Almanack Contributor Tony Goodwin

Tony Goodwin

Tony Goodwin has a long career in the Adirondacks, starting with an ascent of Cascade in 1955 and becoming 46-R #211 in 1961. Tony received a B.A. in History from Williams College and an M.A. in History from SUNY Plattsburgh. He has written and edited numerous Adirondack guidebooks, including Ski and Snowshoe Trail in the Adirondacks and four editions of the Adirondack Mountain Club’s guides to the High Peaks Region. In 1986 he helped to found the Adirondack Ski Touring Council which has constructed and maintained the Jackrabbit Ski Trail and assumed maintenance of several other ski trails including the Wright Peak Ski Trail. Since 1986 he has also served as executive director of the Adirondack Trail Improvement Society based in Keene Valley. His other Adirondack experience includes Johns Brook Lodge hut crew 1996-68, Adirondack Mountain Club Ridge Runner in 1974 and chief of the first Adirondack Mountain Club professional trail crew in 1979. Tony also served as venue manager for cross-country and biathlon for the 1980 Winter Olympics and managed Mount Van Hoevenberg X-C Ski Area from 1981 to 1985. Tony and his wife Bunny live in Keene. Their three grown children have taken their Adirondack skiing and hiking skills to northern Norway, Truckee, California, and Vermont.


Monday, October 1, 2018

Tony Goodwin: A Railroad To Lake Placid Is Not Sustainable

To date, much of the rail vs. trail debate has touted the potential benefits of the possible uses of the Adirondack Rail Corridor. The supposed benefits of a trail include increased local recreational opportunities both summer and winter plus economic benefits from those who will travel to the area to use the trail with bicyclists and snowmobilers to be the greatest users.

Rail supporters question whether those benefits are greater than the benefits of a fully restored railroad that would supposedly bring greater economic benefits by transporting more visitors to the area.

Mostly left out of the debate is any discussion of just who and in what numbers would actually ride a restored railroad running 140 miles from Utica to Lake Placid. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 27, 2018

Tony Goodwin: Peaks Don’t Need Permits

hiker on Giant MountainThe July/August issue of the Explorer carried an impassioned call from Chris Amato for the Department of Environmental Conservation to implement a permit system for the High Peaks Wilderness Area.

Amato’s rationale was that the High Peaks no longer meet the definition of a “wilderness area” contained in the Adirondack State Land Master Plan (ASLMP). The ASLMP definition includes the phrases “untrammeled by man” and “outstanding opportunities for solitude.” » Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

In Climbing Mt Washington, Darby Field May Have Sought Lake Champlain

Samuel de Champlain 1632 mapIn the history of mountain climbing in New England, the first ascent of Mt. Washington happened in 1642 with Darby Field as the climber.

Over the years, however, there has been great speculation as to the route that Field took to the summit. Most early speculation assumed that his main goal was to climb the mountain, and that he then took the most direct route as he came in from the Maine coast.

That route would have taken him up the Cutler River and then up the southeast side of Mt. Washington, the Northeast’s tallest mountain. This is the side with Pinkham Notch and Tuckermans Ravine. For many years, this was the “conventional wisdom” regarding this ascent. Then, as referenced in the article below, an ancient letter surfaced that indicated Field had taken an entirely different route to the summit. This different route, as described in the Watermans’ Forest and Crag (1989), included going over several other summits and passing by what are now known as “Lakes of the Clouds.” With this new evidence, the Watermans could clear up much of the earlier speculation regarding Field’s route, but they still admitted that they did not know why Field climbed Mt. Washington. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tony Goodwin: Ski Trips on New State Lands

boreas pondsOver the past five years, the unprecedented addition of sixty-five thousand acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands to the Forest Preserve has opened up many new recreational opportunities. To date, the most publicized opportunities have been for paddling and, more controversially, snowmobiling and mountain biking. Opportunities for cross-country skiing have not been mentioned as often. Now that these acquisitions are complete, it seems to be a good time to take stock of what’s also now available for cross-country skiers.

The three main areas with new opportunities for skiing are the Hudson Gorge, Essex Chain Lakes, and Boreas Ponds tracts. The good news for skiers, especially after last winter’s non-winter, is that all of these areas typically have abundant (or at least some) snow. Furthermore, the Essex Chain and Boreas tracts have relatively smooth roads that don’t need all that much snow to be skiable. While not as exciting to ski as some of the popular routes in the High Peaks and elsewhere, the views at the destinations make up for any lack of outright skiing interest. » Continue Reading.



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