Suzanne Maye

As we approach the holiday season, there is a special event that I look forward to every year. In fact, attending this event has become a holiday tradition for me. Attend once and it will become one for you, too. I encourage you to add this event to your holiday “list of things to do.” The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train Every year, in late November — this year it's locally on Monday, November 27 — The Canadian Pacific Holiday...
Talk to any serious cyclists and they will tell you the Lake Champlain Region offers some of the best cycling trails anywhere. Lake Champlain Bikeways has made it their mission to get the word out to avid cyclists. They have identified numerous themed loops and bike trails throughout this valley; over 1,600 miles of them. The routes range in length from 10 to 60 miles, and extend between two states and two countries. Lake...
The Lake Champlain Region is prepared to offer you a warm welcome during the cooler days of autumn. September and October can actually be one of the best times to visit. Our landscape bursts into color on those sunny, crisp days, providing a picturesque backdrop to any outdoor activity. Consider immersing yourself in that color by hiking one of the many Champlain Area Trails (CATS). Choose one with a summit and you will have a bird’s-eye view of...
Extraordinary Leaves and LayersAs you are cruising along the Adirondack Coast this fall, peeping at the magnificent colors, you are bound to admire the awesome scenery this historic valley displays. Man has been admiring and coveting this valley for centuries. From early European exploration, through conflict, and settlement, this fertile valley and its resources have been sought after and fought over. There are layers upon layers of American...
Annually on a weekend in early August, this year on the 12th and 13th, the Crown Point State Historic Site hosts the French and Indian War Encampment. It’s an exciting weekend for the site, as hundreds of participants and close to a thousand spectators gather to commemorate the significant history of this location. Authentically clad French, British, and Native American regiments and groups camp amongst the ruins of two 18th ...
Let the celebrations begin!The summer season is off to a great start - the water is as blue as the sky, the sun is shining, and our seasonal shops are open for business!The action really heats up this week as our villages prepare to celebrate the long holiday weekend with events for all ages. We invite you to come celebrate with us along the Adirondack Coast; it is really the ideal location for this specific holiday.It was on the waters and...
Here it comes... the first traditional holiday of the summer season and many of us are beginning to make our long weekend plans. The Town of Crown Point is gearing up for their annual Memorial Day celebration held Saturday, May 27 through Monday, May 29. This community has been hosting Memorial Day celebrations for 149 years! They extend gracious hospitality for everyone to come and enjoy the activities and events planned, but also...
(Featured Image Courtesy and Copyright Fort Ticonderoga)  Just a few more days and Fort Ticonderoga will be open for the season! There you find an ever-changing adventure. I recently spoke directly with Beth Hill, President and CEO of Fort Ticonderoga to get the inside scoop on what exciting experiences we might find at the Fort this year. I will share her insight on a few not-to-be-missed features for this coming season:If cannons...
Feature photo: Early morning trout stocking- courtesy of Chris Barber  Thousands of the beautiful trout that enjoy life in our streams, creeks, ponds, and lakes spent their youth at the Essex County Fish Hatchery. Every year this hatchery acquires approximately 77,000 rainbow trout eggs, 75,000 brown trout eggs, and 70-77,000 brook trout eggs from huge US Fish and Wildlife suppliers located across the country.Not all of the eggs make...
Technically we may still be in winter, but we're beginning to think spring!Late February’s mild temperatures receded snowbanks and brought in the robins and bluebirds. Seed and plant catalogs have been filling the mailbox for a few weeks now. As I write, I feel the strong heat of the sun pouring through the window. I look out to what’s left of my flower garden; now brown and bedraggled. I have a yearning to get growing. Regional gardeners...
Happy anniversary to the women of New York! One hundred years ago this state granted women the right to vote. The nation would not follow with the 19th Amendment for another 3 years.Adirondack women have special ties to this movement, particularly in one noted suffragette. A few years ago I learned of Inez Milholland Boussevain who had some roots in this region. At the time it was the 100-year anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Parade of...
(Feature pic courtesy of Essex Inn on the Adirondack Coast) 'Tis the season for a bit of indulgence. It is like we get a pass for the preview game on Thanksgiving, but the real game kicks into high gear as the end of the year gets closer. Indulging in that rich decadent dessert, that second helping of dressing with gravy, or that third cookie is unlikely to be met with raised eyebrow; even from Aunt Julie who probably weighs about 98 pounds...
Is your holiday shopping incomplete? Still in search of that perfect gift for that special someone? Let me give you some ideas for gifts that will stay with the recipient forever, do not require assembly or the additional purchase of batteries, and won't have you standing in a long checkout line. As an added bonus, they're easy to wrap! We are talking experiences, of course, and the Lake Champlain Region has a wide variety to offer —...
As we approach the holiday season, there are two specific events I look forward to every year. In fact, missing either one of these makes the season incomplete for me. I encourage you to add these events to your holiday “list of things to do”- have them become a part of your holiday tradition. Canadian Pacific Holiday TrainEvery year, in late November — this year on November 27 — the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train of Lights winds its...
One of the most common phobias is fear of heights, or acrophobia. Research speculates that 3-5% of our population is affected by this fear. So much so that their anxiety limits many of their activities and they bypass opportunities for some spectacular experiences. The Lake Champlain Region offers phenomenal scenic vistas; some of which are best achieved in elevated areas. If you are a member of this 3-5% let me share three ideas where you may...
Perhaps you have seen luring pictures of our spectacular sunrises over Lake Champlain. Maybe you have picked out several hikes from the 50+ Champlain Area Trails. You might be itching to catch that record bass from our top bass fishing lake or cycle some of the Adirondack Coast theme loops, explore our world-class historic sites, or try the new rock climbing adventure at Ausable Chasm. Now you want to plan your route and mode of travel. Let me...
It can be fascinating living within the pages of a history textbook. Mention “Ticonderoga” and practically every American nods as they recall their early history lessons in school. Students are appropriately taught that activity along this vast lake was critical to the independence, colonization, and development of the entire U.S. I admit, learning that in a classroom setting did little for my appreciation and understanding of those significant...
After Labor Day, our summer may begin to wane along the Adirondack Coast, but this means we can start getting excited about autumn. Soon the colors will be arriving and dressing our landscape in vivid oranges, yellows, and reds. We have some exciting fall events planned that will be showcased against that colorful scenic backdrop. Here are a few highlights!Adirondack Harvest FestivalYou definitely will want to plan on attending the Adirondack...
From May to October, visiting Fort Ticonderoga is always great, but I particularly like visiting in the autumn months. The changing seasons play a role in creating new experiences for visitors every month. Though we are not quite into the fall season yet, it is not far away. Let me share some reasons why I find fall a great time to visit the Fort.To provide you with the most updated information, I made a recent late-summer visit....
Heads up, campers — particularly those with RVs looking for full hook-ups! Within the Town of Moriah there is now an additional campground option for you to choose from. This one privately owned and boasts a distinctive personality of its own. After 10 years in development Petro’s Millbrook RV Park recently held their ribbon cutting and opening. This is a family-run operation, with three Bills at the helm. I refer to them as Bill 1, 2, and 3....
An essential part of summer is hitting the beach, and the hot, sunny days we’ve had lately are driving us to water. Current Lake Champlain water temperatures are a refreshing 70 degrees. Within the region we have numerous choices for beachgoers. Let me introduce you to a few of our favorites located on two different lakes. TiconderogaSituated in the southern portion of the Town of Ticonderoga are the northernmost waters of Lake George. The...
Welcome to a huge water playground. Lake Champlain has over 435 square miles of surface — that’s 271,000 acres of fun for any water sports enthusiast. There is a multitude of options to get you on the water along the Adirondack Coast, so pick your pleasure.On the WaterEveryone should have an “on the water” experience on Lake Champlain. The sights, smells, and sensations are unsurpassed. The surrounding landscape takes on an entirely different...
Were you aware that we, North Americans, live on the back of a turtle? So says an old Iroquois legend that I recently learned about. I’m not sure I will remember it exactly as it was told to me, but the fundamental gist of it was that at one time there was nothing but water and sky. The earth was covered with water and inhabited only by water animals. The sky contained the “sky people.” The sky began to fall to the earth and in order to save the...
Let’s talk about a different type of training. Were you aware that National Geographic Traveler magazine rated Amtrak’s Adirondack Line as “one of the 10 most beautiful train trips in the world?" Yes, I am talking about a rail line, and the shout-out was in the year 2000, but no worries, the scenery hasn’t changed. I have ridden the Adirondack Line from one end to the other, and I can also tell you the most beautiful section of that trip is...
It’s called “thrifting” these days and everyone seems to be into it. First of all, who doesn’t love a bargain? When the search for one also becomes a treasure hunt, you’ve added fun! There’s also the element of surprise tossed in because you never know what you might stumble across. Aside from economic savings and the entertainment factor of “the hunt” think of the positive benefits for the environment by renewing, reusing, recycling, and...
A season filled with events is upon us, and so are activities and gatherings of all varieties including weddings, graduation celebrations, and class and family reunions.Anyone organizing a celebration should do some advanced planning. A primary concern is location. The setting needs to be easily accessible for all attendees and should provide shelter if the weather decides not to cooperate. The location also needs to have adequate space for the...
It’s coming fast. Summer is an action packed season filled with events, tours, parades, concerts, performances, and festivals, and it all starts Memorial Day weekend on the Adirondack Coast. There certainly will be something going on to entertain you. Let me give you a few brief highlights of what's happening this summer, but by no means will this list be all inclusive. Check the events calendar for more options and opportunities. Where...
The Lake Champlain Region's exciting, activity-packed season is practically upon us. Most of our seasonal sites and attractions have started opening, or will open soon, and our many museums have numerous stories to share with you. Let me give you some ideas of a few places to visit to enhance and expand your experience throughout the historic Adirondack Coast. I’ll also include a glimpse of some of the new and intriguing displays and exhibits...
It can be fascinating living within the pages of a history textbook. Mention “Ticonderoga” and practically every American nods as they recall their early history lessons in school. Students are appropriately taught that activity along this vast lake was critical to the independence, colonization, and development of the entire U.S. I admit, learning that in a classroom setting did little for my appreciation and understanding of those significant...
As I started to write this blog it was snowing! Are you as anxious as I for some real spring/summer weather and all the opportunities and activities to choose from? A major summer treat for me are the farmers’ markets. I find them a feast for all senses. The colorful sights, smells, and tastes of summer are all on display at the numerous farmers’ markets throughout the region. Luckily, Ticonderoga is not making us wait until the depths of summer...
I recently reached out to Nancy Ockrin, the race organizer of the NY/VT 5K Champlain Bridge Run coming up in May. I had a few questions to ask, but started with simply finding out if she’d be participating. “Not in this race” she informed me, “I will be too busy organizing and attending to the details.” However she offered to enlighten us a bit about the race and how she got started running. The following is Nancy's guest commentary for this...
I admit to being a treasure hunter. I like to seek out unique and creative items both around the region and when I travel. In fact when traveling to distant locations, searching for a treasure is always included on the itinerary. The hunt is often a bit challenging in unfamiliar territory, but it definitely adds to the experience. The perfect item won’t be found sitting on the shelf among the labeled t-shirts and shot glasses. It must be unique...
Late last week I ventured into the most picturesque valley you can imagine. This valley, extending from Wadhams into Essex, glides along the banks of the Boquet River flanked by the gorgeous Adirondacks. Vistas revealed quaint farm buildings surrounded by scenic agricultural land and pastures dotted with a variety of farm animals. I was on my way to the Echo Farm to connect with Dillon Klepetar of Farmstead Catering to learn about his...
It’s that time of year when those of us who like to think of ourselves as gardeners are itching to dig in the dirt. Though weeks from actually being able to do that, we daydream in anticipation, begin a little planning, and make our shopping lists. Now that most snow cover has left, the sun is a little stronger and days are a bit longer, I wander among my flower beds scrutinizing for signs of life and wondering what might return this season. For...
There is a little culinary treat right on the main street of Ticonderoga that I feel compelled to place on your radar screen. Bodette’s Barbecue is located at 133 Montcalm Street and the corner of Tower Avenue. You can easily find it by following the delicious scent across the street from Ticonderoga’s Community Building and adjacent to the Ticonderoga Heritage Museum and Bicentennial Park. Any carnivore who appreciates slow-...
If you've ever hiked in the Adirondack wilderness and experienced a pop-up storm along the way, I suspect you were happy to stumble across a remote rustic shelter welcoming you in from the rain. That may have been your first appreciation of an Adirondack lean-to. The three-sided cabin with a floor and an overhead roof might have seemed like a luxurious accommodation miles from civilization. Even if your pack had included a tent, the solid roof...
There is something about the Adirondack environment that appeals to artists of all genres and speaks to all nationalities. The abundance of natural scenic beauty seems to enhance the art, providing a perfect backdrop or environment. That is how a young celebrated violinist, Ivan Galamian, found it when hearrived in Elizabethtown to visit his friend, renowned Russian cellist, Gregor Piatigorsky.  A Little BackgroundGalamian was Armenian...
Coupled up? If so, you've probably given some thought to the second Sunday in February. If you are looking for ideas to make that day unique, I’ve put together some options for couples to experience a very special weekend indeed. Perhaps you need to unwind, take a break from the routine, or simply spend some one-on-one time together. Pack your bags for the Adirondack Coast and a perfect Valentine's getaway.Two Romantic Lodging OptionsIf you are...
It was only a few years ago that I became acquainted with the term Nordic Skating. At the time I think I thought of it as Nordic skiing, only on a frozen body of water, but I have recently become a bit more familiar with this winter sport that is growing in popularity. As a youth, I lived right on the shore of Lake Champlain and winters found my brothers and me on the lake ice. However, I was on figure skates, they were on hockey skates; both...
The season may be off to a bit of a slow start, but that doesn’t stop the excited anticipation of snowmobile enthusiasts here along the Adirondack Coast. Conditions are improving as I write - with a good 3 inches of fresh powder last night. If you are one of these enthusiasts that like to venture onto some remote Adirondack trails, then more often than not you can thank a local snowmobile club for that opportunity. It is the effort and hard work...
Most of us are aware of the significant role Lake Champlain played in the early history of America. In its liquid state it served as the “blue highway” bringing explorers and soldiers to investigate and claim the surrounding territory. But did you know, a couple of centuries later, in its solid, or frozen, state it provided significant aid to other explorers as well — those seeking to be the first to fly over the North Pole.Adirondack AviatorOne...
A Pinch of Cultural HeritageThe holiday season is one filled with expectation and excitement. We look forward to the surprises it may bring, but we also find a comforting anticipation in the expected, the traditions. This may not be obvious in our youth. We haven’t accumulated enough Christmases yet, but as we begin to collect a few years' worth we have definite expectations like the lights, the gatherings of friends and family, and the food....
Local residents are buzzing with their winter predictions - all the “whens” and the “ifs": Will we get much snow? Will it last? Will the big lake freeze? In recent years we have seen milder winters. This fall has been unseasonably mild which leads some to believe we are in for it “big-time.” No matter, we are prepared to give you some ideas for a few adventures to enjoy the magic of winter along the Adirondack Coast, regardless of the snow or...
Here it comes - the holiday season. The turkey is barely digested, when we start to think about SHOPPING! I’ve never have gotten into the Black Friday frenzy though I’ve seen the television news clips filmed at the big box stores. No tryptophan residue apparent there; it looks more like a contact sport. Stampedes, crowds, waiting lines, aggressive shoppers, and harried clerks do not look like my idea of a good time - particularly on a recently...
Predictions are for better than average amounts of snowfall this season which should make for some great winter trail activity. We are part of the Adirondack Park; 6-million-acres of winter wonderland playground, but let's keep in mind, that land is both public and private. If we simply want to venture out, not necessarily hitting a formalized ski center, where do we go? Whether we seek outdoor winter solitude, an opportunity to view wildlife...
A very dear friend of mine once referred to Port Henry as “the San Francisco of the Adirondacks.” Very amusing, huh?  Well, this Village does sit on a hill and overlook the bridge and a bay. Also in common with its west coast cousin is that its “downtown” is developing a pretty hot art district and some unexpected and delightful public art displays. So, where the real San Francisco may be known as the “city for art” on the west coast; I’m...
We are rapidly approaching the end of October where thoughts turn dark as the sun sets early. Halloween prompts us to think in eerie, spooky, and macabre tones. These are not exactly typical thoughts when one thinks of Lake Champlain. How many enjoying the water’s surface on a sparkling summer day are aware of the dark, cold, somewhat grisly, lake bottom or realize they are playing in a graveyard.On the Water ActivityLake Champlain stretches...
I grew up in a fairly large family. There were seven of us and during “deer season” we were divided into two camps; the hunters and the hypocrites. My sisters and I were in the hypocrite camp. Mom actually was a hunter and a fabulous wild game cook, which was a principle reason the remainder of the females ended up labeled by my brother as hypocrites. You see, though my sisters and I claimed we did not like the idea of hunting, none of us...
At first I was a little stymied when I started thinking about today's blog in which I'm focusing on “funky towns, things, places.” No surprise to readers that I tend to see the Lake Champlain Region more as world-class, not really “funky," but after I looked up the word “funky” and read one definition: fashionable in a way that is unusual and shows a lot of imagination, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about and headed toward Wadhams. ...
When I think of fall, spectacular scenery, musical goose migration, finding the perfect decorative pumpkin, colorful hikes, and of course, apples, spring to mind. Have you noticed the nights are getting cooler? Some of them are dropping into the 40s. This makes the apple growers smile. I learned it takes the cooler nights for the apples to develop their desired red color. That’s not all I learned during a recent visit to Gunnison’s Orchards,...
New at Fort TiconderogaBoat cruises are a new feature this summer at Fort Ticonderoga. I can’t say that they are underrated, more undiscovered, as yet. Once the word gets out, we may have to book far in advance. I picked the perfect late summer day to hop on board and give this new experience a try. I was not disappointed. For this start-up year the boat is operating out of the NYS DEC’s Ticonderoga Boat Launch. Next year the Fort plans to...
In my opinion, autumn is actually the best time to visit the Lake Champlain Region. The Adirondack Coast sparkles during this season with some crystal-clear sunny days and cool, crisp, great sleeping weather, nights. It’s the perfect season for hiking one of the many CATS trails. The views from atop one of our mountains along the lake go on forever. Often winds subside and boaters enjoy skimming across, or paddling, the flatwater which like a...
A couple of short weeks from now we will be reflecting on where the summer went. Not that summer will officially be over, but once students head back to school options for even mini-vacations and family outings get restricted. An opportunity for a final bash of summer fun is waiting for you and your family in the Town of Moriah over Labor Day Weekend. The Village of Port Henry and Town of Moriah have been celebrating Labor Day for 126 years!...
The Lake Champlain Region is vast, extending approximately 75 miles north to south and 30 miles east to west. Obviously first time visitors, or even repeat visitors, never see it all. I don’t think I have. It’s easy to get caught up in the scenic beauty or focus on one unique feature and pass right by many other opportunities without knowing. Therefore, though not exactly “secrets,” here are a handful of tips regarding some lesser-known facts,...
Sunday is often “family day.” The entire family wants time together, but what to do. Where and how to find one destination that will appeal to family members with diverse ages and interests can be difficult. The historic community of Ticonderoga is prepared to cater to a wide variety of family-friendly interests, particularly on August 2nd.  On that Sunday consider making Bicentennial Park the central family hub. Car Show!Antique and...
Environmental InfluenceThere is something about this Champlain Valley that inspires artists of all genres. Far be it from me to understand precisely how and why, though I suspect it has a lot to with the abundance of scenic beauty, incredible vistas, the flora and fauna. One feels connected with the earthy natural elements here. Mother Nature continuously flashes a new colorful canvas, sculpture, song, perfume or performance for us to enjoy...
It was on the waters and along the shores of our fantastic Lake Champlain that the great battles, struggles and sacrifices were made for America’s freedom. Can you think of a better location to celebrate America’s Independence than where it all took place 200+ years ago? Join us in the Lake Champlain Region as we celebrate the 4th of July and our heritage. Here are some events and happenings throughout our communities that will make this...
It’s all about the outdoors in the Adirondacks! Does the idea of having your own little plot of ground sound appealing? That’s what our many campgrounds are all about. The key to a great camping vacation can be finding the ideal campsite that will be a good fit for your family. Whether you are coming with a tent, a lengthy RV, or merely supplies and gear, we are ready to accommodate. Here are a few ideas and features of our many campground...
In 2010, Velo Quebec hosted their Grand Tour through the Lake Champlain Region. This first-class Canadian cycling organization organizes numerous cycling tours.  Their top-of-the-line is the Grand Tour, an annual tour consisting of approximately 500-miles held at premier cycling destinations in North America. Each year approximately 2000 cyclists register and participate. Though most participating cyclists are from Canada, participants come...
Heads up music lovers! Soundwaves is returning this summer season with great performances planned in the Lake Champlain Region. Soundwaves is a summer community concert series curated by Taylor Haskins. The concerts are held Thursday evenings, July 2nd through August 13th, at Ballard Park in Westport, directly on the Adirondack Coast. This top notch musical entertainment collection has been specially crafted by Haskins, a well-renowned...
You probably are aware of “Champ” the legendary sea monster of Lake Champlain, often dubbed the American Nessie, referring to Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster. Though no concrete evidence exists, no one has disproved him either. Hundreds of people, spanning several centuries, claim to have seen Champ, though descriptions do vary. Champ has been described as being anywhere from 10 to over 150 feet long. Some sightings claim to have seen humps,...
It’s drama time for our rivers, creeks and streams. Melted snow and spring rains have filled their banks to capacity. They are putting on quite a show as they race down the mountains and into the valley, all in a hurry to reach Lake Champlain. It’s my favorite time of year to go out on a waterfall watch and see the fantastic displays. I find moving water mesmerizing, love the sounds and the sparkle as it splashes onward. Here are some of my...
Adirondack PioneersImagine it is the late 1970s and you have moved your family, including six children, into a Civil War-era farmhouse in the middle of the Adirondack wilderness. Let’s add to the challenge. The farmhouse has neither running water, nor electricity! Situated on its own 200 acres there were no neighbors very close and no market, or other community amenities, for miles. The thought of raising six children is scary enough, but pull...
Flower Show AlertGet ready for the Grand Opening of the Adirondack's Annual Flower Show. It is a little early yet, but time to make plans and preparation. As the temperatures warm and the snow melts our forests and woodlands begin to display their finery. For me this is the best time to get out on a hike, connect with nature, and get a peek at some of the gifts it has to offer. I love the Adirondack's earliest blooms, perhaps because it has been...
No ProblemEvery family with a tail wagging member faces the big dilemma when planning the annual vacation. What will we do with the dog? The wagging tail droops as all eyes focus on the subject. Then the head lowers and those sad, pitiful eyes begin to make contact with everyone around the room landing on the pack leader with a sorrowful, questioning, expression. Yes, it can rip your heart out. Making any attempt to justify kenneling such...
The PointThere is an awesome peninsula extending north into Lake Champlain from its western shore. Today this peninsula is called Willsboro Point and it is approximately 3 miles long, maybe a mile or so wide at the widest points. This section of the Town of Willsboro sits outside the hamlet area which predominantly rests on the banks of the Boquet River. The peninsula creates a protected bay to its west, very popular with sailors seeking safe...
Abundance of Recreation and NatureSituated directly on the Adirondack Coast, on Lake Shore Road about half way between the hamlets of Westport and Essex, is an unusual site - a remarkable playground for any outdoor enthusiast. There is a plethora of outdoor experiences and recreational opportunities to be had all in one place, rather a one-stop “shopping mall” for nature lovers. This site has everything: history, water, views, cliffs, forest,...
Hooray for Diversity! Wandering through the communities along the Adirondack Coast it is easy to be awed by the natural beauty. It happens all the time and it is one reason I love entertaining first-time visitors. They rave about the scenery. There is a great diversity and contrast: flat open water, rolling farm fields, heavily wooded areas, and of course the great sky line of the Adirondack Mountains. Views are never boring. Diversity adds...
Waterway of FreedomIt would probably come as no surprise to any reader that I am a major fan of our great Lake Champlain. I admire its beauty, its history and its service to America. Throughout history it has aided Native Americans and migratory animals as a food source and natural travel route, offered a navigable pathway for explorers, then played a significant role as a “blue highway” in America’s struggle for independence. It could be argued...
TwoThis week’s blog topic is “TWO” and I have been searching for inspiration ever since the assignment. This has had me thinking like Noah for days. The Lake Champlain Region has an abundance of everything. Where are the important twos I should be blogging about? Distracted by having to thaw water pipes twice this past week and continually having to search for my second glove, I began to feel plagued by twos. It finally hit me. Like the missing...
Planning the perfect wedding can be a daunting task particularly if you are opting for an outdoor setting or something a bit non-traditional. The big decision may have been made, but that decision is immediately followed by a myriad of others. Ranking high at the top of the “what to choose” list, right along with the ideal dress or gown, is the “where” will this all take place. Picking the appropriate dress may be easy in comparison. The bride...
Here in the Adirondacks our mailboxes are beginning to bulge with daily arrivals of seed and plant catalogs. If we have yet to begin thinking about gardening, these daily arrivals ignite our thoughts of growing flowers, vegetables and fruits. Of course these seed purveyors are well aware it would require a jackhammer to turn any soil in our region right now, but they fully understand the whole process.I love receiving these wish-books. As I gaze...
One ThingWhen asked to make a recommendation of one thing that was not to be missed when visiting our Lake Champlain Region I had a very difficult time. After all we are rich with unique features: historic forts, quaint villages, world class art and music, 100+ year old attractions, and an abundance of recreational opportunities. And, all of these features are set against a back drop of awe-inspiring scenic beauty - some of the best in the world...
A fundamental requirement for ice fishing is, of course, a body of water with a frozen surface. Right now, as I write, that is not the case on Lake Champlain, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen soon. Here it is near the end of December and Lake Champlain is, for the most part, wide open. In fact I saw boats on the water just yesterday, pretty much unheard of at this time of year. I asked a few of our local veteran fishermen about their...
It’s that time of year when we look forward to what the new year will bring. If this year was any indication, we are in for a wonderful time along the Adirondack Coast in 2015. This year seemed to go by incredibly fast, probably because it was filled with activities and things to do. I reflect back on a few of the highlights.The Grange!The Whallonsburgh Grange! Was there anything that wasn’t happening there this past year? The Champlain Valley...
100+ MilesWhen out enjoying the public recreation land along the Adirondack Coast it’s easy to become enamored with the undeveloped natural landscape and captivated by the scenic beauty of the mountains, streams and forests. But, are we sufficiently appreciative of all the components that make this possible? Do we ever consider who maintains the trails that permit us access, or wonder who built the convenient lean-to for our shelter and how it...
Not Minnesota!There is a unique food creation that exists along the western shore of Lake Champlain. It’s called a michigan, or michigan hot dog. That’s right a small “m”; unlike the state. It consists of a steamed hot dog, on a steamed roll, with a tomato based meat sauce. Often it is sprinkled with finely diced fresh onion and a ribbon of mustard is added. Whether the onions and mustard are “buried” under the sauce or the dog, or whether they...
The Holiday SqueezeWe are approaching what I often refer to as the “holiday squeeze.” Everything can get a bit stretched - time, wallets, energies, and even belts. We look forward to all the traditional festivities and delivering the perfect gift to everyone on our list. The next few weeks can make us a bit anxious as we attempt to squeeze everything in. During this season we also want to be a little self-indulgent. It is the holidays after all...
As I began reading snatches of history regarding the activities of Benedict Arnold during the Revolutionary War (mid-to late 1770’s), I began to rethink my so-called “knowledge” of the man. For many Americans his name is synonymous with traitor and that’s where it ends. Had he not turned his loyalties to the British around 1779, his name might easily mean hero to those same Americans. He certainly was a busy soldier during the time of the...
It’s so easy to fall in love with the Lake Champlain Region. I see it on visitors’ faces all the time. “It’s SO beautiful here,” say many first time visitors that walk through the door at the Lake Champlain Visitors Center. The site distance and scenic beauty are captivating; awesome really. The level plane of the lake, juxtaposed against a back drop of the Adirondack Mountains offers an incredibly visually appealing contrast. When you combine...
NCNST InfoThe North Country National Scenic Trail winds 4,600 miles through 7 of our northern-most states and ends (or begins, depending upon your perspective) practically at the door step of the Lake Champlain Visitors Center. This trail began as a brainstorm of the US Forest Service in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until 1980 that Congress passed the necessary legislation and created the North Country National Scenic Trail. My understanding is...
 I know many of us that are nuts about cars. I recently learned that there are a lot more cars than there are drivers in the US. Automobiles hold an appeal far surpassing the convenient transportation. Beyond the utilitarian, we may see them as sculptural art, an expression of identity, opportunity for adventures. They also can be time machines for some of us getting along in years. Catching a glimpse of one built a few decades ago can...
A Two Hour TourI had a great time Sunday aboard Basin Harbor Club’s tour boat the Escape. Elizabeth Lee, Naturalist and Outdoor Guide, served as our narrator for much of the two hour tour. I could listen to Elizabeth forever. She has an easy way of explaining the science and nature surrounding us and has a keen observer’s eye to point out features you may otherwise miss.Next Opportunity August 10The Escape is a 45 foot USCG approved vessel that...
I love to fish. Can’t say I’m any good at it, but I do enjoy trying. Fishing Lake Champlain is rather like treasure hunting. With over 90 different species of fish, you never know what you may pull out of the water. At least that is the case with me.Fishing without a boat on Lake ChamplainNot having a boat in my life right now, I fish from shore. One of my favorite places to fish is the Port Henry Pier which is adjacent to the Village of...
Never the Same TwiceEvery time I enter the grounds of Fort Ticonderoga, I feel like I have stepped onto a sacred place. I am somewhat aware of all the hardships, struggles, and sacrifices made on these 2000 acres when our country was just beginning; although I learn and appreciate more with every visit. Thanks to the Fort Ticonderoga Association, the stories here are preserved, explained in intricate detail and become vividly alive. No matter...
Boating From Manhattan to MontrealMany are surprised when I tell them that they could launch their boat anywhere along our Lake Champlain Region and easily end up in Manhattan or Montreal. I often get a raised eyebrow, but some are aware that the Champlain Canal connects the southern end of Lake Champlain to the Hudson River. At the northern end, the Chambly Canal connects to the Richelieu and St Lawrence. Although I have never made the...
In my youth the mention of history would make me wrinkle my nose. That was during the school years of course, when I related history to a classroom setting with nothing but a boring memorization of strange names and odd dates. On Lake Champlain, I was living in the birthplace of America and enjoying history on a daily basis, but did not connect the dots. Textbooks aside out of the classroom, the historic sites of our Lake Champlain Region were...
Ready - Set - LaunchLaunch your boat at one of the many boat launches or marinas along the Adirondack Coast and a 450 square mile playground is available to you. Stretching approximately 125 miles from northern to southern end this vast lake borders two states and rests in two countries. It may surprise you to learn that once on the Lake Champlain water, you could easily voyage to Montreal by traveling north, or Manhattan by traveling south....
Serendipity!Centrally located within the Lake Champlain Region, resting on the banks of the Boquet River, is the little hamlet of Whallonsburg. This hamlet is within the Town of Essex, about 4 miles from their NHR collection of houses and the Essex to Charlotte ferry dock. A central focus within this hamlet is The Whallonsburg Grange and what is happening there will surprise you.The Grange building itself is about 100 years old. It flourished in...
Updates on Fresh Catch & Peak Ice Fishing SpotsOnce Lake Champlain starts firming up with the cold weather, local fishermen start thinking ice fishing. Jigs and tip ups are rousted out. Shanties cleaned and prepared for their annual trip out onto the ice. Sub- zero ice making temperatures are wished for like the pre-Christmas sugarplums. Not a lot of the colorful wood constructed shanties have appeared as yet, but some recent artic temps...
It’s difficult right now to think of snow. I've yet to even see a flurry in the Champlain Valley.  Mid November and we are still hitting 50-some degree days filled with sunshine. I am still seeing people in shorts and t-shirts!   Nevertheless, I know winter weather is not far off and it's that time of year when it is necessary to do the shuffle in the outdoor shed; garden tools and pots to the back of the storage rack;...
Over the course of the next few days there are seasonal Halloween activities throughout the Lake Champlain Region.  Some are very family friendly and some come with fright warnings, but you should find something to appeal to every member of your family. The Penfield Haunted Homestead begins Friday night (October 25th) in Ironville at dusk and runs each evening through Sunday.  A visit to this Haunted Homestead is not for the...
New York is the second largest producer of apples in the nation.  The Lake Champlain Region, of course, is responsible for that ranking.  Our Adirondack Coast provides ideal growing conditions and cold enough winters for the required apple tree dormant period.  Actually the trees really enjoy being a part of our breathtaking scenic beauty.  During this month you can find them posing with their red, green and gold ornaments....
If you are still making plans for the upcoming long holiday weekend, you should be considering a visit to the Town of Moriah.  This town has been celebrating the Labor Day holiday for over one hundred and twenty years.  In fact, the residents of this town began Labor Day celebrations before it became a national holiday in 1894.  This symbolic “end of summer” holiday pays tribute to the hard work, achievements and contributions of...
Here it was mid-July and hopes of seeing my garden produce looked rather bleak.   Though our wet spring and early summer did wonders for my lawn, my vegetable garden was pathetic.  My green thumb skills  did not measure up to the challenges of recent weather.    Out of two packages of green bean seeds, I could boast 5 plants that have yet to blossom.  Most of the planted squash seed never...
The Adirondack History Center Museum offers to keep your Tuesdays evenings filled all summer with the Elizabeth HW Lawrence Summer Lecture Series. The series begins July 9th at 7:00 PM with naturalist David Thomas Train's lecture Fire Towers in the Adirondacks.  He will cover the history and current fire tower issues of removal, retention and restoration.   Continue to mark your calendars for the following Tuesday night lectures, which...
Ah!…. A chance to learn about Adirondack Fire Towers!  These mountain-top sentries have a particular fascination; and, of course, incredible views! The Adirondack History Center Museum received an Education and Outreach Grant from the Champlain Valley National Historical Partnership to sponsor a series of classes and hikes focused on the historic role of Adirondack fire towers in forest stewardship. There are three choices of dates to...
I vividly remember my canoe excursion down the La Chute River in Ticonderoga although it was many months ago. That day was the kind of hot summer day that compels you to be on, in, or near the water. I had heard from others what a terrific (think "easy") paddle it was for someone with my skill level, practically nil. I knew the trip wasn't very far; a couple of miles from the launch at Bicentennial Park to the mouth of the river where it...
  I can't remember when I first saw the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse. I lived only about 3 miles away from it from the time I was 2 until I was about 7, so it had to be during that period. What I do remember is looking up at the 55' high structure with its elaborate granite base, towering columns and ornate stone carvings and thinking; "this is a castle, not a lighthouse". Thanks to the Grimms brothers, I envisioned dragons...
The LaChute River lies within the confines of the Town of Ticonderoga. It's a pretty significant body of water though it may not be very long; about 4 miles or so. It connects the northern tip of Lake George to Lake Champlain. The river is incredibly steep dropping over 200 feet from the time it leaves Lake George to where it dumps downstream over the final falls in the town's Bicentennial Park, about 3miles. This drop is comparable to...
Within the Village of Port Henry, Town of Moriah, is a treasure of local historical information and interpretation. I often don't give a thought to what is beneath my feet, or ever have a chance to appreciate "place" from a bottoms up perspective. The Iron Center burrows beneath the familiar topography to reveal a combination of humanity, geology and industry that took place within the Town of Moriah for over a century and a half. The motivator...
Winter Waterfall Walk at AuSable ChasmEarly March on a 40-some degree day makes you itch to get outside and capture some of winter's last enchantments before they fade to memories. Ausable Chasm's Winter Waterfall Walk had been on my to-do list for quite a while. Here we were into March and I'd yet to get there, but sheer luck handed me a greater opportunity; an opening on the afternoon's 2 hour guided tour with the Chasm's Recreation Manager...
Our recent cold snap in the Lake Champlain Region is working in the favor of ice-fishing enthusiasts. I recently stopped by Norm's Bait and Tackle, 286 Bridge Road in Crown Point, to get his take on the current conditions. Norm has been in business close to 25 years and has over 45 years of local fishing experience. In addition, his Bait and Tackle store is a hot spot for the exchange of information among other local fishermen. He carries all...
With Christmas about a week away, the Sugar & Spice Country Shop, 98 Montcalm Street, Ticonderoga, sparkles with holiday decorations of all kinds. But holiday ornamentation is only the seasonal icing on this vast collection of decorative, yet practical gifts, home furnishings, and accessories for everyone. The entire shop emits a distinctive, country flair, with just a touch of primitive that relaxes and comforts you; like that favorite easy...
If you are looking for that jolt to kick you right into the Christmas Spirit, Ticonderoga's Hancock House"Festival of Trees" is exactly what you need. On Sunday, December 9th between 1 and 3 PM the Hancock House, located at 6 Moses Circle in Ticonderoga (right at the Liberty Monument) will host its 22nd Annual Open House and "Festival of Trees". Be prepared to be swept away with that nostalgic holiday sensation. You will escape the typical chaos...