The Adirondack Community-based Trails and Lodging System (ACTLS), a project that is developing a conceptual plan for potential “hut-to-hut” trail networks within the Adirondack Park, has scheduled two meetings as it wraps up its three-year study.
A Project Advisory Committee meeting will be held Friday, December 1 at 10:30 am in the Adirondack Hamlets to Huts Conference Room at 47 Main Street – 2nd Floor, in Saranac Lake. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are holding a joint public comment period to solicit comments regarding proposed management guidance for the design and layout of primitive tent sites on State Lands in the Adirondack Park. The APA and DEC will accept comments until January 22, 2018.
The Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan defines a primitive tent site as “a designated tent site of an undeveloped character providing space for not more than three tents, which may have an associated pit privy and fire ring, designed to accommodate a maximum of eight people on a temporary or transient basis, and located so as to accommodate the need for shelter in a manner least intrusive on the surrounding environment.” » Continue Reading.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has finalized the Unit Management Plans (UMPs) for three DEC Adirondack campgrounds – Caroga Lake, Piseco Lake, and Buck Pond. The final UMPs identify facilities and infrastructure expected to be upgraded or replaced during the next five years.
ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) will open Johns Brook Lodge (JBL) to the public this winter for the first time in decades. Caretaker service will be offered at the lodge for up to 10 guests on weekends.
Johns Brook Lodge is located on a 26-acre parcel of private property a 3.5-mile hike in from the Garden Parking Area, which serves as an access for much of the Adirondack High Peaks near Keene Valley. Built in 1925, the lodge sleeps 28 guests in co-ed bunkrooms in the summer. During July and August the stay includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. From mid-May to late-June and Labor Day to Columbus Day the lodge operates under caretaker service where guests provide and cook their own food and have access to the JBL kitchen. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Mountain Rescue, Inc of Clifton Park, New York will be holding a free winter hiking preparedness presentation on November 30th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Clifton Park Halfmoon Library.
The number of accidents in the Adirondacks is on the rise. Each year the number of search and rescue operations performed by the NYS Forest Rangers reaches a new high while the number of Rangers hovers around 133. Some of these operations have a happy ending, however many do not. » Continue Reading.
There are benefits to winter camping in a lean-to. Lean-tos are spacious; although each lean-to can be different, typically there is adequate room for five campers. The lean-to provides a level, dry platform for changing clothes, setting up a stove, mixing food, or just plain sitting. They are usually unoccupied in winter.
On the other hand, lean-to’s aren’t particularly warm in cold weather – even if you close off the open side with a tarp. Also, they are usually situated in high-use areas. They can house rodents and the sleeping arrangements can leave you lying wide awake between two prodigious snorers. » Continue Reading.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers responded to 15 search and rescue incidents in the past two weeks in the Adirondacks. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the Adirondack backcountry.
What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.
Heat and hard physical work can be a debilitating combination. Two of my experiences with them from the long-ago past were a challenge and a heck of a workout — under a blazing sun, doing the haying, and, my personal favorite, picking rocks. But the most exhausting of all was harder than both — digging graves with a shovel and pick during the hottest days of summer. I quickly understood why the veteran diggers joked that people who died during the summer were so inconsiderate.
Decades ago, while researching my first book, the details of another very hot and difficult job were revealed to me by a kind and accommodating woman named Emma Johnson, who was 85 years old at the time. The subject was a remarkable place in northern Clinton County known locally as the Altona Flat Rock. New York State’s Natural Heritage Program, established in 1985, defined the Altona Flat Rock as “sandstone pavement barrens,” a natural rarity. » Continue Reading.
With New York State officials contemplating new ways to induce economic development in the Adirondack Park, the idea of connecting communities more directly to the surrounding Forest Preserve makes plenty of sense.
As Governor Cuomo said at the 2017 Adirondack Challenge this summer:
“You want to develop the asset (the Adirondack Park) because we need jobs, we need the economy, we need tourism. It has to be done in a way that doesn’t disrupt or deteriorate the asset. Because the Adirondack Park is not just an economic asset, it’s not just a state park, it really is a gift from God. I believe that. There is a spirituality to the Adirondack[s] … that is undeniable. And the last thing we would want to do is diminish that asset. Our goal is to leave it even better than before for our children.” » Continue Reading.
William J. O’Hern’s new book Adirondack Camp Stories: A Treasury of True Tales, Lore, History, Recreation, and Colorful Characters of the Mountains (North Country Books, 2017)is a storybook with archival photos that connect readers with early Adirondack camps — from the simplest backwoods shelters, to boarding houses and hotels that offered more comfortable amenities. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced improvements to the Meacham Lake Campground in the Adirondack town of Duane, Franklin County, under the State’s Adventure NY initiative to connect more New Yorkers with nature. The improvements, supported by a $1.2 million state investment, include a new accessible boat launch on the eastern shore of Meacham Lake, a parking area, and green infrastructure features.
The boat launch project includes a concrete ramp with floating docks designed for use by people with disabilities; 21 parking spaces for vehicles and boat trailers – including one parking space reserved for people with disabilities; an information kiosk; and landscaping with native plants. The parking lot includes gravel pretreatment filters, a bio retention area and an underground infiltration gallery to manage stormwater. The roadway through the campground to the boat launch was repaved.
Recently, I was returning from Nubble Cliff in the Giant Mountain Wilderness when I passed a tent on the southeast shore of the Giant’s Washbowl and heard someone breaking branches or dead trees, presumably gathering wood for a campfire.
Campfires are an Adirondack tradition. Who doesn’t like a fire when sleeping under the stars? Nevertheless, I couldn’t help thinking that this was not good for the environment. Rather, it was destructive. » Continue Reading.
While navigating the spellbinding terrain along the Pacific Crest Trail, I found it difficult to resist the temptation to take photos.
Each endless vista around each corner was more jaw-dropping than the last! As I hiked onward, smartphone in hand, impermanence was weighed against the magnitude of the moment. “After all, you may never see these places again,” reminded my sage hiking partner. I had to contemplate whether looking at the staggering scenery through an electronic screen was detaching me from the present experience. » Continue Reading.
Cooking stoves are crucial backcountry gear. They allow for cooking those high-calorie meals, the lifeblood of any hiker after spending hours trudging through forest, field and/or wetlands. However, stoves are only as good as their fuel, for without some type of combustible material, they are just a useless trinket cluttering up your backpack.
Determining the amount of fuel to carry is often more art than science – not enough, you have to force down soggy uncooked oatmeal, too much, and you beat yourself up for carrying the extra weight. Fortunately, Solo Stove has solved this dilemma by creating an attractive line of stoves that burns a fuel that is so readably accessible in the Adirondacks that there is almost never a reason to carry it. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Almanack's contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The Almanack is the online news journal of Adirondack Explorer. Both are nonprofits supported by contributors, readers, and advertisers, and devoted to exploring, protecting, and unifying the Adirondack Park.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to Almanack founder and editor John Warren.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.