The Adirondack Mountain Club has largely stopped making maps, with an important exception: it recently published a color topographical map of the High Peaks that is waterproof and folds to fit in your pack or back pocket.
ADK used to put paper topo maps in the backs of its guidebooks. For the past several years, however, it has instead bundled its books with waterproof maps produced by National Geographic.
So now we have two High Peaks maps: National Geographic’s “Lake Placid/High Peaks” and ADK’s “Trails of the Adirondack High Peaks.”
Both maps are designed to accompany ADK’s guidebook, High Peaks Trails. Tony Goodwn, the longtime editor of the book, also edited the new map. When we asked him why ADK wanted to publish a second map, he gave several reasons.
The Pepperbox Wilderness Area is one of the smaller wilderness areas in the Adirondack Park. It receives few visitors, as it has no spectacular mountain views, few productive waterbodies and lies tucked away in an obscure part of the Park. Its lack of trails is often cited as one of its unique characteristics.
Too bad it is not true. The notion that the Pepperbox Wilderness contains thousands of remote acres free of trails is a fantasy; it is a myth, like Bigfoot or the Tooth Fairy. » Continue Reading.
The snows are gone and mud season has begun on the Otter Creek Horse Trails. Those hearty folks that stay North for the winter have been enjoying snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and even trekking with Alpacas, and now look forward to another season on the trails.
The Otter Creek Horse Trail system is located just outside Lowville on the Independence River Wild Forest, and the Independence River and Otter Creek State Forests along the western border of the Adirondack Park in Lewis County.
Last week I was doing a little research for a book project when a web search returned an interesting line from a Wikipedia entry on the Hudson River. It piqued my curiosity, going as it did against conventional wisdom. Wikipedia being Wikipedia I wasn’t about to take it as gospel, but it provoked me to start digging around just for fun. After all, if one learns anything in research and the sciences it is that conventional wisdom or historical tradition are no sure bets.
In this case, both conventional wisdom and historical tradition say that Lake Tear of the Clouds, nestled between Mounts Marcy and Skylight in the Adirondack High Peaks, is the source of the Hudson River. Thus has it been generally accepted ever since Verplanck Colvin determined it to be so, on his second visit to Lake Tear in August of 1873. For generations of hikers Lake Tear has been a special destination, an upward trek to the ultimate source of one of America’s greatest rivers. But is it? » Continue Reading.
“After much toil and labor in rowing, in consequence of a strong head wind, we reached the lake at its eastern extremity. This accomplished, our next business was to find the establishment of Beach and Wood situated on some point on the opposite shore. By fortunate conjecture, our guide struck upon the right course and soon landed on Indian Point at the residence of the above named gentlemen. Here we determined to remain till we had thoroughly explored the region.”
Thus Prof. Ebenezer Emmons described his arrival on my family’s land on Raquette Lake in 1840, captured in this sketch of Beach and Woods’ earlier cabin by John William Hill. » Continue Reading.
It is not a tourism campaign, or a new branding effort, or a marketing scheme.
It is not the southern portion of St. Lawrence County portrayed by author Peter O’Shea. Nor is it somewhere deep in the Smoky Mountains, or in the longleaf pine forests of Florida and Georgia.
It is the first step of a new effort to take a fresh look at recreation in the Adirondack Park.
What we are calling the Great South Woods is over two million acres – about one-third of the entire Adirondack Park – south of Routes 28 and 28N, west of the Northway (I-87) and Route 9, and north and east of the Blue Line. » Continue Reading.
It was late on the afternoon of November 4th, 1875. A party of men worked feverishly in dense fog and deepening Adirondack frost, chiseling into the hard summit stone of Mount Marcy, New York’s highest point. They had been working since the first hint of daylight without the benefit of food or water, pressing on to finish their work as conditions worsened. They turned their attention to setting a benchmark – chipping into anorthosite so tough that it had destroyed scores of their drill bits and chisel points.
Their leader Verplanck Colvin had just completed the final rod and level measurement in a series that had begun weeks before, many miles away on the shore of Lake Champlain. At last the height of the mightiest peak in the Empire State was determined with accuracy: 5344.311 feet above mean tide.
The benchmark they laid on Marcy in the growing darkness and cold that afternoon was number 111 in a long sequence rising from Westport. » Continue Reading.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released a Stewardship Plan to guide interim management for public access and use of newly acquired lands in the Essex Chain Lakes Management Complex in the Central Adirondacks. The Stewardship Plan outlines a range of recreational activities that may occur in the Essex Chain while DEC develops a long-term Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Complex area. This new Stewardship Plan supersedes the 2013 Interim Access Plan.
The Stewardship Plan is now in effect and can be viewed on DEC’s website via pdf. Under the plan, additional access to the Essex Chain Lakes includes: » Continue Reading.
On November 27, 1901, the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an act that created a new town from northern Morehouse, with the South Branch of the Moose River dividing the two towns. Afterwards, Inlet held its first town meeting on January 14, 1902. Presently (2009), the Adirondack Park Agency reports that Inlet consists of 42,446 acres of which just under 4,000 acres is not state land.
But this narrative is about the over 6,000 acres in the northerly Part of Township 3 of the Moose River Tract surrounding the “Head of Fourth Lake”, as Inlet was formerly known, and the connections among the speculators who owned it prior to Inlet’s creation. This square tract covers the lands from Fourth Lake to Seventh Lakes down to Limekiln Lake at its southwest corner. » Continue Reading.
In a recent blog post about Washington County’s newinteractive webmap, I alluded to the new and exciting opportunities maps like this present for collaborative mapping in the Adirondacks. To illustrate these opportunities, I’ve created a‘mashup’ mapthat brings together data from several sources, including Washington County,Long Lake / Raquette Lake, andNewcomb, along with some data collected at a more regional level as part of an Adirondack Partnership project I was peripherally involved with. The mashup map can be viewed by clickinghere.
I had to do some custom coding to bring the data together and add features like the type-ahead search box in the upper-right and the quick zooms, but the actual information is being pulled ‘live’ from online databases maintained by each of these entities. So when Washington County, Newcomb or Long Lake adds a new restaurant, modifies the route of a hiking trail or changes the contact info for a hotel, it is immediately reflected not only on their map, but also on my mashup and any other sites pulling from their database. » Continue Reading.
Created for the county by Jimapco in Round Lake, NY, the map is user friendly and playful, and includes amenities such as dining, lodging and services as well as attractions like covered bridges, agri-tourism and arts. It also includes several ‘tours’ in and around the county, including fiber, maple, beverage (aka wine and beer!) and walking and bike tours for selected locations. This map has several other nice features like dropdown lists for each layer that allow you to quickly zoom to attractions and information packed popups that will even give you driving directions. » Continue Reading.
St. Regis Canoe Outfitters has published two new waterproof maps for paddlers, one covering the three Saranac Lakes, the other covering the St. Regis Canoe Area.
The color maps cover some of the same territory as the Adirondack Paddler’s Map, also published by St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, but the new maps are more detailed and, being smaller, easier to handle.
They’re also less expensive: $9.95 versus $19.95 for the Adirondack Paddler’s Map (which is four times as large).
“Many first-time visitors are going to grab a $10 map before they grab a $20 map,” said Dave Cilley, owner of St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, which has stores in Saranac Lake and Floodwood. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency has some of the most skilled GIS (Geographic Information Sysytems) analysts at work in the park, and they have also been very proactive in sharing their mapping resources with the public. I thought Adirondack Almanack readers might be interested in some of the new additions to the agency GIS page found here: http://apa.ny.gov/gis/
Some of the new products include maps of Park Webcams (with links so you can see the live feed), USGS Stream flow stations, and a newly released (Feb 2014) version of their meticulously curated ‘Adirondack Park Land Use and Development Plan Map and State Land Map’ that now includes the newly classified land in the Essex Chain lakes between Newcomb and Indian Lake. » Continue Reading.
I’ve been an advocate of more recreational trails throughout the park for a long time. I also feel that we’ll be cheated if we don’t try our damnedest to try to have a rail and trail, side by side where possible and intersecting when not.
In a March 16 letter to the Utica Observer Dispatch respected trail advocate Tony Goodwin noted that a rail with trail, “… is not physically possible” and that: “Periodically leaving the corridor is so far just talk. A year ago, Tupper Lake rail supporters formed a committee to look at a parallel trail from Tupper Lake to the campground at Rollins Pond. I know committee members made field inspections, but so far there’s no plan showing that a parallel trail could feasibly be built.”
I decided to take a deeper look. I talked with some folks from Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake who have explored the rail corridor in greater detail than I have. I took their information and combined it with my own experience and I made a map of a possible trail from Saranac Lake to Tupper Lake. » Continue Reading.