This past weekend, a friend and I headed out with Wren for some nighttime birding in the Madawaska complex north of Paul Smith's. We drove in during the early evening while it was still light which helped us negotiate the soft and rutted road – a precursor of things to come. We parked in the parking area near Indian Rock, and hiked the mile and a half or so to Madawaska Pond on the wide two track... [Read More]
Each day of the advancing spring brings with it new arrivals. A brown thrasher fed at my bird feeders for five days and finally left earlier this week, and a few days ago I was excited to find an early indigo bunting feeding with the dark-eyed juncos at my feeders! As Wren and I take our daily afternoon and evening walks, we also continue to find recently arrived birds, such as yellow-bellied... [Read More]
This sunny Sunday afternoon finds me on my first visit to The Left Bank Café in Saranac Lake for the opening of Provence en Plein Air which consists of Cris Winters watercolors and drawings from the South of France from her visit in 2000. I've meant to get to this particular cafe many times before and am sorry it has taken me this long.But this is a great introduction to the eatery which already... [Read More]
Can you believe the weather we are having? It feels like full blown summer and it’s just turned May, maybe it will melt away some of the black flies. They haven’t been too bad as of late, I see them buzzing around a bit and bumping into my face but I haven’t found any biters yet, hopefully you have had the same luck. Of course if they were biting, todays trail run/hike would have been the perfect... [Read More]
While I write a great deal about birds and birding – particularly as spring migration spreads its wings north and our breeding birds are arriving – amphibians offer us some of the first changes in the spring soundscape – before many of our birds begin to sing or even arrive from the south.The past few weeks have been marked with explosive breeding congregations of amphibians as warm weather has... [Read More]
Canoeing isn't one of those sports where the learning curveis too hard, but it does take a sort of finesse that I have to improve on. It'sthe whole, sitting up high, balance combination technique that I always lackwhen I first sit in one. However, after the first half hour I kind of get inthe rhythm, my friend Mike Lynch might say otherwise.So what got me into this canoe was a text I sent to Mike... [Read More]
Historic Saranac Lake presents the second installment of its "History Matters" series on Thursday, May 16th at 7 pm at the Woodward Boat Shop. Chris Woodward will lead a talk and demonstration about the history of guideboats and guideboat building.Adirondack guideboats have been built since the early 1800s. They evolved from a hunting skiff to today's highly refined design, virtually... [Read More]
On May 23, Historic Saranac Lake will host the third installment of its May seminar series, featuring a book discussion with Anne Raina, the author of Clara's Rib. The true story of a young girl coming of age in a tuberculosis hospital in Ottawa, Canada in the late 1940s and 50s, the book is of particular interest to local residents because of Saranac Lake's unique history as... [Read More]
I am sure glad I took advantage of the nice weather we had last week before the moisture settled in for an overextended stay - kind of like that third cousin who shows up unexpectedly with 1987 mobile camper with no exhaust and three hounds – not that I would know what that is like.I decided to only get out one kayak at this point and see what kind of trouble I can get myself into on the waters... [Read More]
A little rain isn't going to stop this town! Saranac Lake and Village Mayor Clyde Rabideau have been hard at work putting together the new hiking program "Saranac Lake 6er". The program was kicked off this morning with pistol start at 8am. Starting today, after you climb all six peaks you can ring the bell in Berkley Green's Gazebo six times and submit your dates and times to the Village and... [Read More]
I think we can all agree that the weather as of late has been rubbish. Isn't the old saying, "April showers brings May flowers?" NOT, "May snowstorms bring great skiing on theToll Road!" I know I, as well as many of you want warm weather to come and stay for a bit. But, I just can't sit around and wait for the sunshine, I need to seek out my own rays of hope and play outside anyhow. There have... [Read More]
With the weather warming up, getting on the water is looking more appealin by the day! To get you thinking about the great opportunities for fishing right here in our backyard, We were able to contact a fishing guide from Wiley's Flies in Ray Brook to share his knowledge about Fly Fishing.Tom Graham is a Pennsylvania native, but came up to the Adirondacks in 2007 to attend Paul Smith's College... [Read More]
The other day, I helped lead a birding trip for The Wild Center to Massawepie Mire west of Tupper Lake. Massawepie is the largest boreal peat land in the state, and it offers great habitat not only for boreal bird species such as gray jays and breeding olive-sided flycatchers, but its complexity of habitats make it great for many species which breed in deciduous and coniferous forests as well.... [Read More]
My wildlife research (focusing mostly on birds) has me in many places across the region at this time of year, and one of them is the Jackrabbit Trail in Saranac Lake as the trail heads out from McKenzie Pond Road. The trail leads into the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness and is one of the routes which hikers can take to both Mt. McKenzie and Mt. Haystack, two of the recently designated Saranac Lake... [Read More]
This past weekend I helped lead a birding trip for The Wild Center to explore Spring Pond Bog north of Tupper Lake, an area with a diverse collection of habitats. The bog itself is the second largest bog in the state, and the boreal habitats surrounding it are home to the last, best stronghold for spruce grouse in the state. And while we weren't lucky enough to find any spruce grouse, we didn't... [Read More]
From the trailhead I enjoyed the mellow terrain under my feet; it makes for a bit of a nice warm-up to the day. I wasted no time passing by the trail to Route 30 on the right and jumped full-bore into the rolling hills terrain that was in front of me. The one thing about trail running is, you don't get much time to take pictures - which is too bad. Also I typically don't want a huge bulky... [Read More]
It is late afternoon and I am on my way to BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake. Not for an art opening today, but for a workshop on paper making, and not just any paper making. Today is the Panty Pulping workshop, which is what first caught my attention.I read beforehand that this is a community empowerment workshop that gives participants the opportunity to transform their own underwear into paper... [Read More]
One of the great things about Saranac Lake is the vast cycling opportunities in the area. Quiet roads seem to leave the center of town in every direction to take riders to smooth stretches of undisturbed pavement. Recently I met up with native Saranac Laker and Olympic hopeful Annelies Cook for a ride on Forest Home Road. This is one of Annelies's favorite places to train... [Read More]
After spending all day at the office, what better way to end you day with a great little hike up Mount Baker! After my fiance and I got home from work the other day we realized how beautiful the day was. Bright blue skies, warm (but not too hot) and still sunny. So we decided to put on more comfortable clothes and go across town for a quick hike before dinner. Mount Baker is right in town... [Read More]
Little Colby Pond and Lake Colby are excellent destinations for paddling, fishing, bird watching and swimming. There are several areas that you can put in on these lakes, from the beach, from the grassy shore, from the state boat launch or from Forest Home Road. My new favorite launch is from Forest Home Road which is the only launch site for Little Colby Pond. It was a late afternoon trip... [Read More]
Our recent weather has left a lot to be desired, but this year it still didn't stop me and the ladies I go camping with every year. As a matter of fact, this was our 14th annual! We become more and more creative when dealing with inclement weather and accumulate a lot of gear after 14 years. Luckily we usually have absolutely beautiful weather. This year was not the case, weatherwise. Buck... [Read More]
Looking for some adventure? Look no further, The High Peaks region has it all! High Peaks Mountain Guides (HPMG) at 331 Main Street in Lake Placid offers guiding and instruction for rock climbing, ice climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, geo-catching, skiing, snowshoeing and general outdoor skills! They literally do it all! They offer half day sessions and full day... [Read More]
We all know the major attractions of the Tri-Lakes area; all the Olympic facilities, High Falls Gorge, The Wild Center, etc., but do we ever really know what is right in our backyard. I thought I was well educated with all the local attractions, but each day I learn about a new one. Well, this past Wednesday was no exception. I was asked to go on a scenic flight of the high peaks region.... [Read More]
Blogger Note: As the warmer weather descends upon the Adirondacks, I can't help but think of all the cool paddling adventures on the horizon. Of course, that has me thinking about all the cool paddling adventures I've had over the years. Here's one from the 2013 archives that I deem worthy of repeating. Soon. The last time I launched a kayak in Lake Flower, I had to carry over a dam and... [Read More]
I taught at Cranberry Lake Biological Station last week and took my students to Spring Pond Bog where we met the DEC spruce grouse research team. Although common further north in their range (I’ve seen them previously in places like Alaska), spruce grouse are listed as endangered in New York State and they are sought after... [Read More]
A scenic lunch spot is just what the doctor ordered for such a beautiful day and the paddlers map offered us up a destination that we couldn’t turn down – a peninsula camp on Slang Pond. We started out our morning by picking up a few choice beverages and then swinging by the farmers market at the small park on Lake Flower in Saranac Lake, it’s quite convenient for us that they have it every... [Read More]
Are you wondering what to do with your family this summer? Well, the Saranac Lake area has some awesome family friendly activities to do. Each has something different to offer and is worth making the trip for!
Adirondack Carousel (Depot Street, Saranac Lake)
We’ve all been on a carousel, but this one is truly different! All the animals are hand carved and hand painted... [Read More]
I led another birding trip for The Wild Center last week, this time to Bloomingdale Bog north of Saranac Lake. We began our trip along Rt. 55 out of Bloomingdale, walking south into the bog, and while rain threatened and harried us throughout the morning, we had a successful trip. We began amassing a nice list of... [Read More]
If you are like me and love to explore those unnamed bodies of water you will surely come across a bog pond or two or a dozen in your adventures. With that I will also be sharing some information about some local bogs in future blogs and within this website as destination hikes. That is why this blog is very important for everyone to read so that together we can enjoy their pristine beauty and... [Read More]
I hiked Baker Mountain in Saranac Lake a few days ago as I was wrapping up my bird surveys for the season. With all of our rain of late, the popular trail was very muddy in spots but passable, and I enjoyed the early morning solitude on the trail. My only company were the droves of mosquitoes which have found the warm... [Read More]
You know you start to feel old when in a month your 40th birthday arrives and then in the past week you climb a great peak, Ampersand Mountain, and go back to your archives and realize it has been over 17-years since you climbed it last. First off, what took me so long to go back, it’s such an amazing peak and where did the time go, heck, I wasn’t even a dad yet at that point. But, you know you... [Read More]
With summer now in full swing, it is the time of year when Wren and I are taking daily swims in Lake Colby in Saranac Lake. I return from working in the field each day sticky and sweaty from hiking around and conducting bird or vegetation work, and there is nothing I want more than a swim to cool off. ... [Read More]
This past Saturday started out, not so pleasant, but ended on a high note. With heavy rain in the morning I all but figured the day was going to be lost on some old low budget zombie movie, a pound of popcorn, a six-pack of beer and a pint of Stewart’s ice cream. While to some of you this might not sound too bad, it really isn’t. But, when you have your heart set on doing some fishing and... [Read More]
What is more fun than putting on a bathing suit, some sunscreen, grabbing a beach towel and headding down to the local beach? Not much, especially on a sticky summer day. The Saranac Lake area has some really great swimming spots to consider, whether you are vacationing or a local resident.
For instance, right here in town we have Lake Colby Beach. Lake Colby Beach has a fun play... [Read More]
Eugene Sirotkine, internationally renowned pianist and conductor, will perform in a benefit concert for the Bartók cabin on Tuesday, August 6, 7:30PM at Cobble Spring Farm, in Bloomingdale, NY. Sponsored by Historic Saranac Lake, Sirotkine’s solo piano performance will feature pieces by Bartók as well as Handel, Beethoven and Schumann. Two years ago, Sirotkine visited the cabin in Saranac... [Read More]
Local, Dan Sullivan (Owner and operator of Adirondack Massage Therapy) is a true asset to our little community here in Saranac Lake. He offers a little something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a Swedish massage, a ‘Zero Balancing’ session, or even a fun pontoon boat tour for the whole family he offers it all. A boat tour is one of the best ways to see nature at its best, out on... [Read More]
I just so happened to be in the area of Horseshoe Lake and wanted to revisit the new trail to Black Pond, which I had found a few years back. A few years ago I wanted to visit Black Pond so I planned a bushwhack course to its shore and followed through one day. Upon my arrival at the shoreline I discovered a herd path along shore that lead to a boat, which was on a DEC trail. I had no clue... [Read More]
This past weekend, I helped lead a Wild Center birding trip to Madawaska – one of my favorite places in the Adirondacks. Madawaska is a collection of public land bordered by private easement land, such as the Santa Clara Tract, and the area is composed of a diverse array of habitats. These varied habitats contain many... [Read More]
What a great august for paddling, there seems to be a nice cool breeze in the air – with almost the smell of autumn in there as well. The sun was high this past Saturday so we decided to head to Osgood Pond.I called my friend Mike Lynch to see if I could take him up on his offer of borrowing his Old Town Penobscot Canoe - kind of a test drive before we sprung any money on getting one for... [Read More]
Over the years there has been a lot of work going into the development of a multi-use summertime trail system at Dewey Mountain that is suitable for mtn. biking. Many individual volunteer hours as well as work days hosted by the Barkeater Trails Alliance have turned Dewey Mountain into a 4-season resource for recreation in Saranac Lake. The trail system has been carefully laid... [Read More]
As we pull into the parking lot of Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake on this Thursday evening, we are mighty glad that we have reservations for the closing performance of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” The parking lot is packed and the theatre’s Managing Director is directing traffic in the parking lot and turning folks away who have not made their reservation.Art is center stage all over town this... [Read More]
It will not be long before Mt. Pisgah is known for something other than skiing and tubing. The recent addition of a mountain bike trail adjacent to the ski trail is absolutely fantastic, and more milage is expected in the future. When I rode the trail last week with local volunteer, Josh Wilson, I could not believe that the trail was only a year old. The section of trail... [Read More]
The fifth annual Hobofest takes place Sunday, September 1, 2013 at the Union Depot in Saranac Lake.Hobofest celebrates American roots culture and the independent spirit with free musical performances from noon til late.Chef John Varga of Eat and Meet will be at the grill. Blue Line Brewery will serve a signature "Hobo Brew" in the Depot building in the afternoon. Children's activities range from... [Read More]
A surf and turf adventure is simple, first you paddle (surf) to a hike destination (turf) and then paddle back to your car. The Adirondacks are loaded with opportunities like these and the Saranac Lake Region does not fall short.For this adventure we started by hauling our boats a bit out of the area and ending up in the Horseshoe Lake Area for the day. We unloaded our car near Lows Lower Dam but... [Read More]
Last week The Wild Center hosted FlavorFest, an all day event built around the tastes of the North Country, and a great excuse to pay the museum a visit. The event was held in conjunction with the museum’s weekly Thursday Farmer’s Market and the vendors were in their usual location in the outdoor tent. ... [Read More]
For the past few years there has been a unique event that is offered here in Saranac Lake, New York… The Farm 2 Fork Festival! This festival shows home cooks how to use local, fresh products in their everyday meals. There are demonstrations, workshops and of course lots of tasting with local ingredients. It’s held each year in RiversidePark at the end of summer (the first Saturday in September,... [Read More]
I am sure by now most everyone has heard of the Saranac 6. But if you haven’t it’s a hiking endeavor to climb six distinct peaks in the Saranac Lake Region; Ampersand, St. Regis, Baker, McKenzie, Scarface and Haystack.I had previously climbed all these peaks but have only done one since the start of the Saranac 6ers. A few weeks back I made way to the summit of Ampersand Mountain for my first... [Read More]
The North Country seems to have a fascination with train depots. In Westport, the current Amtrak train station is also the home of The Depot Theatre which hosts professional theatre all summer long. In Saranac Lake, The Union Depot has been restored and is home to the Adirondack Scene Railroad. But once a year, it is home to more than just a lovely train ride.It is the site of Hobofest--an... [Read More]
Summer’s advance is marked on the bird calendar by the start of fall migration – a long process which extends into the cold months of the year. In August and September it revolves around songbirds and shorebirds heading south, getting ahead of chilly temps and difficulty in finding food. As a result, I’ve been in the... [Read More]
I walk on the Bloomingdale Bog Trail throughout the year, but I love to go there for birds in the late summer. It is a good place for finding post-breeding and migrating flocks of birds – particularly warblers – which feed in the brushy edges along the trail. I generally find the south entrance north of Saranac Lake to... [Read More]
Scarface for me started out to be a trail run, just to see how far I could get before the slopes overtook my legs. I remember from a few years ago that the lower portion of the trail is in excellent condition for running, so why not at least give it a go.I started very late in the day, possibly later than one should have for most hikes in the region, but I had my headlamp just in case I ran... [Read More]
Editor's note: As the cold-water season quickly descends, our blogger highlights a few extra tips that will come in handy when taking to our lakes to enjoy the fall foliage. Happy paddling!
Blog originally posted in 2013.
Not to set myself up with a very corny pun, but I am in the same boat as many of you — I don’t want to stop paddling either. Honestly, why should... [Read More]
While many folks are waiting for changing leaves to grace our landscapes with color, I have always liked the late summer and very beginning of fall for the ornamental colors they provide. As August advances and becomes September, wildflowers continue to bloom along trails, roads, and hillsides. Their colors mingle with... [Read More]
As the skies clear and a mid-July weekend approaches, area visitors and residents alike will be entertained by numerous fun events and cultural offerings this coming weekend.Take a drive over to The Adirondack Interpretive Center in Paul Smiths to check out their Birds of Prey Demonstration with Mark Manske. Spend Saturday afternoon immersed in the lives of birds of prey. Mark Manske of... [Read More]
The Saranac Lake Region is blessed with numerous recreational opportunities from hiking trail to quiet bodies of water. The area also has some of the most scenic roadways in the region. With all that’s going on recreation wise, you now have the changing of the guards. As summer hibernates, the fall colors come alive with a show that makes the best 4th of July Celebration a bit humbled. One... [Read More]
The 7th Annual Artist at Work Studio Tour is upon us and what a weekend for it! Reports say that our leaves will be at peak and I must say that nature’s landscape is just as stunning as the man-made works that I am seeing today.The Artist at Work Studio tour is a free, self-guided tour of 50 artist’s studios that is organized and presented by Saranac Lake Artworks. It extends from Jay, NY to Paul... [Read More]
I was in Tupper Lake the other day and took advantage of my time there by adding in a quick hike up Panther Mountain during the afternoon. Panther offers a short hike to a nice view of the distant High Peaks, and is therefore an easy hike to fit into a busy day. It is only 6 tenths of a mile to the top. ... [Read More]
I keep a set of bird feeders up year round to attract birds to my yard. They do remarkably well in that endeavor, and I’m excited when I find a new species of bird for my yard list. But feeders also attract other things to the yard and I enjoy them as well. ... [Read More]
The colors were bright; the sun was high in the sky without a cloud blocking its warm rays, and the wind, absent. This called for a perfect day to get a fall kayak trip in. I had never paddled Church Pond and was curious about the access to Osgood Pond and what it was like.So many times I have driven by Church Pond and the boat launch site, even gotten out of the car for a photograph or two, but... [Read More]
At this time of year I begin to check out the back side of Lake Colby in Saranac Lake for ducks and other waterfowl passing through our region on their way south. We have not had a significant cold front in a while, so when I went to Lake Colby the other day, I wasn’t expecting much. I was correct in my forecast.... [Read More]
This past week was a golden combination of perfect weather and amazing leaves, and Wren and I took advantage of it by being out as often as we could manage it. A few days ago we hiked Baker Mountain in Saranac Lake – one of the newly crowned Saranac Lake 6ers. Baker is a great short hike if you don’t have much time,... [Read More]
All this warm fall weather has had me wanting to get out for a paddle, and I was finally able to do so this past weekend on Jones Pond near Paul Smiths. Since Jones Pond is not large, it can be covered in an hour or it can be extended for as long as you want. And, since Wren does not generally want to lie still for... [Read More]
What exactly is the trifecta, well, it’s nothing official by any means, but something I made up a few days ago. I would paddle Panther Marsh (unofficial name of wetland east of Panther Mountain), then paddle Panther Pond, and then hike Panther Mountain. The sky was free of clouds but there was a slight cool breeze in the air, sounded and felt like a perfect autumn day.I started with Panther... [Read More]
Have you ever gone on a hike, arrive at the summit and then realize you don’t remember the trip up? Most of us will take a hike, walk, or journey of some kind and go as fast as we can to get to the ‘reward’, but how often do we stop during the journey to enjoy our surroundings? Probably not very often.Edward Kanze is a naturalist, author, columnist, wildlife photographer, licensed guide, and... [Read More]
Wren and I took a hike at the Paul Smith’s College VIC this past weekend, enjoying the fall colors. The day, like so many others of late, was warm and sunny, and the chance to get outside was not to be missed. The VIC’s network of trails takes hikers through a wide range of habitats, and we started our walk along Heron... [Read More]
Wren and I hiked St Regis Mountain north of Paul Smith’s the other day, taking advantage of the beautiful weather. St. Regis is short enough to do in half a day and I stopped work early to make sure we had enough daylight. I’ve hiked St. Regis quite a few times before, but this is the first time I’ve hiked it since it was... [Read More]
Entering the late fall period marks the transition from summer into winter. Sunsets come earlier every day and with it the gradual lowering of temperatures. Adirondackers tend to hunker down in front of the fireplace or wood stove with a hot cider on those chilly days and nights of late fall.Most of our outdoor events have had their day until the outdoor winter events begin, but this is the time... [Read More]
Warm sunny weather can be difficult to find in the region once the fall sets in, and I took advantage of a warm day to head out on Lake Colby in Saranac Lake for a quick paddle. I set off from the boat launch making quick progress across the lake. Lake Colby has a few arms which are fun to explore, and they also serve... [Read More]
There’s nothing like playing in the snow, especially when it’s the first of the season. While the flurries were reaching the village I knew I had to get up higher, above 3000 feet in elevation to really enjoy it, so I headed to McKenzie Mountain for a spell. It has been a while since I visited McKenzie, last December to be more exact and under similar conditions, and actually not since the... [Read More]
I get this question a lot, “What’s the difference between this trekking pole and this one?” While trekking poles are relatively simple to use, they can be confusing to purchase. Not only are there several different brands out there to choose from, but you have key features like materials, basket size, suspension or no suspension, grip ergonomics, weight, etc., to choose from. What I would like to... [Read More]
When among the millions of acres of Adirondack wilderness, we feel close to the natural world. Once visited, it has a magnetic pull on our heart which encourages us to return.This principle is embodied in a famous visitor. When I married a Saranac Lake native, his older relatives loved to tell me stories about the man in baggy trousers and wild hair, who always had a smile for the children he met... [Read More]
The fall is the time of year when Wren and I take regular walks on the railroad tracks which run along Lake Colby in Saranac Lake in search of migrating ducks and other water birds. But with all of the warm weather and southerly winds we’ve had this fall, the waterfowl migration has been slow to get started. And so our... [Read More]
Through the grapevine I had heard about a new trail up Goodman Mountain, formerly known as Litchfield Hill. I knew nothing about the DEC forming a trail up this peak, but it would be a good idea, I thought to myself. I had been up this 2000’ peak a few years ago in winter and found the woods to be very open and a pleasant bushwhack; it would be nice to see it under different terms. This... [Read More]
When you walk down the street in Saranac Lake, there is a distinct artistic vibe. Truly. It’s not just because there are so many art galleries and shops; though that certainly contributes. It’s reflected in the people who live here, and for a visitor, whether you’re stopping for a coffee on your way to hike a Saranac Lake 6er or in town for Winter Carnival, it’s easy to get caught up in that... [Read More]
Yoga. To some this is a lifestyle, to some it is an extracurricular activity and to some it is just too intimidating. I have had the recent pleasure of interviewing a local yoga instructor, Helene Gibbens. I have met and spoken with her many times, but this time it was her turn to educate me about her business and life. Helene is a very talented, patient and compassionate instructor. Take a... [Read More]
With hunting season in full swing many hikers decide to take a bit of time off. The time off is not only to partake in hunting, but in some cases many hikers are quite nervous about being in the woods. Hunting season isn’t a reason to become a couch potato; you can still have to get out there and enjoy Mother Nature and do some serious hiking. This is a great time of year to be in the woods... [Read More]
I see muskrats almost every day that I’m out walking with Wren or looking for birds. I find them in most streams, lakes, and marshes in the region from Bloomingdale Bog to the waterways which empty into Lake Champlain. This is particularly true during the fall as our days grow shorter and after we change our clocks to... [Read More]
Saranac Lake certainly has its act together when it comes to the arts. This evening I am attending the 1st Annual Saranac Lake ArtWorks “State of the Arts” Celebration at Bluseed Studios in Saranac Lake.Most of the cultural organizations in the greater Saranac Lake area have been invited and almost all are in attendance. It is an amazing gathering of visual artists, theatre artists, literary... [Read More]
Part of the heart and soul of Saranac Lake is its art community. You can see it in the walkable downtown and in talking to the residents - here are 5 simple ways to experience it during your next visit: Live Performances! - The Pendragon Theatre is an award-winning professional theatre, the only year round professional repertory in the Adirondack Park. They offer a full range of... [Read More]
Take a cool Adirondack art community with talented artists, add some holiday cheer and you get a festive art attraction. New this season from November 22nd - December 28th, BluSeed Studios is bringing Saranac Lake a trendy twist on the craft fair. Dubbed the “Starving Artist Exhibit and Sale,” local artists will be presenting a range of new work on sale for the holidays. This month-long event... [Read More]
On my regular walks along Lake Colby in Saranac Lake, I’ve been finding a variety of ducks and other water birds. The other day was no different as I found five Bufflehead – all males – almost immediately as I started walking along the railroad bed. There were also two Common Loons on the main body of the lake – both... [Read More]
I have been in search of climbing all the fire tower peaks in the Adirondack Park; not only those that still have towers, but those that also once had.With this little venture, it placed Debar Mountain was on my list. Corenne and I have been flirting with Debar Mountain for quite some time and something always got in the way from us actually climbing the peak. This week was our week to go and... [Read More]
The first Sparkle Village Craft Fair I attended was a small affair in the upstairs lobby of an old Saranac Lake hotel back in the early 90’s. I was producing and selling fleece headwear at the time and took in a modest amount over the two days. The craft fair was in its early days and attendance was good, but not stellar by any means. A group of about a dozen vendors comprised the event at... [Read More]
We have once again reached the time of year when turkey is in the forefront of our minds and in the center of our plates, and it is worth considering the Wild Turkey which makes the Adirondacks and New York State its home. Turkeys range across much of the country and all of the state and are common in the region. I... [Read More]
Snow Shoe In Saranac LakeMount Arab is located so close to the Saranac Lake Region, yet it gets very little attention from visiting hikers and snowshoers. This 2,500’ peak is a gem in the tri-lakes area and with its attractive firetower, it boasts has some pretty amazing views. I had never been up Arab with snow on the ground before and I thought this would be a great day to change that... [Read More]
As what The Weather Channel was calling Winter Storm Boreas was bearing down on us, many folks were apprehensive about their Thanksgiving travel plans. On the other hand, others of us were excited about the possibility of some snow and the chance to get out cross country skiing. Thanksgiving morning dawned clear and... [Read More]
Artists often work alone, but like everyone else, they can find strength in numbers.This is the thinking behind a membership of artists, galleries, theatre and art related businesses in the greater Saranac Lake area, called ArtWorks. It’s not only a concept. It’s also a place!Saranac Lake has a wonderful, walkable, downtown area which groups most of my favorite shops, restaurants, and galleries... [Read More]
Blue Mountain Fire TowerMicrospikes needed on Blue MountainIt was almost the perfect day for a snowshoe in Saranac Lake, if only the skies were blue and the views endless, would it have been any better. The temperatures were in the mid 20s and not a lick of wind. Blue Mountain is one of the finest fire tower peaks in the Adirondack Park with its interesting trail and sweet views. To get to Blue... [Read More]
Sun Tzu’s Awesome Tips On Art GiftsSaranac Lake is a great place to get art of all kinds & prices, for holiday gift giving. The abundance of galleries and the many local crafts in stores offer variety, but there's still one problem. How do we do this particular kind of shopping for the people in our life?Art just might be the trickiest form of gift, relying as it does on such elusive... [Read More]
Snow covered landscapes the world over have a few things in common. They are white. They are generally cold – recently true around here. And they are quiet. The day following our recent snow storm Wren and I skied north from the north... [Read More]
Slip Sliding away on Gothics & ArmstrongThe winter climbing season is upon us in the AdirondacksThe winter climbing season is a very exciting time of year and when the conditions are good, the climbing is exceptional. This goes for all of the mountains in the Adirondack Park, but for those aspiring to be winter 46ers, this is especially true. Saranac Lake makes for an... [Read More]
First Night 2013First Night’s origins trace back to mid-70’s Boston, where community-minded artists created a new kind of New Year’s party. Now, with upwards of 75 official “First Night” cities across the USA, the well-established First Night Saranac Lake shines in Northern New York as one of the best. In fact, in 2011, the Saranac Lake First Night button won the award for best event button in... [Read More]
Spring is here! It's time to get outdoors and start hiking,biking, running, paddling, enjoying the beautiful spring and summer sunshine, and Fishing! Saranac Lake Fishing is such a popular activity and what better place to dothat in than in the incredibly gorgeous Adirondack region of Saranac Lake, NY? Not only is there great fishing in the local lakes and rivers, but there is a wonderful local... [Read More]
Art & Dining = Blue Moon CafeFood and art go hand in hand. A glass of wine, a plate of cheese and crackers, and an oil painting says gallery opening to us. But what about adding a caesar salad, or salmon and cream cheese on a bagel? We can have it all… at the Blue Moon Cafe in Saranac Lake. While the saying is “once in a blue moon,” we can enjoy this local dining favorite every day. At Blue... [Read More]
With fishing a favorite pastime in the Adirondacks, it’s no surprise that our anglers don’t let low temperatures stop them. Ice fishing, aka hardwater fishing, keeps the fun going all the year 'round. Saranac Lake is an ideal spot for the sport. It’s dotted with small lakes which are quick to freeze, and dotted with avid anglers who love to get out there. That fishing staple, the fishing... [Read More]
Five of the Best Scenic Destinations in the Saranac Lake RegionSaranac Lake is a gem in itself, a true small Adirondack city, and its recreational potential is almost limitless. While it’s hard to label or list destinations from 1-10 or 1-100 based on some outstanding feature, below I would like to offer you a small serving of the Saranac Lake Region. Highest Peak in the... [Read More]
Taking on Ice Fishing in Saranac LakeIce fishing is a premier Adirondack sport, and Saranac Lake can lay claim to having some of the best. Our abundance of lakes and ponds, many of them easily accessible, puts us right at the top of hard water fishing places. We also get lots of great winter to freeze them up!Despite the early freeze, I had managed to not go myself until just the other day. While... [Read More]
Unfortunately for those of us who love to play in the snow, our temperatures have been fluctuating widely this ski season. Our warm ups have been followed closely by deep freezes, creating an icy base and constantly varying conditions. As a result you can’t waste time in enjoying good ski conditions – otherwise they... [Read More]
Sandra Hildreth is not only a sensational artist but also a very good marketer. I am here today at her studio/home in Saranac Lake because I saw her Open House Studio posted on the North Country Public Radio Community Calendar.Several artists in the area are having Holiday Open Houses and giving the public a chance to purchase fine art Christmas presents. Some of them I visited on the... [Read More]
Snow Tubing Anyone?What to do? What to do? Here it is, Friday afternoon and no plans after work. Well, luckily my husband had read Mount Pisgah was opening their tubing hill that evening. We’ve been tubing before, but not at Mt. Pisgah, so we decided to make it a date night. After work we went out to a lovely dinner in town and went home to change into our snow suits. Don’t forget your wool... [Read More]
Building with IceSaranac Lake's Winter Carnival is a wonderful Adirondack festival. One of the strongest attractions happens even before Carnival officially begins. That would be the building of each year's Ice Palace.Festivities began back at the turn of the century, when Saranac Lake was already established as an internationally famous wellness center. Between winter enthusiasts,... [Read More]
This was a nice surprise for a short afternoon paddle on Follensby Clear Pond. It seems as though I have half day offs to go play, so I find myself on small excursions. For some reason I chose Follensby Clear Pond as my destination on this day. I typically stay away from larger ponds where motorboats are allowed to power through, but I had never been on this pond before and wanted to check... [Read More]
Saranac Lake's Top Cool Spots for Ice FishingWhat are the best fishing holes, in the winter? It seems that all of them have some kind of appeal. Ice fishing in Saranac Lake offers so many different places, and everyone has a favorite hard water spot.Finding out where they are… well, that’s not easy! But it helped when I added, “Great fishing that everybody knows about.” Then, I got some sighs of... [Read More]
Top Winter Activies List in Saranac Lake NYFamily fun is easy in Saranac Lake. No matter what size, shape, or attention span that family might have.Whatever the weather, we have activities to help everyone explore winter at their own pace. Share our amazing wildlife up close, slide down a snowy mountain, and ride our indoor carousel.Don't worry about what to do with the kids. From their first... [Read More]
Live music enthusiasts should be super psyched about the lineup this year for the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival.Saranac Lake already has a thriving music scene for such a small, secluded village, but Winter Carnival is one of the times each year when the music scene shines even brighter than usual. For 10 days, the village comes alive with live music from solo acoustic acts to marching bands to... [Read More]
Historic Saranac Lake will host the first talk in their Second Annual "History Matters" series at the Saranac Laboratory Museum in Saranac Lake on May 9. If hunting is your thing, you won't want to miss this sure to be lively talk by Jack Fogarty and Joe Hackett, with slides provided by Billy Allen and moderation by Bob Brown.Our hunting heritage dates back to the first inhabitants of the... [Read More]
With all these absolutely beautiful sunny ‘blue bird’ days, you know you want to be outside all day. But what happens when the sun sets and you are not quite ready for the day to be done? You go to Mt. Pisgah! Mt. Pisgah offers Night Skiing and Night Tubing! The mountain is lit up with multiple flood lights all the way up the mountain side. They have a very nice base of snow already and with... [Read More]
Paul Smiths Visitors Interpretive Center (VIC)An Adirondack family ski and snowshoe destinationJust a short drive from Saranac Lake is an outstanding resource for multi-use trails for the entire family. Paul Smith’s College has constructed a rather large trail system to provide a wide range of activities at the VIC. The major emphasis and goal was to engage the college community with all phases... [Read More]
Sustainable Breakfast with a side of historyDelicious meals are a favorite part of anyone's vacation. The Saranac Lake area of the Adirondacks offers great food with a wellness twist. We love our local farmers, who are known for organic fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs.Lake Clear Lodge and Retreat, a historic old Great Camp, takes these healthy eating principles even further. From... [Read More]
Ceilidh Music Sessions, Thursday Night Fun For AllOn Thursday nights as you pass the Saranac Lake Vistors Center office, you may notice a lot of cars in the parking lot and all the lights on and wonder what is going on. Most people would assume that it is something chamber related (maybe a board meeting or something) that is closed to the public, but that could not be farther from the truth... [Read More]
My First 6'erMountain climbing is one of the most popular sports in the Adirondacks, and one that is enjoyed year round. In Saranac Lake, it is popular to embark on the journey of Being a 6er. This is climbing the six peaks which ring the village and lend it the distinctive "mountain town" character we love.On any such challenge, be it hiking or snowshoeing, we must start at the bottom... of the... [Read More]
Sweet Line up in Saranac LakeBluSeed Studios is one of the artistic cornerstones for the strong arts community in Saranac Lake. I haven’t spent nearly as much time at BluSeed as I would have liked, but I’ve always enjoyed it each time I make it there.Nestled along the railroad tracks at 24 Cedar St. in Saranac Lake, the industrial warehouse was dormant until it was revived into an arts nest... [Read More]
Midweek Live Music Sets In Saranac LakeIt’s March! Time to get out of the house a bit! Luckily, the Waterhole has announced a series of free Wednesday night concerts to keep us busy throughout the spring. It’s a slower time of year, so the Waterhole’s booking agent Eric Munley (who also plays mandolin in the Blind Owl Band) told me he was trying to scale things down to make sure the lineup... [Read More]
We learned last month how awesome the Paul Smith’s VIC is. What could make it even cooler? You guessed it. Live music. The VIC has been bringing in musicians to entertain visitors for a Sunday afternoon series, running from the end of January and wrapping up after this weekend. The series is free to anyone with a ski pass, though donations are accepted, and is underwritten by... [Read More]
Sweet Day on the Floodwood Loop- A Ski to rememberThe Drive:From the intersection of Route 3 and Route 86 in Saranac Lake follow Route 3 toward Tupper Lake. Continue to Route 30 between Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake and then follow Route 30 toward Fish Creek. Continue for just under 9.0 miles to Floodwood Road on the left. Follow Floodwood Road for around 3.0 miles to the trailhead on the left,... [Read More]
This is the time of year Saranac Lake area anglers see the ice fishing season taper off… and start thinking about the spring to come. Adirondack iceout! It’s one of the best times to land a trophy trout.The fish start being more active, and more hungry. April 1 is the season opener for most trout and salmon. Panfish like pumpkinseed and yellow perch are open all year. Here’s some tips on wetting... [Read More]
Last Friday I was invited to take a much-overdue trip up the river to Kiwassa Lake from Lake Flower for some family fun activities on the water. I jumped at the opportunity. I hadn’t been on a boat trip on the Saranacs in two years - way too long! We loaded up the coolers, towels, kids gear and adult gear and headed out on Lake Flower. Our destination: Kiwassa Lake. My personal... [Read More]
Kayaking & Canoeing Top 10The beauty of paddling in the Saranac Lake area is the abundance of choices. But the sheer amount of Adirondacks on offer can be overwhelming! Here’s some Top 10 Paddling Spots to consider when it’s time to get out that canoe, kayak, or stand up paddleboard (SUP.)Wonderful WildernessWe have plenty of pristine and gorgeous places where the only human sound might... [Read More]
Keeping it coolI remember my first trip to Saranac Lake, now hailed as, and what probably has been the coolest place in the Adirondacks for a long time. Not knowing it then, the events of that trip became the catalyst of my eventual residency here. It was the winter of '99 and we were 4 hours into our trip. We were headed to a place I had no thoughts of, no prior preconceptions of, and... [Read More]
Cold water paddling, preparation & funI might be a little on the early side for talking about cold water paddling, but it’s better to get the thoughts rolling early so you can plan ahead and be ready when the time comes. I hated to put my paddle away for the season but I did stretch it out for as long as I felt comfortable doing so, and now it’s time to dust off the old canoe and get ready.... [Read More]
it's all about the bloomWhen Spring hits the Saranac Lake Region we know Daffest isn’t too far off! Initiated a few years ago, Daffest has grown into a community family event consisting of many smaller events within Daffest. The spectacular, sweeping Daffodil plantings have been expanded every year so the displays within the Village have become quite amazing when they bloom in... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has a unique performance space which features all kinds of different art, even at the same time. Music, photography, and painting were all on display during a special evening at BluSeed Studios. It had dogs and children dancing and people making new friends. It's an art opening in the Adirondacks.This gathering was to celebrate the return of a local group from a recent visit to... [Read More]
5 Overlooked Destinations for Hiking, Paddling, and/or Trail Running1. Floodwood MountainGetting ThereFrom the intersection of Route 86 and Route 3 follow Route 86 toward Paul Smiths. Continue for 5.0 miles to Route 186 on the left. Follow Route 186 to its end where it turns into Route 30 (approx. 4-miles). Follow Route 30 west for 5.75 miles to Floodwood Road on the right – this is easy to drive... [Read More]
This week I was in search of an activity during which I could take advantage of our recent late morning and afternoon breeze. This is the time of year when the black flies come out and the wind may be the best repellent I have found so far. The weather was great and I headed to Lake Colby in Saranac Lake, which is my go-to paddle when my time is limited.I unloaded my boat from the car and grabbed... [Read More]
Bog Trekking and BirdwatchingThis past weekend I helped lead a trip into Massawepie Mire, the largest bog in the Adirondacks. Massawepie is an enormous complex of habitats centering on the bog which is accessed via an old railroad bed. My co-leader and I met our group in a parking area surrounded by mixed deciduous forest and we began our day by listening to species like Red-eyed Vireo,... [Read More]
The Saranac Lake area was once home to many Great Camps, the elaborate form of "roughing it" that the very rich enjoyed during the Gilded Age. Time has not been kind to this extravagant tradition. Because of the risk of fire, each room was designed as its own building, and because of their remote locations, many of them burned down, anyway. Between the deep winters and the wilderness itself,... [Read More]
As I sat in my chair looking out at Lower Saranac Lake from our campsite on Pirate Island, I found myself humming the Jimmy Buffet song “One Particular Harbor.” I mentioned it to my husband and we immediately dubbed our awesome little island “One Particular Island.” Although we live in nearby Lake Placid and actually have a camp on Placid Lake, we love to go camping in the Adirondacks to... [Read More]
Birds of All Kinds Flock HereThis past weekend I helped lead trips for the Great Adirondack Birding Celebration (the GABC) held at the Paul Smith’s College VIC (Visitor Interpretive Center). In its 12th year, the event brought together birders from across the northeast and even other parts of the country as they explored the region on a variety of field trips. I led the trips into Madawaska, a... [Read More]
Adirondack PaddlingChoosing the right boat for canoeing & kayakingBoat lengthIf you are just getting into canoeing or kayaking first you need to decide where you will be paddling the most, but not to limit yourself either. First off, will you be navigating rivers with tight oxbows and narrow passages? Will you be on small ponds and lakes? Will you venture off onto larger lakes like the... [Read More]
It was a unique opportunity to visit the Saranac Lake Laboratory Museum. To kick off an upcoming "Medical Marvels" series, which will feature a exhibit of antique medical devices, the Museum was hosting a series of free lectures. Saranac Lake takes great pride in having been a prominent turn-of-the-century science center, and we offer many such opportunities to explore this side of our... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has an extraordinary place in its history, tucked between the lumbering and ice harvesting of its earliest times to the lure of its gorgeous scenery in the present. At the turn of the 20th Century, it was a world famous center for tuberculosis care (known as Taking the Cure) and research.While there were many local sanatoriums, some people were able to “take the cure” in a private... [Read More]
2nd Largest Peat Land in the ADKSSince Spring Pond Bog is the second largest peat land in the Adirondacks, it offers birders an array of habitats for finding species. I’ve led an annual birding trip there with The Wild Center the past few years and we once again took a trip to Spring Pond this year as well.The birds were initially quiet, but we were soon adding species in the coniferous forests... [Read More]
The most exciting thing – at least from Wren’s perspective - about the paddle we took on Moose Pond in Bloomingdale this week was the tennis ball she found at the boat launch. I unloaded gear while she played with the ball in the sandy gravel, shoveling it between her legs and then chasing it. Once I was unloaded and ready to push off, I gave her a few throws into the water and she happily... [Read More]
Overlooked hikes near Saranac LakeShadowed by the popularity of the High Peaks so close by, the hiking in and around Saranac Lake often gets overlooked. There are so many hikes offering outstanding views with payoffs that get missed by many of the visitors to the region. Please join me as I introduce you to a few select hikes that should just not go unseen while visiting Saranac Lake or any of... [Read More]
The Saint Regis Canoe Area is one of only a couple designated Canoe Areas in New York State. Located in Franklin County it spans three towns and over 18,400 Acres. The St. Regis Canoe Area includes St. Regis Mountain, St. Regis Pond, Long Pond, sections of the east and west branches of the St. Regis River, and 56 other water bodies, of course not all is perfect for paddling - or even feasible,... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has a long history as a wellness center. Both ordinary folk and celebrities flocked to the town after Dr. Edward Trudeau researched and implemented his "fresh air" cure for tuberculosis. When a drug cure was developed after WWII, this devastating disease no longer shaped the town. But we did not abandon our interest in helping people.Today, there are venues for zero-balancing,... [Read More]
While the leaves are busy beginning to change for our annual Adirondack Fall spectacle, think about joining in on one of our regional events. Saranac Lake will be alive with many cultural and historic events during the next couple of weeks.A most popular weekly summer event comes to a close with the final Third Thursday Art Walk on September 19th. Galleries and sidewalks come alive with... [Read More]
Above: Be sure to check out the video above, featuring the Saranac Lake Region portion of the 3 day 90-Miler Canoe Classic from Old Forge to Saranac Lake, finishing on Sunday, September 7 in Saranac Lake. By all accounts, September in Saranac Lake is a very busy time for events. The leaves have barely begun to show colors at this point and as they do change, there'll be several events... [Read More]
Entering the late fall period marks the transition from summer into winter. Sunsets come earlier every day and with it the gradual lowering of temperatures. Adirondackers tend to hunker down in front of the fireplace or wood stove with a hot cider on those chilly days and nights of late fall.Most of our outdoor events have had their day until the outdoor winter events begin, but this is the time... [Read More]
A wide range of events await visitors to the Saranac Lake region this summer, beginning with a full June calendar of sports, cultural, nature events and more.Get Outdoors!If you're a nature lover, there are some events that will help you get closer to and learn about some of our native creatures. On June 1 The Wild Center in Tupper Lake offers the Madawaska Owl Prowl in the vast and remote... [Read More]
This coming weekend - specifically Friday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Sept. 29 - artists around the northern Adirondacks will throw open the doors to their studios and invite us in for this year's version of Artist at Work Studio Tour. Each year on this weekend we get a rare opportunity to watch our renowned artists at work and see their workplaces.Last year I toured some of the artists'... [Read More]
May seems to be the month for loads of arts and heritage events in the region. From art exhibit openings and talks by local artists, to music and theatre events, there's something for everyone from adults to kids.Pendragon Theatre has opened their summer season this month with Alladin and the Wonderful Lamp, a delightful dramatization of the saga about the boy who found a Magic Lamp. Performances... [Read More]
In my mind, one of the best parts of winter is getting outdoors to experience and learn about our amazing natural environment here in the Adirondacks. Events that center around learning about the natural Adirondacks can be experienced at:the Visitor interpretive centerIn addition to the wonderful exhibits, live birds and trail system at the Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC), the facility... [Read More]
Here are just a few of the events happening around Saranac Lake in the next few weeks. Don't forget you can use your mobile to also search for more events and nearby restaurants, lodging and activities and attractions.ARTS IN THE REGIONArts are a large part of our summer event offerings here in the Saranac Lake area. Every week there are a multitude of cultural events for everyone to choose... [Read More]
Top Family Winter Events in Saranac Lake Sparkle Village Craft Fair This year, as in winters past, Saranac Lake pulls out all the stops for the events that have made their mark on the winter calendar. The fun starts with a shopper's delight, Sparkle Village Craft Fair. Over the past 26 years Sparkle Village has grown from a small event into one with a very long waiting list... [Read More]
Summer in Saranac Lake brings with it events to keep everyone busy. From free outdoor concerts to our much-loved Pendragon Theatre productions, there's something for everyone throughout the season.engage in historyThe rich heritage of the Saranac Lake region is celebrated during the summer season. One very interesting option is the Great Camp Tours being offered regularly at White... [Read More]
Winter carnival As Saranac Lake Winter Carnival winds down, the last big events of the celebration include the Gala Parade on Saturday, Feb. 8, followed by the I Love NY Winter Carnival Slide Show and the Guide Boat Realty "Storming of the Palace" Closing Fireworks Display at the ice palace on Sunday, Feb. 9, bringing this 2014 edition to a close. The fireworks and slideshow are a not-to-be-... [Read More]
As the fall foliage drifts away into the history books and winter is still a few weeks away, some ask what we do for fun during the in-between time? We fully embrace the arts and indoor events this time of year! Of course we still get outdoors as well, but indoor events are a most welcome distraction as the temperatures dip to the chilly level.This coming week it’s all about the... [Read More]
Bring your binoculars and cameraDuring the late summer and early fall I make a point to be out with my binoculars everyday – in the morning if I can manage it. After all, it is during this time of year that migrant songbirds are flocking up and passing through our region. And so each day usually begins with me grabbing my binoculars and camera – not to mention Wren – and heading to a local trail... [Read More]
Shorebirds in the ParkWhile the Champlain Valley rightfully gets the most attention in our region as the place to search for sandpipers and other shorebirds, some shorebirds do invariably make their way south through the central part of the Park. It’s just a matter of finding them since they don’t stay around for long. For instance, over the weekend while I was out looking for warblers along Lake... [Read More]
Every year Pendragon Theatre, our Saranac Lake live theatre company, chooses a comedy as one element of their summer art offerings. The theme this year (they choose a theme every year) is one close to my heart: that of "Dreams." Then they choose several plays which fit the theme, creating a lineup which includes at least one comedy, drama, and musical each year.HarveyWhen I found out... [Read More]
Enjoying summer to the endThe final summery days of the season are gold for us all and so Wren and I took advantage of a splendid afternoon earlier this week and set out for Little Green Pond. We started with a swim and as we approached the sandy beach area, I noticed two distant Hooded Mergansers flying along the far shore of the lake. I threw the ball a few times for Wren who plunged in after... [Read More]
Editor's note: As the cold-water season quickly descends, our blogger highlights a few favorite fall paddling destinations - perfect for leaf peeping! Happy paddling!
Blog originally posted in 2014.
Below you will get a small taste of paddling the Adirondacks and the Saranac Lake region during the fall foliage season. With peak season coming fast, you don’t want to waste... [Read More]
Mount Pisgah Ski Center is a village mountain with big appeal. Downhill skiing, cross country trails, and fun tubing runs, all in the heart of Saranac Lake.Family Fun this winterOf course, it's a bit too early to actually ski, but preparations start well before the season. The lodge is readied for visitors, logs are laid in the big fireplace, equipment is checked, and trails are walked. There are... [Read More]
Horseback riding is a wonderful way to experience our Saranac Lake wilderness. We see Adirondack forest from a new perspective, get the benefit of a guided tour, and experience nature with a large animal companion. Emerald Springs Ranch, in nearby Lake Clear, has extensive trails and friendly horses. They are all Registered Quarter Horses, born and raised on the ranch. During the rider... [Read More]
A Time of Transformation We all look forward to the change of leaf color which so defines this time of year in the Adirondacks. It is, after all, an amazing phenomenon and one of the most incredible events to witness in the entire world! Our cool nights and recent cold fronts have already started the process of changing our leaves and the past week has found that transition happening quickly... [Read More]
My folks were watching my 12-year-old niece Rebecca for the weekend and it seemed a good idea to have them all come up for a visit. We spent a few days exploring the area walking in Bloomingdale Bog, checking out the Olympic Center, and going miniature golfing. I had suggested to my niece that perhaps she would like to hike a short mountain, but she was hesitant, unsure how she would like it or... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has long been known as a mecca for artists and art events. This upcoming month will confirm that designation with the multitude of cultural events on the schedule. There are also several non art-related events as well.From poetry readings to plays to outdoor programs and slide shows, you’ll pretty much find something of interest during any of the upcoming weeks. Here are a few... [Read More]
Saranac Lake spent the decades between 1884 and 1954 as a world-famous curing center. Our history of wellness endeavors continues to this day. It all started with Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau (statue, above) in 1873. He came to Saranac Lake expecting only to spend his last days in his beloved wilderness. He had tuberculosis, and in those days, it was a death sentence.Except he got better.This... [Read More]
Are there ghosts in the Adirondacks? Does Saranac Lake have a haunted past? Sources say yes, and to be honest, it has a haunted present, too. Many of these old buildings have spooky tales to tell.
I set out with a member of the Adirondack Park Paranormal Society to explore what has been seen - and heard - and felt - in what must be the most haunted town in all of the Adirondack Park.... [Read More]
By Day & NightOn a fine day, you can catch a glimpse of Follensby Clear Pond from the top of Ampersand Mountain. Look northwest – it's tucked behind Upper Saranac Lake. After your descent, take a quick drive to Santa Clara, launch your canoe onto Follensby Clear, and look over your shoulder as you paddle across – there's the mountain you just climbed, a blue-hued giant framed between the... [Read More]
Norman Bethune is a famous Saranac Lake artist. His most celebrated work was created here, in the Trudeau Cottage Sanitarium, where he was both a doctor, and a patient. He was also an inventor: the Bethune shears, for thoracic surgery, are still in use today. He was a humanitarian: his many medical patents were donated to the cause of socialized medicine. He was an innovator: he organized... [Read More]
The Blind Owl Band is just like the band’s hometown of Saranac Lake: the real deal. They are as raw and authentic as it comes, growing their popularity as a band organically out of working hard and cultivating personal relationships. The four musicians that make up the Blind Owl Band are Eric Munley (mandolin), Arthur Buezo (guitar, vocals), Christian... [Read More]
When you talk about having an Adirondack adventure with your dog, most people immediately think hiking or camping. Well, I can’t argue that, it makes sense - but paddling? Not that paddling with a dog in your canoe or tandem kayak is totally out of the ordinary, but it’s much less seen than on a trail. As you may be able to imagine, the issue is keeping your dog settled in the canoe and removing... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has been a fascinating place for a long time. I never know when I'll run into a fun and interesting bit of trivia about its moments of fame. These interesting items can turn up anywhere along the town's history. Here's some from the first half of the twentieth century.revolutionary mop patent“Be it known that I, EDWARD DoBBINs, a citizen of the United States, residing at Saranac Lake... [Read More]
The LoonsCommon Loons were already calling from the water as I unloaded the car at Little Clear Pond. As usual Wren was exploring the water and beach area and she kept bringing sticks for me to throw into the lake. After a few throws and after I had toted everything down to the water, we headed out.A pair of Common Loons sat a few hundred meters out with their large, charcoal gray chick. All... [Read More]
Home on the Range - or the local Ski Slope to be more specific!Like many Adirondack towns, Saranac Lake has a hometown ski hill. Here is where local children have learned to ski for generations. Now Mount Pisgah offers family fun with alpine, glade, and cross country skiing, along with tubing and snowshoeing.Saranac Lake started skiing in 1892 when the first pair of skis came to town,... [Read More]
A True Adirondack Challenge Having completed this challenge some years back, I have to admit it's an absolute pleasure to undertake; it's even perfect for the entire family. Quite unlike the Adirondack 46 High Peaks, these offer something new and unique, and it gets you out and about the entire park. This goes without saying: the Saranac Lake Region is home to some of the best towers on the... [Read More]
Now that we’ve had a taste of snow in the Adirondacks (a little dusting last Sunday), I cannot wait to get back on the slopes at Titus Mountain Family Ski Center! Titus is currently my favorite ski slope in the area, because it’s a good size without being too big for me, and they tend to have the best snow coverage for my type of snowboarding.And they’ve got some cool new stuff to look... [Read More]
so much more than a beautiful viewTop things to do when you don't feel like being outsideWe love our Adirondack outdoors. We love our changeable mountain weather. But sometimes, they just don’t go together the way we planned it. Still, many weather challenges are not as daunting as they might appear.A misty day is easy to dress for and does not disturb a lovely walk in the woods. If it's a... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has an unusual war memorial. It is the Mount Pisgah Veteran's Memorial Ski Center, located on the mountain at the edge of town. It is a wonderful place to explore this Veteran's Day. Even if we can't ski just yet.At the entrance there is a more traditional monument, a native boulder with a plaque honoring all service members. While Saranac Lake has been sending its children... [Read More]
Fall Paddling; Being Ready for the ColdI know the cold weather is setting in, the fog has stopped rising from the waters and those water temperatures just keep dropping;, but don’t hang up your boat yet, we still have more paddling to do. Seriously though, it’s not time to take the boats off your roof and replace them with a ski rack, not just yet. Whiteface won’t be open for at least a few more... [Read More]
There are some great restaurants in Saranac Lake, but probably the most unique eatery (and one of my favorites!) is Eat ’n Meet Grill and Larder.The Real Thing...Eat ’n Meet, located at 139 Broadway in Saranac Lake, is what owner John Vargo likes to call a “neighborhood joint.” He tries to produce the quality of food you’d get for $40 a plate in a nice restaurant, but his aim is to keep his... [Read More]
While driving down Lake Flower Avenue toward downtown SaranacLake you might have noticed a little pale green house close to the road. You might know this house as the “peace on earth” house with all the lights and picture of the world out on the front lawn this time of year. That little house is too small to be an apartment or a cabin and in too strange of a place to be simply a storage... [Read More]
A Daily Walk On an almost daily basis this time of year, Wren and I can be found walking along the railroad tracks on the backside of Lake Colby in Saranac Lake. Despite the beat-up nature of some of the tracks, it is a picturesque location and with fewer fishermen there this time of year than there are during the warmer months, we generally have the walk to ourselves. Colby is an easy spot... [Read More]
Saranac Lake loves the holiday season. We have a lively and dedicated wellness community who support our local farms and advocate for healthy eating. This lets them come up with new takes on old favorites.Very adirondack appetizerIf we haven't been thinking "Adirondacks" when we think "cheese" we haven't been doing it right. Many local farms have used the milk from their cows, sheep, and goats to... [Read More]
Snow has been FallingThe almost daily snowfalls of the past week have quickly transformed our landscape to look a bit like February, and as I walked Wren the other day I realized it might be worth swapping my boots for skis. And so, we headed out in the evening to the North end of the Bloomingdale Bog Trail. The sky was mostly clear and the air was cold as we set out; me on my old, beater, rock... [Read More]
ABOVE: Saranac Lake's famous Lawn Chair Ladies perform at a past Winter Carnival Parade. The Lawn Chair Ladies are one of the most popular units in the parade each year!First night saranac lakeAs the old adage goes, a picture's worth thousand words. So here are some of Saranac Lake’s best of the best winter events images for this coming season!First big winter event on the docket for Saranac Lake... [Read More]
Saranac Lake is the perfect place to hit the town for an evening with friends. There are just enough bars to keep you busy, but not so many that you can’t stand up straight by the end of the night, and for the most part they are all pretty close to one another. I’ve found myself on an impromptu pub crawl through Saranac Lake just to meet up with multiple friends who are out in various places or... [Read More]
St. Regis Canoe Area - An Interesting Ski TourOK, maybe the ski wasn’t entirely in the St. Regis Canoe Area, but it was very close – more like a perimeter ski tour. I thought I would share a trip we did last winter, in hopes that it might interest you enough to head over that way once the snow makes a permanent presence.Watching the local forecastWe had a forecast of balmy ahead of us for the day... [Read More]
A Cold and Snowy Time of YearWith the holidays and colder months of the year looming, some folks may think that birding in our area has gone into hibernation with many of our mammal species. But in fact the winter months can be a great time to explore the quiet, white woods, and it can be a particularly good time to search for boreal species of birds. After all, while most of our species migrate... [Read More]
Saranac Lake is fortunate in its many geographical gifts. One of them is a bit unusual. We have a wonderful airport.Most people regard their local airport as a necessary annoyance. It has a long drive to an un-lovely area, and the people are all rushed and harried, and someone sadistic designed the terminal.But Adirondack Regional Airport is different in many of those ways. I don't know who... [Read More]
We are a land of many lakes, be they liquid or solid. This gives Saranac Lake an abundance of extraordinary Adirondack ice fishing venues, from large and accessible to small and remote, or anything in between. So we are the place to explore all that ice fishing can offer... even when it gets extreme!And out there, on the edges, things can get extremely interesting.Here are the important elements... [Read More]
Looking back at 2014 in the Adirondacks, there were so many memories of Saranac Lake. I decided the only way to narrow them down was to look at each of our lovely, distinctively different, four seasons. Each one has its own events, traditions, and activities.Each one has its own special charm.MAGICAL WINTERThe 2014 Winter Carnival “Ice Palace” (the term we use regardless of the structure)... [Read More]
A Perfect Day for Photos The icy, mixed precipitation we’ve had recently has coated the forests in the North Country white, and I was excited by the prospect of a bright, sunny day to head out with Wren and my camera for photos. We woke early on a clear cold morning and after allowing the temperature to raise a touch, I layered up, grabbed my snowshoes, and we set out into a blindingly white... [Read More]
Heading to ScarfaceIt had been a little while since I had been there, so the other day Wren and I grabbed my snowshoes and headed to the Scarface Mountain Trail in Ray Brook. My usual choice for winter activity is cross country skiing. But, I often find that I am more observant of my surroundings when I’m on foot, since I’m able to take my time. This means I don’t have to focus on the terrain so... [Read More]
Early Season Cross-Country Ski DestinationsSure Saranac Lake is loaded with cross-country skiing destinations, but not all are perfect for early season conditions when snowfall is light and the base is very thin. But if you have the chance, these five locations have a lot to offer and all are within a stone’s throw of the Village of Saranac Lake.Grass Pond and then the Hayes Brook Trail to Sheep... [Read More]
The great outdoorsDewey Mountain Recreation Center has a full schedule of cross country ski and snowshoe events on tap for this winter. Every Tuesday night at 5:30 join in the Graymont Tuesday Night Race Series. Kids XC races start at 5:30 pm and adults at 6 pm. Visitors are always welcome, so if you feel your competitive spirit coming on, drive on over and join in. You'll meet some great locals... [Read More]
Saranac Lake is a great place for learning and renewal. As a new year begins, let's make plans now for special ways of revamping ourselves. We can use the village's unique Adirondack charms to meet our personal improvement needs.New Year's Day has a tradition of being the holiday where people decide they are going to make themselves do things they don't really want to do. By the end of January... [Read More]
It's a challenge to make a new person. We can use help.Saranac Lake was once a worldwide health destination. At the height of the tuberculosis epidemic this wilderness village drew famed doctors, skilled researchers, and celebrity patients. While we are all happy the tuberculosis plague has been conquered, there are still plenty of skilled people who love to help anyone with other health quests.... [Read More]
Catching the Holiday CrudMy holidays were nice as I celebrated the season with friends and family. But there has been one lingering reminder of them that I’d like to shed. Somewhere in a concoction involving lack of sleep, traveling, visiting friends and family, and eating poorly, I managed to succumb to a spreading crud and get sick. Sick enough that I have been laid up for a bit and I have had... [Read More]
The unique geography of the Adirondacks has created some distinctive cultural traditions. The remote location, rugged beauty, and abundant wilderness led the small village of Saranac Lake into ways of life we still observe today.Celebrate with us!WINTER CARNIVALOne thing we must have in our Winter Carnival is the Ice Palace -- our term for the amazing structure we create as a focus for the... [Read More]
The “Side Hunt”Before 1900, birders took part in a holiday tradition called the Christmas “Side Hunt”. People would choose sides and head into the field with guns to see which group could bring back the most birds! Much of the nineteenth century saw ornithologists using guns not binoculars. If you wanted to see a bird, you picked up a gun and shot it.Conservation Movement BeginsAt the turn... [Read More]
It was just after Christmas and I was riding the traditional high that comes from the Holidays spent with family and friends and looking to keep that feeling going through to the New Year. Having recently learned one of our local lodges was going to be offering lantern lit sleigh rides this year, I figured there were few better ways to embrace winter and stay in the holiday spirit than taking... [Read More]
Saranac Lake is a wonderful destination for Nordic skiing. The rolling expanse of our lake country makes for scenic trails which run the whole range of challenges. From groomed cross-country paths with parking lots to beautiful backcountry locations, we have a trail for every taste.Dewey MountainSaranac Lake has a hometown cross-country skiing complex at the edge of town. Half of the... [Read More]
New Snow, New TracksAs the day warmed from its initially cold beginning, Wren and I took an afternoon this week to hike into the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness Area from the Haystack Mountain Trailhead along Route 86 in Ray Brook. The day had started out not only cold, but clear and blue. Gradually the clouds drifted in to blot out the sun before we departed, but the afternoon was pleasant, and the... [Read More]
Looking for Exciting Winter BirdsWinter birding in this region is often a game of looking for very specific species, rather than it being about seeing lots of species in a single day. This year has been predicted to be a good year for Common Redpolls arriving from the north, but it has been difficult to find redpolls during the beginning of the winter. In the past week or so that has begun to... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has a long history of building amazing structures from ice as a centerpiece of their Winter Carnival festivities. Throughout the cycles of our village's famous winter festival, the Ice Palace has been both a focal point and a marker of what our Winter Break signifies in our history.At its heart, it is a reminder of how it all started, with the cycle of the seasons. In summer,... [Read More]
By far my favorite thing about Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is the abundance of live music all over town. The Waterhole has a great lineup this year, including Moon Hooch and Donna the Buffalo, among others, and additional venues are stepping up their music game as well. Eric Munley, who books bands for the Waterhole, told me that he originally thought about trying to get all '60s-style bands,... [Read More]
Traveling North For CarnivalMy niece Rebecca has been asking to come to Winter Carnival in Saranac Lake the past couple years, but has always had conflicts with school and other obligations. This year her regular requests finally won my family over and they came north last weekend to enjoy the beginning of Carnival for the first time. They explored the ice palace both during the day and at night... [Read More]
So you just got engaged. Congratulations! The next step is to get married. And of course you want to get married in Saranac Lake, because there’s no better place to do it. So how does one go about making that happen?Though I’ve lived through a lot of wedding planning with a lot of friends, I’ve never been married, so I thought I’d talk to a professional to write this blog post about planning a... [Read More]
I grew up in Tupper Lake and have lived in Saranac Lake for a while now, so it’s probably quite strange that I had never been to Mt. Pisgah. But finally last week, I was assigned to write a blog post about the Saranac Lake ski slope, so I headed on over one afternoon after work.That’s one of the best things about Mt. Pisgah: It's open most weekday evenings, and there's great lighting so you can... [Read More]
aka: A beginner’s guide to making a fool of yourself while having a great time trying out a new-to-you activity. The day was sunny and blue, perfect for loading up the Jeep for the quick hour drive to a local, super family-friendly, ski-mountain. Since we always love a good deal and we've never skied Titus Mountain in nearby Malone, when the North Country Chamber offered one of their Ski Day... [Read More]
Lots of Snow So We Can PlayAs usual, Wren and I have been cross-country skiing on a regular basis this winter as our snow, once a bit thin, has been piling up. One of our favorite places to go is the network of trails off of the Fish Pond Trail in Lake Clear. The trails there are designated cross-country skiing trails and they wind through beautiful deciduous and mixed forest and around the... [Read More]
Using the Long Weekend to Go BirdingMy brother Dave recently took advantage of the long weekend and came up for some winter birding in our area. Saturday’s weather offered up light snow showers, but warmer temperatures than we’ve had of late, and we headed out with Wren to Bigelow Road to start our day. Despite the pleasant temperature, the road was quiet, although we did hear a Boreal Chickadee... [Read More]
A Bushwack snowshoe through the Debar Wild ForestBaldface Mountain weighing in at just less than 2900-feet in elevation has been itching at me for quite some time to visit, and this winter was my time. But to give you a little background in my fascination of this peak I will start with a small hike that led up to it.Debar PondIt was a warm day and I was exploring the region, doing small hikes... [Read More]
The Jackrabbit Trail in 3 Helpings -- Day 1: from Paul Smiths to McKenzie Pond RoadThe Jackrabbit Trail is a prime piece of cross-country skiing real estate in the Adirondack Park. This trail is roughly 35 miles in length and runs from Paul Smiths to Keene. However, the sections from McKenzie Pond Road to Keene are used much more than the Paul Smiths to Saranac Lake sections. Either way, the... [Read More]
People love to come to the Adirondacks to hike our forests, explore our ponds, and climb our mountains. But perhaps only Saranac Lake offers this wilderness experience in a compact and versatile package that is right in town.It's the Trifecta, and one of its charms is how we can hike through it, and back, two different ways. The different parts make it adaptable to any skill level, in any season... [Read More]
What is Adirondack style?It is a relaxed blending of the natural world with classic comfort elements. It was developed in the rugged wilderness, when a few innovative people arrived who were not intent on conquering and subduing the forces of nature. Instead, Adirondack style embraces and appreciates it. It is a way of seeking a partnership with nature.ArchitectureThis difference exhibited itself... [Read More]
African-Americans have never made up large percentages in any census of the Adirondacks. But they have also been welcomed in proportions much greater than their numbers. Saranac Lake has long been supportive when it comes to the unique challenges faced by the people of this particular immigrant group.DEPOT ON THE UNDERGROUND RAILROADThe Champlain Valley to the East had been settled by a strong-... [Read More]
The Jackrabbit Ski Trail--Day 2Day one of our cross-country ski trip on the Jackrabbit Trail had us travel from Paul Smiths to McKenzie Pond Road. It was now a week later, and we were now looking at day two. For this, we decided to go with a much shorter day that would get us from McKenzie Pond Road to the village of Lake Placid. Doesn’t seem like much when you put it that way, but it will... [Read More]
Jackrabbit Trail Day 3 of 3:Lake Placid Pub & Brewery to Old Mountain RoadDay three of our three-day cross-country ski tour from Paul Smiths to Keene found us at the Jackrabbit trailhead behind the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery. We were looking forward to finishing off this trail with what we've heard are probably a few of the best sections. If you are just catching up with our adventure, be... [Read More]
Does Bigfoot live in the Adirondacks? Or is he just here for a vacation?While discussions about Bigfoot can seem rather recent in our United States history, Native Americans have talked about Sasquatch for hundreds of years. Often considered a West Coast phenomenon, sightings have also appeared all over the Adirondacks, from Saranac Lake in the north to a famous sighting in Whitehall, in the... [Read More]
If you've got Cabin Fever, the only prescription is... Saranac Lake!Cabin Fever was first officially called that back in 1838. It describes the psychological reaction to being cooped up indoors without interesting things to do. Irritability, restlessness, listlessness, and even paranoia can be symptoms of Cabin Fever. According to a paper in Psychological Science, February 2008, it can... [Read More]
Cold Weather BirdingWinter birding in Saranac Lake and the rest of the Adirondacks often revolves around finding resident boreal species – not a bad consolation for a cold walk. And so, Wren and I have been out throughout the winter to find species like Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, and Boreal Chickadee. The past month has also brought Bohemian Waxwings – a winter specialty – from the north... [Read More]
This vacation, bring the dog. Because Saranac Lake is a dog-friendly place.Wilderness is even more enjoyable with four-legged companionship. If we have ever wondered what it would be like to really wear out our dog, one of our hikes or a paddling visit to an island will let us lean back and watch as they explore every fascinating scent... and we have are a lot of them. Our immediate... [Read More]
The First Warm Days of SpringThe temperatures a few days last week broke into the 40s marking the beginning of spring skiing conditions across the region. The warm days and soft snow were a big change from the cold weather which had dominated our forecasts for much of the winter. It arrived right on time - after all, spring officially begins this coming weekend. Soft spring snow may be slow, but... [Read More]
A Crew of Students from SyracuseThe birding club from SUNY-ESF in Syracuse came up this past weekend to look for Adirondack birds with me. I teach Field Ornithology courses for ESF at Cranberry Lake Bio Station during the summer and I’m always excited to see folks again. We met in Bloomingdale Bog where the group was having difficulty attracting the attention of any Gray Jays near the feeders. So... [Read More]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Winter Carnival announces Summer Ice Palace Saranac Lake, Adirondacks - April 1, 2015 - The overwhelming popularity of Saranac Lake’s historic Winter Carnival has led to the creation of a summer version.“We realize this is a special challenge,” said Summer Carnival coordinator Ima Gladd-Colby. “But since we don’t get those brutal summer temperatures we decided to go for... [Read More]
The Battle of the SeasonsThe past few weeks have seen the sun and winter battle for supremacy across our region. The sun’s rays on longer days have been beautifully warm, and yet our skiing base has stayed strong thanks to consistently chilly temps and cold nights. The result has been great cross-country skiing. While trail skiing comes and goes and has been icy and largely un-skiable of late,... [Read More]
Mud season has arrived in the Adirondacks, which means 3 things: the sky is blue, the temps are mild, and for those of us who like to get outside, most of our winter activities have ended but the woods and waters aren't quite ready for summer fun. Now is a GREAT time to check out the local breweries and soak up some springtime rays along the way!This past Sunday, a few co-workers and I met up for... [Read More]
Spring in the Adirondacks is a wild, overlooked, season. Saranac Lake has many attractions which shine in this special gap between winter and summer. It might not be the first place a person thinks of when the idea of spring break occurs to them, but it can be the last... because there are many good reasons to fit a spring trip to the Adirondacks into our schedule.It can be worth dodging some... [Read More]
Come to the Adirondacks. Where every day is Earth Day!Saranac Lake has some delightful lodging choices in the midst of all our nature. Our properties have often been in the family for generations, were built to fit into unique geographic features, and are all about participating in our Great Outdoors -- from anywhere. easy being GreenAudubon rarely bestows their highest Eco Lodging... [Read More]
Ringing Telephones in My YardI’ve been waking each morning of late to the jingling song of Dark-eyed Juncos which have been filling my yard and gorging on bird seed. I kept a few juncos around through much of the winter, but as spring has pushed in from the south they have followed in numbers. Then a new song was added to their ringing telephone chorus early last week. A Fox Sparrow – a migrant... [Read More]
Seasons mean so much here in the Adirondacks. It is here, like no other place I’ve lived before, that they delineate themselves as wildly separate and distinct experiences. Each is filled with unique delights that can be obtained at no other time.Saranac Lake is a place which embraces all of them. We have festivals for each season, featuring the way each one is celebrated in the Adirondacks. I’m... [Read More]
The area around Saranac Lake is known as the Lake Country of the Adirondacks. Since the whole Park is known for its lakes, what makes us so very special?I'm happy to tell you. There are five good reasons we proudly bear that title. 1. PaddlingWe are a Paddler's Paradise because of our terrain. That must have been some giant glacier. Parts of the Adirondacks were shaped by deep gouges that... [Read More]
The 6ers are what we call the six highly climbable mountains that ring the village of Saranac Lake. The Adirondacks are known for its mountain hiking, and it's human nature to create "sets" for achievement purposes. There's the 46 High Peaks that are over 4,000 feet in height. Thus inspired, we have created what has turned out to be a very popular way for people to enjoy our kinder, gentler peaks... [Read More]
First Hike of the SpringWith our snow melted and ski season over, it was time for Wren and I to take our inaugural hike of the season. We’ve been walking at places like the Bloomingdale Bog Trail and the railroad tracks behind Lake Colby, but we hadn’t done a proper hike yet this spring. And Baker Mountain is a great place to break in the hiking season.The sun and clouds had staged a skirmish... [Read More]
Adirondack Lakes and Rivers PaddlesKayaking and canoeing in the Adirondacks, especially in the lake country near Saranac Lake, has an abundance of paddling possibilities. We are home to the 18,400-acre St. Regis Canoe Area. This is the only designated Canoe Area in all of New York State, with almost sixty bodies of water to explore, each with their own charm.This broad and untouched wilderness is... [Read More]
Saranac Lake is a great place to stretch that vacation dollar. Our corner of the Adirondacks has many ways to help anyone have lots of fun, either for free or as a darned good bargain.Remember, the Adirondack Park has no admission fee!Pitch YOUR OWNOur vast wilderness offers one way of combining luxurious grandeur and inexpensive accommodation. Back-country camping requires a setting at... [Read More]
It’s a beautiful summer afternoon, and you want to spend the evening outside socializing and seeing some great music while you’re at it. You’re in luck! Saranac Lake has some great options for summer music!The Party on the Patio series at the Waterhole is the cornerstone of Saranac Lake’s summer music offerings. Each Thursday, the Waterhole has free music from 6 to 10 p.m. on their outdoor patio... [Read More]
My first stop at any waterpark has always been a ride of the river persuasion - be it lazy or rapid. There is something so thrilling about surrendering myself to the course of the river with the sun on my face. The amazon/rapids sort of rides are exhilarating, putting me in the mind frame of Disney's Pocahontas singing "just around the river bend," while the lazy rivers make me want to melt in... [Read More]
From Snow to Blooms!Each year, after a long Adirondack winter, it seems as if we finally say goodbye to snow and miraculously, there are suddenly wildflowers blooming everywhere! Coltsfoot, often mistaken for Dandelions, is one of the earliest spring wildflowers to bloom in the Adirondacks.Bluets is another early wildflower that grows in large clusters.On hikes, I begin to observe the psychedelic... [Read More]
An In-depth Adirondacks Cycling ExperienceGuest Blogger: Jim Moore, Event Director • Cycle AdirondacksThis August, Saranac Lake will host a new and unique event – Cycle Adirondacks, the first fully supported road-cycling tour of the Adirondack Park. The event will kick off with a celebration (which is open to the public) on Saturday, August 22, and finish a week later with a public “Finish Line... [Read More]
Golf and the Adirondacks have had a long and passionate relationship. By the turn of the 19th century, luxury resorts and Great Camps were springing up all over the Adirondack Park. Golf courses soon followed, and Saranac Lake has just the right kind of terrain.Golf in the United States can be traced back to 1828, when Charles B. Macdonald returned from college in Scotland with a set of... [Read More]
The Saranac Lake Art Walks are a popular summer activity. Every third Thursday evening, from June to September, our historic downtown area becomes a sidewalk art festival. In addition, there’s many kinds of music, craft vendors, and other fun activities with plenty of Adirondack friendliness and hospitality.Since it was a gorgeous day, we started with an early dinner. We got to watch the artists... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has a wonderful range of Adirondack campgrounds to choose from. Whether it's a full service RV hook-up or a tent in the wildest of the wilderness, we have a full range of very cool spots.Camping is a great way to really feel the wild places around us. Maybe it's that first cup of "cowboy coffee" as we listen to the loon cry over the lake. Maybe it's sitting around the campfire,... [Read More]
A High Diversity Time of YearOne of the best things about spring and early summer in the Adirondacks is the diversity of birds that can be found in our area during a simple walk. My walks are almost always taken with Wren who wants nothing more than to run, play, and swim all the time. More than that, her high energy level requires that I take her out regularly and I am compelled to go out even... [Read More]
The State Of New York“Blah blah blah?”“Blah blah.”It was a slow day at work. I had been wiping down the same 10 square feet of counter space for the last two hours, half listening to my co-workers discussing plans for the weekend. It was not until I heard “blah blah Adirondack-” that I started paying attention. I whipped around like a dog who has just heard the word “walk,” every atom now attuned... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has wonderful lodging and wellness venues. This year was the first time they were combined in a delightful weekend event. Which created a vortex of healing Adirondack vibrations!The Holistic Health Retreat & Conference was held on the weekend of May 16th & 17th, but I arrived Friday night to relax and enjoy the fine dining at the hosting property, the Lake Clear Lodge... [Read More]
It's an art tour, a scenic drive, and a shopping opportunity, all in one. It's an Adirondack Art Tour! When it comes to scenic routes, Saranac Lake and the surrounding area has some of the loveliest. Whether we drive or bike, in any season, for any reason, our quiet wilderness roads access some of our finest vistas. Every year a local arts guild, Saranac Lake ArtWorks, organizes a tour of... [Read More]
July is a wonderful time to visit the Saranac Lake Region. We have so many great events at this time of year. From traditional holiday celebrations and history tours all the way to some great modern talents in music and art, we have enjoyable options for every member of the family.Our Glorious FourthWe love a small town Independence Day. Join us!We start our celebrations with the 4th of... [Read More]
A Simple Suggestion Becomes a Vacation Plan In the depths of the winter (ok, it was actually spring according to the calendar), when we here in Lake Placid were still skiing on perfect snow but dreaming about green leaves and blue water, my husband made an off-handed suggestion: “Why don’t we reserve a campsite on Lower Saranac Lake for a week in June?" Anxious for a mental escape from... [Read More]
Acting Cool: Practice Makes PerfectWhen I think of art in the Saranac Lake Region, a ton of cool galleries, shops, and events come to mind. But, of course, I have a history of working in the performing arts, so my first love - theatre - is at front and center for this blog. And, when I think of acting in the Adirondacks, Pendragon Theatre is the place to be.In case you haven’t been (WHY... [Read More]
A Great Place for an Evening PaddleI made sure to take my nieces and nephew paddling the other week when they came to visit – it's an integral part of an Adirondack adventure, after all. Lake Colby is a great spot for an easy outing, so we all loaded into my large boat and set off. My niece Emily paddled in the bow, I was in the stern, and Rebecca and Tyler sat on Crazy Creek chairs in the middle... [Read More]
Great Weather for Paddling!With so much warm, sunny weather of late, I have been itching to get out paddling with Wren. As a result, I’ve been driving around with my canoe on my car to make such adventures quicker to organize since the loading process can sometimes delay things. So with my boat pre-loaded, Wren and I were out fairly early the other day to check out the paddling and birding along... [Read More]
Did you know Saranac Lake has the largest collection of Robert Louis Stevenson memorabilia in the world? Our village in the Adirondacks has a pivotal place in the saga of this famous author's life. Then Stevenson Cottage, where he restored his health, became the home of his legacy.He was one of the most successful writers of the 19th century. Stories like "Treasure Island," "Kidnapped," and "The... [Read More]
Text by Guest Blogger: Hannah BabcockPhotos provided by ROOSTer Kim Andresen, also an avid fan of this secret beach AND ice cream. Many thanks to our fun-loving & photogenic friends Clayton & Abby Johnson and family.What to do... what to do?If you find yourself sitting outside on a beautiful day in Lake Placid and trying to think of something to do to take full advantage of... [Read More]
A Morning Start on a Hot DayWith another hot day coming, Wren and I headed out for a morning paddle on Jones Pond before the sun began to bake the landscape. The day was cool, but rapidly warming as I prepared for our outing, listening to a singing Blue-headed Vireo and White-throated Sparrow. As I fiddled with my gear, I chatted with a couple from Georgia who were camping in one of the campsites... [Read More]
My interest for these three mountains was conceived one winter’s day when I was reading a book about Bob Marshall. Well, come to find out his family had a place on the Saranacs and one of his frequent stomping grounds was Boot Bay Mountain. So, I figured why not head out and grab the other two along the way: Spruce Ridge and Shingle Bay Mountain.Finding the pathI knew where I wanted to get... [Read More]
One of the fun, and free, options in Saranac Lake is the monthly lecture series held by Saranac Village at Will Rogers. They open their cozy Great Room for talks on all kinds of subjects. So when they announced the lecture for August was to be "Goat Packing, our passport to the back country," I could not resist.As it turned out, this lecture and slideshow told the story of how challenges... [Read More]
Martha Reben was one tough lady. She came to the Adirondacks at the age of twenty-one, to cure in the famous sanitarium in Saranac Lake. But after three-and-a-half years, it looked like she was losing. Her condition was described as "severely debilitated" and she was facing a procedure of last resort where ribs were removed to collapse a lung.At this same time, 1931, Adirondack Guide and boat... [Read More]
One of the best ways to enjoy our Saranac Lake galleries is to attend an art opening. A gallery opening might sound intimidating, but don’t worry… our gallery openings are just like the Adirondacks: easygoing, welcoming, and fun!
They generally happen on Friday evenings, near the beginning of the month. I've put together four "insider" tips that will... [Read More]
The Best Way to Cool OffOur warm weather of late has found me chatting with friends and family further south who are complaining of the hot and muggy conditions where they live. To be sure it has been warm here and very hot elsewhere – but Wren and I have a solution that eludes many others thanks to where we live. After all, the region is dotted with seemingly countless numbers of lakes and we... [Read More]
The summer is winding down, and we need to be sure to pack in as much fair-weather fun as we can! The next couple of weeks are full of enjoyable and exciting events, guaranteed to get you moving, eating and dancing to the music! 6th Annual Farm2Fork Festival - Saturday, September 5“Love your Farmer, Love Your Food” is the tag line for the annual Farm2Fork Festival, and you’ll definitely... [Read More]
All Sorts of Sizes, Shapes, and ColorsWhile I spend a lot of my time in the late summer enjoying the shapes and colors of migrating birds as they pass through our region, I also love to botanize as I hike, checking out the kaleidoscope of wildflowers which grace our trails and fields this time of year. And so if I’m not searching for birds, I’m often hiking with Wren and snapping shots of flowers... [Read More]
One of My Favorite Times of YearWhile our recent warm weather and the general southerly flow of air had seemed to slow the arrival of migrants through the region, the last few days have really picked up the pace. It has added a great deal of excitement to my daily walks with Wren, and these mixed flocks of migrants and dispersing birds make the late summer one of my favorite times of year to go... [Read More]
As an employee of a local brewery for many years, I have come to love a good craft brew. And not only that, but I enjoy learning about beer, and of course, trying new ones! So, that is exactly what my goal was for this past Labor Day Weekend. And...mission accomplished. My weekend started Friday after work, hopping on the motorcycle, and heading to Lake Clear for a beer workshop and... [Read More]
Things I never suspected I would learn planning an Adirondack wedding So there may not be any factual data to support my daddy longleg burlap attraction hypothesis. All I know for sure is that on the morning of my wedding, amid a whirlwind of madness, I paused to adjust the cake table and was greeted by a horde of daddy longlegs. My bridesmaid Lisa dutifully helped me gently remove a few,... [Read More]
Adirondack hiking is rightly famous for its millions of acres of rugged wilderness. Isn't hiking about getting out into nature? Isn't luxury hiking a contradiction in terms?Not when we are hiking at the Paul Smith's Visitor Interpretive Center, a short drive from Saranac Lake. It's hiking in ways the whole family can appreciate.Known locally as "the VIC," this project was developed in 1989 as a... [Read More]
My favorite place to be has always been on the water. Sure, mountains offer a great trip and spectacular views from above. But being on the water is an experience unique unto itself. Each pond or lake is a ‘valley’ which gives you a new perspective on the woods that surround it. Far enough away from the tree line to take in the view, but close enough to still notice the smaller things. I love... [Read More]
No matter if you have great artistic ability or are like me, without an artistic bone in your body, I have a recommendation for an afternoon activity that is sure to make you smile - and help decorate your home or office in the process! Paint and Sip is a two-hour painting event that combines a simple painting lesson and cocktails for an enjoyable afternoon of creativity! Everything you need is... [Read More]
Hanging onto SummerWith our current change in weather on the way, Wren and I set out to enjoy one of the last warm days of the fall. I wanted to paddle, so we went to Little Green Pond where we parked and immediately set out for a hike. Wren does not particularly like being confined to the canoe so I wanted to let her run around and play for a while before we paddled. We hiked along Little Clear... [Read More]
A wonderful family filled day of fun can be found right in the heart of Brighton. A town located just outside the Village of Saranac Lake and spreading through the Hamlet of Paul Smith’s. Brighton offers a tremendous amount of history, feasts, and fun. HistoryBrighton is overflowing with history starting in 1815 when the first settlers appeared to this small town. There were railways created... [Read More]
Once upon a time, all an avid hunter needed was an Adirondack Guide and a campfire. The storied abundance of local hunting and fishing were an early attraction bringing visitors to our wilderness. This was especially true once W.H.H. Murray (aka Adirondack Murray) wrote "Adventures in the Wilderness," which was published in 1869.The six million acres of the Adirondack Park still offer a... [Read More]
There are many Halloween tales to be told in our corner of the Adirondacks. Some are well-known and some are well-hidden. This particular spooky bit of history is very obscure, even in Saranac Lake. The most well-known figure in the story, John Brown, actually rests in peace at his Lake Placid farm.
But he does not rest there alone.
a bizarre proposal
If a stranger asked if they could... [Read More]
Birds on the MoveAt this time of year I pay special attention to the birds migrating through the various lakes of our region, and each day finds Wren and me out somewhere to see what’s on the move. My favorite place to check in the fall is the railroad tracks along Lake Colby in Saranac Lake where the waterfowl migration is just beginning to pick up. While the past several weeks have been good... [Read More]
Relaxing RetreatSaranac Lake is a retreat for the creative mind. As many people travel to Saranac Lake they often have the question, “what’s there to do?” In all reality the question should be, “what’s there not to do?” This question of course would finally have us at a loss for words. This is because Saranac Lake has such a wide variety of activities for all ages, and interests. For the outdoor... [Read More]
Here in the Adirondacks, there doesn't have to be much snow on the ground for us to have fun on it. Saranac Lake loves Dewey Mountain, whether we want to cross-country ski or snowshoe. This great destination is right in town, too.Generations have enjoyed the recreational possibilities of this mountain. With community and town support, it keeps getting better.a long historyIn the late 1800s people... [Read More]
When I moved to the Adirondacks in August of 1999, it was after living on Long Island, and working in New York City, for eighteen years. Saranac Lake was a big change for me.But I was seeking change. After years in the workforce, I was going back to school. After only seeing my brother and nephew on visits, I would be living in the same town. They would become guides to my new life.culture shockI... [Read More]
Updated: November 13, 2015When the weather gets chilly, the chilly turn caffeinated. It’s not just the coffee. Hot beverages, like chocolate or cider, are another famous Adirondack tradition we love to share.There’s something special about warming hands around a mug, and warming hearts around a good chat. If the blood is feeling a bit thin, pop into a place where the meal crowd has left, the... [Read More]
Tubing in Saranac Lake is fun and friendly. Pretty much, if a person can sit down, they can go tubing - Adirondack style! The complex at Mount Pisgah Veteran's Memorial Ski Center (we just call it Pisgah for obvious reasons) is a great place for winter fun, and their tubing hill is a popular attraction.If I'm going out with a group of my friends, tubing is tops on our list of fun activities... [Read More]
Saranac Lake is not the usual shopping. It's a real Adirondack browsing paradise. Instead of big, bustling, and impersonal, we are small, quiet, and very friendly. We offer some items which can be found nowhere else, because they are handcrafted by our own Adirondack artists and artisans.Many of our shopping opportunities are found in our scenic, walkable, historic downtown. Bounded on the north... [Read More]
So you’re looking to indulge? You have most certainly come to the right place! Put on a pair of pants with an elastic waist and let me take you on a delicious tour of Saranac Lake!BreakfastYou’re definitely going to want to start off the day with coffee. Head to Origin Coffee Co., and try one of the many yummy coffee drinks they brew there. I usually go for regular coffee black, but they have... [Read More]
The Trot comes to Saranac LakeI am, by no means, a runner. So the first time my co-worker Frank asked if I wanted to do a turkey trot, I was a little skeptical. What could possibly be appealing about getting out of bed on one of those rare days I get the chance to sleep in? (I should probably mention that during the work week, my shift doesn't start until 11 am, so I actually get to sleep... [Read More]
When I moved to the Adirondacks a few months ago, I knew it would be great for outdoor activities, but I did not know what to expect as far as scheduled “events.” So imagine how excited I have been, with something going on every weekend -and often on weekdays -here in the Saranac Lake Region! Here are a few upcoming events that I definitely won’t miss during my first winter in the Adirondacks!... [Read More]
Do you know where the Hays Brook trails are? They are a couple miles north of the Paul Smiths Visitors Interpretive Center (everyone calls it “The VIC”) to the right off Rte. 30. Look for a brown and yellow sign, drive in two-tenths of a mile and park. The trails are up the small road you can see heading off the parking lot.It’s a wonderful place. The trails are designated horse trails - I’ve... [Read More]
In a place with abundant Adirondack wilderness and gorgeous vistas at every turn, it's difficult to qualify different levels of view. We have a long shoreline with Lake Flower, across the street from the Town Hall, and it takes minutes to walk to this view:With incredible views everywhere a person turns, can I really choose the top five views in Saranac Lake? Well... I can choose my own top five!... [Read More]
The Dewey Mountain Recreation Area is a great place for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter, and it’s also great in the warmer seasons for hiking and mountain biking. It’s really close to Saranac Lake Village, just one mile west of downtown Saranac Lake on Rte. 3, but you would never know you’re that close to town.It’s like being in the middle of nowhere up on the top of the... [Read More]
There's never a dull moment in Saranac LakeThe hardest thing about attending First Night Saranac Lake is knowing where to start. At its core, the event is more than a family-friendly New Year's Eve celebration. It's more like a smorgasbord of all things Saranac Lake. That means there's so much art, music, dancing and revelry crammed into the little mountain village it's impossible to see it all.... [Read More]
2015 Top 3 Blogs in ReviewWe scoured our blogs for the most popular, most informative, and just downright oddest pieces from the past year. In case you missed them on the first go-round, here are our top three picks from the Saranac Lake Region.3. A Century of Ice PalacesSaranac Lake has a long history of building amazing structures from ice as a centerpiece of their Winter Carnival festivities.... [Read More]
Black Pond LoopDistance, round-trip: 2.5 milesTime: 2 to 3 hoursBrief Overview: Heading in a clockwise direction from the trailhead, the trail starts flat and quickly comes to a lean-to on the western shore of Black Pond before coming to a narrow trail on a steep side slope. Continuing on, you will come to an intersection at the north end of Black Pond. Crossing the outlet, you will... [Read More]
In winter, our friendly forests grow hushed with snow, and our lovely lakes freeze over. We are dedicated to having fun all year 'round, and that includes a few creative options.When people think of our Winter Carnival, they think of our snowy landscape. But there's more to Carnival than that. In Saranac Lake, "ice" is far more than something to throw in our drinks. We have fun with it!ice... [Read More]
The Thing Everyone Wants to DoWhenever anyone comes to visit me in Saranac Lake there is always one thing on their to-do list: feed the Gray Jays along the Bloomingdale Bog Trail. They are a sought-after boreal species which draw many birders to our area, but more than that they are simply fun to observe. So whether it is my birding brothers looking for species they can’t find at home or my niece... [Read More]
When we have special dietary needs, it's easy to feel like there is "nothing to eat." But in the Saranac Lake area, we have fresh food prepared in kitchens with real chefs in the back. Our servers will be sympathetic and quick to check with them. We'll fill that plate in no time.Specialty dining is not just close to my heart; it's close to my stomach. I've been dining gluten free since 2010. This... [Read More]
I love shopping Saranac Lake's historic downtown. The recent holiday season lured me there, where I found unusual gifts for many of the folks on my list. They were all great hits for the recipients.Our historic downtown is pedestrian-friendly, with plenty of parking. There's an abundance of benches, dining spots, places for coffee and baked goodies, and a river running through the center of it.... [Read More]
Carnival Style: A class all its ownTravelers to the Adirondacks in any given February will surely behold an unusual sight (or two) as they come upon the super-cool village of Saranac Lake. Walking along the streets, sipping coffee in a restaurant, or simply shopping at the grocery store, one is sure to encounter myriad characters, costumes, and just super-cool carnival celebrities.To the... [Read More]
A Sluggish StartIt's a fact that our cross-country skiing season did not start quickly or with a lot of snow this year. While we have a had a few great days in mid-January, they've been followed by an icy, rainy affair with little white powder left to help hide the hard, silver ice beneath. Take a misstep and you soon find out that our snow in many places has only been a veneer which hides slick... [Read More]
During Saranac Lake's years as a tuberculosis curing center, people got off the train... alone. They had left everyone behind, and were worried that it might be years before they saw them again.Patients had to create a whole new set of social connections for themselves. Some of the new people they met would become close friends. Some of them would be more of a romantic attachment.There was a... [Read More]
What is the draw of the Debar Mountain Wild Forest? Why does it in intrigue me so much that I must go back and play, time and again? I can only guess it’s the friendly forests and the surprisingly unique views that the mountains provide. This new territory for Brandon and I would be an exciting day of interesting finds and steep, rocky terrain.With our rucksacks packed to near capacity we both... [Read More]
The complex of buildings at the edge of Saranac Lake is known as "Will Rogers," since that was the name for much of its history. But it started in 1929 as the National Vaudeville Artists' Home; a tuberculosis curing facility for people in show business.
It was a future destination for a tall young magician. He bounded onto the stage in New York City. Before he could begin his act, he felt a... [Read More]
Movie buffs will remember the 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind in which a bunch of people that have each individually experienced a UFO sighting are inexplicably and irresistibly drawn to one common geographic location in Wyoming. That story was fictitious, but in real life, it’s as if there is a giant beacon near Lake Flower that transmits a signal with a gravitational pull... [Read More]
When I get a free day, there is nothing I like better than finding some comfy seating with a good book. Did you know that Saranac Lake not only contributed to the long history of medical cures? We also contributed to the short history of reclining chairs. So, climb into your comfiest Adirondack chair, grab a hot drink, and prepare to learn a little bit about just how much of an impact Saranac... [Read More]
Flocks of Feeding BirdsWinter birding across the region often involves searching for specialty birds which migrate to our area or linger during the cold months. With our warblers, flycatchers, vireos, and others long gone, this usually means we are looking for flocks of birds – many of which visit yards and bird feeders to help get them through this lean time of year.Bohemian Waxwings Have Been... [Read More]
Spring Break in the ADKMarch has officially arrived! And, as the warmer weather starts to settle into the Adirondacks, we can't help but get that familiar itch to get out and enjoy all that the Saranac Lake Region has to offer. Here are a few ways growing up in a mountain town has taught me to enjoy spring break in the Adirondacks.Hit the trailsThere’s nothing my pup, Sam, and I love more than... [Read More]
I typically don’t hike alone because I have a very hard time keeping a conversation with myself, and to be honest it’s just not that good of a conversation anyhow. Then I usually get a particular song stuck in my head, and all I keep doing is singing the chorus over and over again, because I can’t remember the rest. I know you know what I mean.With all of that, I still felt the need to get out... [Read More]
Signs of SpringWhile winter has not yet been sent packing from our forecasts here in the Adirondacks, its rather light grip on us this year has been getting pried free by warm temperatures and fingers of sunlight. They have melted almost all of our snow and are now pressing on our frozen lakes to thaw. And our earliest arriving birds are responding to the cues.Blackbirds and SongA couple of weeks... [Read More]
The sap is flowing in Saranac Lake! The Paul Smith's Visitor Interpretive Center has a classic maple syrup operation on the premises. I visited for the first Maple Syrup weekend of the season, but no worries if you missed out - there's still time to plan on visiting for the second weekend! This year it will take place on April 2 & 3, 2016.The colder areas of the North American continent... [Read More]
SARANAC LAKE — The historic village of Saranac Lake is reopening tuberculosis cure facilities throughout the village.A subset of parents have decided not to vaccinate their children over the last few decades, often citing pseudoscience that suggests that vaccinations have horrible side effects like autism. They’re often referred to as anti-vaxxers.Because of that, tuberculosis, once a disease... [Read More]
Wondering where to toss that bouquet? Saranac Lake has some amazing places for that dream wedding. Gorgeous wilderness backdrops, charming churches, giant fireplaces, and soaring "Great Rooms," along with picturesque docks and boathouses and wildflower meadows.We also have talented artisans to craft those wedding favors, letter those invitations, make those centerpieces, and help the happy... [Read More]
Assemblage: A work of art made by grouping found or unrelated objects.By themselves, those objects are just discarded human possessions. They turn up along railroad tracks, deep in the wilderness, and behind construction sites. Moss-covered, half-buried, and forgotten, they've been left to rot and rust and decay in the Adirondack soil. They're everywhere, and most people don't want them.But... [Read More]
What are the coolest paddling routes in the Saranac Lake area? That's a tough question, because we are the Lake Country, a paddler's paradise. Canoe or kayak or even innertube, we have the adventure to fall in love with.
To help with this question, I asked some local guide services about their own favorite places. What do they recommend most often? Where are the places which are extra scenic,... [Read More]
When spring comes, we can't wait to start the new season's fun outdoor activities. There are a few things to keep in mind to make our early spring ventures more enjoyable.While there are great advantages:clear air and high visibilityno bugs in the deep wilderness areasuncrowded conditionsThere are also some cautions:unpredictable weatherlower temperatures with wider swingsfussier equipment... [Read More]
Spring Temperature FluctuationsSpring seemed to come in a hurry to the Tri-Lakes Region this year. It had already been a tough year for cross-country skiing, and I had to put my skis away for good in March. The last two years I skied into the middle of April. But open water on the lakes and warm temps meant I could find ducks moving through and stopping over on places like Lake Colby in Saranac... [Read More]
Daffest is our great big May event to celebrate the coming of spring with the blooming of thousands of daffodil bulbs throughout the Saranac Lake area. Each year the number of bulbs increases as the celebration grows. Come welcome spring with us from May 5–8.There are several popular and fun family friendly Daffest events you won't want to miss, including the sixth annual Daffest Derby, Daffest... [Read More]
People often don't realize we have local farms near Saranac Lake. All kinds of crops flow from nearby fields into our restaurants, diners, and delis. This is one of the reasons our local dining is such a pleasure to experience.North of Saranac Lake, bordered by the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness to the east, and the Saint Regis Canoe Wilderness to the west, there is a broad plateau far more... [Read More]
When it was announced that the Hotel Saranac would open again, with a classic refurbishment befitting its historic landmark status, the entire village was thrilled.Then we started getting calls and emails. Was it true? When would the hotel open? Can they make a reservation now? Turns out, the rest of the world is thrilled too.To understand the pull of this extraordinary hotel, we must consider... [Read More]
The VIP TreatmentQuestion: What do you do when your best friend scores some free VIP seats for opening day at Fenway? Answer: Quick — book a Cape Air flight to Boston.Pay no attention to the fact that I’m not a Boston Red Sox fan. Nor to the fact that I’m not actually even a baseball fan. But come on — a professional game of any sort is always a blast to experience in person. And I... [Read More]
If we have a yen for history, we've come to the right place. Saranac Lake has both a celebrated backstory and a devoted group of fans. This makes our local history museum something special.There is the lab itself, which has exhibits detailing the decades when Saranac Lake was an international curing center. There's also the addition built during the Roaring Twenties, which houses rotating... [Read More]
Summer in Saranac Lake is a festival in itself. The village has created a seemingly endless stream of events and happenings in the parks, on the water, and in the historic downtown area.Celebrate natureStop by the Paul Smith’s Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) for the seasonal Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walks, held throughout the summer. The VIC also offers a wide range of programming events, children'... [Read More]
Looking to get together with your dearest friends? I strongly suggest planning a trip for a friends weekend getaway to the Adirondacks’ coolest place!You'll need ideas on what to do while you’re here, but that's not a problem. With a surplus of places to see and things to do, Saranac Lake can promise you a fun, relaxing weekend away. Just check out the Saranac Lake art and bar scenes and begin... [Read More]
For me, the Saranac Lake Region is one of the coolest places to ride in the Adirondacks. There are opportunities here to hit up some one-of-a-kind mountain scenery, twisty roads, and a few truly original Adirondack communities. If you're coming from Lake Placid on Route 86, as soon as you get into town you're treated to nearly a mile of lakeside views along Lake Flower. Not to mention a... [Read More]
I am most definitely a beginner. Like, you can't get much more beginner than me. I'm the beginneriest of beginners. I rode bikes all the time as a kid, tearing up and down the road I lived on and counting on my bicycle to get me to my friends' houses. But I haven't really owned a usable bike since I was maybe 12. So, it's been a while. But I recently decided it was time to get back into it,... [Read More]
Pendragon Theatre has been delighting the North Country since 1980. They draw from a considerable pool of professional and amateur talent, most of it local. Then they craft productions which range from the best of contemporary drama to well-loved classics.Since we are all about conservation here in the Adirondacks, we have become adept at taking existing buildings and making them into something... [Read More]
Is a steady downpour putting a damper on your camping vacation? You can always create your own workshop at BluSeed Studios.BluSeed Studios is located on Cedar Street, which is just off of Broadway as you head out of Saranac Lake toward Paul Smiths. I discovered it a few years ago, shortly after I moved to the area and became the arts and entertainment reporter for the region. BluSeed artistic... [Read More]
Rain, Rain, Rain…And More RainNot every day of the Great Adirondack Birding Celebration was as perfect as the Osgood River paddle on Saturday. But, looking back on that fun weekend, we'd do it all over again.Sunday’s weather was the complete opposite of the beautiful day before. In fact, I had noted the thin wispy cirrus clouds moving overhead during our paddle - marking a change in the weather.... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has a wonderful farmers market every Saturday in the summer and fall. It's more than fresh local produce, though of course there is plenty of that. We've expanded our farmers market into locally grown meats and cheeses, cut flowers, honey and maple syrup, delicious snacks, and even artisan crafts like pottery and hand-turned fountain pens.Since it is held in Riverside Park, there are... [Read More]
It’s time to talk about ice cream, and I couldn't be happier. It’s summertime, it’s hot, and every single night I crave ICE CREAM. This isn’t ideal for my waistline, and I need to invest in a gym membership, but my taste buds are satisfied.Being the nice person that I am, I took one for the team by sampling five tasty treats at some of the best ice cream stands in the area. All I can say is YUM!... [Read More]
We're spoiled here in Saranac Lake. We have so many cool dining spots a visitor can feel a bit overwhelmed about choosing. Each locally-owned eatery offers a unique take on their speciality, complete with a chef in the back, crafting each dish from scratch.Since we have three new dining spots people might not know about, I recruited friends and my husband to explore these latest offerings.... [Read More]
Akimbo is a year and a half now, and he's been swimming a ton, he's ridden in the canoe a few times (we're still working on that), he loves camping, and he's been hiking on flat trails before. But somehow, we haven't gotten around to taking him up a mountain. So I decided it was time. St. Regis Mountain I decided to start him off on St. Regis Mountain. In addition to being close to our... [Read More]
Welcome to Saranac Lake, the Adirondacks' coolest place, where the beer flows as freely as the Saranac River. Once you’re done playing outside all day, it’s time to stop in to the Blue Line Brewery to try out some excellent local brews.Blue Line is a newer establishment, opened a few years ago in what used to be a car wash. The beer has evolved a bit since the place first opened, but it... [Read More]
A trio of prime swimming spots near Saranac LakeIf you're a water lover and you love to cool off, then you'll love Saranac Lake. Each of the following swimming spots has a little something different to offer — from a quick plunge to an after-hike hangout that'll make you feel like you're relaxing in the Caribbean, only with pine trees. And beavers. The best part is, all of these spots are easy to... [Read More]
Camping on an island is better than any other kind of camping in existence. Yuuuup, it's a bold statement. But I stand by it. Here are my reasons:1.) PaddlingPaddling is one of my favorite summer activities, and the Saranac Lake area is one of the best places in the world for it. So any camping weekend that necessarily includes paddling is okay by me!My boyfriend Andy and I had a great... [Read More]
Hunting for a Tough SpeciesA friend of mine contacted me about the potential of finding Philadelphia Vireo in the Spring Pond Bog area north of Tupper Lake (and west of Lake Clear and the Floodwood Road area). He had thought he heard one and wanted me to come along some time to help him find it. I was able to join him a couple weeks later and we wound through the large complex toward the location... [Read More]
I love having visitors and showing them around the wonderful region of Saranac Lake, my favorite place in the adirondacks, usa. So I was excited to have my friends Katie and Erica come up for a recent girls weekend. They're super fun people and we always have a good time together, and I knew this weekend would be no different. TGIF shenanigansWhen they showed up on Friday evening, everyone... [Read More]
For the love of Saranac LakeI fell in love with Saranac Lake several years ago. I was doing a species inventory project in a complex of forests and wetlands near Long Lake with an ecologist named Steve. I lived in Plattsburgh, so we'd meet at his house in Saranac Lake every Monday morning, then load up his truck with everything we needed for the week before setting off. The preperations usually... [Read More]
As fall quickly approaches, you may find yourself wondering what to do, see, and experience in the oftentimes cooler temperatures. Well, lucky for you, we have some awesome attractions to not only visit year round, but especially in the fall months, with a sea of colorful leaves surrounding you. Farmhouse Go-CartingKnown for their snowmobile tours in the winter, Farmhouse Snowmobiling... [Read More]
Our gorgeous fall season brings special events which embrace many of Saranac Lake's favorite things. Exploring nature, our love of art, music, and drama, and our amazing history all combine to create a wonderful experience.From morning until night, there's the special crispness of fall air and the technicolor glory of our marvelous autumn season. We not only have the right mix of trees for... [Read More]
Can you smell that in the air? What? No, it’s not pumpkin spice! It’s FOOTBALL! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been anxiously waiting for months to watch guys in thick padding and helmets hurl themselves across a huge field at other guys in thick padding and helmets as they chase around a strangely shaped leather ball. Yes, football season is finally here. I survived three nerve-... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has a unique attraction which is readily accessible for almost everyone. It's like a village. Made of boulders.The McKenzie Pond Boulder Trail is just a few minutes from town, but has so much to offer. Whether we are looking for a quick and scenic hike or we are brushing up on our rock climbing skills, this easy trail, which is also easily accessible, is a delightful destination.It... [Read More]
Submitted By Guest Blogger: Marilyn Gorgas Cahill, Wharton, NJFamily traditionIn the early afternoon, on Wednesday, August 24, my 19-year-old daughter Victoria Cahill reached the summit of Ampersand Mountain. This has been a family tradition for five generations, and would not be extraordinary except that Victoria has cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia. With normal intelligence, Victoria is... [Read More]
There's a little patch of the Adirondacks, near Saranac Lake, where we can step into the past. We can also book a stay there.Apollos (Paul) Smith was an integral part of welcoming visitors to this section of the Adirondacks. In 1859, he founded the Saint Regis House in Brighton (though it was commonly known as Paul Smith's Hotel), one of the first wilderness resorts in the Adirondacks. It... [Read More]
It’s always exciting when a new restaurant opens in Saranac Lake, especially when that restaurant is as good as Bitters & Bones. My wife, Anna, and I met a couple of friends at Bitters last week and tried some of the offerings, and we weren’t disappointed.First, a little history. Bitters and Bones occupies the space Captain Cook’s once inhabited. The new owners did major work on the interior... [Read More]
We don't need to fear the kayak. Or the canoe.When I bring up paddling as a great way to see our breathtaking scenery, some people look nervous. And they don't have to feel that way. Concerns about "tippiness" seems to come up more often with kayaks than with canoes, but in either case, this concern is groundless. (So to speak.) These watercraft are very stable, especially with kayaks, where the... [Read More]
An Exciting Time of YearMy busy schedule doesn’t always allow me to get outside as often or for as long as I’d like. But I crave my daily walks in the woods and Wren makes certain I don’t leave them off my to-do list. That’s fine by me because it not only gets me outside, but outside with my binoculars at a time of year when many species of birds are on the move. The great thing about fall is... [Read More]
An Initiation HikeI had some friends in town this past weekend, and so like I often do with first time visitors, I took them on a hike up Baker Mountain. The mile-long hike is relatively easy and the payoff view from the top is splendid. Wren led us up the trail which runs up the backside of the mountain, nosing her way along as we took our time on the climb - enjoying the colorful leaves in the... [Read More]
Warm Fall DaysSoaking everything we could out of our recent warm days, Wren and I paddled Lake Clear Outlet the other evening. The sun shined through the glowing trees as we wound our way along Forest Home Road to the small put-in on the side of the road. Forest Home is one of those windy, forest-lined roads everyone should drive in fall. Wren sat in the car while I unloaded the gear and we set... [Read More]
Are there big cats in the Adirondacks? Really big cats? This is becoming a hot question, and the Cougar Watch Project is going to be working on an answer.Also known as mountain lion, puma, cougar, or catamount, they were once common in the Adirondacks. When we have a place called Panther Mountain, which overlooks Panther Pond and Panther Marsh, it is a sign that there... [Read More]
Mexicans honor their dead relatives and friends during Dia de Muertos by visiting cemeteries, spending time with the souls of the departed and giving them offerings and saying prayers to them.My mom was a Spanish teacher, and she loved teaching her students about Day of the Dead this time of year, so I grew up hearing all about it. I was captivated by the idea of hanging out in the cemetery to... [Read More]
Snowmobiling is a highly modern way to have fun in the snow. The first United States patent for a "motor sleigh" was in 1916. Even before that, people were trying to motorize their sleighs, or put skis on their automobiles.Still, snowmobiles didn't really catch on until the early 1960s, when Joseph-Armand Bombardier came up with what is considered the modern snowmobile. His Ski-Doo was ... [Read More]
Want to vote on something fun today? Tell us what's your favorite 6er hike!// Keep voting for your ADK favorites:Lake, pond, or river?Family-friendly, close-to-town trek with best views?Where will you reel in the big one?Which way up?Winter activities, anyone?Biking the Coast?What’s your next bite? [Read More]
A Shifting Mix of DucksAs always this time of year, the birds Wren and I see on our walks change daily, and it is always enjoyable to see what we will find. That means I have to get out as much as I can and Wren is good about not allowing me to forget to do so. Lake Colby is always a happening place this time of year, and once again it has not disappointed us this year. Ducks use the backside of... [Read More]
Short and sweet is this roadside gem. Not existing on many people’s radar, New Road Mountain shadows Route 3 just north of Vermontville and is located in a corner of the Taylor Pond Wild Forest. The Taylor Pond Wild Forest is a rather large expanse of forest preserve and also referred to as the Taylor Pond Management Complex.According to the NYSDEC website, “The Taylor Pond Management... [Read More]
Submitted by guest blogger: Carrie Gentile Here's a marathon any family can do: a Saranac Adirondack Holiday Marathon.What are the hallmarks of a classic holiday day in the coolest town in the Adirondacks? It starts, naturally, with snow and time spent with loved ones, melded with festive events and tried and true traditions.classic treeMy favorite tradition is akin to a Griswold Family... [Read More]
Did you miss our top-rated social posts from the past year? We've got you covered! Facebook Video:Bird's Eye View Watching the Winter Carnival Ice Palace come to life is always one of the coolest events (and oldest traditions) in town! Video:Go for it - Saranac Lake's coolest new attraction! Snow on the ground? No worries, we just change from go-carts to snowmobiles!Photo:... [Read More]
If you're planning a late-summer camping trip and you're into "glamping," I've got some how-to's for you. Right now is the time to make your late-summer reservations for Campgrounds of New York. The Reserve America site allows reservations exactly 9 months out from the date of your arrival, so snag one of those amazing Adirondack sites for car glamping and start packing! Seriously, if you're... [Read More]
I’ve written versions of the sentence, “the Adirondacks have inspired and attracted artists for centuries” a zillion times. (Now, a zillion and one times). It’s true - the jaw-dropping landscape and dramatic seasons offer a never-ending selection of subjects for artists of all genres. I’m one of them. OK, actually I’m more of a mediocre charcoal pencil drawer and classically-trained... [Read More]
I am sad to admit that in my 27 years as an Adirondack native I had never been to Moody Tree Farm until last month! I recently bought a house, and my aunt wanted to get my boyfriend and me a holiday wreath as a housewarming gift. I was very excited because I truthfully haven’t done much decorating since we moved in at the end of August, and I was definitely looking to spruce the place up!However... [Read More]
Birds on the MindWhile a certain bird was on the minds of most people last month with the Thanksgiving holiday, Wren and I were out each day trying our luck to see what other birds we could find. With the recent cold front bringing snow and north winds, I was hoping it would reverse our fortunes of the previous week when warm air from the south stopped many things – particularly waterfowl - from... [Read More]
Changing SeasonsI’m always a bit slow on getting prepared for cross-country ski season. My mind slowly arrives at the realization that winter is at our doorstep as I look at a snowy forecast and I begin to think about getting my ski gear out of summer hiding. Of course that means making space by clearing out canoeing gear which is likely still sitting by my front door hoping it is summer. I... [Read More]
It's no small feat throwing the biggest party of the year.Sue Patterson would know. She’s the chair of the First Night committee, a group responsible for organizing and implementing Saranac Lake’s alcohol-free, kid-friendly New Year’s Eve blowout, First Night. Party timeIf you’ve attended a First Night Saranac Lake anytime in the last decade, you know what a spectacle it... [Read More]
Do you ever get stressed out just hearing the phrase "the holidays"? Me too. It's a wonderful time of year when everyone is super cheery and friendly and everything is beautiful and there are so many parties and social events and I love it — and it's completely exhausting and stressful. You need to make sure to buy presents for everyone, make a dish for some party or event, and you're... [Read More]
Every holiday season, when we sing "Jingle Bells," do we want to go for a ride in a sleigh?That can happen.After all, what's the point of having a winter wonderland without as many magical elements as we can gather? Thanks to the amazing draft horse program at nearby Paul Smith's College, Lake Clear Lodge and Retreat can offer lantern-lit sleigh rides.It's a wonderful experience to slide along... [Read More]
Please note: This blog was originally posted in 2015 and this ride is no longer available, however we can happily direct you to cool paddling, awesome biking, and scenic hiking in the region! Check out our outdoor activities to learn more!If you like to ride a bike, are up for trying something new, and enjoy a morning or afternoon communing with nature, then Railbikes might just be for you!... [Read More]
My favorite thing about fall in Saranac Lake is that it is possibly the best place in the world to revel in the amazing colors of autumn. I spent some formative years in a place with no change of seasons. Now, I love watching the leaves on the trees change colors, and also having so many trees that will happily do that for me.These helpful trees are just the right mix of species to provide... [Read More]
2016 TOP 3 BLOGS IN REVIEWWe scoured our blogs for the most popular, most informative, and just downright oddest pieces from the past year. In case you missed them when they were first published, here are our top three picks from the Saranac Lake Region. Enjoy!3) Five cool fall viewsThere are many, many places to view our spectacular autumn foliage. In the interest of easy access, we've narrowed... [Read More]
Snowshoeing is the fastest growing winter sport in the world. Because it's so easy, and so much fun. Appropriate for any age and skill level, too.If we are hikers who don't want to stop getting outdoors just because it's winter, this simple addition to our gear collection will let us hit those same trails in a new way. Whether our trail is packed down or brand-new, snowshoes let us actually hike... [Read More]
Taking on The SlopesA couple of weeks ago my boss walked by and casually asked me about Alpine skiing. My immediate response, "I’m horrible"— which I am. The look of fear must have run across my face as the thought of skiing a large mountain ran through my head. My first thought was please don’t send me out to ski with the pros. In my mind the pros are the 7-year-old kids that seem to have no... [Read More]
A Welcome Reprieve After Holiday SicknessAfter battling sickness through the holidays, I was ready to head out into the woods once I began to feel better. As a result, the timing was good for the Saranac Lake Christmas Bird Count – this year held on New Year’s Day. The day sent birders across a count area which included both Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, and as I was given a portion of the count... [Read More]
What requires no skill, no scoring, and only a sense of fun?Arctic Golf.In times past, many northern communities had a Winter Carnival. Avid Carnival goers would hit balls for distance out on the frozen lakes, despite them being covered with snow. It was called Arctic Golf. This lives on with Tupper Lake's Fire and Ice event, which includes a golf tournament on the snowy golf course.But Saranac... [Read More]
No stranger to the iceI’ve spent many winters - and summers - on the ice, but it’s usually on an indoor ice rink where I figure skate! And, although I've been known to skate on outdoor rinks and frozen lakes on occassion, for this adventure I left the blades at home and hit the frozen waters with some tip-ups and an auger.I had never tried ice fishing until recently. My boyfriend, Ian, has gained... [Read More]
Resolutions are made to be broken, right? I mean, they're basically just a list of things people want to do but feel like they can't, which is why I've never subscribed to them. So as I thumb my nose at the tradition of resisting temptation, allow me to be the devil on your shoulder. I know you want to break that food indulgence resolution. Doesn't a heaping platter of chorizo sausage and... [Read More]
Aaaah, February! This is the month of many in the Saranac Lake region! Many what you ask? Events, activities, and attractions, to name a few things!This year in particular is a busy February. We just wrapped up some events from the Empire State Winter Games, and we're smack dab in the middle of the ever popular Saranac Lake Winter Carnival — which is in its 120th year!Next up, ... [Read More]
Submitted by guest blogger/photographer: Elizabeth AbramsIt seems to me, Valentine’s Day has evolved over the last couple of years. When we were younger, it was a time to give friends candy or little gifts in pink decorated shoeboxes. Now, it seems to be about the person courting the girl, bringing roses or chocolates, and spending money on a romantic meal. I wonder what it means to people... [Read More]
Imagine a snowy mountain that is also in a town. We can go there, get outfitted for trail exploration, visit a mountain that is just wild enough, and come back to enjoy a cup of cocoa at a beautiful little lodge.Well, we have it, only one mile from downtown. It's Dewey Mountain Recreation Area. As they like to say, "Thirteen is your lucky number." Dewey grooms that many kilometers of trail,... [Read More]
Here in Saranac Lake, we are all about art. Even when it escapes the gallery and flutters around everywhere. It can turn up in unexpected places.Our downtown area is a great place to hunt for it, too. Along with the hot beverages and fresh, made-on-the-premises, pastry, there's plenty of "food for the soul."Our collection of galleries and shops live to set free a creative spirit. Here's some of... [Read More]
Bacon. We can’t seem to live without it. Some people even have the brilliantly awesome idea of raising it. I wanted to learn more about the local farm that does just that! The Adirondack region is full of local farms, but there is one down the road from Saranac Lake that I’ve heard raises some pretty unique pigs. Kate Mountain Farm is a 250-acre, biodiverse farm located in Vermontville, just... [Read More]
There’s something special about Saranac Lake, and the village’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration is no exception.The parade kicks off the festivities at 4 p.m. It lines up on Olive Street and courses through downtown along the "Emerald Pathway." A tribute to the Emerald Isle and to Adirondack style, marchers include lads, lasses, bands, and clans of the area. As a testament to Saranac Lake’s... [Read More]
A Tantalizing ForecastI noticed the prediction for snow over a week in advance — my work and interests require me to check the weather regularly. But then forecasters played with our hearts and minds, increasing the projection for snow the one day, only to drop it the next.Accurately foreseeing the weather (and something as specific as snowfall) is a difficult thing to do, no matter how solid the... [Read More]
Is it possible that one of the world's oldest sweeteners could turn out to be one of the healthiest? New research is shedding light on the possibilities of one of the world's oldest treats; maple syrup.Maple has been enjoyed in the Adirondacks for almost as long as people have been here. The very first settlers were Native Americans who treasured maple, both for its natural deliciousness and also... [Read More]
Deep SnowSnow had been falling here seemingly every day for a few weeks, punctuated by a few big storms which rapidly increased its measure in the woods. With each day, Wren and I had been taking full advantage of the bounty, going on snow-filled walks and practicing our animal tracking skills, while I attempted photos of snowy landscapes.Last week we tried to combine those activities when we set... [Read More]
Deep SnowIt's spring and the Adirondacks are, predictably, unpredictable. Recently we've had a few amazing snow falls alternating with warm spring days. There's no guarantee how long the snow will last, or if another storm will grace us before the warm weather firmly settles in the mountains. For now, I'll take advantage of the snow that's still here, and although not the popular vote - I wouldn'... [Read More]
A changing landscape
Spring is an amazing time of transition in the Saranac Lake Region of the Adirondacks. For the past few weeks Wren and I have been exploring it on our daily – and often twice daily – walks, monitoring the changes as they’ve been happening. Even as the woods remained filled with snow, the indications of spring were everywhere. Here are a few highlights of our... [Read More]
The world's first Soap Box Derby started in Ohio in 1934. The Saranac Lake Daffest Derby came considerably later, in 2010. But the basics have not changed. Unpowered cars are launched down a ramp and rely on gravity for their speed.This event is a real crowd-pleaser, and has become an extraordinary part of our Daffest celebrations every spring.To get the lowdown on this new-to-us tradition, I... [Read More]
Spring is when all of our impatience builds up as we seem more ready than the weather is. This certainly applies to mountain biking, when the sun is shining and we are ready to hit the trails.
But what if the trails are still a bit too soggy? The trail stewards won't open them until riding on them will not harm them. What's an avid cyclist to do?
Here's four very early suggestions,... [Read More]
Ah, spring in the Adirondacks. Everyone loves it, and for good reason. The sun gains strength, the forest is warm and bright, and the streams and ponds are breaking free of their ice.That's the key thought for safety on the water. Basically, it is remembering that our water bodies have barely melted.For many anglers, the rush of freed water whispers "trout season." These fighting fish love the... [Read More]
One of the fun things about spring hiking is getting first crack at the wildflowers. Some of them bloom quite early. We also need to stay below the 3,000-foot limit which keeps fragile trails and vegetation safe until all spring moisture has drained - which is usually by June. It makes for a better hiking experience for everyone.
Here's what to flowers to look for and where to find them.... [Read More]
The talk on the streets is that "Hot Sara is back!" This joke references the only partly lighted sign that once stood atop Saranac Lake's tallest building: the Hotel Saranac.
But a new era is dawning for this important part of the town: February 11, 2017 (the same day of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Gala Parade,) the new sign was lit up. It spells out the entire name.
That's not all... [Read More]
Submitted by Guest Blogger: Tyler Merriam
June is the sixth month of the year — hopefully by then you’ve uncovered your kayaks and pulled the canoe out of the garage. Paddling season has begun in earnest! To help you get on the water, several outfitters and organizations in the Saranac Lake region have teamed up to offer a variety of paddling-related activities and events. Dubbed “... [Read More]
The Fast Pace of Spring
I know that it shouldn’t, but May always seems to sneak up on me. Or at least it feels that way. The pace of spring accelerates day after day as I reach one of my busiest months of the year and then … it’s May. And before I know it, May is over. And then June is just as busy – that’s just how it works in the bird world. We cram a lot into these months!
But before we... [Read More]
Eating healthy has a rather... challenged... reputation. People can think it means "not tasty."
We don't believe in that. We think healthy is also tasty!
Locally sourced? Certainly!
Few are as devoted to local food as the Adirondack Alps Restaurant (& Ein Stein Pub) at Lake Clear Lodge. (That is their dining room in the picture above.)
They have a "100 mile... [Read More]
Saranac Lake is a timeless place. We effortlessly contain a number of historic "timeframes." This is reflected in our eclectic range of available lodging.
Our motels are the cozy little motor courts of yesteryear, with owners on the premises, Adirondack themes in the decor, and a history of catering to generations of families. Our Bed & Breakfast places are stately homes from the Great... [Read More]
Camping is far more than an inexpensive way to stay somewhere. Camping is about living — for a while — in nature.
Whether we love the outdoors, want to learn to love the outdoors, or just long to sleep under the stars, Saranac Lake has many unique camping destinations. Make those dreams come true.
Choose a level
It's easy to choose a backcountry site where it is just us and the... [Read More]
I am drawn to water like a moth to light. The sound is therapeutic, the movement is hypnotic. Simply put, a day on the water is good for the soul. My love affair with water has lead me to countless towns that hug the water's edge. While the water is a draw, it takes more than that to make a place a cool paddling town. It needs the combo of water galore and water ingrained in day-to-day... [Read More]
Our Saturday Farmers Markets are an ideal shopping spot to stock that camp, cooler, kitchen, or kitchenette. If you're doing some cooking during your stay, make those meals "vacation quality" by visiting this delightful weekly market at a gorgeous location on the Saranac River.
It's not just food. It's not even just the treats and beverages many vendors make available for on-the-spot... [Read More]
One thing about vacationing with children is the constant need for fun activities. There's also the challenge of finding things the whole family can enjoy. There's quite a range of possibility if there's a mix of teens, young children, and different ages and abilities.
To help with with that vacation budget, the Saranac Lake area offers a number of free fun activities and events. Some of them... [Read More]
Another year of the GABC
Every year, the transition from spring into summer in the Adirondacks is marked by the Great Adirondack Birding Festival (GABC), hosted by the Paul Smith’s College VIC. I once again helped lead a couple of trips, and as usual I led the hunt for birds in Madawaska. It is one of my favorite places to explore in the region, and a place that I am always looking for an... [Read More]
Grab the shades — summer is here! July is filled with warm days, refreshing dips in the lake, plenty of ice cream, and tons of events. From small-town, community bike rides to one of the largest rugby tournaments in the word, July in Saranac Lake is non-stop fun!
Can-Am Rugby, July 28-30: The Can-Am Rugby Tournament was created in 1973 by the Mountaineers Rugby Club... [Read More]
Of course, no matter how far back a person's roots might go in the Adirondacks, no one's roots go back further than our Native Americans.
The Adirondacks were part of the lands of the Six Iroquois Nations Confederacy. The Mohawks are the Keepers of the Eastern Door, the Senecas are the Keepers of the Western Door, the Onondagas are the Fire Keepers and the Oneidas, Cayugas, and Tuscaroras (... [Read More]
Submitted by Guest Blogger: Tyler Merriam
Bouldering is a style of rock climbing that is performed relatively close to the ground with no ropes, harness, or hardware. Bouldering usually takes place on — you guessed it — large boulders, though any rock face under 20 feet will do.
Characteristics of bouldering include challenging and often violent-looking moves, copious grunting,... [Read More]
Sean Morgan has rugby in his blood, and this time of year always gets his blood pumping. That’s because the annual Cam-Am Rugby Tournament is drawing near, and 120 teams will descend upon Saranac Lake and Lake Placid to compete.
There will be mud, there will be scrapes and bruises, but, most of all, there will be camaraderie, both on and off the field.
“I’ve played college ball and semi-pro... [Read More]
My mother used to order me ad nauseam to go outside and play.
“It's good for you,” she’d say. Turns out, she was right, in more ways than she knew. While her hope was for me to deplete my energy supply in a rousing game of freeze tag, it’s now known that even non-cardiovascular outdoor activity has important health benefits.
This non-cardio experience is called... [Read More]
We have hit our summer stride! August is a golden month here in Saranac Lake. The days are warm, the air is fresh, and the evenings have enough hours to pack them full of outdoor fun. Hit the open road with Cycle Adirondacks or stay put for Plein Air Festival —either way, we are ready for you!
Adirondack Plein Air Festival, August 14-19: What is plein air? For... [Read More]
I'm telling you a secret. I love Lake Clear.
This tiny town, only 10 minutes north of downtown Saranac Lake, has many treasures to explore.
Part of the beginning
This was a major hub when visitors came to the Adirondacks by train. Even now, it is where people fly in at the Adirondack Regional Airport. The popularity of this area sprang from two factors. One is that this is a particularly... [Read More]
I love the the Roaring Twenties. This was an amazing era in American history, when what we think of as modern life really began.
The Saranac Lake Laboratory Museum has a new exhibit which features the experience of staying at a 1920’s hotel. This activity, commonplace to most of us, was relatively new to people back then, along with cars, home appliances, and talking on the telephone.... [Read More]
Submitted by guest blogger Tyler Merriam.
It was an 83-degree summer afternoon when I took my most recent trip to Moose Pond. It is rare to find people who can participate in an impromptu stand up paddleboard trip mid-week. It was because of this that my only paddling companion on this day was the rubber duck who accompanies me on all my paddling trips: Devo Duck. Moose... [Read More]
Fish Creek is legendary. What started as 20 sites in 1926 is now 355 sites — and all but 15 are on the water!
With an almost booked-solid summer season, Fish Creek Pond Campground has broad appeal as it can accommodate equipment from tents to 40-foot RVs. It also comes fully loaded with a picnic area, beach, playground, hiking trails, biking trails, boat launch, recreational ... [Read More]
The "Highway of the Adirondacks" began a long time before our present two-lane roads. It was much easier to paddle a birchbark canoe through a waterway, which offers fewer barriers than a dense forest.
These were the abundant river and lake routes that were joined by varying length of carries, also known as portaging, or as I think of it, the option of "carrying a canoe on your head... [Read More]
One of the premiere pleasures of our Adirondack fall foliage season is taking to our roads for maximum viewing angles. The varied geography here changes from lush forest to scenic meadows, with mountain ranges forming a colorful backdrop to the intensity of the leaves seen up close.
Below are some loops that are great for biking, motorcycling, and of course, scenic drives.
Our... [Read More]
If you have ever listened to music for the purposes of relaxation, you have the beginnings of what the Sound Healing experience is like.
A friend and I set out for a session from two different sets of experiences. I'm a fan of soundscape music and an experienced meditator. My friend has never meditated and was not familiar with the full variety of sounds we would experience.
We both agreed... [Read More]
Submitted by Guest Blogger: Tyler Merrimam
Lakes and Mountains
One of the more unique features of the Adirondacks is the proximity between its lakes and mountains. In some cases, the two are right next to each other with a trail from lakeside to summit, such as Long Pond Mountain in the St. Regis Canoe Area, Castle Rock on Blue Mountain Lake, and, of course, St. Regis Mountain on Upper St... [Read More]
It’s that time of year
It sometimes takes a bit to get going, but the fall migration in the Adirondacks has been underway for a while, and it has been a lot of fun as of late. Our drippy weather the past few weeks has helped as well — the birds often actively feed down low on such days and are not being flushed south by strong north winds.
Walking along Lake Colby
A little over... [Read More]
Submitted by guest blogger: Jeremy Evans
On a recent Saturday, my family and I awoke to perfect hiking weather - cool and clear with low humidity. My wife and I chose Azure Mountain because we were looking for a hike that our youngest son, who had just turned 4, could do on his own. He is a big kid and he outgrew our baby pack long ago. Since then, I have carried him when he got tired or... [Read More]
Amazing Fall Weather
Our weather as of late has been nothing short of amazing, and so my friend and I decided to take advantage of our sunny streak by squeezing in an evening paddle after work the other day. That’s one of the best things about living around here – there are so many lakes and ponds to explore that you can easily add a quick paddle in on a busy day. And at this point in the... [Read More]
My friend Peggy and I had planned a camping trip to Lake Harris but due to a bout of uncooperative weather, we cancelled and Peggy came to visit me for a few days.
We figured we could hike, bike, or paddle as long as there weren’t downpours. The first full day of Peggy's visit was cold and rainy, so we spent the day reviewing an overseas bike trip for 2018. The following... [Read More]
Get ready, get set, get lost!
Leaving downtown Saranac Lake heading west on Route 86, it’s straight and scenic driving for 8 miles. The only tough part is keeping your eyes on the road because the views are so darn good. After Moody Tree Farm, on your right, yet before the Brighton Mini Mart, on your left, turn onto Hobart Road in Gabriels. Continue down the road until you see the... [Read More]
My friend, Kathy, and I both love to paddle for as long as the water is flowing - from spring to late fall. Recently we had the chance to meet up for a spontaneous fall outing. We decided to meet at the Cone Cabin, at the intersection of routes 186 and 30 in Lake Clear. I then followed her north on 30 for approximately 1.2 miles to our launch site, an unmarked dirt... [Read More]
The first Friday of every month, the galleries of downtown Saranac Lake host art openings, highlighting their featured artists and providing an opportunity to mingle and discuss. My girlfriend and I consider this a favorite activity. It's a great time for us to go off and have a girls' night.
Saranac Lake is an art town. Photography, painting, jewelry, and crafts of all kinds pop up... [Read More]
A Quick Hike
If time to fit in a hike is short, then Mount Baker is always a good bet. After all, it is only about a mile to the summit, and it offers a rewarding view for the effort. And so, with a few friends in town in search of an easy hike, Baker was our choice.
Colors and Birds
Wren led us up the trail, through a golden beech forest on the backside of the mountain.... [Read More]
The saying goes, “Wait 5 minutes and the weather will change.” In this case one day made a huge difference. The previous day I biked with Gretchen and Trisa on part of the Oregon Trail, and it was cold. We even had layers and gloves on, and our feet were cold!
The next day, the weather was grand. I wanted to bike again, so I texted Trisa and... [Read More]
Saranac Lake is not only a beautiful Adirondack mountain town, ringed by crystal blue lakes and countless hikes to amazing vistas, but it also has a lively, walkable downtown. Main Street and Upper Broadway are replete with artists’ studios, restaurants, and bars. Now that Saranac Lake is my hometown, I’ve done my due diligence and “researched” the numerous eating and drinking... [Read More]
Submitted by Guest Blogger: Kathy Barlow
Ten Reasons to be grateful in and around Saranac Lake
This year, after a rainy (and cool) spring and summer, autumn gave birth to warm days, cool nights, and a festival of colors in the mountains. The extended good weather gave us more opportunities to take advantage of all our area has to offer. Now, as the days are getting shorter and the stars... [Read More]
Goodbye warm-weather gear!
Sadly, on November 1, I hung the kayak and canoe in the garage, but I was still holding out for another bike outing which was scheduled for November 7. Unfortunately, as that date approached the nights grew colder and so did the days. Biking in 30-degree weather was not something our group wanted to do - so we changed plans!
Take a... [Read More]
The Adirondacks are a geological treasure chest. They are an extension of the Canadian Shield, one of the world's largest continental shields.
These mountains, rivers, and lakes have the ancient magma, glacial errata, and billion years old rocks that make for fine hunting. Iron ore seams, dramatic sandstone layers, and plenty of igneous minerals add up to a delightful mix of... [Read More]
If a game of King of the Hill that ends in tears and a handful of snow down your collar is your typical day of winter-family-fun — let me help you out!
Saranac Lake is bursting with cool things to do that will leave the whole family smiling from ear to ear. Here are 5 things for your clan to try on your next Adirondack winter vacation in Saranac Lake:
1. XC... [Read More]
Lets do this! With less than a week until Christmas, its time to check those final things off your gift list. In Saranac Lake, shopping downtown offers a low-pressure experience and so many different options. Plus, smaller stores mean shorter lines. So, go! Find the ideal gift, make it meaningful…and get back to enjoying the holiday season. Here are six gifts for those types sure... [Read More]
New Year's Eve is a special, even unique, holiday. It is the only one which celebrates both the old, and the new.
It is a time to look backward and forward. To take the stress off of such endeavors, you should also have a good time.
To help with that, Saranac Lake's First Night gives you many choices to celebrate the turn of the year — your way.
It's also a great gift idea. With... [Read More]
Saranac Lake calls to people in different ways. Yes, there’s art, music, good food, and good people here. There are also events like Winter Carnival that bring visitors and residents together for a blockbuster, two-week celebration of all things cool. It’s a quirky place that draws the adventurous, the curious, and the creative, but when all of those things are pushed aside there’s one thing... [Read More]
As I got ready for my thrift shop expedition, my husband cautioned me, "Now don't go crazy."
I don't know why he is always asking this of me. I consider my enjoyments to be springing from enthusiasm, and there's nothing wrong with enthusiasm. Like in the photo above, where I found a beautiful purple coat for only three dollars.
Who wouldn't be excited about that?
The lure of saving money... [Read More]
As I stroll through the village of Saranac Lake, a virtual Norman Rockwell or Currier & Ives painting, I keep waiting for the horse-drawn sleigh to pass by — the passengers in stocking caps and mittens, colorful quilts piled on top of them.
The horse-drawn sleigh never materializes, I shiver and zip up, and one word comes to mind — coffee.
Where The Warmth Is
The cafe... [Read More]
Winter is Finally Here!
It took a long time to show up this year with our crazy warm fall, but winter weather has finally started to arrive in the northern Adirondacks. Our recent wet weather aside, little by little we’ve built up some snow as evidenced by my regular need to shovel. It all makes Wren, my four-legged companion, excited as she plays with her tennis ball in the snow... [Read More]
Monitoring the snow depth
The beginning of ski season is often a game of figuring out how much snow depth we have and how much snow coverage is needed to explore certain trails. So early season skis tend to be on open trails and fields which catch more snowfall – unless the wind is pushing it off.
With the depth of our snow increasing of late and with the storm late last week, Wren (my four... [Read More]
The Time of Year to Count Birds
While many of our regional Christmas Bird Counts occur closer to Christmas, the Saranac Lake count happens near the New Year and I was able to help with it again this year.
The count is popular with local birders because it covers both Saranac Lake and Lake Placid and because it also covers Bloomingdale Bog, Bigelow Road, and some of the boreal habitats... [Read More]
If you’ve ever been to Saranac Lake, especially in winter, you’ve probably heard of Winter Carnival. It’s the longest-running event of its kind in the U.S., and it’s also one of the quirkiest. Let me explain. Every year, volunteers pull large blocks of ice from Lake Flower to build the ice palace, a stunning blue structure that people can walk through after the 10-day Carnival starts. There’s... [Read More]
The Saranac Lake 6ers: Baker, St. Regis, Scarface, Haystack, Ampersand, and McKenzie. You hiked them one-by-one in the summer and marveled at the variety of views they afforded — distant High Peaks and uniquely shaped lakes. So now what? Time to try them in winter, that’s what!
In the Adirondacks, nice summer hikes turn into full-blown adventures in the winter. It’s a beautiful time to be... [Read More]
Submitted by Guest Blogger: Jeremy Evans
Day at Dewey
One of my favorite things about Saranac Lake is that it feels authentic, comfortable, and home-like to both residents and visitors alike. I can sense this at many of its community gathering places like Mt. Pisgah, Downtown, the Civic Center, and at Dewey Mountain Recreation Center.
Located on Route 3 on the western edge of the... [Read More]
In winter, this Adirondack village is a haven for skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking challenges, snowmobiling, and exploring a lively downtown full of artsy shops and restaurants. A favorite time of year is when the snow flies and locals and visitors can get out into the woods on skis or snowshoes, and embrace the season with outdoor events. This February, there is more reason to celebrate... [Read More]
So much to do
I just love winter and sometimes I feel like there are not enough days to do everything I want to do: downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and ice skating. It is also hard to squeeze in the not-so-fun things that I must do, such as laundry, cleanin,g and filing income tax! On this particular Sunday I had promised myself to do laundry and file my income tax.... [Read More]
Saranac Lake is home to some great waterways.
Popular fishing and paddling waters are now frozen over and the shanties and augers are out for ice fishing. Before you head out, here are five fun tips to ensure you get the best out of this cold-weather experience!
1. Get there early to get your favorite spot
Lake Colby is a popular ice fishing spot. It seems like every day... [Read More]
A Change in the Fortunes of the Weather
Let’s be honest. January was a frustrating month in the Olympic Region for anyone who loves skiing and winter sports. Check that – January was a wildly frustrating month for anyone who enjoys such activities. Our variable and constantly changing temperatures gave us rain and warmth followed by frigid drops which froze everything solid – it was no fun for... [Read More]
When I think of Cris Winters' work, I think texture. Her Pink House Gallery downtown is full of different layers.
Sometimes it is overt, as when she uses multimedia techniques to create a mood or landscape. Other times it is conceptual, where her work suggests depths that are not physically there.
But always, there is a great engagement with nature, which is a constant theme in her work.... [Read More]
In the microclimate of Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC), I find myself in a winter wonderland, as if a Hollywood special effects crew came through and sprayed and hosed down the vast landscape with deep, sticky, fake snow, but this is real stuff here - natural.
An Intimate Museum
Enter here and walk through time and see how... [Read More]
Blue Skies and a Day of Birding
With a beautiful blue winter sky above us, my brother, nephew, and I set out the other day to enjoy some boreal birding in the Bloomingdale Bog Complex north of Saranac Lake. The afternoon was forecast to turn rainy (ugh) anyway, so we wanted to enjoy the snow and winter before that happened. And for those of us who aren't yet ready for spring, this is the... [Read More]
I’m not a history buff, but one thing that’s always fascinated me is the Adirondacks’ place in the world. If you ask the right people, big names get thrown around. Bill Clinton has visited; Melville Dewey, creator of the Dewey decimal system, lived in Lake Placid; and poet Sylvia Plath broke her leg on Mount Pisgah in Saranac Lake while visiting in 1952. The accident reportedly... [Read More]
Turns out, maple syrup has a connection with Mark Twain. At least it does now.
Mark Twain Mapleworks is a sugarhouse on the shores of Ampersand Bay on Lower Saranac, part of the same complex where Mark Twain stayed for the summer of 1901. It's utterly appropriate, as it turns out. A list of "Mark Twain's Favorite Foods" reads: maple syrup, cranberries, raccoon, garden produce, canvasback... [Read More]
If your kids are anything like mine they love breaking records. And second best to holding the record, is knowing the record - biggest number (Googolplex), smallest state (Rhode Island), fastest animal (Cheetah), funniest Minion (Stuart), smelliest feet (Dad for the win).
I had been waiting to bust out my trivia challenge for just the right day. "Tallest tree?" I asked. Silence. With both... [Read More]
Of course, when it comes to getting away, "girls" can be any age. Because no matter how accomplished a woman is, she will always enjoy a time away from her responsibilities. The greater the challenges, the more necessary stepping away can become.
It is incredibly rejuvenating to find a welcoming atmosphere, where one can be herself, with her friends, and do fun girl things. I love it!
Here'... [Read More]
Saranac Lake is a beautiful conglomeration of mountains and people. The downtown captures this essence in a wonderful way — eclectic eateries are interspersed among art galleries, music is on everyone’s mind, and mountains and lakes play peek-a-boo from behind the historic architecture. People visit for a lot of reasons, but they always find more than they expected while they’re here. Still... [Read More]
Submitted by guest blogger: Tyler Merriam
As the snow finishes melting and we take guesses at when the ice will go out, our thoughts often turn to our summer paddling plans. On June 1, we once again kick off Celebrate Paddling ADK, the month-long series of paddling-related events in the Saranac Lake region.
One of the best things about canoeing, kayaking, and stand up paddle... [Read More]
Fly to Saranac Lake via Cape Air
The Adirondack Regional Airport, your "Gateway to the Adirondacks," provides quick and convenient access to and from Logan International in Boston, MA. Daily flights are provided...