Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Serious backcountry injuries result in multiple carryouts

forest ranger logoRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of St. Armand
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 22 at 12:10 p.m., Franklin County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting an injured 64-year-old hiker from Dyer, Indiana, on Baker Mountain. The hiker went off the trail, fell, and injured his right leg. Forest Rangers Evans and Sabo responded to assist. Once on scene, Forest Ranger Evans provided first aid for the subject’s unstable knee and ankle. Due to the extent of the injury, New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation was requested along with backup rescuers including members of Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks in case of a possible carry-out involving a high-angle rope technique on steep terrain. NYSP Aviation, with Forest Ranger Benzel as hoist operator, completed the hoist rescue off the mountain at 4:18 p.m. The hiker was transported to a local hospital for further medical treatment.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Seeing the park on two wheels: Biking to Plattsburgh from Saranac Lake

I biked from Saranac Lake to Burlington, Vermont, on the first day of fall. (Well, I meant to end up in Burlington, but a wrong turn added some miles and hills and left me on some suburban road east of the city in Williston.)

My route through the Adirondacks was State Route 3 to the Lake Champlain Ferry at Plattsburgh, and it took me through much of the Saranac River Valley, with colorful fall views of a river whose health and fish our magazine will profile in-depth in our next issue. I shot some video along the way.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Long Path of New York: A historic note

By James M Schaefer

The Long Path was created in 1931 by my father, the late Vincent J Schaefer (1906-1993). It followed in the tradition of the Appalachian Trail (Georgia to Maine) and The Long Trail of Vermont. Both the AT and Long Trail popularized “End-to-End”—through hiking. 

The Long Path was designed as a corridor rather than as a singular blazed trail. My father’s hiking philosophy was to leave no trace – “all one needs is a compass, map and good woods sense.” From the start his concept was to engage hikers in finding landmarks on the Long Path — a mountaintop, a waterfalls, a geologic anomaly, or a cultural or historic site.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 26, 2020

Adirondack Wayfinder helps inspire road tripping

The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) is pleased to announce the launch of Adirondack Wayfinder, a new website that showcases the Adirondacks through thematic road trip itineraries. Originally developed through the support of a DEC Smart Growth Grant awarded to Hamilton County, the goal of Adirondack Wayfinder is to help highlight the variety of experiences and the unique communities that make up the Adirondack region.

» Continue Reading.


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.



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.