Never Stop Learning in the ADK

Never Stop Learning in the ADK

Connecting with the past and exploring the present in the Adirondacks.


Strumming sinkers

Eric Bright is a Schroon Lake-based luthier with an eye for detail and a set of snorkeling gear. The wood he uses comes from the muck on the bottom of the lake; his guitars produce a timeless sound that's as soft as the ripples on the water's surface. It all takes attention, dedication, and time. Lots and lots of time.


Trail comfort guide

The summer hiking season is in full swing in the Adirondacks, but don’t let our well-marked trails fool you. A hike into the mountains is really a trek into a beautiful, rugged backcountry. Weather conditions can change rapidly and outings can take longer than expected, but it’s pretty easy to plan ahead and be prepared. We guarantee you’ll be more comfortable and that will make your adventure more enjoyable, giving you time to focus on the important things, like how awesome the view is. There is no single list of essential hiking gear, but there are some basic guidelines that are good to be aware of. Check out our recommendations below, and consult other sources for more ideas, especially if you’re new to hiking. Always sign the trail register, and always let someone know where you're going and what time you plan on returning.


Men with muskets

We heard a chant, followed by a syncopated crack, then rising wisps of smoke joined to form a cloud before dissipating. The five men standing beneath the cloud were dressed in dirty white pants, and there were tilted black caps set upon their heads. Staccato commands punctuated the silence, and each was answered by a reply in unison. The motions of the men were jerky stop-and-go, well-rehearsed and precise. The muskets were loaded and raised, there’s another crack and a puff of smoke — this is how British troops fought battles in 1781.


Regional appeal

The Whiteface region is a beautiful and peaceful area of the Adirondacks, consisting of four hamlets that are not to be missed on your visit. The towns are Ausable Forks, Upper Jay, Jay, and Wilmington. There is so much to do and see in these family oriented communities. There are large attractions, and small communitites complete with dairy farms, restaurants, and natural wonders. Whiteface Mountain stands tall right in the town of Wilmington, and although you can ski, take the scenic gondola ride, or drive to the top on the scenic Veterans Memorial Highway, there is so much more to this area than that one mountain. For example, the Ausable River runs through this area and the fly fishermen can be seen all along the river. Mountain biking and road cycling are quickly growing to the top activities in the region. There are also many trails to ride, walk, and even jump into the river from these communities. Here is a sampling of the places and some not to miss attractions and businesses in the area. 


Hike this: Wakely Mountain

A couple of years ago, the fire tower on Wakely Mountain had some structural damage. Because it is so tall, it takes quite a beating from winds. The four support posts of the tower had weakened over time and it was determined to be unsafe for climbing. Wakely is in a remote area of Moose River Plains, so materials had to be flown in and a work crew scheduled, all of which takes time to organize. But a few weeks ago, the repairs were completed and the Wakely tower is back open for business!


Extreme art

I’ve painted in tough locations, including on the deck of an ocean-going schooner, in the desert, and above the Arctic Circle. Yet there is no place more exciting or challenging for the plein air painter than New York’s Adirondacks. The landscape dares the painter to leave his car and hike or paddle in search of the perfect view. It is always just around the next bend or on the next lake.


100 years of beauty

In 1918 the Mt. Arab fire tower was born. Fire towers around the Adirondacks were used to spot forest fires, and during war time, observers were required to report any airplanes they saw or heard to the military information centers. Radio communications were established between each of the 57 fire towers in the Adirondacks which resulted in more efficient firefighting efforts. During the years 1944-1949, over 21 fires were reported from the tower on Mt. Arab. It wasn't until 1952 that the stewards on the mountain started noticing an increase in visitors to the mountain. To this day, Mt. Arab is one of the most popular hikes in the Tupper Lake area.


Boreal birding

The northern Adirondacks contain some of the best boreal birding the region has to offer, and some of the best boreal birding in the entire northeast. California Road is one such location, sitting at the Adirondacks' boundary and just a stone's throw south of Malone.