Monday, August 10, 2015

Adirondack Perspectives

I'm currently visiting family in northern New York, including some relaxing time in the Adirondacks.  I've had the good fortune to spend time in mountain ranges all over western North America and in some cases around the world, but the Adirondacks are always a special treat.

For you westerners, the Adirondacks are not part of the Appalachians.  They are their own range with their own unique characteristics.  The Appalachians are ridgy, washboard-like mountain range.  The Adirondacks, in contrast, are lumpier and, in my view, more interesting.  Although not a high barrier, there are a couple of peaks that top out over 5000 feet and a number of very nice smaller mountains covered with beautiful forests and surrounded by lakes, ponds, and streams that are fantastic for canoeing and kayaking.

Yesterday we spent some time near Tupper Lake.  Clear days with good visibility are rare during summer in the Adirondacks, but yesterday was beautiful with low humidity.  In the distance we could spy Whiteface Mountain and the Seward Range, which top out above 4000 feet.

Today I did a quick morning hike up Hadley Mountain in the southeast Adirondacks.  It's a quintessential Adirondack hike through dense hardwoods ending at a fire tower.  Along some stretches, the thin topsoil had eroded away leaving a sidewalk-like rock surface for old-school hiking.

Like most Adirondack hikes, such smooth surfaces never last long and most of you time you're dealing with trail that has eroded into a knee knocking creek bed.  No smooth single track here.    

Back in the day, towers used for spotting fires dotted may of the peaks of the Adirondacks.  Although the towers are no longer used today for fire spotting, a number have been restored, including the one on Hadley Mountain.

When in operation, the circular table below would have a map on it to aid in identifying fire locations.

A nearby cabin provided living quarters for the rangers.  The one on Hadley Mountain is well maintained and was receiving a fresh coat of paint this morning.

Views today were limited by haze, but still enjoyable.  Looking north toward Gore Mountain.

And south toward the Great Sacandaga Lake.


  1. Great pics, Jim.
    I miss the northeast this time of year.

  2. Grew up in NY and did some time at the NWS office in Burlington VT. Adirondacks bring back some great memories...including some memorable runs down Whiteface (aka Iceface) Mtn. Overall, in the winter, the Adirondacks got only about half the snow that the Green Mtns of Vt received, except in the far Wrn Adirondacks, where occasional well-organized Lake effect bands off Ontario would edge into the Wrn Adirondacks. Once got stuck in one that produced 6 inches in about 40 minutes (lol).

    Just found this website, as I've just moved out here. This might become my favorite site (lol)