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WGRZ, link to original post with VIDEO

The beauty of the Adirondack region of NY State is undeniable. From it’s sparkling lakes to it’s acres of deep forest, it is truly a unique place. The mountains are what draw most people here. Majestic peaks span for miles, almost surreal in their vast grandeur.

The call of these mountains are strong, compelling those who hear it to scale these giants.Even now, with relatively well trails to the top the climb is still not easy. There are 46 mountains towering over four thousand feet here, and there’s a dedicated and growing roster of people who have hiked all forty six ! Begun in 1925 and officially chartered in 1948, the club is appropriately named ” The Adirondack 46ers”. Phil Corell is Treasurer of the Adirondack 46ers.” Since 1948, we have over eight thousand registered 46ers, we’ve actually logged in 1126 new 46ers in the last three years, the interest by the general population is overwhelming.”

It has been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and so it is at the trailhead of every mountain. But some people take that first step at a very young age, Corell is a fine example.” My parents sent me to a summer camp in the Adirondacks, there I was introduced, my first peak was Giant Mountain, and the bug bit me right away, by the age of sixteen I had finished my first round. Then my sons were born, I got to share that, and they finished their 46 at nine and eleven with my wife.”

Then there are those who have completed their initial forty six and go on to complete the challenge in new and intriguing ways.
” There was a fellow bushwacker who climbed all 46 peaks off trail,did not use an established route for any of the peaks.” Corell explains.” There’s someone who has skiied all 46 peaks, on back country skiis, never taking them off. Everyone has their challenge, their reason for being out here, but it’s just a beautiful sense of accomplishment.”

Corell says the Adirondack 46ers are not all about the climb. They also give much back to the environment they love so much. Their volunteers work hard to maintain trails, provide environmental education, and support other groups working toward the same goal. ” We’re trying to give money back to help the environment, to improve the conditions to make the Adirondacks a better place to hike in, and to minimize human impact.”

The 46ers give that back gratefully to the mountains that have given them so much. Corell tells 2 The Outdoors that the group wants to make sure that these mountains are for many generations to come. ” People have to become stewards, they have to give back. The critical thing is if you enjoy this area and you’ve gotten something out of the experience, then how about paying something back ? Do some volunteer trail work, if you can’t do trailwork, then contribute to some of the organizations that do. “

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The dog days of summer are here and many of us are begging for relief from the sticky midsummer heat. While it is tempting to follow the rest of the flock to the closest public swimming pool, nothing beats wading into the clear waters of a natural swimming hole. This summer, leave those frying pan pool decks behind and head to secluded natural swimming holes complete with waterfalls, rope swings, and deep, cool pools.
Peekamoose Blue Hole, Sundown

Peekamoose Blue Hole

Peekamoose Blue Hole

When you hear the term “swimming hole,” this is what comes to mind. Sun leaks through a canopy of leaves and spills into shockingly cold water along Rondout Creek in the Catskills. This area would undoubtedly be more crowded if it weren’t for a healthy 3.5-mile hike from the Peekamoose Mountain Trailhead to the Blue Hole area, but as is, there’s usually plenty of space to splash around. If a 7-mile hike (3.5 in, 3.5 out) is too strenuous for you and your group, there are also numerous spots to swim along Roundout Creek which runs parallel to Peekamoose Road.
Robert H. Treman State Park – Enfield Falls

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY available at www.footprintpress.com

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY available at http://www.footprintpress.com

Enfield Falls – often called the Lower Falls – at Robert Treman State Park in Ithaca, can get a bit crowded, especially on holiday weekends, but it’s only because it’s such an idyllic, and easily accessible place. The swimming area is at the bottom of a gorge, fed by a waterfall, and flanked by a flat grass beach with slate steps leading to the water. Also, unlike many swimming holes, the Lower Falls are handicap accessible – a real blessing to families with special needs. The swimming area is also surrounded by 9-miles of hiking trails.
Split Rock Hole
Split Rock Hole on the Mohonk Preserve in New Paltz doesn’t have a spacious pool like Blue Hole or Enfield Falls, but it has its own great feature: a cliff to jump from. Well, technically it’s a gorge, but either way, the height of the drop is enough to take your breath away. It’s high enough that a belly flop would be ill-advised, but not high enough to be very dangerous. But if cliff-jumping isn’t your style, the creek empties into a slightly larger pool further downstream where swimming is allowed. Parking is $10 for the day.
Minnewaska State Park Preserve – Lake Minnewaska and Lake Awosting
Minnewaska State Park Preserve is located just west of I-87, halfway between Albany and New York City, and features two peaceful lakes perfect for a summer’s day dip. Both lakes have pristine swimming beaches, though it’s noteworthy that swimming is only allowed “in-season”; that’s when lifeguards are on duty. Most of the preserve offers fantastic vistas of the surrounding mountains and the Minnewaska beach faces high stone bluffs covered by evergreens on the opposite shore. Lake Awosting is the more secluded of the two, reached either by carriageway or hiking trail. Swimming in non-approved locations has been cracked down since a recent change in ownership, but the beaches are more than adequate for a day of fun and refreshment.
Stony Kill Falls – Hole 32

Stony Kill Falls - Hole 32

Stony Kill Falls – Hole 32

Hole 32 is the name given to the spot beneath the 87-foot water fall in Kerhonkson, approximately 30 miles northwest of Newburgh. It’s no surprise that the spot is a local secret because it is gorgeous and naturally well hidden – enough so that a pool above the falls has been playfully dubbed “nudist pool.” The area below the cascade is popular as well and visitors commonly cool themselves in the falling waters and lounge in the mist on the rocks. You can also hike upstream along the river for several miles and explore numerous other falls and pools.
Hole lot of fun.
Swimming holes are great, and not just for their novelty. You have to really work to get to many of these places, and after your hike you have a nice cold pool to dive into. There’s also the fact that in New York, many natural swimming areas are surrounded by scenery that is among the most beautiful in the country. If you’ve never experienced a good old-fashioned swimming hole, do yourself a favor and try one of these. If you have, you’re probably already halfway out the door.
Jeffrey Ferraro is a travel enthusiast and expert. He is the Director of Marketing of Diamond Tours, the leading provider of charter group bus trips in the US and Canada, including bus tours in New York City. Jeffrey loves uncovering lesser known travel destinations and sharing them with his customers.

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boot on treeboot planters

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Jim Montanus took these beautiful photos and shared his thoughts:
“Dramatic Sunrise over Lake Ontario this morning (March 17, 2013).  A big line of Lake Effect squalls had just passed through and this was the trailing edge of the clouds.”


The sun peaks over Lake Ontario.

The sun peaks over Lake Ontario.

The stairs seem to be ascending into heaven.....

Stairway to heaven...

Stairway to heaven…

The stairs seem to be ascending into heaven…..
Some of these old concrete sections extend half way across Braddocks Bay and were once part of the old historic trolley line which ran from Charlotte to Braddocks Point.

Some of these old concrete sections extend half way across Braddocks Bay and were once part of the old historic trolley line which ran from Charlotte to Braddocks Point.

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by Brian Mann, NCPR in the box

(Editor’s note: This is political, but it’s a fascinating look at US population mapped out.)
adirondack-state-450x360A fascinating new visual essay on the problems of the electoral college is sparking conversation.  It envisions what the 50 states might look like if they were drawn up on lines that put an equal part of the population in each.

The idea “ends the over-representation of small states and under-representation of large states in presidential voting and in the US Senate by eliminating small and large states” according to the map’s creator, Neil Freeman.

The states are named after major geographic features, which led to the dubbing of “our” state as Adirondack.  In this imagined equal-representation world, we’re bordered on the east by Casco and to the south by Pocono.

If nothing else, it is an intriguing visual representation of just how we break down as a society in terms of population — where we live, how our political boundaries no long reflect the demographics of our nation.

Check out the full article and the national map here.
  I’m more or less on board with this idea.  My only question is whether Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau would insist on his village being the capital of this new state?

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Gravel bars make great campsites along the Genesee River.

Gravel bars make great campsites along the Genesee River.

Click here to read about a group’s adventures canoeing the Genesee River & camping on the gravel banks along the way.

Take A Paddle - Western NY

Take A Paddle – Western NY

The southern reaches of the Genesee River is a wonderful place to paddle – much different from the big Genesee that pours over waterfalls in Letchworth and Rochester. To Paddle it any time on your own, pick up a copy of the guidebook “Take A Paddle – Western new York Quiet Water For Canoes & Kayaks.”

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The Open Space Institute announced today the acquisition of two properties totaling 13.6 acres that will help the New York State Office of Parks fill in the gap between Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park and Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve.

The acquisition of the two parcels, which are located on Jaycox Road in Philipstown, Putnam County, builds on the goal to create a hiking corridor between Fahnestock and Hudson Highlands—parks to which OSI has added thousands of acres over the past three decades.

“OSI has added nearly 7,000 acres to Fahnestock State Park—more than doubling its size—and we’ve added close to 1,500 acres to Hudson Highlands,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “It has been a longtime goal to link these two state parks, and the public is now one step closer to being able to hike from the Hudson River to the Appalachian Trail entirely on publicly accessible property.”

The parcels were acquired by OSI’s land acquisition affiliate, the Open Space Conservancy, and are adjacent to a 50-acre property recently acquired by the Hudson Highlands Land Trust. That parcel, which is also part of the envisioned hiking corridor, will be added to Fahnestock State Park.

“Both OSI and HHLT have been working together on this hiking corridor for many years, so we’re pleased that our partnership has resulted in these important acquisitions, furthering the original vision to connect the two parks,” said Andy Chmar, the executive director of the Hudson Highlands Land Trust.

OSI intends to transfer the land acquired today to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation as an addition to Fahnestock as well.

The land acquisition is one part of OSI’s vision for enhancing Fahnestock State Park. OSI’s Alliance for New York State Parks program is also raising funds to restore and upgrade the popular recreation area at Fahnestock’s Canopus Lake, and phase one work is underway to improve and modernize the Canopus Lake visitor welcome center. The year-round complex, including a bathhouse, café area and cross-country ski center, is worn, cramped and severely outdated. So far, the Alliance has secured more than $800,000 through lead gifts, in-kind contributions and a state Environmental Protection Fund grant toward the $1.2 million project.

In addition to making energy-efficient and sustainable improvements to the public space, later phases of the Alliance’s work at Fahnestock will naturalize the beach setting, improve the swimming area and add needed recreational features.

“The mission of the Alliance is to build a better park experience,” said Erik Kulleseid, the executive director of the Alliance for New York State Parks. “Coupled with today’s acquisition, this restoration project builds on OSI’s significant commitment to this landscape and will help restore this park to its fullest potential.”

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So, if you went slogging up streams with a copy of “200 Waterfalls”in your hand, purely in the pursuit of

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY

waterfalls, you missed the boat. While you enjoyed the fresh coolness of that country stream and basked in the splatter of a glorious waterfall, you should have had your eyes pealed to the stream in pursuit of gold – really!

There’s even a web site on NY State Gold and, of course, a gold prospecting association.

How to Pan for Gold in NY State

No Gold in NY! Who Says!

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Here’s a wonderful pictorial tour of some Ithaca area waterfalls.

Anyone who wants to go explore these and other Ithaca area waterfalls would do well to pick up a copy of “200 Waterfalls in Central & Western New York – A Finders. Guide.” It’s loaded with maps & directions to lots of gorgeous waterfalls.

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Rich and I headed out one summer morning for what we expected to be a short paddle – maybe two hours worth – nothing more. Everything we read about paddling Black Creek near where it merges into the Genesee River, said that we wouldn’t get far upstream before encountering logjams and blown down tree obstructions. So we didn’t expect much. Still, we were looking forward to a morning of paddling without having to drive far.

We heaved the kayaks to the top of the van, loaded in our PFDs, paddles, spray skirts, water bottles and emergency supplies, and headed to the launch point off Balantyne Road in Chili. We didn’t take lunch with us since we figured we’d be home in time to eat.

Launching into Black Creek was easy. DEC’s Black Creek Fishing Access Site offered a big parking area and a nice ramp for sliding our kayaks into the water. Being summer, the current was slight and we easily paddled upstream. Keeping a leisurely pace, we rounded the many small islands and explored the side channels where blankets of duckweed covered the surface of the water. Our only challenge came when we approached the arched stone tunnel that carries the Genesee Valley Greenway trail over the creek. I could sit upright and paddle slowly through the tunnel. Rich, being taller, had to duck his head.

Jets rumbled overhead a few times, on their approach to the Rochester airport. Continuing upstream, we paddled under a high cement bridge that carries an active railway over the creek. Gradually we followed the winding channel upstream, passing splotches of red cardinal flower alternated with bands of yellow flowers. The wide, deep, sun-drenched channel morphed into a narrow ribbon meandering through shaded woods. The noises of suburbia disappeared; replaced by the gurgle of water, chatter of birds, and wind rustling through the tree leaves. Red tendrils reached out from the mud banks – tree roots exposed and washed bare.

A rumbling sound began emanating from my belly. I glanced at my watch to find we’d been paddling for two hours and had yet to reach any logjams or other obstructions. My stomach knew it was lunchtime and my arm muscles sang out for a rest. Fortunately, we had some dried fruit in the emergency supplies. So, we tied up the kayaks to trees along shore and sat in the peaceful forest to enjoy our fruit and water.

Take A Paddle – Western NY

We never did find any blockages. Come to find out, workers from the Town of Chili had wielded their chainsaws and cleared the waterway the previous year. Eventually we ran out of water. Somewhere west of Archer Road the paddling became more difficult and at times we had to get out and drag the kayaks. So we turned around and headed back downstream. The day didn’t turn out as we expected – it was longer and much nicer than expected.

(Black Creek and many other waterways to paddle can be found in “Take A Paddle – Western New York Quiet Water for Canoes & Kayaks.”)

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