After several postponed trips for the Lake Placid 8th Grade class we were finally on our way to do a team building trip on Owl’s Head. This is an annual event for High Peaks Mountain Guides and the Lake Placid Central School District, which always ends up being an interesting and fun day. Cooler weather in the morning delayed the start of the day but it was worth the wait, soon the sun warmed up the area and the temperatures were much friendlier. While a small group went kayaking, another tried stand-up paddle boarding, a third was rock climbing and a fourth tore up the trails mountain biking... continue reading
The curtain is about to go up on Mother Nature's greatest show. We don't have any control over this boldest of her annual productions - after all, Mother Nature is in total control.  She changes the colors when she chooses, but if tradition holds true, we should see peak color during the last week in September and the first week in October this year.  But remember, that's not a guarantee (MN doesn't share her production schedule with us)!At the moment we have about 20 percent color change in the High Peaks Region, however it varies greatly depending on elevation. The lower the elevation the... continue reading
            I went for a hike at the Intervale Lowlands Preserve in Lake Placid on the weekend with a couple friends.  We were mostly looking for birds, but Intervale offers the additional benefit of some great views of the Sentinels, the High Peaks, and Whiteface.  The walking at Intervale is relatively flat and easy too, which is great for me since I’ve been dealing with ongoing sickness and fatigue over the past number of months.             And for those of us who enjoy birding, there is always plenty to see.  As we drove in, an osprey flew overhead and American kestrels hunted above the... continue reading
With fall comes cooler weather and the higher in elevation you go, the cooler it gets. With this cool high altitude weather comes more moisture and early introduction of ice – especially in the morning. Once fall gets a bit more settled in, winter conditions start to appear and there tends to be a change in the appropriate traction devises needed for a safe and enjoyable time on the trail. Below I have compiled a small list of traction equipment that you have to choose from readily in Lake Placid or online. Some are perfect for fall and other are designed a bit more for high mountaineering... continue reading
            This past week I headed to Vermont to meet up with a friend and I used the drive to look for birds on both sides of Lake Champlain.  After my successful stop at Noblewood (see my blog on www.lakechamplainregion.com for 9/12/13) where I found semipalmated plovers, greater yellowlegs, and least sandpipers, I worked my way around the New York side of the Lake.  There wasn’t much in Westport, but there were a few gulls and ducks near the boat launch and the sewage treatment plant.  And killdeer were spread out feeding across many of the lawns and fields.  I looked for anything odd... continue reading
Fall is kicking into high gear here in the Adirondacks and we've got fall events that'll make you want to kick up your heels and some that'll help you sit back and relax. Two of our much anticipated events take place in the Whiteface Region.  The 36th Annual Whiteface Mountain Uphill Foot Race takes place on Saturday the 14th  on the same day as the Wilmington Festival of the Colors. For some foot stompin' bluegrass music, don't miss the ever growing Otis Mountain Get Down in Elizabethtown on September 14th also. The festival features top notch bluegrass intertwined with acts of all genres,... continue reading
            In the constantly changing world of songbird migration, seemingly anything can happen.  And yesterday offered an exciting example of those possibilities.  I was writing on my deck when I heard the chatter of chickadees which I tried hard to ignore so that I could get my work done.  The chatter soon moved closer and was joined by American goldfinches – not something I’m concerned about.  I kept my head down and kept writing.             The chickadees slowly move closer and I eventually heard a few chips from warblers.  Again, I tried to ignore them.  But I started to peek up in... continue reading
Split Rock Bluffs are a bit off the beaten path, but the area has much to offer the entire family. Split Rock is located not far off Exit 30 of I-87 on Route 9, south of Elizabethtown. The area has been known for quite some time as a swimming destination and cliff jumping.  It is also, all too well known to be the home of unfortunate events in the sport of cliff jumping. This is why I start out this blog with a warning that the area is home to tall cliffs and dangerous conditions. While some of the area is totally safe for almost anyone, many may not be so. Please practice acts of awareness... continue reading
            As summer progresses, one of my favorite things to do in the field is to enjoy the variety of wildflowers.  Many of our common species – both native species and non-native species - do not bloom until late in the season making this time of year full of color along our fields and roads.             I plant native wildflowers in my yard and so right now my brushy garden is awash in the pink (and amazing fragrance) of common milkweed, accented by the whites and purples of asters, and is aglow with late goldenrod.  It is not only something I enjoy, but the birds seem to love it as... continue reading
Mount Redfield is a very popular peak for me as a mountain guide and of course Cliff Mountain being its neighbor, its par for the course that it is also on the punch list for the day. Typically the issue at hand is, once many are done with Redfield, Cliff becomes much less important. Redfield alone from the Adirondack Loj is 16.4 miles, round trip. To include Cliff you add on over 2-miles of hiking making this an 18+ mile day. Setting off on a, not so bright, 5am start with Cliff and Redfield on the order form, we had high hopes of getting them both before the day was out. The sky... continue reading


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