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Archive for the ‘Kid’s Activities’ Category

North Country Now, link to original post

The Adirondack Mountain Club Laurentain Chapter schedule is as follows:

• October 6 the club will climb Noonmark Mt. An almost-High Peak with spectacular views of the Great Range, near St. Hubert’s. six miles of rough terrain, 2,200 feet of gain. Steep, but slow pace. Strenuous. Contact John Barron 315-613-828-2296 or johnbarron@sympatico.ca

• October 12 the club will climb Furnace Mt. To avoid the crowds on Columbus Day weekend, we’ll climb a little mountain few know of, off the Red Tavern Road. About six miles RT and 900 feet elevation gain. Moderate. Contact Armond Spencer 315-379-1383.

• October 13 there will be an afternoon “Kids Pirate Hike” on Red Sandstone Trail. A joint event with Nature Up North. This three mile walk on mostly level ground includes a hot dog and marshmallow cook out midway along the trail (all food provided). A little known band of Pirates from the Caribbean lost their gold along this trail. Learn the legend and look for their treasure. Along the way we’ll learn about frogs, beavers, hydropower, the history of the region and more. Limited to 24 participants. Contact Blair Madore madorebf@potsdam.edu or 315-265-0602 to reserve your spot.

• October 19 climb Debar Mt. Named after Quebec native John Debar, renowned hunter and 19th century guide, start from Meacham Lake state campground through beautiful forest, past kettle holes at gentle slopes except for the final half-mile, which is quite steep. 7.4 mile RT, with over 1600 feet of climb. Strenuous. Great views to the west. Contact David Trithart 315-265-8117 or dtrithar@twcny.rr.com

• October 24 participants will climb in Malone and watch snow geese return. Not just for birders. We’ll travel to Malone to watch a spectacular evening display as the Snow Geese come back to the Salmon River for the night. It’s an easy walk in the park, We’ll plan to stop for dinner on the way home. Easy. Contact Ann Spencer 315-379-1383.

• October 25-27 there will be a Stone Valley Trail work weekend. There will be many SUNY Potsdam Students involved, therefore, we are primarily in need of crew leaders that know the Stone Valley trails, and/or have experience with trail maintenance and construction. Projects will include: trash clean-up, trail marking, bridge building, mountain bike trail construction, clipping brush, and trail maintenance. Please contact Mark Simon by October 14th simonm@potsdam.edu or 315-262-2571 if you can lead a crew or would like to participate.

• November 2 there will be a bike ride on the St. Lawrence River. We’ll try for one last bike ride along the St. Lawrence River, from a scenic overlook to Kring Point Park and back. The round trip total is 28 miles. Moderate. There are shorter options, contact the trip leader for details: Tom Ortmeyer tortmeye@gmail.com or 315-265-8219.

• November 10 there will be an annual meeting and fall pot luck will be held at the First Presbyterian Church on at the park, 17 Park St., Canton. Bring a dish to share and your own tableware. Arrive at 5 PM for supper to start promptly at 5:30. Our guest speaker will be Dr. Bill Kirchgasser, Professor of Geology, Emeritus, SUNY Potsdam, who will present “Lines, Planes, and Curves of the Adirondacks: A Geologist’s Perspective”. Contact John Barron johnbarron@sympatico.ca or 613-828-2296.

• December 7 there will be an early season ski, snowshoe, and hike at Higley Flow State Park. Kids, grandparents, and dogs are invited on our annual two to three mile romp. We’ll finish with a campfire at the Warm Brook Lean To with hotdogs, hot chocolate and marshmallows provided. Easy walk. Contact Blair Madore madorebf@potsdam.edu o r315-265-0602.

• December 14 there will be a snowshoe hike at Indian Creek. Celebrate winter with an easy snowshoe or hike of about 2 miles at Indian Creek Nature Center, just outside of Rensselaer Falls. We’ll finish with free s’mores and cocoa. A fun event for kids. We have snowshoes to loan. Level 1, easy. Dress in layers. Contact Ann Spencer 315-379-1383.

• December 14 there will be a cross-country skiing outing will be at Whiteface Toll Road. This was an annual event for the chapter for many years. Whiteface often has snow when the low country is bare. This is a very strenuous climb of five miles one-way. Ability to ski in crusty and wind-swept snow is essential. Conditions can be harsh, and participants must dress for cold and wind. Very strenuous. Contact David Trithart 315-265-8117 or dtrithar@twcny.rr.com

• December 21 climb Mt. Marcy on the solstice. At 5,344 feet this is the highest of the High Peaks. This one is for experienced winter climbers. Dress in layers, balaclava, goggles, gloves/mittens, micro spikes/crampons, snowshoes, insulated water source and a determined spirit! With a long exposed summit windchill can be big factor. Heavy snow and or high winds will cancel. Very strenuous. Contact Brian Baston 315-600-1282 or brian.b.goode@gmail.com

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llamaEver think your spouse would come home and say it’d be cool to own a couple llamas? Dawn Bishop didn’t know what she was getting herself into when her husband, John, proposed the idea. The couple started out exercising llamas at the New York State Fair, before eventually ending up with a llama trekking business in central New York state. Click here to read all about Llama Trekking in Central New York State.

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It’s back! Join Grossmans Garden & Home for old-fashioned Fall family fun. Enjoy kids activities and crafts, seasonal taste-sensations and of course…the sounds of children chunkin’ pumpkins! Proceeds to benefit Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, Verona Street Animal Shelter & Genesee Land Trust. We’re also collecting canned goods for local food pantries.

Highlighting…
·        Pumpkin Chunkin’
·        Tomato Toss
·        Hayrides

Featuring…
·        Perry Ground – Haudenosaunee Storyteller
·        Community Food Collection

Enjoy & Shop…
·        In-store Harvest Market
·        Fresh Grilled Hots & Popcorn

WHEN:           Saturdays & Sundays, Oct 5th-20th from 11am-4pm

WHERE:        Grossmans Garden & Home
1801 Route 250 (1 mile north of Route 441)
Penfield, New York  (a suburb of Rochester)

PRICE:           Nominal fee for activities

HOW:             Visit www.grossmans.com or call 377-1982 for additional details.

About Grossmans Garden & Home
Grossmans Garden & Home, has been Rochester’s premier gardening destination for over twenty five years.  As a year-round garden inspiration center, Grossmans Garden & Home strives to inspire and enrich the lifestyles of garden enthusiasts, young and old, with the highest quality homegrown flowers, trees, shrubs, garden art & furniture.  For more information about Grossmans Garden & Home, call (585) 377-1982 or visit our website at www.grossmans.com.

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KidsOutAndAbout Readers’ Choice 2013:
Top 20 Places to take kids in the Buffalo area : click here

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Family camping fun in the Finger Lakes National Forest.

Family camping fun in the Finger Lakes National Forest.

Campsites on the Finger Lakes National Forest (FLNF) are now open. Leaves are emerging, birds are migrating and wildflowers are now blooming. In the past several weeks U.S. Forest Service employees have been working hard to prepare camping facilities.

The forest offers several recreational opportunities including picnicking, camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, hunting and canoeing. While campers may find some wet spots, forest roads and trails are in very good shape.

The FLNF expects the number of visitors from New York and from in and around New England to be up this season due in part to high fuel costs.

Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your camping trip.
Camping on the FLNF is on a first come, first serve basis in the Blueberry Patch Campground and by reservation only at Potomac campground. Visitors camping at the Backbone Horse camp must have horses.

Backpacking Trails in Central & Western New York

Backpacking Trails in Central & Western New York

There is a maximum stay of 14 days in a 30-day period.
Please do not transport firewood into New York from out of state.
You can camp anywhere on the forest unless the area is posted closed to camping, and with the exception of pastures when cattle are grazing.
Please leave the campsites clean by using the Leave No Trace Principles – “carry out what you carry in.”

Safety first
Whether you’re roughing it in a tent or planning a family outing on the National Forest, there are many ways to make sure your experience is fun and safe.
Pack a first aid kit. It can prove invaluable if you or a member of your group suffers a cut, bee sting or allergic reaction. Pack antiseptics for cuts and scrapes, tweezers, insect repellent, bug spray, pain relievers and sunscreen.
Bring emergency supplies including a map, compass, flashlight, knife, waterproof fire starter, personal shelter, whistle, warm clothing, high energy food, water and insect protection.
Before you leave, find out the weather forecast. When you arrive at the site, watch the skies for changes and carry a compact weather radio. In inclement weather, find shelter until the worse passes.
Stay dry – wet clothes contribute to heat loss. Also, keep sleeping bags and important gear dry at all times.

Take A Hike - Finger Lakes NY

Take A Hike – Finger Lakes NY

Arrive early. Plan your trip so that you arrive at your actual campsite with enough daylight to check over the entire site and to set up camp.
Check for potential hazards. Be sure to check the site thoroughly for glass, sharp objects, branches, poison ivy, bees and hazardous terrain.
Avoid areas of natural hazards. Check the contour of the land and look for potential trouble due to rain. Areas that could flood or become extremely muddy can pose a problem.
Inspect the site. Look for level land with enough room to spread out all your gear. A site that has trees or shrubs on the side of prevailing winds will help block strong, unexpected gusts.
Pay attention to local regulations, particularly concerning campfires.
Build fires in a safe area. Your open fires and fuel-burning appliances must be far enough away from the tent to prevent ignition from sparks, flames, and heat. Never use a flame or any other heating device inside a tent. Use a flashlight or battery-powered light instead.
Make sure your fires are always attended. Be sure you have an area for a fire that cannot spread laterally or vertically. A grill or stone surface is ideal. Put the fire out by drowning it with water, making sure all embers, coals and sticks are wet. Embers buried deep within the pile have a tendency to reignite later.
Watch out for bugs. Hornets, bees, wasps and yellow jackets are a problem at many campsites. Avoid attracting stinging insects by wearing light-colored clothing and avoiding perfumes or colognes. Should such an insect approach, do not wave wildly and swat blindly. Instead, use a gentle pushing or brushing motion to deter them. Perform tick checks regularly.
Beware when encountering wildlife. To ward off bears, keep your campsite clean, and do not leave food, garbage, coolers, cooking equipment or utensils out in the open. Remember that bears can potentially be dangerous and unpredictable – never feed or approach a bear. Use a flashlight at night – many animals feed at night; the use of a flashlight may warn them away.
Beware of poisonous plants. Familiarize yourself with dangerous plants that are common to the area. If you come into contact with a poisonous plant, immediately rinse the affected area with water and apply a soothing lotion such as calamine to the affected area.

Please click here for additional information.

Click here for Footprint Press guidebooks with information on where to hike, backpack and camp.

source: Life in the Finger Lakes Magazine

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by David Figura | Syracuse.com, link to original post

Central New York is an outdoors wonderland. The diversity of eye-opening and mind-clearing settings a little more than an hour’s ride from Syracuse is incredible.

There’s picturesque waterfalls; lush, green hiking trails; multi-facted nature centers; the breath-taking scenery around the Finger Lakes; Adirondack-like woods; nationally recognized birding areas – ocean shore-like settings on Lake Ontario.

There’s 15 weekends, beginning with this weekend and extending through Labor Day. With that in mind, here are 15, great Central New York outdoors destinations that will reveal how generous Mother Nature has been to us.

Take the Figura Challenge. Visit them all this summer.

Take your family, your significant other or just check out the spots yourself. Pack a lunch or dinner. Make a morning, an afternoon or a day of it. Take pictures.

Send your experiences and photos to me at dfigura@syracuse.com. Briefly note what you liked, what you didn’t like and recommendations for others who are planning to visit there. I’ll compile your impressions each week on my outdoors page on Syracuse.com.

Have I left out any of your favorites? Drop me a line. The guidebooks from Footprint Press can provide maps & all the details you’ll need to explore these and other places. Meanwhile, here’s my list:

Birding in Central & Western NY

Birding in Central & Western NY

1). Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge: A mecca for bird lovers. Enough said. The refuge headquarters and visitor’s center is off Route 20, west of Auburn. For more, see fws.gov/refuge/montezuma or call 568-5987.

2). Fair Haven State Park: Features high bluffs above sandy beaches and hilly woodlands. Inland, there is Sterling Pond. Fishing is excellent and very accessible. Rowboats, paddleboats and canoes are for rent. The park is located off Route 104A in Fair Haven. For more, see nysparks.com/12 or call 947-5205.

3). Sterling Nature Center: This 1,400-acre nature center located in the northeastern corner of Cayuga County in the town of Sterling on Jensvold Road boasts more than 10 miles of hiking trails and two miles of lake shore. The center is open dawn to dusk. One particular highlight is its huge great blue heron rookery (nesting area). For more, see cayugacounty.us/web/Departments/Parks/Sterling or call 947-6143.

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY

4).Taughannock Falls: The hiking trails at this state park offer spectacular views and unique geological formations, including the 215-foot falls, which is 33 feet taller than Niagara and is the highest vertical single-drop waterfall in the Northeast. It’s located on the western side of Cayuga Lake off Route 89.For more, see nysparks.com/parks/62 or call 607-387-6739.

5). Fillmore Glen State Park: This park is an oasis of cool, dense woods crowding into a long, narrow gorge. Its hiking trails offer great views and unique geological formations, including five waterfalls and a botanically rich glen. Located off Route 38 in Moravia. For more, see nysparks.com/parks/157 or call 497-0130.

Take Your Bike - Finger Lakes

Take Your Bike – Finger Lakes

6). Bear Swamp: A picturesque state reforestation area in Sempronius, in southeastern Cayuga County off Route 41A, with several vantage points overlooking Skaneateles Lake. It contains about 15 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Enter by the Colonial Lodge restaurant/tavern in Sempronius. (It’s also a good place for a meal or drink afterward).

7). Baltimore Woods Nature Center: This outdoors gem, located off Bishop Road in Marcellus, features more than six miles of hiking trails, numerous outdoors-related programs and an interpretative center. A great place to check out woodland wildlflowers along hiking trails and also at the center’s Faust Garden. A heads up: no dogs allowed. For more, see baltimorewoods.org or call 673-1350.

Take A Hike - Finger Lakes

Take A Hike – Finger Lakes

8). Beaver Lake Nature Center: The popular, county-run facility offers nine miles of hiking trails and more than 400 annual nature/outdoors-related programs. It offers a rich mix of habitats, that create the possibility of seeing more than 200 species of birds and more than 800 varieties of plants. It also features a small lake, which visitors can enjoy with rented kayaks and canoes. For more, see onondagacountyparks.com/beaver-lake-nature center or call 638-2519.

9). Labrador Hollow Unique Area: Nestled in a valley on the Onondaga/Cortland county line on Route 91 east of Tully, this area offers an Adirondack-like, forestry feel and picturesque Tinker Falls in one part — and an expansive, bio-diverse wetland and pond made accessible by a raised boardwalk in another. The area’s 1,474 acres is a favorite spot for hikers, birders, nature lovers and other outdoor sports enthusiasts.

10) Highland Forest: This county run park, which is tagged the “Adirondacks of Central New York,” is located in southeastern Onondaga Couny in Fabius. It features more than 20 miles of year-old trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. It also overs group camping sites for youth and a huge lodge with an eye-opening view of a valley below. A self-guided nature trail is the perfect introductory hike. For more, see onondagacountyparks.com/highland-forest or call 683-5550..

11). Pratt’s Falls: Scenic trails leading to a 137-foot waterfall beacon visitors to bring a well-stocked picnic basket and a sense of adventure at this county park, located on Pratt’s Falls Road in Manlius. In addition to hiking, Pratt’s Falls offers an archery range. This park has been used for national, state and local orienteering events that allow participants to navigate through a marked course using only a map and compass. For more, see onondagacountyparks.com/pratt-s-falls-park or call 435-5252.

12). Chittenango Falls State Park: An eye-opening, 167-foot waterfall is the main attraction. Glacial sculpting of 400-million-year-old bedrock is responsible for this scenic feature. An interesting variety of both plants and wildlife may be found along the trails. Located off Rathbun Road in Cazenovia. For more, see nysparks.com/parks/130 or call 655-5205.

13). Green Lakes State Park: The highlights of this popular park in Fayetteville include two glacial lakes surrounded by upland forest. The lakes offer opportunities for swimming, fishing and boat rentals. Hikers, joggers and mountain bikers can take advantage of more than 10 miles of trails. Camping facilities are available. And yes, there’s also an 18-hole golf course. For more, see nysparks.com/parks/172 or call 637-6111.

14). Clark Reservation State Park: This park is a geologic wonder of the last ice age and a botanist’s paradise. The park’s natural features include rugged cliffs and rocky outcrops, woodland meadow, a wetland and glacial plunge basin lake in which surface waters and bottom waters do not mix. Features include five hiking trails. Fishermen and birders are frequently visitors here. For more see, nysparks.com/126 or call 492-1590.

15). Selkirk Shores State Park: This state park’s campsites overlook a bluff on Lake Ontario. In addition to Great Lakes swimming, visitors can expect outstanding fishing and sunsets, plus hiking and biking trails. Birders take note: It’s on the direct migration route for a wide variety of bird species. It’s located off Route 3 in Pulaski. For more, see nysparks.com/84 or call 298-5737.

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kidsWant Your Kids to Enjoy Hiking and the Great Outdoors? “Make it fun”, says Jeff Alt,  renowned hiking expert and author of the new book Get Your Kids Hiking! How to Start Them Young and Keep it Fun.

Jeff is an avid hiker.  In addition to walking the 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail, he also walked the 218-mile John Muir Trail with his wife, and trekked across a 50-mile path of Ireland with his wife, young daughter, and weddingextended family. He and his wife emerged from the church doors on their wedding day wearing backpacks, and his son was taken on his first hike at 8 weeks.

Jeff has lots of great advice about how to make sure you and the kids have a great time outdoors. “It’s time to get off the couch and hit the trail with your kids.”

Here’s how!
Start’em Young: Ergonomically designed baby carriers make it easy and fun to carry your infant and toddler with you wherever you hike. Walk to your Favorite Park or beach. Bring a friend. Stop often and let your little one explore. Make your hike a routine your kids will look forward to.

Let the Kids Lead! Follow the leader! Hike at your child’s pace and distance. Whatever your child takes interest in, stop and explore that bug, leaf or rock with them. Tell them about the animals, rocks, trees, and flowers. Getting to the destination is less important than making sure your kids have so much fun; they will want to go again and again.

Count Down to the Adventure: Psych the kids up with pictures, videos, and highlights of the places they will go and the things they will see. Use books, magazines, maps, and the Internet, especially park websites and videos showing the spectacular wildlife and locations they will see.Kids Hiking

Suit Up in Comfort, Style and the Latest Technology:  Take this checklist with you shopping so you get the bases covered:

-Footwear: Until your kids are walking consistently on their own (birth-3), fit them with a comfortable pair of water resistant shoes. Make sure the three and older kids are wearing light weight trail shoes or boots with a sturdy sole. A Vibram sole with a waterproof breathable liner is preferred. Wear non-cotton, moisture wicking, synthetic or wool socks.

-Clothing:   Dress for the weather! Wear non-cotton synthetic, wool & fleece clothes and dress in layers. Wear multipurpose clothes like pants that zip off into shorts or shirts with role up sleeves. Pack a waterproof breathable rain parka. Dress for the season with fleece hat & gloves or a hat with a wide brim for sun protection.

-Packs: Get age and size appropriate backpacks that fit each hiker comfortably with hydration hose capability.

-Trekking Poles: Get a pair of adjustable, collapsible poles with an ergonomically designed handle for each person.

-Fresh, Clean Water: You can get a hydration hose system for your pack or just use bottles. Disinfect wild water using hi-tech portable treatment water systems such as a UV wand or micro-straining filter.

-Communication: Bring a smart phone so you can take lots of pictures and if there’s connectivity, email to family or upload to your online blog or Facebook page.  Carry a GPS unit to keep you located on the trail and for geocaching.

-Other Must Haves: Pediatrician recommended suntan lotion and bug repellent containing Deet or Picaridin; First aid kit that accommodates the whole group & first aid knowledge to go along with the kit. Bring a compass & map and brush up on how to use them. Learn how to make a shelter to keep you warm and dry. Keep matches and a lighter in a dry place and know how to make a fire to keep warm. Carry a whistle and a signal mirror in case you get lost. Pack a survival knife with a locking blade. Bring a head lamp flashlight, extra batteries, 50 feet of rope or twine, and always have several feet of duct tape for that unexpected repair.

Bring water and food kids love:  Hand out needed extra energy and water as needed on the trail. Pack their favorite snacks and bring plenty of water. Stop often for a drink and a snack.

familyPack Fun Items: Let young children fill their adventure pack with a bug catcher, magnifying glass, binoculars, a camera, a map and compass, whistle, or flashlight. Let your little adventurer take ownership and pack a few items of his own; even if it’s not hiking related.

Play Games and Bring a Friend: Play I Spy using your surroundings as you walk along. Create your own scavenger hunt in search of animals, plants and views along the way. Make up rhymes and sing songs as you walk. Pack along a plant and animal identification guide for your older child. Let your social butterfly bring a friend, with parental permission. Intrigue your computer savvy child with the high-tech hiking gadgets like GPS, headlamp flashlights and pedometers. Use your GPS and take your kids on a geocaching adventure.

Take Advantage of Park Activities and Guided Nature Experiences:  Utilize and enjoy the amazing services and resources offered by our parks, trail and recreational system and associations. This will help ensure that the experience is enjoyable, memorable and even life-changing.

Get Your Kids Hiking: How to Start Them Young and Keep It Fun!
By Jeff Alt
List $13.95
Trade Paper 5” x 7.5”
ISBN 978-0-8253-0691-4
May 2013
Beaufort Books publishers, New York

About the Author
Jeff Alt is a travelling speaker and hiking expert who provides seminars in collaboration with the Shenandoah National Park staff, and Appalachian Trail Shows in and around National Parks. Alt has walked the 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail, the 218-mile John Muir Trail with his wife, and he carried his 21-month old daughter on a family trek across Ireland. Alt has been hiking withhis kids since they were infants. He is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA). His hiking advice has been featured in numerous publications and media, including Scholastic Parent & Child, The Boston Globe, National Geographic Adventure, DiscoveryChannel.com, ESPN, Hallmark Channel, National Public Radio, and more. Alt is a speech language pathologist and lives with his wife and two children in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In addition to Get Your Kids Hiking, Alt’s other books include A Walk For Sunshine, A 2,160 Mile Expedition for Charity on the Appalachian Trail, A Hike For Mike, and Four Boots One Journey (ebook).

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