Birding

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]
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Author:Lisa Sciacca
Categories:Birding, camping, Conservation, Cross Country Skiing, Dining, Equipment, Gear, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation, Outerwear, Paddling, Shopping, Skiing, Snowshoe, Wildflowers, Wildlife, winter
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog Friendly, Fall, foliage, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Saranac Lake 6er, Spring, Summer, Wildlife
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog Friendly, Fall, foliage, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, Summer, Wildlife
Let's go! 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]
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Author:Lisa Sciacca
Categories:Birding, Cycling, Dining, Fall, Family fun, Paddling, Wildlife
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Fall, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Summer, Wildlife
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Birding, Fall, Family fun, foliage, Paddling, Wildlife
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Conservation, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Spring, Summer, Wildlife
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog Friendly, Family fun, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Spring, Wildlife, winter
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family fun, Events, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Fall, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Fall, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, foliage, Fall, Dog Friendly, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Fall, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Spring, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Spring, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Events, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Spring, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Dog Friendly, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Spring, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family fun, Fall, Dog Friendly, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Fall, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, foliage, Fall, Dog Friendly, Birding
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]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, foliage, Family fun, Fall, Dog Friendly, Birding, Arts
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Fall, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Dog Friendly, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Spring, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Dog Friendly, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Spring, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family fun, Dog Friendly, Birding
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]
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Author:Joan Collins
Categories:Wildflowers, Spring, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Spring, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Birding
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]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wildflowers, Spring, Hiking, Fishing, Events, Dog Friendly, Cycling, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Dog Friendly, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Spring, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Dog Friendly, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family fun, Dog Friendly, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Dog Friendly, Cross Country Skiing, Birding, winter
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Dog Friendly, Birding
 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]
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Author:Joan Collins
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Conservation, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Dog Friendly, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family fun, Fall, Dog Friendly, Cross Country Skiing, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family fun, Fall, Dog Friendly, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family fun, Fall, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family fun, Fall, Dog Friendly, Birding
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Birding, camping, Family fun, Fishing, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, Spring, Summer, Wildlife
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Wildflowers, Summer, Saranac Lake 6er, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Fishing, Family fun, Dog Friendly, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Wildflowers, Summer, Spring, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family fun, Birding
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]
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Author:Sue Cameron
Categories:Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Dog Friendly, camping, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Spring, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family fun, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Spring, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family fun, Dog Friendly, Birding
 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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Spring, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family fun, Conservation, Birding
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]
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Author:Sue Cameron
Categories:Wildlife, Theatre, Summer, Historic Downtown, Heritage, Events, Cultural, Birding, Arts
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Wildlife, Trail Running, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family fun, Birding
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Wildflowers, Paddling, Outerwear, Outdoor Recreation, Gear, Family fun, Equipment, Birding
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Snowshoe, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Dog Friendly, Cross Country Skiing, Birding
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]
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Author:Sue Cameron
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Snowshoe, Natural History, Historic Downtown, Family fun, Exhibits, Events, Cultural, Birding, Arts
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog Friendly, Fall, Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife, winter
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Fall, Birding, Wildlife
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Snowshoe, Family fun, Fall, Saranac Lake 6er, Equipment, camping, Birding, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Gear, Trail Running, Summer
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]
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Author:Sue Cameron
Categories:Wildlife, Theatre, Heritage, Family fun, Fall, Events, Cultural, Birding, Arts
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, foliage, Family fun, Fall, Dog Friendly, Birding
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Wildflowers, Paddling, Hiking, Fall, Wildlife, Birding
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Family fun, Fall, Birding, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife, Summer
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Fall, Birding, Wildlife, Summer, Paddling
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Fishing, Fall, Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Dog Friendly, Wildlife, Hiking, Birding
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Fall, Hiking, Wildlife, Birding
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Fall, Birding, Wildlife, Summer, Outdoor Recreation
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Wildlife, Paddling, Birding, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Fishing
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]
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Author:Sue Cameron
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Dog Friendly, camping, Birding
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Summer, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, camping, Birding, Wildlife
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Birding
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Outdoor Recreation, Fishing, Summer, camping, Paddling, Wildlife, Birding
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Dog Friendly, Birding, Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Birding
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Wildlife, Birding, Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Birding
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Wildlife, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Fishing, camping, Birding
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Birding
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]
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Author:Sue Cameron
Categories:Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Birding, Wildlife
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Paddling, Fishing, Birding, Wildlife
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Hiking, Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Birding
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Birding, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Wildlife, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Birding
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Birding, Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife, Fishing, Paddling
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Birding
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Wildlife
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding

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The Development Board regular meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Village Offices, 2nd floor, at 39 Main Street. Development Board Members...
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St. Bernard's School students will be caroling around town on Tuesday, December 19, 2017! With little legs, we will only be able to carol on Broadway (as far as Bloomingdale Avenue) and...
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Tuesday, December 19th, 2017
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...
Thursday, December 14th, 2017
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...
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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...
Tuesday, December 5th, 2017
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...
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...
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