Spencer Morrissey’s goal is to hike all of the Adirondacks mountains that are open to the public, or that he’s allowed to do through permission of the landowners. He’s counted 1,817 possible peaks.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation has been grappling with how to deal with the increasing number of hikers in the High Peaks in recent years. I wrote a series of articles about the subject last year, and we will continue to report on the issue again this summer. Above are some photos that illustrate some of the problems in the High Peaks but also some of the reasons why they are so popular.
In May, I met up with Dave LaMountain at the Flume on the West Branch of the Ausable River in Wilmington. LaMountain demonstrated how he uses drones to showcase the beauty of the Adirondack Park. He is a believer that drones can co-exist with the Adirondack Park if their usage is limited to noisy frontcountry areas near roads. He doesn’t believe they should be used in Wilderness areas away from roads. Because drones are now becoming more popular, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is currently working on new regulations for drone usage in the Forest Preserve. To find out >>More
Here are some photos that I took in mid-April along the Saranac River. The photos were taken from a few miles downstream of the village of Saranac Lake to Union Falls Dam. This past winter the northern Adirondacks received a significant amount of snow, much of it in mid-March during a storm that dumped more than three feet of snow in places. As a result, spring runoff was strong this year, causing rivers to swell. This was particularly evident at Union Falls Dam, which is pictured above.
In late May, I joined Explorer publisher Tracy Ormsbee and Brendan Wiltse for a hike to Cobble Lookout in Wilmington. During the 2.2-mile round trip hike, Tracy interviewed Brendan for her new Trailblazer column that features people around the Park who are taking leadership roles related to important causes. Brendan is a scientist and an advocate for designating the Boreas Ponds tract in the Central Adirondacks as wilderness. He played a key role in getting young adults involved in the Boreas land classification hearings. Brendan chose this hike for a place to interview because it’s an easy hike with a >>More
This winter, I visited the St. Regis Fire Tower in Paul Smiths with Doug Fitzgerald, who is co-chair of Friends of St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower. The highlight of the trip – which included skiing and snowshoeing – was being on the frosty summit, where the trees and fire tower were covered in a layer of snow and ice. It was extremely scenic and photogenic. This type of experience is one of the main reasons I live in the Adirondacks. I love to get outside, explore, and experience the natural world firsthand. Often, I try to capture the moments with >>More
Scientists are trying to understand how salmon are impacted by alewives, an invasive species that has become a main source of food for salmon, a keystone predator that eats smaller fish.
Snowshoers can enjoy a wild panorama from the newly restored fire tower on St. Regis Mountain. By Mike Lynch As we neared the summit of St. Regis Mountain this past January, the conditions changed dramatically. Tree limbs—caked in snow and ice—hung down over the trail, and as we walked crouched through the tangle of branches, snow cascaded upon us. “Most of the time I go past that rock outcropping, I feel like I’m home free,” said Doug Fitzgerald, co-chairman of Friends of St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower. “Not today.” The conditions slowed our travel, but the scenic beauty more than >>More
Bear encounters in the backcountry and in residential areas were much more common than usual during the summer of 2016 in the Adirondack Park.
Observers say more money is needed to repair and maintain an antiquated network of hiking routes. By MIKE LYNCH When many of the High Peaks’ trails were cut more than a century ago, the work was done by guides and hired hands. Keene Valley’s Orson “Old Mountain” Phelps created the first trail up Mount Marcy in 1861; Verplanck Colvin’s survey workers cut routes up Algonquin and Dix in the late 1800s; and Henry Van Hoevenberg developed a trail system for the Adirondack Lodge (as it was then spelled). The early trails opened up the High Peaks to more people and laid the groundwork for today’s trail system, but some of the original trails continue to >>More