Hiking

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
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]
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Author:Guest Blogger
Categories:Fall, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation
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]
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Author:Lisa Sciacca
Categories:Cycling, Dining, Equipment, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, Shopping, Summer
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
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]
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Author:Anonymous
Categories:Hiking, Paddling, Saranac Lake 6er
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]
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Author:Anonymous
Categories:camping, Fall, Family fun, Fishing, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation, Spring, Summer
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
Are you up for the challenge? Ready to complete the challenge? Grab a delicious meal to fuel your trip then rest your head in one of our cozy lodging spots. [Read More]
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Author:Kim Andresen
Categories:Fall, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation, Saranac Lake 6er, Spring, Summer, winter
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]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wildflowers, Spring, Hiking, Family fun, Conservation
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]
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Author:Marjorie Waterson
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Saranac Lake 6er, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family fun, Dog Friendly, Dining
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
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Outdoor Recreation, Hiking
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]
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Author:Kim Andresen
Categories:Hiking, Family fun
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]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Hiking, Heritage, Conservation
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family fun, Fall, Dog Friendly
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]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Paddling, Hiking, foliage, Family fun, Fall, Brewery
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]
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Author:roostadmin
Categories:Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, foliage, Family fun
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]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family fun
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]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:Saranac Lake 6er, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family fun, Dog Friendly
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]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:Wellness, Summer, Saranac Lake 6er, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family fun, Dog Friendly
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]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Spring, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Gear, Dog Friendly, Cycling
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Spring, Saranac Lake 6er, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking
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]
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Author:Marjorie Waterson
Categories:Spring, Snowshoe, Saranac Lake 6er, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family fun, Dog Friendly
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking
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
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]
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Author:Tom Boothe
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family fun, Cross Country Skiing
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]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Summer, Spring, Snowshoe, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Fall
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]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:winter, Historic Downtown, Hiking, Fall, Cultural, Beer
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:winter, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family fun
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
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 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]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Gear, Fall, Equipment, camping
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Outdoor Recreation, Hiking
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
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]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Summer, Spring, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Fishing, Family fun, Fall, Dog Friendly, Cycling, camping
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
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]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Music, Historic Downtown, Hiking, Family fun, Events, Dog Friendly, Cycling, camping, Arts
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]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Trail Running, Summer, Spring, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Fall
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
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]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family fun, Events, Dog Friendly
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]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wildlife, Trail Running, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking
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
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking
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]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Summer, Spring, Saranac Lake 6er, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, foliage, Family fun, Fall
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
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Dog Friendly
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family fun, Dog Friendly, Cross Country Skiing
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]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Wellness, Summer, Snowshoe, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family fun, Arts
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family fun, Dog Friendly
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
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Hiking, Family fun
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]
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Author:Guest Blogger
Categories:Summer, Hiking, Heritage, Family fun, camping
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Spring, Saranac Lake 6er, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family fun, Fall, Dog Friendly
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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildflowers, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, foliage, Family fun, Fall, Dog Friendly
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
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
 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
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
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Skiing, Outerwear, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Gear, Family fun, Equipment, Cross Country Skiing
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family fun, Dog Friendly, Cross Country Skiing
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Skiing, Outerwear, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family fun, Dog Friendly, Cross Country Skiing, Conservation
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Outerwear, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Gear, Equipment
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Outerwear, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Gear, Family fun, Equipment, Dog Friendly
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family fun
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking
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]
1
Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:camping, Equipment, Dog Friendly, Family fun, Fall, winter, Wildlife, Snowshoe, Outerwear, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Gear
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:winter, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family fun, Fall
            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
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Saranac Lake 6er, winter, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, foliage, Family fun, Fall, Dog Friendly
            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
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Hiking, Fall, Summer, Wildlife, Dog Friendly, Outdoor Recreation
            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
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Hiking, Family fun, Fall, Outdoor Recreation
            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]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildflowers, Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family fun, Fall
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Trail Running, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking
            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
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Hiking, Summer, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun
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
            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
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Dog Friendly, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Summer, camping, Hiking
            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
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]
1
Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Summer
            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
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]
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Author:Courtney Petkovsek-Powers
Categories:Arts, Events, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation
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]
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Author:Courtney Petkovsek-Powers
Categories:Hiking
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]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking
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
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]
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Author:Courtney Petkovsek-Powers
Categories:Hiking
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

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A delightful holiday comedy perfect for the whole family. Pendragon Theatre is taking a walk on the wild side this holiday season with its production of Barbara Robinson’s The Best...
Tuesday, December 19th, 2017
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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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Volunteers are needed to help with the Adirondack Snowshoe Fest, slated for February 24 and 25, 2018. The event planning committee will be available to answer questions on December 21st from 7:30-8:...
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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...
Tuesday, December 12th, 2017
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...
Thursday, November 30th, 2017
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....
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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