Almanack Contributor Mike Lynch

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 mike@adirondackexplorer.org.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Judge Stops Adirondack Rail-Trail Plan

Adirondack Scenic RailroadA state Supreme Court judge has ruled in favor of the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society in its suit against the state to stop the removal of 34 miles of railroad tracks between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid for the construction of a multi-use recreational trail.

Judge Robert Main issued a decision on Tuesday, saying that the state’s 2016 Unit Management Plan for the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor violated the State Land Master Plan (SLMP), Adirondack Park Agency Act, and state historic laws. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Buzz Over Adirondack High Peaks Helicopter Tours

A Go Aviation helicopter flies low over Duck Hole in the High Peaks Wilderness. Chip Moeser hiked fifteen miles from Lake Placid in early July to spend the night at Duck Hole deep in the High Peaks Wilderness. He was looking for quiet, but in the late afternoon, a helicopter started descending from overhead.

“It was coming in like it was going to land,” Moeser said, adding that it got as close as ten feet to the ground before taking off.

At first, he had assumed it was a state helicopter. In fact, it was owned by Go Aviation, which this summer started flying helicopter tours out of Lake Placid and Lake Clear. » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 28, 2017

16 Adirondack Hiking Challenges: A Bucket List

Since Bob and George Marshall and their guide, Herb Clark, climbed all forty-six of the High Peaks in the 1920s, more than ten thousand hikers have followed in their footsteps.

You can read more about some of the hiking challenges easing pressure on the High Peaks in the latest issue of the Adirondack ExplorerSubscribe here or download the app.

Here is a list of other hiking challenges in the Adirondack Park. Most have websites or Facebook pages that can be found by googling their names. Unless otherwise indicated, finishers qualify for a patch: » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Ticket Issued For Drone Usage In Adirondack Wilderness Area

A man who allegedly flew a drone in the High Peaks Wilderness in June is headed to court in Keene next month.

The man allegedly flew and landed a drone on June 17th near the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Johns Brook Outpost. The man was issued a ticket after the incident was observed by a forest ranger.

The ticket was first of its kind for operation of a drone on the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve. It alleges the individual operated motorized equipment within land classified as wilderness. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Efforts Underway To Address Crowds In The High Peaks

hikers on Big Slide Mt on a prime autumn dayhikers on Big Slide Mt on a prime autumn day The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) owns land with trailheads for some of the most popular mountains in the High Peaks Wilderness, but you wouldn’t know that from their recent promotions on social media and traditional print publications. That’s because the club does not want to exacerbate overcrowding in the High Peaks.

Instead of encouraging people to climb Mount Marcy and Algonquin Peak, ADK is teaching people backcountry ethics, including Leave No Trace principles. “People are coming no matter what, so we don’t need to promote it, and what we need to promote is how to recreate responsibly,” said Julia Goren, ADK’s education director and summit-steward coordinator.

The education campaign is just one of several ways that ADK, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and other organizations are addressing the overcrowding issue. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Spencer Morrissey Hikes 1,000th Adirondack Peak

On Sunday, June 25, Spencer Morrissey reached a major milestone in his hiking career: he climbed his thousandth Adirondack peak.

“It was kind of a sigh of relief,” Morrissey said. “It was kind of surreal, because I didn’t ever really think I’d get to this point.”

Morrissey chose Peaked Mountain near North Creek for his thousandth peak. He picked the mountain because it has a trail to the summit, which would make it easier for people to join him. Eleven people did.

Morrissey’s goal is to hike all of the Adirondacks mountains that are open to the public, or that he’s allowed to do through permission of the landowners. He’s counted 1,817 possible peaks. He’s not aware of anyone who has hiked 1,000 peaks, let alone all of them.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rangers Find Boy Missing Overnight Near Schroon Lake

Forest Rangers found a 10-year-old Sunday morning in good health after he went missing overnight in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness.

Forest Ranger James Waters said he found the boy (who forest rangers wouldn’t identify because of his age) about a mile off the Short Swing Trail.

Waters had been on the way to meet up with another forest ranger near Gooseneck Pond when he took a break atop a boulder field. While taking a break, Waters yelled out, hoping the boy would hear him, which is standard during search-and-rescue missions. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Potsdam Man Becomes 10,000th Adirondack 46er

In late June, when Justin Todd hiked Cascade and Porter mountains, he had no intention of becoming an Adirondack Forty-Sixer, let alone the ten thousandth. But less than four months later, that’s exactly what happened when he climbed Whiteface Mountain on October 15.

Todd found out in January that he had the honor of becoming the ten thousandth person to hike all the High Peaks and register with the Adirondack Forty-Sixers. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

DEC Creates New High Peaks Trail Crew

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has created a new 5-person trail crew for the High Peaks.

According to DEC spokesman Delamater Benning, this is the DEC’s “first five-person trail crew in more than 20 years, and they are going to focus on high priority High Peak projects.”

Benning said the new trail crew was created after DEC Region 5 staff said there was a need to upgrade some high priority trails in the High Peaks. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Alewives Pose Challenge To Champlain Salmon Restoration

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Zach Eisenhauer holds an 11-pound salmon that he trapped on the Boquet River on Oct. 6 during a fish surveyFor years, biologists have been working to improve conditions for the native fish in Lake Champlain. Among other things, they have removed old dams to help spawning salmon migrate up rivers and have reduced the population of sea lampreys that prey on salmon and lake trout.

Now scientists are trying to fully understand how salmon are impacted by alewives, an invasive species that has become a main source of food for salmon, a keystone predator that eats smaller fish.

Alewives were first discovered in Lake Champlain’s Missisquoi Bay, in Vermont, in 2003. Since then, they have grown in number and replaced native rainbow smelt as the main forage fish for predators in the lake, and they are likely here to stay. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Brown Trout Found In Heritage Brook Trout Pond

troutWhile fishing in Black Pond on a rainy mid-April day, Jake Kuryla caught a 13-inch brown trout. The fish surprised the Paul Smith’s College fisheries major because Black Pond is a specially designated brook trout water.

Located on Paul Smith’s College property in Paul Smiths, Black Pond is used to raise Windfall strain brook trout for stocking purposes.  Every fall, DEC live trap brook trout in the pond to get eggs from the females and milt (semen) from the males. The DEC then uses the fertilized eggs to raise young trout that are stocked in other ponds. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Younger Adirondackers Find A Place To Call Home

Tyler Socash on Wright PeakIn 2015, Old Forge native Tyler Socash decided to take the money he had been saving for a car and spend it on something more experiential: three long-distance hiking trips.

Starting in August, he ended up hiking seven thousand miles as he finished the Pacific Crest Trail, Te-araroa (Long Pathway) in New Zealand, and the Appalachian Trail. After the yearlong trip, the thirty-year-old came home to the Adirondacks, where he returned to a former employer, the Adirondack Mountain Club, as a wilderness trip leader. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

New Rules For Adirondack Fishing Going Into Effect

Fly Fishing on the Ausable River - photo by John WarrenNew fishing regulations go into effect on April 1, the start of the trout season statewide.

Numerous changes will impact Adirondack waters and anglers.

The new regulations include the elimination of special brook trout regulations at Whey Pond in the Saranac Lake Wild Forest. The pond neighbors the Rollins Pond and Fish Creek camping areas. Previous regulations had required anglers to release brook trout under 12 inches and to only allow them to keep three during an outing. Anglers were also required to use artificial lures.

The restrictive regulations were in place to protect brood stock for the Windfall strain of heritage brook trout. Whey Pond had been reclaimed in 1989 for the purpose of eliminating invasive fish, but two invasive fish species living in the pond have hurt the brook trout population there. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Newly Restored Fire Tower on St. Regis Mountain

As we neared the summit of St. Regis Mountain this past January, the conditions changed dramatically. Tree limbs — caked in snow and ice — hung down over the trail, and as we walked crouched through the tangle of branches, snow cascaded upon us.

“Most of the time I go past that rock outcropping, I feel like I’m home free,” said Doug Fitzgerald, co-chairman of Friends of St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower. “Not today.”

The conditions slowed our travel, but the scenic beauty more than compensated for any inconvenience. The coating of ice and snow on the trees gave them a surreal quality as they glimmered in the afternoon light sneaking through the clouds. We soon emerged from the snow-covered woods onto an open expanse of rock covered by a layer of light snow. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Rare Great Gray Owl Draws Birders to Keene

Manhattan resident Kathy Drake has seen nearly 600 different bird species in her life and regularly travels to observe them. So when she recently found out there was a great gray owl in Keene, she decided to drive up to the Adirondacks to see it. After all, it was a lot closer to home than Minnesota, where she spent four days last year unsuccessfully looking for the bird.

“You don’t have any idea how magical this is,” Drake said. “It really is.”

Drake said she arrived in Keene with her friends in the early afternoon on Wednesday and planned to spend the night in Upper Jay before heading back to New York City the next day. » Continue Reading.


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