Wednesday, April 9, 2014

90 Years on the Northville-Placid Trail

By Seth Jones

The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) is celebrating the 90th anniversary of the completion of the Northville-Placid Trail (N-P Trail) this year.  The N-P Trail, originally called The Long Trail is a north-south foot path that traverses through the heart of the Adirondacks from Northville to Lake Placid, NY.  This 135 mile, long distance hiking trail has captured the hearts of many throughout the years.

The N-P Trail was the first major project that ADK sponsored after the organization’s formation in 1922.  One of the objectives as a newly formed organization was “to open, develop, extend and maintain trails for walkers and mountain climbers in the Adirondack Mountains,” as stated in the certificate of incorporation.  What better way to do that than to build a trail that runs the length of the Adirondacks?  Why pick Northville to Lake Placid though?  Why not Lake George to Keene Valley?  According to Jeff and Donna Case in ADK’s Northville-Placid Trail guidebook they believe it was a matter of trailhead transportation and convenience.  When the trail was envisioned the automobile was not yet a household staple and Northville and Lake Placid had regular train service.  Many of the areas between Northville and Lake Placid had also been heavily logged by the 1920’s so the network of logging roads helped in the ease of laying out such a trail.  According to Edwin M. Noyes, one of the two men hired to lay out the N-P Trail, only about 25 percent of the trail was over new terrain.  Noyes states in a letter to the Blue Mountain Museum that,

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

That's a Wrap! ADK’s Winter School Outreach Program was a Record-Breaker.

By Thea Moruzzi

On any given day in February or early March, visitors to the Heart Lake Program Center could witness a spectacle; the mass migration of young two-legged critters to the steps of the Adirondak Loj.  Upon further observation, one might deduce that these groups of excited youngsters are going to be spending the day outside snowshoeing.  This would be correct, as they are local fourth graders participating in ADK’s winter portion of the Marie L. Haberl School Outreach Program.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Canadian Pacific Rail Line Carries Threat Along the Shores of Lake Champlain to the Port-Of-Albany

By ADK Public Affairs Office

Recently, Adirondack Mountain Club's (ADK) Northwoods Chapter alerted ADK's Public Affairs Office in Albany about a significant threat to Lake Champlain. We investigated and found that the Canadian Pacific Rail Line which travels from Canada along the shores of Lake Champlain to the Port-Of-Albany currently ships sweet light Bakken crude which is very volatile. One concern about these shipments is that the rail cars used, DOT-111s, are thin and vulnerable to rupture and explosion in derailments. In a press release last year, US Senator Schumer described the cars as “tragically flawed, causing potential damage and catastrophic loss of hazardous materials during derailments.”  The proximity of the rail line to Lake Champlain and to urban areas in Albany creates a significant hazard. This is a current and ongoing threat, but an even greater risk is on the horizon: the likely transport along this route of heavy Bakken crude which is dense enough to sink instead of float, making oil spill recovery much more difficult.   Moreover, given the delay in construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and great hurdles facing a Canadian pipeline connecting the Alberta tar sand deposits with Pacific coast ports, it is very likely that the Canadian Pacific will seek to transport the tar sand crude oil known as bitumen  from Montreal to the Port of Albany.  This high density bitumen would be even more damaging to the ecology of the lake than Bakken heavy crude oil. The Times Union interviewed Neil Woodworth, ADK's Executive Director about the issue,

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Guided Trips and Workshops with ADK

Winter view from Street

By Kevin Martin

One of the benefits of leading and instructing hikes and workshops for the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) are the enthusiastic and energetic people that you get to meet.  One of those enthusiastic  participants is Kevin Martin.  The following is his take on the experience that he has had on ADK's education programs. -Seth Jones

My experience with Adirondack Mountain Club's (ADK) Education Department has been a positive one.  My first experience with them was a winter guided hike up Esther Mt., a "trailless peak" at the shoulder of Whiteface Mountain.  The trip was led by two of ADK's staff, Ryan Doyle and Seth Jones.  Unfortunately, that day did not go well for me due to poor nutrition and preparation on my part.  I decided that I needed to turn around and head back to the car after the leg cramps set in.  This didn't deter me though.  Two days later I was rewarded with a great hike up Street and Nye that Ryan and Seth once again led.  The white-coated trees, deep blue sky and bright sun made it a perfect winter hike.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

2014 Adirondack Trails Part II

2013 ADK Professional Trail Crew

By Wes Lampman

The Professional Trail Crew’s (pro crew) season began with a week of skills training in May.  Most of the training projects focused on replacing foot bridges, some that were damaged during Tropical Storm Irene. The eighteen person crew split up into three different crews. One crew repaired the bridge at the beginning of the Klondike Trail that spans 32 feet over the West Branch of the Ausable River. Almost all of the original parts of the bridge including the stringers were reused. After completing this bridge, this crew moved on to the Mr. Van Ski Trail to replace a 25 foot bridge that fell into disrepair. The second crew replaced the Fangorn Forest Trail ski bridge on ADK’s Heart Lake property. This 28 foot bridge was built out of trees that were harvested on site.  A third crew worked at the summit of Mt. Jo. Ten wood steps were erected over a steep, rocky section of trail. Next year the steps will be continued to complete this project. The three crews spent five days total at their respective locations. The entire crew, including the volunteer leaders, participated in a two day wilderness first aid course that was run by Wilderness Medical Associates. To finish up training, the entire crew embarked on two days of patrols of trails primarily in the High Peaks Region. Due to the two feet of snow that was present at higher elevations, many drainage ditches could not be cleaned out. The crew did however manage to remove over 195 pieces of blown down trees. Training and patrols were made possible by funding that was provided once again by the Adirondack Forty-Sixers.

Friday, February 28, 2014

2014 Adirondack Trails Part I

Bog bridges between Boundary and Iroquois

By Wes Lampman

The 2013 field season was one to remember. Not for the 2-3 feet of snow that blanketed the High Peaks region on Memorial Day Weekend or the seemingly endless rainfall in June or the incredibly wet trail conditions that were a result from said snow and rain, but for the incredible accomplishments that were made by the people working on the trails and summits in spite of the inhospitable conditions. As you will see, the quantity and quality of work that was completed by ADK volunteers and staff is staggering.

Looking forward to the 2014 field season, there are many exciting projects and opportunities for volunteers as well as for the professional summit stewards and trail crew. On National Trails Day ADK’s Supervised Volunteer Trails Program (SVTP) will be celebrating the 90th anniversary of the completion of the Northville-Lake Placid Trail (N-PT) in Northville. Trail projects will focus on the newly constructed reroute of the trail in the Silver Lake Wilderness and continuing the southern reroute into the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest. The Town of Northville is very excited to be hosting the event and has a number of activities planned that will be simultaneously taking place on Saturday in the town park during the trail work day. Register soon to secure your spot and to ensure that you can be a part of this historic reroute of the N-PT.