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If a game of King of the Hill that ends in tears and a handful of snow down your collar is your typical day of winter family fun — let me help you out!
Saranac Lake is bursting with cool things to do that will leave the whole family smiling from ear to ear. Here are five things for your clan to try on your next Adirondack winter vacation in... [Read More]
Ah, Saranac Lake. Where else can you be sitting on a mountain in the morning and be bopping along to a live band in the evening? This is a village that prides itself on being welcoming. Sure, there’s a young, hip vibe to our downtown and its many offerings, but the good news is that having a kid or two in tow doesn’t mean you’re out of the club. Most of our happenings are kid friendly, and even... [Read More]
Biking from Saranac Lake to Norman Ridge Road and back is a ride that takes me back to my home-grown roots. Every view along the way is a view I’ve seen my entire life. They are views that I may not see as frequently now, but they do more for me than any other in the area because they remind me of who I am and where I came from. These views are home, the home that resides deep in my heart. And... [Read More]
So much to do
Summers are busy for all of us; getting together with friends can be difficult even if we are retired! When I am able to paddle with a couple of friends, Gretchen and Patti, it is a special day. On this day we agreed to paddle Lake Kushaqua in Onchiota. Lake Kushaqua is an Algonquin word which means, “beautiful place to rest,” and it is also a beautiful... [Read More]
Do you have a favorite season? Sometimes I think spring is my favorite, with the refreshing, sudden bursts of green after a long winter. When it's a snowy day, with almost infinite tiny flakes tumbling through the air, I like winter best. In the end, though, I love fall the most, without a doubt. I love everything about it, from the masses of pumpkins to the cool air and the crunch of crisp... [Read More]
I have been introduced to something new here in the Adirondacks and once again, I have fallen oh-so-madly in love. Being a gal who seeks adventure — anything to test my physical strength and endurance capacity — it was pretty much a sure bet that sticking me on two wheels and a dirt road in the middle of the Adirondack woods to go explore would end in a whole new love affair for me.
[img:... [Read More]
A few weeks ago, the Saranac Lake Christmas Bird Count (CBC) was held around the New Year as it always is. And so Wren, my dog, and I did our part covering a segment of the count area, hiking through the winter snow, and counting birds as we went.
One of the hopes of the CBC was to find the “winter finches” — those sought-after species which are generally more common at... [Read More]
It’s December 21 in the Adirondacks, the sun rises at 7:30 a.m. and sets at 4:30 p.m.; it seems it wouldn’t leave much of a window for anything to be done. Don’t let those short winter solstice hours fool you — they assuredly will not put a halt to adventure in the Adirondacks.
A few years ago, on this same day, my family set out on an adventure that would... [Read More]
Did you know there is a railroad track that goes all the way from Lake Placid to Saranac Lake? I knew about it, but I never paid it much attention until I started to think about its potential as a cross-country ski. Winter hit early in the Adirondacks this year and I was ready to set this idea into action. I headed out that morning with one goal in mind — to ski from Lake... [Read More]
Submitted by guest blogger Kaet Wild.
Being from Buffalo, snow is nothing new to me, but somehow, I had never gotten into cross-country skiing. But, when a friend brought it to my attention as a possibility, it appeared to be a cheaper alternative to downhill skiing. Plus, I could bring my dogs along... sold!
“Have any plans for tomorrow morning?” my good bud, Tyler, asked... [Read More]
Don’t stay inside this winter
Climbing a mountain in the winter requires a lot of preparation and a bunch of gear. It’s fun, beautiful, and rewarding but it’s also a lot of work. The good news is snowshoeing doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, if you can walk, you can snowshoe!
If you’re new to snowshoeing or you’re simply looking for a way to get out for a few hours, Saranac Lake’s cross-... [Read More]
Paul Smith’s College owns and operates the Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC), and in turn, opens it to the public. Just 13 miles north of downtown Saranac Lake, the VIC offers a snapshot into the six million acre Adirondack Park. It has mountains, marshes, forests, and streams for you to explore year-round. Located on 3,000 acres with 25 miles of trails —... [Read More]
The VIC pretty much has every kind of Adirondack experience you could want — lakes, wetlands, forests, a nice waterfall, and a sweeping mountain view, all in one 25-mile trail network. In fact, the nature center is home to every Adirondack ecosystem except high alpine tundra, the hard-to-reach landscape found atop many of our highest peaks, so visitors are guaranteed to see a full sampler of... [Read More]
Saranac Lake calls to people in different ways. Yes, there’s art, music, good food, and good people here. There are also events like Winter Carnival that bring visitors and residents together for a blockbuster, two-week celebration of all the things that make this village so unique. It’s a quirky place that draws the adventurous, the curious, and the creative, but when all of... [Read More]
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]
It’s been a wonderfully warm, sunny summer in the Adirondacks, and there’s no better place to be than in the water. Saranac Lake doesn’t quite have the deep, mountain-stream pools synonymous with swimming holes, but there are some fantastic spots with rocky shores or sandy beaches to hit up when the mercury climbs. Check out our five favorites below, then head into town and ask one of our local... [Read More]
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]
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]
I love standing on a mountaintop, surveying the surrounding landscape and watching clouds roll by, but I don’t always have time to get to those wonderfully out-of-the-way places. That’s one of the many things I love about living in Saranac Lake — there are options to be had — and since I've been too busy to do long hikes I love having a list of easy go-tos.... [Read More]
A Chilly Start to Spring
While winter held off the arrival of spring this year with both hands, warm weather is finally coming on in full force – and birds are coming with it. After all, even with the chilly weather we’ve had this spring, birds have been on the move – with ducks like Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup, and both Hooded and Common... [Read More]
Spring has Sprung!
Each walk that Wren and I take during this time of year is an exploration of what birds have arrived since the last time we were out. As such the species mix often changes from day to day or even between morning and evening. That’s true of whether we’re exploring the trails around Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, or whether we’re in the surrounding valleys. After... [Read More]
Chilly Spring Weather
While it may not have been welcomed by many folks, my skis and I were happy about the chilly weather we had for much of March and April. I was out skiing and enjoying the snow as much as I could. But, when the weather turned warmer and finished off the cross-country skiing season, it ushered in spring birding and I happily set aside my skis for my binoculars... [Read More]
In the microclimate of Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC), I find myself in a winter wonderland, as if a Hollywood special effects crew came through and sprayed and hosed down the vast landscape with deep, sticky, fake snow, but this is real stuff here - natural.
An intimate museum
In the center of this special museum is the map table giving you an... [Read More]
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]
So much to do
I just love winter and sometimes I feel like there are not enough days to do everything I want to do: downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and ice skating. It is also hard to squeeze in the not-so-fun things that I must do, such as laundry, cleanin,g and filing income tax! On this particular Sunday I had promised myself to do laundry and file my income tax.
Plans... [Read More]
Saranac Lake is home to some great waterways.
Popular fishing and paddling waters are now frozen over and the shanties and augers are out for ice fishing. Before you head out, here are five fun tips to ensure you get the best out of this cold-weather experience!
1. Get there early to get your favorite spot
Lake Colby is a popular ice fishing spot. It seems like... [Read More]
In early November a group of us had hiked into Black Pond and Long Pond. We vowed to go back to check out the Woods and Waters trail. At the end of November we returned for another hike via the same entrance, the Black Pond trail. For some reason Paul Smiths seems to get more snow than the surrounding areas; I knew that as I grew up in Paul Smiths. However,... [Read More]
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]
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]
Goodbye warm-weather gear!
Sadly, on November 1, I hung the kayak and canoe in the garage, but I was still holding out for another bike outing which was scheduled for November 7. Unfortunately, as that date approached the nights grew colder and so did the days. Biking in 30-degree weather was not something our group wanted to do - so we changed plans!
[img:20171107-... [Read More]
Submitted by Guest Blogger: Kathy Barlow
Ten Reasons to be grateful in and around Saranac Lake
This year, after a rainy (and cool) spring and summer, autumn gave birth to warm days, cool nights, and a festival of colors in the mountains. The extended good weather gave us more opportunities to take advantage of all our area has to offer. Now, as the days are getting shorter and the stars shine... [Read More]
The saying goes, “Wait 5 minutes and the weather will change.” In this case one day made a huge difference. The previous day I biked with Gretchen and Trisa on part of the Oregon Trail, and it was cold. We even had layers and gloves on, and our feet were cold!
The next day, the weather was grand. I wanted to bike again, so I texted... [Read More]
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]
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.
Colors and Birds
Wren led us up the trail, through a golden beech forest on the... [Read More]
Amazing Fall Weather
Our weather as of late has been nothing short of amazing, and so my friend and I decided to take advantage of our sunny streak by squeezing in an evening paddle after work the other day. That’s one of the best things about living around here – there are so many lakes and ponds to explore that you can easily add a quick paddle in on a busy day. And at this point in the... [Read More]
Submitted by guest blogger: Jeremy Evans
On a recent Saturday, my family and I awoke to perfect hiking weather - cool and clear with low humidity. My wife and I chose Azure Mountain because we were looking for a hike that our youngest son, who had just turned 4, could do on his own. He is a big kid and he outgrew our baby pack long ago. Since then, I have carried him when he got tired or bored... [Read More]
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]
It’s that time of year
It sometimes takes a bit to get going, but the fall migration in the Adirondacks has been underway for a while, and it has been a lot of fun as of late. Our drippy weather the past few weeks has helped as well — the birds often actively feed down low on such days and are not being flushed south by strong north winds.
Walking along Lake Colby
A... [Read More]
Editor's note: As the cold-water season quickly descends, our blogger highlights a few extra tips that will come in handy when taking to our lakes to enjoy the fall foliage. Happy paddling!
Blog originally posted in 2013.
Not to set myself up with a very corny pun, but I am in the same boat as many of you — I don’t want to stop paddling either. Honestly, why should we... [Read More]
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]
Cones on the conifers
I had been eyeing the cones on our conifers this summer with some anticipation and excitement. After all, with cones come crossbills and it was no surprise when both Red and White-winged Crossbills began to show up across the region. They’ve been found in places like the Minerva area, Silver Lake Bog, the area around Paul Smiths, and even more locally in the... [Read More]
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]
My mother used to order me ad nauseam to go outside and play.
“It's good for you,” she’d say. Turns out, she was right, in more ways than she knew. While her hope was for me to deplete my energy supply in a rousing game of freeze tag, it’s now known that even non-cardiovascular outdoor activity has important health benefits.
This non-... [Read More]
One thing about vacationing with children is the constant need for fun activities. There's also the challenge of finding things the whole family can enjoy. There's quite a range of possibility if there's a mix of teens, young children, and different ages and abilities.
To help with with that vacation budget, the Saranac Lake area offers a number of free fun activities and events. Some of them... [Read More]
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]
Blogger Note: As the warmer weather descends upon the Adirondacks, I can't help but think of all the cool paddling adventures on the horizon. Of course, that has me thinking about all the cool paddling adventures I've had over the years. Here's one from the 2013 archives that I deem worthy of repeating. Soon. The last time I launched a kayak in Lake Flower, I had to carry over a dam and... [Read More]
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]
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]
Imagine a snowy mountain that is also in a town. We can go there, get outfitted for trail exploration, visit a mountain that is just wild enough, and come back to enjoy a cup of cocoa at a beautiful little lodge.Well, we have it, only one mile from downtown. It's Dewey Mountain Recreation Area. As they like to say, "Thirteen is your lucky number." Dewey grooms that many kilometers of trail,... [Read More]
No stranger to the iceI’ve spent many winters - and summers - on the ice, but it’s usually on an indoor ice rink where I figure skate! And, although I've been known to skate on outdoor rinks and frozen lakes on occassion, for this adventure I left the blades at home and hit the frozen waters with some tip-ups and an auger.I had never tried ice fishing until recently. My boyfriend, Ian, has gained... [Read More]
2016 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 when they were first published, here are our top three picks from the Saranac Lake Region. Enjoy!3) Five cool fall viewsThere are many, many places to view our spectacular autumn foliage. In the interest of easy access, we've narrowed... [Read More]
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]
Birds on the MindWhile a certain bird was on the minds of most people last month with the Thanksgiving holiday, Wren and I were out each day trying our luck to see what other birds we could find. With the recent cold front bringing snow and north winds, I was hoping it would reverse our fortunes of the previous week when warm air from the south stopped many things – particularly waterfowl - from... [Read More]
A Shifting Mix of DucksAs always this time of year, the birds Wren and I see on our walks change daily, and it is always enjoyable to see what we will find. That means I have to get out as much as I can and Wren is good about not allowing me to forget to do so. Lake Colby is always a happening place this time of year, and once again it has not disappointed us this year. Ducks use the backside of... [Read More]
Short and sweet is this roadside gem. Not existing on many people’s radar, New Road Mountain shadows Route 3 just north of Vermontville and is located in a corner of the Taylor Pond Wild Forest. The Taylor Pond Wild Forest is a rather large expanse of forest preserve and also referred to as the Taylor Pond Management Complex.According to the NYSDEC website, “The Taylor Pond Management... [Read More]
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]
An Exciting Time of YearMy busy schedule doesn’t always allow me to get outside as often or for as long as I’d like. But I crave my daily walks in the woods and Wren makes certain I don’t leave them off my to-do list. That’s fine by me because it not only gets me outside, but outside with my binoculars at a time of year when many species of birds are on the move. The great thing about fall is... [Read More]
An initiation hike
I had some friends visit this past weekend, and so like I often do with first time visitors, I took them on a hike up Baker Mountain. The mile-long hike is relatively easy and the payoff view from the top is splendid. Wren, my dog, led us up the trail which runs up the backside of the mountain. She nosed her way along as we took our time on the climb, enjoying the... [Read More]
Submitted By Guest Blogger: Marilyn Gorgas Cahill, Wharton, NJFamily traditionIn the early afternoon, on Wednesday, August 24, my 19-year-old daughter Victoria Cahill reached the summit of Ampersand Mountain. This has been a family tradition for five generations, and would not be extraordinary except that Victoria has cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia. With normal intelligence, Victoria is... [Read More]
Saranac Lake has a unique attraction which is readily accessible for almost everyone. It's like a village. Made of boulders.The McKenzie Pond Boulder Trail is just a few minutes from town, but has so much to offer. Whether we are looking for a quick and scenic hike or we are brushing up on our rock climbing skills, this easy trail, which is also easily accessible, is a delightful destination.[img... [Read More]
As fall quickly approaches, you may find yourself wondering what to do, see, and experience in the oftentimes cooler temperatures. Well, lucky for you, we have some awesome attractions to not only visit year round, but especially in the fall months, with a sea of colorful leaves surrounding you. Farmhouse Go-CartingKnown for their snowmobile tours in the winter, Farmhouse Snowmobiling... [Read More]
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]
Hunting for a Tough SpeciesA friend of mine contacted me about the potential of finding Philadelphia Vireo in the Spring Pond Bog area north of Tupper Lake (and west of Lake Clear and the Floodwood Road area). He had thought he heard one and wanted me to come along some time to help him find it. I was able to join him a couple weeks later and we wound through the large complex toward the location... [Read More]
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]
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]
Rain, Rain, Rain…And More RainNot every day of the Great Adirondack Birding Celebration was as perfect as the Osgood River paddle on Saturday. But, looking back on that fun weekend, we'd do it all over again.Sunday’s weather was the complete opposite of the beautiful day before. In fact, I had noted the thin wispy cirrus clouds moving overhead during our paddle - marking a change in the weather.... [Read More]
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]
Signs of SpringWhile winter has not yet been sent packing from our forecasts here in the Adirondacks, its rather light grip on us this year has been getting pried free by warm temperatures and fingers of sunlight. They have melted almost all of our snow and are now pressing on our frozen lakes to thaw. And our earliest arriving birds are responding to the cues.Blackbirds and SongA couple of weeks... [Read More]
I typically don’t hike alone because I have a very hard time keeping a conversation with myself, and, to be honest, it’s just not that good of a conversation anyhow. Then, I usually get a particular song stuck in my head, and all I keep doing is singing the chorus over and over again because I can’t remember the rest. I know you know what I mean.
With all of that, I still... [Read More]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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... [Read More]
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]
Black Pond LoopDistance, round-trip: 2.5 milesTime: 2 to 3 hours[img:p2204177.jpg]Brief 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... [Read More]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.[img:bobmarshall-crop.jpg]Finding the pathI knew... [Read More]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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!
Living in Saranac Lake, I've paddled the ponds and hiked the trails and climbed the mountains. Now, we have a new way to experience the Adirondack... [Read More]
A Simple Suggestion Becomes a Vacation Plan In the depths of the winter (ok, it was actually spring according to the calendar), when we here in Lake Placid were still skiing on perfect snow but dreaming about green leaves and blue water, my husband made an off-handed suggestion: “Why don’t we reserve a campsite on Lower Saranac Lake for a week in June?"[img:img-2613.jpg][img:img-2606.jpg]... [Read More]
July is a wonderful time to visit the Saranac Lake Region. We have so many great events at this time of year. From traditional holiday celebrations and history tours all the way to some great modern talents in music and art, we have enjoyable options for every member of the family.Our Glorious FourthWe love a small town Independence Day. Join us!We start our celebrations with the 4th of... [Read More]
Summer!June in the Olympic Region is a wonderful time of year. And birding at the Intervale Lowlands Preserve in Lake Placid is one of the best ways to enjoy it. With long days and lots of singing birds, it is easy to tally up a great list of warblers and other species. Even better for me is that doing so is part of my job. As one of the many hats I wear, I conduct a variety of field research and... [Read More]
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]
The State Of New York“Blah blah blah?”“Blah blah.”It was a slow day at work. I had been wiping down the same 10 square feet of counter space for the last two hours, half listening to my co-workers discussing plans for the weekend. It was not until I heard “blah blah Adirondack-” that I started paying attention. I whipped around like a dog who has just heard the word “walk,” every atom now attuned... [Read More]
Leading a Trip for the GABCI once again led a birding trip into Madawaska for the Great Adirondack Birding Celebration in Paul Smith’s last weekend. Madawaska is one of my favorite places to explore, and I’m always happy for an excuse to do so. Our group initially carpooled along Blue Mountain Road – a route that always involves many stops since it is such a productive place to bird. Soon after... [Read More]
Golf and the Adirondacks have had a long and passionate relationship. By the turn of the 19th century, luxury resorts and Great Camps were springing up all over the Adirondack Park. Golf courses soon followed, and Saranac Lake has just the right kind of terrain.Golf in the United States can be traced back to 1828, when Charles B. Macdonald returned from college in Scotland with a set of... [Read More]
My first stop at any waterpark has always been a ride of the river persuasion - be it lazy or rapid. There is something so thrilling about surrendering myself to the course of the river with the sun on my face. The amazon/rapids sort of rides are exhilarating, putting me in the mind frame of Disney's Pocahontas singing "just around the river bend," while the lazy rivers make me want to melt in... [Read More]
From Snow to Blooms!Each year, after a long Adirondack winter, it seems as if we finally say goodbye to snow and miraculously, there are suddenly wildflowers blooming everywhere! Coltsfoot, often mistaken for Dandelions, is one of the earliest spring wildflowers to bloom in the Adirondacks.[img:img-0125-1280x960.jpg]Bluets is another early wildflower that grows in large clusters.[img:img-0189-... [Read More]
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]
The area around Saranac Lake is known as the Lake Country of the Adirondacks. Since the whole Park is known for its lakes, what makes us so very special?
I'm happy to tell you. There are five good reasons we proudly bear that title.
We are a Paddler's Paradise because of our terrain. That must have been some giant glacier. Parts of the Adirondacks were shaped by deep gouges... [Read More]
Seasons mean so much here in the Adirondacks. It is here, like no other place I’ve lived before, that they delineate themselves as wildly separate and distinct experiences. Each is filled with unique delights that can be obtained at no other time.Saranac Lake is a place which embraces all of them. We have festivals for each season, featuring the way each one is celebrated in the Adirondacks. I’m... [Read More]
Ringing Telephones in My YardI’ve been waking each morning of late to the jingling song of Dark-eyed Juncos which have been filling my yard and gorging on bird seed. I kept a few juncos around through much of the winter, but as spring has pushed in from the south they have followed in numbers. Then a new song was added to their ringing telephone chorus early last week. A Fox Sparrow – a migrant... [Read More]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Jackrabbit Trail Day 3 of 3:Lake Placid Pub & Brewery to Old Mountain Road[img:p3143279.jpg]Day three of our three-day cross-country ski tour from Paul Smiths to Keene found us at the Jackrabbit trailhead behind the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery. We were looking forward to finishing off this trail with what we've heard are probably a few of the best sections. If you are just catching up with... [Read More]
The Jackrabbit Ski Trail--Day 2Day one of our cross-country ski trip on the Jackrabbit Trail had us travel from Paul Smiths to McKenzie Pond Road. It was now a week later, and we were now looking at day two. For this, we decided to go with a much shorter day that would get us from McKenzie Pond Road to the village of Lake Placid. Doesn’t seem like much when you put it that way, but it will... [Read More]
aka: A beginner’s guide to making a fool of yourself while having a great time trying out a new-to-you activity. The day was sunny and blue, perfect for loading up the Jeep for the quick hour drive to a local, super family-friendly, ski-mountain. Since we always love a good deal and we've never skied Titus Mountain in nearby Malone, when the North Country Chamber offered one of their Ski Day... [Read More]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Catching the Holiday Crud
My 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... [Read More]
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]
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]
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]
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]
St. Regis Canoe Area - An Interesting Ski Tour
OK, 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 forecast
We had a forecast of balmy ahead of us for... [Read More]
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]
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]
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]
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.[img:titusmap1415-finalnologolowres.jpg]And... [Read More]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Saranac Lake has a long history as a wellness center. Both ordinary folk and celebrities flocked to the town after Dr. Edward Trudeau researched and implemented his "fresh air" cure for tuberculosis. When a drug cure was developed after WWII, this devastating disease no longer shaped the town. But we did not abandon our interest in helping people.Today, there are venues for zero-balancing,... [Read More]
Above: Be sure to check out the video above, featuring the Saranac Lake Region portion of the 3 day 90-Miler Canoe Classic from Old Forge to Saranac Lake, finishing on Sunday, September 7 in Saranac Lake. By all accounts, September in Saranac Lake is a very busy time for events. The leaves have barely begun to show colors at this point and as they do change, there'll be several events... [Read More]
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]
The Saint Regis Canoe Area is one of only a couple designated Canoe Areas in New York State. Located in Franklin County it spans three towns and over 18,400 Acres. The St. Regis Canoe Area includes St. Regis Mountain, St. Regis Pond, Long Pond, sections of the east and west branches of the St. Regis River, and 56 other water bodies, of course not all is perfect for paddling - or even feasible,... [Read More]
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]
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]
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]
One of the many professional hats I wear finds me teaching Field Ornithology courses at Cranberry Lake Biological Station for the State University of New York. The other week I was teaching the Ornithology portion of a Wildlife Techniques class, and the students and I were to be seen traipsing around various habitats in the Adirondacks and North Country.On one day we headed out through Lake... [Read More]
Adirondack PaddlingSizing up the right paddleWhen it comes to buying gear for your paddling adventure there are some things that are very important to realize, and special steps that should be taken to get the appropriate gear for your time on the water. Below I would like to share with you a few important steps when purchasing the right equipment more importantly sizing yourself for a paddle. Be... [Read More]
Adirondack PaddlingChoosing the right boat for canoeing & kayakingBoat lengthIf you are just getting into canoeing or kayaking first you need to decide where you will be paddling the most, but not to limit yourself either. First off, will you be navigating rivers with tight oxbows and narrow passages? Will you be on small ponds and lakes? Will you venture off onto larger lakes like the... [Read More]
2nd Largest Peat Land in the ADKSSince Spring Pond Bog is the second largest peat land in the Adirondacks, it offers birders an array of habitats for finding species. I’ve led an annual birding trip there with The Wild Center the past few years and we once again took a trip to Spring Pond this year as well.The birds were initially quiet, but we were soon adding species in the coniferous forests... [Read More]
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]
Birds of All Kinds Flock HereThis past weekend I helped lead trips for the Great Adirondack Birding Celebration (the GABC) held at the Paul Smith’s College VIC (Visitor Interpretive Center). In its 12th year, the event brought together birders from across the northeast and even other parts of the country as they explored the region on a variety of field trips. I led the trips into Madawaska, a... [Read More]
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]
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]
Roadside GemsPaddling the Saranac Lake RegionThe Saranac Lake Region is a mecca of paddling opportunities for all skill levels and rewarding destinations. Questions I often receive are in regards to, where to go. But more deeply, places with easy access, and for new paddlers. Again, not narrowing it down too much, since Saranac Lake has many destinations that are road side, I often think of three... [Read More]
5 Overlooked Destinations for Hiking, Paddling, and/or Trail Running1. Floodwood Mountain[img:floodwood.jpg]Getting ThereFrom the intersection of Route 86 and Route 3 follow Route 86 toward Paul Smiths. Continue for 5.0 miles to Route 186 on the left. Follow Route 186 to its end where it turns into Route 30 (approx. 4-miles). Follow Route 30 west for 5.75 miles to Floodwood Road on the right –... [Read More]
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]
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]
This is the time of year Saranac Lake area anglers see the ice fishing season taper off… and start thinking about the spring to come. Adirondack iceout! It’s one of the best times to land a trophy trout.The fish start being more active, and more hungry. April 1 is the season opener for most trout and salmon. Panfish like pumpkinseed and yellow perch are open all year. Here’s some tips on wetting... [Read More]
We learned last month how awesome the Paul Smith’s VIC is.
What could make it even cooler? You guessed it. Live music.
The VIC has been bringing in musicians to entertain visitors for a Sunday afternoon series, running from the end of January and wrapping up after this weekend. The series is free to anyone with a ski pass, though donations are accepted, and is underwritten by... [Read More]
With all these absolutely beautiful sunny ‘blue bird’ days, you know you want to be outside all day. But what happens when the sun sets and you are not quite ready for the day to be done? You go to Mt. Pisgah! Mt. Pisgah offers Night Skiing and Night Tubing! The mountain is lit up with multiple flood lights all the way up the mountain side. They have a very nice base of snow already and with... [Read More]
Winter carnival As Saranac Lake Winter Carnival winds down, the last big events of the celebration include the Gala Parade on Saturday, Feb. 8, followed by the I Love NY Winter Carnival Slide Show and the Guide Boat Realty "Storming of the Palace" Closing Fireworks Display at the ice palace on Sunday, Feb. 9, bringing this 2014 edition to a close. The fireworks and slideshow are a not-to-be-... [Read More]
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]
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]
Snow covered landscapes the world over have a few things in common. They are white. They are generally cold – recently true around here. And they are quiet.
The day following our recent snow storm Wren and I skied north from the north... [Read More]
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]
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]
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]
I have been in search of climbing all the fire tower peaks in the Adirondack Park; not only those that still have towers, but those that also once had.With this little venture, it placed Debar Mountain was on my list. Corenne and I have been flirting with Debar Mountain for quite some time and something always got in the way from us actually climbing the peak. This week was our week to go and... [Read More]
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]
I see muskrats almost every day that I’m out walking with Wren or looking for birds. I find them in most streams, lakes, and marshes in the region from Bloomingdale Bog to the waterways which empty into Lake Champlain. This is particularly true during the fall as our days grow shorter and after we change our clocks to... [Read More]
Through the grapevine I had heard about a new trail up Goodman Mountain, formerly known as Litchfield Hill. I knew nothing about the DEC forming a trail up this peak, but it would be a good idea, I thought to myself. I had been up this 2000’ peak a few years ago in winter and found the woods to be very open and a pleasant bushwhack; it would be nice to see it under different terms. This... [Read More]
The fall is the time of year when Wren and I take regular walks on the railroad tracks which run along Lake Colby in Saranac Lake in search of migrating ducks and other water birds. But with all of the warm weather and southerly winds we’ve had this fall, the waterfowl migration has been slow to get started. And so our... [Read More]
When among the millions of acres of Adirondack wilderness, we feel close to the natural world. Once visited, it has a magnetic pull on our heart which encourages us to return.This principle is embodied in a famous visitor. When I married a Saranac Lake native, his older relatives loved to tell me stories about the man in baggy trousers and wild hair, who always had a smile for the children he met... [Read More]
Warm sunny weather can be difficult to find in the region once the fall sets in, and I took advantage of a warm day to head out on Lake Colby in Saranac Lake for a quick paddle. I set off from the boat launch making quick progress across the lake. Lake Colby has a few arms which are fun to explore, and they also serve... [Read More]
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]
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]
All this warm fall weather has had me wanting to get out for a paddle, and I was finally able to do so this past weekend on Jones Pond near Paul Smiths. Since Jones Pond is not large, it can be covered in an hour or it can be extended for as long as you want. And, since Wren does not generally want to lie still for... [Read More]
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]
At this time of year I begin to check out the back side of Lake Colby in Saranac Lake for ducks and other waterfowl passing through our region on their way south. We have not had a significant cold front in a while, so when I went to Lake Colby the other day, I wasn’t expecting much. I was correct in my forecast.... [Read More]
The colors were bright; the sun was high in the sky without a cloud blocking its warm rays, and the wind, absent. This called for a perfect day to get a fall kayak trip in. I had never paddled Church Pond and was curious about the access to Osgood Pond and what it was like.So many times I have driven by Church Pond and the boat launch site, even gotten out of the car for a photograph or two, but... [Read More]
I keep a set of bird feeders up year round to attract birds to my yard. They do remarkably well in that endeavor, and I’m excited when I find a new species of bird for my yard list. But feeders also attract other things to the yard and I enjoy them as well. ... [Read More]
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]
The Saranac Lake Region is blessed with numerous recreational opportunities from hiking trail to quiet bodies of water. The area also has some of the most scenic roadways in the region. With all that’s going on recreation wise, you now have the changing of the guards. As summer hibernates, the fall colors come alive with a show that makes the best 4th of July Celebration a bit humbled. One... [Read More]
While many folks are waiting for changing leaves to grace our landscapes with color, I have always liked the late summer and very beginning of fall for the ornamental colors they provide. As August advances and becomes September, wildflowers continue to bloom along trails, roads, and hillsides. Their colors mingle with... [Read More]
I walk on the Bloomingdale Bog Trail throughout the year, but I love to go there for birds in the late summer. It is a good place for finding post-breeding and migrating flocks of birds – particularly warblers – which feed in the brushy edges along the trail. I generally find the south entrance north of Saranac Lake to... [Read More]
Summer’s advance is marked on the bird calendar by the start of fall migration – a long process which extends into the cold months of the year. In August and September it revolves around songbirds and shorebirds heading south, getting ahead of chilly temps and difficulty in finding food. As a result, I’ve been in the... [Read More]
I am sure by now most everyone has heard of the Saranac 6. But if you haven’t it’s a hiking endeavor to climb six distinct peaks in the Saranac Lake Region; Ampersand, St. Regis, Baker, McKenzie, Scarface and Haystack.I had previously climbed all these peaks but have only done one since the start of the Saranac 6ers. A few weeks back I made way to the summit of Ampersand Mountain for my first... [Read More]
Last week The Wild Center hosted FlavorFest, an all day event built around the tastes of the North Country, and a great excuse to pay the museum a visit. The event was held in conjunction with the museum’s weekly Thursday Farmer’s Market and the vendors were in their usual location in the outdoor tent. ... [Read More]
A surf and turf adventure is simple, first you paddle (surf) to a hike destination (turf) and then paddle back to your car. The Adirondacks are loaded with opportunities like these and the Saranac Lake Region does not fall short.For this adventure we started by hauling our boats a bit out of the area and ending up in the Horseshoe Lake Area for the day. We unloaded our car near Lows Lower Dam but... [Read More]
What a great august for paddling, there seems to be a nice cool breeze in the air – with almost the smell of autumn in there as well. The sun was high this past Saturday so we decided to head to Osgood Pond.I called my friend Mike Lynch to see if I could take him up on his offer of borrowing his Old Town Penobscot Canoe - kind of a test drive before we sprung any money on getting one for... [Read More]
This past weekend, I helped lead a Wild Center birding trip to Madawaska – one of my favorite places in the Adirondacks. Madawaska is a collection of public land bordered by private easement land, such as the Santa Clara Tract, and the area is composed of a diverse array of habitats. These varied habitats contain many... [Read More]
I just so happened to be in the area of Horseshoe Lake and wanted to revisit the new trail to Black Pond, which I had found a few years back. A few years ago I wanted to visit Black Pond so I planned a bushwhack course to its shore and followed through one day. Upon my arrival at the shoreline I discovered a herd path along shore that lead to a boat, which was on a DEC trail. I had no clue... [Read More]
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]
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]
You know you start to feel old when in a month your 40th birthday arrives and then in the past week you climb a great peak, Ampersand Mountain, and go back to your archives and realize it has been over 17-years since you climbed it last. First off, what took me so long to go back, it’s such an amazing peak and where did the time go, heck, I wasn’t even a dad yet at that point. But, you know you... [Read More]
I hiked Baker Mountain in Saranac Lake a few days ago as I was wrapping up my bird surveys for the season. With all of our rain of late, the popular trail was very muddy in spots but passable, and I enjoyed the early morning solitude on the trail. My only company were the droves of mosquitoes which have found the warm... [Read More]
As the skies clear and a mid-July weekend approaches, area visitors and residents alike will be entertained by numerous fun events and cultural offerings this coming weekend.Take a drive over to The Adirondack Interpretive Center in Paul Smiths to check out their Birds of Prey Demonstration with Mark Manske. Spend Saturday afternoon immersed in the lives of birds of prey. Mark Manske of... [Read More]
I led another birding trip for The Wild Center last week, this time to Bloomingdale Bog north of Saranac Lake. We began our trip along Rt. 55 out of Bloomingdale, walking south into the bog, and while rain threatened and harried us throughout the morning, we had a successful trip. We began amassing a nice list of... [Read More]
If you are like me and love to explore those unnamed bodies of water you will surely come across a bog pond or two or a dozen in your adventures. With that I will also be sharing some information about some local bogs in future blogs and within this website as destination hikes. That is why this blog is very important for everyone to read so that together we can enjoy their pristine beauty and... [Read More]
Are you wondering what to do with your family this summer? Well, the Saranac Lake area has some awesome family friendly activities to do. Each has something different to offer and is worth making the trip for!
Adirondack Carousel (Depot Street, Saranac Lake)
We’ve all been on a carousel, but this one is truly different! All the animals are hand carved and hand... [Read More]
I taught at Cranberry Lake Biological Station last week and took my students to Spring Pond Bog where we met the DEC spruce grouse research team. Although common further north in their range (I’ve seen them previously in places like Alaska), spruce grouse are listed as endangered in New York State and they are sought after... [Read More]
Our recent weather has left a lot to be desired, but this year it still didn't stop me and the ladies I go camping with every year. As a matter of fact, this was our 14th annual! We become more and more creative when dealing with inclement weather and accumulate a lot of gear after 14 years. Luckily we usually have absolutely beautiful weather. This year was not the case, weatherwise. Buck... [Read More]
Looking for some adventure? Look no further, The High Peaks region has it all! High Peaks Mountain Guides (HPMG) at 331 Main Street in Lake Placid offers guiding and instruction for rock climbing, ice climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, geo-catching, skiing, snowshoeing and general outdoor skills! They literally do it all! They offer half day sessions and full day... [Read More]
This was a nice surprise for a short afternoon paddle on Follensby Clear Pond. It seems as though I have half day offs to go play, so I find myself on small excursions. For some reason I chose Follensby Clear Pond as my destination on this day. I typically stay away from larger ponds where motorboats are allowed to power through, but I had never been on this pond before and wanted to check... [Read More]
From the trailhead I enjoyed the mellow terrain under my feet; it makes for a bit of a nice warm-up to the day. I wasted no time passing by the trail to Route 30 on the right and jumped full-bore into the rolling hills terrain that was in front of me. The one thing about trail running is, you don't get much time to take pictures - which is too bad. Also I typically don't want a huge bulky... [Read More]
This past weekend I helped lead a birding trip for The Wild Center to explore Spring Pond Bog north of Tupper Lake, an area with a diverse collection of habitats. The bog itself is the second largest bog in the state, and the boreal habitats surrounding it are home to the last, best stronghold for spruce grouse in the state. And while we weren't lucky enough to find any spruce grouse, we didn't... [Read More]
My wildlife research (focusing mostly on birds) has me in many places across the region at this time of year, and one of them is the Jackrabbit Trail in Saranac Lake as the trail heads out from McKenzie Pond Road. The trail leads into the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness and is one of the routes which hikers can take to both Mt. McKenzie and Mt. Haystack, two of the recently designated Saranac Lake... [Read More]
The other day, I helped lead a birding trip for The Wild Center to Massawepie Mire west of Tupper Lake. Massawepie is the largest boreal peat land in the state, and it offers great habitat not only for boreal bird species such as gray jays and breeding olive-sided flycatchers, but its complexity of habitats make it great for many species which breed in deciduous and coniferous forests as well.... [Read More]
I think we can all agree that the weather as of late has been rubbish. Isn't the old saying, "April showers brings May flowers?" NOT, "May snowstorms bring great skiing on theToll Road!" I know I, as well as many of you want warm weather to come and stay for a bit. But, I just can't sit around and wait for the sunshine, I need to seek out my own rays of hope and play outside anyhow. There have... [Read More]
I am sure glad I took advantage of the nice weather we had last week before the moisture settled in for an overextended stay - kind of like that third cousin who shows up unexpectedly with 1987 mobile camper with no exhaust and three hounds – not that I would know what that is like.I decided to only get out one kayak at this point and see what kind of trouble I can get myself into on the waters... [Read More]
While I write a great deal about birds and birding – particularly as spring migration spreads its wings north and our breeding birds are arriving – amphibians offer us some of the first changes in the spring soundscape – before many of our birds begin to sing or even arrive from the south.The past few weeks have been marked with explosive breeding congregations of amphibians as warm weather has... [Read More]
Canoeing isn't one of those sports where the learning curveis too hard, but it does take a sort of finesse that I have to improve on. It'sthe whole, sitting up high, balance combination technique that I always lackwhen I first sit in one. However, after the first half hour I kind of get inthe rhythm, my friend Mike Lynch might say otherwise.So what got me into this canoe was a text I sent to Mike... [Read More]
Can you believe the weather we are having? It feels like full blown summer and it’s just turned May, maybe it will melt away some of the black flies. They haven’t been too bad as of late, I see them buzzing around a bit and bumping into my face but I haven’t found any biters yet, hopefully you have had the same luck. Of course if they were biting, todays trail run/hike would have been the perfect... [Read More]
Each day of the advancing spring brings with it new arrivals. A brown thrasher fed at my bird feeders for five days and finally left earlier this week, and a few days ago I was excited to find an early indigo bunting feeding with the dark-eyed juncos at my feeders! As Wren and I take our daily afternoon and evening walks, we also continue to find recently arrived birds, such as yellow-bellied... [Read More]
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