Brief bio: Bill Amadon
Birthplace: Gloversville (raised in Piseco).
Occupation: Stewardship coordinator for Champlain Area Trails; registered outdoor guide; artist.
Accomplishments: Built sustainable trails, and achieved childhood goal of creating paintings that look almost like photographs.
A favorite trail: I was always very partial to Hurricane Mountain Trail. You get views, if you look west, of the High Peaks and especially Keene Valley, and then you look over Elizabethtown and you can see the Green Mountains in the distance.
How the Adirondacks inspire art:
They’re amazing. It’s not just the mountaintops. It’s the forests. When I was in grade school … when everyone was watching television in the evenings, I was drawing the mountains, the rivers, the roads. If we took a trip—I drove up Whiteface at 9 or 10—my eyes were just scanning everything I saw. I’ve been all over this country, and they have a totally different character. We’re able to walk through the latitudes north and end up in the tundra.
Memorable wildlife experience:
I lived by Split Rock Mountain, which became state land about 25 years ago. I was running with my golden retriever and we came around the north side of the saddle of the mountain and there was a black bear crouched down in the trail. By the time I realize I’m still running, it jumps up and runs up the hill. I kept running. I’m not really afraid of bears, but it startled me.
If I were in charge of the park:
We should concentrate all the development in hamlets and villages. You drive around and you see a driveway every 500 feet. It’s not good to fragment the whole area. I’d try to redirect it from areas that haven’t been developed. Also, redirect recreation away from motorized-use-at-any-cost. I’m in good shape for my age. I’ve been athletic all my life. The government, whether it’s the Park Agency or the State of New York or the Department of Environmental Conservation, should encourage people to get out and use their two feet instead of riding something that uses fossil fuels for recreation.