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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


May, 2013

Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of New England & Eastern Alpine Guide
Author: Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman (Kaufman Guide) & M.T. Jones and L.L. Wiley, Editors (Eastern Alpine Guide)

Review by: Ed Kanze

Nature rare and common HOW IS THE INTREPID Adirondack explorer to make sense of all the flora, fauna, and fungi out there? In the past, the typical way was to carry field guides, which, in the grand tradition of nature books, tended to tackle one subject at a time. A generalist wanting greater knowledge of the life along the Van Hoevenberg Trail up Mount Marcy might stuff a pack with guides to birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, trees, shrubs, wildfl owers, ferns, and more. A single field guide might weigh two or three pounds. To carry half a dozen or more >>More


May, 2013

Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians
Author: By Karl B. McKnight, Joseph R. Rohrer, Kirsten McKnight Ward, and Warren J. Perdrizet

Review by: Ed Kanze

A must for moss mavens Field guides don’t get much more specific than the beautiful new Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians, the latest in the excellent series of field guides published by Princeton University Press. The identification of mosses, aside from distinguishing a few easily recognized common species, has long been the exclusive province of botanists specializing in mosses and of a few rabid amateurs. Collecting samples in the field and carting them back to a laboratory, where they are scrutinized under a microscope, has always been an inescapable part of the game. Even most botanists are unwilling >>More


March, 2013

The Untold Story of Champ
Author: Robert Bartholomew

Review by: Neal Burdick

Champ surfaces again Zeuglodon, sauropod, coelacanth, or plesiosaur? Sturgeon or gar pike? Fortuitously sculpted chunk of driftwood, or flock of birds?  Hallucination, perhaps induced by a binge at a lakeside tavern? Or flat-out hoax? The story of Champ, the “Lake Champlain Monster,” has been one of near-religious zeal, unwavering certainty, firm doubts, controversy, bitter rivalries, at least one divorce, financial exhaustion, and shameless marketing spanning more than two hundred years. Robert Bartholomew presents this sometimes funny, sometimes sordid saga in his new book, The Untold Story of Champ: A Social History of America’s Loch Ness Monster. What exactly is “untold” >>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, 2012

Tupper Lake
Author: Jon Kopp

Review by: Nathan Brown

The “Tip Top Town” now has its own entry in the “Images of America” series, depicting the town’s growth from a wilderness outpost to a bustling logging town. Tupper Lake contains hundreds of photos that Jon Kopp, the town historian and former director of the Chamber of Commerce, selected from the archives of the Goff-Nelson Memorial Library and from his own collection. Kopp also wrote the informative captions accompanying the photos. The title is part of a series by Arcadia Publishing, which has released hundreds of books of photographs depicting the history of communities throughout America. Kopp, who owns Wildwood >>More


September, 2012

Great Camp Sagamore The Vanderbilts’ Adirondack Retreat
Author: Beverly Bridger

Review by: Neal Burdick

Sagamore—it’s a name celebrated in Adirondack history, story, and song, synonymous with a glittering but shortlived era of rapacious wealth and ostentatious luxury. The subject of attention in many books, most recently Gladys Montgomery’s An Elegant Wilderness: Great Camps and Grand Lodges of the Adirondacks, 1855-1935, the place now gets its own deserved volume in Great Camp Sagamore: the Vanderbilt Adirondack Retreat. Written by Great Camp Sagamore Director Beverly Bridger, this slim but generously illustrated book packs a lot in, giving us the rise, fall, and rescue of a classic Adirondack institution. All told, the book contains more than fifty-five >>More