About Gwendolyn Craig

Gwen is an award-winning journalist covering environmental policy for the Explorer since January 2020. She also takes photos and videos for the Explorer's magazine and website. She is a current member of the Legislative Correspondents Association of New York. Gwen has worked at various news outlets since 2015. Prior to moving to upstate New York, she worked for a D.C. Metro-area public relations firm, producing digital content for clients including the World Health Organization, the Low Income Investment Fund and Rights and Resources Initiative. She has a master's degree in journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She has bachelor's degrees in English and journalism, with a concentration in ecology and evolutionary biology, from the University of Connecticut. Gwen is also a part-time figure skating coach. Contact her at (518) 524-2902 or gwen@adirondackexplorer.org. Sign up for Gwen’s newsletter here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Vanessa B says

    This was a lovely post, thank you Gwen! Lol I first did Cascade in February when I was in college to impress a boy, so you’re not alone in having had your experience evolve. When we got there it was snowing and he handed me snowshoes, a little concerned when I asked, “what are these?” We nearly summited but it was almost white out conditions – not fun! I complained a lot and needless to say, it didn’t work out. I too am glad I did not let that experience define my relationship to the ADKs. The next time I climbed Cascade was with my now husband, and the two climbs could not have been more dissimilar.

  2. Justin B. says

    Have climbed Cascade many times from age 6 or so up. Don’t miss Porter. One of my favorite times there were Pine Martens just below the summit. Another time we looked down into the canopies of slow moving jets from Plattsburgh AFB.

    • Gwendolyn Craig says

      Thanks, Justin! We did make it to Porter last month, although we walked right past the summit and kept going until we realized we were walking down for too long. I didn’t see any pine martens, but I did enjoy the view! I’ll have to check it out again!

  3. Laurie Rankin says

    We are very glad to hear that you had a successful hike to the summit of Cascade and we appreciate that you shared your lessons learned with others. The Adirondack 46ers Trailhead Steward Program has been in operation since 2017. We have interacted with tens of thousands of hikers in that time frame and we do appreciate that you mentioned our stewards in your article. “Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed that a steward might be implying you don’t look cut out for the hike.” “Don’t ignore the advice of stewards at the trailheads, who suggest to you an easier hike.” The Adirondack 46ers Steward presence has lessened the number of rescues at Cascade.

    I do want to explain a bit more about your comment on “there are three of them mostly concerned with showing you how to dig a hole to poop off trail.” The Adirondack 46ers recognized that Cascade is one of the most often climbed high peaks and the trail there often had toilet paper blossoms and human waste along it. To address this issue, our stewards use the Dig It Demo which gives them a fun opportunity to discuss this important issue. The human waste and blossoms have improved greatly along the trail to Cascade since the inception of our program.

    In April of this year we were honored when the program was awarded the NYSDEC Stewardship Appreciation Award. https://www.dec.ny.gov/press/122812.html

    In 2021 our all volunteer Trailhead Steward program expanded to a second location in addition to Cascade at the South Meadows Road. We hope to continue to make a difference to the hikers and the mountains with our educational program.

    Laurie Rankin, President Adirondack 46ers

    • gebby says

      Thank you for pointing out where those stewards come from. Obviously, they did more than just try to teach the author how to dig a cat hole. We are definitely making a difference!

  4. Ronald J Ruley says

    At least Mt. Marcy didn’t send you back. Talk about a hard lesson on your first trip! Since then about 10 years ago; in two weeks I will make cascade and porter 38th and 39th on my way to 46. Or 48 if you believe rumors lol.

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