On Page 65 of this excellent biography is a photograph of Howard Zahniser in front of Hanging Spear Falls, on the Opalescent River. Snapped by the Adirondack conservationist Paul Schaefer in 1946, it provides a compelling visual reminder of the role of the Adirondacks in the story of wilderness preservation in the United States. Zahniser was the prime mover behind the national Wilderness Act, signed by President Lyndon Johnson on September 3, 1964—a watershed moment in American environmental history. And Zahniser’s thinking about wilderness and its preservation was shaped in critical ways by his admiration for the Adirondack Forest Preserve. >>More
Wilderness Forever: Howard Zahniser and the Path to the Wilderness ActAuthor: Mark Harvey
Short Treks in the Adirondacks and BeyondAuthor: Dennis Aprill
Dennis Aprill has come out with another book for people looking to hike outside the High Peaks. His first guidebook, Paths Less Traveled, focused on smaller mountains (less than 2,800 feet). Short Treks takes the concept a step further, describing 20 easy hikes that require no summit climbing. Silver Lake Bog, the Hudson Gorge, Lampson Falls, Fernow Forest and Pine Orchard are some of the destinations. The book includes maps, photographs and blank journal pages to document your own adventures.
Two in the WildernessAuthor: Sandra Weber
In her fifth work about the Adirondacks, author Sandra Weber has written a children’s book about her adventures in the High Peaks with her 11-year-old daughter, Marcy. The two trekked 60 miles over 11 days, climbing Mount Marcy and Mount Marshall, hiking to Indian Pass and Avalanche Pass, and camping at Duck Hole. They were not alone: The ubiquitous Carl Heilman II took color photos every step of the way. This well-designed book also contains old-time illustrations, sidebars on Adirondack history (natural and human), and snippets from Marcy’s journal.
Adirondack WeatherAuthor: Jerome S. Thaler
According to a North American meteorology book I once had, the United States is affected by 13 storm tracks, and 10 of them are capable of working their nastiness in one manner or another on the Adirondacks. Perhaps that is why, as the popular saying goes, if you don’t like the weather around here, wait five minutes. While you’re waiting, read Adirondack Weather, a new book from Jerome S. Thaler. You’ll discover that no matter how weird the weather might be at the moment, at some point in the not-so-distant past it was doing something even weirder, more extreme and/or >>More
The Forestport BreaksAuthor: Michael Doyle
The Black River flows southwest from the Adirondacks, draining North Lake. It takes a sharp turn at Forestport to continue northwest outside the Adirondack Park. I had to convince the Explorer that a review of Michael Doyle’s The Forestport Breaks really belonged in an Adirondack magazine. It does, because the history of Forestport, with its sawmills, tanneries and exploitation of the region’s waterways, cannot be disentangled from the history of the Adirondack Park. Located just outside the Blue Line, Forestport struggled for survival, just as many small towns in the Adirondacks. Better yet, the book places Adirondack waters in the >>More
Birds of New York StateAuthor: Robert E. Budliger & Gregory Kennedy
Who needs another bird book? Adirondack birdwatchers, and birders elsewhere in North America, have good reason these days to feel as if they’ve been thrust into an Alfred Hitchcock film. Bird books! Bird books! Everywhere we turn, new ones batter our senses, flashing pretty covers, darkening horizons by their sheer menacing numbers, clamoring for our attention and our cash. Ever since Knopf published its runaway bestseller The Sibley Guide to Birds in 2000, publishers have been targeting the disposable income of birdwatchers in the same spirit that a barred owl scrutinizes mice. Visit a bookstore or Web bookseller and see >>More
All in a Day’s Work: Scenes and Stories from an Adirondack Medical PracticeAuthor: Daniel Way, M.D.
Every once in a great while a book comes along that gives me so much pleasure that when I reach the end I want to start again at the beginning. Such a book is Daniel Way’s All in a Day’s Work: Scenes and Stories from an Adirondack Medical Practice, published jointly in 2004 by Syracuse University Press and the North Creek Railway Depot Preservation Association. I didn’t expect this book to wow me. It came to me out of the blue, as a gift, and after an initial browse, two things struck me. First, sampling a few pages, I found >>More
Adirondack: Of Indians and MountainsAuthor: Stephen Sulavik
Let’s say you’re like me, and when you pick up a new book one of the first things you do is to prowl around in the index. Try that with Stephen Sulavik’s new volume Adirondack: Of Indians and Mountains, 1535-1838, co-published this spring by Purple Mountain Press and the Adirondack Museum, and you will stumble across tongue-twisters like Achkokx, annienerouonon, Aticq and atirú:taks. And that’s just in the A’s. You will quickly realize that this is a work not be taken lightly. Indeed, Sulavik (a doctor who teaches at the Yale University School of Medicine) has put together a compelling >>More
Lyon Mountain The Tragedy of a Mining TownAuthor: Lawrence P. Gooley
A stretcher and a bobsled repose in Lyon Mountain’s former train station, which is slowly undergoing restoration for a museum. Both were made from ore wrested from the ground beneath. Together they symbolize how the people of this mining town worked and played on the edge. The bobsled, dubbed “Iron Shoes,” would have carried its Lyon Mountain team in the 1940 Winter Olympics had not war in Europe canceled the games. The stretcher was called into service whenever a miner was injured or killed on the job; judging from the research Lawrence P. Gooley has done for his new book, >>More
Wandering HomeAuthor: Bill McKibben
Wandering Home is Bill McKibben’s 10th book, and a most companionable and schmoozy read it is. The story tracks a 16-day summer hike from the summit of Vermont’s Mount Abraham, with its westward-reaching view of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains beyond, to his home of 20 years in Johnsburg in the southeastern Adirondacks. In defiance of the travel writer’s usual custom of hewing to one state, parkland or nameable region, McKibben makes the great lake a hinge that binds the long lands on either side of it into a “cultureshed” bounded not by the cartography of politics but by >>More