Stories
Traveler & visitor information and tips
Snowmobiling is a highly modern way to have fun in the snow. The first United States patent for a "motor sleigh" was in 1916. Even before that, people were trying to motorize their sleighs, or put skis on their automobiles.Still, snowmobiles didn't really catch on until the early 1960s, when Joseph-Armand Bombardier came up with what is considered the modern snowmobile. His Ski-Doo was ... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Outerwear, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun
Mexicans honor their dead relatives and friends during Dia de Muertos by visiting cemeteries, spending time with the souls of the departed and giving them offerings and saying prayers to them.My mom was a Spanish teacher, and she loved teaching her students about Day of the Dead this time of year, so I grew up hearing all about it. I was captivated by the idea of hanging out in the cemetery to... [Read More]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:Historic Downtown, Heritage, foliage, Family fun, Fall, Cultural
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
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
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We don't need to fear the kayak. Or the canoe.When I bring up paddling as a great way to see our breathtaking scenery, some people look nervous. And they don't have to feel that way. Concerns about "tippiness" seems to come up more often with kayaks than with canoes, but in either case, this concern is groundless. (So to speak.) These watercraft are very stable, especially with kayaks, where the... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Paddling, Family fun, Dog Friendly
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
It’s always exciting when a new restaurant opens in Saranac Lake, especially when that restaurant is as good as Bitters & Bones. My wife, Anna, and I met a couple of friends at Bitters last week and tried some of the offerings, and we weren’t disappointed.First, a little history. Bitters and Bones occupies the space Captain Cook’s once inhabited. The new owners did major work on the interior... [Read More]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:Dining, Beer
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
There's a little patch of the Adirondacks, near Saranac Lake, where we can step into the past. We can also book a stay there.Apollos (Paul) Smith was an integral part of welcoming visitors to this section of the Adirondacks. In 1859, he founded the Saint Regis House in Brighton (though it was commonly known as Paul Smith's Hotel), one of the first wilderness resorts in the Adirondacks. It... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Heritage, Family fun, Dining
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
Can you smell that in the air? What? No, it’s not pumpkin spice! It’s FOOTBALL! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been anxiously waiting for months to watch guys in thick padding and helmets hurl themselves across a huge field at other guys in thick padding and helmets as they chase around a strangely shaped leather ball. Yes, football season is finally here. I survived three nerve-... [Read More]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:winter, Historic Downtown, Fall, Events, Dining, Brewery, Beer
Our gorgeous fall season brings special events which embrace many of Saranac Lake's favorite things. Exploring nature, our love of art, music, and drama, and our amazing history all combine to create a wonderful experience.From morning until night, there's the special crispness of fall air and the technicolor glory of our marvelous autumn season. We not only have the right mix of trees for... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Heritage, foliage, Fall, Events, Arts
As fall quickly approaches, you may find yourself wondering what to do, see, and experience in the oftentimes cooler temperatures. Well, lucky for you, we have some awesome attractions to not only visit year round, but especially in the fall months, with a sea of colorful leaves surrounding you. Farmhouse Go-CartingKnown for their snowmobile tours in the winter, Farmhouse Snowmobiling... [Read More]
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Author:Marjorie Waterson
Categories:Wildflowers, Outdoor Recreation, foliage, Fall
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
I love having visitors and showing them around the wonderful region of Saranac Lake, my favorite place in the adirondacks, usa. So I was excited to have my friends Katie and Erica come up for a recent girls weekend. They're super fun people and we always have a good time together, and I knew this weekend would be no different. TGIF shenanigansWhen they showed up on Friday evening, everyone... [Read More]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Music, Historic Downtown, Dining, Cultural, Brewery, Beer, Arts
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
Camping on an island is better than any other kind of camping in existence. Yuuuup, it's a bold statement. But I stand by it. Here are my reasons:1.) PaddlingPaddling is one of my favorite summer activities, and the Saranac Lake area is one of the best places in the world for it. So any camping weekend that necessarily includes paddling is okay by me!My boyfriend Andy and I had a great... [Read More]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:Summer, Paddling, Equipment, camping, Beer
A trio of prime swimming spots near Saranac LakeIf you're a water lover and you love to cool off, then you'll love Saranac Lake. Each of the following swimming spots has a little something different to offer — from a quick plunge to an after-hike hangout that'll make you feel like you're relaxing in the Caribbean, only with pine trees. And beavers. The best part is, all of these spots are easy to... [Read More]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Dog Friendly
Welcome to Saranac Lake, the Adirondacks' coolest place, where the beer flows as freely as the Saranac River. Once you’re done playing outside all day, it’s time to stop in to the Blue Line Brewery to try out some excellent local brews.Blue Line is a newer establishment, opened a few years ago in what used to be a car wash. The beer has evolved a bit since the place first opened, but it... [Read More]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:winter, Summer, Spring, Fall, Dining, Brewery, Beer
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
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
It’s time to talk about ice cream, and I couldn't be happier. It’s summertime, it’s hot, and every single night I crave ICE CREAM. This isn’t ideal for my waistline, and I need to invest in a gym membership, but my taste buds are satisfied.Being the nice person that I am, I took one for the team by sampling five tasty treats at some of the best ice cream stands in the area. All I can say is YUM!... [Read More]
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Author:Brooke O'Neil
Categories:Summer, Family fun, Dining
Saranac Lake has a wonderful farmers market every Saturday in the summer and fall. It's more than fresh local produce, though of course there is plenty of that. We've expanded our farmers market into locally grown meats and cheeses, cut flowers, honey and maple syrup, delicious snacks, and even artisan crafts like pottery and hand-turned fountain pens.Since it is held in Riverside Park, there are... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wellness, Summer, Shopping, Historic Downtown, Family fun, Dog Friendly
Is a steady downpour putting a damper on your camping vacation? You can always create your own workshop at BluSeed Studios.BluSeed Studios is located on Cedar Street, which is just off of Broadway as you head out of Saranac Lake toward Paul Smiths. I discovered it a few years ago, shortly after I moved to the area and became the arts and entertainment reporter for the region. BluSeed artistic... [Read More]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:Family fun, Events, Cultural, Arts
Pendragon Theatre has been delighting the North Country since 1980. They draw from a considerable pool of professional and amateur talent, most of it local. Then they craft productions which range from the best of contemporary drama to well-loved classics.Since we are all about conservation here in the Adirondacks, we have become adept at taking existing buildings and making them into something... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Theatre, Family fun, Cultural, Arts
I am most definitely a beginner. Like, you can't get much more beginner than me. I'm the beginneriest of beginners. I rode bikes all the time as a kid, tearing up and down the road I lived on and counting on my bicycle to get me to my friends' houses. But I haven't really owned a usable bike since I was maybe 12. So, it's been a while. But I recently decided it was time to get back into it,... [Read More]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:Summer, Spring, Outerwear, Outdoor Recreation, Gear, Family fun, Fall, Equipment, Cycling
For me, the Saranac Lake Region is one of the coolest places to ride in the Adirondacks. There are opportunities here to hit up some one-of-a-kind mountain scenery, twisty roads, and a few truly original Adirondack communities. If you're coming from Lake Placid on Route 86, as soon as you get into town you're treated to nearly a mile of lakeside views along Lake Flower. Not to mention a... [Read More]
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Author:Glenn Pareira
Categories:Spring, Fall
Looking to get together with your dearest friends? I strongly suggest planning a trip for a friends weekend getaway to the Adirondacks’ coolest place!You'll need ideas on what to do while you’re here, but that's not a problem. With a surplus of places to see and things to do, Saranac Lake can promise you a fun, relaxing weekend away. Just check out the Saranac Lake art and bar scenes and begin... [Read More]
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Author:Marjorie Waterson
Categories:Summer, Spring, Shopping, Music, Exhibits, Beer, Arts
Summer in Saranac Lake is a festival in itself. The village has created a seemingly endless stream of events and happenings in the parks, on the water, and in the historic downtown area.Celebrate natureStop by the Paul Smith’s Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) for the seasonal Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walks, held throughout the summer. The VIC also offers a wide range of programming events, children'... [Read More]
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Author:Sue Cameron
Categories:Paddling, Family fun, Events, Arts
If we have a yen for history, we've come to the right place. Saranac Lake has both a celebrated backstory and a devoted group of fans. This makes our local history museum something special.There is the lab itself, which has exhibits detailing the decades when Saranac Lake was an international curing center. There's also the addition built during the Roaring Twenties, which houses rotating... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Historic Downtown, Heritage, Family fun, Exhibits, Cultural
When it was announced that the Hotel Saranac would open again, with a classic refurbishment befitting its historic landmark status, the entire village was thrilled.Then we started getting calls and emails. Was it true? When would the hotel open? Can they make a reservation now? Turns out, the rest of the world is thrilled too.To understand the pull of this extraordinary hotel, we must consider... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Historic Downtown, Heritage
People often don't realize we have local farms near Saranac Lake. All kinds of crops flow from nearby fields into our restaurants, diners, and delis. This is one of the reasons our local dining is such a pleasure to experience.North of Saranac Lake, bordered by the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness to the east, and the Saint Regis Canoe Wilderness to the west, there is a broad plateau far more... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wellness, Spring, Heritage, Family fun, Conservation
The VIP TreatmentQuestion: What do you do when your best friend scores some free VIP seats for opening day at Fenway? Answer: Quick — book a Cape Air flight to Boston.Pay no attention to the fact that I’m not a Boston Red Sox fan. Nor to the fact that I’m not actually even a baseball fan. But come on  — a professional game of any sort is always a blast to experience in person. And I... [Read More]
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Author:Kim Rielly
Categories:
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
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
Daffest is our great big May event to celebrate the coming of spring with the blooming of thousands of daffodil bulbs throughout the Saranac Lake area. Each year the number of bulbs increases as the celebration grows. Come welcome spring with us from May 5–8.There are several popular and fun family friendly Daffest events you won't want to miss, including the sixth annual Daffest Derby, Daffest... [Read More]
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Author:Sue Cameron
Categories:Summer, Spring, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Music, Historic Downtown, Gear, Family fun, Events, Equipment, Cultural, Arts
What are the coolest paddling routes in the Saranac Lake area? That's a tough question, because we are the Lake Country, a paddler's paradise. Canoe or kayak or even innertube, we have the adventure to fall in love with. To help with this question, I asked some local guide services about their own favorite places. What do they recommend most often? Where are the places which are extra scenic,... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Dog Friendly, Fall, Family fun, Paddling, Spring, Summer
Assemblage: A work of art made by grouping found or unrelated objects.By themselves, those objects are just discarded human possessions. They turn up along railroad tracks, deep in the wilderness, and behind construction sites. Moss-covered, half-buried, and forgotten, they've been left to rot and rust and decay in the Adirondack soil. They're everywhere, and most people don't want them.But... [Read More]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:Exhibits, Cultural, Arts
Wondering where to toss that bouquet? Saranac Lake has some amazing places for that dream wedding. Gorgeous wilderness backdrops, charming churches, giant fireplaces, and soaring "Great Rooms," along with picturesque docks and boathouses and wildflower meadows.We also have talented artisans to craft those wedding favors, letter those invitations, make those centerpieces, and help the happy... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Summer, Spring, Music, Family fun, Fall, Events
SARANAC LAKE — The historic village of Saranac Lake is reopening tuberculosis cure facilities throughout the village.A subset of parents have decided not to vaccinate their children over the last few decades, often citing pseudoscience that suggests that vaccinations have horrible side effects like autism. They’re often referred to as anti-vaxxers.Because of that, tuberculosis, once a disease... [Read More]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:Wellness, Historic Downtown
Saranac Lake has been a fascinating place for a long time. I never know when I'll run into a fun and interesting bit of trivia about its moments of fame. These interesting items can turn up anywhere along the town's history. Here's some from the first half of the twentieth century.revolutionary mop patent“Be it known that I, EDWARD DoBBINs, a citizen of the United States, residing at Saranac Lake... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Historic Downtown, Heritage, Family fun, Cultural
The sap is flowing in Saranac Lake! The Paul Smith's Visitor Interpretive Center has a classic maple syrup operation on the premises. I visited for the first Maple Syrup weekend of the season, but no worries if you missed out - there's still time to plan on visiting for the second weekend! This year it will take place on April 2 & 3, 2016.The colder areas of the North American continent... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Spring, Natural History, Family fun, Events, Conservation
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
We're spoiled here in Saranac Lake. We have so many cool dining spots a visitor can feel a bit overwhelmed about choosing. Each locally-owned eatery offers a unique take on their speciality, complete with a chef in the back, crafting each dish from scratch.Since we have three new dining spots people might not know about, I recruited friends and my husband to explore these latest offerings.... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Shopping, Family fun, Dining, Brewery, Beer
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
When I get a free day, there is nothing I like better than finding some comfy seating with a good book. Did you know that Saranac Lake not only contributed to the long history of medical cures? We also contributed to the short history of reclining chairs. So, climb into your comfiest Adirondack chair, grab a hot drink, and prepare to learn a little bit about just how much of an impact Saranac... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wellness, Shopping, Heritage
Flocks of Feeding BirdsWinter birding across the region often involves searching for specialty birds which migrate to our area or linger during the cold months. With our warblers, flycatchers, vireos, and others long gone, this usually means we are looking for flocks of birds – many of which visit yards and bird feeders to help get them through this lean time of year.Bohemian Waxwings Have Been... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Birding

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