Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Winter treks can be easier with proper gear

By Joseph M. Dash

Oh the perils of winter camping – at least when you use modern equipment. I read the article, “A Winter Trail Too Far,” (posted Jan. 29, 2020 in the Adirondack Explorer) with great interest. My sympathies to the brave team hiking the Northville-Placid trail in winter. Hearing about the toil of breaking trail, frozen clothes, iced-over boots and the physical exhaustion from days  in the cold made me realize how inadequate modern equipment is for winter.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Ranger tickets oversized Marcy group after members got separated, lost

forest ranger logoRecent DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Piercefield
St. Lawrence County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 17 at 10:25 a.m., DEC’s Central Dispatch received a call from a relative of two campers on the Bog River after one of the campers injured their back and had difficulty moving. Forest Rangers Baldwin, Lee, and Hogan responded to assist. At 12:20 p.m., Rangers Baldwin and Hogan located the campers and began the walk out to the road. At 1:07 p.m., Ranger Baldwin transported the campers back to their vehicle. The 66-year-old man from Honeoye Falls who had suffered the back injury stated he would seek further medical attention on his own.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 17, 2020

ADK chapter launches wilderness camping challenge

five pondsUPDATED Sept. 18 with statement from ADK:

The ADK Iroquois Chapter has created a unique challenge that requires participants to camp in 18 of the 21 designated wilderness areas within the Adirondack Park.

Statement from ADK: Ideally, these types of initiatives would undergo wider scrutiny, not just by the ADK Board, relevant committees and staff, but also by partner organizations, such as the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Regrettably, this challenge was not. We are hoping that the Iroquois Chapter will delay a launch so the challenge can be discussed in more detail.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Left behind: A lesson in the dangers of splitting up on the trail

By Paul Czajkowski

It was a warm clear morning when I met Ben at 4 a.m. to go hiking in the High Peaks of New York’s Adirondack Mountains.  The weather was forecasted to be sunny, dry and very hot (100+°F).

We had a great drive up to the trailhead and arrived around 6:30 a.m., it was already around 80°F.

Our plan for the day was to hike up over Blueberry Mountain and summit Porter, one of the Adirondacks’ designated 46 high peaks.  We made good time getting to the shoulder of Blueberry where we stopped to take a break.  Ben said he wanted to make a video to send to his old college friends back in Ohio.  He said to go on ahead and he would catch up to me.  I went ahead about 100 yards and found a nice rock outcropping facing towards Whiteface where I stopped to have a snack and take a couple pictures. 

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Paddlers stranded on Lake Champlain

forest ranger logoRecent DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Peru
Clinton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On the morning of Sept. 13, Ray Brook dispatch received a report of three stranded paddlers on Valcour Island on Lake Champlain. The three boaters spent an unexpected night out due to bad weather. Ray Brook called the paddlers to advise the group that they were not in danger and to get more details about their whereabouts. Rangers Bronson and Russell responded to the boaters using a stationed motorboat from the DEC dock at Peru and located the three paddlers secure on Bluff Point. The paddlers and Rangers were back at the Peru Boat Launch by 10 a.m.

» Continue Reading.


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.


Thursday, September 10, 2020

“We are seriously degrading the resource”

Thank you to reporter Gwen Craig of the Adirondack Explorer (and Times Union) for her recent articles about recreational user pressures created by all of us entering the High Peaks Wilderness from the private lands of the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR)/Ausable Club off of Rt. 73.

As reported, user pressures and resulting damage to the private lands have reached the point where the private landowner is considering restrictions or limits on public access through the AMR to the High Peaks Wilderness.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Forest rangers rescue hikers on Marcy and Azure mountains

forest ranger logoRecent DEC forest ranger actions:

Town of Waverly
Franklin County
Wilderness Rescue
: On Sept. 5 at 4 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker reporting that his wife had injured her ankle about a half mile from the trailhead of Azure Mountain. Forest Ranger Lt. Harjung responded along with Forest Rangers Balerno and Evans, the St. Regis Falls Fire Department, and EMS. Once on scene, Lt. Harjung splinted the injury and the group started slowly making their way down the trail. The injured hiker was able to get down off the steeper slope with the assistance of hiking poles and leaning on the shoulders of rescuers. The responders then placed the subject in a litter and carried her the remainder of the way to the trailhead. The hiker declined additional medical treatment and said she would seek treatment on her own.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 5, 2020

High Peaks hiking can be rough, but rewarding

Hello from my apartment, where I am enjoying sitting after 17 miles of hiking on Sunday. I’m looking at my boots caked in mud. They’re airing out on my porch.

Just before 7 a.m., my boyfriend and I arrived in Keene to hike two more High Peaks, Dial and Nippletop.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Become a (virtual) woodswoman

BOW BannerDEC’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) will host a fall BOW Virtual Workshop September 21, 2020 – September 25, 2020. This event is free to participate.

Each evening, starting at 6:30 p.m., we will have a one-hour webinar introducing you to a new outdoor skill!

Virtual classes will include:

  • Food Preservation
  • Intro to Bowhunting
  • Fish and Game Cooking
  • Q & A Panel with Women Who Hunt and more!

Registration now open.

For more information on the workshop and other topics like this, sign up for the BOW newsletter, visit the BOW webpage, or contact BOW NY for more information.


Friday, September 4, 2020

What’s in a name? Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain

I revisited Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain last spring, making it at least four ascents I have done of it, thus far, from both the north and south trails. The views of the Lake Champlain region from the summit never fail. Poke-O-Moonshine, located in the Town of Chesterfield in Essex County, just 3/4-mi north of the Town of Lewis
boundary, is a peak on the Fire Tower Challenge and whose east-facing cliffs are popular with rock-climbers.

This write-up is more of a historical “brief” on this peak, as there is a bit more history surrounding it than provided here. For those interested in the history of Poke-O-Moonshine in regards to fire observation and its tower, see Martin Podskoch’s book “Adirondack Fire Towers: Their History and Lore, The Northern Districts” (2003).

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 3, 2020

DEC opens comments for Fish Creek Campground management plan

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting public comments through Oct. 2 on a Draft Unit Management Plan (UMP) for Fish Creek Pond Campground and Day Use Area in Franklin County. The DEC encourages public input on the draft plan, in order to help guide future management of the facility over the next half a decade.

“DEC is working to connect more New Yorkers with the outdoors. This UMP addresses vital infrastructure improvements that will enhance the camping experience, recreational access and tourism at this signature DEC campground. In addition to camping, Fish Creek Pond Campground provides abundant opportunities for boating, paddling, fishing, and hiking,” Acting Regional Director Joe Zalewski said about the plans.

 

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Scare from a bear: When does a charge becomes a chase?

Missing Old Forge teen claims she was chased by bear, spent night in tree

The weighty canon of Adirondack bear lore grew a little thicker recently, when an Old Forge athlete put her running shoes to good use to scamper out of the path of a momma bear intent on protecting her cubs.

According to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, a 19-year-old woman later identified by state police as Rachel Smith, set out on a five-mile run on Big Otter Trail in the HaDaRonDah Wilderness Area on the evening of Aug. 18 and did not return.

What happened next is sure to be retold many times in a region that values its bear culture — from the famed Bear Fight Up in Keene to the hiker whose camp was ripped apart because his lunch included a salmon sandwich.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, August 31, 2020

Annual fire tower lighting set for Saturday, 9/5

Labor Day weekend offers a perfect socially distanced outdoor activity – the annual nighttime lighting of Hurricane Fire Tower.
People are invited to hike up and see the lighting at close range, or view it from afar.
A lantern beacon will shine out from the 101-year-old tower at 9 pm on Saturday, Sept. 5, and can be spotted for miles around.

Hurricane Mountain – visible from many spots in Keene and Elizabethtown, to Lake Champlain and Vermont, as well as surrounding smaller peaks – was a key survey peak for legendary Adirondack surveyor Verplanck Colvin.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 27, 2020

Cobble Hill trail access from Northwood remains closed

As Northwood School in Lake Placid gets back in session, the campus has closed access to the Cobble Hill Trailhead.

With the parking lot currently off limits to outside visitors, Northwood has worked with the Adirondack Land Trust to have an alternative trail to the Cobble hiking trails. The above map shows how people can access the trail from Mirror Lake Drive.

The school’s website has been updated with this information. There will be a QR code on signs and banners posted on the edge of campus that will take hikers to this webpage: https://www.northwoodschool.org/alternative-cobble-access



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