Happy National Dog Day from the Adirondacks

Happy National Dog Day from the Adirondacks

Today is National Dog Day, so give your dog a hug and a treat. At least give him or her a treat because if he had to chose between the two, that is what she would pick. In honor of the day, my favorite canine, Zeifreid Von Schtump, aka, Ziggy, had an extra treat, enjoyed a neighborhood “reconnai-scents” mission, and will now join me for hill intervals. “The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” —Andy Rooney (contributor, 60 Minutes)... read more
Adirondack Pavlova – a foraged locavore indulgence

Adirondack Pavlova – a foraged locavore indulgence

It is not very often you meet a dessert worthy of carrying delicate Adirondack wild raspberries, but Adirondack Wild Raspberry Double Chocolate Maple Pavlova is up to the task. Like most wild fruit, wild Adirondack raspberries are smaller, sweeter, and more fragile than their domestic relatives. It is easy to overwhelm the berry’s best part–their authentic raspberry flavor–with heavy sweeteners and bold flavors. I was looking for a light, gluten-free, and interesting way to serve wild raspberries when I concocted this recipe. This delightful treat is a basic meringue spruced up with chocolate and Adirondack maple sugar, topped with maple-sweetened mascarpone cheese that is whipped with heavy cream, and topped with freshly picked wild raspberries and shaved chocolate. A slice of fresh Adirondack Pavlova is the perfect way to prepare for, or refuel after, a long summer day of Adirondack outdoor recreation. Outdoor recreation isn’t a necessary ingredient in this recipe, but it helps alleviate the guilt when you realize you must have another piece of Pavlova. The original Pavlova was created for the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova in the 1920s in either New Zealand or Australia; both countries claim credit, as well they should. Unlike traditional meringue, a Pavlova crust is light and crisp on the outside with a moist, soft, almost gooey interior. The active local food movement in northern New York is a boon to those of us who like to buy local and make yummy desserts like this. The maple syrup and sugar used in this recipe came from my neighbors’ maple syrup operation, and the eggs from our CSA farm share. The star of... read more
Black Bear Attacks Dog and Man in the Adirondacks

Black Bear Attacks Dog and Man in the Adirondacks

The hiker is in the hospital and expected to survive. The dog was treated and will also survive. Statement from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation On Tuesday, August 11, at approximately 5 p.m., a 55-year-old man from Troy, NY, was walking his small dog in the Stewart’s Landing area of the Ferris Lake Wild Forest in the Town of Stratford, when the unleashed dog encountered a bear. The bear attacked the dog and then the dog owner after the man tried to separate the animals. He was able to strike the bear on the nose with a stick causing the bear to run away. Both the victim and his dog suffered bites, scratches, and puncture wounds. The injuries to the man are not considered life threatening.   Following the attack, the victim walked out to Stewart Landing Road with his dog where a passing motorist picked them up and transported them to the end of the road. A second motorist arrived and helped to contact emergency services. An S&S Volunteer Ambulance Service responded to the scene and transported the victim to a hospital in Utica. The dog was taken to a local veterinarian.   New York State DEC ECO’s, Forest Rangers and wildlife staff, with the assistance of trained bear dogs and their handlers, attempted to locate the bear through the night. Based on the extensive search, DEC believes the bear has left the area and poses no continuing threat at this time.   If you encounter a bear, DEC recommends the following tips: Never approach, surround or corner a bear: Bears aggressively defend themselves when they... read more
Mother Nature–the Ultimate Fashion Designer

Mother Nature–the Ultimate Fashion Designer

This year’s fawn photos! This stylish youngster stopped by Le Petite Great Camp in Lake Placid yesterday. I recognized him/her immediately. It was the haute couture coat that gave away this medium-size fawn’s connection to the tiny fawn who ran bleating down the driveway a mere month ago. That time, the deer sported a smaller version of its perfect coat when it was startled by the lifestyle hound, Ziggy, sniffing in the brush. The infant version of this deer was the size of a large house cat 30 days ago, but had the same perfectly stunning coat and markings. Despite what the resident biologist said, I’d recognize him/her anywhere. I know you want to know what he said. Ed said, “They all look like that.” He said they all wear sun-dappled forest floor camouflage because fawns spend most of their time on the forest floor. The concept of sun-dappled forest floor camo had never entered my mind. I don’t care if they all look like that, the wisdom of Mother Nature never ceases to amaze. Unaware of insipid human pondering and unafraid, but comfortable in its own skin, the fawn gave Ziggy a deer raspberry “Thwwwp!” before it galavanted back into the Adirondack forest. As usual, click on the images for larger versions of this beauty.  ... read more
Happy What-Feels-Like the First Day of Fall in the Adirondacks

Happy What-Feels-Like the First Day of Fall in the Adirondacks

Swim in the Adirondacks soon. Although the meteorological and the astronomical calendars disagree, it is easy to believe fall starts on August 1 in the Adirondacks. Trees apt to change colors first get started, and the average daily temperature is lower each day. Today’s celebratory chill — a morning low of 54 degrees and a high of 68, and low humidity — rode in on a slight breeze still rustling the hardwoods. After a few days of uncharacteristically hot and humid conditions, the change is welcome, and not only to those of us who are dreaming of snow. Granted, there are plenty of warm, sunny Adirondack days left for cycling, trail running, hiking, paddling, and a vast array of other outdoor recreation, before we get to skiing. If you like swimming in the Adirondacks, however, you should get a move on, because that season is at its peak and winding down. Lake and pond temperatures throughout the Adirondack region are now at their warmest in years, and certainly the warmest of the season. Be advised, the poetic morning fog you see swirling on Adirondack waterways on cool, late summer mornings is really the lake getting colder and less swimmable. The cool night air meets the warm lake water and the cold wins. Now is the time for swimming in the Adirondacks! As usual, click on the image for a larger version of Mount Marcy and late summer in the... read more
Adirondack Wild Strawberry Locavore Pancakes

Adirondack Wild Strawberry Locavore Pancakes

Volunteer food + locally produced food = delicious. Adirondack Lifestyle recipe included. It has been an outstanding year for wild strawberries in my backyard and likely everywhere in the Adirondacks. Through some magic and the perfect mix of sun and rain, the wild strawberries have been producing berries for at least six weeks, and they are still going. This year’s crop is also bountiful - the berries are a trifle larger and there are more of them than in past years. The oodles of Adirondack wild berries have made some creatures very happy here at Adirondack Lifestyle HQ in Lake Placid. I realize not everyone is into macro photography, but indulge me and have a look at the strawberries in the photo above. Notice the large berry on the left, the one with the hole in it. That is what happens when you turn your back on a sweet, ripe berry and a chipmunk. The chipmunk is not the only one who enjoys wild strawberries. I have been eating them fresh off the stem and plain, sometimes with yogurt, but mostly unadorned and seconds off after being picked. There is a huge patch of them growing between the back patio and our clothes drying line. My walk through the wild strawberry patch to the clothesline on a warm sunny day makes laundry a pleasant task. The fragrance of sun-warmed berries reminds me of summertime in my mother’s kitchen, thick with the scent of homemade strawberry jam. The lifestyle hound likes them plain and fresh off the stem too, but my husband the resident biologist prefers them baked into buckwheat pancakes.... read more

My name is Joann

I love outdoor adventures, the natural world, and the lifestyle and culture in the Adirondack Mountains. Welcome to my Adirondack Lifestyle.

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29 Things to Know About the Adirondack Park


1. The Adirondack Park is located in northeast New York State.

2. The Adirondack Park was created by the New York State legislature in 1884 in order to preserve and protect New York State’s wilderness. The Park’s boundaries are delineated with a blue line which produced the Park’s nickname; “Blue Line.”

3. The Adirondack Park is a 6.1-million-acre patchwork of wilderness, mountains, rivers, lakes, and 105 towns, hamlets, and villages. It is the largest protected park in the United States and the largest park in the contiguous 48 states.

4. About the size of the State of Vermont, the Adirondack Park is larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks combined.

5. The Adirondack Park includes 2.5 million acres of public lands and more than one million acres of designated wilderness protected by Article XIV of the New York State Constitution – the “forever wild” clause: “The lands of the state, now owned or hereafter acquired, constituting the Forest Preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever kept as wild forest lands. They shall not be leased, sold or exchanged, or be taken by any corporation, public or private, nor shall the timber thereon be sold, removed or destroyed.”

6. There is no admission fee and no gate to the Adirondack Park.

7. The Adirondack Park contains 85 percent of all wilderness area in the eastern United States.

8. The Adirondack Park is named after the Adirondack Mountains, the highest mountains in New York State. Located in the Park, there are several alpine summits in the Adirondack Mountains where rare plants thrive under adverse conditions.

9. Mount Marcy, at 5,343 feet is the highest peak in the Park and New York State, and one of the highest peaks east of the Rocky Mountains.

10. The source of the Hudson River, Lake Tear of the Clouds, is on Mount Marcy.

11. There are over 2,000 miles of hiking trails in the Adirondack Park, which makes it the largest trail system in the United States.

12. The Adirondack Park contains more than 3,000 lakes and ponds, 1,500 miles of rivers, and at least 30,000 miles of brooks and streams. Waterfalls abound and many seasonal ones come to life every year during the spring snow melt.

13. Lake Placid, located in the northern Adirondack Park, is one of three places in the world to host the Winter Olympic Games twice, once in 1932 and 1980. 

14. The Miracle on Ice occurred in Lake Placid during the 1980Winter Olympic Games when the heavy underdog Americans defeated the Soviet team in a surprising upset.

15. The Adirondack Park is home to more than 70 native tree species; 55 species of mammals such as the moose, fisher, American marten, white-tailed deer, and black bear; 218 different birds including the American bald eagle and the common loon; plus 86 species of fish.

16. The forests in the Adirondack Park are a mix of hardwoods and softwoods such as maple, beech, black cherry, yellow birch, balsam fir, hemlock, white pine, and several varieties of spruce.

17. The Algonquin and Mohawk Indians were the first to use the Adirondack region for hunting and travel.

18. The State of New York owns about 43 percent of the land in the Adirondack Park. The rest is privately owned but still protected.

19. Only about 130,000 people live in the Adirondack Park year-round.

20. Nearly 84 million people live within a day’s drive of the Adirondack Park and 10 million people visit the Adirondack Park each year.

21. The Adirondack Mountains have been an outdoor playground and place of rejuvenation for hundreds of hundreds of years.

22. The term “vacation” is said to have originated in the Adirondacks. Wealthy New Yorker City residents would “vacate” the city during the sticky summer months and stay in the cool northern wood of the Adirondack Mountains.

23. The Adirondack Chair was created in Westport, New York, on the Adirondack Coast of Lake Champlain.

24. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as President of the United States at the North Creek train station in the Adirondacks in 1901 after President William McKinley died from a gunshot wound. Roosevelt received word of McKinley’s turn for the worse while hiking up Mount Marcy.

25. The Adirondack Mountains are part of the Canadian Shield geological formation. These relatively new mountains were created by geological uplift followed by etching and carving from mile-high glaciers.

26. Unlike linear mountain ranges that form along tectonic plate boundaries, the Adirondack Mountains resemble a dome shape and are estimated to be 1.2 billion years old.

27. Geologist think there is a geological “hotspot” beneath the Adirondacks that causes the mountains to grow at a rate of 1.5 millimeters year. The Adirondack Mountains are growing faster than the Himalayas, at a rate of one foot every 100 year.

28. Although the Adirondack Mountains are young, the most common mineral found in the Park, anorthosite, is among the oldest on earth.

29. Because people have coexisted with nature in the Adirondack Park for more than 100 years, the Park is considered a model way for humans to protect precious land areas near large population zones.