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Explore Fort Ticonderoga on Land and Water!

Explore Fort Ticonderoga on Land and Water!

For the first time ever, visitors to Fort Ticonderoga will be able to explore one of America’s most significant historic sites on water and land.  The new recreational activities will highlight Fort Ticonderoga’s rich historic landscape.  A new interpretive hiking trail winding around Carillon Battlefield offers guests an unparalleled opportunity to explore the site’s epic history and natural beauty and a new canoe rental program provides a unique perspective of the Fort’s history from the stunning waters of Lake Champlain. Admission to the Carillon Battlefield hiking trail is included in a Fort Ticonderoga’s general admission ticket.  Details on canoe rentals can be found at http://www.fortticonderoga.org/visit/recreation or call 518-585-2821.

“Our story is in our landscape,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “The unique combination of lakes, hills, mountains, and streams that surround Fort Ticonderoga made it a strategic location in the 18th century and make it one of North America’s most beautiful destinations today.  Its history cannot be appreciated without an understanding of its landscape.”

“This season Fort Ticonderoga begins a new chapter in connecting its epic history with its remarkable landscape by opening access to locations on its grounds that have been inaccessible to visitors.”

The new interpretive hiking trail winding around the long, rocky ridge jutting through the center of the Fort Ticonderoga peninsula and down to the LaChute riverside plains below leads guests to several very different parts of the site, including the Carillon Battlefield. A trail pamphlet identifies several points of historic and natural interest along the 2 mile route.

Viewing the Fort from Lake Champlain is possible through the new canoe rental program where the site’s unspoiled views and Fort’s strategic importance becomes even more apparent when viewed from the lake’s surface.  A self-guided brochure provides highlights of the historic and scenic waterway.

Recognized as the top destination in the Adirondacks by USA News Travel, Fort Ticonderoga connects all guests to a place and time that defined a continent, a nation, and its continued legacy.

Fort Ticonderoga offers more than one hundred exciting and unique events and programs this season! Visit www.FortTiconderoga.org for a full list of ongoing programs or call 518-585-2821. Funding for the 2013 season is provided in part by Amtrak.  Visit http://www.fortticonderoga.org/visit/directions for a special 2 for 1 Amtrak offer!

FORT TICONDEROGA – America’s Fort ™

Located on Lake Champlain in the beautiful 6 million acre Adirondack Park, Fort Ticonderoga is a not-for-profit historic site and museum that ensures that present and future generations learn from the struggles, sacrifices, and victories that shaped the nations of North America and changed world history. Serving the public since 1909, Fort Ticonderoga engages more than 70,000 guests annually and is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Fort Ticonderoga’s history.  Accredited by the American Association of Museums, Fort Ticonderoga offers programs, historic interpretation, tours, demonstrations, and exhibits throughout the year and is open for daily visitation May 17 through October 20, 2013. The 2013 season features the Fort’s newest exhibit “It would make a heart of stone melt” Sickness, Injury, and Medicine at Fort Ticonderoga which explores early medical theory, practice, and experience as each relates to the armies that served at Fort Ticonderoga in the 18th century.  Visit www.FortTiconderoga.org for a full list of ongoing programs or call 518-585-2821. Fort Ticonderoga is located at 100 Fort Ti Road, Ticonderoga, New York.

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By Brian Nearing, TimesUnion.com, link to original post

The state’s forever-wild state Forest Preserve in the Adirondack Park is growing by more than 400 acres of forests and wetlands along the western shore of Lake Champlain.

The state is adding more than 2 miles of protected shoreline to the preserve near the Washington County hamlet of Clemons off Route 22, the Department of Environmental Conservation announced Tuesday.

This area is the southern end of the 132-mile lake. Here the lake is narrow, appearing more like a river, and is predominantly wetlands and isolated forest. Being added to state forever-wild lands are 156 acres along the lake donated by The Nature Conservancy and an adjoining 283-acre parcel and island donated by Washington County.

There is no cost to the state, which will pay local property taxes on the land as it does on all state-owned lands in the 6 million-acre Adirondack Park, DEC spokeswoman Lori Severino said on Tuesday.

The Nature Conservancy spent $500,000 three years ago to buy its parcel, located in an area called Chubbs Dock off Route 22, 9 miles north of the village of Whitehall. That money came from a half-million-dollar federal wetland protection grant to the conservancy from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The donated county-owned parcel is in a part of the lake called Maple Bend Island. “Chubbs Dock conserves excellent wildlife habitat along the narrow headwaters of Lake Champlain,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said.

The area also will provide new public access to launch boats into the lake. It is several miles north of the existing state boat launch at South Bay. The other public access to the lake is much farther north at Ticonderoga.

Michael Carr, executive director of the Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter, said: “Not only is New York state keeping intact some of the largest wetlands on Lake Champlain, but doing it in a way that will also secure public access for hunting, fishing, boating and wildlife-oriented recreation — all of which contribute to the state’s outdoor recreation economy.”

The newly protected lands also are important because moose, bears, bobcats, fishers and otters use that relatively undeveloped area to travel between the Lake George region and the Green Mountains in Vermont.

The Nature Conservancy has been studying the southern Champlain region as a “wildlife corridor,” said Michelle Brown, a conservation scientist for the conservancy. “We are looking at this landscape with a big lens, and are exploring ways to make sure that the Adirondacks do not become a kind of ‘island,” and remain connected to the Green Mountains.”

Large carnivores like bears can range up to 10 miles in a single day, and up to 40 miles over the course of a season. Even a smaller predator like a fisher, a member of the weasel family that can reach 4 feet long and weigh 10 pounds, can cover three or four miles a day.

Keeping the forest and lake link open between the mountains allows for continued genetic mixing between animals. When animal populations become isolated, genetic variability declines, making animals more susceptible to disease outbreaks.

The conservancy’s five-year study looks at three strategies — land conservation, like what is being done in Clemons; methods to reduce barriers to wildlife presented by roads in the area, and land use planning to ensure development does not occur in critical areas.

The Champlain study is part of a larger, four-state project including New Hampshire and Maine that seeks to protect connections in the forests of the Northeast. That study includes the conservancy, DEC, as well as the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Society and The Conservation Fund.

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Daunting canoe trip on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail requires preparation, courage

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By ALAN GREGORY, standardspeaker.com, link to original post

Many beautiful mountains can be seen off in the distance from the east shore of Lake Champlain and the city of Burlington’s waterfront in Vermont, the Green Mountain State.

Few people have the time, money or endurance to enjoy them way they ought to be: up close and personal. Folks who live on either side of the big lake that divides the North Country are in luck (even the out-of-shape ones).

I finally made it up to the summit of a longtime favorite the other day. Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain, one of the first peaks my wife, Monica, and I hiked after I reported for duty at the SAC (that’s short for Strategic Air Command – for those people too young to remember the Cold War) bomber base at Plattsburgh, N.Y. It is among the dozens of Adirondack high points that can be seen from Burlington. From Plattsburgh, Poke-O-Moonshine is a mere half hour away, just three miles from Exit 33 of Interstate 87 (the Adirondack Northway). A recently opened new trail offers an easier route than I first hiked in 1987 and a way that everyone can enjoy the breathtaking views seen from the rocky top.

Derived from Algonquin words “Pohquis” (it is broken) and “Moosie” (smooth), Poke-O-Moonshine has dramatic cliffs and a much deserved name. It has been called a gateway to the Adirondacks – the first major mountain formation providing a welcoming entrance to the rest of the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park for those headed south.

“Poke” is a popular draw for rock climbers who navigate its vertical east-facing cliffs and make their own route. Up until recently, hikers only had one option – a strenuous uphill trail that rises 1,280 feet in 1.2 miles. On paper, 1.2 miles doesn’t seem like much, but people who have climbed it know the muscular truth.

Immediately after the sign-in register (signing in at trailheads is a must for Adirondack hikers.) the trail abruptly turns steep and hikers until recently had few opportunities for a break until they the summit.

A recent land acquisition by the Adirondack Land Trust has changed that by turning 200 acres that were once privately owned into a public hiking path – part of the Forever Wild forest preserve owned by the people of New York. The new route follows an old logging road that climbs the same height over nearly twice the distance as the old trail (the one my feet still remember after more than two decades), making it much more of a hike than a strenuous workout.

The word has not gotten out yet because the route is so new, but I urge new Adirondack hikers to check it out – with good hiking boots on, of course.

A refurbished fire tower marks the final destination for hikers, when it’s open during the summer months. Once marked for demolition, it is now on the National Register for Historic Places. A 360-degree panorama from the top offers breathtaking views. To the east, Lake Champlain can be seen with the Green Mountains off in the distance. To the north is Lyon Mountain, another peak whose historic fire tower has been refurbished and saved from demolition. To the south is Deerfield Mountain with the Jay Range behind it. Hurricane, Giant and Gothics peaks can also be seen. To the west is Whiteface, the Olympic mountain near Lake Placid, the Olympic village made even more famous in 1980 when the American ice hockey team defeated the Soviet team in the “Miracle on Ice.” The views from atop Poke-O-Moonshine are magnificent and truly rewarding for such little effort.

The new trail is easy to navigate without large rocks or ruts, and there are a variety of things to see along the way that are not part of the old trail experience. My canine friend, Kestrel, a 12-year-old Sheltie, and I marveled at the mastery of dam-building by the resident beavers. There are two separate ponds along the trail; even though we didn’t see any beavers in action, we better understood the saying “busy as a beaver,” as demonstrated by the impressive size and effectiveness of their dams.

The new trail begins a mile south of the old one. The trailhead sits at the edge of the yard of a quaint farmhouse.

It is an experience that will long be a fond memory. It’s made all the more special by this fact: All the land you set foot on is public land. In fact, more than half of the 6 million acres in the park is now owned by the public. And the state Constitution guarantees that lands part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve can’t be logged. Next best thing for conservations is this: The same land is rich with wildlife; the habitat for which is high quality because it hasn’t been fragmented by roads, natural gas drill pads, landfills, utility line corridors, and blighted by billboards, junk yards, trophy homes, McMansions and turf farms.

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Get your pencils sharpened, your laptops powered, and your cameras ready, Champlain Area Trails (CATS) will soon launch its first Travel Writing Contest. It’s your chance to write about your travels in New York’s central Champlain Valley—to share your favorite experiences on the Champlain Area Trails–whether it’s hiking, walking, skiing, snowshoeing, birding, tracking, picnicking, or a little bit of each. Also tell us about other great recreational, cultural, or gastronomical adventures you enjoyed in the Champlain Valley. Perhaps you paddled on the Boquet River? Took in a play at the Depot Theatre? Biked along scenic back roads? Dined on delicious food at a family-owned cafe? Or savored fresh produce at a local farm? The Valley’s the limit, so start exploring!

Entrants may submit works in two categories: Writing (800- to 1,200-word article with two to four photos) and Multimedia (audio, video, slideshow). First-place winners will receive a $500 cash prize and online publication in our CATS Destination Guide. There will also be goodies for the runners-up. Full details will be announced in August, but it’s not too early to start jotting down your special memories at the places and trails in New York’s central Champlain Valley. (via Champlain Area Trails.)

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In 2008 I keep seeing the word staycation pop up. But, another “word du jour” seems to be SOJOURN.

Sojourn (so’-jurn) v. To stay in a place for a time.

Sojourn Geocache Trail -geocaching on land & water in the southern tier of NYS
Susquehanna Sojourn – awareness of Chesapeake Bay water issues, including a Cooperstown to Chesapeake Bay paddle
Great Champlain Hudson Sojourn – paddle Canada to NYC

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