Now that the weather has finally warmed up, we can appreciate ice a little more. Among other things, ice greatly improves summertime drinks, and an icy watermelon is hands-down better than a warm one. And in this part of the world, ice also provides us with unique wildflower meadows.
Along stretches of riverbank in the Southern Adirondacks, rare Arctic-type flowers are blooming now in the fragile slices of native grasslands that are meticulously groomed each year by the scouring action of ice and melt-water. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondacks and hikers of the Northville-Placid Trail lost a friend when John Washburn passed away in September.
John and his wife, Jane, ran the Trailhead Lodge in Benson in the southern Adirondacks, near where the NP enters the Silver Lake Wilderness. Many a hiker spent the night there before embarking on the 120-mile trek to Lake Placid.
I used to speak with John fairly often as he wrote a number of articles for the Adirondack Explorer and sometimes provided us news tips. I also came to know his son, Michael, when he headed the Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks.
I didn’t know much about John’s history other than that he used to teach. His obituary fills in some of the details. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War and was discharged in 1964 as a first lieutenant. He taught in the Gloversville School District from 1968 to 1987. After retirement, he founded the Search Team 5-1, took part in many searches for lost hikers, and wrote a manual for rescuers titled Point Last Seen. He also wrote a book on Irish history. He and his wife ran the Trailhead Lodge from 1989 to 2011.
The West River Road ends with a football-field size turnaround. At this point it’s 0.7 miles inside the Silver Lake Wilderness area. ATVs use this as a launching pad to trespass even further into Wilderness area, where they get close to the Northville Placid trail.
The management of this illegal road is a mess. In 2006, the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) stated in its approval of the Silver Lake Wilderness Area Unit Management Plan that it would work with the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Town of Wells to fix this non-complying road. As 2014 winds down, there has been zero action at the APA to close this illegal road. » Continue Reading.
The Northville-Placid Trail is getting a face-lift. The initial 10-mile stretch that started at the west end of the bridge over the Sacandaga River along State Route 30 is no more, or at least soon will be. Instead, the famous trail will soon officially start in the village of Northville and mostly stick to State Forest Preserve for the first ten miles all the way to Upper Benson.
This is not the only recent change for the famous trail. Combined with other alterations over the last few years, the singular long trail of the Adirondacks is going through a transition, giving it a whole new look; one that makes it wilder and more remote.
Rick Beauchamp, of Mayfield, Fulton County, is the new holder of the state record for brook trout after catching a six-pound, 22.5-inch brookie in Silver Lake on May 16, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. The previous record holder was William Altman of Athol, who caught a 21-inch, 5 pound, 14 ounce brook trout in the West Canada Lakes Wilderness in Hamilton County in 2012.
Beauchamp reeled in the new record-breaking fish while fishing Silver Lake, also in Hamilton County in the Adirondack’s Silver Lake Wilderness. The new record brook trout, caught on a lake clear wabbler (the same lure used to catch the previous record fish) and worm, weighed in at slightly more than 6 pounds, surpassing the previous state record set in 2012 by two ounces. » Continue Reading.
What to put on the cover? That’s always a big question at magazines. At the Adirondack Explorer, our designer, Susan Bibeau, usually mocks up two or three versions of the cover and then lets the rest of us choose. Sometimes it’s hard to decide, but not this time.
The cover of our May/June issue shows Daniel Burdick holding his son, Charlie, on top of the Pinnacle near Santa Clara. It was Charlie’s first climb. Charlie’s grandpa, Neal Burdick, wrote about the hike.
The Pinnacle is on the northern edge of the Adirondack Park, a bit remote for most folks, but if you happen to be in the neighborhood it’s a great little hike. And judging from Neal’s story, it’s an ideal trail for introducing young children to the joys of hiking. » Continue Reading.
Eighty miles to Tupper Lake. Another twenty-six to Cranberry Lake. The two-and-a-half-mile stretch on Tooley Pond Road, winding between Cranberry Lake and Silver Lake to the Windfall Bar and Grill, was the shortest leg of our travels. It’s all about perspective in the Adirondacks.
Rounding a curve just when we’d decided there was no sign of human interference other than the road and a small cemetery, we were somewhat surprised to find the Windfall Bar and Grill occupying a yellow ranch house. Nothing garish or pretentious about its curb appeal, just a simple looking country tavern and restaurant, well maintained and hospitable. The same was found within. » Continue Reading.
After writing about the illegally cut trees on Cat Mountain, which were neither dead nor down, I started thinking about other rule violations I have observed in the backcountry. One such rule violation I have frequently noticed is the storage of personal property on forest preserve in the Adirondacks.
The storage of personal property can usually be found in one of two different situations. It is either in small amounts scattered around lean-tos or in much more substantial quantities in wild and remote area where few will ever stumble upon these hidden caches. And although some of this property is probably abandoned, the majority appears to be in at least seasonal use. » Continue Reading.
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