The first known ascent of Mount Marcy occurred on August 5, 1837 when a team of New York State Geologists, led by Ebenezer Emmons, spent a glorious five hours on top of the peak.
But it was not Emmons that best described what his team saw that day. Instead, it was his intrepid guide, John Cheney, that historians most often quote. Looking out over the vast range of mountains and lakes below them, Cheney observed, “It makes a man feel what it is to have all creation placed beneath his feet.” What Emmons did make note of on that brilliant August day was the presence of ice patches up to a half-inch thick scattered about the summit. Still, the lead geologist for the New York State Survey could not comprehend the existence of huge boulders, or erratics, that were left behind by glaciers. Emmons thought at the time that they were there as a result of a biblical-type flood.
In the summer of 2017 the League of Extraordinary Adirondack Gentlemen (LEAG) held their annual camp-out at Great Camp Santanoni on Newcomb Lake.
I met there, for the first time, a gentleman new to the group. As a result of this meeting, he and I decided to expand our friendship and paddle the Eckford Chain: Raquette, Utowana, Eagle, and Blue Mountain lakes.
We set out one fine August morning from Raquette Lake, crossed the lake, and proceeded up the Marion River, through the carry, putting back in at the Utowana dock, continuing through Utowana Lake into Eagle Lake, and then into Blue Mountain Lake and pulled-out at the Blue Mountain beach.
Our conversation (and questions) turned to the name Eckford Chain of Lakes. » Continue Reading.
Along the banks of the Hudson at North River, and further south on highway pull-offs from Route 28, are some of the Adirondack Park’s best interpretive stops.
Sturdy, visually appealing and informative exhibits coupled with well-designed DOT parking along the Hudson River have attracted visitors and residents for years to turn off the engine, breathe deeply, eat lunch, listen to the river and learn from the exhibits. » Continue Reading.
A party from the NYS DEC Region Six survey division, members of the Colvin Crew, and Friends of Stillwater Fire Tower will set a brass marker below the fire tower to replace the original survey bolt that was stolen and later recovered by Adirondack Almanack reader Kyle Kristiansen in New Jersey in 2013.
That 1882 benchmark found by Kristiansen was identified as Station 77 in Verplanck Colvin’s survey of the Adirondacks and had been located on the summit of Stillwater Mountain. » Continue Reading.
At an elevation of 2,264 feet, Stillwater Fire Tower in northern Herkimer County has never been a beacon for tourists. It’s not even modestly high compared to the 46 Adirondack peaks over 4,000 feet.
Since 1912, Fire Observers on Stillwater Mountain needed a high tolerance for isolation and resistance to boredom. Until the fire tower closed in 1988, the annual number visitors ranged from 145 to it’s record of 618. Before the mid-‘50s, when the Big Moose Road was completed, the only access to the tower trail was by boat from the Stillwater Reservoir. Even then, only hard-core hikers who would tolerate eight or twelve miles of dirt road from Number Four or Big Moose Station, enjoyed the tower’s views. » Continue Reading.
My last article identified the most likely location of the original cabin built by Matthew Beach and William Wood in the mid-1830s on Raquette Lake. Wood remained on Indian Point until 1859, but sometime between 1844 and 1846 he had a falling out with Beach and built a separate cabin (shown in this 1851 sketch from Jervis McEntee’s diary). » Continue Reading.
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