3/5/22 – Hike – Erie County Forest

Spirits were high as our friendly group of eight hikers savored the snow-covered Silent Wood and Old Scarbuck trails at Erie County Forest for a late winter outing. We thoroughly enjoyed mild winter temperatures and navigated the bridges and hills easily with microspikes. At a steep icy descent, Adirondack-style butt-sliding was the method chosen by some of the adventurous folks in our group! Wildlife tracks were aplenty, and a fun reminder that many animals make their home here. Much of this area had been abandoned farmland, which the county purchased about 90 years ago. The Civilian Conservation Corps planted evergreens amongst the existing hardwood trees. It is impressive to see the expansive tracts of giant evergreens that have shot far upwards over 9 decades. Occasionally, wooden signs serve to identify the trees including spruce, red and white pines, sugar maple, ash and black cherry, thus highlighting the area’s education mission for visitors. We paused at the iconic “Bridge Too Far” to view Dresser Creek, actively flowing underneath nature’s unique ice forms. The hike was a delightful way to spend the day, reconnecting with ADK friends and being active in one of our area’s most idyllic winter offerings.

Submitted by: David and Janet Kowalski

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2/12/22 – Snowshoe Hike – Chestnut Ridge Park

Eight cheerful hikers enjoyed a 4-mile trail with energizing hills in one of WNY’s most historic parks, Chestnut Ridge. Most of the group wore snowshoes, but two were fine with microspikes on the hard-packed trails. Recent temperatures above freezing resulted in a couple of serious wet zones, but our skilled group had no problem creating detours around these tricky spots. We enjoyed seeing a variety of trees, including hemlock, pine and beech, as well as some  “snags” – standing dead trees often filled with pileated woodpecker holes that provide habitat for wildlife. The historic stone bridges, rushing creeks, majestic woods, and scenic ravines, along with delightful companions, made for an idyllic winter outing.

– David Kowalski

 

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01/15-01/17 – HIKE – Street & Nye, Catamount, &  Allen

Epic MLK Weekend in the Adirondacks with Eric Stevenson and Jessica Delo-Novelli

Due to the impending snowstorm we looked at multiple options and decided to hike Street & Nye upon arrival making it a Full Moon summit.

Street & Nye’s trail was in great condition. We made great time to the summits and returned back to the car, although late (midnight), we beat the storm by a few hours.

We slept in and woke to somewhat heavy and blowing snow. About 6-8in would fall in total, nothing like Buffalo! We had breakfast and decided on Catamount, one of the Lake Placid 9ers (LP9ers). Eric heard there is a cool chimney to climb. It was a much harder 3.6 miles than we expected with the snowstorm, but this was an amazing mountain. It featured everything you would want in an ADK mountain; exposed slabs, steep bouldering, a false summit with great views of the summit (ala Haystack or Colden), and a chimney. I felt more comfortable with an ice axe in my hand to give you a perspective on the climb.

We got lucky on Tuesday and followed the plow to the Upper Works trailhead. To our dismay, the trail was not broken and had a fresh 8in. of snow. We geared up for a long day, 18 miles round trip and some serious climbing once we hit Allen. We enjoyed the suspension bridge over the Hudson River, very Indiana Jones like. We made great time (over 2mph) to the base of the mountain despite having break trail and navigate the trailless portion. Then the fun began. Eric took the lead until we hit the slide. He broke trail in 2ft+ up Allen Brook, navigating by feel for the previously established trail. If you were off by a little bit, it meant falling into thigh deep snow.

When we go to higher elevations, the snow was waist deep in  some sections. Needless to say, our pace was glacier at best. We had to kick our boots in several times to gain purchase. And I forgot to mention it was 10 degrees at the trailhead and would drop to -2 over the course of the day. The mountain was cold. But we persevered and made the summit. Looking at our data it took us 3.5 hours to climb 2000′ in 1.3 miles, the last 500′ took about an hour. Because of the cold and our slow pace, we took a few pictures, refueled and boogied down the mountain. We kept a good pace back to the trailhead now that the trail was broken. And believe it or not, our fastest mile was our last. Thanks to Jess being our support at the trailhead. It was great to come back to a warm car and pizza.

Allen is a dog. It is a long hike to get to and a formidable mountain to climb. I have done it twice, once in the fall and now in the winter. This is Winter 46er #45 for me. One more to go, Gothics.

 

Submitted by

Mike Radomski

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01/22/22 – Snowshoe – Beaver Meadow

A foot of pretty white snow and peeking sunshine made for a delightful snowshoe on the beautiful Beaver Meadow Audubon Center trails. Ten of us navigated a 3-mile loop hike on well-marked trails, which included many ups and downs, picturesque bridge crossings, and a pleasing variety of terrains and scenery. We started with a trek across Deer Meadow and the Jenny Glen Boardwalk. Our fit group warmed up right away after the steep climb on the Hawk Ridge Trail, and were treated to scenic vistas of surrounding winter landscapes. We admired a variety of evergreens, and were delighted to witness so many animal tracks in the fresh snow. Our group unburied the Rusty Stove on its namesake trail, turned onto the charming Old Bones trail, and made our way to the attractive Arboretum for a quick break. We visited the Kettle Pond and a fun wooden shelter made of sticks on our way back to the trailhead. Fresh air, invigorating exercise and friendly companions made this outing a perfect way to spend a chilly winter morning.

Submitted By: David and Janet Kowalski

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11/06/21 – HIKE – Deer Lick Conserv. Area

Seventeen happy hikers enjoyed 4 miles of scenic ravines, creeks, and marvelous fall colors on this sublime autumn day (photo 1). We savored the sunshine and each other, many of us reconnecting with friends we hadn’t seen in a long time.

On our trek to Bear Point, we saw a rare American Chestnut tree, Maidenhair ferns, a trio of old growth Tulip trees, colorful Turkeytail fungi, and more. At Bear Point we paused for snacks, conversations, and views of Zoar Valley Gorge (photo 2). There we met a new ADK-NFC member and 2 others who became members right after the hike! We crossed a ravine at Deer Lick Creek and were rewarded with a view of the 70 foot waterfall (photo 3). This special place is owned and maintained by The Nature Conservancy and is one of WNY’s treasures.

 

Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski

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10/23/21 – HIKE – Allegany Wildlands

     11 hikers enjoyed a guided hike by naturalist Erik Danielson of the Western New York Land Conservancy on a 200 acre property near Allegany State Park. The Conservancy is striving to purchase the land from the owner with a deadline of the end of 2021.  Called the Allegany Wildlands, the property is rich in wildlife and an important link for the creation of the Eastern Wildway, a corridor that will stretch from Mexico to the Eastern United States and is crucial to species survival.

Please consider making a donation today.  For a matching dollar to dollar contribution, please go to @ wnylc.org

Submitted by Pamela Sander

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10/15-17/21 Canoe Camp – Lake Lila

A beautiful fall afternoon brought together paddle pals and their favorite paddle pup for canoe camping!  After a short portage from Lake Lila Access Rd, paddlers shoved off into the setting sun in search of the best campsite on the water.  Luckily, fall weekdays offer the best campsite selection!

Setting up camp was swift with beautiful views of sunset – soon all gathered ‘round the campfire as the temps dived into the 30s.  Morning brought an equally gorgeous sunrise, sufficiently admired with a hot cup of coffee.  A hearty oatmeal breakfast called for a day of exploring – bushwhacking to see the nearby campsites, it became abundantly clear the best campsite was indeed their’s.  Back in the boats, exploring the nearby islands and down the Beaver River all the while sharing knowledge of Lake Lila’s previous residents, surrounding mountains, and nearby waterbodies until a treacherous beaver dam stopped them in their tracks.  Still being a bit chilly out, paddlers decided dam jumping would be a little too intense, but vowed to return in warmer months when chances of hypothermia lessen.

The next day arrived with more sunrise appreciation and impromptu breakfast burritos – farm fresh eggs, turkey bacon, and of course the works.  Camp was slowly dismantled with plenty of sighing and complaints of not wanting to leave.  Eventually, with plenty of backwards glances, they hopped in the boats bound for a hike to Mt. Frederica.  The clear day allowed for expansive views, even Saranac Lake’s Mt. McKenzie could be perfectly identified!  The way back offered viewing of the old Vanderbilt Forest Lodge site, followed by an intense paddle back to the boat launch thanks to prevailing winds from the NE.

With everything hoofed back and loaded into the cars, a trip to Raquette River Brewing brought this incredible journey to a close.

Submitted by Mary Noack

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2021 Tillman Rd Wildlife Management Area Adopt-A-Highway Clean-up

Under bright blue skies, 13 volunteers showed up ready to work.  8 large bags of garbage were collected on the roads that surround the wetlands area and the paths around the large interior ponds. Thank you to the following volunteers who helped with the spring clean-up.

Pictured back row (left to right): Steve Wieczarek, Martha McLaughlin, Todd Doner, Paul Kochmanski

Front row: Peter Corrigan, Teresa Corrigan, Doug Kenney

Volunteers not pictured: Lee Clukey, John & Pam Sander, Judy Catalano, Jay Wopperer, Dawn Barlett, Lynn Kenney

-Submitted by Lynn Kenney

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04/17 – HIKE – Chestnut Ridge

To mark the reopening of our local ADK outings three fellow ADK members joined me for an enjoyable hike on the roads of Chestnut Ridge Park. We combined an aerobic workout with a reunion, as we caught up on each other’s news.

We reminisced about our ADK Heart lake trip in March of 2020 which was closely followed by a complete shut down due to the pandemic.

Submitted by Leslie Salathe

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04/13 – HIKE – Noonmark Mountain

Wanting to stick to lowlands and enjoy the Noonmark Mountain trail out of the Ausable Club before the dreaded permit system is enforced, set out on a perfect 60-degree day.  Such a terrific trail, plenty of ledges for views due to the ’99 fire, while some lingering ice and snow above 3000 ft. made for tricky going.  No one else on the trail or summit!! If interested, here’s a great article on the Noonmark and Bear Den fire: adirondackexplorer.org/stories/1999-noonmark-fire

Submitted by Mary K Noack

 

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