Stories
Traveler & visitor information and tips
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
Movie buffs will remember the 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind in which a bunch of people that have each individually experienced a UFO sighting are inexplicably and irresistibly drawn to one common geographic location in Wyoming. That story was fictitious, but in real life, it’s as if there is a giant beacon near Lake Flower that transmits a signal with a gravitational pull... [Read More]
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Author:Kim Rielly
Categories:Theatre, Music, Cultural, Arts
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The complex of buildings at the edge of Saranac Lake is known as "Will Rogers," since that was the name for much of its history. But it started in 1929 as the National Vaudeville Artists' Home; a tuberculosis curing facility for people in show business. It was a future destination for a tall young magician. He bounded onto the stage in New York City. Before he could begin his act, he felt a... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Arts, Heritage, Wellness
During Saranac Lake's years as a tuberculosis curing center, people got off the train... alone. They had left everyone behind, and were worried that it might be years before they saw them again.Patients had to create a whole new set of social connections for themselves. Some of the new people they met would become close friends. Some of them would be more of a romantic attachment.There was a... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wellness, Heritage, Cultural
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
Carnival Style: A class all its ownTravelers to the Adirondacks in any given February will surely behold an unusual sight (or two) as they come upon the super-cool village of Saranac Lake. Walking along the streets, sipping coffee in a restaurant, or simply shopping at the grocery store, one is sure to encounter myriad characters, costumes, and just super-cool carnival celebrities.To the... [Read More]
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Author:Kim Andresen
Categories:winter, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Events
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
I love shopping Saranac Lake's historic downtown. The recent holiday season lured me there, where I found unusual gifts for many of the folks on my list. They were all great hits for the recipients.Our historic downtown is pedestrian-friendly, with plenty of parking. There's an abundance of benches, dining spots, places for coffee and baked goodies, and a river running through the center of it.... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Shopping, Historic Downtown, Family fun, Cultural
When we have special dietary needs, it's easy to feel like there is "nothing to eat." But in the Saranac Lake area, we have fresh food prepared in kitchens with real chefs in the back. Our servers will be sympathetic and quick to check with them. We'll fill that plate in no time.Specialty dining is not just close to my heart; it's close to my stomach. I've been dining gluten free since 2010. This... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wellness, Shopping, Historic Downtown
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
Snowshoeing is the fastest growing winter sport in the world. Because it's so easy, and so much fun. Appropriate for any age and skill level, too.If we are hikers who don't want to stop getting outdoors just because it's winter, this simple addition to our gear collection will let us hit those same trails in a new way. Whether our trail is packed down or brand-new, snowshoes let us actually hike... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Family fun, Dog Friendly
In winter, our friendly forests grow hushed with snow, and our lovely lakes freeze over. We are dedicated to having fun all year 'round, and that includes a few creative options.When people think of our Winter Carnival, they think of our snowy landscape. But there's more to Carnival than that. In Saranac Lake, "ice" is far more than something to throw in our drinks. We have fun with it!ice... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Events
2015 Top 3 Blogs in ReviewWe scoured our blogs for the most popular, most informative, and just downright oddest pieces from the past year. In case you missed them on the first go-round, here are our top three picks from the Saranac Lake Region.3. A Century of Ice PalacesSaranac Lake has a long history of building amazing structures from ice as a centerpiece of their Winter Carnival festivities.... [Read More]
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Author:Kim Andresen
Categories:winter, Summer, Spring, Outdoor Recreation, Heritage, Family fun, Fall
There's never a dull moment in Saranac LakeThe hardest thing about attending First Night Saranac Lake is knowing where to start. At its core, the event is more than a family-friendly New Year's Eve celebration. It's more like a smorgasbord of all things Saranac Lake. That means there's so much art, music, dancing and revelry crammed into the little mountain village it's impossible to see it all.... [Read More]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:winter, Theatre, Music, Family fun, Arts
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
When I moved to the Adirondacks a few months ago, I knew it would be great for outdoor activities, but I did not know what to expect as far as scheduled “events.” So imagine how excited I have been, with something going on every weekend -and often on weekdays -here in the Saranac Lake Region! Here are a few upcoming events that I definitely won’t miss during my first winter in the Adirondacks!... [Read More]
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Author:Chelsea Cook
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Events
Do you know where the Hays Brook trails are? They are a couple miles north of the Paul Smiths Visitors Interpretive Center (everyone calls it “The VIC”) to the right off Rte. 30. Look for a brown and yellow sign, drive in two-tenths of a mile and park. The trails are up the small road you can see heading off the parking lot.It’s a wonderful place. The trails are designated horse trails - I’ve... [Read More]
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Author:Tom Boothe
Categories:
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
 The Trot comes to Saranac LakeI am, by no means, a runner. So the first time my co-worker Frank asked if I wanted to do a turkey trot, I was a little skeptical. What could possibly be appealing about getting out of bed on one of those rare days I get the chance to sleep in? (I should probably mention that during the work week, my shift doesn't start until 11 am, so I actually get to sleep... [Read More]
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Author:ADK Grasshopper
Categories:winter, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Events, Dog Friendly
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
Saranac Lake is not the usual shopping. It's a real Adirondack browsing paradise. Instead of big, bustling, and impersonal, we are small, quiet, and very friendly. We offer some items which can be found nowhere else, because they are handcrafted by our own Adirondack artists and artisans.Many of our shopping opportunities are found in our scenic, walkable, historic downtown. Bounded on the north... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wellness, Shopping, Historic Downtown, Family fun, Fall, Events, Cultural
Here in the Adirondacks, there doesn't have to be much snow on the ground for us to have fun on it. Saranac Lake loves Dewey Mountain, whether we want to cross-country ski or snowshoe. This great destination is right in town, too.Generations have enjoyed the recreational possibilities of this mountain. With community and town support, it keeps getting better.a long historyIn the late 1800s people... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Cross Country Skiing
Tubing in Saranac Lake is fun and friendly. Pretty much, if a person can sit down, they can go tubing - Adirondack style! The complex at Mount Pisgah Veteran's Memorial Ski Center (we just call it Pisgah for obvious reasons) is a great place for winter fun, and their tubing hill is a popular attraction.If I'm going out with a group of my friends, tubing is tops on our list of fun activities... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Cultural
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When I moved to the Adirondacks in August of 1999, it was after living on Long Island, and working in New York City, for eighteen years. Saranac Lake was a big change for me.But I was seeking change. After years in the workforce, I was going back to school. After only seeing my brother and nephew on visits, I would be living in the same town. They would become guides to my new life.culture shockI... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun
Relaxing RetreatSaranac Lake is a retreat for the creative mind. As many people travel to Saranac Lake they often have the question, “what’s there to do?” In all reality the question should be, “what’s there not to do?” This question of course would finally have us at a loss for words. This is because Saranac Lake has such a wide variety of activities for all ages, and interests. For the outdoor... [Read More]
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Author:Mary Gallagher
Categories:Theatre, Family fun, Exhibits, Events, Arts
There are many Halloween tales to be told in our corner of the Adirondacks. Some are well-known and some are well-hidden. This particular spooky bit of history is very obscure, even in Saranac Lake. The most well-known figure in the story, John Brown, actually rests in peace at his Lake Placid farm. But he does not rest there alone. a bizarre proposal If a stranger asked if they could... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Fall, Heritage
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
Once upon a time, all an avid hunter needed was an Adirondack Guide and a campfire. The storied abundance of local hunting and fishing were an early attraction bringing visitors to our wilderness. This was especially true once W.H.H. Murray (aka Adirondack Murray) wrote "Adventures in the Wilderness," which was published in 1869.The six million acres of the Adirondack Park still offer a... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wildlife, Natural History, Hunting, Fall, Conservation
A wonderful family filled day of fun can be found right in the heart of Brighton. A town located just outside the Village of Saranac Lake and spreading through the Hamlet of Paul Smith’s. Brighton offers a tremendous amount of history, feasts, and fun. HistoryBrighton is overflowing with history starting in 1815 when the first settlers appeared to this small town. There were railways created... [Read More]
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Author:Mary Gallagher
Categories:winter, Shopping, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Heritage, Family fun, Fall
No matter if you have great artistic ability or are like me, without an artistic bone in your body, I have a recommendation for an afternoon activity that is sure to make you smile - and help decorate your home or office in the process! Paint and Sip is a two-hour painting event that combines a simple painting lesson and cocktails for an enjoyable afternoon of creativity! Everything you need is... [Read More]
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Author:Chelsea Cook
Categories:Family fun, Fall, Events
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
My favorite place to be has always been on the water. Sure, mountains offer a great trip and spectacular views from above. But being on the water is an experience unique unto itself. Each pond or lake is a ‘valley’ which gives you a new perspective on the woods that surround it. Far enough away from the tree line to take in the view, but close enough to still notice the smaller things. I love... [Read More]
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Author:Glenn Pareira
Categories:
Please note: This blog was originally posted in 2015 and this ride is no longer available, however we can happily direct you to cool paddling, awesome biking, and scenic hiking in the region! Check out our outdoor activities to learn more!If you like to ride a bike, are up for trying something new, and enjoy a morning or afternoon communing with nature, then Railbikes might just be for you!... [Read More]
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Author:Chelsea Cook
Categories:Outdoor Recreation, foliage, Family fun, Fall
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
As an employee of a local brewery for many years, I have come to love a good craft brew. And not only that, but I enjoy learning about beer, and of course, trying new ones! So, that is exactly what my goal was for this past Labor Day Weekend. And...mission accomplished.  My weekend started Friday after work, hopping on the motorcycle, and heading to Lake Clear for a beer workshop and... [Read More]
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Author:Brooke O'Neil
Categories:Brewery, Beer
Things I never suspected I would learn planning an Adirondack wedding So there may not be any factual data to support my daddy longleg burlap attraction hypothesis. All I know for sure is that on the morning of my wedding, amid a whirlwind of madness, I paused to adjust the cake table and was greeted by a horde of daddy longlegs. My bridesmaid Lisa dutifully helped me gently remove a few,... [Read More]
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Author:ADK Grasshopper
Categories:Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Events, camping, Beer, Arts
One of My Favorite Times of YearWhile our recent warm weather and the general southerly flow of air had seemed to slow the arrival of migrants through the region, the last few days have really picked up the pace. It has added a great deal of excitement to my daily walks with Wren, and these mixed flocks of migrants and dispersing birds make the late summer one of my favorite times of year to go... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Fall, Birding
All Sorts of Sizes, Shapes, and ColorsWhile I spend a lot of my time in the late summer enjoying the shapes and colors of migrating birds as they pass through our region, I also love to botanize as I hike, checking out the kaleidoscope of wildflowers which grace our trails and fields this time of year. And so if I’m not searching for birds, I’m often hiking with Wren and snapping shots of flowers... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, foliage, Family fun, Fall, Dog Friendly
The summer is winding down, and we need to be sure to pack in as much fair-weather fun as we can! The next couple of weeks are full of enjoyable and exciting events, guaranteed to get you moving, eating and dancing to the music! 6th Annual Farm2Fork Festival - Saturday, September 5“Love your Farmer, Love Your Food” is the tag line for the annual Farm2Fork Festival, and you’ll definitely... [Read More]
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Author:Chelsea Cook
Categories:Outdoor Recreation, Music, Family fun, Fall, Events, Beer
The Best Way to Cool OffOur warm weather of late has found me chatting with friends and family further south who are complaining of the hot and muggy conditions where they live. To be sure it has been warm here and very hot elsewhere – but Wren and I have a solution that eludes many others thanks to where we live. After all, the region is dotted with seemingly countless numbers of lakes and we... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Summer, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Dog Friendly
Martha Reben was one tough lady. She came to the Adirondacks at the age of twenty-one, to cure in the famous sanitarium in Saranac Lake. But after three-and-a-half years, it looked like she was losing. Her condition was described as "severely debilitated" and she was facing a procedure of last resort where ribs were removed to collapse a lung.At this same time, 1931, Adirondack Guide and boat... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wellness, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Historic Downtown, Heritage, camping
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
Text by Guest Blogger: Hannah BabcockPhotos provided by ROOSTer Kim Andresen, also an avid fan of this secret beach AND ice cream. Many thanks to our fun-loving & photogenic friends Clayton & Abby Johnson and family.What to do... what to do?If you find yourself sitting outside on a beautiful day in Lake Placid and trying to think of something to do to take full advantage of... [Read More]
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Author:Guest Blogger
Categories:Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Dog Friendly
One of the best ways to enjoy our Saranac Lake galleries is to attend an art opening. A gallery opening might sound intimidating, but don’t worry… our gallery openings are just like the Adirondacks:  easygoing, welcoming, and fun! They generally happen on Friday evenings, near the beginning of the month. I've put together four "insider" tips that will... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Arts, Events, Historic Downtown
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
Did you know Saranac Lake has the largest collection of Robert Louis Stevenson memorabilia in the world? Our village in the Adirondacks has a pivotal place in the saga of this famous author's life. Then Stevenson Cottage, where he restored his health, became the home of his legacy.He was one of the most successful writers of the 19th century. Stories like "Treasure Island," "Kidnapped," and "The... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wellness, Summer, Heritage, Family fun, Exhibits, Cultural, Arts
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

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