May, 2017

Gulf Brook Road To Open After Mud Season

The Adirondack Park Agency met last week but did not take up the question of how to classify (and manage) the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract. It’s uncertain whether the APA will take up the issue at its next meeting in June. One of the big questions facing state officials is whether to allow the public to drive on the former logging road that leads to Boreas Ponds. The seven-mile dirt thoroughfare is known as Gulf Brook Road. Two environmental groups, Adirondack Wilderness Advocates and Adirondack Wild, want the entire tract classified as Wilderness, which would close the entire road to motor >>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

Negro Brook Has It All: Thickets, Blowdown, Rapids

The Bloomingdale Bog Trail starts near Saranac Lake and ends eight miles later near Onchiota. Following an old railroad bed, it is ideal for jogging or mountain biking. I recently went to the trail with a different purpose in mind: canoeing. This is an idea I had for a while. Negro Brook flows under the Bloomingdale Bog Trail in several places. I had never heard of anyone canoeing this part of Negro Brook, but the stretches visible from the trail looked navigable. Nevertheless, I figured I should do the trip when the water levels were high. The water was plenty >>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


May, 2017

State Hopes To Remove Train Tracks This Year

The state hopes to begin removing the train tracks between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake as early as this summer and begin constructing a recreational trail in the rail corridor in the summer of 2018. The schedule was presented in an informational meeting at the Saranac Lake Free Library on Monday evening. The meeting was hosted by Rich Shapiro, a village trustee, and Ed Randig, a code-enforcement officer for the town of Harrietstown, which includes the village. “We’re not here to debate the rail versus trail. That decision has been made,” Shapiro said at the outset of the public meeting, >>More


April, 2017

Royal Robbins And The First Ascent Of Half Dome

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the early life of Royal Robbins, the legendary American rock climber who died last month. At the time of his death, I had been reading To Be Brave, the first volume of his autobiography. It ends when Robbins is still a teenager. His second volume, Fail Falling, covers the years 1950 through 1957, when Robbins emerges from a somewhat troubled adolescence to become one of the most celebrated climbers in the country. Robbins started climbing seriously and perfecting his art with fellow climbers from the Sierra Club in southern California. Most were older >>More


April, 2017

Paddling (And Spelling) An Adirondack River

With the arrival of spring, the Adirondack Explorer is shifting its recreational focus from skiing and snowshoeing to paddling and hiking. The May/June issue, which we are finishing this week, includes my account of a canoe trip on the Grass River that Carol MacKinnon Fox and I did last year. Or were we on the Grasse River? Both spellings are in common use. National Geographic’s “Trails Illustrated” map for the region uses the Grass spelling. The Adirondack Park Agency, however, spells it Grasse in the State Land Master Plan. The U.S. Board on Geographic Names decreed in 1905 that the >>More


April, 2017

Cuomo Touts Spending Plan For Adirondacks

Governor Andrew Cuomo came to Lake Placid on Friday morning to tout his budget for the Adirondacks and the rest of the North Country. Cuomo said his administration has spent tens of millions of dollars to promote tourism throughout the state as well as the Adirondacks. That investment, he added, resulted in a $9 billion increase in the tourism economy. The governor, who often vacations in the region, said the Adirondacks and most of upstate had long been ignored by state legislators, most of whom hail from New York City or Long Island.  “They might as well be talking about >>More


April, 2017

DEC Says Man Kept Bobcat Locked In Shed

Wildlife photographer Larry Master is writing about bobcats in the May/June issue of the Adirondack Explorer and submitted a great photo to go along with text. After reading about these beautiful creatures—the last wild felines in the Adirondacks—I was disturbed to learn that a man had been keeping a bobcat locked in a shed at his home in Jefferson County west of the Adirondack Park. The state Department of Environmental Conservation says two conservation officers, Kevin Holze and Peter Jackson, went to the home on March 29. A neighbor told them the bobcat was in a shed outside the home. >>More


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