There aren’t many Nordic ski routes where you can gauge your progress by mileage markers. The exception, I learned last weekend, is the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway.
When the state repaved the highway recently, it installed highway reference markers along the shoulder. These are the small rectangular signs on metal posts that you see along state-maintained roads every tenth or two-tenths of a mile. Usually they’re green, but those on the Whiteface highway are brown. » Continue Reading.
The Wilmington Wild Forest management plan was completed in October 2005. The plan provided for the design and construction of multiple-use recreational trails. Over the past 10 years these trails have been built.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is now planning to amend the Wilmington Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) to reroute some trails, add others, build two more parking lots and more. Public comments are being accepted through January 22, 2016.
The Draft Plan Amendment and a copy of the presentation made to the Adirondack Park Agency by the DEC are available online.
A new kind of culvert is being installed on an Ausable River tributary in Wilmington. The project is part of a initiative led by the Ausable River Association (AsRA) and the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (the Conservancy) to improve stream connectivity, fish habitat, and community flood resilience in the Ausable watershed by replacing road-stream crossings with designs engineered to allow for natural stream pattern and flow. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Wildlife and Wildlands Network will host a Wolf Activist Workshop at the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge in Wilmington in Thursday, September 3rd. Kathy Henley of Wildlands Network, who will moderate the discussions, said the event will focus on direct action in support of wildlife.
Among the topics expected to be discussed are a general introduction to wolf ecology and behavior in the northeast, the uniqueness of why the eastern coyote/coywolf, successful campaigns that include meeting with elected officials, and using letter writing and social media for advocacy. » Continue Reading.
On Saturday an Adirondack Diversity Symposium will be held in Newcomb as part of an effort to make the Adirondacks more attractive to people of diverse backgrounds.
In July, one family celebrated it’s sixtieth anniversary of doing just that – introducing inner city youth to the wonders of nature and, in so doing, helping them on a path towards a healthy and rewarding future. » Continue Reading.
With a mix of road bike, mountain bike, uphill, downhill, serious competition and family fun, the annual Wilmington Whiteface Bike Fest is set for June 5 – 7, 2015.
The weekend begins on Friday, when spectators will enjoy stunts, jumps and tricks at the Wilmington Bike Park as Krushers Stunt Team, from Montreal, Quebec, return for the free jump jam and trials exhibition. Other events Friday evening include Sam Perkins and Carsinn Wilson performing bike acrobatics. The jump jam will be followed by the popular annual welcome party featuring music, raffles, prizes and the competitive Best Calves contest. » Continue Reading.
The Ausable River Association is concerned that an enormous pile of ice below the Wilmington Dam could exacerbate spring flooding and may have hurt the trout population.
The ice pile on the West Branch of the AuSable River was created in recent weeks by construction crews working to replace the Wilmington Bridge, built in 1934 and located just upstream. The crews broke up ice and moved it below the dam in order to create open water so they could work off river barges. » Continue Reading.
Wilmington is gaining a reputation as a mountain-bike mecca, but what’s less well known is that many of the biking trails in town make great ski trails.
Mike Lynch, a writer/photographer with the Adirondack Explorer, and I learned this firsthand when we skied a trail called Poor Man’s Downhill with Keith McKeever this week.
Keith happens to be the spokesman for the Adirondack Park Agency, but he also is active in the Barkeater Trail Alliance (BETA), a group of mountain bikers that has been creating and maintaining bike trails in Wilmington, Lake Placid, and Saranac Lake. As noted in an earlier article on Adirondack Almanack this week, BETA recently merged with the Adirondack Ski Touring Council. » Continue Reading.
The Route 86 bridge over the West Branch of the Ausable River in Wilmington, Essex County, will be closed starting on Monday, March 2 for a bridge replacement project. The NYS Department of Transportation is expected to post signs alerting residents and visitors that businesses near the bridge are open. The bridge will also be closed to pedestrians during the closure period. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency’s promise to consider allowing mountain biking in the Essex Chain Lakes Primitive Area has generated a broader discussion – with much disagreement – of the place of bikes in the Forest Preserve.
The Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan allows bikes on trails in tracts classified as Wild Forest Areas but prohibits them in Wilderness Areas. They are allowed in Primitive Areas only on old roads used by state officials for managing natural resources. » Continue Reading.
The winter blanket covering Wilmington last weekend looked decidedly more threadbare, even crusty, than the crippling snows covering Buffalo. Maybe the new season here couldn’t decide exactly when to begin – and so it heaved a resigned sigh rather than a consummate barbaric yawp. YAWP! I whooped aloud in the pre-morning haze, hoping to give unto winter what winter had yet to give unto us.
I set out to run as the sun topped the mountains off the back of my right shoulder. Powerful pinks and streaking yellows skirted the elevated horizon, only to be devoured by a familiar cloud cover. From Route 86, I hit the crossroads, the sign to Santa’s Workshop beckoning me up the Toll Road while the knowledge of a hot drink at the Little Supermarket urged me further into town.
I ignored both.
Instead, I kept on the straight trajectory, running up Bonnieview for as long as I felt like it. » Continue Reading.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Robert Stegemann has announced that the Wilmington Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) will be reopened in order to expand mountain biking and snowmobile trails within the Wilmington Wild Forest.
DEC has partnered with local governments and volunteers to build a number of trails and trail systems since the UMP was approved in October 2005. Currently, there are approximately 33 miles of trails with 23 miles open to mountain bikes and eight miles of snowmobile trails – including a connection to the Adirondack/North Country snowmobile trail network. » Continue Reading.
Just in time for the holiday weekend, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is giving rock climbers access again to Moss Cliff, one of the region’s better crags. Moss Cliff had been closed to avoid disturbance of peregrine falcons during nesting season, but DEC has detected no nesting activity on the cliff this year.
Located in Wilmington Notch,the 400-foot cliff towers over Route 86 and the West Branch of the Ausable River. It’s a landmark to motorists, but climbers know it for its clean rock and tough routes. » Continue Reading.
With a mix of uphill, downhill, serious competition and family fun, the 5th Annual Wilmington Whiteface Bike Fest is set for June 20-22. The weekend will feature the Wilmington/Whiteface 50 and 100K mountain bike races, the 13th annual Whiteface Mountain Uphill Bike Race, a beginner mountain bike program, the popular jump jam with the Krusher Stunt Team, a “poor man’s” downhill, beach party, food, games, lives music, a “best calves” contest, and more.
The late, extraordinary forest educator, Dr. Edwin H. Ketchledge, started an exhibit of native Adirondack trees at the base of the Whiteface Memorial Highway in Wilmington, and wrote to all who would listen how important it would be to properly interpret the natural history of the mountain from the base of the road to the mountain’s summit. Of course, Dr. Ketchledge had interpreted this route in hundreds of ways during his career as a teacher, and was hopeful that his legacy would continue.
Governor Andrew Cuomo just made it a lot safer to accomplish Dr. Ketchledge’s vision as a result of the state’s commitment to expend $12 million to rehabilitate the road and the summit’s facilities. This is welcome news indeed for Wilmington, the Olympic Authority and many Adirondack residents and visitors who marvel at what they feel, see and learn from this mountain road. » Continue Reading.
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