July, 2012

Adirondack Invasive Species Awareness Week

We all need to learn more about the ecological risks posed by invasive species. There is no better time than next week, when the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program will be coordinating a series of activities to raise awareness of the problem. Following is a news release from the organization. Groups across the region are sponsoring fun and educational activities July 8-14 during the 7th annual Adirondack Invasive Species Awareness Week. Invasive Species Awareness Week provides an opportunity for communities to highlight the threats of invasive plants and animals and for residents and visitors to learn ways to prevent and >>More


July, 2012

DEC to reconstruct popular boat launch

Maps shows location of the Second Pond boat launch.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation hopes to reconstruct this fall the popular boat launch at Second Pond, which gives boaters access to the Saranac Lakes State Campground. DEC plans to replace the existing boat ramp, build a separate facility for canoes and kayaks, and provide additional parking. It also wants to change the boundaries of the boat launch, part of which now lies within the High Peak Wilderness, a violation of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. To comply with regulations, DEC proposes to reclassify 5.6 acres of Wilderness as Intensive Use. In exchange, 6.8 acres of Intensive >>More


June, 2012

Will boathouse have to be torn down?

A man who built a boathouse on Lake Placid in defiance of the local code-enforcement officer could be forced to tear it down. The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that William Grimditch should have obtained a permit from the town of North Elba before building the boathouse in 2010. Grimditch was rushing to build the boathouse before stricter boathouse regulations adopted by the Adirondack Park Agency went into effect. His children built a smaller boathouse on adjoining property, also without a town permit. Last August, State Supreme Court Justice Richard Meyer ruled that the Grimditches did >>More


June, 2012

Houseal to leave Adirondack Council

Brian Houseal leaving Adirondack Council

Brian Houseal will step down as executive director of the Adirondack Council when his contract runs out this fall. Houseal told the Explorer he is pursuing other work in conservation but plans to continue to live in Westport. Asked why he was leaving the council, he replied: “I’ve been in this position ten years. It’s time.” He noted that his second five-year contract with the council will expire in late October. Houseal counts among his achievements the successful lobbying for acid-rain and clean-air legislation and the launching of the Common Ground Alliance, which he co-founded. As its name suggests, the >>More


June, 2012

Ranger report for spring 2012

Following is the Forest Ranger report for late winter and spring from the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Region 5.   ESSEX COUNTY Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness On Saturday, March 10, at about 3:30 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report from a DEC Forest Ranger regarding an injured woman at the Calamity Brook Lean-to. Shauna DeSantis, 57, of Glens Falls, NY, injured her knee and ankle and was unable to walk on her own. A New York State Police Aviation Unit helicopter was requested and dispatched to the area. The Lake Colden caretaker and another >>More


June, 2012

Landowner closes road to Madawaska Flow

Madawaska Flow in the Adirondacks.

The logging road to Madawaska Flow and Quebec Brook, waterways acquired by the state in 1998, is closed to the public, the Adirondack Explorer has learned. I intended to drive to Madawaska on Sunday to take photos for a paddling guidebook and was surprised to find the gate locked. A sign indicated that the road was closed on June 4 and that public access was prohibited. The road provides the only motorized access to Madawaska Flow, the centerpiece of a 5,800-acre tract known as the Madawaska Flow/Quebec Brook Primitive Area. The area is used by birders, paddlers, and hunters. Dave >>More


June, 2012

Land trust sells wild tract to private buyer

For the May/June issue of the Explorer, Brian Mann wrote a piece about the difficulty of getting state funding for smaller land deals in the Adirondacks. That’s because all the attention is on the acquisition of former Finch, Pruyn lands and Follensby Pond–roughly 80,000 acres in all. As a result, Mann reported, the Adirondack Land Trust planned to sell land abutting the Pigeon Lake Wilderness to a private buyer rather than the state. Today the Land Trust announced that it has indeed sold the 340-acre property to a private buyer for $1.3 million. Known as the Mays Pond Tract, it >>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


May, 2012

OR’s Echo Tee ideal for trail running

The T-shirt is a staple of the outdoor enthusiast’s wardrobe, and nowadays many clothing makers offer T-shirts made of synthetic fabrics that wick away sweat and dry quickly. Some also claim to mask body odor. I’ve tried T-shirts from a number of manufacturers, including Outdoor Research, Eastern Mountain Sports, and Mountain Hard Wear, and they all have proven satisfactory. If you’re working hard, the shirts won’t wick sweat as fast as you produce it, but they do indeed dry fast. As far as masking stink, my hiking partners are skeptical. While I like all my T-shirts, I want to single >>More


May, 2012

Guidebook for Adirondack trail runners

By Phil Brown The Adirondack Park has more than two thousand miles of hiking trails. In theory, this means it has more than two thousand miles of trails for running, too, though you aren’t likely to encounter people jogging up Gothics, say, or Basin Mountain. What trails are suitable for running will depend on the runner’s strength and ability, but if you’re looking for suggestions, you’ll find plenty in a new guidebook by Spencer Morrissey and Corenne Black. It’s the only book of its kind for the Adirondacks. Adirondack Trail Runner describes more than ninety routes that the authors have >>More


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