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Adirondack Explorer

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


February, 2018

New winter-recreation map for Lake Placid

Lake Placid winter map

If winter returns, I’ll be ready. Green Goat Maps has just published a Winter Trails Map for the Saranac Lake/Lake Placid region. The full-color topographical map shows trails suitable for cross-country skiing (shown in red), snowshoeing (green), and riding fat bikes (indicated by icons). The long-distance Jackrabbit Ski Trail, which extends from Paul Smiths to Keene, gets its own color (orange). The Barkeater Trails Alliance, which maintains the Jackrabbit, helped develop the map. The map also uses colors to differentiate Forest Preserve classifications: dark green for motor- and bike-free Wilderness, lighter green for less-restrictive Wild Forest, and dark green with >>More


February, 2018

DEC wins round in fight over tank cars

Tank cars

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has won a preliminary round in its fight to remove empty tank cars stored on a rail line in the central Adirondacks. In a decision Tuesday, the federal Surface Transportation Board granted DEC’s request to waive certain requirements in the department’s forthcoming application to declare the rail line abandoned. As a result, DEC can now move forward with its application. The rail line runs thirty miles from North Creek to a closed mine in Tahawus. Saratoga & North Creek Railway acquired the tracks in 2011, with the intention of transporting rock tailings from the >>More


February, 2018

Police: Whiteface skier doesn’t recall last 6 days

missing whiteface skier

A skier who vanished from Whiteface Mountain and somehow ended up in California doesn’t recall what happened in the six days he went missing, according to New York State Police. “We ask no one to jump to any conclusions,” said Major John Tibbitts at a news conference in Ray Brook Wednesday afternoon. Constantinos “Danny” Filippidos, a forty-nine-year-old firefighter from Toronto, had been skiing on Wednesday, February 7, when he told friends he wanted to take one last run. When he failed to return by the time the resort closed, his companions alerted authorities. His car was still in the Whiteface >>More