautions against spreading aquatic invasive species like Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels. Boats should be cleaned, drained and dried to prevent spreading any unwanted hitchhikers. The Adirondack Park is home to more than 3,000 lakes, 8,000 ponds and 1,500 miles of rivers. With more than 12 million visitors each year, the threat of a new invasive species introduction is always looming.”

What are your thoughts about best ways to keep our waterways safe from invasives? Should the state require — and enforce — boat inspections? Or is the current system working well enough?

Photo provided, Connor Vara/Adirondack Watershed Institute. AWI stewards recently finished a 2-week training at Paul Smith’s College to learn techniques for implementing Clean, Drain and Dry at area boat launches.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Weekly news round up

A collection of interesting reads:

» Continue Reading.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Latest news headlines

Here’s a look at news from around the Adirondacks this week:

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Penny for your thoughts: feedback, story ideas

penny for your thoughtsHi Almanackers!

I’m unplugged this weekend starting today, and hope you also enjoy this Memorial Day weekend. Wanted to take a minute to ask for your thoughts. Is there anything you’ve particularly enjoyed reading recently on this site? Anything you’d like to see more of? A topic/issue we’re not covering? A burning question or story idea?

Please feel free to weigh in below or send me an email to [email protected] and I’ll check it out when I get back online next week.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, May 22, 2021

A look back at the rail trail’s history, debate over it

tearing up the tracks

Work is underway in the Saranac Lake area to remove the railroad tracks and replace them with a recreation trail.

As many people know, this project has a long and contentious history.

Here’s a look back over some of the discussion, a random sampling of the hundreds of  from our archive:

» Continue Reading.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Looking for fellow trackers

tracksFrom an Almanack reader, looking to connect with animal tracking enthusiasts:

“Do you know where to find people who are involved in the science and “hobby”Or practice of animal tracking? Some trackers are hunters, but most are not.

I am a person who has always enjoyed looking at tracks and sign for the story they tell, but in the past 3 years I have dug deeper into the techniques of positive ID and deeper knowledge through some amazing books, and going on tracking walks with experts. I have the 120 year old family farmhouse in Indian Lake and find unlimited places for remarkable tracking walks.”

Leave a comment below to connect!

DEC photo

Monday, May 10, 2021

A ‘Wild Idea’

wild idea eventHear about the wild ideas that became “A Wild Idea: How the Environmental Movement Tamed the Adirondacks” by Brad Edmondson.

Adirondack Explorer Editor Brandon Loomis will interview Edmondson about his 19-year project interviewing the people who fought for and against the Adirondack Park Agency Act that culminated in the book and a special series for the Adirondack Explorer Regulators and rebels: The forever wild fight.

Presented by Adirondack Explorer and Adirondack Center for Writing 7 p.m. Thursday, May 13.

Sign up here

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

When nature calls…

outhouseWith all the discussion about high peaks use (overuse?), one unsavory item that often comes up is the dirty business of, ahem, doing one’s business in the woods. In hopes of mitigating the overabundance of toilet paper blooms on the trails, I’ve dug up a gem from the Almanack archive: “The Art of the Adirondack Dump” by Dan Crane.

Photo: An Adirondack outhouse, outside of Wilmington. Courtesy of Susan Hennessey/Almanack file photo


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Grace Peak

grace hudowalskiAs Women’s History Month wraps up, here are a few stories in our archive about Grace Hudowalski, one of the first 46ers (No. 9) and for whom Grace Peak is named:

Almanack file photo


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

It’s debatable: A permit to hike?

ausable clubNow that you’ve had a chance to process the news about the Ausable Club and partners moving to a reservation system for the Adirondack Mountain Reserve trailheads. I’d like to hear your thoughts. Are you celebrating this news (like the folks at Adirondack Wild)? Will this impact your hiking plans this summer? Do you feel this change is needed to protect the resources or an arbitrary move?

Friday, March 26, 2021

When will Mirror Lake’s ice go out? Your best guess welcome

mirror lakeIce out time is approaching! Pick the correct ice-out date on Mirror Lake in Lake Placid and you’ll be entered to win some Explorer swag. To enter, go to this post on the Explorer’s website and place your best guess in the comments before April 3. We’ll be picking three winners after the big melt. Ice out on Mirror Lake is documented by the Ausable River Association, and we’ll be using its data for the official ice-out date. You can review the Mirror Lake ice record, which goes back to 1903, on the organization’s website. Mirror Lake sediment core sampling, photo by Brendan Wiltse

Monday, March 22, 2021

Virtual program on preventing aquatic invasives

boat stewardJoin the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program on Wednesday, March 24 at 10 a.m. for a special, one-hour presentation on preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species in Adirondack waters.

From competitive plants to hungry invertebrates, invasive species harming aquatic habitats are almost always introduced to new areas by people—on our waders, on our boats, or in our bait buckets. Protect the waters you love to fish and prepare for the upcoming Adirondack fishing season by understanding best practices to prevent the spread of invasive plants and animals.

RSVP for this free virtual event now.

Photo courtesy of Adirondack Watershed Institute

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Your insights wanted: Recreation content

Mike Lynch

Looking to hear your thoughts to help shape future recreation content. The Adirondack Explorer would love to hear from you about recreation: What you enjoy doing outside, where you go for information. All outdoors experience levels welcome to participate!

In addition, we’d love your feedback about our current outdoors content. Can you let us know how we’re doing?

Click here to take a brief survey:

Photo of Mike Lynch by Gwendolyn Craig/Adirondack Explorer

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Erin go bragh: Irish heritage stories

donegal beard contestFor St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a round up of some Irish-themed content pulled from the Almanack archive:

Irish Fenians in the North Country: From the article: “The Fenian Brotherhood was an Irish Republican organization founded in New York in 1858 by John O’Mahoney. Their name is derived from legends about ancient Irish warriors called the Fianna. Their goal was an Irish Republic free of British rule.” READ MORE

Irish Beef Stew: A recipe for a traditional favorite. READ MORE

Irish Road Bowling in Indian Lake: From 2016, “One fun tradition that has been practiced in Ireland for hundreds of years in the counties of Cork and Armagh, is the sport of Irish Road Bowling. Indian Lake has been making this part of its St. Patrick’s Day tradition since 2006.” READ MORE

» Continue Reading.