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Adirondack Explorer

October, 2011

DEC reopens trail to Panther Gorge

The state has reopened the trail from Elk Lake to Panther Gorge but warns that hikers still may encounter blowdown. The 10.2-mile route leads from the private Elk Lake to Four Corners, a trail junction that lies amid Mount Haystack, Mount Skylight, and Mount Marcy. The trail had been closed since August 29, the day after Tropical Storm Irene roared through the High Peaks. Several trails remain closed. The following list of closed trails is a news release issued by the state Department of Environmental Conservation: Adirondack Mountain Reserve Trails: The first (northernmost) two cross over trails between the East River Trail and >>More


September, 2011

Several trails remain closed

A month after Tropical Storm Irene blew through the region, several hiking trails in the High Peaks remain closed. David Winchell, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, said no new trails would reopen this weekend. The following are still closed: Southside Trail from the Garden in Keene Valley to the ranger outpost on Johns Brook. The Deer Brook Trail from Route 73 to Snow Mountain. Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass. The trail from Elk Lake to Panther Gorge. The trail over the Colvin Range from Blake Peak to Pinnacle and beyond. Most trails >>More


September, 2011

DEC reopens more routes to High Peaks

Just in time for the weekend, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has reopened a number of trails that will give hikers easier access to several High Peaks. All had been closed since August 29, the day after Tropical Storm Irene passed though the region. The newly opened routes include the Ore Bed Brook Trail, which was partly buried by a landslide during the storm. The trail leads to the col between Saddleback and Gothics in the Great Range, providing the shortest route to Saddleback. It also allows hikers to travel in a loop starting at Johns Brook Lodge and >>More


September, 2011

Critics say Irene cleanup bad for streams

The Adirondack Council and Ausable River Association contend that highway crews intent on rechanneling streams after Tropical Storm Irene are destroying trout habitat and creating conditions that could worsen flooding in the future. Several mountain streams jumped their banks during Irene, flooding and damaging buildings and roadways. Since then, bulldozers have been used to divert the streams back into their original channels. But Carol Treadwell, executive director of the Ausable River Association, said the bulldozers are also straightening the streams, removing boulders, lining the shores with rock, and smoothing streambeds. Treadwell said the altered streams are poor habitat for trout, >>More


September, 2011

Nippletop trails reopen

The Lake Road in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve has reopened to the public to give hikers access to trails to the summits of Nippletop and Dial Mountain, two of the High Peaks, in the Dix Mountain Wilderness. However, trails to the Colvin Range and most other AMR trails, including those leading to the Great Range, remain closed, according to David Winchell, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. “We’re pretty well set with what’s going to be open this weekend,” Winchell said. “We won’t have any more trails open until next week.” As a result of the latest decision, >>More


September, 2011

DEC ponders options to replace Marcy Dam bridge

The state will either reconstruct the bridge at Marcy Dam or build a new one nearby, but the project likely won’t be done before winter, according to Tom Martin, regional forester for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Martin said DEC plans to have an engineer look at the dam to determine if it makes sense to replace the original bridge. The alternative would be to build a bridge across Marcy Brook upstream or downstream of the dam. “We do intend to look at all the options, but we’ll have some kind of crossing,” Martin told the Explorer after briefing >>More


September, 2011

DEC clears 130 miles of trails

The state Department of Environmental Conservation and its volunteers have cleared about 130 miles of trails since Irene blew through the High Peaks region two and a half weeks ago. DEC spokesman David Winchell said crews are still working on trails in the High Peaks Wilderness and Dix Mountain Wilderness that remain closed. The Adirondack Mountain Club, Adirondack Forty-Sixers, and Student Conservation Association have all provided volunteer. “DEC has more than thirty staff working on five crews clearing blowdown, rerouting trails, repairing and rebuilding bridges, and other work to rehabilitate the trails,” Winchell said. In the above map, trails that >>More


September, 2011

Route 73, Dix Wilderness reopened

Route 73 south of Keene Valley and the Dix Mountain Areas were reopened today ahead of schedule. “Route 73 is a vital highway connecting residents and businesses in the North Country and today’s reopening is an important step in our recovery from Hurricane Irene,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. Cuomo initially pledged that one lane of the road would be reopened September 15 and both lanes by September 25. Instead, both lanes were reopened today. Cuomo’s office said workers logged about 2,700 hours and used about 150,000 tons of stone to fix the road. Click here to read the governor’s news >>More


September, 2011

Report on Avalanche Pass Trail

Yesterday I hiked with Josh Wilson to Avalanche Pass to check out the condition of the trail in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene. The short story is that the trail sustained quite a bit more damage than the Van Hoevenberg Trail, which I hiked on Saturday. After we reached Avalanche Lake, I took the above photo of the Trap Dike on Mount Colden. Comparing it with the photo on the right, taken in 2009, you’ll see that the dike—at least as much of it as we can see—has been stripped of vegetation. Note the chocolate color of lake. While >>More


September, 2011

Mount Marcy trail in good condition

I hiked the Van Hoevenberg Trail to Mount Marcy today (Saturday) and found it fine shape, despite a few changes wrought by Hurricane Irene. It was just two days after the state Department of Environmental Conservation reopened the eastern High Peaks, and many hikers were out enjoying the sunshine. Starting at Adirondak Loj, the Van Hoevenberg Trail is the shortest and most popular route to the state’s highest summit. It ascends 3,166 feet over 7.4 miles. As we reported earlier, the floods caused by Irene washed away at the bridge at Marcy Dam, located 2.3 miles from the Loj. Consequently, >>More