Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Border blues: A year without Canadians

Canada flagI had hoped to get back to Canada sometime in the last year. I wanted to bring my family to Montreal and to some natural areas in Quebec and Ontario — maybe even visit the Maritimes for the first time. We got our son his first passport in preparation.

Oh well. I know that our continent and world have suffered much worse than I have in the last year. Canada will be there for us some other summer. No biggie.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Lake George is ‘iced-in’ as of Feb.11

skate sailors on lake georgeFrom the Lake George Association (LGA):

 The LGA, in consultation with our members — and our friends at the Darrin Fresh Water Institute — have determined that “Ice-In” for Lake George was Thursday morning, Feb. 11, 2021.

We expect there were a few areas without ice on Feb. 11, as occurs every year, but the conditions met the definition of “ice-in” we have always used: when someone could walk from one end of the Lake to the other solely on the ice – though it is NOT SAFE TO WALK ON YET in some areas!

Much of the Lake had already frozen by that time, but the stubborn area in Hague had open water across the Lake through Tuesday, Feb. 9. The wind stopped after the snow on Tuesday night and the rest froze.

The Lake did not fully freeze last year, so it is the first time it is fully covered in ice since 2019. (Ice-out in 2019 was April 13, Ice-in in 2019 was January 22.)

In fact, according to LGA records that date back to 1908, the Lake has stayed “open” (not fully frozen over) seven of the last 21 years.

Skate sailors on Lake George/Almanack file photo


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

NYS Parks set attendance record at 78 million visitors 

parks and trails nyNew York’s State parks, historic sites, campgrounds, and trails welcomed a record-setting 78 million visitors in 2020. The milestone marks nine years of steady visitor growth and represents an overall increase of 34 percent, or more than 20 million visitors since 2011.

This increase was driven by unprecedented growth during the spring and fall seasons, as New Yorkers turned to State Parks facilities for safe, healthy outdoor recreation during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to learn more.

Statewide Empire State Trail Completed

New Yorkers have a new way to explore all their state has to offer with completion of the 750-mile Empire State Trail, a year-round, multi-use recreational trail for cyclists, hikers, runners, cross-country skiers and snowshoers.

The trail runs from New York City through the Hudson and Champlain Valleys to Canada, and from Albany to Buffalo along the Erie Canal. Three-quarters of the trail is off-road. Projections call for 8.6 million people to use it each year.

Connecting 20 existing regional trails, the Empire State Trail was created by building more than 180 miles of new off-road trail and connecting 400 miles of previously disconnected, off-road trails. There are 45 gateways and trailheads along the trail, which includes signage, interpretive panels, bike racks and benches. Navigating the trail can be done through the trails web site empiretrail.ny.gov, which includes an online map and the ability to print itinerary sheets for specific trail segments. Learn more.


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

New Survey For Residents and Visitors of the Lake Champlain Region

The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) is conducting a short survey to help refine the destination marketing message for the Lake Champlain Region.

The Lake Champlain Region comprises the towns of Keeseville, Willsboro, Essex, Lewis, Elizabethtown, Westport, Moriah/Port Henry, Crown Point, and Ticonderoga in Essex County, New York.

The survey is designed to better understand what motivates people to live, work, and play in the region. Respondents are asked questions about the quality of particular activities, such as hiking, fishing, history experiences, and dining out. One example question asks respondents to describe the Lake Champlain Region to a friend.

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Monday, February 15, 2021

Progress made in Hamilton County following 2019 Halloween Storm

Since the Halloween Storm raged through Hamilton County on October 31, 2019, excellent progress has been made to mitigate damage.  In the wake of the storm, departments worked unceasingly to make roads passable.  Then, they spent the spring, summer, and fall repairing infrastructure and stabilizing streams.  Work continues, with more projects on tap for 2021.

Greg Boyer, Hamilton County Department of Public Works Road Supervisor II, reported that when the storm first hit, crew members spent countless hours making the roads passable.

“Crews were fabulous as far as getting together to get the work done, and making roads accessible for people to get in and out of their houses,” Boyer said.  “Everyone worked together really well.”

The Hamilton County DPW completed the following flood mitigation projects:

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Monday, February 15, 2021

Champlain Area Trails awarded State Grants

Essex Quarry provided by CATSChamplain Area Trails (CATS) has been awarded two grants from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) totaling $63,225.

“We are thrilled to be awarded $28,500 to create a new website that will greatly improve our online presence,” said Emily Segada, CATS Operations & Communications Manager, “We’ve already reached out to designers and are working to have a much more interactive trails page among many other improvements.”

CATS has also been awarded a $34,725 grant to support their Essex Quarry Nature Preserve and Trail project. These funds will help pay transaction costs (legal, survey, staff time) and some of the trail-making expenses.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, February 15, 2021

AdkAction picks winner of COVID PSA contest for teens

AdkAction is pleased to announce the winning video of its statewide COVID-19 Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest: “A Vintage COVID-19 PSA,” created by Emily Kucharczyk of New Paltz High School.

“When I heard about the project from my teacher, I had a vision of the shot where I held up a bottle of cleaning spray, I just saw the vintage theme in my head and went with it,” Emily said. “I love the creative freedom that comes with making movies — it’s one of the best ways to express your art.”

Watch it here:

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Sunday, February 14, 2021

Ladybug = lovebug? Actually, not….

LadybugLady beetles may appear cute to the human eye, but in the insect world, they are fearsome predators. Considered by farmers to be a helpful pest control tool, lady beetles are welcome neighbors in Adirondack gardening communities. Nonetheless, there are controversial aspects surrounding these voracious insects. This article will describe the biology and taxonomy of the lady beetles, then discuss the multifaceted roles they play in both human and insect interactions.

Many New Yorkers are familiar with the red, round, and shiny lady beetles, but they may not be aware of the reason why they have their unusual name. In the 1690’s, this insect was named after the Virgin Mary, the “lady” that British farmers would pray to when their crops were afflicted by pests. The red coloration of the insect’s hardened outer wings, known as elytra, reminded them of the red cloak commonly worn by Mary in artwork of the time. In fact, all lady beetles are categorized in the family Coccinellidae, a term drawing its origins from the Latin coccinus, meaning “scarlet.” Many lady beetles are red; however, some are yellow, black, orange, pink, and/or white. 

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Sunday, February 14, 2021

Feeling the Adirondack love

love in a pandemicIn recognition of Valentine’s Day, here are some stories that speak to love in the Adirondacks, from the Almanack archive:

(Pictured here: Mary Welday and Duke Huntington, finding love and companionship in Saranac Lake. during the time of tuberculosis. Courtesy of Priscilla Goss/Historic Saranac Lake)

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Sunday, February 14, 2021

Weekly news round up

A collection of interesting reads:

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Saturday, February 13, 2021

Panel discussion digs into future of journalism

A conversation with new and veteran journalists on the evolving nature of journalism. Part storytelling, part conversation on how the culture of “fake news” has affected journalism today, panelists will discuss how they see the path to moving forward with a new administration vowing truth and transparency, and a distrustful population who recently painted “murder the media” on the United States Capitol walls. A peek behind the curtain of the choices journalists make daily and how it differs, or doesn’t, from the choices veteran journalists had to make. Rex Smith, editor-at-large at the Times Union of Albany, will act as moderator for the evening.

Presented by Adirondack Center for Writing and Adirondack Explorer.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, February 13, 2021

New Novel Features Lake Placid Ironman

Iron Sharpens IronWhen the going gets tough, Colden MacIntyre, the main character in Iron Sharpens Iron, gets tougher, taking on the Lake Placid Ironman in an effort to overcome his demons.

Iron Sharpens Iron (Heavy Lift Books, 2020) is the first novel from upstate New York author Herb Terns. Though set mainly in Lake Placid, characters roam throughout the North Country, hiking High Peaks, trail running the Tongue Mountain Range, paddling Lake George and backpacking the Northville-Lake Placid Trail. But the heart of the book is Colden’s quest to win the Ironman, and the strength of the community that helps him through.

“We tend to remember the scars we get in life,” Terns says, “but we don’t always remember all the people who help us along the way. In some ways, the story is a metaphor for the way small towns pull together to help people who need it.”

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Share your community stories

Adirondack Communities logoThis week on the Adirondack Explorer website, we ran a story about the community of Indian Lake rallying to save their local branch of Community Bank from closing. (Read it here)

Now I’d like to hear from you: Who are the people in your community that make things happen? What are some other examples of Adirondack towns and villages coming together to creatively solve problems and come up with innovative solutions?

Leave a comment below or send me an email to: [email protected].


Friday, February 12, 2021

John Brown’s Farm: 125 Years in Support of Abolitionist History

John Brown Farm

Celebration of John Brown Farm as a NYS Historical Site

When you stand at the grave of famed abolitionist John Brown, you stand at the intersection of the timeless forest and the modern society that humans have created. Behind you rises the “Cloudsplitter” that has framed this view for as long as anyone has looked at it. In front of you looms the Olympic ski jump, and down the road are other signs of a busy human world: upscale summer homes, an airport, a major highway. Looking in one direction shows you history. Looking in the other shows you a modern world that may not seem to have much in common with the past…right? At John Brown’s Farm in North Elba, I don’t believe this to be the case.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, February 12, 2021

DEC winter recreation tips: Food and water storage

thermosWinter recreation is fun and exciting. It can also be challenging and dangerous. Whether you’re going for a hike, a ski, snowmobiling or ice fishing, Hike Smart NY can help you prepare with a list of 10 essentials, guidance on what to wear, and tips for planning your trip with safety and sustainability in mind.

Food & Water Storage

Proper nutrition and hydration are key to a safe and successful hike, but winter’s cold can bring challenges. In extremely cold temperatures food and water can freeze in your pack. This makes it hard or even impossible to consume what you need to stay hydrated and energized. To avoid food and water freezing, try the following:

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