Play Hooky in the ADKs

Play Hooky in the ADKs

From snowshoeing to ice fishing, winter adventure abounds in the Adirondacks.


Sick day

Ski conditions are always better midweek.

This year, snow-vember took us by surprise, giving the East Coast what felt like a record setting start to the ski season. The snow gods continued to shower us with white powdery blessings in December, setting up the Adirondacks for a not-to-be-missed ski season. With consistent 5-8 inch days in the forecast, my mind quickly drifted to winters past, when "ski bum" jobs meant skiing all day and working at night.

Yes, I will cherish those days always, but you know what living the good life doesn't get you?

Sick days.

I once read a quote that went “Sometimes a sick day is a really sick day.” And nothing is good for what ails you quite like a powder day. If you're thinking that ditching work for a (ski) sick day is too risky, fear not. I’ve taken one for the team.


Fort fever and more

Whenever I set foot on the grounds of Fort Ticonderoga I feel a distinct sense of privilege. I am clearly aware I am treading on the same sacred soil as America’s first patriots and I know that, if not for their sacrifice, my life today may not be so blessed. I also feel indebted to the Pell family who began preservation of this American treasure over 100 years ago. With gratitude to their vision and effort I am permitted the unique experience of visiting the Fort and its environs today. 


Pick your pike

As we move into the new year, Adirondack winter days get longer, colder, and brighter. It's hardwater fishing season. In many lakes, that means northern pike.

One of the best lakes for northern pike is called Mountain View Lake, which shares its name with the surrounding town. Both are a wonderful winter destination.


Downtown gems

Saranac Lake is well known for its stunning scenery, unique charm, and outdoor adventure. Perhaps a lesser known fact is all the gems you can find downtown. I was immediately taken in with this idyllic village when I first visited it a few years ago for Winter Carnival. I remember the first time I walked down Main Street, noticing all the different and interesting stores that you couldn't find anywhere else. So, when you come to play in the mountains, spend an afternoon or entire day checking out our downtown. Options for lunch abound if you do decide to make a day of it. Below are some of my favorites.


Snowboard the Face

The more I’ve traveled throughout my twenties the more I appreciate the Adirondacks — remote and quiet peaks, rugged terrain, a cold climate, and of course the people. The community here is a big part of what makes this place special.

Last winter Nor’easters barreled the East Coast and covered the High Peaks with deep snow, allowing Whiteface Mountain to stay open for its longest season yet. Looking back, this was probably some of the best snowboarding I’ve had on the East Coast.



Splendors of snowshoeing

Of all the winter sports out there, I think snowshoeing is probably the easiest to learn. Our Adirondack trails simply transform with the seasons. If you can hike there in the summer, you can snowshoe there in the winter, exchanging the bright green for the sparkly white. If you can walk, you can snowshoe.

Snowshoeing doesn't require much more equipment than the actual shoes, though I highly recommend a pair of trekking poles. At first, there's this tendency to step on your own feet, since they are a bit larger than what you are used to. Even after you get the hang of it, having that extra four-point leverage of poles is always a good idea, especially on backcountry trails, or on any descent.


Ice fishing derby round-up

Winter weather in the Adirondacks means ice fishing. Check out all of the great ice fishing contests going on this winter.



Consider the Triad

So many challenges, so little time. That's life in the Adirondacks.

I've climbed more than 30 of the Adirondacks' 46 High Peaks and done the Saranac Lake 6er challenge several times over. For me, the allure of tackling those challenges isn't for a patch -- I have yet to claim my 6er patch -- it's simply a chance to see as much of these mountains as possible. It's true, even with dozens of peaks under my belt, I still get excited when I dig my boots into a trail that's new to me.