Backcountry skiers have long complained that state agencies have given them short shrift when it comes to accommodating their sport in the Forest Preserve. One major complaint is that years ago the state Department of Environmental Conservation transformed part of the Wright Peak Ski Trail into a hiking trail; the subsequent narrowing and eroding of the trail has rendered it often unsuitable for skiing. In proposed changes to the High Peaks Wilderness management plan, DEC aims to address the problem by rerouting the lower part of the ski trail away from the hiking trail. The department also proposes a number >>More
The state Department of Environmental Conservation has finalized its proposed changes to the High Peaks Wilderness and Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest unit management plans, and the Adirondack Park Agency is expected vote on them next week.
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
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
Hikers will be able to drive to within a tenth of a mile of Boreas Ponds, but most probably will have to park farther away, under a draft management plan written by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The Boreas Ponds parking area is just one of numerous proposals for other parking areas, trails, canoe launches, campsites, kiosks, and other facilities in the High Peaks Wilderness and Vanderwhacker Wild Forest. Most of the facilities would be on former Finch, Pruyn lands or other tracts acquired by the state in recent years. One major recommendation on pre-existing Forest Preserve calls for >>More
Recent snowstorms dropped a foot or so of powder in much of the Adirondacks. Starting Friday, we skied three consecutive days in the backcountry. And on Monday, we hit up Dewey Mountain in Saranac Lake before reluctantly reporting for work. Needless to say, the backcountry skiing was pretty fantastic. The one word of caution is that many rivulets remain open as a result of the thaw before the snowstorms. I’ve attached photos from our ski trips to give you an idea of conditions in the greater Lake Placid region. On Friday, my friend Tim and I skied in the Stephenson >>More
The state plans to combine the High Peaks Wilderness and Dix Mountain Wilderness after the Adirondack Park Agency classifies the Boreas Ponds Tract and other nearby lands. Kathy Regan, the APA’s deputy director, told the agency’s board Thursday that the expanded High Peaks Wilderness would encompass 274,000 acres, making it by far the largest Wilderness Area in the Northeast. The expansion is possible as a result of the state’s acquisition of the Boreas Ponds Tract, MacIntyre East Tract, MacIntyre West Tract, and Casey Brook Tract. The last tract provides a crucial link between the existing High Peaks Wilderness and Dix >>More
Canadian man is first person convicted for drone usage in the Adirondacks.
Last winter Carol Fox and I skied from Averyville outside Lake Placid to Oseetah Lake outside Saranac Lake, following an old woods road that constitutes part of the northern boundary of the High Peaks Wilderness. We had a great time. You will be able to read about our adventure in a forthcoming issue of the Adirondack Explorer. On Labor Day weekend I returned to the old road with my mountain bike and rode about six and a half miles to Pine Pond, a beautiful body of water with a sandy beach. As on our ski trip, I saw ample evidence >>More