Thursday, June 4, 2020

Ranger Report: Five backcountry injuries and a tubing trip gone wrong

forest ranger logoRecent Forest Ranger Actions

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 27 at 10:45 a.m., DEC’s Central Office Dispatch received a call requesting assistance for an injured hiker in the High Peaks. The 26-year-old woman from Waterville had suffered an ankle injury near the Phelps Junction trail, approximately one mile from Marcy Dam. Forest Rangers James Giglinto, Kevin Burns, and Tom Gliddi responded to assist, but a Ray Brook trail crew at Marcy Dam advised they were closer to the hiker and would proceed to her location. The woman rolled her ankle after stepping from a rock into mud while her hiking group descended the Phelps summit. She attempted to continue until she lost sensation in two of her toes and called for help. Once the trail crew reached the woman, she was stabilized and assisted to Marcy Dam. The hiker reached Marcy Dam at 12:30 p.m., and Ranger Giglinto transported her out to South Meadow Road via UTV. The hiking group transported her to a local hospital for additional medical care.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 30, 2020

Ode to an outhouse, and gatherings with old friends

By Susan Hennessey

There are many things that bring joy to my life; the majesty of the Adirondacks, the deep cold lakes nestled in those mountains, the endless trails for hiking, the smoke that unfurls from the chimneys of the sweet cabins that dot the woods, and believe it or not my girlfriend Margie’s outhouse. 

Yes, her outhouse is like no other. Located at the foot of Whiteface Mountain on the outskirts of Margie’s summer campsite sits the most darling outhouse. It was built from love and a whole lot of hard work.

My high school girlfriend Margie and her husband Brian were fortunate enough to have inherited a plot of land near Whiteface that they have been developing for 30 something years into the most efficient, adorable, campsite. LL Bean and Campmore would rival to have its photograph on the cover of their yearly catalogues. Blood sweat and tears have driven this project.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, May 29, 2020

DEC: Avoid the high-elevation trails


Adirondack High Peaks Trail Mud SeasonDEC Issues Late Season Muddy Trails Advisory 
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) urged hikers to be cautious and postpone hikes on trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened. North-facing trails have retained snow and ice late into the season this year. As snow and ice continue to melt at high elevations, steep trails pose a danger to hikers, thin soils are susceptible to erosion, and sensitive alpine vegetation is easily damaged.

Despite recent warm weather, high-elevation backcountry trails are still covered in slowly melting ice and snow. These steep trails feature thin soils that become a mix of ice and mud as winter conditions melt and frost leaves the ground. The remaining compacted ice and snow on trails is rotten, slippery, and will not reliably support weight.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 28, 2020

Rangers have busy Memorial Day weekend


Recent Forest Ranger Actions

forest ranger logoTown of Waverly
Franklin County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 18 at 5:43 p.m., Franklin County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from two hikers lost on Azure Mountain in the Debar Mountain Wild Forest. The 18-year-old female and 19-year-old male from Massena went off trail on the way up the mountain and failed to find the trail again on the way back down. Forest Ranger Scott Sabo responded to the trailhead off Blue Mountain Road. Coordinates obtained through 911 placed the hikers about 0.6 miles north of the trailhead and 0.5 miles from Blue Mountain Road. At 7:12 p.m., Ranger Sabo located the lost hikers and escorted them back to the trailhead to their vehicle.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

ADK Offers Free Memberships to Frontline Workers

johns brook lodgeADK is offering free one-year memberships to frontline, essential workers in recognition of the risks that they have taken to save lives and keep essential services available to the general public. Based on the definition provided by New York State, the following industries qualify as essential work:

*   Grocery stores
*   Public transportation
*   Healthcare
*   Emergency services

Membership benefits include a digital subscription to Adirondac magazine and discounts on outdoor skills workshops, wilderness Adirondack lodging and camping, and parking at the Heart Lake Program Center, which hosts numerous trailheads that lead into the High Peaks Wilderness. (Pictured here: Johns Brook Lodge)

If you are a frontline worker, please contact ADK’s membership department at membership@adk.org.


Saturday, May 23, 2020

Before the Flood

Memorial Day weekend is shaping up as a grand, celebratory reopening across the Adirondacks and North Country. If initial trends that I’ve seen this month of steady business at local trailheads and parking areas are any indication, I expect to see the Adirondacks flooded with visitors this weekend. I expect this trend to continue throughout the summer. Will hikers stay locally in hotels, once they’re allowed to open, I don’t know, but I’ve seen people regularly at lean-tos and campsites I frequently pass by in hikes throughout Hamilton County and the central Adirondacks that are hardly ever used or are usually empty this time of year. I think that many folk see camping in Adirondacks as a safe, low-risk activity.

As New York slowly claws its way back towards normal American life, there’s a great deal of uncertainty about what lies ahead. It’s too soon to tell, given the length of time it takes for a person to fall ill from COVID-19, what the experience is in other parts of the U.S. that started opening back up for social and commercial activities in early May. Initial reports of COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the south are troubling as this region was the first in the U.S. to try reopening. New York is only just beginning the reopening process.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 23, 2020

ADK leaders ask visitors to act responsibly, be patient

In a Facebook Live forum held recently, three Adirondack leaders asked visitors to make sure they are wearing masks and practicing social distancing this Memorial Day weekend, which is expected to be busy because of the holiday and the warm, dry weather forecasted for the region.

“We have some responsibilities to our local communities and residents to make sure we keep our infection rates low, so anyone coming from outside the region, we’re really encouraging them to get back to the principles,” said ROOST CEO Jim McKenna. “Let’s go beyond social distancing as much as possible, a mask all the time whether it’s required inside or not, let’s wear masks.”

» Continue Reading.


Friday, May 22, 2020

Boat inspection program starts up this weekend

Adirondack Watershed Institute steward watches over the Second Pond boat launch near Saranac LakeStarting this Memorial Day Weekend, Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute’s (PSC AWI) Stewardship Program will begin its work at public boat launches throughout the Adirondacks.

In partnership with NYS’s Department of Environmental Conservation, boat stewards will be assisting to CLEAN. DRAIN. DRY boats in the essential work to help protect the state’s waters from aquatic invasive species like hydrilla, water chestnut, and spiny waterflea.

In 2019, stewards talked with more than 250,000 water recreationists about aquatic invasive species and what can be done to prevent their spread. They also kept a lookout for invasive species at the waterbodies where they worked.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, May 22, 2020

A reminder to stay socially distant when getting out on Memorial Day

The opening days of hiking season are here, and with a warm Memorial Day weekend ahead, the Adirondack Council wants to remind outdoors enthusiasts to socially distance and continue using personal protective equipment while recreating.

Outdoor tourism is important for the North Country economy as well, and hikers traveling to the Adirondacks should take the time to research the local protocols and conditions beforehand. Residents and tourists alike should seek to avoid crowds and crowded locations so we can continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while still getting the exercise and fresh air we all need.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, May 22, 2020

Lake George region takes cautious approach to start of tourism season

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. — The Lake George/Warren County region is preparing to welcome visitors this Memorial Day weekend – in a cautious, safe and respectful manner.

Memorial Day weekend is the traditional kickoff of the region’s summer tourism season. Because the world has changed, this year it will be accompanied by a vastly increased emphasis on the safety and wellbeing of guests, employees and the community as the region progressively reopens under the New York Forward Reopening Plan.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 21, 2020

DEC Island Campgrounds remain closed


Water-access campsites at DEC campgrounds remain closed to overnight camping until DEC’s campgrounds reopen. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Saranac Lake Islands Campground;
  • Indian Lake Campground;
  • Lake George Islands Campground
  • Tioga Point Campground;
  • Forked Lake Campground; and
  • Alger Island Campground.

Boaters and other day users should continue to social distance on the water and on shore and avoid crowded sites. Boaters and day use visitors should use mainland bathroom facilities before going out on the water, as outhouse facilities at DEC day use sites and campsites are not currently maintained or sanitized.

Primitive tent sites outside of DEC campgrounds remain available for those who are recreating locally but are limited to a maximum of three nights with nine people or less from the same household. Additional information about camping can be found at: https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/camping.html


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Injured hiker on Poke-O-Moonshine and other recent rescues


forest ranger logoThe following are forest ranger highlights provided by the state Department of Environmental Conservation on May 19.

Town of Chesterfield
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 17 at 10:10 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a group of hikers on Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain. The caller said a 16-year-old female in the group fell, hurt her ankle, and could not continue down the mountain. Forest Ranger Lt. Brian Dubay and Forest Rangers Sarah Bode, Marie Arnold, Robbi Mecus, and Jared Booth responded. At 2:20 p.m., Rangers placed the hiker from Chazy in a UTV and started down the mountain. At 2:45 p.m., the group was back to the trailhead and the hiker advised she would seek medical attention on her own for the ankle injury.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, May 18, 2020

Outdoor recreation update

DEC logoFrom NYS DEC:

Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for more detailed information on access, outdoor recreation infrastructure, and conditions.

Emergency Situations: If you get lost or injured; keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service, call 911 or the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch, 518-891-0235.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, May 15, 2020

Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (5/14): Beaches will open; campgrounds remain closed

Per NYS Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily news briefing:

“As a region we have established a joint agreement on beaches in NY, NJ, CT and DE. State beaches will open Friday of Memorial Day weekend with strict precautions. Beaches will be at 50 percent capacity & masks will be required when social distance not possible. Staff will enforce.”

That re-opening applies to NYS-run beaches.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Rangers come to aid Northville man trapped in car


forest ranger logoRecent Forest Ranger Actions

Town of Benson, Hamilton County
Swiftwater Rescue:
 On May 4 at 12:30 p.m., while conducting a fly-over patrol, New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation noticed a vehicle in West Stony Creek and notified Forest Ranger Lt. Dave Kallen. Ranger Kallen responded to the location and found a 61-year-old man from Northville trapped in a vehicle about 25 feet from shore down a 15-foot embankment.

» Continue Reading.



Wait! Before you go:

Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox