Friday, February 16, 2024

CATS Trail Building and Maintenance volunteers needed

CATS trail volunteers
Champlain Area Trails (CATS), an accredited land trust, announced recentlythat it is increasing opportunities for volunteers to help build and maintain trails in the region.

CATS has created over 80 miles of trails, protected 983 acres, and hosted hundreds of hikes, outdoor education outings, and volunteer events, attracting thousands of visitors annually. The organization relies heavily on volunteers to help build and maintain trails. Their efforts directly impact the positive experiences of all who use the trails.

“We could not work without our volunteers,” said Chris Maron, Executive Director of CATS. “Their contributions are essential to our mission of connecting people with nature and promoting outdoor recreation.”

CATS hosts a monthly Second Saturday Trail Volunteering event and is adding an every-other-week Friday Working Hike series. The next Friday Working Hike will be held on February 23rd at the popular Wildway Overlook Trail in Westport. Volunteers will help clear brush, fix erosion issues, and make the trail safer and more enjoyable. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Snow Trains of the 1930s

People exit a snow train at the North Creek station

By James M Schaefer, Schenectady Wintersports Club 

This year, 2024 will be the 90th Anniversary of the Snow Trains that took many skiers and winter sports enthusiasts from Schenectady to North Creek in the southern Adirondacks! But that Snow Train had to wait until March 4th, 1934 to make its historic run. A lack of natural snow was the reason!

Following the 1932 Olympics in Lake Placid, the Schenectady Wintersports Club was organized to spur efforts to get trains to transport skiers to snowy destinations. My father, Vincent Schaefer and his friends, were leaders of the Club. Their 1932-1933 effort started with getting hundreds of Schenectadians, to sign petitions showing interest in a Snow Train.

They convinced the passenger agent of the Boston & Maine Railroad to run several day-trips from Schenectady to the mountains around Wilmington, Vermont. But Old Man Winter did not cooperate!

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Clifton-Fine hosts Whiteout Weekend, Feb. 16-18

Clifton-Fine Whiteout Weekend 2024

 

Annual winter festival traditionally held on President’s Day Weekend in Southern St. Lawrence County / Northwestern Adirondacks

Clifton-Fine, NY – WhiteOut Weekend events continue in 2024 with fun for the whole family. In its 10th season, 2024 WhiteOut Weekend will be held Friday, February 16, Saturday, February 17, and Sunday, February 18. The celebration includes outdoor recreation, music, arts, food and more! The Clifton-Fine area is surrounded by wilderness and takes pride in its friendly, small-town feel. Events are held in the hamlets of Cranberry Lake, Newton Falls, Oswegatchie, Star Lake and Wanakena. Whiteout Weekend T-shirts depicting this year’s logo – the Black-capped Chickadee – will be available for purchase throughout the weekend. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 12, 2024

Trekking through Rockwood State Forest

Rockwood State Forest sign.

Today, [Saturday, Jan. 27] I joined members of the Alpiners hiking club for a trek through part of the Rockwood State Forest in Fulton County. It was 35 degrees [with zero] precipitation as compared to last Saturday’s 4 degrees!  We were prepared with both snowshoes and microspikes.  Because it has been fairly warm and so rainy, we decided we only needed the spikes and hiking poles. Piper the Wonder Dog and Nikki also joined in the fun.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, February 10, 2024

Use non-toxic fishing tackle, lead poisoning leading cause of loon deaths

Paradox Pete stuffed animal in the snow

Winter held on for another week, giving snowmobilers and skiers some snow to play on…but be careful of ice conditions with all the freezing and thawing we’ve had this winter. Punxsutawney Phil and Ellie George’s Paradox Pete didn’t see their shadows, so we can look for Spring most any time. Since we’ve had six Spring Breaks so far this winter, that won’t be anything new.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Long Lake Parks and Rec Receives $70,000 Grant for Youth

Geiger ice skating rink, Long Lake

The Long Lake NY Parks and Recreation Department has announced it is the recipient of a two-year, $70,000 grant to support the Adirondack Local Culture Program, a seasonal
youth program combining youth mentoring opportunities with the great outdoors at the Mt. Sabattis Recreation Area in the Town of Long Lake, N.Y. This program is funded by the Town of Long Lake and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice, and Delinquency Prevention. The program will be administrated through the National Recreation and Park Association and the Town of Long Lake. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Speculator: Oak Mountain Memories

oak mountain ski lift

As everyone knows, it’s been a tough winter for outdoor enthusiasts.  I like to ski on Fridays and the recent pattern seems to be a good storm Sunday through Monday, then by Friday, it’s been 40 degrees and rain.  I took a chance and drove to my favorite mountain on a recent morning.  Thankfully, the conditions were amazing. Well groomed, hard packed, and fast, but not crusty or icy. Everyone looked like an Olympian!

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Old Forge Winter Carnival set for Feb. 10 & 11

Fireworks display

Old Forge’s annual Winter Carnival is slated for this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 10-11. On Saturday, winter enthusiasts are encouraged to head to the McCauley Mountain Ski Area opening at 9 a.m. for Alpine and Nordic skiing. At 5 p.m. guests are welcome to enjoy live music by Doug Green in the chalet.

The coronation of this year’s Royal King and Queen, Dale and Diane Heroux, is scheduled for 7 p.m. on the Playmate Slope, followed by night skiing and a torchlight skiing show by the Town of Webb UFSD Alpine Ski Team. In traditional fashion, the evening will conclude with a fireworks display.

On Sunday, McCauley Mountain will open at 9 a.m. for Nordic and Alpine activities. At 1 p.m., folks are invited to warm up with s’mores beside open fire pits. Musician Doug Green will return for live music at 2 p.m. in the chalet. The Town of Webb UFSD Junior Class will host the annual cardboard sled races beginning at 3 p.m., with categories like fastest sled and most people in one sled. For more information about the carnival, call the Old Forge Visitor’s Information Center at (315) 369-6983.

Photo at top: Fireworks display at a previous Old Forge Winter Carnival. Photo courtesy of the Old Forge Visitor’s Information Center.


Saturday, February 3, 2024

DEC seeks input to improve Camp Santanoni access via horse and wagon service

horse drawn wagon

Input Sought on Preferences, Feasibility, and Possibilities for Non-Motorized Access for People with Disabilities into Camp Santanoni in Newcomb, Essex County

Deadline for Submissions Feb. 23, 2024

On Jan. 25, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced a call for submissions for input on providing horse and wagon operations to enable people with disabilities to enjoy the historic Camp Santanoni in Newcomb, Essex County. DEC is seeking feedback on a scope of work related to providing access to the site through horse-drawn wagon, including the site, location, and frequency of service as it pertains to the capacity, ability, and availability of vendors, as well as any adjustments that can be made to improve the service.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, February 3, 2024

“Make it Snow!” Campaign to support Mt. Pisgah

Make it Snow capital campaign for Mt. Pisgah logo.

The nonprofit Friends of Mt. Pisgah, Inc. (FOMP) today announced the launch of its $150,000 “Make it Snow!” Capital Campaign. The campaign aims to support critical upgrades to snowmaking equipment, with a primary focus on the purchase of a new pump house. This vital enhancement will enable Mt. Pisgah to significantly increase its snow production—five times more than the current capacity.

The “Make it Snow!’ Capital Campaign will help ensure a sustained and enhanced local skiing experience in Saranac Lake for years to come,” said FOMP President Katie Fischer. “Your support means that future generations will have the opportunity to embrace the joy of a lifelong snow sport. What better way for families to spend time together in a region known for its winter recreation? Not only for the tourists who come far and wide to experience the outdoor activities that the Adirondacks are known for, but particularly for the young people in our local community.” » Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 27, 2024

Turkeys airborne in every direction & Amaryllis “light bulbs”

Banded Carolina Wren

Last Sunday [Jan. 14], the temperatures started off at a low of 17 [degrees] and went down daily every morning to a low of -8 [degrees] here this Sunday [Jan. 21.] [We had] some new snow nearly every morning (the most being five inches on Thursday.) This gave the skiers and snowmobilers something to play on (if they could stand the cold temperatures and wind.) There were a few accidents on the trails and highways. The most dramatic was a small car that passed a chip truck tractor trailer over near Blue Mountain. Before getting back in [the] lane, it was hit by the state plow truck. The car was cut in half as it hit the plow of the plow truck broadside. I heard the driver of the car only got a black eye from the accident…lucky guy. This was all caught on camera from the DOT plow truck.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 20, 2024

Army troop of turkeys in yard, 130 mallard ducks in Inlet channel

Tufted titmouse

Winter has arrived a couple of months late, and the snowmobilers and skiers finally have enough snow to play on. This last three inches of snow that came yesterday morning [Jan. 14] was the best snow we have had all winter (and [we had] no rain following it when it stopped.) I saw a few people skiing down the trail behind the house and heard many snowmobiles going up the road out front. Sitting in my chair upstairs, I can see their lights coming down Limekiln Road from near the top of the hill to the ski trail parking lot. I know when it snows, as I can see the lights of the town crew plowing the road in the dark and I can also see them as they are plowing out the parking lot right from my bedroom window.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 20, 2024

2024 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival set for Feb. 2-11

2024 creepy carnival Saranac Lake Wiinter Festival buttonSaranac Lake, NY– Visitors from around the world will travel to New York’s Adirondack Mountains from Feb. 2-11, 2024 to celebrate the annual Saranac Lake Winter Carnival with a ‘Creepy Carnival’ theme. They join in the revelry alongside local residents who have made it their family tradition for generations.

The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is the longest-running event of its kind in the eastern U.S. dating to 1897. The Carnival began as a one-day event to break the monotony of the long Adirondack winter and has grown into a 10-day festival that includes an Ice Palace, sports, performances, two parades and three sets of spectacular fireworks.

Over the years, the Winter Carnival has retained the warmth, charm and camaraderie of a community celebration. The Carnival is organized by an all-volunteer group called the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee, or more formally, the Society for the preservation of Winter Carnival, Saranac Lake, Inc. It is a community-driven festival made possible by the efforts of many volunteers and sponsors.

One of the longest-running traditions at the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is the Winter Carnival button.The buttons are collected by residents and visitors every year, especially since “Doonesbury” creator and Saranac Lake native Garry Trudeau began designing the buttons in 1981. They can be purchased at various locations around Saranac Lake or by mail order. In 2012, Trudeau also began designing collectible posters as a fundraiser for the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee. » Continue Reading.


Friday, January 19, 2024

Hickory Ski Center to reopen Jan. 20

Hickory Ski Center in Warrensburg

Warrensburg, NY – Hickory Ski Center’s lifts will run again. Hickory will reopen to the public for skiing and snowboarding on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024. Following several years of renovation, infrastructure investment, and fundraising, the beloved Adirondack ski area will feature its iconic steep vertical terrain (with breathtaking views from the top of the Three Sisters Mountains), a
beginner area for new skiers, and comfort food from Three Sisters Café.


Saturday, January 13, 2024

Juvenile loon frees itself from Old Forge Pond

Iced-in loon on Old Forge Pond

It is finally white outside, but with possible warmer weather [and] rain and snow coming this week, it may not last very long. Last Thursday night the temperature plummeted to near zero [degrees] with the stars and moon shining bright most of the night with no wind. All lakes in this area froze that night with a coating of ice. Not very thick, but they were mostly ice covered. [The ice is not thick] enough to walk on (and certainly not [thick] enough to snowmobile on.) Check any ice [thickness and conditions] before you travel on any iced-over, snow-covered lakes.

» Continue Reading.



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