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
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
Deep SnowSnow had been falling here seemingly every day for a few weeks, punctuated by a few big storms which rapidly increased its measure in the woods. With each day, Wren and I had been taking full advantage of the bounty, going on snow-filled walks and practicing our animal tracking skills, while I attempted photos of snowy landscapes.Last week we tried to combine those activities when we set... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Dog Friendly, Cross Country Skiing
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
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
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
A Sluggish StartIt's a fact that our cross-country skiing season did not start quickly or with a lot of snow this year. While we have a had a few great days in mid-January, they've been followed by an icy, rainy affair with little white powder left to help hide the hard, silver ice beneath. Take a misstep and you soon find out that our snow in many places has only been a veneer which hides slick... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family fun, Dog Friendly, Cross Country Skiing
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
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 Great Place for an Evening PaddleI made sure to take my nieces and nephew paddling the other week when they came to visit – it's an integral part of an Adirondack adventure, after all. Lake Colby is a great spot for an easy outing, so we all loaded into my large boat and set off. My niece Emily paddled in the bow, I was in the stern, and Rebecca and Tyler sat on Crazy Creek chairs in the middle... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Spring, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family fun, Dog Friendly
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
The area around Saranac Lake is known as the Lake Country of the Adirondacks. Since the whole Park is known for its lakes, what makes us so very special?I'm happy to tell you. There are five good reasons we proudly bear that title. 1. PaddlingWe are a Paddler's Paradise because of our terrain. That must have been some giant glacier. Parts of the Adirondacks were shaped by deep gouges that... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wildlife, Wellness, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Fishing, Family fun, Dog Friendly
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
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
Saranac Lake has long been known as a mecca for artists and art events. This upcoming month will confirm that designation with the multitude of cultural events on the schedule. There are also several non art-related events as well.From poetry readings to plays to outdoor programs and slide shows, you’ll pretty much find something of interest during any of the upcoming weeks.  Here are a few... [Read More]
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Author:Sue Cameron
Categories:Wildlife, Heritage, Family fun, Fall, Events, Conservation, Arts
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
Enjoying summer to the endThe final summery days of the season are gold for us all and so Wren and I took advantage of a splendid afternoon earlier this week and set out for Little Green Pond. We started with a swim and as we approached the sandy beach area, I noticed two distant Hooded Mergansers flying along the far shore of the lake. I threw the ball a few times for Wren who plunged in after... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family fun, Fall, Dog Friendly
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 LoonsCommon Loons were already calling from the water as I unloaded the car at Little Clear Pond. As usual Wren was exploring the water and beach area and she kept bringing sticks for me to throw into the lake. After a few throws and after I had toted everything down to the water, we headed out.A pair of Common Loons sat a few hundred meters out with their large, charcoal gray chick. All... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Spring, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, 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:Wildlife, Summer, Spring, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Fishing, Family fun, camping, Birding
The most exciting thing – at least from Wren’s perspective - about the paddle we took on Moose Pond in Bloomingdale this week was the tennis ball she found at the boat launch. I unloaded gear while she played with the ball in the sandy gravel, shoveling it between her legs and then chasing it. Once I was unloaded and ready to push off, I gave her a few throws into the water and she happily... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, foliage, Fishing, Family fun, Fall, Dog Friendly
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
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
We learned last month how awesome the Paul Smith’s VIC is. What could make it even cooler? You guessed it. Live music. The VIC has been bringing in musicians to entertain visitors for a Sunday afternoon series, running from the end of January and wrapping up after this weekend. The series is free to anyone with a ski pass, though donations are accepted, and is underwritten by... [Read More]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Music, Family fun, Exhibits, Events, Equipment, Cultural, Cross Country Skiing, Arts
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
            Snow covered landscapes the world over have a few things in common.  They are white.  They are generally cold – recently true around here.  And they are quiet.              The day following our recent snow storm Wren and I skied north from the north... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Dog Friendly, Snowshoe, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, winter, Wildlife
            As what The Weather Channel was calling Winter Storm Boreas was bearing down on us, many folks were apprehensive about their Thanksgiving travel plans.  On the other hand, others of us were excited about the possibility of some snow and the chance to get out cross country skiing.  Thanksgiving morning dawned clear and... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Snowshoe, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Fall, Dog Friendly, Cross Country Skiing
            We have once again reached the time of year when turkey is in the forefront of our minds and in the center of our plates, and it is worth considering the Wild Turkey which makes the Adirondacks and New York State its home.  Turkeys range across much of the country and all of the state and are common in the region.  I... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hunting, Family fun, Fall, Conservation
            I see muskrats almost every day that I’m out walking with Wren or looking for birds.  I find them in most streams, lakes, and marshes in the region from Bloomingdale Bog to the waterways which empty into Lake Champlain.  This is particularly true during the fall as our days grow shorter and after we change our clocks to... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Summer, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, 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
            Warm sunny weather can be difficult to find in the region once the fall sets in, and I took advantage of a warm day to head out on Lake Colby in Saranac Lake for a quick paddle.  I set off from the boat launch making quick progress across the lake.  Lake Colby has a few arms which are fun to explore, and they also serve... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Summer, Paddling, Fall, Outdoor Recreation, foliage, Wildlife
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 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
Have you ever gone on a hike, arrive at the summit and then realize you don’t remember the trip up? Most of us will take a hike, walk, or journey of some kind and go as fast as we can to get to the ‘reward’, but how often do we stop during the journey to enjoy our surroundings? Probably not very often.Edward Kanze is a naturalist, author, columnist, wildlife photographer, licensed guide, and... [Read More]
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Author:Courtney Petkovsek-Powers
Categories:Wildlife, Wildlife, Heritage, Cultural
            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
            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 keep a set of bird feeders up year round to attract birds to my yard.  They do remarkably well in that endeavor, and I’m excited when I find a new species of bird for my yard list.  But feeders also attract other things to the yard and I enjoy them as well.          ... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Fall, Summer
            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
            Last week The Wild Center hosted FlavorFest, an all day event built around the tastes of the North Country, and a great excuse to pay the museum a visit.  The event was held in conjunction with the museum’s weekly Thursday Farmer’s Market and the vendors were in their usual location in the outdoor tent.   ... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Wellness, Family fun, Exhibits, Summer, Events
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
As the skies clear and a mid-July weekend approaches, area visitors and residents alike will be entertained by numerous fun events and cultural offerings this coming weekend.Take a drive over to The Adirondack Interpretive Center in Paul Smiths to check out their Birds of Prey Demonstration with Mark Manske. Spend Saturday afternoon immersed in the lives of birds of prey. Mark Manske of... [Read More]
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Author:Sue Cameron
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Historic Downtown, Heritage, Fishing, Events, Arts
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
 From the trailhead I enjoyed the mellow terrain under my feet; it makes for a bit of a nice warm-up to the day. I wasted no time passing by the trail to Route 30 on the right and jumped full-bore into the rolling hills terrain that was in front of me. The one thing about trail running is, you don't get much time to take pictures - which is too bad. Also I typically don't want a huge bulky... [Read More]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife, Trail Running
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 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
While I write a great deal about birds and birding – particularly as spring migration spreads its wings north and our breeding birds are arriving – amphibians offer us some of the first changes in the spring soundscape – before many of our birds begin to sing or even arrive from the south.The past few weeks have been marked with explosive breeding congregations of amphibians as warm weather has... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife
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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Monday, October 16th, 2017
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...
Saturday, October 14th, 2017
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...
Monday, October 9th, 2017
Get ready, get set, get lost! Leaving downtown Saranac Lake heading west on Route 86, it’s straight and scenic driving for 8 miles. The only tough part is keeping your eyes on the road...
Monday, October 2nd, 2017
One of the premiere pleasures of our Adirondack fall foliage season is taking to our roads for maximum viewing angles. The varied geography here changes from lush forest to scenic meadows, with...
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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