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
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
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
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
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
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
One of the first spring feelingdays, hiked through the Nature Conservancy’s Silver Lake Bog from boardwalks over the bog a trail leading to bluffs overlooking Silver Lake with views of Whiteface and Esther Mountains. Sat for a couple hours listening to chatty Barred Owls!
Closeup through binoculars
– Submitted by Mary K Noack
Holland to Wales
Day 12: HOLLAND~ Vermont Hill to Warner Hill section CT6 Map
“No Camera” and 26+ Ravines and fellow hikers”
Started our hike in cool weather by a pretty field of horses with the sunshine making nice patterns on their pretty coats. Today we hiked out through the ups and downs of the Holland Ravines (counted about 26, give or take a few!)! Some were little; some were incredibly deep with wonderful staircases made by the Alley cat crew. Kudos to them!
Today we met 2 fellow hikers, both men doing sections as well. Then, we met fellow ADKers Janet and David Kowalski (thanks for the photos as we left our cameras behind today) who recognized us from this newsletter. Guess we are now famous! We had a nice visit.
We hiked in the section that was honoring the birthplace of the Conservation Trail and dedicated to Mabel James, the woman who began it all. The following was taken from the Internet about her.
MABEL JAMES : the founder of both the Conservation Trail and the Foothills Trail Club.
She was Born June 14, 1887 on a farm Mansfield, Connecticut but lived most of her life in the Town of Holland. Much of her childhood was spent outdoors looking at plants and animals. An avid hiker, while at Holyoke College in Mass she obtained permission to take walks instead of going to gym class. She became a science and math teacher and it was here that she began introducing her students to her favorite places in the woods and fields.
In 1918 she moved to western New York and noticed the difference in plants and this caused her to want to know more about plants and she would walk in the woods to study them.
In 1935 she was a naturalist for the Garden Center Institute of Buffalo and she would take people on Sunday nature trips to Holland. She would charter a bus for $10.00 a day, filled it with people who were interested in the outdoors and went to Holland to hike. Each person paid 50 cents for the bus fare; 5 cents for all the coffee they wanted and each brought their own bag lunch.
She then wanted longer – all day – hikes and realized for that she needed foot trails. She thought of the Long Path in Vermont and wanted to use this as a pattern. So the trail from Lewiston to Allegany State Park was her dream. To her delight Art and Olga Rosche were willing to help, along with boy and girl scouts. Thus, the birth of the Conservation Trail in 1962.
Day 13: WALES & HUNTER’S CREEK ~ Centerline Rd to Bear Rd.
“Getting out of the Parking Lot, Labyrinths, and Swamps”
David and I laugh all the time about “getting out of the parking lot” beginning our hikes; sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t! Today in Hunter’s Creek was no different. Since we had skipped some road walk, we were disoriented and began our hike back the wrong way, South! It did not take long to find ourselves immersed in the well known “labyrinth” of Hunter’s Creek trails, 5 different colors, all merging into one spot! Since the Conservation trail has been incredibly well marked with orange every few hundred yards, we knew instantly we were wrong and turned back to figure it all out… every time we go to Hunter’s Creek we get lost for a bit!
Hunter’s Creek hike began on the ridge above the creek and although it was really cold, 36 degrees we had some sun in and out and we moved fast! This section of the trail was really, really pretty and very easy to hike and follow. The forest floors are still covered with ramps so much you can smell it and fields of False Hellebore with their nice striped and shiny leaves growing in the “muck” as well. Trout lily and May apple leaves are also poking up! I have lost our woodland wren, but there have been lots of chickadees and woodpeckers to keep us company and a few deer.
Road walks have also been interesting with some nice old gingerbread houses, horses, and even an old billy goat who stood so still while I came upon him, I thought he was a statue! However, the 2nd part of this hike was the worst section due to constant swampy and mucky trails through not so nice woodlots and back yards. It was a very cold windy ride for David on his bike back to retrieve the car as I walked into the wind to meet him. It never got higher than 38 degrees! Onto to Darien lake, then Clarence next!
-Submitted by Joanne and David Magavern
Saturday morning turned out to be a great day for a hike! We followed the Pink/Red trails along the creek up to intersection #24 and found a combination of slushy mud a bit challenging to navigate without slipping, but we were rewarded with great views of the creek, a small waterfall, and a unique melting of the snow high up in the trees which caused frequent and large droplets to fall… reminding us that a hat or hood was in order today. We then followed the red trail / dirt access road west until we reached the pink trail (near intersection 13) and then the pink trail south, back to the cars. This leg of the hike was very different – open forest with much drier trails and views of the creek from afar. As we became closer to the parking lot, it was apparent that many people had the same idea today – families with kids and small adult groups were also out to explore today. By the time we reached the parking lot around 1PM, it was nearly full (only a few cars when we arrived). Overall, social distancing was no issue and we will be back to hike other trails!
-Submitted by Greg Germaine
On Thursday afternoon, after the late winter blast, I took a stroll along Cazenovia Creek in West Seneca. It was a brisk, but invigorating, outing. I captured this image of the branches covered with melting snow and the raging creek as a backdrop.
Submitted by Paul M. Gannon