Stream restoration work has begun at the popular Keene Town Beach on the Ausable River, across from Marcy Field. With storm recovery funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) the old wood and concrete weir, damaged by Tropical Storm Irene, is being removed and replaced.
In its place a natural rock weir and vane is expected to restore the stream’s hydrologic function, provide habitat for native fish, and improve the quality and safety of recreational opportunities. The new weir will maintain the long popular swimming hole. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Champlain Basin Program’s 2015 State of the Lake and Ecosystem Indicators Report has been released.
The report, produced about every three years, is published to inform the public and resource managers about Lake Champlain’s condition and seeks to provide a better understanding of threats to its health and opportunities to meet the challenges the lake faces. » Continue Reading.
This Sunday, more than 2,800 athletes will compete in the 2013 IRONMAN Lake Placid, one of nearly 30 events in the global IRONMAN Series, is the oldest IRONMAN event in the continental U.S. and features one of the most scenic courses on the circuit.
The two-loop swim course takes place in Mirror Lake, followed by a unique transition in the Olympic Speed-Skating Oval. The 112-mile bike route leads athletes along state, county and local roads. The spectator friendly marathon (26.2 miles) run through downtown Lake Placid. The event offers a total professional prize purse of $25,000 and 60 coveted slots to the 2013 IRONMAN World Championship, taking place on October 12 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. » Continue Reading.
There are so many things happening around the East Coast today with many people homeless and suffering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. I am in awe how people bonding together can make change. I realize that some needs are immediate; others are a long-term process. One constant is the ability to demonstrate to my own children how fortunate they truly are. There are places accepting donations, volunteers are needed to sort clothes.
Throughout all the chaos sometimes a moment of levity is needed. Watching 550 people rush into chilly Lake George on November 17 is one such annual event. There are 14 Special Olympic Polar Plunges around New York State. According to Development Specialist Michelle Iorizzo these events enable intellectually disabled children and adults to compete for free in 22 Olympic style sports in regional and state competitions throughout the year. » Continue Reading.
With a nod to Dog Days of Summer, an event this coming Saturday at the Adirondack Museum (Blue Mountain Lake), here’s a look at a few North Country pooches that made headlines in the 1930s. Many true dog “tales” (technically, “tales” aren’t true, and these stories are, but I couldn’t resist) involve the saving of lives by barking during the early stages of house fires. » Continue Reading.
Water-skiing was invented in Minnesota in 1922, coinciding generally with the surging popularity of motorboats. Since that time, it has been enjoyed by natives and visitors across the Adirondacks. Another water sport, wakeboarding, is cited as originating around 1980. But eight years before the birth of water-skiing, a sport strongly reminiscent of wakeboarding took the nation’s watery playgrounds by storm.
With hundreds of lakes and thousands of summer visitors wealthy enough to own motorboats, the Adirondack region did much to popularize the new sport.
Aquaplaning is sometimes cited as beginning around 1920, but it was a common component of boat shows in the US a decade earlier. In 1909 and 1910, participants attempted to ride a toboggan or an ironing-board-shaped plank, usually about five feet long and two feet wide, towed behind a boat. The boards often resembled the average house door. » Continue Reading.
I was watching the sun come up over the Vermont mountains, listening to my dog Pico splash in the lake and really appreciating the bug free morning. The haziness of the air made for a nice sunrise, all pinks and purples. Pico loves the water, even though I have to give him a warm-up throw or two of the ball to get him to really swim. But once he’s in, he loves it.
My cat Ed caught a mouse last night. At three in the morning. And he wouldn’t kill it. He just walked around for half an hour with the poor thing in his mouth. Every couple of minutes Ed would drop him just to catch him again. He was growling at Herbie and Pico and me. Finally I just picked Ed up and carried him outside, where he dropped the mouse and it ran off. » Continue Reading.
The recent exploits of Nik Wallenda at Niagara Falls call to mind North Country folks who once performed daredevil stunts and amazing feats, some of them more than a century ago. One who secured his place in history was Robert Emmet Odlum, a St. Lawrence County native whose most famous effort earned him footnote status in the story of one of America’s most famous landmarks.
While Odlum’s origins (he was born August 31, 1851) have been reported as Washington, DC, and Memphis, Tennessee, he was born in St. Lawrence County, New York. That information is in stone, literally―Ogdensburg is the birthplace that is carved into the obelisk atop Odlum’s grave. (He was buried in Washington, which may account for some of the confusion.)
Robert’s entire life was linked to water, beginning with the St. Lawrence River, where it is said that he learned to swim as a very young child. That information comes from his mother, who wrote Robert’s life story after he died. » Continue Reading.
I’m sure there’s been plenty of people in my life who wanted to tell me to go jump in a lake. Well, for the last two days, I’ve had to do just that. The temperatures have been well into the nineties, hot, hazy and humid. It’s exactly the type of weather I left Florida to avoid.
Around ten last night, I took Pico down for a swim. As hot as I was, I can’t imagine how hot a dog could be in weather like this. After throwing a stick a few times, I let Pico chew on his temporary toy and I just sat in the water. The lake was calm, with no breeze to speak of. Even though it was hazy, some stars were out and lights from Vermont were reflecting on the almost-glass surface of the lake. The mosquitoes were bad, so I sat in water up my neck and was glad that the horseflies had at least taken the night off. » Continue Reading.
One of the greatest privileges in visiting and living in the Adirondack Park is being able to swim in all the natural swimming holes, pools and ponds.
Swimming in ponds and streams can be tricky with small children but not impossible. Being able to go for a refreshing dip in a natural setting is worth a few precautions. Though it is a fun family activity there are a few things to remember before you go. The first rule is to never swim in springtime when the water is at its swiftest from recent snow-melt and mountain runoff. Each year there are incidences where people of all ages believe that they can outwit Mother Nature and battle the strong currents. Even expert swimmers have been known to drown during these rough, unpredictable times.
Never swim alone and remind children we are never too old for the buddy system. It worked when we were all in summer camp for a reason. In a wilderness setting it is always a good idea for a friend to be there to help.
Depending on your comfort zone, you may want to wear water shoes. Stones can be sharp on tender feet or slippery from algae. We always encourage children to crawl like a crab when crossing a riverbed unless rocks are dry and close together. Keep your body weight low and take your time. Let children explore the area and develop a love for nature.
Bring a swim top. Adirondack lakes and streams can be cold so tuck in that swim top to ward off the chill.
Always have the strongest swimmer perform an underwater sweep of any swimming hole. Just because you jumped off a rock into a wilderness pool last week, doesn’t mean that a tree branch didn’t break off in the mean time. A sunken branch or log can cause serious injury.
If children and adults are used to the clear waters of a chlorinated pool, swimming in the tannin-tinged Adirondack waters can be frightening. One of the largest concerns I find when we guide families is “monsters under the water.” Bring a mask and let children explore underwater. It won’t be as clear as a pool but they will still be able to see enough to stymie the fear factor and be able to explore the underwater native life.
If your child is not a strong swimmer or the current is stronger than usual, bring out that lifejacket. You can always take it off once children are comfortable.
Never push this or any experience. There is certainly enough adventures to be found just exploring along any Adirondack shoreline. Of course, with any wilderness experience swim at your own risk, use common sense and please carry in what you carry out. Enjoy your wilderness experience.
This weekend, approximately 2,000 competitors will swim, run, and bike through the Adirondack region for the Lake Placid Ironman Triathlon. The Lake Placid event is the second oldest race location in the Ironman series, and one of the most popular. Contestants participating will undergo a grueling competition; the triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike, and a 26.2-mile run. » Continue Reading.
Saying the agency was “acting to protect natural resources and to curtail illegal and unsafe activities,” the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced it has relocated six campsites closer to main roads and will not reopen the gates at the Hudson River Special Management Area (HRSMA) of the Lake George Wild Forest. The gates, only recently installed to limit the area’s roads during spring mud season, will remain closed until further notice. “Unfortunately, due to funding reductions resulting from the state’s historic budget shortfall, DEC is, as previously announced, unable to maintain many of the roads in HRSMA and must keep the gates closed until the budget situation changes,” a DEC statement said. Also known as the “Hudson River Rec Area” or the “Buttermilk Area,” the HRSMA is a 5,500-acre section of forest preserve located on the eastern shore of the Hudson River, straddling the boundary of the towns of Lake Luzerne and Warrensburg in Warren County. Designated “Wild Forest” under the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, HRSMA is a popular location for camping, swimming, picnicking, boating, tubing, horseback riding, hiking, hunting and fishing. The Hudson River Rec Area has been a popular spot for late-night parties, littering, and other abuses.
Six campsites (# 6-11) have been relocated due to vandalism and overuse. Campsites #6, 7, 8, and 10 and 11 are relocated in the vicinity of the old sites and just a short walk from the parking areas. Parking for each of these sites is provided off Buttermilk Road. Site 9 has been relocated to the Bear Slide Access Road providing an additional accessible campsite in the HRSMA for visitors with mobility disabilities. Site 11 is located off Gay Pond Road, which is currently closed to motor vehicle traffic.
Signs have been posted identifying parking locations for the sites and markers have been hung to direct campers to the new campsite locations. Camping is permitted at designated sites only – which are marked with “Camp Here” disks.
Gay Pond Road (3.8 mi.) and Buttermilk Road Extension (2.1 mi.) are temporarily closed to all public motor vehicle access. Pikes Beach Access Road (0.3 mi.) and Scofield Flats Access Road (0.1 mi.) may still be accessed by motor vehicle by people with disabilities holding CP3 permits. As in the past, the Bear Slides Access Road and Darlings Ford are closed to motor vehicle use by the general public but will remain open for non-motorized access by the general public and motorized access by people with disabilities holding a CP-3 permit.
Currently eight campsites designed and managed for accessibility remain available to people with mobility disabilities. All of the designated sites are available to visitors who park in the designated parking areas and arrive by foot or arrive by canoe.
DEC Forest Rangers will continue to educate users, enforce violations of the law, ensure the proper and safe use of the area, and remind visitors that:
* Camping and fires are permitted at designated sites only;
* Cutting of standing trees, dead or alive, is prohibited;
* Motor vehicles are only permitted on open roads and at designated parking areas;
* “Pack it in, pack it out” – take all garbage and possessions with you when you leave; and
* A permit is required from the DEC Forest Ranger if you are camping more than 3 nights or have 10 or more people in your group.
Additional information, and a map of the Hudson River Special Management Area, may be found on the DEC website.
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to editor Melissa Hart.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.