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October, 2009

New trail in Lake Placid

The next time you’re in Lake Placid and looking to kill an hour or two, check out the new 2.5-mile trail at Henry’s Woods on the outskirts of town. Locals have been using the trail for a while now, but village and town officials celebrated its official opening just this week. I went there after work the other day and was impressed. This is not a wilderness trail: it’s five feet wide and most of its surface is covered with crushed stone. But it’s  ideal for a short hike or jog at the start or end of your day. Come >>More


October, 2009

Adirondack Climbing Film Festival

It may have snowed in Lake Placid this week, but it’s not time yet to put away those sticky-soled shoes and get out the crampons. High Peaks Cyclery is offering free rock-climbing clinics as part of the second annual Adirondack Climbing Film Festivalin Lake Placid this weekend. The festivities will kick off with a presentation by Adirondack photographer Carl Heilman II. His slide show will run from 7-9 p.m. in the High Peaks Mountain Guide House, which is located next-door to High Peaks Cyclery on Main Street in Lake Placid. Beer and cheese will be served. High Peaks Cyclery is >>More


September, 2009

Free ADK guidebook supplement

The Adirondack Mountain Club has issued a supplement to its Adirondack Trails: Eastern Region guidebook that can be downloaded for free from its Web site. The supplement describes twelve additional hiking trails in ten locations within the region, which includes Lake George and the Champlain Valley. Perhaps the most exciting addition is the 2.6-mile trail connecting the scenic summits of Thomas and Cat mountains on the west side of Lake George. Both mountains belong to a preserve owned by the Lake George Land Conservancy. Other additions include the new trail up Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain and trails at five Wildlife Management Areas, Noblewood >>More


September, 2009

Revisiting Lyon Mountain

Last weekend I climbed Lyon Mountain, the 3,830-foot peak west of Dannemora. What a great view! I had been up it a few times before but not since the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) rerouted the trail. The old trail was an old jeep road that shot straight up the mountain. It was a rubbly mess. The new trail switchbacks up the eastern face, so gradually that at times you hardly realize you’re climbing. At 3.3 miles, the rerouted trail is about a mile longer than the old one, but it’s much easier on the knees. In fact, the trail is >>More


September, 2009

Backcountry skiers wanted

If you like to ski the backcountry, the Adirondack Ski Touring Council wants your help maintaining trails for skiing. The council will be trimming brush and branches on the Van Hoevenberg Trail to Mount Marcy this Saturday. Volunteers are to meet at the High Peaks Information Center at Heart Lake at 8 a.m. Tools will be available, but if you have either a pair of long-handled clippers or a pole saw, bring it. Next Saturday, ASTC volunteers will perform similar duty on the Wright Peak Ski Trail. Meet at the same time, same place. Plans also are in the works >>More


September, 2009

Paterson urged to reject Lows proposal

The executive director of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board has written Gov. David Paterson to urge him to reject a proposal to classify part of Lows Lake as Wilderness. At its September meeting, the Adirondack Park Agency voted 6-4 to classify the western part of Lows Lake as Wilderness and the eastern part as Primitive. Adjacent lands also were placed in one or the other of the two categories. To take effect, the proposal must be approved by the governor. Fred Monroe, director of the Local Government Review Board, argues in a letter to Paterson that the proposal >>More


September, 2009

Finch, Pruyn in art

The history of Finch, Pruyn & Co. and its paper mill in Glens Falls is intertwined with the history of the Adirondack Park. Two years ago, the company sold all its lands, more than 160,000 acres, to the Nature Conservancy and its mill to Atlas Holdings. Much of the land is expected to added to the state Forest Preserve. The Hyde Collection of Glens Falls will soon be exhibiting a piece of Finch, Pruyn’s history. The museum just announced that it received an oil painting by Douglass Crockwell titled Paper Workers, Finch Pruyn & Co. The artist, who died in 1968, was >>More


September, 2009

Harbingers of fall

We should be hitting peak foliage soon. Last weekend, I climbed the slide on East Dix and saw lots of color, mostly yellow, in the forest. But what really caught my eye were the succulent red berries of the American mountain ash. E.H. Ketchledge, in Forest and Trees of the Adirondack High Peaks Region, calls the mountain ash “one of our loveliest trees.” In June, it blossoms with clusters of white flowers. In the fall, the flowers transform into berries (actually, they are pomes, a false fruit) that resemble cranberries. The fruit can last into winter. “A stalk of mountain-ash >>More


September, 2009

Fran Betters

Many of you may have heard about the recent death of Fran Betters, the legendary fly fisherman from Wilmington. He is usually associated with his beloved Ausable River, but he fished many other places in the Adirondacks as well. Years ago, for example, he wrote a nice piece for the Explorer about the fishing opportunities on the North Branch of the Saranac. Fran created the Haystack fly, used to catch trout in turbulent rivers like the Ausable. His wife says he could tie a complicated fly in just three minutes. Those of you who would like to know more about >>More


September, 2009

Bull moose on Upper Ausable

A friend of the Explorer just forwarded these photographs of a bull moose taken on Upper Ausable Lake.  He also forwarded an e-mail from Ron Hall, who described the recent encounter. Hall was rowing a guide boat on the lake–on “a perfect morning, cool, mist”–when he heard clunking and splashing sounds near a boathouse. “Suddenly a large bull moose stepped out from the overhanging cedar branches. I spun the guide boat around … face to snout … with Bullwinkle. About 20′ away.” Adam Whitney took the photos. Moose vanished from the Adirondacks in the nineteenth century, but they have made >>More


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