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Outdoor Recreation


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Are you ready to raft? I said, ARE YOU READY TO RAFT? Sorry. Anyway, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office has just now announced details of this year’s Adirondack Challenge, a daylong event to be held this Sunday to promote Adirondack tourism. You...
I’ve been writing a lot recently about tourism in the Adirondacks and the North Country region more broadly.   What I’m finding is kind of a tale of two cities, or rather two very different types of small town.  Some...
Good news for North Country wine lovers this afternoon, as a bill to create the St. Lawrence Wine Trail (here’s a full list of the state’s wine trails) has now passed both houses. North Country Sens. Patty Ritchie, Joe Griffo and Betty...
Campers, hikers, nature lovers: do you go to wild places to get away from modernity? Or do you see value in “having it all?” Here’s why I’m asking. According to the Montréal Gazette (4/29) and other...
With sympathy for the majority of folks who are seriously tired of winter, it has been a fabulous season for skiing. I’m strictly cross country so I can’t speak to downhill conditions. But I imagine those have been good...

Special Reports

trophy fish
Fishing on the St. Lawrence
Walleye and northern pike season opened the first Saturday in May. David Sommerstein spent a morning with two veteran guides.
Audio Slideshow
90 Miles by Canoe… in a Single Day
The 90-mile Adirondack Canoe Classic takes paddlers from Old Forge to Saranac Lake. Race organizer Brian McDonnell paddled the entire course in a single day—a journey he describes as the "90-mile cannonball."
Photo/Audio Essay
A Trek up Mt. Adams
A land deal will add thousands of acres to the state forest preserve, but it will almost certainly mean the removal of an antique fire tower that sits on Mt. Adams, near the town of Newcomb. Brian Mann made the climb.
Photo Audio Essay
Children's Camps in the Adirondacks
The Adirondack Museum opens today for the summer season. A major new exhibition looks at the history of the region's summer camps.
Photo/Audio Essay
Inside Dark Island's Castle
On the St. Lawrence River near Chippewa Bay, a representative for the buyers of Dark Island and its historic castle gave David Sommerstein a peek of what visitors could see as early as next summer.
Audio Slideshow
A Journey to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
In the US Senate debate over the country's energy plan, New York's senators oppose plans to drill for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Brian Mann spent a month in the Alaskan wilderness to research this half-hour documentary report.
Photo Audio Essay
A Hike Up the Red Sandstone Trail
David Sommerstein hikes a new trail under construction along the Raquette River near Potsdam.
Photo Audio Essay
Winter Camping in the Adirondack High Peaks
The Adirondacks' High Peaks can be a hard place to find peace and quiet during the busy summer months. Many people choose the winter to get their fix for solitude among New York's tallest mountains. Winter camping offers unique pleasures and sometimes, unexpected perils. Brian Mann and David Sommerstein got plenty of both on a late winter expedition to Lake Colden and Algonquin Peak.
Photo Audio Essay
Snow Art in St. Regis Falls
A team from Dickinson Center won the 2002 New York State Snow Sculpting Competition in St. Regis Falls yesterday. Jody Tosti, an NCPR Team sculptor, spoke with some of her rivals.
Photo Audio Essay
Rock Climbing in the Adirondacks
People climb looking for adventure and amazing views—and a deeper connection to the mountains. Brian Mann climbed Hurricane Crag during the peak of this year's leaf season.
Audio Slideshow
Ellen in Canyonland
NCPR Station Manager Ellen says there's nothing like fear to get her attention as she reports on what she did on her summer vacation.
Photo Audio Essay
Lake Champlain Maritime History, pt. 1
Wreck diving off Burlington with Brian Mann.
Photo Audio Essay
37th Annual Clayton Antique Boat Show
Thousands of people visited Clayton for the 37th annual Antique Boat show and auctiona chance to view St. Lawrence skiffs, launches and runabouts.
Photo Audio Essay
Discovering Adirondack Old Growth Forest
The Adirondacks are home to some of the East's largest Old Growth Forests. Martha Foley talks with a naturalist who spent part of this summer finding the towering trees.
Padilla lost his footing and the current swept him over the waterfall where he became lodged below the surface

Buffalo man drowns on Raquette River

State police say rescue divers have recovered the body of a 20-year-old man who drowned on Saturday near Buttermilk Falls, near Long Lake, on the Raquette River.  Go to full article
DEC planner Chris Alberga points to a map of the Essex Chain Lakes.  The Conservation Department says it will revise its proposed plan and release a new draft this fall for public comment.  Photo:  Brian Mann

Snowmobile muddle forces rewrite of Essex Chain Lakes plan

State officials are going back to the drawing board as they develop a plan for public use of the Essex Chain Lakes near Newcomb.

The 11,000-acre complex of lakes, logging roads and rivers in the central Adirondacks is part of the massive Finch Conservation deal engineered by the Nature Conservancy.

The Conservation Department had hoped to have a plan for public recreation in place by the end of this year.

But DEC planners have run into a major complication over a proposal for using snowmobiles in the area, a plan that would include a bridge over the scenic Cedar River.  Go to full article
Trail Map. <a href="">View full size map</a>. Map: Indian Creek Nature Center.

A wetland maze in a birder's heaven

The end of August is a special chance to take full advantage of a birder's paradise just a few minutes from Canton. You name it: mergansers, black terns, bitterns, even loons and bald eagles, all make the Upper and Lower Lakes Wildlife Management Area their summer home.

The area is off-limits to people most of the year, so the birds and plant life can thrive undisturbed. But the refuge opens to the public for two weeks each summer, this year starting Saturday, through August 29.

From a canoe, a labyrinth of shifting cattails leads to the open water of Indian Creek, which links the Grasse and Oswagatchie Rivers. David Sommerstein took a tour with a wildlife expert and sent this audio postcard. This story first aired in 2007.  Go to full article
Coast Guard checking a boat off Alexandria Bay. Photo: <a href="">Coast Guard News</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Coast Guard rescues five on St. Lawrence, one on Lake Ontario

ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. (AP) It was a busy weekend for the U.S. Coast Guard patrolling the waters of the St. Lawrence River.  Go to full article
On a humid August day, the view of Mineville's old iron works from Cheney Mountain. Photo: Brian Mann

Ramble up Cheney Mountain and a view of history

It's been a brilliant summer for hiking, with long days often bringing mild temperatures. This week, Brian Mann and his wife Susan Waters set off for a ramble up Cheney...  Go to full article
Blue Mountain Lake. Archive Photo of the Day: Laurie Dirkx

This weekend in the Adirondacks

John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack looks at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks each weekend.

And what a weekend it's forecast to be; we...  Go to full article
Photo: Snocade Committee, used by permission

Fulton County clerk gave out free snowmobile registrations

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York's inspector general says an upstate county clerk issued free snowmobile registrations to local snowmobile clubs--including a group he participated...  Go to full article
Ice storm, December 2013. Photo by Mark Kurtz

Autopsy for a brutal winter season

It's hard to remember on a beautiful summer morning like this one, but last winter was long and grueling here in the North Country.

There was a ferocious ice...  Go to full article
The El Nino in 1997 as imaged by NASA.  Photo:  NASA, JPL

How wintry will this winter be? Get your first forecast

As we head into the second week of August, it may seem a little too soon to start thinking about winter and the weather it may bring.

But the National Weather...  Go to full article
Victory signs have been posted by supporters of the Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake since the July court ruling that validated the resort's permits.  But the legal fight may not be over.  Photo:  Brian Mann

Activists appeal Big Tupper resort court decision

Two environmental groups and "a neighboring landowner" in Tupper Lake say they'll appeal a sweeping decision issued last month by a state court that upheld state permits for...  Go to full article

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