The Gulf Brook Road was in bad shape when I visited Boreas Ponds in June. So bad that it took thirty minutes to drive my Subaru 3.2 miles to the Fly Pond parking area. So bad that I made a video about it. Since then, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has reconstructed the road to the parking area–ditching, grading, removing rocks, and laying down gravel. The result: this week it took only ten minutes to drive to the Fly Pond lot. The former logging road is gated beyond the lot, so for now visitors must hike or bike the remaining >>More
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
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
Several years ago we skied two High Peaks in spring with Ron Konowitz. We did a few laps in the bowl on Algonquin Peak, climbed over Wright Peak, and descended the Wright Peak Ski Trail. The Wright Peak trail is one of the few trails designed for down-mountain skiing in the Adirondacks. It was built in the 1930s, fell into disuse, and then was restored in 1980s by volunteers, including Tony Goodwin, the longtime executive director of the Adirondack Ski Touring Council. But there was a problem. After a mile or so, the ski trail converged with the Algonquin hiking >>More
Soon after the state purchased the MacIntyre East Tract, Brian Mann and I explored it by paddling the Hudson and the Opalescent rivers. We launched our canoes beneath a bridge over the Hudson and took out at a spot where the river abuts the Tahawus Road. From the bridge we paddled down the Hudson through Sanford Lake (a widening of the river) for a mile to the confluence with the Opalescent. We then went up the Opalescent, enjoying a great view of Allen Mountain, one of the remotest of the High Peaks. After lunch, we drifted back down the Hudson >>More
Chapel Pond Slab is one of the most popular rock-climbing venues in the Adirondacks, in part for its long, moderate routes, in part for its easy access. However, parking can be a problem. Most climbers park just off the shoulder of the often-busy Route 73. The state Department of Environmental Conservation aims to fix things. In a draft amendment to the High Peaks Wilderness management plan, DEC proposes to build two twenty-car parking areas along Route 73 and expand the Round Pond parking area located just down the road (to twenty-five cars). DEC says climbers will be able to use >>More
I just got back from touring the Andalusia region of southern Spain with Carol Fox and my daughter Martha. On one day we took a wonderful hike into the Sierra Nevada where we saw goats roaming the treeless hills. Although the mountains are not far from the Mediterranean Sea, they are snow-capped. The highest top 10,000 feet. I wore a T-shirt on that hike. I felt a little guilty about soaking up the sun while friends back home, especially in the Adirondacks, were suffering through below-zero days. OK, so I didn’t feel guilty. However, as I perused posts on Facebook, >>More
The Open Space Institute has acquired a 1,285-acre property that will facilitate access to Huckleberry Mountain, a crag in the southeastern Adirondacks with great views and dozens of rock-climbing routes. Katharine Petronis, OSI’s northern program manager, said the non-profit organization will sell the property to the state for inclusion in the public Forest Preserve. That could happen within three years, she said. For now, the tract remains closed to the public. Petronis said she didn’t know if OSI will open it before the transfer to the state. The acquisition is good news for Adirondack rock climbers. The guidebook Adirondack Rock lists >>More
The 5.5-mile Whiteface Mountain highway offers backcountry enthusiasts a chance to test their ski legs before the onset of winter in the Adirondacks.
DEC proposes trail improvements in Sentinel Range Wilderness.