Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

Learning to AdaptDeja vu? Blogger's note:As I was out hiking along the Adirondack Coast this week, I was reminded of this old blog I wrote that seems to describe a January very similar to the one we’re experiencing now. There’s little snow on the ground here, and temperature fluctuations have rendered our trails pretty darn icy.No worries; we Adirondackers have learned how to adapt to the unpredictable patterns and extreme weather events...
Blogger's note: As we once again find ourselves smack in the middle of the holiday chaos, we can't help but remember this adventure at Ausable Chasm. It took place at this time last year, and we think it may be time to head back!It’s a chasm. It’s right there in the name, "Ausable Chasm." I’ve seen chasms before in other parts of the country, and I’ve toured chasms. They’re usually pretty cool but more or less the same. I’ve driven by this...
Skiing and Snowshoeing the Champlain ValleyThe Champlain Valley is chock-full of unique trails located up and down the Adirondack Coast, but sometimes the best bang for your buck are areas with many trails, loops, and levels of enjoyment. At the five locations I'm going to highlight, you will have the opportunity to XC-ski at all levels, snowshoe as long as your heart desires, and in non-snowy conditions you can trail run, hike, or just sightsee...
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...
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...
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,...
Searching for Open WaterThis past weekend I took advantage of some warmer weather to head to the Champlain Valley for some birding. I’m leading a birdwatching trip in a week and a half and I wanted to scope things out ahead of time. Chief among my concerns was the lack of water, or more correctly, the dominance of ice on the water’s surface. The Essex-Charlotte Ferry recently shut down temporarily due to the ice conditions and that means there...
A Holiday TraditionChristmas Bird Counts (CBCs) have now started across the country and on Sunday I was out with a friend helping count birds in the area surrounding Point Au Roche north of Plattsburgh. This one is actually part of a count of the islands of northern Lake Champlain in Vermont, but the count circle overlaps the state boundary. After a week filled with snowy, windy, and overcast weather, we had lucked out with a good day. Cloudy...
Tracking Wildlife on Snowshoes Sure, a lot of people love snowshoeing on a marked trail to the top of a mountain or along a loop through a beautiful Adirondack forest. That’s admirable.In contrast, my recent snowshoe excursion involved bushwhacking through deep snow over downed trees and frozen swamps; all to solve a mystery. It all started when I saw that Champlain Area Trails (CATS) was hosting a winter wildlife tracking snowshoe...
Lake Champlain is a big attraction in the Adirondacks through every season. The lake dictates weather, moods, activities and gear. This winter has been a wild one. Each week Lake Champlain has had a completely different character. I walk my dog to the boat launch in Westport most days so I have a chance to get up close and watch as the season progresses.  Natures mood swingsIn January, temperatures were too warm to cool the water but...
February events in the Lake Champlain RegionThe Lake Champlain Region is gearing up for a busy February, with historic re-enactments, concerts, rock climbing and snowshoe hikes for starters.Ice and rock climbing talkWinter Climbing will be the subject of the CRUX Climbing Center's event on February 4th. Famous Adirondack ice and rock climber and author, Don Mellor, will be on hand along with Mark Scott to discuss ice climbing technique in the...
            Wren and I visited AuSable Marsh and AuSable Point the other day to look for birds and take a walk.  Even though our goal was to look for waterfowl, our first bird was a Merlin flying fast and low along the road as we were arriving.  The small falcon turned toward the road and came directly over our car!  Merlins tend to make beelines between their destinations and...
            I did a little birding and hiking with Wren in Point AuRoche earlier this week.  We started around Cumberland Head just north of Plattsburgh, checking out the mouth of the Saranac River and the Ferry Terminal.  There was a mixture of open water and ice at the river mouth, but there were very few birds besides a handful of Mallards and a lone American Black Duck. ...
            Our invasion of Snowy Owls in the Northeast continues.  Snowies are being found up and down the Atlantic seaboard with large numbers in places like coastal Massachusetts and New Jersey, where I saw four while visiting family over the holidays.  In the past week in our region alone a Snowy Owl was found along Moffit Road in Plattsburgh, at least one and perhaps two...
Family Fun along the Adirondack CoastHere's a little chronicle of my family's recent picks of outdoor fun.  When you have ice you have to go with it.Most of what we love is free and local, making for easy, family vacation time. Despite cold temperatures we needed to get outside and exercise to justify our caloric intake (!).  You all know what I mean.The day before Christmas was super icy so we opted for a hike on--what else--a nearby...
Snowshoeing the Black Kettle TrailLast week before the ice came I had a great hike with my daughters who are both home for a few weeks.  They love to get outside after months in urban places so we take every chance we can to check out the woods. The snow last week was fluffy and light and every little crystal was twinkling because the temperature was so low (16 degrees when we left the car) and the sun was out.Getting ThereWe parked near...
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 past couple years I’ve occasionally seen a Red Fox in my neighborhood.  I first noted fox scats on the rocks which border my steps – something which caught Wren’s attention as well.  Sometimes when something out of the ordinary has visited the yard I can tell by how excited Wren is when I let her out first thing in the morning.  I finally had my first...