End-of-winter adventures

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End-of-winter adventures

Cold, warm, snow, sun — it’s almost spring in the ADK!

1.

Snowshoe quest: tallest tree in the ADK

If your kids are anything like mine they love breaking records. And second best to holding the record, is knowing the record - biggest number (Googolplex), smallest state (Rhode Island), fastest animal (Cheetah), funniest Minion (Stuart), smelliest feet (Dad for the win).

I had been waiting to bust out my trivia challenge for just the right day. "Tallest tree?" I asked. Silence. With both a 3- and 7-year-old I think that is a record in itself! As a Paul Smith’s College alum I know that there is a grove of White Pines near campus where the TALLEST tree in the Adirondack Mountains can be found, and today my family and I were going to find it.

2.

Great March XC skiing

A few weeks ago, the ground outside my window was brown, muddy, and rather ugly; my skis were suffering from neglect, and my friend was emailing me to express his frustration with what had been a troubling winter for anyone interested in enjoying the snowy outdoors. But all of that has changed.

Our temperatures dropped to seasonable levels. Our skies clouded with snow day after snow day, and the piles of white powder have been building ever since. Ski centers like the Tupper Lake Groomed X-C Ski Trails have been singing songs of joy. It has been a beautiful thing.

3.

Waterfalls and whitewater

There's really no need to chase waterfalls in the Adirondacks — they're all here, just waiting to be discovered. Some, like Buttermilk Falls, are a short walk from the road while others, like the magnificent OK Slip Falls, require a hike to reach.

Check out the Waterfall Challenge guide and start collecting points toward a Waterfall Challenge patch. One by one, they all add up to an impressive combined drop of 1,400 feet.
It's a great way to make sure you don't miss a thing!

If you're looking for the kind of action that only riding the waves can provide, we have good news: there are 105 miles of navigable whitewater in the region. Twelve rafting companies are ready to take people down the Hudson River Gorge, so it's easy to become one of the 25,000-plus rafters who make the trip annually. 

4.

Schroon Lake for a break

Here's the thing — as anyone that follows my blogs knows, I travel a lot. And yet, there's always one stop on the Northway that, no matter the season, no matter the time of day, I feel compelled to visit. Traveling from the Albany area and heading north it's Exit 27 (it's 28 if you're heading south). 

I have personal ties to Schroon Lake. My father was born in the area and until I left for college all of our vacations - winter, spring, summer, and fall - were spent on Hoffman Mountain.

In the summer we spent our days on shores of the beach or at what was then a little-known secret swimming hole on the edge of the Schroon River. In the fall and spring we hiked Mt. Severance, in the winter we bundled up and went sledding.

5.

Libby’s: get a shot of local cuisine

At the same time every year, as the monotony of winter drags on, I begin to feel stuck on autopilot. Tiredness ensues, as I see no light at the end of the tunnel promising spring. Getting creative with outdoor hobbies throughout the season is smart in this region, but what if you require a little shake-up to your frosty repertoire? A local Adirondack Coast restaurant nestled in the picturesque downtown of Ticonderoga, New York has an everyday solution. 

6.

John Brown Farm: walk through history

I have walked, hiked, and exercised dogs over the years at Lake Placid's historic John Brown Farm. The hiking trails are beautiful, the views always stunning, and the skies dramatic.

But who was the man? John Brown was born May 9, 1800, in Torrington, Connecticut. He decided that an armed insurgency of volunteers combined with a slave revolt was the only surefire way to end the convention of slavery in America. He was angered and frustrated by the slow, peaceful political means in which the abolitionist coalition moved. He made his name in Kansas where he led forces in what came to be known as the Battle of Black Jack, the Battle of Osawatomie, and the Pottawatomie massacre of May 1856, in response to the siege of Lawrence, Kansas by pro-slavery forces.

7.

Snowshoe hikes: Which ADK animal are you?

I don’t know how many times I've gazed up at the massive cliffs just past the entrance to Whiteface Mountain Ski Center and thought about how great the view must be from up there. I always figured it’d be easy to cut through the woods and bypass the rocky crags, then swing around to ascend the gentler backside of the mountain.

Then my friend Emilee explained that the nub has a name, Bear Den Mountain, and I wouldn’t have to bushwhack to summit it. On the contrary, a well-marked path could lead the way. Slightly disappointed a snowshoe scramble through deep powder and over fallen logs wasn't necessary, but no less excited to see the view, we recently set out for a morning hike up Bear Den. 

8.

Where to drop a line

North Country fishing is legendary. Clear fast streams, rocky shorelines, and plenty of tricky hiding spots. Malone is perfectly placed in a network of water that is stocked with trout each year. That means conditions are just right for holdovers.

The Salmon River flows right through Malone's downtown, and there is a recently established catch and release section north of town. Chasm Falls has plenty of deep pools and pocket water, while the Whippleville section has conditions just right for wading in. Look for browns and rainbows.

The Chateaugay and Marble Rivers offer access via the Brainardsville Bridge, near the Post Office. It is stocked with brown, rainbow, and brook trout, with wild brown trout populations giving them added vigor, and wiliness.,,

 

9.

The ADKs are a happenin' place!