Monday, September 28, 2015

Walking the New Northville-Placid Trail Reroute

By Seth Jones

I had an opportunity to walk the new section of the Northville-Placid Trail (N-P Trail) last week.  After a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Collins-Gifford Valley Road trailhead outside of Northville, NY I shuttled a car to the end and walked the 8.6 miles to Benson Road. You can read more about this reroute here.  The following are a few photos that I took during my walk on this new section of trail.

Trailhead sign

Gathering at ribbon cutting ceremony

New kiosk

Thursday, September 24, 2015

New Section of Northville-Placid Trail Open

By Seth Jones

The Northville-Placid Trail (N-P Trail) received an exciting new re-route this year.   First completed in 1924, the N-P Trail is a 135 mile long distance hiking trail that traverses through the heart of the Adirondacks from Northville, NY to Lake Placid, NY.  The final piece of a three-phase project by The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to move sections of the N-P Trail from a road walk to a woodland trail was celebrated during a ribbon cutting (hiking boot lace untying) ceremony yesterday afternoon.   According to DEC this final segment eliminated 7.6 miles of road walking along Route 30 and Benson Road, rerouting the trail 8.6 miles through the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest.  This new route will still require a 3.5 mile road walk to reach state lands from the Village of Northville but helped eliminate a previous 12 mile road walk that hikers would have to make to Upper Benson.

 “This reroute is a wonderful change to the N-P Trail, “ commended Diana Niland, Adirondack Mountain Club’s (ADK) N-P Trail Chapter Outings Chair.  “We in the [ADK] N-P Trail Chapter are so excited to explore this beautiful new segment of trail!” This section of the N-P Trail starts on Collins-Gifford Valley Road, 3.5 miles from the village of Northville, where the trail slowly ascends to Mud Lake, crosses West Stony Creek and comes out at Benson Road.   The N-P Trail continues across the road into the Silver Lake Wilderness.  Along the way the trail passes through old stands of oak and beautiful groves of hemlock.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Heart Lake Weddings

By Rachel Karp

The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) offers a unique location for weddings and special events throughout the year.  Each year ADK hosts a few weddings varying in size, style, and time of year.  The Heart Lake Program Center offers space along the shores of Heart Lake or inside the historic Adirondak Loj for weddings and other events. We are flexible with many of our options and work closely with our guests to provide a custom experience for each special occasion.

Bride and groom on Mt. Van Hoevenberg.  Photo credit: Dennis Scheuer

Bride and groom by Heart Lake

Bride and groom outside of Adirondak Loj

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fighting Fire in Northern California

By Paul Gallery

I participated in a New York State wildland firefighting crew this past August.  We were deployed to the Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California. While there we mopped up, cold trailed and rehabilitated the Mad River Complex Fire.  You can read more about our deployment here.  The following are a few photos from my experience.

The Sierra Pacific Charter Jet we took to Redding, CA.
Arrival at fire camp in Mad River, CA.

Working hot spots off a bulldozer fire line in Six Rivers National Forest.

Squad One (Left to Right)- Dan Tuthill, Howard Kreft, Chris Spraige, Rob Praczkajlo, Steve Brown.

Monday, September 14, 2015

ADK Workshops: Guiding Outdoor Experiences

Alex on the summit of Algonquin.

By Alex Mueck

Like many folks who pass the age of forty, I became content, lazy perhaps, no longer engaging in activities of my youth.  A few years ago, my doctor told me quite bluntly, “You’ve let yourself get out of shape, you need to do something.”

I knew from my expanding waist line I’d packed on some weight, but hearing it from a medical physician really hit home.  A change in diet and time in the gym brought back the old me.  I said to myself, I want to parlay the new me into something, but what?  I had considered running a marathon or bike race, but neither stimulated me to try.

Someone I met through work told me how she had climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and other spots around the world.  I grew fascinated in not only her stories, but that someone would truly do these crazy things.  I thought to myself maybe that’s the challenge I have been looking for.  I had another friend mention the Adirondack 46.  He explained that it was an ascent of the forty-six highest peaks in New York State.  I’d spent time in the Adirondacks before and always loved the region.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Lake Guardians: Backcountry Water Monitors Training

Photos by Brendan Wiltse

Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) and Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) held the second Backcountry Water Monitors Training at the Heart Lake Program Center. Cathy Pedler (ADK) and Erin Vennie-Vollrath (APIPP) set up a presentation for volunteers. Volunteers learned to identify aquatic invasive species and were then given an opportunity to choose a backcountry pond or lake to adopt to survey. Other partners include the Ausable River Association, Paul Smith's College Adirondack Watershed Institute, and the New York State Natural Heritage Program in the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) with funding provided by the Lake Champlain Basin Program and the New England Interstate Pollution Control Commission. Read more and sign-up to get involved or stay informed here.

Outdoor classroom for the training.

Red tape markers on maps help volunteers choose backcountry ponds and lakes available for survey (prior to the training volunteers studied an interactive on-line map to narrow down their search for a backcountry pond or lake).

After dividing the volunteers into two groups, Ryan Doyle (ADK) explains water safety, paddling techniques, and Leave No Trace Principles to the first group.

Volunteers on Heart Lake practicing paddling techniques and and the survey protocol.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Imagine the Adirondacks Without Hemlocks

By Cathy Pedler

Sometime after 4am I woke up. I left the tent and stepped into the beams of the setting full moon and walked a short distance to the shore of Polliwog Pond. The dawn was just beginning to show above the old hemlock stands, mist swirled above very still water, and then the loons began to call to each other in their old, melancholic song. In those few moments as I stood in the simultaneous light of the moon and the dawn and listened to the loons call, I was transported.  I was in an ancient place.

That moment was pivotal for me this summer. It is hard to describe such moments and the impact they have on our thoughts and decisions.  In that moment the reality of what could be lost lodged deep.

The day before, I had walked up away from the waterside site, where I was camped with colleagues and friends on a week-long Leave No Trace course, to a height of land where I recognized its old growth forest structure. Most of the trees here, and at our campsite on the shore below, were hemlock.