Posts Tagged ‘Trails – Access – Navigation Rights’

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Navigation Rights Arguments Heard in Fulton Court

Was Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown trespassing when he paddled through private land abutting the state-owned Whitney Wilderness in 2009?

Or did he have a right to be there because the waters he canoed are navigable and provide a useful link between parcels of public land?

The question rests with State Supreme Court Justice Richard T. Aulisi, who heard arguments on the case Friday in Johnstown.
» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Upper Hudson Wilderness Area Proposed

Protect the Adirondacks has released a proposal calling for the creation of a new 39,000-acre Upper Hudson River Wilderness Area. This proposed new Wilderness Area would be centered on 22 miles of the Upper Hudson River that stretches from the Town of Newcomb to North River and would include over five miles of the Cedar River and four miles of the Indian River as well as dozens of other lakes and ponds.

The new Wilderness Area would be created from roughly 19,000 acres of former Finch Paper lands to be purchased by the State of New York from The Nature Conservancy and 20,000 acres of existing Forest Preserve lands in the Hudson Gorge Primitive Area (17,000 acres) and in the Blue Mountain and Vanderwhacker Wild Forest Areas (3,000 acres). » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Private Property:
Oliver’s War, Brandon Park and Paddling Rights

If New York State’s highest court issued a ruling tomorrow that said, “We are mindful that this interpretation deprives the public at large … of the pleasure and profit of fishing and hunting in a very large portion of the Adirondack forest, and gives to men of great wealth, who can buy vast tracts of land, great protection in the enjoyment of their private privileges,” what would your reaction be? Indignation? Outrage? Rebellion? Would you march on Albany? (Or here’s a novel solution … secede!)

Well, relax, there’s nothing to worry about. That ruling was issued 109 years ago and has been in place ever since. The story comes to mind for two reasons: the recent offer for sale of Brandon Park, and the lawsuit against Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown for trespassing. » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 12, 2012

New Moxham Mountain Trail A Scenic Treat

I have driven past Moxham Mountain in Minerva many times and admired its cliffs from afar. Back in the seventies and eighties, rock climbers put up more than a dozen routes on these steep slabs, but because the approach crosses private land, Moxham was omitted from the most recent climbing guidebook.

That must be frustrating for climbers, especially since most of Moxham Mountain lies within the public Forest Preserve. But even though you can’t scale the cliffs, you can enjoy the view from the summit, thanks to a new trail that ascends Moxham on state land from the other side of the mountain.

The Student Conservation Association built the 2.7-mile trail in July under the auspices of the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Starting on a dirt road on the north side of the mountain, the trail goes over a hill, descends to a beaver meadow, and goes up a narrow ridge to Moxham’s 2,361-foot summit.

When I did the hike in August, I wasn’t expecting much in the way of views during the climb, but I was happy to be proven wrong. » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Barkeater Trail Alliance Makes Tracks

I’m following Keith McKeever and his friends up a mountain-bike trail on a bright summer afternoon. The trail climbs smoothly but unrelentingly as it switchbacks up the side of Winch Mountain in Wilmington.

I’m feeling good at first, legs spinning, tires grabbing the soil. But after a few minutes I start to feel an ache in my chest, my breathing gets more labored, and my speed falters. Soon I come to a stop. Sweat drips off my forehead as I hunch over the handlebars and re-oxygenate my lungs.

Keith looks back as he turns up the next switchback. “Nice job!” he yells. “You’re almost halfway up.” Then he disappears around the bend. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Shingle Shanty Paddling Suit Advances

The landowners suing Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown for trespass say he’s just the latest in a long line of people who have tried to pry open closed waters for public use, and if he succeeds, they argue, he will weaken traditional standards of property rights.

In a legal memorandum filed in late September, Dennis Phillips, the attorney for the Friends of Thayer Lake and the Brandreth Park Association, asserts that Brown is carrying the flag for a small band of paddling fanatics, including members of the Sierra Club, who would open just about every stream in New York State to canoes and kayaks.
» Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

A New Trail To Jay Mountain Ridge

A newly constructed 2.5-mile trail to the western end of the Jay Mountain Ridge is complete and available for public use the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced. The trail bypasses the steep and eroded sections of an existing herd path that had been the primary access to mountain’s summit.

“The new Jay Mountain trail is safer and easier to hike and will allow more people to hike to the summit and enjoy the views. It should also serve to attract more visitors to the nearby communities of Jay, Elizabethtown, Keene and Keene Valley,” DEC Regional Director Robert Stegemann said in a statement issued to the press.
» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More Adirondack Volunteers Sought

The Adirondack Park has a few thousand miles of trails, but few were designed for biking. The Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA) is trying to change that.

A group of passionate mountain bikers, BETA has developed dozens of trails in the Wilmington, Lake Placid, and Saranac Lake region and dreams of connecting them so visitors someday will be able to ride all day without their rubber hitting pavement.

BETA is one of several volunteer organizations in the Adirondacks Park that help make the park user-friendly. Others that jump to mind include Lean2Rescue, the Adirondack Forty-Sixers, and the Adirondack Ski Touring Council. » Continue Reading.


Friday, August 17, 2012

New State Lands: Sugarloaf Promises Sweet Climbing

The cliffs on Sugarloaf Mountain in the Adirondack Park.Paddlers and hikers are excited about the impending acquisition of the former Finch, Pruyn lands for the Forest Preserve, and understandably so. Over the next five years, a number of natural treasures will become public, such as OK Slip Falls, the Essex Chain of Lakes, Boreas Ponds, and stretches of the Hudson and Opalescent rivers.

But rock climbers also have something to be excited about: Sugarloaf Mountain.

Rising above Cedar River Road west of Indian Lake, Sugarloaf sports a massive cliff that, I’m told, offers some of the best slab climbing in the Adirondacks. Judging from the aerial photo at the end of this article, which I took a few years ago, I’m guessing the cliff is at least a half-mile long. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

USGS Digitized Map Project Nearly Complete

For more than 125 years, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the largest producer of printed topographic maps, has portrayed the complex geography of the nation. Prior to 2009, USGS topographic maps were created using traditional cartographic methods and printed using the lithographic printing process.

Now the USGS National Geospatial Program is nearing completion of the conversion of these these historical printed topographic quadrangles to an electronic format (GeoPDF). The scanning and processing effort serves the dual purpose of creating a master catalog and digital archive copies of the irreplaceable collection of topographic maps in the USGS Reston Map Library, as well as making the maps available for viewing and download online.
» Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lost Brook Dispatches: Revitalizing Tupper Lake

Amy and I have just returned from two magnificent weeks on Lost Brook Tract.  It was everything we could want and more, pure glory.  I am still digesting the experience, not yet ready to write about it.

In the meantime I had prepared a set of Dispatches to run while we were gone so that you, dear readers, would not have the weekly streak interrupted.  I came off the land revitalized, ready to respond to any comments and rejoin the fray.  But as my columns were hardly controversial or provocative there were few comments to read (yes Catharus, looking for Bicknell’s up top is on our priority list).  No comments?  That’s no fun!   So this time I decided to write a column with a topic guaranteed to produce a reaction: revitalizing Tupper Lake.  I was motivated in part by the vitriol evident in a posting on the same topic just days ago. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Popular Boat Launch Overhaul Planned Near High Peaks

The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) have announced a plan to update the popular Second Pond Boat Launch on Route 3 in Harrietstown, part of a 10.5-acre Intensive Use Area that provides key access to the Saranac Lakes. A part of the plan includes a land swap with the adjacent High Peaks Wilderness Area.

The DEC is planning to rebuild and expand the boat launch and resurface the parking area, including the addition of a new firewood storage building, the removal of an old cabin, and the construction of a new registration booth and invasive species kiosk. According to press reports a boat washing station, considered important to prevent the spread of invasive species by boaters, was not included in the plan. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Volunteers Headed to Adirondacks for National Trails Day

Dozens of Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) volunteers will be heading to the southern Adirondacks for National Trails Day on Saturday, June 2.

Under the leadership of ADK’s trail professionals, volunteers will work on trail maintenance projects in the Ferris Lake and Shaker Mountain wild forests near Caroga Lake. Workers will clear drainage ditches, trim brush, remove blown-down trees and perform other maintenance work on six hiking trails. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lost Brook Dispatches: Trailblazing

Of all the deep, wild urges rooting around in my head (god knows there is a subject that could turn away scores of readers), said urges being imbued in every way with the powerful, primeval pull of the Adirondack landscape, the strongest has always been trailblazing.

The fantasy of traveling on foot into parts unknown, marking a path like a scout of lore, has been the adventure that has most fired my imagination and passion. It is simply the most romantic thing of which I can conceive. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chainsaw Training on Sunday Near Albany

The Northville-Placid Trail Chapter of Adirondack Mountain Club is sponsoring a NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) approved 3-hour chain saw safety course on Sunday, April 29th, from noon to 3pm in Colonie, near Albany. This is the course that is required as a minimum chain saw training to obtain a chain saw certification for chain saw use on state land. This is for trail stewards and other trail workers who have chain saws and want to use them during the chain saw window from April 1 to May 24th each year.

the training will be held at the Littles Lake cabin in Colonie, at the south west corner of Route 377 (Van Rensselaer Blvd) and Route 378. Participants should bring their chain saws and safety equipment. The training will include outside hands on training. The cost is $30 and participants will receive a certificate of training to provide to the DEC forester for your section along with your first aid, blood borne pathogens and cpr certifications (not being provided at this course) that are needed for chain saw use on state land.

If you plan on attending contact Tom Wemett, Chair of the NPTrail Chapter at [email protected], or call 518-524-8875.