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What's New In the Adirondacks

More than five years after it was initiated, a paddling lawsuit concerning the right of paddlers to navigate waterways that wind through private property will be heard in New York State's highest court, the Court of Appeals.

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It's a fact that tends to get overlooked, but hiking is a dangerous activity. In order to ensure their safety, hikers must be physically strong with great stamina and must also be equipped with adequate food, water, compasses, maps, gear, and proper clothing based on the current and projected weather conditions. Unfortunately, hikers sometimes overestimate their abilities and their preparedness and find themselves lost in the wilderness, thereby requiring the assistance of others. 

New York State has a long history of lost and injured hikers that have been rescued from small treks to the High Peaks. This month alone, there have been nine rescue missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks ranging in severity from a lost snowshoer who was safely returned to his vehicle an hour after he was reported missing to a mother and her two sons who were lost overnight on Mount Marcy. The frequency of these rescues leads us to the following question: When hikes go wrong, who is responsible?

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firetower.jpgThe peaks of more than 2 dozen Adirondack mountains are currently adorned with historic fire towers, which serve as reminders of the early 20th century. Some of these relics are accessible to the public, but others are on private land or are too dangerous to climb. There were originally 57 towers throughout the Adirondack Park that were manned by individuals charged with using the 360-degree unobstructed view from the top of the tower to spot and report any forest fires that may have broken out. Over time, though, aircraft became the most popular way of locating fires and it grew too costly to man the towers. Many of them fell into disrepair and were torn down as a result.

Two more of those towers may be opened to the public soon, though, as groups are currently working on making upgrades to the St. Regis Mountain and Hurricane Mountain fire towers.
The end of an era is upon us.. the Lake Placid Hojos, one of three currently standing Howard Johnson restaurants, will be closing its doors one final time on March 31st. 

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Photo by Tyler Lapan
Did you know that there are millions of French-speakers living within 2 hours of the Adirondacks? It's true! They also have jobs, incomes, families, and varied interests that make them the perfect candidates to become Adirondack tourists. There's just one problem preventing them from doing so - the lack of bilingual signage and printed materials in the region. 

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The moose, one of the most iconic animals in the Adirondack region, is a majestic beast. National Geographic reports that these mammals average about 5 to 6.5 feet tall, weigh around 1,800 pounds, and the males can have antlers that span 6 feet from one end to the other. It took more than 100 years for moose to repopulate the region after being forced out by deforestation and unregulated hunting in the 1800s, but a new opponent is now threatening the Adirondack moose: intellectual property.

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Photo Credit: Rhys Templar
Zebra Mussels, Asian Clams, Watermilfoil. These are some of the most well-known aquatic invasive species that have been threatening Adirondack waters for many years, but they're not alone. In total, the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program has identified 17 aquatic plant and animal species of concern that are either present in the region, or could be soon. This is not a good sign for the health and safety of our lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams, or the economic value of the Adirondack region. Fortunately, new efforts have recently been undertaken to slow the spread of existing invasives and prevent the entrance of new species into Adirondack waters.

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Yes, you read that title correctly. Maple syrup, that sweet, delicious, innocent-seeming substance you pour over your pancakes every morning is actually involved in illicit, underground activities. Trust me when I tell you that some people take their syrup VERY seriously.

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32 years. That's how long it's been since the NCAA ski championships were held in Lake Placid. Back then, there wasn't even a championship for women's skiing! The lengthy gap may seem hard to believe, since Lake Placid is such a storied winter sport destination, but the decades-long drought is finally coming to an end next week.

"Each time I visit the Adirondacks I hold my breath as I am about to pass the barn. I think to myself.... Is it still standing?" -Nick Palmieri

stormy sky over Keene NY barnIt's a sad reality that all good things must come to an end, and the beloved old Keene, NY barn is no exception. The sagging, battered roof and weathered red walls have long indicated its state of disrepair... but then they have also given the barn a distinctive charm and character you can't help but admire. We've often wondered when its final days would come... and it seems they are now here.