For nearly a century, observers watched the forests of New York State–including the Catskill and Adirondack forest preserves– from more than 100 fire towers perched atop the highest peaks, searching for the dangerous, telltale signs of forest fires. The Catskills Fire Tower Challenge encourages experienced hikers to visit the region’s remaining five historic fire towers, as well as a new sixth fire tower that was opened at the Catskills Visitor Center in the fall of 2019.
Posts Tagged ‘hiking’
Catskills Fire Tower Challenge: DEC encourages experienced hikers to visit all 6 fire towers during 2022
Old man winter returned today (Sunday, March 27) as it snowed most of the day. I hadn’t checked my little pond behind the house, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there would be some wood frog eggs in it after the warm week we’ve had. Last year I saw eggs in some little pond along Trail 5 when there was snow all the way around them. I don’t know if those made it, but the ones behind the house hatched.
The newts feed on those little polliwogs and so do baby painted turtles. I watched them catch some right by the dock at Francis Lake one day. It was a busy day in the bird world today (March 27) as the snow was on the ground when I got up and it snowed most of the day. Looking down on the dam at the carcass there was a Red-tailed Hawk, six Ravens and two Turkey Vultures working for a snack.
Spring has sprung in the Adirondacks, and although the coming of springtime signals a time of renewal and helps many to come out of the “winter blues,” early Spring also means gray skies, soggy yards, and mud, lots of it.
What better time to showcase the serene beauty of the Adirondack region, while highlighting the artistic talents of one Adirondack grandmother who found rejuvenation, peace and serenity in the mountains, igniting a newfound adoration for hiking that she hopes will span across many generations in her family.
Adirondack Explorer reporter Gwendolyn Craig reported this week that the Adirondack Mountain Reserve is continuing the reservation system launched last May.
She also asked and received answers to some of our questions. Take a read through and chime in with your thoughts in the comment area below. What other questions do you have for the people in charge of this permit system?
(Photo courtesy of Peter Bauer)
“I have a signal,” said Dennis after we reached the parking lot, about 250 yards from the trailhead.
“Great! now we need to figure out where to call,” said JR. He started playing with his phone to see if Google would help.
“How about on the board over there?” asked Dennis. He pointed to the information station at the other end of the parking lot.
Dennis is quite resourceful and has good eyesight. Also, he has a phone with a charged battery, which JR quickly found to be lacking with his own.
Before long, Dennis connected with the listed number and the Rangers were on the way. Dennis and JR were instructed to wait in place.
Never having been any good at waiting, or following instructions, JR took one of their party’s two cars on a short to exploratory mission to see if the access road came out close by. The likely suspect was a road labeled with a Northern Frontier sign. But there was a bright yellow tubular-steel barrier that convinced him that he was not entering. He went back to wait with Dennis.
Calling all hikers, xc skiiers, and snowshoers in the Saint Lawrence/Eastern Lake Ontario (SLELO) Region! Our friends at SLELO PRISM invite you to take a hike to protect the region’s hemlocks (and win cool prizes) this winter through their Virtual Hike Challenge. The challenge is running now through March 1st, and you can participate any time you get outside. All you need to do is take a hike, check a hemlock for signs of invasive hemlock woolly adelgid, and take a photo. Share a photo of your experience on Facebook with the hashtag #VirtualHikeChallenge for a chance to win prizes!
You can find more information about the challenge, including featured trails, on the SLELO PRISM website. Brush up on hemlock ID, and take a quiz to test your knowledge on the New York State Hemlock Initiative website. Happy trails!
Photo: White woolly egg masses of invasive HWA on a hemlock branch
It’s that time of year where the weather shifts from sunshine to rain to snow every few days. During this transition season – often referred to as shoulder seasons – explore recreation in lower elevations where trails are drier and conditions are less severe. Check out these great low elevation Adirondack Day Hikes:
WESTPORT – Champlain Area Trails (CATS) will host a trail opening hike on the new Spirit Sanctuary Trail in Essex, on Saturday, November 27th at 10 a.m.
The Spirit Sanctuary Trail is a one-mile there-and-back trail that begins on Cook Road, about 1.3 miles west of NYS Route 22 in Whallonsburg. It goes through the new “green” cemetery, then along a forested little ridge overlooking a wetland and connects to the popular CATS Black Kettle Trail. Hikers can continue on this 1-mile loop trail with beautiful views, cliffs, big trees, and a scenic brook and then return through the Sanctuary.
Acquisition Increases Public Access and Recreational Opportunities
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Adirondack Land Trust today announced the addition of 250 acres to the Forest Preserve on Moxham Mountain between Minerva, Essex County and North Creek, Warren County. The acquisition will increase public access to the south side of Moxham Mountain for hiking and rock climbing.
For many, this upcoming weekend will bring an extra day off and mark the unofficial end of summer – both excellent reasons to spend a day hiking in the Adirondacks. Not sure where to go? Check out these great day hikes, with an option for every region. Find trail details and more options on the Adirondack Day Hikes webpage.
The new sustainable hiking trail under construction to the summit of Mount Van Hoevenberg is expected to be completed in the early fall. This project has been a priority of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). This project started in 2018 and marked a completely different approach to hiking trail building in the Forest Preserve and the High Peaks Wilderness.
For the first time, the DEC committed to a multi-year effort to showcase new sustainable trail design and trail building techniques for the Forest Preserve. In many ways, this trail marks a new beginning for the state’s approach to hiking trail building in the Adirondack Park.
Long Lake Parks and Recreation has launched a Hiking and Paddling Challenge that includes a variety of outings in the region stretching to Raquette Lake. There are 24 activities on the card with over 50 miles of hiking, 3 mountains, one fire tower, one Adirondack Great Camp and nine paddles enabling participants to achieve a variety of patches.
Keep these tips in mind when packing your suitcase or backpack:
- Do-it-yourself (DIY) travel-size toiletries. Save small containers, rinse them out, and fill with shampoo, conditioner, and other products needed for your trip. Reuse for your future packing needs.
- Pack a cooler. Bring beverages and snacks from home — this can reduce waste since many convenience items are packaged.
- Pro-tip: save cans and bottles so you can get your 5-cent deposit back.
- Use solar power. Small solar power banks are available for travel to charge phones and other electronics.
Champlain Area Trails (CATS) has announced the Northern Pathways Challenge. Participants can register on the CATS Website. Hike three of the five trails described on the website, and earn a limited-edition commemorative patch.
“I’m looking forward to this challenge,” said Derek Rogers, CATS Development Director, “It will give our supporters a chance to explore some wonderful Clinton County trails.”
The Northern Pathways Challenge will be Clinton County-based, and participants will have to complete three out of the five trails to be awarded a patch. It runs from National Trails Day, June 5th, 2021 until December 31st, 2021. Registration is $5 per hiker.
Cobble Hill Trailhead Parking is Closed
There is no longer any trailhead parking for Cobble Hill trails, so Lake Placid–area hikers are encouraged to base Cobble hikes from your home or hotel, or to begin your walk from a designated parking space on Mirror Lake Drive or a municipal lot.
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