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


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Mama bear chases jogger; rangers assist lost, missing hikers

Town of Long Lake
Hamilton County
Wilderness Search:
 On August 20 at 2:30 p.m., Hamilton County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from a lost hiker on Owls Head Mountain in the Sargent Ponds Wild Forest. Forest Rangers Temple, Scott, and DiCintio responded to the trailhead. With no coordinates from the dropped call, New York State Police Aviation was called in with Forest Ranger Praczkajlo to search the marshy areas where the subject was believed to be. Coordinates obtained through a 911 callback placed the hiker in a marshland just off the south side of the mountain. At 6:25 p.m., Dispatch was notified that the 69-year-old hiker from Baltimore, Maryland, had been located and reunited with her family.

Lost hiker assisted by Forest Ranger after being lost in the Sargent Ponds Wild Forest/DEC photo

» Continue Reading.


Friday, August 21, 2020

Outdoor conditions (8/21): Hiker information stations

This bulletin provides only the most recent notices. 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.

Welcome to the Adirondacks. The Welcome to the Adirondacks webpage is the place to go if you are interested in learning more about the Adirondacks. It provides information about the Forest Preserve, conservation easement lands, outdoor recreation, and Leave No Trace.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Ending the Campfire Prohibition on the Chain Lakes Makes No Sense

The 19,000-acre Essex Chain of Lakes between Indian Lake and Newcomb certainly has received lots of public attention. In 2007, it was a major part of the Finch, Pruyn and Company sale of 161,000-acres to the Adirondack Nature Conservancy, with help from the Open Space Institute.

Today, the first amendment to the Essex Chain of Lakes Primitive Area Unit Management Plan is up for public comment. Should it be approved? Before tackling that question, let us review.

What an earthquake the 2007 Finch, Pruyn sale felt like, with many aftershocks. It promised an exciting time for land conservation and for advocates for open space conservation like me and the nonprofits I worked with. It still is. It was a scary time for Finch employees, contractors, leaseholders, and many townspeople, including guides tied closely to the land and its future uses. The consequences of that land sale are still playing out and will continue to.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Kayakers go missing on Union Falls Pond

forest ranger logoRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Franklin
Franklin County
Wilderness Rescue: 
On Aug. 14 at 10:11 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a woman reporting that her two friends were overdue from kayaking on Union Falls Pond. The 21-year-old woman and 22-year-old man from New City went to watch the sunset from their kayaks but their friends grew concerned when it got dark because the pair are not familiar with the area. Forest Ranger Baldwin responded to the camp and after interviewing members of the party, determined that the group had found one of the kayaks along the shore. Ranger Baldwin swept the road in the surrounding area before reaching out for assistance. Once cleared of a separate incident, Forest Ranger Praczkajlo responded to assist with the search and was on scene at 12:26 a.m. Forest Rangers fueled up and used the reporting party’s boat and began searching the area where the kayak was found. Rangers turned off the motor and yelled out for the missing kayakers. At 1:12 a.m., the Rangers heard the pair yelling for help from the shore and proceeded to pick them up. The overdue kayakers stated that when one of their kayaks flipped, they panicked and attempted to grab onto the other one, flipping it, and then swam to shore. Rangers Baldwin and Praczkajlo took the two kayakers back to their camp and the incident concluded at 2:18 a.m.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

When the secret’s out

People who spend a lot of time in the woods often develop favorite spots. I’ve had plenty of these over the years, and one of my chosen ones was a swimming hole in the Catskill Park.

I developed an affinity for this spot while living and working as a landscaper and dry-stone mason just outside of Woodstock after college. I loved doing this work because it was physically demanding and job sites were in scenic locations. Many days after work, my co-worker and I would be completely exhausted and overheated, so we’d take a drive to a place called the Blue Hole, a little-known swimming hole he’d discovered by word of mouth that was an easy walk from the road.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Upper Saranac Foundation to fight invasives at Fish Creek

The New York State Environmental Protection Fund’s Park and Trail Partnership Grants program has awarded the Upper Saranac Foundation (USF) a $19,000 matching grant in order to allow for the expansion of successful efforts in controlling and preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in the USL watershed at Fish Creek Campground.

The Fish Creek AIS Spread Prevention and Containment Project protects the economic value of the area via recreation, tourism, sportsmanship and vacation home ownership, and provides clear waterways to these ends by combating invasive species. in order to maintain native species in their natural habitats, and to improve the water quality, ensuring sustainability of our natural resources for future generations. The USF will support this project by matching funding and services for a total budget of $26,000 dollars.

» Continue Reading.



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