Summer

Summer

Birding By BoatOur birding trip had already been successful when the group I was leading turned its attention to the La Chute River for a canoe trip into Ti Marsh. In fact, we had done so well that we were running late and we had difficulty pulling ourselves away from the birds we were enjoying — although that is the usual state of affairs for such adventures. We even debated skipping the paddle altogether to keep birding from the road instead....
It was a fight for the ages, a battle of wits that ended with the triumph of man over beast. I caught a fish. But it wasn’t just any fish — this was a beautiful, 30-inch long lake trout that weighed about 12 pounds. A catch of that caliber might not have excited a hardier fisherman; a hardy fisherman I am not. Most of my adventures involve walking and climbing, and since this was my first time fishing on Lake Champlain I was ecstatic about...
The day started with a pair of muck boots. When days dawn bright and clear, and your footwear includes a pair of rubber boots ready for splashing through puddles and farm fields, you know it’s going to be a grand day.I hastily pulled them on over my pant legs, grabbed my breakfast sandwich and ran out the door. To the Hub on the Hill, I sang as I climbed into my car. Living in Westport, NY, in the Lake Champlain Region, I love connecting...
Submitted by Guest Blogger: Kathleen McLoud The day was basically clear, with beautiful blue skies and puffy white clouds here and there. The temperatures where in the high 70s — the perfect day for a few short to moderate and basically easy hikes in our immediate area of Lake Champlain Region. My friend and co-hiker decided we should take a light lunch and plenty of water, which made our backpacks light and easy to carry. Next we put...
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 ...
I met with a longtime Depot Theatre person to discuss the new 2017 season. Beth Glover has an excellent vantage point to view all the upcoming productions.This busy actress appears in local venues, on and off Broadway, and on the West Coast. Theater, small films, and television provide a varied backdrop for her work, even from backstage, such as serving as a stage manager for Depot Theatre's production of "SHOUT! The Mod Musical."What to love"I...
Champ Day is drawing near, and once again the residents of Port Henry are gearing up to celebrate their hometown lake monster, Champ. This annual bash at the “Home of Champ” keeps getting bigger, and this year is shaping up to be some fun doin’s.Champ Day is Sunday, July 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is a special kickoff to Champ Day - “The Return of Champ Day Movie Night!” - which will take place on Wednesday, July 12, at 7 p.m. Come by the...
The Hancock House was the setting for a talk with the theme "Adirondack Suffragists: 100 Years of Votes for Women." Both Hancock House-Ticonderoga Historical Museum and the Adirondack History Museum in Elizabethtown will be celebrating the centennial of women's suffrage with new exhibits.Wait, wasn't the 19th Amendment passed in 1920? Yes, nationally, it was. But New York state gave women the right to vote three years earlier. The women of New...
It's National Trail Day Folks!Head to the Lake Champlain Region for a ChallengeBy Guest Blogger: Michael MartineauHiking in the Adirondacks is not merely an activity for many, it's a lifestyle. Those who embrace this lifestyle are out on the trails as much as possible. They will repeat trails and mountains so many times they know if a certain tree has lost a branch, or a rock was washed away, or if a trail blaze has fallen.They become an...
In the charming hamlet of Port Henry, a new establishment has opened to fill the needs of visitors coming to enjoy the Adirondacks.If you are ready to stop for the night, the Village Inn offers immaculate lodging that lands squarely between a hotel and a bed and breakfast. If you just need a bite to eat, then the Red Brick Café will fix you up with a tasty panini and the best espresso around.Travelers can now better plan their journey knowing...
(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...
2016 TOP 3 BLOGS IN REVIEW We scoured our blogs for the most popular, most informative, and just downright funniest pieces from the past year. In case you missed them when they were originally published, here are our top three picks from the Lake Champlain's Adirondack Coast. Enjoy!3) The Adirondack lean-toIf you've ever hiked in the Adirondack wilderness and experienced a pop-up storm along the way, I suspect you were happy to stumble...
Guest Blogger: Audrey Schwartzberg Communications Associate, Adirondack North Country AssociationHitting the roadI’m on my trusty touring bike, hauling my 5-year-old in the Burly buggy. She’d rather be pedaling her big-girl bike, but she’ll have to be content admiring the view from the trailer. My husband and son are up ahead pedaling [almost] in tandem with their bicycle/tag-along combo. Grandpop is joining us for the day, and Grandma...
Top Three Quick HikesGuest blogger: Gail TestaBlueberry Hill, Elizabethtown, NYMy children grew up in the Adirondack Mountains and my youngest son was only about four or five years old when he began walking with us as we hiked. As he grew he joined us on more difficult hikes, and as he got even older, he enjoyed climbing the larger mountains on his own. He no longer lives in the area, but he still loves the mountains and returns often to hike....
A warm startIt was warm and approaching mid-day when Wren and I took to the La Chute River in Ticonderoga to paddle into Ti Marsh the other day. That’s out of the ordinary for me, as I don’t usually paddle during the heat of the day, but that’s how plans sometimes go. I let Wren take a quick dip so she was cool and wet before we pushed off.Birding along the La ChuteThe river offered shade on our way out which was a nice plus, and I hugged any...
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...
Birding between the raindropsAfter our successful trip to the Four Brothers Islands the other day I looked at the sky, and at the time, and debated the possibilities. Rain was already starting and it was forecast to get worse throughout the day, but it was currently light and intermittent and I had already made the trip to the valley, so I decided to bird until the rain sent me home. Since I was in Willsboro I headed north and drove along...
It's hard to visit the adorable town of Essex and not notice the Essex Ice Cream Cafe. Essex has the cutest main street, right on the shore of Lake Champlain, and the shop is situated right in the middle of it. They have a huge variety of hard ice cream flavors, including one called Superman that's bright red, yellow, and blue. They also have one named after Champ, Champy Chocolate. And they have no fat and no sugar options as well....
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...
 The Fish Are Jumping…A few clouds never scared us away from an adventure, and today we are taking on Lake Champlain - and betting that the haze will burn off by mid-morning.We head out of Lake Placid at 6:30am and an hour or so later, after a quick pit-stop for much-needed coffee and snacks, we are ready to launch the boat and take to the ‘high seas’ as Oliver calls it. We are at the Ticonderoga Boat Launch and Lake Champlain is looking...
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...
An overcast day on the waterThe day was gray and overcast as five birding friends and I set off from Willsboro Marina to visit the Four Brothers Islands in Lake Champlain. I had never been to the islands before, but my friend had set up a trip with a local charter company (which usually takes fishermen) and it seemed like a good opportunity to check the islands out. After all, the Four Brothers are well known in the local birding world for the...
Submitted by guest blogger: Gail TestaWhy would anyone want to live anyplace else?I have been riding a bicycle for as long as I can remember.According to my family, I first got on a bike at age 4 and just took off. I grew up on a small farm in eastern Pennsylvania, so my bike was my transportation to visit my friends when I was young, and to go to the movies or my babysitting jobs as I got older. When I was a young stay-at-home mom in a one-car...
Living on the Adirondack Coast of the Lake Champlain Region has its distinct benefits especially if you are a fan of two-wheeled activities. The same roads that welcome tons of human-powered bikes each year are also great for touring on motorbikes. I am a fan of two-wheeled activities, and since I DO live here, I’ll impart directions for visitors to take a tour along the Adirondack Coast from Ticonderoga to Keeseville.  (This is one of...
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...
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...
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...
2015 TOP 3 BLOGS IN REVIEW We scoured our blogs for the most popular, most informative, and just downright oddest pieces from the past year. In case you missed them on the first go-round, here are our top 3 picks from Lake Champlain's Adirondack Coast.#3. Hidden Historical TreasureIn the 1920s a little one-room log cabin was discovered sitting on the ridge on Willsboro Point. It is called the Adsit Cabin and some suspect it may be...
Starting in WestportI was guiding and birding with a friend last week in the Champlain Valley where we worked a section of lakeshore from Westport to Willsboro. We started at the Westport Boat Launch - where I often begin trips that will focus on that region of the lake. The woods were largely quiet, but as I stood there overlooking the water the scolding chatter of Blue Jays and other birds brought a Cooper’s Hawk sitting in a tree to my...
A Chance to ExploreWren and I were exploring the Adirondack Coast and Ticonderoga Area this past week and as part of our adventure we paddled Ticonderoga Marsh. Our trip started off well as a Merlin raced above us as we put-in at the Town of Ticonderoga Recreation Park. We nosed our bow quietly down the La Chute River waving to a few fishermen, who, if we can believe their fish stories, told us they were having good success.Birding as I...
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!...
Time for a Trip to ChazyWith August in full swing, it was time for me to take a trip to the Chazy Riverlands to check what shorebirds may be migrating through the area along Lake Champlain. I had a bit of a late start, but I like the afternoon and evening at Chazy anyway. I brought my boat since access to Chazy comes by paddling down along the marshes from the Great Chazy River boat launch, but I ended up deciding to walk into the marshes where...
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...
Another ATBI!This year the Adirondack All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) took place in the Essex and Willsboro area of the Champlain Valley and I again helped with it. ATBIs, or Bioblitzes as they are often called, are conducted by naturalists and citizen scientists to help survey and document the diversity of the natural world around us. They are also events where naturalists from different disciplines can meet and learn from one another....
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,...
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...
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...
Putting in on the LaChute RiverWren and I completed a camping trip this past October with a paddle into Ticonderoga Marsh, a beautiful stretch of cattails and mucky edges formed where the LaChute River flows into Lake Champlain. There are two chief ways to access the marsh. The first is to put in at the boat launch near the Ticonderoga Ferry and head south. The second is to use the small boat launch at the Town of Ticonderoga Recreational Park...
I have found a foolproof way to learn history.I admit it; History was never my best subject. I have trouble remembering all the dates and timelines, which territories belonged in the Holy Roman Empire or what king begat which war. If I had only BEEN there, I’m sure I could remember it, though. (After all, I remember most everything that I’ve actually lived through.)On a recent visit to Fort Ticonderoga, that theory was put to the test...
 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...
Far from home The phone call caught me by surprise. I was out walking with Wren on a recent Saturday, when my friend called to tell me that a Brown Booby had been discovered at the Crown Point Bridge. The Caribbean species was a long, long way from home and I packed up some birding gear and headed down to Crown Point.There was a small gaggle of birders flocked at Crown Point State Historic Site looking through their scopes when I arrived....
CONNECTING NEW YORK AND VERMONTTourism officials in New York and Vermont recently collaborated to bring the two states bordering Lake Champlain together with a program called Bridging Lake Champlain. On both sides of the lake dozens of August events were planned under this umbrella.  One such event I attended  in mid-August was the Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) Maritime Tour. The tour originated in Westport, NY,...
As the sun slants a little more to the South in late summer, we begin thinking about the change of the seasons and our fall events. Of course, there are still several summer events not to be missed. Here are some of the highlights for the next few weeks.Get lost in the Corn MazeFort Ticonderoga still has a full schedule of historic events that are sure to both educate and entertain you. The Fort’s famous Heroic Corn Maze opened last weekend as...
 The Fish Are Jumping…A few clouds never scared us away from an adventure, and today we are taking on Lake Champlain - and betting that the haze will burn off by mid-morning.We head out of Lake Placid at 6:30am and an hour or so later, after a quick pit-stop for much-needed coffee and snacks, we are ready to launch the boat and take to the ‘high seas’ as Oliver calls it. We are at the Ticonderoga Boat Launch and Lake Champlain is looking...
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...
The Lake Champlain Region is alive with events this time of year. Whether it’s a cultural, historic or community event you're looking for, you're covered. Dinner and a show One of my husbands and my favorite summertime activities is to take the drive to Westport for a production at The Depot Theatre. If you’re arriving from any other community in the Adirondacks, it’s a gorgeous drive this time of year in late afternoon. Located in the...
Looking for a great hike to fit into a busy vacation?  Last weekend I hiked one of the nicest peaks in the area. Joined by Sophie Gagnon and her companion from Dunham, Quebec I set out to show my visitors as much as I could of the Ticonderoga area. The easiest way to do that is to get up high and see the lay of the land from above.B & B Breakfast I started the morning by picking Sophie and Denis up at Sugar Hill Manor Bed and...
Early summer in the Lake Champlain Region brings entertainment and events for all. Historic events, festivals and numerous arts events fill the calendar.Fort Re-enactmentsFort Ticonderoga leads the charge with several historic events throughout the season. The Fort is a bustling place during the warmer months with reenactments and living history demonstrations, as well as special Fort tours. June 21st and 22nd brings a Living History weekend....
Favorite hike on a favorite day - National Trails DayEach year the first Saturday in June is designated as National Trails Day. There were lots of local celebrations underway last weekend but I decided to do a quick hike on my own to a favorite destination I have frequently done with children--Mount Gilligan. The name itself sounds fun.The Trail for Gilligan BeginsThe trail begins 2.6 miles south of New Russia from a parking area on Scriver Road...
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....
            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...
            I had to be in Plattsburgh at the beginning of the week and so I took the opportunity and a beautiful day to go birding in the area in the afternoon.  My goal was to check out an immature Sandhill Crane which had been found a few days earlier.  The bird was discovered hanging out along Moffit Road a little north of Plattsburgh, feeding in some recently plowed farm...
            While I was out birding a couple weeks ago with friends, we found good numbers of rusty blackbirds.  The first birds we noted were in some state land north of Westport in Webb Royce Swamp.  Rusty’s spend most of their time in such wetlands – both breeding in the north, and during the winter months in the southeast.  The birds we found were migrating on their way...
            This past weekend I went birding in the Champlain Valley with some friends and one of our stops was at Noblewood Park in Willsboro.  Noblewood’s sandy spit may be best known for attracting shorebirds during the late summer, but we were interested in anything that might be stopping through on a fall day, beginning our time with a pileated woodpecker at the parking area....
            My friends and I checked out a few spots in the Champlain Valley this weekend for birds.  We had hoped to find a variety of migrants heading south, and while that didn’t materialize, we did find a few nice birds.  We had a bit of a late start after birding in the Lake Placid area in the morning, but we headed north to the Chazy Riverlands to look for shorebirds. ...