Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Long Path of New York: A historic note

By James M Schaefer

The Long Path was created in 1931 by my father, the late Vincent J Schaefer (1906-1993). It followed in the tradition of the Appalachian Trail (Georgia to Maine) and The Long Trail of Vermont. Both the AT and Long Trail popularized “End-to-End”—through hiking. 

The Long Path was designed as a corridor rather than as a singular blazed trail. My father’s hiking philosophy was to leave no trace – “all one needs is a compass, map and good woods sense.” From the start his concept was to engage hikers in finding landmarks on the Long Path — a mountaintop, a waterfalls, a geologic anomaly, or a cultural or historic site.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Goodman Mountain and honoring a legacy

There are taller mountains in the Adirondacks, those that leave a middle aged hiker feeling the effects of time for days after the climb. There are mountains with names that inspire the imaginations of those who plan to add them to their list of alpine accomplishments, names like Hurricane, Skylight, or Giant. Every named peak in the Adirondacks carries a story, stories of local history, stories of New York’s early leaders, or stories of the early woodsmen that first fought their way to the top and placed the rocky summit on the map.

Goodman Mountain outside of Tupper Lake bears a different story with its name, and I was compelled to climb it not because of the bragging rights that come with success, and not because I wanted to test my endurance and the ability to push myself a little past my comfort zone. The 2,176 foot summit offers a very pleasant vista, but not a visit to the dwarf forest that circles the bald crest of many peaks, or the 360 degree view of endless woodlands and lakes that High Peaks regulars crave. I wanted to climb Goodman Mountain BECAUSE of the name, and to find out if I could find some connection with its namesake as I followed the narrow pathway to the top. 

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Left behind: A lesson in the dangers of splitting up on the trail

By Paul Czajkowski

It was a warm clear morning when I met Ben at 4 a.m. to go hiking in the High Peaks of New York’s Adirondack Mountains.  The weather was forecasted to be sunny, dry and very hot (100+°F).

We had a great drive up to the trailhead and arrived around 6:30 a.m., it was already around 80°F.

Our plan for the day was to hike up over Blueberry Mountain and summit Porter, one of the Adirondacks’ designated 46 high peaks.  We made good time getting to the shoulder of Blueberry where we stopped to take a break.  Ben said he wanted to make a video to send to his old college friends back in Ohio.  He said to go on ahead and he would catch up to me.  I went ahead about 100 yards and found a nice rock outcropping facing towards Whiteface where I stopped to have a snack and take a couple pictures. 

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Monday, September 14, 2020

More thoughts on permits

Whether the time has come to install a permit system for hiking/backpacking in the High Peaks Wilderness has been in the news lately, and a topic for debate in this recent commentary by Dave Gibson.

Here are a few recent comments that came in via email:

“Sustainable Trail design, rather than our 100+ year old trails.  One way trails on the 2-3 busiest peaks, one trail up a separate trail down.  One half the foot traffic, and, except for the summit, hikers won’t be passing each other all the way up and down, especially since most people hike at roughly the same pace.  Now the real problem is that this will take MONEY.  We need a lot more Rangers as well, so that some of them can go back to their core duties, not just rescues. Gov. Cuomo is good at promoting tourism in the Adirondacks, but woefully lacking in the financial support this extra traffic requires.   This is the People’s park, we all deserve to enjoy it, it soothes the soul. — John Marona

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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.

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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).

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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

DEC sets up pop-up hiker information stations

DEC logoIn an effort to provide increased education outreach, real-time updates and general information to hikers in the High Peaks region, DEC and Town of Keene stewards will staff hiker information stations at several high-traffic locations. We encourage visitors to stop by these locations for information about parking, alternative hiking locations, local land use rules and regulations, safety and preparedness, and Leave No Trace. Please visit us at the following locations:

  • Mid’s Park, Lake Placid: Friday, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • High Peaks Rest Area, Northbound Route 87: Sat. & Sun., 6 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Marcy Field, Keene: Friday-Monday, 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Outdoor conditions (8/14): A reminder to Leave no Trace

Outdoor conditions logoThe Welcome to the Adirondacks web page is the place to go if you are interested in learning more about the Adirondacks. It provides information about the Forest Preserve and conservation easement lands, outdoor recreation opportunities, and Leave No Trace.. Be sure to check out the links to additional information, like outdoor conditions, and tips for recreating safely and minimizing your impacts on natural resources, recreational infrastructure, and other backcountry users in the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Friday, August 14, 2020

High Peaks, for weeks

A Go Aviation helicopter flies low over Duck Hole in the High Peaks Wilderness.If there was any thought that the pandemic might ease pressure on High Peaks trails this summer, forget it.

Like a lot of the hikers themselves, our photographers have had trouble getting a parking spot at the trailheads over the last couple of weeks, as they’ve looked to document the surge in hikers. As Adirondack Explorer reporter Mike Lynch noted in a recent story, the strain on the alpine environment and the summit stewards who protect it persists. Clearly, after months of lockdown, people from all over New York and beyond decided it was time to get out of the house. (Explorer reporter Gwendolyn Craig reported that boat traffic on Lake George is also breaking records.)

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Tread Lightly on the Internet

By Paul Kalac

I was a thirteen or fourteen-year-old boy in the early 80’s when I started fly-fishing for trout.  I’m not sure if I instinctively understood to keep my favorite trout streams to myself, or if I was taught to keep them to myself by the old-timers who made me a fly-fisher. But I was imperfect.  I shared my favorite trout streams with some high school buddies. I know some of those guys were not my closest friends. So there’s no telling with whom they talked after we fished together.  I’m sure word got around to some degree.

A watershed association made up of key groups and individuals formed on my favorite trout stream in the 1990’s and I became secretary. I had since learned that trout streams need friends, not button-lipped fly fishers.  The minds of the old-timers who wanted to keep the stream’s secrets to themselves were flawed; all those who enjoyed or profited from the resource needed to come together to discuss and tackle issues related to the health of the watershed.

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Monday, August 10, 2020

ADK releases 2nd edition of Kids on the Trail guidebook

ADK’s long-popular Kids on the Trail! Hiking with Children in the Adirondacks, by Rose Rivezzi and David Trithart, has been released in a second edition. Seventy-one hike descriptions are accompanied by distance and elevation data, color maps, and color photos.

Almost 40 percent of the hikes are new to the book, and nine descriptions have been added since the first edition.

Representing a variety of destinations across the Adirondacks, this guide encourages readers to visit lesser known locations as they enjoy the beauty of the Park. Anecdotal asides, observations, and logistical advice are interspersed.

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Friday, August 7, 2020

What’s on your Adirondack summer bucket list?

Phil Brown canoes Shingle Shanty Brook in 2009People all over the country are flocking outside during this pandemic summer. And recent top stories from AdirondackExplorer.org and AdirondackAlmanack.com reflect the strangeness of recreating amid Covid-19, I as wrote about in my weekly “Adk News Briefing” e-mail newsletter. (Click here to subscribe to it.)

I’m curious to know what’s on your Adirondack summer “to do” list. Have you tried something new this summer? Have you joined the crowds or ventured into more remote territory? Feel free to leave a comment or share an email: [email protected]

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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Backpacking during a pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted just about every aspect of life in recent months, including backpacking.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay home. Ask writer Betsy Kepes. She spent a few days with a small group this spring on a trip on the Cranberry 50, a hiking route in the northwestern Adirondacks.

Kepes found the trip enjoyable, but it wasn’t without challenges. For instance, what do you do about sharing a lean-to or camping site with others during a pandemic? What happens when you make hot water? Should you share it?

If you’re curious about her experience on her hiking journey, you can read about it on our website. Here is a link to her story: https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/hiking-the-cranberry-50-during-the-covid-19-crisis

Hiking the Cranberry Lake 50 during the Covid-19 pandemic are writer Betsy Kepes (greenish/blue shirt, off-white mask), husband Tom Vandewater (black shirt,off-white mask), and friends Amanda Oldacre (white shirt, black patterned mask) and Jim Burdick (gray/blue shirt black patterned mask). Social distancing and wearing face masks were suggested. Photo by Nancie Battaglia.

Editor’s note: This originally appeared in Mike’s weekly “Backcountry Journal” newsletter. Click here to subscribe.


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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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



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