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Dog friendly

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A beautiful morning It was a sunny and warming morning when Wren, my dog, and I set off along the Bloomingdale Bog Trail to do some birding. We had walked the north end of the trail off Route 55 in Bloomingdale the previous week to check out the Gray Jays, but on this day we were hiking from the south entrance off Route 86 north of Saranac Lake. Wren and I often walk there, but my plan on this... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog friendly, Fall, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, spring, Summer, Wildlife
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Rainy day fun Rainy weather didn’t stop us from having fun in the woods when I helped out with a Lake Placid Middle School field trip at the Paul Smith’s College VIC. Thankfully the steady rain abated early in the day and we were left with mostly damp and misty conditions. Students alternated between stations to look at stream invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, and... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog friendly, Family Fun, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, spring, Summer
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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... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Arts, Birding, Dog friendly, Fall, Family Fun, foliage, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation
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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, kayak, or even innertube, we have an adventure to fall in love with. To help with this question, I asked some local guide services about their favorite places. What do they recommend most often? Where are the places that are extra scenic, or... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Dog friendly, Fall, Family Fun, Paddling, spring, Summer
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A Happy Change in our Snow Fortune I’m not going to lie. A few weeks ago I was pretty miserable about our lack of snow. In fact I was really quite grumpy. The ground was muddy and brown with patches of ice. The sky threatened rain and then delivered on its promise. And I looked continually at the forecast in the hopes that it would turn to more seasonable temperatures. It finally did. In... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Cross Country Skiing, Dog friendly, Family Fun, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Skiing, Winter
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Monitoring the snow depth The beginning of ski season is often a game of figuring out how much snow depth we have and how much snow coverage is needed to explore certain trails. So early season skis tend to be on open trails and fields which catch more snowfall – unless the wind is pushing it off. With the depth of our snow increasing of late and with the storm late last week, Wren (my... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Cross Country Skiing, Dog friendly, Family Fun, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Skiing, Wildlife, Winter
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Winter is finally here! It took a long time to show up this year with our crazy warm fall, but winter weather has finally started to arrive in the northern Adirondacks. Our recent wet weather aside, little by little we’ve built up some snow as evidenced by my regular need to shovel. It all makes Wren, my four-legged companion, excited as she plays with her tennis ball in the snow... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Dog friendly, Family Fun, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Skiing, Winter
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Warm Weather The warm autumn weather we’ve been having beckons me to use my canoe, and so Wren and I have been trying to get out whenever we can in order to enjoy the water before the cold settles in for good this fall. Time is often a fleeting commodity, and with light waning with each passing day, it is fortuitous that we have so many great local paddling destinations from which to... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog friendly, Fall, foliage, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, Summer
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A Quick Hike If time to fit in a hike is short, then Mount Baker is always a good bet. After all, it is only about a mile to the summit, and it offers a rewarding view for the effort. And so, with a few friends in town in search of an easy hike, Baker was our choice. [img:rs54863-044a3260lpr.jpg] Colors and Birds Wren led us up the trail, through a golden beech forest on the... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog friendly, Fall, foliage, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Saranac Lake 6er, spring, Summer, Wildlife
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A Chance to Explore Outdoors It had been a long, busy – too busy! – week, and I was chomping at the bit to get outside and do some exploring. Our beautiful weather found me wanting to paddle all week. And so as Friday afternoon came, Wren and I loaded up the canoe and headed for the water – first taking an afternoon walk along Lake Colby. The walk was pleasant and we found... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Conservation, Dog friendly, Fall, foliage, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling
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A fun day After the fun and excitement of the solar eclipse last week, Wren and I celebrated by going for a swim at Lake Clear Beach – always a good choice on a warm, summer day. Wren dug in the sand and chased her tennis ball while I swam laps and then snorkeled the line of weeds offshore. The windy day had made the water rather turbid, however, and I eventually stopped to play with Wren... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog friendly, Fall, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, Summer
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A Place I’ve been wanting to Explore I had been planning to check out Quebec Brook (part of the Madawaska complex) with my canoe ever since the DEC managed to renegotiate the access with a local landowner, so when a friend of mine contacted me that she and a couple other folks were hoping to go there, it was an easy choice to join them. The access which had been in question comes off Rt. 458... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog friendly, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, Summer
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A changing landscape Spring is an amazing time of transition in the Saranac Lake Region of the Adirondacks. For the past few weeks Wren and I have been exploring it on our daily – and often twice daily – walks, monitoring the changes as they’ve been happening. Even as the woods remained filled with snow, the indications of spring were everywhere. Here are a few highlights of our April... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog friendly, Family Fun, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, spring, Wildlife, Winter
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From an easy stroll by a river to a cool trifecta of forest, pond, and mountain, we have a hike for every body that's interested. No matter how skilled, or un-skilled, that body might be. Here are my favorite hikes for people who need it extra simple and easy, or want a family outing that includes everyone — from barely toddling to people with walkers or wheelchairs. Or, as I... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:spring, Saranac Lake 6er, Hiking, Family Fun, Dog friendly
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Deep SnowIt's spring and the Adirondacks are, predictably, unpredictable. Recently we've had a few amazing snow falls alternating with warm spring days. There's no guarantee how long the snow will last, or if another storm will grace us before the warm weather firmly settles in the mountains. For now, I'll take advantage of the snow that's still here, and although not the popular vote - I wouldn'... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Winter, Wildlife, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Dog friendly, Cross Country Skiing
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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, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Dog friendly, Cross Country Skiing
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A Regular Trip in WinterWith snow falling almost every day, it was only a matter of time before Wren and I set out to explore the cross country ski trails off Fish Hatchery Road in Lake Clear. It is a fun network of trails and there always seems to be more snow there than there is in town. The trails are also great because they can be skied as a challenging backcountry experience, or skiers can... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Natural History, Cross Country Skiing, Winter, Fall, Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Dog friendly
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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: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
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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
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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
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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. [img:img-0339.jpg]St. Regis Mountain I decided to start him off on St. Regis Mountain. In addition to... [Read More]
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Author:Jess Collier
Categories:Wellness, Summer, Saranac Lake 6er, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family Fun, Dog friendly
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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... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Dog friendly, Family Fun, Historic Downtown, Shopping, Summer, Wellness
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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:spring, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Dog friendly, Birding
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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, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family Fun, Dog friendly, Cross Country Skiing
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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, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family Fun, Fall, Dog friendly, Birding
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 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
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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:Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, foliage, Fall, Dog friendly, Birding
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It was warm when we left the house...“Why don't we just have a fire in the backyard? Then we could sleep in our bed afterward,” Eric suggested. I shrugged, trying to come up with a good reason to sleep on the cold, hard ground instead of our nice warm bed. Recalling a Facebook post about exercising, and how nobody ever regrets a workout, I responded that there was no way we would look back on... [Read More]
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Author:ADK Grasshopper
Categories:Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Fall, Dog friendly, Camping
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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
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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
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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
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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:Summer, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Dog friendly, Birding
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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... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog friendly, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, spring, Summer
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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:Summer, spring, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family Fun, Dog friendly
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Showing the Cousins the RopesMy niece Rebecca had hiked Baker Mountain in Saranac Lake with me last summer when she came up to visit for the first time, and so this year she was excited to show Baker and its view off to her cousins Tyler and Emily who joined her to visit me this year. It had been a warm, summer day when we set off late in the afternoon up the trail. The trailhead appeared busy at... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Dog friendly, Fall, Family Fun, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Saranac Lake 6er, spring, Summer, Wildlife
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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:Summer, spring, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family Fun, Dog friendly, Birding
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First Hike of the SpringWith our snow melted and ski season over, it was time for Wren and I to take our inaugural hike of the season. We’ve been walking at places like the Bloomingdale Bog Trail and the railroad tracks behind Lake Colby, but we hadn’t done a proper hike yet this spring. And Baker Mountain is a great place to break in the hiking season.The sun and clouds had staged a skirmish... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Summer, spring, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family Fun, Dog friendly
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To Everything There is a SeasonTransitions are always times of uncertainty. A big move. A new job. Starting at a new school. So it can be with the changes of the seasons. As winter ends and spring begins, we muddle through a time of year when the weather can be warm and bright one day and the next day see rain, snow, or sleet. This variation from warm spring days to frigid, arctic conditions when... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Cross Country Skiing, Dog friendly, Family Fun, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, spring, Wildlife, Winter
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The Battle of the SeasonsThe past few weeks have seen the sun and winter battle for supremacy across our region. The sun’s rays on longer days have been beautifully warm, and yet our skiing base has stayed strong thanks to consistently chilly temps and cold nights. The result has been great cross-country skiing. While trail skiing comes and goes and has been icy and largely un-skiable of late,... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Winter, spring, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Family Fun, Dog friendly, Cross Country Skiing
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A Crew of Students from SyracuseThe birding club from SUNY-ESF in Syracuse came up this past weekend to look for Adirondack birds with me. I teach Field Ornithology courses for ESF at Cranberry Lake Bio Station during the summer and I’m always excited to see folks again. We met in Bloomingdale Bog where the group was having difficulty attracting the attention of any Gray Jays near the feeders. So... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Winter, Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation, Dog friendly, Birding
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The First Warm Days of SpringThe temperatures a few days last week broke into the 40s marking the beginning of spring skiing conditions across the region. The warm days and soft snow were a big change from the cold weather which had dominated our forecasts for much of the winter. It arrived right on time - after all, spring officially begins this coming weekend. Soft spring snow may be slow, but... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Winter, spring, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Family Fun, Dog friendly, Cross Country Skiing
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This vacation, bring the dog. Because Saranac Lake is a dog-friendly place. Wilderness is even more enjoyable with four-legged companionship. If we have ever wondered what it would be like to really wear out our dog, one of our hikes or a paddling visit to an island will let us lean back and watch as they explore every fascinating scent... and we have are a lot of them.  Our immediate... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Dog friendly
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If you've got Cabin Fever, the only prescription is... Saranac Lake!Cabin Fever was first officially called that back in 1838. It describes the psychological reaction to being cooped up indoors without interesting things to do. Irritability, restlessness, listlessness, and even paranoia can be symptoms of Cabin Fever. According to a paper in Psychological Science, February 2008, it can... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Winter, Wellness, Outdoor Recreation, Events, Dog friendly, Cultural, Cross Country Skiing
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Traveling North For CarnivalMy niece Rebecca has been asking to come to Winter Carnival in Saranac Lake the past couple years, but has always had conflicts with school and other obligations. This year her regular requests finally won my family over and they came north last weekend to enjoy the beginning of Carnival for the first time. They explored the ice palace both during the day and at night... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Wildlife, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Family Fun, Dog friendly, Cross Country Skiing, Birding, Winter
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Lots of Snow So We Can PlayAs usual, Wren and I have been cross-country skiing on a regular basis this winter as our snow, once a bit thin, has been piling up. One of our favorite places to go is the network of trails off of the Fish Pond Trail in Lake Clear. The trails there are designated cross-country skiing trails and they wind through beautiful deciduous and mixed forest and around the... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Winter, Wildlife, Skiing, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family Fun, Dog friendly, Cross Country Skiing
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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, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Dog friendly, Birding
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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
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A Snowy Landscape Winter Storm Damon dumped about a foot and a half of snow on us last week and Wren and I were ready for it. The first chance we had, we headed to the Jackrabbit Trail along McKenzie Pond Road in Saranac Lake. The day was overcast and not terribly cold and the popular trail was already fairly well skied in. We skied through a landscape of snow-laden spruce bent low with the... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Cross Country Skiing, Dog friendly, Family Fun, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Skiing, Winter
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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, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family Fun, Fall, Dog friendly, Cross Country Skiing, Birding
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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:Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Hiking, Family Fun, Fall, Dog friendly, Birding
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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
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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
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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:Summer, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family Fun, Fall, Dog friendly
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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:Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family Fun, Fall, Dog friendly, Birding
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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:Summer, spring, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family Fun, Fall, Dog friendly
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            I have always enjoyed paddling Lake Clear Outlet. The water body is small enough to be paddled in a short period of time, but it contains enough nooks and weedy edges to explore for a few hours if you want. Add to that the potential of paddling Lake Clear itself, and paddlers can take a long time plying the linked waters of the... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Summer, Dog friendly, spring, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family Fun, Fall
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            The adventure of climbing Azure Mountain begins on the road to the trailhead. Azure sits off Blue Mountain Road north and west of Paul Smith’s and hikers have a long and winding road to drive whether they come from the south or north. I drove in from the south out of Paul Smith’s, negotiating nearly 20 miles along Keese Mills Road... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Dog friendly, Natural History, Hiking, Family Fun, spring, Fall, Outdoor Recreation, Summer
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It's an art tour, a scenic drive, and a shopping opportunity, all in one. It's an Adirondack Art Tour! When it comes to scenic routes, Saranac Lake and the surrounding area has some of the loveliest. Whether we drive or bike, in any season, for any reason, our quiet wilderness roads access some of our finest vistas. Every year a local arts guild, Saranac Lake ArtWorks, organizes a tour of... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Shopping, Historic Downtown, foliage, Family Fun, Exhibits, Events, Dog friendly, Cultural, Arts
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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:Summer, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, foliage, Fishing, Family Fun, Fall, Dog friendly
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The Saranac Lake Art Walks are a popular summer activity. Every third Thursday evening, from June to September, our historic downtown area becomes a sidewalk art festival. In addition, there’s many kinds of music, craft vendors, and other fun activities with plenty of Adirondack friendliness and hospitality.Since it was a gorgeous day, we started with an early dinner. We got to watch the artists... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Summer, Shopping, Music, Historic Downtown, Family Fun, Exhibits, Events, Dog friendly, Cultural, Arts
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As I sat in my chair looking out at Lower Saranac Lake from our campsite on Pirate Island, I found myself humming the Jimmy Buffet song “One Particular Harbor.” I mentioned it to my husband and we immediately dubbed our awesome little island “One Particular Island.” Although we live in nearby Lake Placid and actually have a camp on Placid Lake, we love to go camping in the Adirondacks to... [Read More]
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Author:Sue Cameron
Categories:Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Family Fun, Dog friendly, Camping, Birding
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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:spring, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Natural History, Family Fun, Dog friendly, Birding
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Adirondack Lakes and Rivers Paddles Kayaking and canoeing in the Adirondacks, especially in the lake country near Saranac Lake, has an abundance of paddling possibilities. We are home to the 18,400-acre St. Regis Canoe Area. This is the only designated Canoe Area in all of New York State, with almost sixty bodies of water to explore, each with their own charm. This broad and untouched... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Dog friendly, Family Fun, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, Summer
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Saranac Lake has a unique performance space which features all kinds of different art, even at the same time. Music, photography, and painting were all on display during a special evening at BluSeed Studios. It had dogs and children dancing and people making new friends. It's an art opening in the Adirondacks.This gathering was to celebrate the return of a local group from a recent visit to... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Shopping, Music, Family Fun, Exhibits, Events, Dog friendly, Cultural
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Our boating possibilities are both vast and varied. Even in the Adirondacks, where half the towns have "lake" in their name, the Saranac Lake area is notable for the sweep and majesty of our Saranac Chain of Lakes.Before cars and railroads, the Saranac Lake area was still a busy place because of the abundant waterways. These lakes and rivers were used to travel from Old Forge to Lake... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Family Fun, Fall, Dog friendly, Camping
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Kayaking & Canoeing Top 10The beauty of paddling in the Saranac Lake area is the abundance of choices. But the sheer amount of Adirondacks on offer can be overwhelming! Here’s some Top 10 Paddling Spots to consider when it’s time to get out that canoe, kayak, or stand up paddleboard (SUP.)Wonderful WildernessWe have plenty of pristine and gorgeous places where the only human sound might... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Summer, Paddling, Outdoor Recreation, Fishing, Family Fun, Dog friendly, Wildlife
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Saranac Lake's Top Cool Spots for Ice FishingWhat are the best fishing holes, in the winter? It seems that all of them have some kind of appeal. Ice fishing in Saranac Lake offers so many different places, and everyone has a favorite hard water spot.Finding out where they are… well, that’s not easy! But it helped when I added, “Great fishing that everybody knows about.” Then, I got some sighs of... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Winter, Outdoor Recreation, Fishing, Family Fun, Dog friendly
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Building with IceSaranac Lake's Winter Carnival is a wonderful Adirondack festival. One of the strongest attractions happens even before Carnival officially begins. That would be the building of each year's Ice Palace.Festivities began back at the turn of the century, when Saranac Lake was already established as an internationally famous wellness center. Between winter enthusiasts,... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Winter, Outdoor Recreation, Historic Downtown, Heritage, Family Fun, Events, Dog friendly, Cultural
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How to choose the right snowshoeI enjoy many delightful spots based on the abundant wilderness in Saranac Lake. As my fall hiking got later and later into the holiday season, the decision to become a snowshoer, aka winter hiker, became an inevitable next “step.”Many sports seem to demand the equipment before we even get started. How can we canoe… without a canoe? Good luck pole vaulting without... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Winter, Snowshoeing, Shopping, Outdoor Recreation, gear, Family Fun, Equipment, Dog friendly
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How I don’t get lost in the woodsI had a great day snowshoeing at the Paul Smiths Visitor Interpretive Center. It combines so many Adirondack passions into one place; wilderness, the arts, and learning. While it seems a world away, it’s so close to Saranac Lake.I set out because it was a “bluebird day,” with blue sky above and white ground below. The VIC has wonderful hiking paths in summer, and... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Winter, Wildlife, Snowshoeing, Outdoor Recreation, Family Fun, Dog friendly
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How to pick your pathSaranac Lake is on the edge of a great lake wilderness, and offers many short and scenic hikes. Our gentle terrain means lots of lovely woods to walk in.When we are spoiled for choice there is another dilemma. Which path is best, right now? Each season brings a different joy.Consider the seasonAs the weather shifts, so do my favorites. An early winter snowfall is my signal to... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Winter, Snowshoeing, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Family Fun, Dog friendly
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            On my regular walks along Lake Colby in Saranac Lake, I’ve been finding a variety of ducks and other water birds.  The other day was no different as I found five Bufflehead – all males – almost immediately as I started walking along the railroad bed.  There were also two Common Loons on the main body of the lake – both... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog friendly, Fall, Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife, Winter
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            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:Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, foliage, Family Fun, Fall, Dog friendly
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            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:Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, foliage, Family Fun, Fall, Dog friendly, Birding
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            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, Dog friendly, Outdoor Recreation
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            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, Hiking, Birding
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[img:picture1.jpg]The North Country seems to have a fascination with train depots. In Westport, the current Amtrak train station is also the home of The Depot Theatre which hosts professional theatre all summer long. In Saranac Lake, The Union Depot has been restored and is home to the Adirondack Scene Railroad. But once a year, it is home to more than just a lovely train ride.It is the site... [Read More]
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Author:Kathy Recchia
Categories:Summer, Music, Historic Downtown, Heritage, Family Fun, Events, Dog friendly, Cultural, Arts
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What is more fun than putting on a bathing suit, some sunscreen, grabbing a beach towel and headding down to the local beach? Not much, especially on a sticky summer day. The Saranac Lake area has some really great swimming spots to consider, whether you are vacationing or a local resident.  For instance, right here in town we have Lake Colby Beach. Lake Colby Beach has a fun play area for... [Read More]
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Author:Courtney Petkovsek-Powers
Categories:Dog friendly, Outdoor Recreation, Summer
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            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:Dog friendly, Birding, Summer, Outdoor Recreation, Hiking

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While us humans may be limited in our traveling right now, one group of travelers will be arriving in the Saranac Lake area soon — the birds.  Common species Springtime brings to mind...
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Whether you like dogs or love dogs, there is no breed quite like the Adirondog. Known not for its purity of form but rather its purity of heart and love of adventure, dogs that enter (or live within...
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