Adirondack Explorer

Adirondack Explorer May/June 2019

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Seven issues a year devoted to the enjoyment and protection of the Adirondack Park. In-depth writing and vivid photography bring the Adirondacks to life in tales of recreational adventure, coverage of environmental and policy issues and exploration of the communities that make up this unique six-million acre park.

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United States
Adirondack Explorer
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5 min.
state will restrict parking to handle crowds

New York plans to close roadside parking on four more miles of Route 73 to address crowding in the High Peaks this year, from the Rooster Comb trailhead east of Keene Valley to Roaring Brook Falls. The state will also complete a longer, sturdier trail up the popular Cascade Mountain this year, add more privies and trailhead toilets, and expand education and outreach programs to guide hikers to lesser-used trails. Speaking at an Adirondack Park and local government conference in April, state Department of Environmental Conservation Region 5 Director Robert Stegemann said that if all of the above still isn’t enough, a permitting system for hikers might become necessary. “All options will be on the table,” he said. “This problem has been developing for years, and all of a sudden it’s hitting us…

1 min.
garden parking lot closes

Hikers will have to take a shuttle to one of the main trailheads in the eastern High Peaks Wilderness this spring and summer due to construction on a nearby bridge. The Garden parking lot in Keene Valley will close to motor vehicles because Johns Brook Bridge is slated to be replaced. Work on the bridge will begin this spring and continue until late summer. The current bridge is in such poor shape that plow trucks, fire trucks and ambulances cannot use it, according to the town of Keene. Hikers use the Garden parking lot to access trails to several popular mountains, including The Brothers and Big Slide Mountain. One trail goes to Johns Brook Valley, where the Adirondack Mountain Club has a lodge for hikers. They will need to park at Marcy Field…

2 min.
vivian smith

Age: 58 Birthplace: Tupper Lake Occupation: Program director, Charities of the Diocese of Ogdensburg. Accomplishments: Raising children, working in charity, and founding and leading the nonprofit MAC’s Safe Ride. Favorite hike/paddle/adventure: Every summer while my boys were growing up, we would spend about a week camping across the lake with friends and family. The kids would sleep in the lean-to and we would cook all of our meals on the open fire. For a few days we got to hit pause on our lives and enjoy each other’s company and take in the beauty and serenity of our home, away from all of the distractions. Favorite view: From the top of Raymond Hill on the way out of Tupper Lake, or “Raymoe Hill,” as we all called it growing up. From there, you can get…

7 min.
open door for invaders?

Lake George is separated from Lake Champlain by just over two miles of waterfalls on the La Chute River, which tumbles through the one-time mill town of Ticonderoga, a word loosely translated to mean “where the waters meet.” As Town of Hague Deputy Supervisor Steve Ramant notes, you can pull your boat from the waters of Lake Champlain and be ready to launch it into Lake George in the space of about 10 minutes. Despite their proximity, these two bodies of water could not be more different in terms of invasive species. Lake George is a highly decorated model for fending off nonnative aquatic life that puddle-jumps from lake to lake, taking over and altering ecosystems as they go. EARLIER COVERAGEOF INVASIVES But the international Lake Champlain, connected to a ship route from the…

9 min.
battle of the black flies

If you’ve spent any time outdoors in the Adirondacks in black fly season, you’ve likely seen someone doing—or probably even done yourself—the “Adirondack Wave.” Recognized for its frantic, repetitive swatting at the air around a face and neck, maybe even erratically dancing around while doing it, the wave is just one of many attempts people make to keep these annoying insects at bay. An annual spring rite of passage, the scourge of the black fly lasts roughly from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day. As the weather heats up, the flies die off. While black flies certainly don’t have a monopoly on making outdoor life in the Adirondacks miserable—raise your hand if you’ve suffered from a mosquito swarm or deer fly bite—these insects are uniquely annoying when they’re around. They swarm and have…

1 min.
top tips for beating the flies

• Avoid dark colors. Never wear navy blue or black. Instead channel your inner Indiana Jones. Think khaki, whites and other light colors. Black flies are attracted to dark colors. • Leave the perfumes, deodorants and other sweet-smelling scents on your dresser. You’re going to sweat and smell anyway and black flies are attracted to sweet smells. • Cover up. The less skin black flies can reach, the less they can bite. Long pants tucked into your socks, long sleeves, hats with netting that tucks into your shirt—you get the idea. • Hike mid-day when the air temperature is warmer and try to land in a spot that has a breeze or is at a higher elevation. Black flies don’t like heat. • Use an insect repellent.…