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Adirondack Explorer

November, 2011

DEC won’t rebuild Duck Hole dam

The state Department of Environmental Conservation does not plan to rebuild the dam at Duck Hole, an iconic pond deep in the High Peaks Wilderness. The wooden dam was breached in the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene in late August, draining about two-thirds of the impoundment. Even before Irene, fans of Duck Hole had been urging DEC to repair the old dam. In fact, the Explorer ran a debate on the question in its September/October issue, which was on the newsstand when the storm hit. Nestled among high mountains, Duck Hole is a favorite camping spot on the Northville-Placid >>More


September, 2011

Should the Duck Hole dam be rebuilt?

By coincidence, the current issue of the Adirondack Explorer contains a debate on whether the Duck Hole dam should be repaired. Some might argue that since the dam has been breached by the floods of Hurricane Irene, the question has been settled, but that’s not the case. Tom Wemett, who wrote in favor of fixing the dam, is now mounting a campaign to have it rebuilt. “Pretty much anybody who paddles or hikes to Duck Hole experiences the same thing: it’s just a magical place,” Wemett told me after Irene. Bill Ingersoll, the author of the Discover the Adirondacks guidebooks, >>More


September, 2011

First photos from Duck Hole

This spring, I paddled Duck Hole, a wilderness pond surrounded by high mountains. Getting there was not easy—the trip entailed four carries totaling about two miles—but it was worth it. I wrote about my adventure for the July/August issue of the Explorer in an article titled “Portage to Paradise.” Today that trip is no longer possible. And Duck Hole is no longer a paradise—unless you’re a mosquito. Yesterday I returned to Duck Hole on foot to see firsthand what’s left of this beloved pond since its dam breached during Tropical Storm Irene. The accompanying photos tell the story: Duck Hole >>More


August, 2011

Aerial photos of Duck Hole draining

In the current issue of the Adirondack Explorer, we ran a debate on whether the state should fix the dam at Duck Hole in the High Peaks Wilderness. Now that the dam has been breached, the debate is whether the state should rebuild it. This afternoon, we obtained several aerial photos taken after the rains of Hurricane Irene broke the dam. They were shot Monday by Kris Alberga, a forester with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The top photo shows Duck Hole as one looks southeast toward Preston Ponds. Much of the water has drained, exposing numerous mudflats. The >>More