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Craig

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  1. The trails through the Elk Lake Conservation Easement Tract – to Mt. Marcy via Panther Gorge and to Dix Mountain – will be closed to public use for the duration of the big game hunting season beginning Saturday, October 20. The trails will reopen for public use on December 3.


  2. 46er or aspirant, do you want to give back and have fun doing it? Join the 46er trail crew this year for a variety of trail projects! Everyone is fun to work with, you don't have to be skilled or strong, and your efforts are a great way to Leave a Trace in a positive way! To sign up, Go to the web link below:

     

    https://tinyurl.com/Trail-Crew-Signup-2018

     

    The 46ers recognize the hours put in, which go towards earning Conservation Service Awards; see http://www.adk46er.org/Conservation_award.html. For a description of the trail maintenance days, see:

     

    http://www.adk46er.org/trail-crew.html

     

    For photos from trail work done in 2017, see:

    http://www.adk46er.org/trail-crew-photos.html


  3. For Release: Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    Hikers Should Temporarily Avoid High Elevation Trails

    Some Seasonal Access Roads Remain Closed Due to Muddy Conditions

     

    [iMAGE_LEFT]

    [/iMAGE_LEFT]

     

    The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) urges hikers to be cautious and postpone hikes on trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened. Snow and ice are currently melting on high elevation trails and steep trails with thin soils are dangerous for hiking and susceptible to erosion, and sensitive alpine vegetation is easily damaged.

     

    Backcountry trails in the highest elevations are still covered in slowly melting ice and snow. Steep trails with thin soils can become a mix of ice and mud as the ice melts and frost leaves the ground, making the trails slippery and vulnerable to erosion by hikers. Sensitive alpine vegetation is also easily damaged by hikers attempting to avoid the mud and ice.

     

    Avoiding these trails during the Muddy Trail Advisory helps to alleviate impacts to the trail tread and adjacent areas. Saturated, thin soils and steep grades combined with hikers trying to get traction lead to increased impacts to the trail corridors during the shoulder seasons. Snow and ice "monorails" are difficult to hike on, resulting in users widening trails.

     

    DEC encourages hikers to help avoid damage to hiking trails and sensitive high elevation vegetation by avoiding trails above 2,500 feet, particularly high elevation trails in the Dix, Giant, and High Peaks Wilderness areas in the northern Adirondacks. Please avoid the following trails until trail conditions improve:

    • High Peaks Wilderness - all trails above 2,500 feet where wet, muddy, snow conditions still prevail, specifically: Algonquin, Colden, Feldspar, Gothics, Indian Pass, Lake Arnold Cross-Over, Marcy, Marcy Dam - Avalanche - Lake Colden, which is extremely wet, Phelps Trail above Johns Brook Lodge, Range Trail, Skylight, Wright, all "trail-less" peaks, and all trails above Elk Lake and Round Pond in the former Dix Mountain Wilderness.
    • Giant Mountain Wilderness - all trails above Giant's Washbowl, "the Cobbles," and Owl Head Lookout.
    • McKenzie Mountain Wilderness - all trails above 2,500 feet where wet, muddy, snow conditions still prevail, specifically Whiteface, Esther, Moose and McKenzie Mountains.
    • Sentinel Range Wilderness: all trails above 2,500 feet where wet, muddy, snow conditions still prevail, specifically Pitchoff Mountain.

    DEC is urging hikers to postpone hikes in the higher elevations to protect New York's trail system and help DEC manage the largest wilderness in the Northeast.

     

    Visit DEC's website for a list of alternative hikes (PDF, 42 KB).

     

    Due to winter weather and conditions lasting into late April and early May, many seasonal access roads in the Adirondacks which are typically open by the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend will remain closed. DEC closes seasonal access roads each spring for mud season. The roads are opened to public motor vehicle use only after they dry and harden, and all necessary maintenance and repairs are completed.

     

    The following seasonal access roads, or portions of them, will remain closed this weekend:

     

    Blue Mountain Wild Forest (Township 19 Conservation Easement Tract)

    • O'Neill Flow Road

    Five Mile Conservation Easement Tract

    • Five Mile Road

    Gold Mine Conservation Easement Tract

    • Gold Mine Road

    Grass River Wild Forest (and nearby conservation easement lands)

    • Streeter Lake Road
    • Spruce Mountain Road
    • Long Pond Main Haul Road
    • Gulf Brook Road

    High Peaks/Dix Mountain Wilderness

    • South Meadow Lane
    • Elk Lake Road
    • Gulf Brook Road (Boreas Ponds Tract)

    Kushaqua Conservation Easement Tract

    • North Branch Road
    • Mud Pond Road

    Moose River Plains Complex

    • Limekiln Lake - Cedar River Road (aka Moose River Plains Road) between the Cedar River Gate (Indian Lake side) and Lost Pond Road
    • Otter Brook Road beyond the bridge over the South Branch Moose River
    • Rock Dam Road

    Vanderwhacker Wild Forest

    • Gulf Brook Road (Boreas Ponds Tract)

    Check DEC's website for other tips on spring outdoor recreation and weekly updates on Adirondack Backcountry Information.

     

    Source: https://www.dec.ny.gov/press/113740.html


  4. A great little hike for a beginner, young family, or for me that hasn't been out hiking since December. The hike is only about 1.1 miles to the summit. It took me longer to drive to the trail head than it did to hike the round trip of 2.2 miles.

     

    I arrived at the trail head around 8:30am. I would have the trail to myself for the hike. One of the benefits of hiking in the middle of the week. There wasn't anyone at Blue Mountain trail head either when I passed by.

     

    [iMAGE_RIGHT][ATTACH=full]1686[/ATTACH][/iMAGE_RIGHT]

     

    I grabbed my pack, let the pups out, signed in, and we were off. The trail is an easy climb, one of the easiest summits in the Adirondacks, and fairly dry. There were a couple areas that were muddy, but easy enough to rock hop through. It was a mix of hardwoods and sparse fir trees the entire way. It must be a cool hike in the summer with the canopy of leaves overhead. I was thinking this mountain can be pretty busy with hikers in the summer months based on its proximity to nearby campgrounds and vacation rentals. That and the small parking area at the trail head could pose a problem with parking.

     

    As I progressed up the trail I found towards the top ridge there are partial views from ledges on the left near the summit. A short whack over to a small lookout provided some views. Back to the trail and past the wooded summit was the described rock ledge with a nice overlook that provided some decent views, and a swarm of hungry black flies.

     

    The trail head is located between Indian Lake and Blue Mountain Lake on the west side of Route 28, the parking is well marked. It is a short distance south of Lake Durant campground.

     

    I did a brief search on the history of Sawyer mountain and had trouble finding much on it, other than what appears is that it is part of a recreational easement with New York State.

     

    On my way back home I took a spin into the Lake Durant Campground. I grabbed a map and drove around checking out the campsites. This is a nice campground that has several nice sites, many of which are on the lake itself.

     

    Pictures


  5. 2018 GARDEN PARKING/SHUTTLE SCHEDULE

     

    Once again the Town of Keene will manage the Garden Parking Lot in KeeneValley in accordance with an Adopt a Resource Agreement with New York State Department of Conservation. The Town of Keene will also serve as operator of a public transportation system that will serve hikers and the general public.

     

    This program was initiated in response to the illegal and unsafe parking that prevailed. The parking fees pay for attendants on weekends, maintenance and winter snowplowing of the Garden, Rooster Comb and Roaring Brook Parking Lots, and portable toilets.

     

    Commencing Friday, May 11th, a fee of $10.00 American (Canadian @ $13.00) per calendar day, 12:01 AM to midnight, will be assessed for parking at the Garden Lot. The daily fee will continue through the month of October. An attendant will be at the Garden Lot from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays during this period. Town Employees and DEC Rangers will monitor the lot during the week.

     

    The shuttle will operate from the Southwest corner of Marcy Field, off Route 73, when the Garden Parking Lot is full, beginning with two Holiday Weekends in May, from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, as follows:

    Victoria Day Weekend - May 19th, 2oth & 21st

     

    Memorial Day Weekend - May 26th, 27th & 28th

     

    Shuttle operation will resume on Saturday, June 16th, operating on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. Sunday, October 14th will be the last day of operation.

     

    A fee of $10.00 American (Canadian @ $13.00) will be charged per person for a round trip.

     

    Thank you for your continued support in this project. We hope that reasonable management will ensure continued access to the High Peaks Wilderness.

     

    Town of Keene

    10892 NYS Route 9N Keene, NY 12942 | 518-576-4444

     

    Home•Departments•Services•Events•Town Boards•2018 Garden Parking /Shuttle Information•Sitemap


  6. Have a safe and enjoyable outdoor recreational experience on the lands and waters of the Adirondacks. Properly plan and prepare for your outdoor adventure. Minimize the impact on the mountains and forests, rivers and brooks, ponds and lakes, and the wildlife of the Adirondacks.

    Check the Backcountry Information for the Adirondacks web pages for more detailed information on access, outdoor recreation infrastructure, and conditions for those planning to recreate in the Adirondacks. This bulletin provides only the most recent notices.

    Emergency Situations: If you get lost or injured; keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service, call the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch (518-408-5850). Stay warm and dry by separating yourself from the wet snow with a thicker layer on the ground such as your pack. Protect yourself from the elements by building a shelter with items around you and in your pack. Use a space blanket for extra warmth.

    Would you like your photo shared in our weekly bulletin? Send us your photos that represent current backcountry conditions in the Adirondacks. Send in your photos with your name and photo location/brief description to Info.R5@dec.ny.gov or simply tag #NYSDEC on Instagram.

    PLAN

    Weather forecasts and conditions can and do change quickly. Check the current National Weather Service Forecast and be prepared for the forecasted conditions or change your plans.

    • Varying trail conditions: Ice is still present on all trails in middle and high elevations. Carry crampons on all hikes. Plan to encounter a mix of mud and ice at lower elevations. There have been many ice related accidents reported on trails and mountain
      picture-013_original.jpg

      slopes. Please heed ice warnings to ensure your safety on all trails.

    • Mud: With warming temperatures at low elevations, trails have begun to muddy. Walk through the mud, not around. This will avoid widening the trail, trampling trailside vegetation and help to protect fragile wildlife habitats. Wear waterproof hiking boots and gaiters to ensure comfort and safety while hiking through mud.
    • All-terrain bikers advised to avoid all trails until trails have dried, hardened, and undergone all maintenance.
    • High waters-stream crossings may be impassable. Prepare to take alternate routes or turn back if a stream crossing is impassable. Fast moving streams should be avoided. Keep dogs on leashes near fast moving water. Fisherman should use a flotation device when wading in waterways as well as carry a walking stick for added balance.

    PREPARE

    Properly prepare to better ensure a safe and enjoyable winter recreation experience.

    • Spring recreation tips: It's spring and people are eager to get out into the warming weather or squeeze in the last of winter recreation. Mud season presents unique challenges for outdoor recreation. Weather is often volatile: rain, sleet, freezing rain, snow, and even thunderstorms can occur, sometimes on the same day. Trails are muddy, and high, fast-moving waters make stream crossings on trails dangerous. Seasonal access roads remain closed while they dry and spring maintenance is completed.
    • Paddlers: Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) (PFD’s are required before May 1st). Water temperatures are cold. A person in the water can quickly lose the ability to keep their head above water. Use caution entering and exiting your canoe or kayak. Expect high water levels and swift currents. Research your trip ahead of time and heed any high-water warnings or advisories for select paddling routes. Watch closely for trees, branches, rocks and debris both above the surface and underwater.

    PRACTICE LEAVE NO TRACE

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    Follow proper trail etiquette to maintain minimal impact on the environment and the natural resources of the Adirondacks as well as ensuring an enjoyable outdoor experience for all visitors by following the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace.

    • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces (Principle #2):

      • As snow next to the trails melts, compacted ice in the center creates “monorails.” Monorails can be tough to traverse. Take your time, use crampons and other traction devices for walking directly on the monorail. This avoids post-holing in trailside snow and trampling fragile vegetation and wildlife habitats. Trekking poles are useful for balance.

      [*]Plan Ahead and Prepare (Principle #1):

      [*]

      • Layering for spring hiking: Temperatures at the trail head will vary from temperatures at your destination. Higher elevations and exposed summits can have significantly colder temperatures than the base of the mountain even on warm, sunny days. Pack extra non-cotton, wind protectant layers and be sure to use them once exposed or feeling colder to help prevent hypothermia.

      [*]Respect Wildlife (Principle #6):

      [*]

      • View wildlife from a distance using binoculars or a spotting scope to observe the natural behavior of animals. It’s safer for wildlife, especially vulnerable populations like young animals, breeding and nesting birds, and wintering raptors.
         
      • Do not feed wildlife. Feeding can create dependence on humans and increase disease in wildlife. This includes food scraps along trails such as orange peels and apple cores. Carry out all food scraps

    GENERAL CONDITIONS/NOTICES

    Learn the conditions you will encounter from Adirondack Backcountry Information.

    • Winter Refuses to Leave: Much of the Adirondacks above 1,500 feet elevation received 8 to 20 inches of snow on the last Sunday of April. See the NERFC Snow Page for current snow information.

      • Deep snow (2-3 feet) and ice are present above 3,000 feet with even deeper snow above 4,000 feet.
      • Snow and ice present between 2,500 and 3000 feet elevation.
      • Patchy snow and ice are present between 2,000 and 2,500 feet elevation – especially in wooded areas, on north facing slopes, ravines, and other shaded areas.
      • Below 2,000 feet elevation most or all of the snow has melted due to warm weather, strong winds, and rain.
         
      • Snow may still be present in wooded areas, on north facing slopes, ravines, and other shaded areas between 1,500 and 2,000.

      [*]Trail Conditions:

      [*]

      • High elevation (above 3,000 feet) trails are covered in ice and deep soft snow. Carry and use crampons and snowshoes. Climbing or mountaineering crampons may be required in some places.
      • Moderately High elevation (2,500 to 3,000 feet) trails are icy as compacted snow has turned to ice. Carry and use crampons. Climbing or mountaineering crampons may be required in some places.Snowshoes should be carried for any off trail excursions.
      • Middle elevation (1,500 to 2,500 ft) trails contain patches of mud and ice. Compacted snow has turned to ice creating “monorails” on the trails as surrounding snow melts. Wear proper foot wear and carry trail crampons (microspikes) on all hikes. Walk on monorails and through mud and water to avoid post-holing in trailside snow, trampling vegetation, and eroding trails.
         
      • Low elevation (below 1,500 ft) trails contain mud and water. Wear proper foot wear. Walk through mud and water - not around - to avoid eroding and widening trails and trampling trailside vegetation.

      [*]Mountain Summit Conditions: Conditions will be more extreme than those found at the trailhead. Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger, ice will be present, and snow will be present and deeper. Check the National Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.

      img-5311_original.jpg

      [*]Water Levels: Rain and melting snow have raised water levels. Rivers and streams are flowing high and fast. See the USGS Current Water Data for New York for stream flow of selected waters.

      [*]Stream Crossings: Due to high swift waters, crossing may be dangerous or impossible, especially in the afternoon when snow melt increases. Streams and drainages that are passable in the morning may not be in the afternoon.

      [*]Lakes and Ponds: Ice is completely gone on lower elevation and middle elevation lakes and ponds just in time for the May opening of fishing seasons for many warm water species. High elevation ponds are still ice covered, but the ice is not safe.

      [*]Water Temperatures: Water temperatures are very cold. Paddlers and boaters should wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD, aka Life Jacket)! People immersed in cold waters can lose the ability to think clearly and move quickly after only a short time in the water. Anglers fishing from shore or wading should wear a personal flotation device.

      [*]Seasonal Access Roads: All gates on seasonal access roads throughout the Adirondacks are closed for mud season. Seasonal access roads will remain closed until they have dried and hardened, and all needed repairs and maintenance are completed.

      [*]Statewide Burn Ban: There is a statewide burn ban in effect until May 14th. Open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York State. When temperatures are warmer and the past fall's debris and leaves dry out, wildfires can start and spread easily and be further fueled by winds and a lack of green vegetation.

      [*]

      • DEC will post a Fire Danger Map rating forecast daily for the 2018 fire season on its website.

    SPECIFIC NOTICES

    Notices below reflect recent changes in conditions and recreation infrastructure work completed by DEC and its partners.

    • High Peaks Wilderness: Lake Colden Caretaker Report

      • Muddy trails between Loj Trailhead and Marcy Dam.
      • Ice beyond Marcy Dam
      • Deep soft snow beyond
         

        • Indian Falls on the VanHoevenberg Trail;
        • McIntyre Falls on the Algonquin Trail
        • Avalanche Pass
           

        [*]Trail between Boundary and Lake Colden is sloppy and wet

        [*]40+ inches (100+ cm) of snow at Colden Caretaker Cabin (2,750 feet (838 m))

         

      [*]Saranac Lake Wild Forest: Paddlers and boaters should use caution in the vicinity of Lower Locks as the Saranac River is flowing high and swift over the dam at the locks.

      [*]Saranac Lake Wild Forest: Middle Saranac Lake is free of ice.

      [*]Lake Flower Boat Launch: The boat launch is open but due to a clean-up project removing contaminated sediments from Lake Flower’s Pontiac Bay no parking is available on site. DEC is working on obtaining alternate parking opportunities.

      [*]Northville Boat Launch: The Northville Boat Launch and Parking Area on State Route 30 is open for use.

       

      [*]Mount Tom State Forest (Town of White Creek, Washington County): The gates on Notch Lane, are open.

    HIGHLIGHTED TRAIL- Coon Mountain, Westport, NY

    Coon Mountain is on the Coon Mountain Preserve, which is owned by The Nature Conservancy. The trail is 1 mile to the summit. From the trailhead the path starts climbing almost immediately. The trail never gets too steep, but it does have a moderate and constant incline. One short section gets steep as it passes through a rocky section, where footing is a bit more difficult. This is a perfect family outing, and if you are in the area it should not be missed. The views over Lake Champlain and into the Green Mountains of Vermont are amazing. Description from Champlain Area Trails.

    Leave No Trace: Staying on the marked trails is a simple way to protect Coon Mountain’s natural areas. Walking off trail causes erosion, tramples plants, and can increase the likelihood of invasive plants becoming established.

    Trailhead: From the intersection of Route 9N and Route 22 in Westport, take Route 22 north. Follow this for 0.4 mile and turn right on Lakeshore Road, then continue for 2.5 miles and turn left on Halds Road. The trailhead is on the right in just under a mile.

    Coon Mountain Preserve: The 318-acre Coon Mountain Preserve is a naturalist's paradise and a viewer's dream. It is famous for its mysterious and craggy interior, with rocky outcrops and dark hemlock forests. Steep cliffs and talus slopes (accumulations of rock debris at the base of a cliff or steep mountain slope) reveal vistas of oak-pine forests, small fens and hardwood swamps. Coon Mountain Preserve has an abundance of wildlife to watch including migratory songbirds, broad-winged hawks, and porcupine.

     

    Powered by

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    Source https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/NYSDEC/bulletins/1eddefa


  7. The Forty-Sixers just put up their trail maintenance schedule for 2018. Whether you are an 46er or an aspirant, the trail crew welcomes new faces - and the old 1f609.png;-). Everyone is fun to work with, you'll learn a lot from the trail masters, and your efforts are a great way to Leave a Trace in a positive way! The good news is that you can sign up online (welcome to the 21st century)! Go to the web link below:

    https://tinyurl.com/Trail-Crew-Signup-2018

    In addition to fun in the mud and giving back, the Forty-Sixers recognize the hours put in, which go towards earning Conservation Service Awards; see http://www.adk46er.org/Conservation_award.html. For a description of the trail maintenance days, see:

    http://www.adk46er.org/trail-crew.html

    For photos from trail work done in 2017, see:

    http://www.adk46er.org/trail-crew-photos.html


  8. [ATTACH=full]1680[/ATTACH]

     

    ADK Stewardship Ambassadors inspire ADK’s community to protect New York’s public lands by sharing stories through writing and visually captivating media. You’ll help ADK advocate for the stewardship of New York’s public lands while you recreate outside through your words, photos, and videos.

    We want human powered recreationists (hikers, paddlers, cyclists/ mountain bikers, campers, backpackers, etc. ) who are passionate about sharing their story while on the trail. We want you to share your adventures and also share the importance of being a steward of New York’s public lands.

    We are looking for individuals who…

    • are passionate about environmental conservation and Leave No Trace practices
    • are talented storytellers and communicators
    • have an eye for capturing the beauty that is around them while they are recreating outside, and can convey it through words, photography, or videography
    • are able to look beyond the surface and see things in a broader context
    • are curious about natural and human history

    If this is you, we want you to apply for the ADK Stewardship Ambassador program!

    Why be an ADK Stewardship Ambassador?

    Being an ADK Ambassador means you’ll play a significant role in inspiring people to protect New York’s wild places. It also means you’ll get to share your adventures with our social media audience of more than 75,000 outdoor enthusiasts. You’ll also get some complimentary ADK swag.

    REQUIREMENTS

    1. Be an enthusiastic writer, photographer, or videographer (or any combination of the three).
    2. Document your outdoor adventures through social media and/or a blog
    3. Send us substantial content about your adventures at least twice a month (ideally once every 2 weeks). Substantial content examples include:
      • 4 Facebook and/or Instagram posts each month with a photo and thoughtful, engaging caption.
      • Blog posts or essays of at least 250 words with at least 2 accompanying high-res photos
      • 10+ high-resolution photos (at least 300dpi, 8MP or 3200 pixels on the long edge)
      • 30+ secs. of edited video ready for posting
      • 2 minutes+ of raw video for us to edit

    [*]Must be willing to provide ADK the right to use (without limitation) images, writings, and video of your adventures.

    If you have any questions please contact Stephanie at StephC@adk.org.

    Applications due April 15.

    Click here to apply.


  9. The Forty-Sixers just put up their trail maintenance schedule for 2018. Whether you are an 46er or an aspirant, the trail crew welcomes new faces - and the old 1f609.png. Everyone is fun to work with, you'll learn a lot from the trail masters, and your efforts are a great way to Leave a Trace in a positive way! The good news is that you can sign up online (welcome to the 21st century)! Go to the web link below:

     

    https://tinyurl.com/Trail-Crew-Signup-2018

     

    In addition to fun in the mud and giving back, the Forty-Sixers recognize the hours put in, which go towards earning Conservation Service Awards; see http://www.adk46er.org/Conservation_award.html. For a description of the trail maintenance days, see:

     

    http://www.adk46er.org/trail-crew.html

     

    For photos from trail work done in 2017, see:

     

    http://www.adk46er.org/trail-crew-photos.html


  10. What is Project-100?

     

    Project-100 is a fund-raising project put on by the ADK High Peaks Foundation. Neil is a founding member of The Foundation and will attempt to summit each of the peaks from the ADK Hundred Highest list between December 21, 2017 and March 21, 2018. It is noteworthy that approximately 40 of the peaks are untrailed. However, if he hasn’t finished by that date He will continue until the list is complete.

     

    Tracking. As with his previous two fund-raisings, Project 46 and Project Full Deck, he will be carrying a tracking device (Spot device) which will allow people to follow his progress on any given hike in real time.

     

    Reaching out. He has contacted many people for information but Spencer Morrissey and Tom Haskins stand out as extremely knowledgeable and helpful people with regards to the trailless peaks from the list.

     

    Social connection. The ADKHP Foundation has always thrived on and nurtured a strong social connection and this project will be no exception. Their goal is to involve as many people as possible as hiking partners and through the magic of on-line participation. His blog will serve as home base for on-going progress and related information. All social media sites, such as the ADKHP Forum and Facebook, will point to it.

     

    Fund Raising. Raising funds for the Foundation is the purpose of P-100 and this will be handled through the Foundation’s website. Doners may contribute using Paypal by clicking on the donate button here, or on the blog’s main page or through the website itself. Donations can also be made by mailing a check or in person as cash donations. Donations by American citizens are tax deductible.

     

    Follow Neil on his quest and please support the effort.


  11. Introduction

    Endurance hiking refers to doing long hikes with a lot of elevation change. The length and amount are highly variable and depend on the individual’s own idea of how long is long or how high is high.

     

    What follows is a distillate of more than four decades of hiking and training. Included here is what I have gleaned, tried, tweaked and retained after reading many good (and some not-so-good) books. “Good” to me means it makes sense, has lots of current scientific references, the author is not selling any products and offers no promises of instant results. I don’t provide much in the way of how-to information but it’s all in the books. There is a bibliography at the end.

     

    Pretty much everything is open for debate and hopefuly will be tweaked and improved upon in the future.

     

    King Kardio. Aerobic power

    One of the most important, if not the most important, keys to endurance hiking is aerobic power. Note I didn’t use the term “cardio-vascular”, which refers to the pump and the plumbing ie. the central components.

     

    Aerobic power happens in the muscles (ie. the business end) and refers to one’s ability to convert fat and sugar, in the presence of oxygen, into the mechanical energy that gets you up a mountain. This ability relies on biochemical machinery that is housed in the muscle cells themselves. Training can greatly increase how much of this machinery you have in your muscles.

     

    Zone 1- the only one you really need

    Aerobic exercise has been divided into a series of intensity zones. The most important for endurance hiking is Zone One and you can even forget about the others if you want. As you begin to hike uphill and your breathing starts to noticably deepen you enter Z1 and for simplicity’s sake you exit into Z2 when you can no longer breath through your nose. Ideally, you would do your entire hike in Z1. You can hike “forever” in this zone in which you preferentially burn fat for fuel and produce little lactic acid.

     

    Training expands Zone 1

    Z1 can be “expanded” through training. This means that the more (and better) you train, the harder and faster you can hike while remaining continuously in Z1. In order to develop this very worthwhile physiological capacity you must develop a big aerobic foundation. To do this elite endurance athletes spend 80% of their training time in Z1 and have been doing so long before the science revealed why it was effective.

     

    Death by Zone

    Amateur athletes (ie. me and you) have limited time to train so we tend to compensate when doing Zone 1 workouts by training too hard. Then, when we try reaching into zones 3, 4 (and 5!) we don’t train hard enough. The result is called “death by zone” where the amateur athlete ends up training mostly in Z2 and doesn’t progress.

     

    Intensive exercise

    Intense exercise (Z4 and 5) has been shown to inhibit the expression of genes that code for the very proteins that constitute the aerobic machinery. Therefore I try and spend no more than 20% of my training time above Z1. Such things as HIITs (AKA Tabata) can give the impression you are really doing something positive but you might want to dial it back or at least look into it a bit deeper. According to the book, “Training for the New Alpinism”, without a base of aerobic support, intensity training will never allow you to maximize your fitness potential.

     

    Time takes time

    You can easily spend 6-12 months of patient, intelligent work building an aerobic base so don’t expect quick results. You have to increase the work load incrementally and break it down into smaller cycles of 3-6 weeks. This works out something like this: 3 weeks of adaptation followed by 3 weeks of consolidation that serves as a base for the next increase. You need to do this over and over again sprinkling in a few breaks or easy weeks.

     

    Note that a very unfit person trying to climb a mountain too quickly will rapidly zoom into Z 4 or 5, burn sugar nearly exclusively and produce large amounts of lactic acid. They will also be breathing very hard in order to “blow off” the acid as CO2. They will crash and burn quickly while a fit hiker will be cruising along easily in Z1, burning fat, breathing easily and carrying on a conversation.

     

    Note also, that as your aerobic power increases you will be able to hike harder at progressively higher heart rates while remaining in Z1. Zone one’s upper limit heart rate is a trainable number.

     

    Specificity

    Nothing improves your hiking fitness better than going uphill at the upper limits of Z1. Running on the flats will surely expand your aerobic power but it won’t transfer to hiking as well as plodding uphill, preferably with a pack who’s weight is about the same as your day pack. The uphill load stresses the muscles and tendons and recruits the climbing muscles, all of which adapt and grow tougher.

     

    Fuel: fat and carbs

    Hiking mostly in Z1 (either by going slowly or by having a big aerobic base or both) is advantageous because it spares muscle glyocen (storage form of sugar). The fitter you are, (or the slower you go) the more you burn fat and the less sugar. This is a good thing because the amount of glycogen you have on board at the beginning of a hike is fairly limited. If you are unfit or try to go too fast you risk being unable to keep up with the rate of carbohydrate burning even if you consume carbs along the way (as you should). You will become very tired, theoretically to the point of no longer being able to continue.

     

    Also, fats burn in a carbohydrate flame.

     

    Muscle strength. Lifting weights to improve aerobic power and endurance

    Going to a gym and “pumping iron” is more optional than developing an aerobic base. However it has several advantages, the most important of which is increasing your aerobic power. Think of a muscle like a war canoe with 20 paddlers on board. In an unfit person only 4 paddlers do any work and the others just sit there doing nothing but adding weight. After some weight training the nervous system fires up more of the paddlers (recruitment) so that maybe 8 of the 20 are working. What weight training does it get the maximum number of fibers working and then they take turns. Ie. 100% are never firing at the same time while hiking but they develop the ability to work on rotation. They take turns working and resting, which increases your aerobic endurence still further. In fact, the “resting” fibers may be metabolizing lactic acid (you always produce some) via the “lactate shuttle” and returning the end products back into aerobic energy production.

     

    How to do it

    To reap the aerobic benefits of weight training you need to do two heavy workouts per week. After several months of lower intensity training (to toughen up the tendons and learn proper technique) you need to do about three to five series of 5 repeats with a load that you can only lift about 6 times. Ie. Apply a load that will lead to failure in 6 reps but stop shy of 6 to prevent gaining muscle mass. Rest fully for about 4 minutes between each series of 5. The rest phase is where the actual benefit occurs so don’t be impatient and cut it short. It will take at least 3 days before you are ready for another such workout.

     

    What to do

    Focus on the legs (duh!) and try such things as single leg dead lifts, step-ups, single leg squats, various types of lunges, Turkish get-ups etc. Avoid machines so as to make the workout as functional as possible and to solicit the secondary muscles. The secondary muscles will act to stabilize you and in a sense they take over the role of the machine. Include cable pull-downs to help with poling.

     

    While you’re at it

    While you are in the gym consider working on the trunk muscles but don’t neglect the back. The back has two groups of muscles – shoulder girdle muscles and spinal muscles. Focus on the spinal muscles, particularly of the low back. Avoid crunches which combine compression with flexion-extension of the discs. All trunk muscle exercises have a “spinal compression penalty” so select those exercises that are known to keep the compressive load to a minimum.

     

    Weight loss

    If you are carrying an extra 10 pounds lose it. The difference will be huge. To determine your body fat percentage take a look at some on-line images. There are both photos and drawings of men and women online in 5% fat increments from 5 to 50%. The extreme ends aren’t pretty!

     

    How to lose weight:

    • Rule # 1: do not follow a “diet with a name.”
    • Rule #2: Eat well and eat lots but cut the empty calories.
    • create a calorie deficit of no more than 500 cals/day (or you will lose muscle mass)
    • increase protein intake a fair bit (to prevent muscle loss)
    • weight train (again to prevent muscle loss)
    • reduce carbs so intake matches your needs for training and hiking. This might mean dropping rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, beans and legumes, alcohol, desserts etc. Except of course when you are hiking or recovering from a hike.
    • eat big, healthy meals with loads of fat and protein. (since you are training and hiking you need to!). Then forget about food until the next meal.

    If you do it right you will lose a pound a week. Any faster and you will lose muscle mass.

     

    Thoughts on general eating habits

    Since our bodies are made of protein and fat it makes sense to eat a lot of both all the time. Carbs are consumable fuel for the most part and if you take on more than you require you will store the energy as fat. Again, try and match intake to requirements.

     

    Hiking and training increases protein requirements considerably so get plenty.

     

    Eat good fats. ie. not potato chips (duh!), french fries, factory fed beef, etc. Rather try and eat wild salmon ($$), cold water fish, grass-fed beef, avocado, flax seeds and/or oil, olive oil, nuts. While good fats (omega 3’s) are not “anti-inflammatory” they will not promote inflammation whereas “bad” fats (omega 6’s) supposedly will.

     

    According to Matt Fitzgerald in his book “The Endurance Diet” the following foods are particularly recommended for endurance athletes:

     

    Almonds, Bananas, Beets, Black Beans, Brown Rice, Cherries, Coffee, Corn, Eggs, Garlic, Olive Oil, Peanut Butter, Potatoes, Red Wine, Salmon, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Tea, Teff, Tomatoes, Tuna, Yogurt

     

    Note that these foods are, for the most part, basic every day foods that your mother would try and get you to eat more of.

     

    Fueling a hike

    As omnivores we can fuel a hike with anything from Oreo cookies to beef jerky.

     

    After many tweaks, reading and learning from very knowledgable hiking partners here’s what I do currently.

     

    I usually whip up two protein drinks and drink one while driving to the trail. I add frozen fruit, flax meal, nut butter and baby spinach to the first one. To the 2nd I add the same stuff plus a lot of table sugar. I sip the sugary one while hiking. (I don’t add sugar to the one I drink in the car because I read it will cause insulin secretion and when I start hiking my blood sugar will be low. Whether this is true or not I don’t know.) These two drinks yield about 80 grams of protein and while hiking I eat any or all of the following:

    • beef jerky
    • nuts
    • Sushi rice squares, sweetened.
    • Polenta squares
    • dried fruit
    • pretzels (crushed pretzels mixed with nuts = carb/fat fuel)
    • home-made cookies
    • candy
    • home-made granola bars with all three macronutrients (protein, fat and carbs)
    • store-bought protein and carb-rich bars
    • sesame seed bars

    On some hikes I estimate I might burn more up to 10,000 calories, which is the same as 3 or 4 marathon races. There is no way I can consume that during a hike so I eat a lot after, mostly the next day.

     

    If your sweat starts to stink of ammonia this means you have depleted your on-board sugar and now you are burning your engine – ie. protein.

     

    Secret weapon

    From time to time I carry a 250 ml nalgene of coffee with as much sugar as I can get to dissolve in it. Sip on that for a boost!

     

    Hydration

    I rely on hundreds of millions of years of evolution and usually only drink when I’m thirsty. I never pre-hydrate or over-hydrate. In winter I hardly get thirsty, even if I eat a lot, so I carry no more than a liter of water and even after very long hikes come back with water left-over. Releasing stored glycogen and burning fuel frees up water so maybe that’s why I don’t need to drink much. Also, from experience I suspect that being slightly dry doesn’t affect performance at my level very much.

     

    I never add electrolyte powder to my water. I’m confident that my body stores and food supply provide me with a very wide safety margin. Pretty hard nowadays to run short of things such as salt and potassium! Also, if your body water decreases then to retain the salts your sweat and urine become up to seven times more dilute than either your blood or your interstital water. Therefore, as you sweat your body fluids will actually tend to become more concentrated in dissolved electrolytes, not less. But your pyhysiology maintains the levels of dissolved salts within a very narrow range and moves water around in order to keep those levels in-range. You often hear people say they experience cramping due to low electrolyte levels but I suspect this is not the cause. It’s more likely due to insufficient training for the demands being placed on the working muscles leading to too-low glycogen levels.

     

    Supplements?

    Other than whey/soy protein and caffeine I currently don’t use any other form of supplementation, while hiking or otherwise. However, if you take supplements here are what you would focus on:

    • Omega-3 fatty acids
    • Iron
    • Vitamin D
    • Magnesium: Magnesium is a key metal ion involved in energy transfer, ie. in transferring energy from from food to working muscle and most people are supposedly somewhat deficient in it. Experiments where endurance athletes were supplemented (versus controls) strongly suggest that bringing magnesium up to “normal” levels significantly improves aerobic output. Good sources of Mg are nuts, especially Brazil nuts, soy products and spinach so you might want to eat more of those foods. Note that you can’t super-saturate your Mg levels by taking lots of it. You just lose it in your urine.

    Stretching exercises

    If you were to focus on only one joint I would recommend increasing the range of motion of the hips in extension. Nearly everyone has tight hip flexors from sitting a lot. Stretching them (Iliopsoas and Rectus Femoris) will increase hip extension, which in turn will spare the lower back vertebrae from compensating with flexion-extension motions every step you take. Try it for 3-6 months and see what I mean. You will really feel it. Best results will be obtained if you stretch each muscle for 30 secs. 5X every day (or at least 3 sessions a week). But remember it can take months of consistent stretching to get a noticeable result.

     

    Grab a brain

    Perhaps the most important element in the endurance hiker’s toolbox is his brain. The so-called central governor. Consider that pain, pleasure and fatigue are perceived only in the brain and it becomes worthwhile to try and manipulate one’s brain.

     

    Motivation – you can’t coach desire

    Just to adhere to a training program in order to reach a goal requires motivation. If you aren’t sufficiently motivated it aint happening. I think it’s of paramount importance to clearly define why you are doing it. Be as specific as possible. Such as: in 6 months I want to to do a Great Range Traverse in under 11 hours. And then of course you have to really and truly want to do that. Like someone said,. “you can’t coach desire”.

     

    Knowing what’s ahead

    On any given hike I find that when I know how much elevation I have left until the next summit the easier it feels. When your brain feels in control you better dose your energy output to minimize fatigue. Motivation remains high when you know that the levelling off of the trail only denotes a false summit and there are another x minutes or feet of climbing yet to come.

     

    Brain power

    Ultimately it is the brain that drives the muscles via the motor neurons. If you are tired, low on glycogen, cold, miserable, discouraged, distracted, afraid etc. etc. your brain will have to work harder to get your motor neurons to fire. The threshold of activation will go up and every step will become a chore. As an example taking 500 mg. of acetominophine before a marathon will decrease a runner’s time by 2-3 minutes by reducing the perceived level of exertion. Controlling the brain’s perception of the difficulties can make a difference.

     

    Sleep, recovery and life stress

    Getting enough sleep and recovering sufficiently while in training can make all the difference between success and failure. Proper sleep and recovery prevents you from becoming one of the “unhealthy fit”. Dialing back your workouts during periods of stress is hard to do but you should.

     

    One good way to know if you are recovering properly between workouts and hikes is to find ways to measure it. Repeating the exact same workout is one good way. I remembering absolutely killing a workout and then returning two days later after a hike and the exact same workout was now killing me so I quit early. While ascending in the mountains or doing repeats on a familiar training hill you can keep track of the following:

    • rate of ascent (with an altimeter)
    • heart rate (with a heart rate monitor)
    • perceived level of exertion
    • nose breathing

    These four elements combined will tell you all you need to know about your current state of recovery and whether you are ready to move forward by upping your training another notch.

     

    Bibliography

    In conclusion here is a list of books that I have found useful and which will help you implement the information I have presented. If you only buy one book get Training for the New Alpinism. The information in it transfers easily to hiking.

    • Training for the New Alpinism (Scott Johnston and Steve House)
    • Racing Weight (Matt Fitzgerald)
    • How Bad do You Want It? (Matt Fitzgerald)
    • 80-20 Running (Matt Fitzgerald)
    • The Endurance Diet: Discover the 5 Core Habits of the World’s Greatest Athletes to Look, Feel, and Perform Better (Matt Fitzgerald)
    • Waterlogged (Tim Noakes)
    • Better Training for Distance Runners. (Peter Coe)
    • Exercise Physiology (McArdle)
    • Building the Triathlete
    • Functional Training (Mike Boyle)
    • Foundation Training- Redefine your Core (Eric Goodman)
    • Vital Glutes-Connecting the Gait Cycle to Pain and Dysfunction (John Gibbons)
    • The Fat Loss Bible (Anthony Calpo)
    • Stretching (Bob Anderson)
    • Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance (Stuart McGill)

    By Neil Luckhurst


  12. Kayaking is rapidly becoming one of the quickest growing activities in the world. While it isn't actually that difficult to learn how to paddle a boat, most kayaking enthusiasts, especially beginners, would like to know how to purchase a suitable kayak. If you would like to purchase a kayak, you should keep certain factors in mind.

     

    Kayaks are fast, exhilarating and maneuverable in a variety of conditions. Understanding the purpose is your next part of selecting a kayak. How about we take a look at the 3 main kinds of kayaks and also what condition each of them is best suited for.

     

    Probably the best choice for novices would be a recreational kayak. A recreational kayak will universally work nicely in all types of water for your basic casual use. As opposed to other kinds of kayaks, they are usually moderately shorter and wider, making them considerably buoyant and stable.

     

    As the name would suggest, a touring kayak is excellent for longer kayaking excursions and tend to be larger to hold excessive loads. The majority of these kayaks are tandem versions and are known to hold any gear you may need on your kayak excursion. Unfortunately, turning these kayaks is difficult due to their longer length.

     

    Sport kayaks are recommended by advanced kayakers because of their speed and long hull. You'll often find that sport kayaks are utilized for racing. Thanks to this they are most likely not the number one option for novices.

     

    The next step to picking the perfect boat is to ensure it has the features you need. The sturdiness, price and weight of the kayak depend on the materials it is made out of, which must be considered when choosing one. Usually, kayaks are constructed with composites, PolyLink3, Polyethylene (PE), PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), Thermoformed ABS, and other materials.

     

    Next, you will need to look for a kayak that has the dimensions that will work best for you. The longer a kayak, the more costly, quicker and steady it is. Shorter kayaks may not be as fast as longer ones, but they are usually cheaper.

     

    The efficiency of a kayak also depends on whether its profile is asymmetric or symmetric. Asymmetrical kayaks provide greater directional control, and symmetrical kayaks can be easily maneuvered.

     

    Now that you realize exactly what to consider when searching for a kayak, head out and sit in some! The easiest way to find what kayak is right for you is to actually get in one. Good luck!

     

    By: Tyree Skrabanek


  13. I arrived at the trail head around 8:50am. There was a local hunter that had just arrived and he was packing up to spend 14 days in camp (lucky guy). We struck up a conversation which led to the three dogs I had in tow. He had asked if they were Australian Cattle Dogs, and I affirmed and advised him they were rescues. He too has some dogs he rescued as well, a couple border collies.

     

    I was soon on my way up the trail climbing right after the small foot bridge. The trail is easy enough to follow, and is a mix of open hardwoods almost the entire way to the summit, minus a few areas of pine/cedar/tamaracks. The trail is an easy grade well past the intersection with the trail that continues to Lake Eaton, which is about a mile in. From here the trail goes left and climbs moderately with a mix of packed trail to rocky and wet (typical adk trail). There were several areas of blowdown from the previous two days of heavy wind, all of which were easily negotiated.

     

    The trail climbed steadily making up in elevation, but wasn’t overly long, maybe about a mile of climbing up to the col between the two smaller peaks of Owl's Head. From here one could be discouraged thinking that you are almost to the tower, when in fact you drop down to a landing, that at one point was where the observer’s cabin was located. The foundation pilings are still there, and a pail (I almost thought it was a thunder jug). From here the final push to the summit is a short steep section which eventually eases and turns into a small ridge walk to the tower.

     

    From the summit, I could see Long Lake below to the left, and Blue Mountain in the background straight ahead. Once up in the tower there is a 360 degree view of the mountains, a bit overcast today so the views weren’t as good as they would be on a clear day. Blue Mountain was shrouded in the clouds.

     

    I didn't realize until I read the pamphlet from the trail head register is that the mountain, along with the two lesser peaks that make up the ears of the "owls head", a great horned owl's head to be exact.

     

    I was back at the trail head at 1pm.

     

    Elevation - 2815'

    Distance round trip -6.3 miles

    Total time round trip 4.hrs 14min

    My average speed was 1.5mph

     

    Pictures


  14. I had previously hiked Nun-da-ga-o Ridge and Weston Mountains in a counterclockwise direction, a few years ago. During that trip, I had hoped to hike the Crows as well, but I was running late with time. So a trip back was in order, and I had a beautiful day to hike as well. On my previous trip I had brought my dog Dingo, so he accompanied me today too.

     

    We arrived at the trail-head at the end of the O'Toole Rd at Crow Clearing at 08:50 and were soon on the trail.

     

    Overall this is a short hike out and back. I logged about .8 miles from the parking area to the summit of Big Crow. Some areas of the trail are steep, but short-lived sections. The summit of Big Crow is at 2,815 feet. There were many views along the way to the summit. The summit itself has some wonderful views of the Adirondacks high peaks, Pitchoff mountains, and many others. The trail continues, dropping down to Little Crow and ultimately to Hurricane Road. I opted to return from Little Crow by going back to the Crow Clearing via Big Crow.

     

    On the trip back I enjoyed the summit of Big Crow to myself for almost an hour.

     

    Start time 08:56

    Finished time 11:54

    Total distance 2.3 miles round trip

    2.58.37 elapsed time

    0.8 average speed

     

    Pictures


  15. What a beautiful day for a hike, blue sky and perfect temperatures. This whole weekend has been fantastic weather.

     

    I had heard about this hike from Scott (Winterwarlock) on more than one occasion. He mentioned it offered some wonderful views, and was a really nice short hike. So today I set out to hike Snow mountain, and see for myslef what he described. He didn't disappoint.

     

    As I said previously, it was a picture perfect day to spend in the woods. The temperatures were cooler, down from the previous 2 weeks where we were in the upper 80's for several days. This morning temps were 38 degrees, and when I finished it was 62. Mother nature has turned the page, and now the temps are more seasonal.

     

    When I arrived at the trailhead on Route 73, just south of the Noonmark Diner, I was met with an almost full parking lot. This surprsied me as I half expected to not see it this full, on a Sunday. Although, I also noticed the parking areas for Hurricane Mt and Baxter Mt were also full. I guess everyone was taking advantage of the weather.

     

    This would be my first hike this season with my winter pack, I was curious how I would do. I left the car at 9am and signed in. Based on those who signed in before me, nobody was heading to Snow. Rooster Comb and the Great Range were a many's destination, what a pleasant surprise! The trail follows along what used to be a small body of water near the high school. Presently it is almost dried up. Not sure if it has been drained for a reason, or if it has really been that dry. Just beyond the pond the trail crosses over a footbridge and then begins the uphill climb navigating through switchbacks up to the first junction at around .7 miles, at which then branches on to Snow Mt to the left, or continue straight to Roostercomb and beyond to the Great Range.

     

    The trail was pretty dry and easy to follow, any brooks I did cross over were either dried up, or low. The hike was pretty easy, gradual incline, with a few short sections that were steeper.

    The next trail junctions at 1.1 miles with a spur trail back to Rooster Comb, or turns left towards Snow mountain and Saint Huberts. The Flume brook was low, but provided a great spot for the pups to get a drink. From here it was a short .3 to the junction that takes you to Snow mountain to the left, or continue on to Saint Huberts. From this point the remaining .5 miles to the summit of Snow mountain navigating through a short rock scramble just below the summit. Once above the scramble its partial-open and fairly flat with views in almost every direction. I arrived at the summit around 11am, and had the summit to myself for about 30 minutes.

     

    Start time was 9am

    Distance: 2.4 mi. to summit

    4.8 miles round trip

    Average speed was 1.2 miles

    Arrived back at the car 1:05pm

     

    Pictures


  16. 1 can black-eyed peas, drained.

    1 can of shoe peg corn (white corn), drained.

    1 can black beans, drained.

    1 small jar of pimentos, drained.

    1 cup fine chopped red onion (about size of corn kernels).

    1 cup finely chopped celery (about size of corn kernels).

     

    Combined the above.

     

    In a sauce pan mix;

    1/2 cup olive oil.

    1/4 cup sugar.

    1/2 cup apple cider vinegar.

    Mix in pan until, warm and stir until sugar is dissolved.

     

    Mix everything together, marinate in refrigerator overnight.


  17. On February 1, 2004, Derek and I set out to hike these two mountains. unlike the first attempt we were prepared to hike our first of the 46 high pe3aks. it was a beautiful day with clear skies and temperatures expected to be in the low 30's. It certainly made for a beautiful day. We started on the trail at 7:45am on a very hard packed trail. we had taken a few breaks along the way. At the intersection with the trail to Porter we decided to go over to Porter mountain first. We had hoped to be the first on the summit, as there is always something nice about being first on the summit for the day, I'm not sure why. That didn't matter because we were eventually passed by a gentlemen about 10 minutes before the summit. His name was Tony, and he was originally from England. He had traveled that day up from Ithaca. He stated he was already a 46er, and was working on his winter round of the 46. We had a break on Porter, enjoyed the views and then set off to climb Cascade. We reached Cascade summit at 12:50 pm stayed for about an hour then headed back down. We were back at the car for 3pm feeling energized, it was awesome.

     

    Submitted to Historian 2/18/04

     

    Pictures


  18. Pipestem Tower located in Pipestem State Park, West Virginia was renamed “Bolar Lookout Tower” a dedication in honor of the sixth superintendent of the park, Steve Bolar

     

    Steve was a leader in the state parks system with a genuine understanding of park operations and public service. He was a mentor to many park employees during his career.

     

    Bolar lost his battle with a terminal illness in July 2009.

     

    The observation tower sits at 3,000 feet in elevation and commands a scenic view of the Pipestem area. Located near the park entrance the tower is accessible via the Knob Trail which is .4 miles round trip, a nice easy to moderate hike.

     

    Pictures


  19. This is a very nice family oriented hike if you're in the Tupper Lake area. This mountain along with Mt. Coney and Goodman Mt. make up the Tupper Lake Triad, it's also one for the New York State Fire Tower challenge.

     

    I hadn't really hiked all summer, except for Little Haystack Mt in Buck Pond campground. I wanted something on the easy side to get me back into the groove, but also to see how Misty would do. She did great as expected.

     

    This a short hike at 1 mile to the summit, over a very gradual incline. When I arrived to the trail head it was about 10am. The parking lot was full. I suspect this is a very popular hike since it is so close to Tupper Lake, and easy climbing to the summit.

     

    As I said, the trail is well marked, and taken care of. There has been a lot of drainage work done and that has especially helped with the trail conditions.

    I was surprised at the amount of work done to the trail, and maintenance done, all from the work of the group "Friends of Mt. Arab".

     

    Misty and Dingo agreed, they too enjoyed the hike.

     

    There was a care taker, or summit steward at the cabin. It was obvious he had alot of educational material on the Summit, the restoration project, and the organization that takes care of it. I recommend a visit.

     

    More pictures are here.


  20. This trail head is elusive as it is not marked with a sign, nor is there a register to sign in at. Living so close to this trail I had taken time earlier in the year to scout out where exactly the trail head was. I prefer to know where I am going on the day of a hike, than have to take the time looking around for it (wasting time) that morning.

     

    I did find some information on the hike online at lakechamplainregion.com. This was helpful and was a good starting point for locating the parking area, as it is directly across the street from 4525 Route 22, which is just north of Willsboro, and south of the Highlands Rd.

     

    This is a pretty neat hike following an old jeep trail, up to a certain point. From the point it veers off the jeep trail, the trail itself from this point is craggy as you climb up along to the mostly open ridge. I found the trail easy enough to follow as it is not a marked trail. The hike is all gradual with a brief section that gets moderately steep for a short period.

     

    Brought all 3 dogs today, and they had no issues.

     

    We started at 7:28am from the parking lot taking our time to let the dogs run and play, we averaged around 1.5 mph. Arrived at the summit at 8:23am for a brief visit as the black flies were out in force. After a quick visit and photo opportunity we returned to the truck at 9:16.

     

    Our total trip was an hour and 48 minutes,

     

    Pictures

    [GALLERY=media, 1041]Rattlesnake Mountain by Craig Scholl posted Aug 20, 2017 at 8:43 AM[/GALLERY]

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