Falcon Guides releases new editions of two hiking books by Lisa Densmore Ballard.
I’ve hiked Goodnow Mountain only once before, while working on my guidebook Hiking the Adirondacks. I wonder if anything has changed in the five years since.
By Tom Woodman Larry Master walks slowly along the paths on his property. There’s much to take in as he shows a visitor around and plenty of time to open the senses to the natural world. Tracks in the soft spring snow are mostly red squirrel, snowshoe hare, and coyote. There are a few from turkeys and deer. The coyote tracks curve back and forth across the paths and swing by a beaver lodge along the West Branch of the Ausable River. Just checking. The squirrel tracks are straight and purposeful lines, the shortest distance between the woods on either >>More
Climbers put up more than a hundred new routes on huge cliffs opened to the public after the purchase of IP timberlands. By Phil Brown Over the past two decades, the state has purchased conservation easements on some 750,000 acres in the Adirondack Park. These timberlands are protected from development, and many of them are open to the public for recreation. In theory, at least. In reality, most visitors to the Adirondacks seldom, if ever, set foot on easement lands. Partly, that’s because they don’t know where they can go or what they can do. The cliffs on Silver Lake >>More
Two paddlers explore one of the Adirondacks’ largest motor-free lakes, discovering tranquility, beautiful scenery, and a few loons. By Ethan Rouen Sitting in a canoe surrounded by nine miles of water always feels dramatic, but sharing those nine miles with no one but your paddling partner and the occasional loon is transcendent. It was 7:30 on a weeknight, and my wife, Kim, and I had been paddling from the Bog River through Lows Lake for almost eight hours. Moments before, I was a bit panicked. We (okay, I) had lost our map several miles back, and the campsite where >>More
Judge rules that ‘Explorer’ editor did not trespass when he paddled through private property, but the landowners plan to appeal. By Kenneth Aaron The owners of a scenic, remote Adirondack waterway plan to appeal a judge’s decision declaring that the route is open to paddlers under the common-law public right of navigation. In February, State Supreme Court Justice Richard T. Aulisi said the Friends of Thayer Lake and the Brandreth Park Association had created a public nuisance by posting no-trespassing signs and stringing cables across the contested waterway. The judge dismissed all the complaints against Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown, >>More
The state needs to do much more to protect shorelines, uplands, and the privately owned backcountry. By Philip Terrie In the Adirondacks, we often point with pride to the extraordinary oddness of the Adirondack Park. From Manhattan’s Central Park to California’s Yosemite, Americans have gotten used to parks with neat boundaries enclosing a domain wholly owned by the people. Because the land within the boundary is public and that outside private, when you walk or drive across that boundary, you’ve gone from one sort of place to another. You have certain expectations outside that boundary, which are different from >>More
Agency says the public has the right to travel on a disputed stretch of Shingle Shanty Brook. By Phil Brown Weighing in on a long-running controversy, the state Department of Environmental Conservation says the public has the right to paddle through private land on Shingle Shanty Brook and adjoining waterways that connect two pieces of state land in the Whitney Wilderness. What’s more, DEC has ordered the landowners to remove cables and no-trespassing signs intended to deter the public from paddling the waterways. DEC issued the order after failing to reach an agreement with the landowners—the Brandreth Park Association and >>More
Fight over Finch lands / 6 Environmentalists fault DEC’s plan for the Essex Chain of Lakes, saying the region should be a motor-free Wilderness. Skiing to a wild river / 12 Tom Woodman hooks up with a pair of locals to ski through the woods near Cranberry Lake to the Oswegatchie Flow. Backcountry cruise / 14 If you ever wanted to ski off a summit, you won’t find an easier one than Moose River Mountain near Old Forge. Designing the Park / 16 Critics say the land-use regulations need to be updated to reflect modern principles of “smart growth.” Clear-cut >>More
By Tom Woodman Part way through a presentation on a North Country Sustainability Study in January, an audience member commented: “The days of environmentalism and economic development being strange bedfellows are long gone. Now they work together.” Sadly this was an overstatement—in many cases development efforts are not compatible with sound environmental policy. But this hopeful person did put his finger on an encouraging trend. Planners are recognizing that environmental-protection efforts are themselves economic opportunities. It’s an awareness that underlies the approach the leaders of the sustainability study have taken. Building on work begun following a climate-change conference in the >>More