Friday, July 24, 2020

Take a Survey About Hiking Trails in Hamilton County

Public input is sought for the selection of 5-10 priority hiking trails within Hamilton County for inclusion in a trail maintenance plan as the primary goal of the Hamilton County Trails into Prosperity project.  The project will enhance recreational opportunities, bolster local economies, and improve natural resource user experience by designing comprehensive trail maintenance and sustainability plans for key Hamilton County hiking trails. Those who hike in Hamilton County are encouraged to complete a brief survey regarding priority trail selection.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Rangers come to aid of hikers stuck on Trap Dike

Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
On July 18 at 11:30 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for two hikers stuck on the Trap Dike. The hikers exited the Trap Dike too soon and became stranded on the south side. The pair was advised to stay put and not try to go back due to the steepness of the terrain. Two Forest Rangers responded to assist. The Lake Colden caretaker saw the hikers but could not establish voice contact. Forest Rangers and the New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation unit performed a hoist rescue to bring the hikers safely to the base of the Trap Dike so they could hike out. The Lake Colden caretaker then paddled the stranded hikers and Forest Ranger Robbi Mecus to the end of Avalanche Lake where they started the hike back and were out of the woods by 8:02 p.m.Town of North Elba.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, July 17, 2020

Brothers create DackMap app for real-time recreation updates

In the outdoor-rec world, apps can be quite an asset when planning trips. Powder Project shows backcountry ski trails in the area skiers currently are or will be going to. Mountain Project provides an immense and detailed amount of knowledge of climbing routes all over the world.

DackMap is a new app created by Nicholas and Luke LaScala, two brothers native to the Adirondack region. It’s free to download and use and available in the Apple store.

“It’s a live-based map that helps tourists and locals experience different businesses and find opportunities to recreate in a sustainable way,” said Nicholas LaScala.

Nicholas LaScala studied innovation entrepreneurship at Clarkson University, a program that serves as a business degree that also touches upon multiple aspects of the business world. A former marketing intern at the Adirondack Council and outdoor whitewater rafting guide in the Adirondacks, Nicholas puts together the social media and promotion side of the app, as well as coming up with the color scheme and the icons. 

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

DEC acquires 662 acres in St. Lawrence, Oneida and Lewis counties

cranberry lakeNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the acquisition of several parcels totaling 662 acres in St. Lawrence, Oneida, and Lewis counties to enhance public access to a variety of recreational opportunities, including hiking, fishing, snowmobiling, and hunting, as well as to protect critical wetlands and forests in the region.

The acquisition was made possible through cumulative investments of $666,800 from the state Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Ranger report: Injuries; lost hikers; in the dark without a headlamp

Recent DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 12 at 10:50 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting an injured hiker on Upper Wolfjaw in the Eastern High Peaks. The caller stated he saw a 25-year-old man from Queensbury hiking solo with a knee injury from a fall on wet tree roots. Forest Rangers Kevin Burns, Tom Gliddi, Robbi Mecus, and Scott van Laer and two Assistant Forest Rangers responded. At 3:10 p.m., Ranger Mecus located the injured man just below the summit of Upper Wolfjaw, assessed the injury, and determined a hoist mission was necessary. NYSP Aviation found a break in the cloud cover at 3:50 p.m., and responded to their location for assistance. The hiker was hoisted into the helicopter at 4:10 p.m. by Ranger Burns and transported to a local hospital for further medical treatment.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The cycle of killing habituated bears continues

black bearSeveral campsites and lean-tos were temporarily closed in the High Peaks Wilderness on July 5 due to an aggressive black bear that had been roaming the area looking for human food.

A day later the state Department of Environmental Conservation captured and later killed the animal.

As DEC officials have often said to me in these situations, “A fed bear is a dead bear.”

What does that mean? It means if a bear gets food from humans too many times, it will get habituated to the food. The bear will then continue to seek out food from campers, especially when natural food sources aren’t available such as during dry years. In some cases, the bear will then get too close to people and be considered dangerous. In these situations, bears don’t win. Instead, they are killed.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, July 13, 2020

NY State Parks Explorer App

New York State Parks has kicked off the 2020 summer season by launching a “New York State Parks Explorer” mobile app, available for free on both iOS and Android devices.

The new app will provide visitors and potential visitors with helpful information regarding a variety of destinations and activities around New York States parks and historical sites. Some key highlights of the app are as follows:

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Monday, July 13, 2020

What are your thoughts about dogs on the trails?

Dogs: Do they need to be hiking or should they stay home? To leash or not to leash? Those are the questions facing pet parents who want to include their furry four-legged companions on excursions.

Read up on hiking do’s and don’ts in this article that’s part of the July/August edition of Adirondack Explorer: https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/dogs-in-the-adirondacks

And weigh in here with your thoughts and experiences.

Photo: Kim Douglas and her dog Stitch hike Haystack Mountain, a trail in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, where leashes are required. By Nancie Battaglia


Thursday, July 9, 2020

DEC adds 241 acres to Catskill Forest Preserve

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced the acquisition of 241 acres in the Catskills, including 208 acres adjoining existing Forest Preserve lands in the Bluestone Wild Forest that will preserve critical open space and expand recreational opportunities to support the local economy. The purchases of the two properties were made possible through a partnership with the Open Space Institute (OSI) and $758,000 from New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Rangers educate river guides; assist lost and injured hikers

Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Hudson River
Indian Lake
Hamilton County

On Sunday, July 5, two Forest Rangers from Region 5 Zone D, Hamilton County, conducted outreach and education for New York State-licensed rafting guides on the Indian/Hudson River. On this day, 182 customers hired licensed guides to raft them down the Indian and Hudson River Gorge. Rangers inspected 40 licensed guides, educating and assisting them with any violations observed.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On June 30 at 7:48 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker reporting that her hiking partner was overdue coming off Lower Wolfjaw Mountain. The hiker had last seen her friend at a junction labeled for Lower Wolfjaw on their descent at approximately 4:45 p.m., when the caller took both of their gear and proceeded ahead to make things easier for her slower companion. Forest Ranger Rob Praczkajlo headed to the security house at the Ausable Club and proceeded to drive down the lake road to the start of the Wedge Brook trail for Upper and Lower Wolfjaw. At 10:05 p.m., Ranger Praczkajlo advised that he was with the 45-year-old hiker from Gloversville. The woman had hiked down the trail and followed Wedge Brook, off trail, down to the Ausable River. A group of hikers found her at the river and assisted her back to the trail where they were met by Ranger Praczkajlo who then escorted her down to the lake road and gave her a courtesy ride to join her friend at the gate house.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Watchable Wildlife – 2020 I Bird NY Challenges

DEC recently kicked off the 2020 “I BIRD NY” challenges for beginner and experienced birders. The I BIRD NY program was launched in 2017 to build on the State’s efforts to increase access to New York’s vast natural resources and promote low-cost opportunities to explore the great outdoors and connect with nature.

Birdwatching is one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities in the U.S. Backyard birding, or watching birds around the home, is the most common way people engage in birding. New York State is home to a wide range of habitats that support more than 450 different bird species throughout the year. There are also 59 designated Bird Conservation Areas to safeguard and enhance bird populations and habitats on State lands and waters across New York. Check the map to find the bird conservation areas in your region. The State’s I Bird NY program provides resources for New Yorkers who want to get outdoors and engage in birding all year long. People from all economic backgrounds experience the joy of birdwatching. While binoculars can help, you can enjoy birds without any special equipment.


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Increased Bear Activity in Adirondack High Peaks

Sunday, July 5, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) temporarily closed campsites and lean-tos in the Lake Colden area in the Adirondack High Peaks, Essex County, after a recent increase in bear activity. The sites are now reopen. Campers in other areas of the Eastern High Peaks are encouraged to follow DEC guidance for dealing with nuisance bears. Minimizing human-bear interactions can be accomplished through a few simple steps. Adirondack Explorer editor Brandon Loomis was backpacking over the weekend and experienced the increased bear activity firsthand. Read about it here (and watch a video): https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/state-captures-bear-that-raided-lake-colden-campsites » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 4, 2020

In celebration of camping

About a year ago, I was paddling from Middle Saranac Lake to Lower Saranac Lake with three friends to finish up a week of camping that had taken me to several destinations throughout the Adirondacks.

The final night’s destination was an island at the end of Lower Saranac Lake, which is part of a state campground run by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 4, 2020

DEC to open camping reservations on Monday, 7/6

News update from NYS DEC:

DEC IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE OPENING OF RESERVATIONS FOR THE 2020 SEASON. RESERVATIONS FOR DATES ON OR AFTER JULY 10 WILL BEGIN AT 8AM ON MONDAY, JULY 6. DUE TO EXPECTED VOLUME, WE ENCOURAGE CUSTOMERS TO BOOK RESERVATIONS ONLINE.

WALK-IN CAMPING IS NOT PERMITTED AT THIS TIME.

As part of the COVID-19 guidelines, and for the courtesy of other visitors and our staff, face masks must be worn when outside your campsite area at any place where social distancing cannot be maintained. All patrons shall practice social distancing.

Only registered campers will be allowed in campground areas, no day visitors will be permitted.

In order to assist with enhanced cleaning, Check-in time is now 2pm and Check-out time is 10am.

There may be limited shower and/or restroom facilities and they may periodically be closed to allow for enhanced cleaning.

Use of facility amenities such as, but not limited to playgrounds, pavilions and day use areas may be restricted or prohibited at certain locations.

Retail sales such as firewood and ice as well as other services such as boat rentals may be restricted or prohibited at certain locations.

To achieve density reduction in our facilities, day use sales and bather capacity number will be reduced.


Thursday, July 2, 2020

Tupper Lake announces paddling challenge

The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) has launched a Tupper Lake Triad paddling challenge.

While hiking challenges have continuously grown in popularity throughout the Adirondacks, so has the Triad in Tupper Lake. Since 2014, more than 5,000 people have completed the Tupper Lake Triad hiking challenge. To build off of the success of the hiking challenge, a committee including ROOST, community leaders, and business owners have worked to establish the Tupper Lake Paddling Triad.

Paddlers are invited to complete what is believed to be the first water-based challenge within the Adirondack Blue Line. By completing three paddles near Tupper Lake, adventurers can earn a sticker, patch, and inclusion on the finisher roster.

» Continue Reading.



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