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Adirondack Explorer

April, 2018

Should state buy the Tahawus rail line?

The controversy over the use of a thirty-mile rail line in the central Adirondacks got a lot more interesting in recent weeks. The railroad that has been storing empty tank cars on the line–to the consternation of state and local officials–now wants out. Ed Ellis, president of Iowa Pacific Holdings, told Warren County supervisors in March that he wants to sell the line to the county for $5 million. If he doesn’t get the money, Ellis warned, his subsidiary, Saratoga and North Creek Railway, would cease operations. S&NCR intends to shut down Saturday (April 7). As the railway’s name suggests, >>More


March, 2018

Skiing Mount Marcy’s summit in a whiteout

Mount Marcy skiing

I try to ski Mount Marcy every year around my birthday (March 30), and so I did the trip Thursday with Brian Mann of North Country Public Radio. It was the first time I skied the summit in a whiteout. The weather was mild and overcast when we started up the Van Hoevenberg Trail from the High Peaks Information Center. There was plenty of snow on the trail. Because we haven’t had a snowfall in a while, the trail was packed down hard, but the surface was soft, even grabby. We stopped at Indian Falls, about halfway to the summit. >>More


March, 2018

Three famous people buried in Adirondacks

Graves of Upstate New York

Syracuse University Press recently sent us one of its new books, Graves of Upstate New York by Chuck D’Imperio. The book provides brief biographies of one hundred notable personages buried in upstate New York, which the author defines as all of the state north of New York City. It also describes how to get to each of the gravesites. Part three of the book is titled “Adirondacks and North Country.” It features ten people, but only three of them are buried within the Blue Line. Can you guess who they are? OK, I’ll tell you. John Brown. The fiery abolitionist >>More


March, 2018

State nominates Gooley Club for historic register

In a controversial move, the state has recommended that former hunting camps in the Essex Chain region be added to the state and national Registers of Historic Places. The buildings in question are known as the Outer Gooley Club and the Inner Gooley Club. The Outer Gooley Club is an old farmhouse that overlooks the Hudson River near its confluence with the Indian River. The Inner Gooley Club is a complex of a dozen or so buildings on the south shore of Third Lake, the largest water body in the Essex Chain Lakes. The state has been studying whether to >>More


March, 2018

Superb backcountry skiing near Lake Placid

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


March, 2018

APA slates hearings on railroad corridors

The Adirondack Park Agency’s board gave preliminary approval Thursday to an amendment to the State Land Master Plan that will enable the state to create a thirty-four-mile rail trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake. The board voted unanimously to send the proposed amendment to public hearings. It will vote again on the amendment after the hearings. The hearings will be held at APA offices in Ray Brook at 7 p.m. April 11; at the View in Old Forge at 7 p.m. April 24; and at the Department of Environmental Conservation offices in Albany at 11 a.m. April 25. The >>More


March, 2018

APA seeks to revive Lake Placid rail-trail proposal

The Adirondack Park Agency will consider amending the State Land Master Plan next week to allow the state to create a thirty-four-mile rail trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake. The APA approved the rail trail in 2016, but a state judge ruled last fall that the trail would violate the State Land Master Plan. At issue was the plan’s definition of Travel Corridor. The APA said the railroad corridor would remain a Travel Corridor even if the tracks were removed, but acting State Supreme Court Justice Robert G. Main Jr. disagreed. “The SLMP expressly defines travel corridors in terms >>More


March, 2018

Whiteface to host Ski Mountaineering Classic

Whiteface Ski Area

For the third winter in a row, the Mountaineer has had to cancel its annual backcountry ski festival due to a lack of snow. The Keene Valley store had planned to hold the festival this weekend. As usual, a variety of backcountry ski tours and clinics were on the schedule. Ironically, the region is seeing some snow today after a prolonged thaw. “You can’t get frustrated; it’s the weather,” said Dustin Ulrich, a Mountaineer worker. “You can’t do much about that.” Ulrich said the Mountaineer staff plans to discuss whether or how to continue the ski festival in the future. >>More


March, 2018

Court: Old Mountain Road not legally abandoned

Old Mountain Road Lake Placid

  A state court handed down another decision Thursday in the fifteen-year battle over the status of the Old Mountain Road section of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail, declaring that the road was not legally abandoned. In its 5-0 decision, the Appellate Division overturned an administrative decision issued in 2015 by state Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens. In his decision, Martens had vacated a 2009 ruling by an earlier commissioner, Pete Grannis, who found the popular ski trail was still a town road under the law. Grannis, in turn, was upholding a decision by an administrative law judge in the state >>More


March, 2018

Outfit your trail-running shoes for winter trails

Screw shoes

There isn’t much skiing left around Lake Placid, so on my lunch hour Wednesday I went for a run on the loop trail at Henry’s Woods. I found what I expected to find: glare ice and very hard packed snow. The good news is that the trail will be skiable again with a little bit of snow. The bad news is that, until we get more snow, trail running can be treacherous unless you have traction devices on your shoes. MicroSpikes or Yaktrx Pro are two possibilities, but they cost money. There is another option for cheapskates like me. Several >>More


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