Stories
Traveler & visitor information and tips
So you just got engaged. Congratulations! The next step is to get married. And of course you want to get married in Saranac Lake, because there’s no better place to do it. So how does one go about making that happen?Though I’ve lived through a lot of wedding planning with a lot of friends, I’ve never been married, so I thought I’d talk to a professional to write this blog post about planning a... [Read More]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:winter, Summer, Spring, Family fun, Fall, Events
People love to come to the Adirondacks to hike our forests, explore our ponds, and climb our mountains. But perhaps only Saranac Lake offers this wilderness experience in a compact and versatile package that is right in town.It's the Trifecta, and one of its charms is how we can hike through it, and back, two different ways. The different parts make it adaptable to any skill level, in any season... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Summer, Spring, Saranac Lake 6er, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, foliage, Family fun, Fall
By far my favorite thing about Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is the abundance of live music all over town. The Waterhole has a great lineup this year, including Moon Hooch and Donna the Buffalo, among others, and additional venues are stepping up their music game as well. Eric Munley, who books bands for the Waterhole, told me that he originally thought about trying to get all '60s-style bands,... [Read More]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:winter, Theatre, Music, Heritage, Events, Cultural, Arts
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
Saranac Lake is a wonderful destination for Nordic skiing. The rolling expanse of our lake country makes for scenic trails which run the whole range of challenges. From groomed cross-country paths with parking lots to beautiful backcountry locations, we have a trail for every taste.Dewey MountainSaranac Lake has a hometown cross-country skiing complex at the edge of town. Half of the... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Dog Friendly, Cross Country Skiing
Saranac Lake has a long history of building amazing structures from ice as a centerpiece of their Winter Carnival festivities. Throughout the cycles of our village's famous winter festival, the Ice Palace has been both a focal point and a marker of what our Winter Break signifies in our history.At its heart, it is a reminder of how it all started, with the cycle of the seasons. In summer,... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Outdoor Recreation, Historic Downtown, Family fun, Events, Cultural
The unique geography of the Adirondacks has created some distinctive cultural traditions. The remote location, rugged beauty, and abundant wilderness led the small village of Saranac Lake into ways of life we still observe today.Celebrate with us!WINTER CARNIVALOne thing we must have in our Winter Carnival is the Ice Palace -- our term for the amazing structure we create as a focus for the... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Summer, Natural History, Family fun, Events, Dog Friendly, Arts
Catching the Holiday CrudMy holidays were nice as I celebrated the season with friends and family. But there has been one lingering reminder of them that I’d like to shed. Somewhere in a concoction involving lack of sleep, traveling, visiting friends and family, and eating poorly, I managed to succumb to a spreading crud and get sick. Sick enough that I have been laid up for a bit and I have had... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family fun, Dog Friendly, Cross Country Skiing
 The “Side Hunt”Before 1900, birders took part in a holiday tradition called the Christmas “Side Hunt”. People would choose sides and head into the field with guns to see which group could bring back the most birds! Much of the nineteenth century saw ornithologists using guns not binoculars. If you wanted to see a bird, you picked up a gun and shot it.Conservation Movement BeginsAt the turn... [Read More]
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Author:Joan Collins
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Conservation, Birding
It's a challenge to make a new person. We can use help.Saranac Lake was once a worldwide health destination. At the height of the tuberculosis epidemic this wilderness village drew famed doctors, skilled researchers, and celebrity patients. While we are all happy the tuberculosis plague has been conquered, there are still plenty of skilled people who love to help anyone with other health quests.... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wellness, Outdoor Recreation, Events
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It was just after Christmas and I was riding the traditional high that comes from the Holidays spent with family and friends and looking to keep that feeling going through to the New Year. Having recently learned one of our local lodges was going to be offering lantern lit sleigh rides this year, I figured there were few better ways to embrace winter and stay in the holiday spirit than taking... [Read More]
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Author:Glenn Pareira
Categories:winter, Heritage, Family fun, Cultural
Saranac Lake is a great place for learning and renewal. As a new year begins, let's make plans now for special ways of revamping ourselves. We can use the village's unique Adirondack charms to meet our personal improvement needs.New Year's Day has a tradition of being the holiday where people decide they are going to make themselves do things they don't really want to do. By the end of January... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Wellness, Summer, Snowshoe, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family fun, Arts
The great outdoorsDewey Mountain Recreation Center has a full schedule of cross country ski and snowshoe events on tap for this winter. Every Tuesday night at 5:30 join in the Graymont Tuesday Night Race Series. Kids XC races start at 5:30 pm and adults at 6 pm. Visitors are always welcome, so if you feel your competitive spirit coming on, drive on over and join in. You'll meet some great locals... [Read More]
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Author:Sue Cameron
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Exhibits, Events, Arts
A Perfect Day for Photos The icy, mixed precipitation we’ve had recently has coated the forests in the North Country white, and I was excited by the prospect of a bright, sunny day to head out with Wren and my camera for photos. We woke early on a clear cold morning and after allowing the temperature to raise a touch, I layered up, grabbed my snowshoes, and we set out into a blindingly white... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family fun, Dog Friendly
Looking back at 2014 in the Adirondacks, there were so many memories of Saranac Lake. I decided the only way to narrow them down was to look at each of our lovely, distinctively different, four seasons. Each one has its own events, traditions, and activities.Each one has its own special charm.MAGICAL WINTERThe 2014 Winter Carnival “Ice Palace” (the term we use regardless of the structure)... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Summer, Spring, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Fall, Events
Heading to ScarfaceIt had been a little while since I had been there, so the other day Wren and I grabbed my snowshoes and headed to the Scarface Mountain Trail in Ray Brook. My usual choice for winter activity is cross country skiing. But, I often find that I am more observant of my surroundings when I’m on foot, since I’m able to take my time. This means I don’t have to focus on the terrain so... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family fun, Dog Friendly
We are a land of many lakes, be they liquid or solid. This gives Saranac Lake an abundance of extraordinary Adirondack ice fishing venues, from large and accessible to small and remote, or anything in between. So we are the place to explore all that ice fishing can offer... even when it gets extreme!And out there, on the edges, things can get extremely interesting.Here are the important elements... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Outerwear, Outdoor Recreation, Gear, Fishing, Equipment, Dog Friendly
Early Season Cross-Country Ski DestinationsSure Saranac Lake is loaded with cross-country skiing destinations, but not all are perfect for early season conditions when snowfall is light and the base is very thin. But if you have the chance, these five locations have a lot to offer and all are within a stone’s throw of the Village of Saranac Lake.Grass Pond and then the Hayes Brook Trail to Sheep... [Read More]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:winter, Outdoor Recreation, Cross Country Skiing
Saranac Lake is fortunate in its many geographical gifts. One of them is a bit unusual. We have a wonderful airport.Most people regard their local airport as a necessary annoyance. It has a long drive to an un-lovely area, and the people are all rushed and harried, and someone sadistic designed the terminal.But Adirondack Regional Airport is different in many of those ways. I don't know who... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Summer, Spring, Gear, Fall
A Cold and Snowy Time of YearWith the holidays and colder months of the year looming, some folks may think that birding in our area has gone into hibernation with many of our mammal species. But in fact the winter months can be a great time to explore the quiet, white woods, and it can be a particularly good time to search for boreal species of birds. After all, while most of our species migrate... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:winter, Wildlife, Snowshoe, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Dog Friendly, Birding
St. Regis Canoe Area - An Interesting Ski TourOK, maybe the ski wasn’t entirely in the St. Regis Canoe Area, but it was very close – more like a perimeter ski tour. I thought I would share a trip we did last winter, in hopes that it might interest you enough to head over that way once the snow makes a permanent presence.Watching the local forecastWe had a forecast of balmy ahead of us for the day... [Read More]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Outdoor Recreation, Equipment, Cross Country Skiing
Saranac Lake is the perfect place to hit the town for an evening with friends. There are just enough bars to keep you busy, but not so many that you can’t stand up straight by the end of the night, and for the most part they are all pretty close to one another. I’ve found myself on an impromptu pub crawl through Saranac Lake just to meet up with multiple friends who are out in various places or... [Read More]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:Music, Historic Downtown, Events, Cultural, Arts
Updated: November 13, 2015When the weather gets chilly, the chilly turn caffeinated. It’s not just the coffee. Hot beverages, like chocolate or cider, are another famous Adirondack tradition we love to share.There’s something special about warming hands around a mug, and warming hearts around a good chat. If the blood is feeling a bit thin, pop into a place where the meal crowd has left, the... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Wellness, Shopping, Historic Downtown, Family fun, Fall
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
Saranac Lake loves the holiday season. We have a lively and dedicated wellness community who support our local farms and advocate for healthy eating. This lets them come up with new takes on old favorites.Very adirondack appetizerIf we haven't been thinking "Adirondacks" when we think "cheese" we haven't been doing it right. Many local farms have used the milk from their cows, sheep, and goats to... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wellness, Shopping, Heritage, Family fun, Fall, Cultural
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ABOVE: Saranac Lake's famous Lawn Chair Ladies perform at a past Winter Carnival Parade. The Lawn Chair Ladies are one of the most popular units in the parade each year!First night saranac lakeAs the old adage goes, a picture's worth thousand words. So here are some of Saranac Lake’s best of the best winter events images for this coming season!First big winter event on the docket for Saranac Lake... [Read More]
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Author:Sue Cameron
Categories:winter, Music, Historic Downtown, Family fun, Events, Cultural
There are some great restaurants in Saranac Lake, but probably the most unique eatery (and one of my favorites!) is Eat ’n Meet Grill and Larder.The Real Thing...Eat ’n Meet, located at 139 Broadway in Saranac Lake, is what owner John Vargo likes to call a “neighborhood joint.” He tries to produce the quality of food you’d get for $40 a plate in a nice restaurant, but his aim is to keep his... [Read More]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:Shopping, Historic Downtown
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 an unusual war memorial. It is the Mount Pisgah Veteran's Memorial Ski Center, located on the mountain at the edge of town. It is a wonderful place to explore this Veteran's Day. Even if we can't ski just yet.At the entrance there is a more traditional monument, a native boulder with a plaque honoring all service members. While Saranac Lake has been sending its children... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wellness, Outdoor Recreation, Historic Downtown, Heritage, Family fun, Fall, Exhibits
so much more than a beautiful viewTop things to do when you don't feel like being outsideWe love our Adirondack outdoors. We love our changeable mountain weather. But sometimes, they just don’t go together the way we planned it. Still, many weather challenges are not as daunting as they might appear.A misty day is easy to dress for and does not disturb a lovely walk in the woods. If it's a... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Shopping, Historic Downtown, Heritage, Family fun, Fall, Exhibits, Cultural
A True Adirondack Challenge Having completed this challenge some years back, I have to admit it's an absolute pleasure to undertake; it's even perfect for the entire family. Quite unlike the Adirondack 46 High Peaks, these offer something new and unique, and it gets you out and about the entire park. This goes without saying: the Saranac Lake Region is home to some of the best towers on the... [Read More]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Hiking, Family fun
Fall Paddling; Being Ready for the ColdI know the cold weather is setting in, the fog has stopped rising from the waters and those water temperatures just keep dropping;, but don’t hang up your boat yet, we still have more paddling to do. Seriously though, it’s not time to take the boats off your roof and replace them with a ski rack, not just yet. Whiteface won’t be open for at least a few more... [Read More]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Paddling, Fall, Equipment
 Now that we’ve had a taste of snow in the Adirondacks (a little dusting last Sunday), I cannot wait to get back on the slopes at Titus Mountain Family Ski Center! Titus is currently my favorite ski slope in the area, because it’s a good size without being too big for me, and they tend to have the best snow coverage for my type of snowboarding.And they’ve got some cool new stuff to look... [Read More]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:winter, Wellness, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Events
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Home on the Range - or the  local Ski Slope to be more specific!Like many Adirondack towns, Saranac Lake has a hometown ski hill. Here is where local children have learned to ski for generations. Now Mount Pisgah offers family fun with alpine, glade, and cross country skiing, along with tubing and snowshoeing.Saranac Lake started skiing in 1892 when the first pair of skis came to town,... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Snowshoe, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Cross Country Skiing
When you talk about having an Adirondack adventure with your dog, most people immediately think hiking or camping. Well, I can’t argue that, it makes sense - but paddling? Not that paddling with a dog in your canoe or tandem kayak is totally out of the ordinary, but it’s much less seen than on a trail. As you may be able to imagine, the issue is keeping your dog settled in the canoe and removing... [Read More]
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Author:Spencer Morrissey
Categories:Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Dog Friendly
The Blind Owl Band is just like the band’s hometown of Saranac Lake: the real deal. They are as raw and authentic as it comes, growing their popularity as a band organically out of working hard and cultivating personal relationships. The four musicians that make up the Blind Owl Band are Eric Munley (mandolin), Arthur Buezo (guitar, vocals), Christian... [Read More]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:Music, Historic Downtown, Events, Cultural, Arts
Norman Bethune is a famous Saranac Lake artist. His most celebrated work was created here, in the Trudeau Cottage Sanitarium, where he was both a doctor, and a patient. He was also an inventor: the Bethune shears, for thoracic surgery, are still in use today. He was a humanitarian: his many medical patents were donated to the cause of socialized medicine. He was an innovator: he organized... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wellness, Historic Downtown, Heritage, Family fun, Events, Cultural
By Day & NightOn a fine day, you can catch a glimpse of Follensby Clear Pond from the top of Ampersand Mountain. Look northwest – it's tucked behind Upper Saranac Lake. After your descent, take a quick drive to Santa Clara, launch your canoe onto Follensby Clear, and look over your shoulder as you paddle across – there's the mountain you just climbed, a blue-hued giant framed between the... [Read More]
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Author:Guest Blogger
Categories:Summer, Hiking, Heritage, Family fun, camping
Saranac Lake spent the decades between 1884 and 1954 as a world-famous curing center. Our history of wellness endeavors continues to this day. It all started with Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau (statue, above) in 1873. He came to Saranac Lake expecting only to spend his last days in his beloved wilderness. He had tuberculosis, and in those days, it was a death sentence.Except he got better.This... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Wellness, Heritage, Family fun, Fall, Exhibits, Events, Cultural
Are there ghosts in the Adirondacks? Does Saranac Lake have a haunted past? Sources say yes, and to be honest, it has a haunted present, too. Many of these old buildings have spooky tales to tell. I set out with a member of the Adirondack Park Paranormal Society to explore what has been seen - and heard - and felt - in what must be the most haunted town in all of the Adirondack Park.... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Events, Fall, Family fun, Heritage, Historic Downtown
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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
A Time of Transformation We all look forward to the change of leaf color which so defines this time of year in the Adirondacks. It is, after all, an amazing phenomenon and one of the most incredible events to witness in the entire world! Our cool nights and recent cold fronts have already started the process of changing our leaves and the past week has found that transition happening quickly... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildflowers, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, foliage, Family fun, Fall, Dog Friendly
Horseback riding is a wonderful way to experience our Saranac Lake wilderness. We see Adirondack forest from a new perspective, get the benefit of a guided tour, and experience nature with a large animal companion. Emerald Springs Ranch, in nearby Lake Clear, has extensive trails and friendly horses. They are all Registered Quarter Horses, born and raised on the ranch. During the rider... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Wildflowers, Wellness, Summer, Spring, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, foliage, Family fun, Fall
Mount Pisgah Ski Center is a village mountain with big appeal. Downhill skiing, cross country trails, and fun tubing runs, all in the heart of Saranac Lake.Family Fun this winterOf course, it's a bit too early to actually ski, but preparations start well before the season. The lodge is readied for visitors, logs are laid in the big fireplace, equipment is checked, and trails are walked. There are... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:winter, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Family fun, Cross Country Skiing
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
Every year Pendragon Theatre, our Saranac Lake live theatre company, chooses a comedy as one element of their summer art offerings. The theme this year (they choose a theme every year) is one close to my heart: that of "Dreams." Then they choose several plays which fit the theme, creating a lineup which includes at least one comedy, drama, and musical each year.HarveyWhen I found out... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Theatre, Summer, Historic Downtown, Family fun, Events, Cultural, Arts
Shorebirds in the ParkWhile the Champlain Valley rightfully gets the most attention in our region as the place to search for sandpipers and other shorebirds, some shorebirds do invariably make their way south through the central part of the Park. It’s just a matter of finding them since they don’t stay around for long. For instance, over the weekend while I was out looking for warblers along Lake... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family fun, Fall, Birding
Bring your binoculars and cameraDuring the late summer and early fall I make a point to be out with my binoculars everyday – in the morning if I can manage it. After all, it is during this time of year that migrant songbirds are flocking up and passing through our region. And so each day usually begins with me grabbing my binoculars and camera – not to mention Wren – and heading to a local trail... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family fun, Fall, Dog Friendly, Birding

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