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Adirondack Explorer

June, 2018

Split Rock Wildway: Scouting the Adirondack Park’s Most Diverse Wildlife Corridor
Author: John Davis

Review by: Tim Rowland

It’s not entirely out of the question that Adirondack history will one day associate John Davis with wildlife in the same manner that it associates Bob Marshall with mountains. Through Herculean physical exploits, the formation of advocacy groups, and incessant PR, Marshall showed that the oft-exploited wilderness was deserving of our protection and respect, both for its sake and ours. Davis, a resident of Essex in the Champlain Valley, blazes much the same trail as it pertains to animals, reptiles, birds, fish, amphibians and (most) insects. His cause célèbre is an American network of forested corridors that would restore ancestral >>More


March, 2018

Fishing the Adirondacks: A Complete Angler’s Guide to the Adirondack Park and Northern New York
Author: Spider Rybaak

Review by: Tim Rowland

Fish, being creatures of habit, usually return to the same hole. Anglers, being creatures of habit, do too. Yet the Adirondacks has in the neighborhood of thirty thousand miles of rivers and streams, and three thousand ponds and lakes, so men and women who like to fish hardly have an excuse for not exploring some new waters every now and again. But where to start? Simply listing all the waters in the Adirondacks and environs would be a daunting task, but parsing the vagaries of each individual fishery is a job sure to wear a lot of rubber off the >>More


December, 2017

Exploring architecture
Author: Janet A. Null & Richard Longstreth

Review by: Neal Burdick

Two things can be said for Adirondack architecture. It’s eclectic, to put it mildly. And there is no distinctly Adirondack style. Oh, we talk about rustic, but that’s as much a décor and an invention of modern real-estate agents, curators, and retailers. Those are some of the conclusions that can be drawn from two new books that not only discuss architecture in the Adirondacks in considerable detail, but also help you find it. Neither Janet Null’s The Adirondack Architecture Guide: South-Central Region nor Richard Longstreth’s A Guide to Architecture in the Adirondacks is what you might expect of a typical >>More


September, 2017

Big, Wild, and Connected: Scouting an Eastern Wildway from the Everglades to Quebec
Author: John Davis

Review by: Tim Rowland

The mission of John Davis is not entirely dissimilar to that of the biblical Noah. Davis is out to protect a broad platform of species in an unconventional way that faces both long odds and more than a few arched eyebrows. The central idea is that up and down the lands that parallel the Eastern Seaboard there are insular swatches of wilderness large enough to serve as habitats for big predators, such as cougars and wolves. Davis, and conservationists like him, would see these parks and forests connected in a way that would sustain a population of wolves and allow >>More


August, 2017

Western Trails
Author: Norman Landis and Bradley A. Pendergraft

Review by: Phil Brown

With this year’s publication of Western Trails, the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) completed the most recent overhaul of its Forest Preserve Series of hiking guidebooks—and the club is already hard at work on the next edition of the series. ADK’s hiking guidebooks used to divide the Adirondack Park into six regions. The club has pared that down to four regions (still covering the entire Park). In addition, ADK continues to publish a separate guidebook for the Northville-Placid Trail. The regions have been reconfigured to coincide with National Geographic’s Trails Illustrated maps for the Adirondacks. Western Trails, for example, describes the trails in the >>More


May, 2017

American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of New York
Author: Corey Finger

Review by: John Thaxton

High praise for bird book   Beautifully produced and lavishly illustrated, the American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of New York covers 285 of the 485 bird species recorded in the state, and it includes a complete checklist of all the species ever seen, including those that have gone extinct or are sighted extremely rarely. The book strikes me as an excellent guide for beginning and moderately experienced birders, a casual, well-written hybrid of a field/where-to-see-birds guide. Born in Saugerties and now living in Queens, Corey Finger knows New York State well. His book includes thirty-eight pages of introductory >>More


November, 2016

12 Adventures on New State Lands: Exploring the Finch, Pruyn Tracts
Author: Phil Brown

Review by: John Pitarresi

Chances are good that you’ve never seen Pine Lake. Or OK Slip Falls. You can now. Pine Lake and OK Slip Falls are two natural gems of the Adirondack Park that until recently had rarely been visited by the general public. New York State’s historic purchase of sixty-five thousand acres of former Finch, Pruyn & Company timberlands from the Nature Conservancy has put them into the public domain. But how do you get to them? What can you do once you get there? Phil Brown has the answers. 12 Adventures on New State Lands: Exploring the Finch, Pruyn Tracts is >>More


September, 2016

Back from the brink
Author: Darryl McGrath

Review by: Edward Kanze

Book Review By EDWARD KANZE We all see things differently. My distinguished writer friend the late Maurice Kenny and I argued on more than one occasion over what sorts of books we like. I provoked the debate, asserting that given a choice between a brilliantly written book with not much at its core and a book of fabulous material presented in pedestrian prose, I’d choose the fabulous and the pedestrian every time. Maurice, a champion of fine writing and a gifted writer himself, disagreed, vehemently. I wish, when we last crossed swords, I had Darryl McGrath’s Flight Paths to thump >>More


September, 2016

Bouldering comes of age
Author: Justin Sanford

Review by: Phil Brown

By PHIL BROWN Years ago I often used to see a line of cars parked along McKenzie Pond Road outside Saranac Lake and wonder why they were there. There was no trailhead there, no house, just nondescript woods. Eventually, I learned that those woods harbored a collection of giant boulders and that people would drive for hours to climb them. Not just any people, but hard-core climbers willing to abrade their fingertips on tiny crimps, strain their biceps on overhanging rock, and curse the sky as they labor up routes that are often less than ten feet long. That is, >>More


June, 2016

What makes Alex tick?
Author: Alex Honnold with David Roberts

Review by: R.L. Stolz

BOOK REVIEW By R.L. STOLZ For many folks, the mere notion of climbing a sheer cliff, rising vertically for hundreds—or perhaps thousands—of feet, is the stuff of nightmares. Doing so without a rope, or at breakneck speed, fully understanding that your first mistake will almost certainly be your last, is simply beyond comprehension. Welcome to Alex Honnold’s world. Written from the perspective of the world’s consummate adventure athlete, Honnold’s new book, Alone on the Wall, walks the reader through a series of first-person accounts of his most mind-boggling accomplishments. In April 2008 he stunned the climbing world by soloing the 1,200-foot- all Moonlight Buttress in Zion National Park without a rope. His ascent >>More