Shaun Kittle

Recent Blog Posts

It was Friday afternoon, and a few of us decided to grab an end-of-the-week drink to kick the weekend off right. I walked into the bar area of Kanu, the rustic-yet-elegant restaurant on the second floor of the Whiteface Lodge, ready to meet their master mixologist Zach Blair. What originally caught my eye about Zach was a short article in Milk Street Kitchen magazine that highlighted a drink he invented called Cinnamon-Smoked Whiskey Sour, a title that includes several of my favorite things. The four of us bellied up, and as I shook hands with Zach I could tell this was going to be a... continue reading
 
Lucky you! You’re in Lake Placid, the sun is shining, and the entire day lies ahead. The problem is, there’s a lot to do and never enough time to do it all. Don't worry! Six locals are here to offer up their versions of a perfect Lake Placid day. Get some ideas, then have fun inventing your own perfect day! The lone wolf Twists, dips, and turns through ever-changing scenery. That’s a ride through the Adirondacks. Glenn’s perfect day begins and ends on his motorcycle. He starts by riding through downtown Lake Placid, then he’s off to Wilmington — a... continue reading
 
You’ll need to drive to hike some of the biggest mountains in the region, but there is plenty of scenery right in Lake Placid. Why not stay in town? Read on and we’ll have you tossing the car keys aside and setting off by foot or bike to four of our favorite jaw-dropping destinations. 1.Cobble Hill This little gem rises 460 feet above the eastern shore of Mirror Lake. See that big bald spot on its face? That’s your destination. About a half mile from the trailhead, you’ll reach a fork. From here there are two ways to tackle Cobble: The 0.8 mile route, right, is pretty steep, while the 1.6... continue reading
 
In Lake Placid, the fun doesn’t stop when the sun sets. Yes, there’s a thriving music scene here, and if you know where to look you can get in on the action. The best part is, the music isn't confined to weekends. On any given night you can walk into a bar and hear a local band tearing it up, a traveling band fresh off of an overseas tour, or a world class symphony creating a beautiful soundscape. Here are some venues to get you started, but be sure to keep your ears open while you're in Lake Placid — you never know what you'll come across! Zig Zags Pub This bar has a local feel, and it’s... continue reading
 
There aren’t many places where you can get a big payoff from a small investment — luckily, Lake Placid isn’t most places. Sure, the High Peaks offer some of the most outstanding views anywhere, but they also take the better part of a day to hike. Try one of these easier hikes, and use that extra energy to explore downtown. 1. Cobble Lookout Take a trip to the other side of Whiteface Mountain. This trail started as a well-kept local secret, now it’s a must-do — well marked, well maintained, and awesome in the view department. The path goes gently uphill past an old quarry, then climbs to a... continue reading
 
  Late to bed, early to rise I’m not a morning person, but I do appreciate the finer things in life, and one of the finest things I’ve experienced is the sunrise from a High Peak. I recently recruited two friends, Emilee and Dan, to accompany me on an early morning foray to the Balanced Rocks on Pitchoff Mountain, a 1.6 mile hike. It’s the kind of thing that sounds like a great idea until the logistics are revealed: Wake up at 2:45 a.m., drive from my home in Saranac Lake to Lake Placid, meet my companions, and hit the trail by 4 a.m. To my surprise, I almost pulled it off. By 4:15, our ... continue reading
 
I remember the first time I saw an Adirondack toilet paper tree. We were coming off of the summit of Cascade Mountain, a popular summertime hike, and I spotted a narrow path into the thick balsam forest. I figured most trails lead to a destination and decided to investigate. To my horror, that destination was a disgusting scene of human waste and used T.P. not 15 feet from the main path. This wasn’t a secret overlook or some other hidden beauty; it was a makeshift restroom. I’ve seen it all, from campsites set up a few feet from a stream to bags of garbage left next to a lean-to. Here’s the... continue reading
 
  Stay dry: A word to the wise Spring is a beautiful time to be in the High Peaks, and it’s also a good time to pay close attention to trail conditions. The state Department of Environmental Conservation asks hikers to help protect our forests by sticking to low-elevation trails until things dry out. Up high, hikers will still find winter conditions this time of year, including deep snow and sub-zero temperatures. A bit lower there’s a good chance of finding lots of water and mud. As snow and ice met, the increased water flow makes easy stream crossings more dangerous, and the mud makes... continue reading
 
Change is always imminent in the mountains, and that’s never more noticeable than the transition from winter to summer. The brief in between, spring, is a time when color returns to the forest. The cold blues and grays are joined by an expanded palette — greens, yellows, and reds abound in the form of mosses, leaves, and flowers.  The first hint of the colors to come are spring ephemerals, wildflowers that erupt from the forest floor as soon as the snow recedes. By popping up so quickly they’re able to take care of the business of being a flower before the trees leaf... continue reading
 
Winter is slowly losing its icy grip to the impending warmth of summer, making this a great time to get some late-season winter hikes in. Yes, it’s technically spring in the High Peaks, but it’ll probably still look like winter in the mountains for a few more weeks.  I like to take advantage of the warmer temperatures and get a farewell look at the winter scenery before it's gone. Plus, once the snow melts the state Department of Environmental Conservation asks everyone to stay off high-elevation trails until they dry out. The reason is simple: The trails and the surrounding forests are... continue reading
 

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