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Adirondack Explorer

September, 2017

Can Any Adirondack Hike Top Franconia Ridge?

I haven’t spent much time in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, largely because there is so much to do here in the Adirondacks. It was a case of not knowing what I was missing. In late August, Carol MacKinnon Fox and I spent four days in the Whites, hiking and rock climbing. One of the highlights was a hike on Franconia Ridge. It’s a nine-mile loop that takes you over three of New Hampshire’s tallest peaks: Little Haystack, Lincoln, and Lafayette (at 5,260 feet, the highest of the three). We took the Falling Waters Trail (which lives up to its >>More


June, 2017

ADK Finishes Overhaul Of Guidebook Series

With this year’s publication of Western Trails, the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) completed the most recent overhaul of its Forest Preserve Series of hiking guidebooks—and the club is already hard at work on the next edition of the series. ADK’s hiking guidebooks used to divide the Adirondack Park into six regions. The club has pared that down to four regions (still covering the entire Park). In addition, ADK continues to publish a separate guidebook for the Northville-Placid Trail. The regions have been reconfigured to coincide with National Geographic’s Trails Illustrated maps for the Adirondacks. Western Trails, for example, describes the >>More


May, 2017

Lots Of Adventure In ‘Explorer’ Outings Guide

Have you ever taken in the vista from Iroquois Peak? Paddled up the Opalescent? Skied across frozen ponds near Fish Creek? Followed Don Mellor on an ice climb above Chapel Pond? You can read about all those adventures and more in the forthcoming Adirondack Explorer’s Annual Outings Guide, an anthology of recreational stories from past issues of the magazine. The regular Explorer comes out every two months, but in between the May/June and July/August issues, we publish the outings guide. Each guide describes a variety of recreational outings—hikes, paddles, ski tours, rock climbs, raft trips. Subscribers who collect the guides >>More


May, 2017

Wakely Tower Closure Raises Questions Anew

The state Department of Environmental Conservation’s closure of the Wakely Mountain trail once again raises questions about the future of the fire tower on the summit. DEC closed the tower in December because of structural defects and this week closed the hiking trail too, lest the tower collapse and injure someone. “The condition of the tower has worsened and it is possible the tower may collapse in heavy winds,” DEC said in a news release. DEC spokesman Benning Delamater said two of the tower footings and their anchor bolts (which attach the tower to the footings) are damaged. The department >>More


May, 2017

Enjoy The Appalachian Trail From Your Armchair

Interested in a really long hike? The Adirondack Park has the Northville-Placid Trail (133 miles) and Vermont has the Long Trail (272 miles), but these are mere steppingstones to the granddaddy of long-distance routes, the Appalachian Trail. The AT, as it’s known, stretches 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine, traversing 14 states. That might be a bit more than you want to do. If so, you can enjoy the trail vicariously through Cady Kuzmich’s blog, which she calls “In the Woods.” Cady is a freelance writer for the Daily Gazette in Schenectady who is hiking the AT right now. As >>More


November, 2016

‘Explorer’ Publishes Multisport Guide To Finch, Pruyn Lands

The Adirondack Explorer has published a multisport guidebook to the former Finch, Pruyn lands to let people know of the many recreational opportunities on tracts that had been off limits to the public for more than a century. 12 Adventures on New State Lands: Exploring the Finch, Pruyn Tracts has something for everyone: the hiker, the paddler, the mountain biker, the cross-country skier, even the rock climber. The book is a celebration of the state’s acquisition of 65,000 acres of the former Finch lands from the Adirondack chapter of the Nature Conservancy. The last parcel, the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract, was purchased by >>More


November, 2016

Pinned Steps: A Suitable Way Up Bedrock Trails?

The Adirondack Explorer‘s November/December issue is in the mail, but Mike Lynch’s story on deteriorating trails in the High Peaks is already gaining attention on the Adirondack Almanack, the Explorer‘s online journal. The article, headlined “Trails showing their age,” notes that a combination of poor design and heavy use has led to severe erosion on trails. Older trails tend to go straight up a slope. In some cases, erosion can be mitigated by rerouting the trails to create switchbacks. Unfortunately, at higher elevations, where the soil is thin, cutting into the slope to create switchbacks may not be possible. In a comment >>More


January, 2013

Baker above the clouds

View from the summit of Baker Mountain. Photo by Phil Brown.

It’s not often that little Baker Mountain (elevation, 2,452 feet) in Saranac Lake rises above the clouds, but it did this morning. I took this picture a little after 9 a.m. A rolling ocean of clouds filled the valleys. In the distance are the High Peaks, with Mount Marcy and Algonquin Peak especially prominent. To the right of the tree in the foreground is the scar on Scarface Mountain. We got a wonderful dump of powder yesterday. Unfortunately, they’re predicting freezing drizzle today and rain tomorrow. However, there is snow in the forecast later in the week. Keep your fingers >>More


May, 2012

The most dangerous hikes in the Park

Ron Konowitz climbs the Trap Dike

An article on Backpacker Magazine’s website lists “America’s 10 Most Dangerous Hikes.” The one closest to the Adirondacks is Mount Washington in New Hampshire. The mountain is infamous for its fickle and sometimes extreme weather. “Known as the most dangerous small mountain in the world,” Backpacker says, “6,288-foot Mt. Washington boasts some scary stats: The highest wind velocity ever recorded at any surface weather station (231 mph) was logged here on April 12, 1934. And 137 fatalities have occurred since 1849. No surprise: Most are due to hypothermia—and not only in winter. ‘They call them the White Mountains for a >>More


April, 2012

No ‘Classic Hikes’ in Adirondacks?

Classic Hikes of North America

This summer W.W. Norton plans to publish Classic Hikes of North America: 25 Breathtaking Treks in the United States and Canada. Judging by the publicity materials, it should be a magnificent-looking book, with detailed maps and more than two hundred color photos. Adirondack hikers may be disappointed to learn that no hikes in the Park made the cut. In fact, only four of the twenty-five hikes are east of the Mississippi. The hike closest to the Adirondacks is the Presidential Range Traverse in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The other eastern hikes are the Art Loeb Trail in North >>More


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