Klondike Lean-To Privy Re-made ’18

After the Memorial Day Klondike Trail clean-up, it was reported to the

DEC that the privy was in need of repair.  In July, Kevin Bolt, who assisted with trail stewardship last year, reported it was still not repaired.  Due to

their understaffing, it took ADK-NFC member, Lee Clucky, “leaning” on

the DEC to facilitate getting it done.  So on Aug 5th, Lee and the

Schravens backpacked the sides of the privy to the lean to .  The following day, Lee hiked back again with tools to put it all together.  Thank you Lee for all your efforts.

—Mary Schraven

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Clarence Bike Trail Ride (7/30/18)

On a pleasant overcast Monday night (7/30) two bicyclists set out on a 16.5 mile ride from Clarence Center to Akron Falls Park. The riders maintained a pleasant conversational pace of 10.5 mph as the scenes changed from suburban town to farms and fields. Riders circled through the lower portion of the park and returned around 7:30pm. —Mike Lex

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Canoe Camping Allegheny National Forest (7/25-7/27/18)

A fun, adventurous group of 4 set out for paddling, exploring, swimming, camp fires and plenty of laughs.  The Allegheny Reservoir is one of my favourite recreational areas offering a wide array of adventure for the outdoor enthusiast.  We spent a lot of time on our boats with beautiful sunsets, swimming, beach visits, wildlife observation and exploration of parts of the 91 miles of shoreline along the 24 miles body of water.  One of the highlights was a visit to an osprey nest to observe Mom and her chicks.  The end of the trip was visiting a couple of the many cultural and historical areas including Kinzua Damn and Kinzua Skywalk with it’s new Information &  Museum Centre.  This is a trip I would certainly like to repeat and hope to get more ADK’ers

—Marion Hanover 

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Memorial Day Work-Play Klondike Trail Weekend ’18

Our group of five had been warned that an earlier wind event probably produced a lot of blow down on the Klondike trail in the High Peaks. An additional challenge was that thunder storms were predicted for mid-afternoon of our workday.

With the temps cool enough to do trail work and the black flies mostly absent we got on the trail 8ish Saturday morning. We clipped a few trees that were completely blocking the trail just enough so we could pass and hiked 4 miles to the Yard Mountain turn off. The plan was to assess how much work we had and prioritize our efforts on the return hike. We pushed some trees off the trail and others we lifted and moved just far enough to clear the trail. About 10 to 15 trees were large enough to require time consuming saw work. We kept up a quick pace knowing that partly cloudy skies could turn to predicted thunder storms. We skipped cleaning water bars and left some blow down that could be easily stepped over. The afternoon storms never developed and we were back to the trail head by 4. In the end we had cleared 35 to 40 trees from the trail. In comparison in previous years we might encounter on an average of 5 blow downs. What a workout!

We spent Saturday evening enjoying the hospitality of Marilyn and Peter Gillespie in Saranac Lake. The DEC recommends hikers avoid the higher wet and possibly snow covered trails this early in the spring to minimize erosion. On Sunday I found it very easy to comply with that suggestion since I was very sore from playing lumberjack the previous day. I took in Baxter and Blueberry Mountain in Keene Valley.

Submitted by Lee Clukey

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Lockport to Gasport Bike Ride – 7/8/18

Our group of eleven set out on a perfect summer day with temps in the the low to mid-eighties.  We had full sun with a mild breeze as we worked our way to Gasport.  The gravel bike path was very busy due to a Buffalo – Albany 8 day event that was also in progress.  We maintained about a 9 mile per hour average speed with a few water breaks under shady trees.  Upon our return to Lockport, we viewed Locks 34 and 35 areas while a paddle-wheel boat made its way through the locks.  We concluded our trip with a well-deserved break at Lake Effect ice cream shop.  We hope you can join us on our next bike outing on Saturday, August 11th to Royalton Ravines County Park.

Submitted by Kevin Bolt

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Oak Orchard River Paddle – 7/14/18

Seven kayak paddlers spotted their cars at the take-out and returned to the put-in near Gravel Road north of Medina in Orleans County.  The river was flowing nicely due to the water contribution from the Barge Canal.  We were joined by a nearly endless quantity of other groups of paddlers and floaters.  (Some were accompanied by floating rafts with ample liquid refreshments).  It was a great day for the trip with warm temperatures and a mildly overcast sky, which is good for photography.  We found a good spot to pull out and have our lunches.  At some point, a very light rain began and one of the paddlers saw a lightning flash so we picked up our pace to the takeout.  On our way home we stopped at Millers Market on Rt. 104. For an Amish food shopping opportunity.

Submitted by Richard Schraven

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Darien Lake State Park Hike – 6/30/18

Our merry group of 9 beat the extreme heat enjoying a delightful 4-mile hike in the cool forest of Darien Lake State Park — a terrific way to launch the festive holiday week!

The trail was in great shape, with bright orange markers, boardwalks through wet areas, and an impressive new lean-to. We took a relaxing break to snack and chat at the Sumner Road turnaround point.

A variety of trees provided ample shelter from the hot sun, including maple, cherry, hemlock, pine, and  a healthy-looking array of ash trees thankfully not afflicted by the Emerald Ash Borer.

On our pre-hike 2 days earlier to inspect the trail, we spotted a lime-green Luna Moth on a tree trunk, our first sighting in the wild. These beautiful creatures are rarely seen due to their very brief (1 week) adult life.

It’s always a joy to be in the woods. You never know what Mother Nature will reveal.

— Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski

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Backpack ‘Ha De Ron Dah’ Wilderness – 5/18-20/18

The Ha De Ron Dah Wilderness is just outside of Old Forge New York in the Western Adirondacks. Our band of seven intrepid backpackers left Buffalo on Friday morning. We hiked in the first night over rolling hills about 5 miles to the Middle Branch Lake lean-to. The site is lovely with nice water access and a glorious sunset.






The second day we hiked about 11 miles in the rain to Middle Settlement lake lean-to. Gusting winds and rain all day made us happy to have a lean-to and some chill time to warm up and enjoy the company. Some of the trail crossings were a bit more challenging than the first day.


Sunday morning we hiked out about 5 miles to finish the trip. Some amazing rock formations and a nice sandwich were our rewards. A great trip with newer backpackers learning from more experienced ones.



— Submitted by Aaron Slosman

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Emery Park Hike – 5/5/18

Eight cheerful hikers enjoyed warm, sunny weather for a 4-mile hike in Emery Park, a WNY gem known for its natural beauty and solitude.

We hiked along ravines on paths selected to see 5 picturesque waterfalls located throughout the park.




We also spotted delightful wildflowers including bloodroot, cut-leaved toothwort, white and red trillium, trout lily, and spring beauty. Spring has finally sprung in WNY!

Cut-Leaved Toothwort



Emery Park was once a vibrant homestead established by Josiah Emery in the early 1800’s, and included an outdoor amphitheater, Emery Inn, gardens, gazebos, a stocked pond, and stone bridges. Remnants of that era remain, including a stone sculpture in the now-dry sunken pond area. One person in our group used to be a waitress at the historic Inn! The Inn is gone, but nowadays this Erie County Park is a multi-use facility, offering hiking trails, a free downhill ski hill with a T-bar lift, a frisbee golf course, picnic shelters, and baseball diamonds.

— Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski

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Bruce Trail Hike, Iroquois pt.2 – 4/29/18

Seven adventurous hikers led by Ken Martin continued their journey in the Bruce Trail Iroquois Section on a beautiful wooded footpath from Grimsby to Hamilton Ontario. Our veteran group was unfazed by the wet conditions. We marveled at the astonishing display of scores of earthworms wriggling on a soaking wet part of the trail! Yellow-green mosses decorated sections along the trail (photo). Elsewhere, Spring wildflower plants were bursting through the soil on our 20 km/12 mile journey along the Niagara Escarpment.

Spring rain created many waterfalls on the escarpment and enhanced existing ones, including the spectacular Felkers Falls (photo), which is 20 feet wide and drops over 70 feet from the top into a pool below.

Near the end of our journey, we encountered an irresistible bench with an accompanying sign — “Rest, Look and Listen” — a much-appreciated reminder from the Bruce Trail Conservancy to take those extra moments to savor the natural beauty when hiking in beautiful places.

— Submitted by David and Janet Kowalski

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