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


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

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


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


November, 2009

Adirondack Trails with Tales
Author: Russell Dunn and Barbara Delaney

Review by: Neal Burdick

There are lots of Adirondack trail guides. And there are lots of Adirondack history books. But there aren’t many books that do both equally well. Licensed guides Russell Dunn and Barbara Delaney have successfully achieved this merger with Adirondack Trails with Tales. The subtitle, History Hikes through the Adirondack Park and the Lake George, Lake Champlain and Mohawk Valley Regions (aside from the quibble that two of those three regions are mostly in the Adirondack Park) gives us a good idea of what we’ll find between these covers. And what we find are over two dozen hikes that are redolent >>More


November, 2009

Dog Hikes in the Adirondacks
Author: Annie Stoltie and Elizabeth Ward

Review by: Phil Brown

Let the dogs out You love walking in the woods and you love your dog, so naturally you love walking in the woods with your dog. And your dog loves it, too—as long as you pick the right trail. But with hundreds of trails in the Adirondack Park, where to start? You’ll find some suggestions in Dog Hikes in the Adirondacks: 20 Trails to Enjoy with Your Best Friend, recently released by Shaggy Dog Press. Several Adirondack writers, editors, and photographers contributed to the book without compensation. Proceeds will go to animal shelters and humane societies in the North Country. >>More


May, 2008

Northville-Placid Trail
Author: Jeffrey and Donna Case

Review by: RICK KARLIN

No one knows the Northville-Placid Trail better than Jeffrey and Donna Case. They have hiked it each spring for more than 20 years, so it’s only natural that they would be called on to rewrite the Adirondack Mountain Club’s guidebook for the 132-mile trail. ADK released a new edition late last year, the first update in 13 years. It has been thoroughly rewritten to reflect changes in the route and mileage counts. “We went through it from stem to stern,” said John Kettlewell, the club’s publications director. For example, the bridge at Sampson Bog, between Spruce Lake and West Canada >>More


May, 2002

Views from on High: Fire Tower Trails in the Adirondacks and Catskills
Author: John P. Freeman with Wesley H. Hayes

Review by: RICK KARLIN

My first view from an Adirondack summit was at the tower on Goodnow Mountain near Newcomb, and I can still recall the thrill. I was 11 or 12, and some friends and I were staying at a summer camp on Long Lake. The tower, maintained by the state College of Environmental Science and Forestry, offers a spectacular view of the High Peaks from the south. These days, hikers will find pamphlets at the parking lot that can be referred to at numbered stops along the trail to learn about the mountain’s natural history. We happy campers did a lot more >>More


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