Friday, February 19, 2021

Dragonflies: Learning to swim before they fly

adult dragonflyDragonflies are nature’s little aerial acrobats.  Likened in bodily shape to a helicopter with numerous maneuvers, they can fly straight up and down, forward and backward, hover and even mate mid-air

There are 7,000 species of dragonflies and mayflies, the dragon flies smaller cousin, in the world.

The Adirondacks are home to approximately 30 species of dragonflies. They typically stay close to water; most species of dragonfly spend the majority of their life underwater or close to the surface of the water. Depending on the species, dragonflies prefer ponds, marshes, or streams.

A dragonfly has a life span of more than a year, but very little of that life is actually as an adult dragonfly. There are three stages of the dragonfly life cycle, the egg, the nymph, and the adult dragonfly. Most of the life cycle of a dragonfly is lived out in the nymph stage where they aren’t seen at all, unless you are swimming underwater in a lake.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, February 19, 2021

Recreation highlight: Snowshoes in the High Peaks

snowshoeing at the wild centerIf you’re planning to hike in the High Peaks region this winter, you may have heard that snowshoes are required to be worn once snow depths reach eight inches. But why is that, and what does it mean for you?

Snow can get very deep in the High Peaks Wilderness. Currently, there is close to three feet of snow at base elevations and five to six feet on summits. When snow gets this deep, staying on the surface is vital to your safety and the safety of others.

Snowshoes redistribute weight and help hikers float on the surface of deep snow. This prevents the deep holes, known as postholes, created by bare boots. Note that carrying snowshoes with you is not sufficient – they must be worn to prevent falls and postholing.

It might seem like snowshoes are unnecessary when trails become packed down from repeated travel, but that is not the case. Snow alongside the hardpacked trails will still be soft. Imagine stepping off to the side to let another group pass and falling feet down into the snow. Such falls can lead to injury and leave dangerous traps along the trail. Even on hardpacked trails bare boots can still create holes and divots in the snow that might cause others – especially skiers – to fall.

There are some instances when you might have to switch your snowshoes for other traction devices. When you encounter thick, steep ice, swap out your snowshoes for crampons. As soon as you are past the ice, put your snowshoes back on.

It takes practice to be able to walk in snowshoes comfortably. Practice at home, in familiar locations, and on short walks before attempting a big hike. Using trekking poles can help with balance.

Almanack file photo


Friday, February 19, 2021

Outdoor conditions: High Peaks Info Center closure

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

Saranac Lake Wild Forest: The C7 snowmobile trail between Tupper Lake and Lake Clear can be used by snowmobiles. Work on the rail removal project is paused until spring. Riders should pay attention for any caution or warning signs.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, February 19, 2021

Latest News Headlines

Here’s a look at news from around the Adirondacks this week:

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 18, 2021

‘Out of harmony with forest lands in their wild state’

Article 14 of NYS constitutionPreviously, the Almanack has asked “which side are you on” when it comes to a court case involving Article 14, the “forever wild” provision of our state constitution.

Recently, dueling press releases from plaintiff Protect the Adirondacks and the Adirondack Mountain Club, Open Space Institute, Adirondack Council, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter and Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, the group I work for – indeed suggest that all of us are retreating to our separate corners.

In truth we are longstanding and natural allies and proponents of the “forever wild” provision and much else. Politicization has not completely engulfed the world of wild nature – yet.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Jackrabbit Rally Announced 

Jackrabbit TrailA choose-your-own-ski-adventure

The Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA) invites ski enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels to participate in the first-ever Jackrabbit Rally to celebrate ski touring, the 35th anniversary of the popular Jackrabbit Trail and founding of the Adirondack Ski Touring Council, which now operates as BETA. Founded in 1986, the Jackrabbit Ski Trail traverses a variety of terrain through Keene, Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Paul Smiths for a total of 42 miles. 

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Lake George Boating Access Survey for Mossy Point and Roger’s Rock Boat Launches

Rogers Rock Campground provided by DECDEC is conducting a survey to elicit public feedback on the overnight gate closure program for Lake George at Mossy Point and Roger’s Rock boat launches. The information gathered will inform a more permanent program for future boating seasons and support the state’s ongoing efforts to protect Lake George from invasive pests.

We encourage boaters that have used either access sites to take a brief survey. The survey and comment period will remain open until March 12, 2021. Comments may also be submitted by email to [email protected].

DEC photo


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Proposed campground for Hinckley and more from this month’s APA meeting

hinckley day use areaIn case you missed last week’s Adirondack Park Agency meeting, here are a few highlights.

The APA is collecting public comments on the Hinckley Day Use Area unit management plan proposed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Specifically, the APA will look at how this plan meshes with the Adirondack State Park Master Plan. DEC is proposing a revamp of the area, including new multi-use trails, additional camping opportunities and a pavilion at Price’s Point. Click here for more info, including how to comment.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Rangers respond to snowmobile mishap, accident

Snowmobile Stuck in Lewey Lake. DEC photoRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions: Lewey Lake Hamilton County Public Service: On Feb. 14, Forest Rangers Temple and Thompson were on snowmobile patrol in the Jessup River Wild Forest. While on patrol crossing Lewey Lake, the Rangers observed two abandoned snowmobiles that appeared to be broken down and stuck on the ice. The Rangers took the information from the snowmobile’s registration stickers and did a cursory search of the area looking for any signs of the snowmobile operators. With no signs of anyone in distress and the snowmobiles frozen in the surface slush of the lake, the Rangers continued their patrol and attempted to locate the operators through other means. On Feb. 15, Forest Rangers Thompson and Nally again patrolled the area and observed three individuals in a UTV attempting to recover the snowmobiles. The Rangers interviewed the group and learned that one of the snowmobiles broke down and was being towed out by the second when it began to have mechanical issues causing both sleds to get stuck. Prior to the Rangers’ arrival, the group attempted to remove the snowmobiles without proper equipment and got their UTV stuck in the surface slush, as well. Rangers proceeded to Moffitt Beach campground to gather equipment and returned, freeing all three machines from the slush. The Rangers then escorted the group off the ice. Due to one of the snowmobiles not being registered, the operator was issued a summons returnable to the Lake Pleasant Court. » Continue Reading.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

DEC advises backcountry users of High Peaks avalanche risk

Avalanche anatomy illustrationBackcountry downhill skiers, snowboarders, and others who may traverse slides or steep, open terrain in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks should be aware of and prepared for avalanche conditions, advises the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Avalanche danger increases during and immediately after major snowfalls and during thaws. The High Peaks have received approximately five to six feet of snow, with the majority accumulating over the last two weeks. Due to high winds, snow depths are deeper on leeward slopes or areas of snow deposits, such as gullies. As snow accumulates over time it develops distinct layers formed by rain and melt/freeze cycles. When new snow falls onto previous snowpack, it adds weight and downward pressure. Lower snow layers may be reactive to the added stresses of recent snows, creating conditions conducive to avalanches.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Warren County hosts annual plant sale

The Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District is now accepting orders for its annual tree and shrub seedling sale, which means spring is well on its way. Each year, the District offers a diverse selection of low cost bare root seedlings including fruit trees, flowering shrubs, seed mixes and much more. Incorporating native woody vegetation into your landscape can be a great option for establishing pollinator and wildlife habitat, a buffer, edible fruit or strictly for the beauty.

Some highlights for this year’s sale are the new Homestead Pack which includes Elderberry, Witch Hazel, Sugar Maple, American Hazelnut and Blueberry. This pack has great farm value offering species that produce nuts, berries, homemade maple syrup, and supports beneficial insects. The sale has even more to offer this year such as wildflower seeds, bird houses, wood duck boxes, apple and pear trees, and much more!

The order deadline is March 10. The order pick up will be held on April 23 from 8:30am to 6pm at the District Office 394 Schroon River Road in Warrensburg. The order form can be found at warrenswcd.org.

For more information, contact Maren Alexander at [email protected] or (518)623-3119


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.

» Continue Reading.


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.

» Continue Reading.



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