Our bloggers enjoy the best of fall by leaf peeping, hiking, hunting, and more.
Leaf Me in the ADK
I must admit, fall is my favorite season in the Adirondacks. As the air becomes crisper and the leaves start to change their color, I can’t help but spend each free moment admiring the beauty of the outdoors. I look forward to hiking the most, and I usually spend my weekends exploring a new and unfamiliar trail. This weekend, my boyfriend Mac and I chose to hike one of the Saranac Lake 6ers, McKenzie Mountain. McKenzie Mountain is considered to be the hardest of the 6ers, so I chose to share my experience in hopes that it will motivate those of you who have not yet hiked this mountain to do so.
Notch your typical drive
Something I love doing in the fall is simply taking a drive to view the foliage. For years one of my favorite fall drives has been through the Wilmington Notch. This winding road twists and turns along the Ausable River, connecting Lake Placid and Wilmington. Foliage arrived a bit late this year, but it certainly hasn’t lacked in its beauty. There are many places along the Wilmington Notch where you can pull off and take photos. Here are my top five places to stop for fall foliage viewing along the Wilmington Notch. (In order, if you’re coming from Lake Placid into Wilmington)
Get outside, breathe in the brisk autumn air, and enjoy the best of what nature has to offer. Whatever your game, be it white-tailed deer, black bear, waterfowl, wild turkey, or grouse. Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks has an abundance of wild game to offer. Located in the heart of one of the largest wilderness areas in the Northeast, Tupper Lake's deep woods and isolated lakes, ponds, and rivers make it a hunting and trapping paradise. From big game to small, the thrill of the hunt is calling you to the Adirondacks.
Peak is here
It can be a source of worry when you want to come to the Adirondacks to see the leaves turn in autumn. "When is it peak time? Can I arrange to get there at the right time? What if I miss it? What if it's over?"
Thanks to the many changes in elevation, from the height of our 46ers to the sea level of Lake Champlain, we have abundant differences in our microclimates. This means there are multiple fall color peaks. They are scattered over different places, with as much as two weeks difference in the foliage status, all within a short travel time from your base in Lake Placid.
You are going to want to take a scenic drive, anyway, so stop worrying. There's no controlling the weather, so even the best plans can turn into a best-guess situation. Here are some strategies to help you enjoy a fall getaway, no matter what time you can get away.
Farm to table happiness
My favorite part of seeing a new town is often trying the food. The local restaurants always give an insider look at a town’s personality. Is it pretentious? Is it inviting? Recently I returned to one of my local favorites in Elizabethtown, otherwise known as the county seat of Essex. Elizabethtown is right next to Keene which is ensconced in the High Peaks. And, similar to Keene, Elizabethtown offers stretches of scenic driving and hiking. As far as the town’s personality goes, The Deer’s Head Inn says it all.
A fun fall find
I recently spent a day in Malone, and I came across a real hidden gem. Just outside of Malone in North Bangor, my boyfriend and I stopped at Bonesteel's Gardening Center. I have to admit that at first glance it wasn't what I was expecting, but to my surprise it turned out to be really great. I bet this place is beautiful in the spring and summer when all the flowers are in bloom, so I am excited to go back next year.
A rich paddle
After toting my canoe down the Sucker Brook Trail at the Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) in Newcomb, a mucky put-in wasn’t going to stop me and Wren, my dog, from getting on the water. And Wren was more than happy to slog through the mud, seemingly taking half of Sucker Brook into the boat with her, adding to the mess by lying down in the muck she transported. We set off on the water and began to wind our way along Sucker Brook, and I soon realized we would need to vacate the boat to get beyond a shallow set of riffles blocking our way to Rich Lake.
Pro hunting tips
It was mid afternoon as I made my way to the tree that had been my “spot” for about a week now. I quickly assembled my climbing tree stand and then carefully worked my way up the trunk. From my vantage point — about 15 feet above the ground — I could see a lot of thick woods as I looked around. This was the Adirondacks, after all. But, most important, I had an fairly unobstructed view of a small clearing, one with a well worn herd path and an old wild apple tree, directly in front of me. I settled myself in and waited. And waited.