First it was private, then it was purchased by The Nature Conservancy, and now it’s owned by New York state. That’s the history, in a compressed fashion, of the Essex Chain Lakes.
About 8 years back, while the land was still in the hands of TNC, I was invited to take a tour of the lakes themselves. Of course I made every possible effort to go, but this time the destination was a bit different and
In the Adirondacks, the past and present are intertwined.
The remnants of old logging camps peek out from under decaying leaves, which provide nutrients for new forest growth. Old buildings lean alongside our winding roads, while the tools used to build them are on display in state-of-the-art museums here.
The wilderness itself boasts a varied landscape where the past and present collide with
A bison herd is a peculiar site in the eastern United States, but in the Adirondacks anything is possible.
Take Exit 29 off of Interstate 87 and drive west, toward Newcomb, for about 4 miles. Just after the Branch River leaves your side, the evergreen-laden forest opens to reveal about 40 bison in a large pasture — that's the Adirondack Buffalo Company's herd.
Two hundred years ago, it wasn't
To me, summer means long treks into the backcountry. As any serious outdoors adventurer can attest, there isn't a single "correct" way to do that, although there are some guidelines worth adhering to. Those aside, outdoor exploration is a realm of self-sufficiency, an endeavor where tricks are acquired through conversation and experience.
Long days outside means there's no easy way to get food
Clearing the dustGiven a forecast of sunny skies and mid-50 degree temperatures, we decided to take an afternoon off last week and revisit what we recalled as being a super paddling adventure.
I looked back at my photo library, and realized that we had not paddled the Schroon River since 2010. Then I looked at my kayak, hanging in its storage rack on the side of a building, and realized that I