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Adirondack Explorer

May, 2013

Adirondacks: A Great Destination
Author: Annie Stoltie

Review by: Neal Burdick

A 5-star travel guide I like to think of myself as fairly knowledgeable about the Adirondacks—not an expert exactly, but I’ve been around for a while. So it was with great relish that I picked up the latest Explorer’s Guides volume on the region (not related to the Explorer you’re reading), hoping to find a mistake, an omission, something—anything—wrong with it. I couldn’t do it. Failed miserably. And that is very frustrating for a self-appointed know-it-all. The book really is about as comprehensive a guide to the Adirondacks as you can find. If it isn’t between these covers, you probably >>More


January, 2013

Life Under the Fast Lane
Author: Tom DuBois

Review by: Phil Brown

The Adirondack Park has its share of guidebooks—for hiking, paddling, birding, fishing, cross-country skiing, you name it. Just when you think the field has been exhausted along comes another. The latest addition to the genre is one I never would have foreseen: a guidebook to the culverts under the Northway. The author, Tom DuBois, is a veteran bushwhacker who likes to scout out remote cliffs for rock climbing. Life Under the Fast Lane grew out of his efforts to find crags in the Dix Mountain Wilderness, Hoffman Notch Wilderness, and other state lands on the west side of the Northway >>More


November, 2012

Discover the Adirondacks
Author: Peter W. Kick

Review by: Phil Brown

THE APPALACHIAN Mountain Club has published a multisport guidebook that contains suggestions for hiking, paddling, and biking in the Adirondack Park. Written by Peter Kick, Discover the Adirondacks covers twenty-six hikes, thirteen canoe trips, and eleven bike rides throughout the Park, with accompanying maps and black-and-white photos. It also includes a number of short essays on natural and human history. With any book like this, you can quibble with the author’s choices. Do we really need to send more people up Mount Jo? Why didn’t he include any paddling trips in the High Peaks Region—such as Henderson Lake or the >>More


November, 2012

High Peak Trails
Author: Tony Goodwin and David Thomas-Train

Review by: Phil Brown

The Adirondack Mountain Club has issued the fourteenth edition of its popular High Peaks Trails guidebook, and some might say it’s bigger and better than ever. No one can dispute that it’s bigger. The new edition measures 5½ inches wide by 8½ inches tall, whereas the previous edition measured 5 by 7. This continues a trend toward larger: the twelfth edition measured roughly 5 by 6¼. It’s part of ADK’s plan to revamp its Forest Preserve series of guidebooks. For years, the club has published six guidebooks that together cover the entire Adirondack Park (in addition to a separate book >>More


November, 2012

Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures
Author: Phil Brown

Review by: Gillian Scott

Long before I went car camping with high school friends, before I discovered the High Peaks, before I explored nature preserves close to my Capital Region home, I saw nature from the middle of a canoe. Nestled next to my brother in my parents’ Grumman, I trailed my fingers in the water and watched the eddies swirl off my mother’s paddle as the shoreline drifted slowly by. I had forgotten the meditative peace found on the water until this summer, when my husband and I tried canoe camping for the first time in the St. Regis Canoe Area in the >>More


September, 2011

The Other 54 A Hiker’s Guide to the Lower 54 Peaks of the Adirondack 100 Highest
Author: Spencer Morrissey

Review by: Phil Brown

What’s a mountain climber to do once he or she has summited the Adirondack Forty-Six, the Catskill Thirty-Five, and the Northeast 115? Create a new list, of course. And so we have the Adirondack Hundred Highest—the obsession of hard-core hikers who don’t mind surrendering a few pints of blood in their quest to stand atop the region’s tallest mountains. The Hundred Highest includes the forty-six High Peaks first climbed by Bob and George Marshall and their guide, Herb Clark, in the first quarter of the last century. All of these peaks now have marked trails or obvious herd paths, so >>More


May, 2011

Best Easy Day Hikes: Adirondacks
Author: Lisa Densmore

Review by: Phil Brown

Saranac Lake native Lisa Densmore has just published her second Adirondack guidebook within the past year: Best Easy Day Hikes: Adirondacks, a selection of twenty-two hikes, most of them under four miles. Densmore chose the hikes from her longer book, Adirondack Hiking, reviewed in the Explorer last fall. The descriptions have been condensed and the photos dispensed with. As a result, the new book is slimmer (126 pages), more compact (4¼ by 7 inches), and less expensive ($9.95). It fi ts easily into a backpack. All of these hikes are worth doing. People may differ on how easy they are, >>More


May, 2011

Thatcher’s Peak Finder for the Northern Adirondacks
Author: Thatcher Hogan

Review by: Tony Goodwin

FOLLOWING UP on his successful “Peak Finder for the Northern Adirondacks,” Thatcher Hogan has produced a Peak Finder for four of the High Peaks plus Mount Jo. The High Peaks are Algonquin Peak, Mount Colden, Phelps Mountain, and Wright Peak. The first Peak Finder covered two other High Peaks, Cascade and Whiteface, plus eight smaller peaks in the northern Adirondacks. Hogan got the idea for the Peak Finder a few years ago after he climbed Owls Head on the northern edge of the Park with his wife and son. The Peak Finder is about the size of a large bookmark >>More


January, 2011

Best Backcountry Skiing in the Northeast
Author: David Goodman

Review by: Phil Brown

In 1987, David Goodman got a dream job for a ski bum trying to survive as a freelance writer: the Appalachian Mountain Club hired him to write a guidebook for backcountry skiing in New England. The following year the club published Classic Backcountry Skiing: A Guide to the Best Ski Tours in New England. Unlike most ski-touring guidebooks, this one focused on down-mountain runs rather than rolling terrain, and it came out just as telemark skiing was enjoying a rebirth. Goodman later expanded his horizons westward, and in 1999, AMC split the book into two volumes, one covering New Hampshire >>More


September, 2010

25 Bicycle Tours in the Lake Champlain Region
Author: Charles Hansen

Review by: Ethan Rouen

For me, there are two best bike rides, the one that I do whenever I can and the one that I will do when I finally have enough time. Charles Hansen lays out both of those rides and twenty- three more in 25 Bicycle Tours in the Lake Champlain Region. The ride I do whenever I can is a challenging fifty-mile, two-state, two-ferry trip that crosses Lake Champlain at Essex and Burlington. It is a perfect ride, a mix of rural roads, good restaurants, and beautiful scenery.The ride I dream of doing goes from the Adirondacks to Montreal, a nine-day >>More