We were following in the footsteps of a man named Robert “Bob” Carroll Jr., unknown to most of the world but a giant in the secretive world of northeastern caving. Carroll, who died in 2005, was obsessed with underground exploration. For decades, he traveled all over the Adirondacks, mostly by himself, seeking out caves that had not yet been discovered. For this he would pore over topographical maps, looking for rock outcrops that might hide a underground passage in their midst. He would hike upwards of thirty miles a day.
The hike, up Castle Rock in Blue Mountain Lake in July, was a big deal for us. Dad was an avid hiker for years until his knees deteriorated and the pain forced him to stop. He still did a lot of things—biking, paddling, fishing, and camping—but hiking was off limits. Last fall, he had his second knee replaced, and by spring he was ready to hike with two bionic knees. He was on the trail with me and my sons, Rushton, who is eight, and Devlin, who is six, for the first time.
The Lake Gorge 12sters was founded in 2016 as a way to encourage hikers to explore Lake George to its fullest. Created by Matthew Haley, this hiking challenge includes 12 peaks of varying difficulty and elevation.
The state announced several initiatives today to address issues related to overuse in the High Peaks. The High Peaks, Dix, Giant and Hurricane Wildernesses, Baxter Mountain, and the Saranac Lake 6’er peaks are attracting an unprecedented number of users, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The increase in hikers, climbers and campers has resulted in dangerous driving conditions along the state Route 73 corridor from Chapel Pond to Cascade Mountain during peak days in the summer and fall. That’s because parking lots overflow and people park alongside the state highway. In addition, trails have become eroded, garbage has >>More
The Wright Peak Ski Trail is one of the top backcountry-skiing trails in the Adirondacks, but skiers often complain that it dumps them out onto a narrow and often-rocky hiking trail that leads to Algonquin Peak. The state Department of Environmental Conservation proposes to fix the problem by rerouting the bottom of the ski trail so that it terminates at the Whales Tail Ski Trail. It is one of several skiing proposals in a draft amendment to the High Peaks Wilderness unit management plan (UMP). Ron Konowitz, founder of the Adirondack Powder Ski Association, said he was ecstatic over the >>More
Welcome to organized bicycle touring in the Adirondacks, where even a looming storm can’t dampen the good vibe. The event, which started in 2015, brings several hundred cyclists to the Adirondacks to revel in some of the best road biking in the state. Gear is transported from site to site, allowing cyclists to enjoy the day’s ride unencumbered by baggage. Food is provided—tasty, healthy, locally harvested. And the evening is capped with a beer garden and entertainment ranging from live music to a story slam.
The Adirondack Climbers Coalition is urging its members to submit comments to the state Department of Environmental Conservation to ensure that the rock-climbing community’s voice is heard as DEC prepares changes to the High Peaks Wilderness management plan. The ACC is concerned about DEC’s plan to ban parking along the shoulders of Route 73, which passes by many of the region’s premier climbing cliffs. “Don’t reduce parking. In fact only increases in parking should be considered,” ACC President Will Roth writes in a notice posted on the group’s website. DEC is proposing to build two parking areas near Chapel Pond >>More
It’s scary to get lost while hiking. It’s worse when you have children who depend on you to deliver them safely out of the woods.
As Tim Rowland and I paddled Little Clear Pond toward the St. Regis Pond carry in the early afternoon in mid-May, we noticed a group of anglers had gathered at the take-out. Two men were loading large backpacks into what looked like a Radisson canoe, a popular fishing boat that is propelled with oars like a guideboat. Behind them, two other men were standing at the edge of the woods, holding cans of beer, catching a break. The men looked slightly beat from hauling their large load of gear on the quarter-mile long carry. The group had spent the past >>More
The Adirondack Park Agency board voted Thursday to fast-track a number of proposals for the High Peaks Wilderness and Vanderhacker Wild Forest, including tens of thousands of acres of newly acquired state lands. Some environmental groups contend the agency is moving too fast. Among other things, the proposals call for parking lots that would allow easy access to Boreas Ponds; new hiking, biking, ski, and equestrian trails; new campsites, canoe launches, and kiosks; and relocating the trailhead for Cascade Mountain. The APA and Department of Environmental Conservation will hold two public hearings on May 23: 10 a.m. at DEC headquarters, >>More