DEC is criticized for avoiding snowmobile-trail issues in draft document. By Phil Brown The state Department of Environmental Conservation has withdrawn a draft management plan for new state lands known as the Essex Chain Lakes Complex in the face of criticism that it failed to discuss the route of a controversial snowmobile trail. The decision to address the snowmobile issue in a new draft plan won praise from both environmental activists and snowmobile enthusiasts. “It’s important that all the issues of the Essex Chain are dealt with at one time, so the public has an opportunity to debate them all,” said Neil Woodworth, executive director of the Adirondack Mountain Club. Last December, >>More
A family spends a delightful two days paddling and hiking in the St. Regis Canoe Area—and, best of all, there were no long carries.
Shortly after moving to the Adirondacks in 1996, I climbed Giant Mountain. Not only was it my first High Peak, it was the first time I’d climbed anything higher than the hill in the back yard where I grew up.
St. Regis Canoe Outfitters has published two new waterproof maps for paddlers, one covering the three Saranac Lakes, the other covering the St. Regis Canoe Area. The color maps cover some of the same territory as the Adirondack Paddler’s Map, also published by St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, but the new maps are more detailed and, being smaller, easier to handle. They’re also less expensive: $9.95 versus $19.95 for the Adirondack Paddler’s Map (which is four times as large). “Many first-time visitors are going to grab a $10 map before they grab a $20 map,” said Dave Cilley, owner of St. >>More
John Caffry and state file court papers in defense of the public’s right to paddle through private property. By Kenneth Aaron A state appeals court is expected to hear arguments this fall in a trespassing lawsuit filed against Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown after he paddled through private land on a remote waterway that connects two tracts of state land in the William C. Whitney Wilderness. The landowners—the Brandreth Park Association and Friends of Thayer Lake—sued Brown in the fall of 2010, more than a year after he wrote about the paddling trip for the Adirondack Explorer. Last year, State >>More
After days of rain, a family beats the blahs by climbing Debar Mountain, a former fire-tower peak in the northern Adirondacks. By Lisa Densmore Ballard SOME DAYS I need to go hiking. I don’t want an epic outing, just some time in the woods to clear my head, enough of a climb to exercise my body, and a decent view at the top to rejuvenate my spirit. After five particularly soggy days, cooped up inside our smallish house on Chateaugay Lake with four antsy kids—Micah, age eighteen; Dominic and Parker, both sixteen; and Zoe, eleven—and my outdoorsy sweetheart Jack, I needed >>More
Roaring Brook Falls is just one of many superb routes to be included in a new book on Adirondack climbing. By Phil Brown IN SOME RESPECTS, Roaring Brook Falls isn’t such a great climb. The rock can be loose, mossy, or wet. And there are places where you can’t find cracks to insert protective gear—cams or chocks that are clipped to the rope to catch a fall. In short, it can be slippery and dangerous. Nevertheless, R.L. Stolz regards it as an Adirondack classic. Since the 1980s, he has climbed the lower part of the route maybe a hundred times >>More
I’ve hiked Goodnow Mountain only once before, while working on my guidebook Hiking the Adirondacks. I wonder if anything has changed in the five years since.
Paddlers in inflatable kayaks find thrills and spills in heavy whitewater on the Hudson River: by Phil Brown FROM TIME TO TIME I’ve played with the idea of putting together a list of quintessential Adirondack adventures. It would include, for example, climbing the Trap Dike on Mount Colden, skiing Mount Marcy on a bluebird day, and scaling the eight-hundred-foot cliff on Wallface. Last summer, I ticked off another adventure on my bucket list: rafting the Hudson Gorge. My friend Mike got me into this one. He arranged a trip with North Creek Rafting Company with the intention of writing an >>More
Brandreth Park Association says judge erred in dismissing trespass suit against ‘Explorer’ editor. By Kenneth Aaron THE BRANDRETH PARK Association has appealed a court ruling in a paddling-rights dispute, contending that it could strip landowners of their rights by potentially opening even the smallest of waterways to the public. Dennis Phillips, who represents the association and the Friends of Thayer Lake, said State Supreme Court Justice Richard Aulisi ignored historical precedent by failing to gauge the commercial suitability of a privately owned waterway that Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown paddled in 2009. In his decision a year ago, Aulisi >>More