Extreme

Did you know, besides dozens of miles of hiking trails, the High Peaks also have designated backcountry ski trails? You’ll find an all-encompassing range of difficulty levels here, so be sure to know your ability level before heading out. Many of the five trails listed below are serious endeavors that should only be attempted by those with the proper skills and gear. Be prepared and be safe! 1. Heaven Hill and Henry’s Woods These trail complexes aren’t exactly backcountry, but they are a great place to test your skills before embarking on some of the other paths on this list. Heaven Hill... continue reading
 
If you like winter sports action, good local food, and zip lines, then you need to check out the 38th annual Empire State Winter Games. The huge, multi-sport event runs from February 1-4 and it’s coming out of the gate bigger and better than ever. This year there will be more competitors, a centralized village, a Jumbotron to watch it all on, and it’s all kicked off by a relay torch run that begins in Manhattan and ends in Lake Placid. Combine all of that with good food, craft beer, and events happening across several Adirondack communities, and the Games start to look more like a... continue reading
 
Embedded thumbnail for 9 Reasons: Winter + Lake Placid = Perfect
9.  Winter never gets us down! Year round you'll find folks topping our peaks, exploring our trails, and getting close to nature. Of course, outdoor adventuring in our winter weather offers unique challenges -  luckily our experienced local Adirondack guides can help suit you up, offer advice, and even show you the way. 8. Go for the gold - or silver - or...  Skating, skiing, hockey, bobsled, and more — Lake Placid's rich Olympic heritage is alive and well. No matter the season, you can tour our Olympic sites where you'll often find... continue reading
 
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The best way to face your fears is to confront them, and that’s what my friend Jess did during our visit to Experience ADK Outdoors, a new zip line course at Cascade Ski Center. The ropes Bill “Big Wheels” Walton and Emory “Swamp Donkey” Clark, were our guides during the adventure. Before heading into the treetops, they helped us get our harnesses on and explained the braking system to us. It’s basically just a pair of work gloves, one of which fits into a leather sleeve to serve as your brake hand. To control your speed, simply press the palm of your brake hand down onto the line and you’... continue reading
 
AUTHOR'S NOTE 9/21/16: On my daily commute to Lake Placid, I often spy rock climbers on some of the popular roadside crags along the route. During a recent drive on Route 73 to Keene Valley, I saw some folks on the Spider’s Web, and it reminded me of this blog I wrote a few years ago about climbing on that very cliff.  The rock climbing memory cited in this blog is cemented in my brain, and so is the fact that it was rock climbing that cemented our decision to live in the Adirondacks forever. Guess you’ll have to read it to find out why!  (The following blog was originally published 6/6/12... continue reading
 
Finding Ferngully I believe the official name for it is Shoebox Falls, but my friends have always called it Ferngully, and it's easy to see why. It's a magical sort of place. Tucked away off state Route 73, it's only a five-minute walk from the road, but you would never know it was there unless somebody pointed it out. There are no signs, and not much in the way of parking spots. In fact, if you were to drive past where the cars must haphazardly park to visit the spot, you might wonder what was so worthwhile that the drivers would even attempt it. Between the curving, narrow-shouldered road... continue reading
 
The calling of the 100-highest The eastern ridge of Green Mountain has been one of wonder for me. I've heard feedback about the eastern ridge for quite some time and the comments are an equal mix of amazement and grief. After my recent dealings with the slopes of the mountain I would have to say it has a prime mixture of both. For the record, the good outweighs the ugly. The North Trail We started at the North trail for Giant Mountain and Owls Head Lookout trailhead. The day was turning out to be grand, with the sun peeking through the clouds and the temperature slightly warming up.... continue reading
 
Not so placid When I was a kid my family and I would vacation with another family we were very close with. I have the greatest memories as we would try to get ahold of anything and everything that would float and that we could use to spend a great day on and at the water. From strapping giant inflatable tubes to the trunk of the car, inflatable rafts, boogie boards, and even a few summers where the beach would rent giant tubes we could actually fit in the middle of and roll down the hill and into the water in. We then added to the circus with a large styrofoam (yes, styrofoam) sailboat my... continue reading
 
Why Climb the High Peaks in Winter? “The rewards are many and varied for the man, in good physical condition, with the patience and good sense to plan his Adirondack mountaineering trips, ahead of time, with necessary detail.  His equipment sound, and clothing and food adequate, he may swing along the trail which on one day may sparkle with frost crystals over the powder snow; and on the next may be a sea of slush.  Prepared is he for the terrible nose dive of the thermometer at a moment’s notice, and yes, willing, even after climbing three thousand feet with a pack, to turn back, not... continue reading
 

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