Shaun Kittle

Recent Blog Posts

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... continue reading
 
All I had to do was lie face down, clear my head, and let myself sink into the massage table. What followed was 50 minutes of bliss. I’ve never had a professional massage before, so I was intrigued by the offer to spend an afternoon at the Mirror Lake Inn Spa. It couldn’t have come at a better time — I had just returned from a neck-cramping, overnight flight from Phoenix, so despite the dozens of miles of desert hiking my wife and I logged, my body was feeling stiff and reluctant to move. I told my masseuse, Sandy, about this and she made things right, but as... continue reading
 
Lake Placid is the perfect place to get close to the mountains, so you might be surprised to learn there aren’t any ice fishing opportunities in the lake-side village. I reached out to the regional state Department of Environmental Conservation office, and learned there’s a good reason for that. It turns out, a lot of the potential ice fishing waters in the Lake Placid area are considered brook trout waters, and brook trout — which are the state fish of New York — are very susceptible to ice fishing and can easily be over fished.  But before you cancel your ice fishing trip to Lake... continue reading
 
Everyone knows Lake Placid is a great place to do your holiday shopping, right? I recently learned there's more to put you in the holiday spirit than just the beautifully decorated stores and the twinkling lights that adorn Main Street. Our lodging properties go all out this time of year, and it's the perfect opportunity to visit them. I started my tour just north of the village, where Whiteface Mountain dominates the horizon, and worked my way into downtown lobby by lobby.  Lake Placid Lodge The most out-of-the-way locale on this list, Lake Placid Lodge is worth the... continue reading
 
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... continue reading
 
In my heyday, I could close out a bar with the best of them. Time was not a factor when I was celebrating life, and Saturdays were typically reserved for plodding around in full-blown recovery mode. Since then, some things have changed. I still like to tip a few back but I'm a lot busier now, both in my personal life and in my professional life, so I've really learned to treasure my days off. I'm talking real days off, when I have no plans, no obligations, and no responsibilities. In my mind, those rarest of moments are best spent in the mountains, doing the things that first drew... continue reading
 
Do you love sinking a putt in the quiet serenity of nature, or nailing a drive and watching it disappear into a backdrop of towering peaks? How about docking your boat, hopping on a shuttle bus, and getting a few rounds in before an evening of lakeside dining? Whether you want to be near the action or away from it, you'll find something to love on Essex County's golf courses. Just don't forget to take your eye off the ball once in a while — in the Adirondacks, eagle isn't just another way of saying "good game." North Essex County's northern golf ... continue reading
 
Hiking is not an exact science. Even though there are hundreds of lists containing "10 essential items to bring on a hike," there is no one absolutely correct way to hit the trail. That was a big draw for me: There is an element of self-sufficiency, largely driven by trial and error, that's intrinsic in climbing mountains. I've been exploring the High Peaks for almost 20 years now, and I've learned quite a few things by simply putting my boots to the dirt. Every mistake was a chance to learn and better my routine, a lesson in how to enjoy the woods in a safer way. The following... continue reading
 
It started light and innocent, a frolic just for fun I said, "Hey, let's get ice cream everyone!" The banana split came; I ate it on the run I fought the sundae and the sundae won All misty eyed It was a sunny Tuesday afternoon when a couple of coworkers and I did a biathlon tour of two Lake Placid ice cream stands. It was a delicious trip that left me breathless and nearly incapacitated. I managed to refrain from ordering something at our first stop, Mountain Mist, because I ate lunch only an hour prior to our journey. I was... continue reading
 
A hike to the summit of an Adirondack High Peak is like walking back in time. Algonquin, the Adirondacks' second-highest mountain, is an ideal place to see this living museum first-hand. Starting at the Adirondak Loj, the trail begins with an easy stroll through a beautiful forest of mixed evergreens and hardwoods. Things are pleasant and calm down here, but as the path gains elevation the grade steepens and everything changes. Shortly after bearing right at a trail junction — left goes to Marcy Dam — you'll cross a stream and enter a forest that mostly... continue reading
 

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