Happy Thanksgiving 2015 from Adirondack Lifestyle

Happy Thanksgiving 2015 from Adirondack Lifestyle

Despite the exceptionally warm weather and lack of snow, it is a nice Thanksgiving day in the Adirondacks. A Thanksgiving hike instead of a ski was in order since the temperature measured 45 degrees midday. I just took these photographs of Johnny Jump Ups growing in the yard at Adirondack Lifestyle headquarters, located at 2,200 feet in Lake Placid, New  York. Until this year, it was unheard of to have violets abloom in the Adirondack Mountains in late November. Whiteface Mountain opened today; we can all be thankful for manmade snow and snowmaking... read more
October Snow Welcome Home to the Adirondack Mountains

October Snow Welcome Home to the Adirondack Mountains

After we rode out Hurricane Joaquin on an east coast barrier island, the resident biologist and I jumped on an airplane last week and deplaned in 98-degree Tempe, Arizona for a three-day family celebration. Literary cognoscenti appreciate the effect of contrast when deployed in the written word. The result of leaving the desert to return to autumn in the lush Adirondack Mountains is equally dramatic. The snowfall that coated the trees and mountains this morning–the first of the 2015-1016 season–was icing on the cake. It is not hyperbole; the Adirondack region is glorious this time of year. Please enjoy my photographic homecoming celebration.     As usual, click on the images for a larger version. You’re... read more
Moose in New York: if You See Something, Say Something

Moose in New York: if You See Something, Say Something

New online form makes it easy to report your moose sighting If you have a good eye for spotting wildlife and are lucky enough to be in New York’s moose country, State officials want your help. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, the Cornell University Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Cornell Animal Health Diagnostic Center, and the Wildlife Conservation Society Adirondack Program are conducting a multi-year research project to obtain information on the status of New York State’s moose population, their health, and the factors that influence moose survival and reproductive rate. The goal of the Adirondack moose study is to gather data that will be used to create a moose management plan for New York State. The New York State DEC and its partners are seeking information from the public regarding moose sightings to provide data for this study. If you sight a moose please report it to the NYS DEC by calling the Region 5 Wildlife office at 518-897-1291 or by completing and submitting the online moose reporting form. A link to the form can also be found at the bottom of the DEC Moose web page. In January 2015, twelve moose were captured in the Adirondacks, fitted with GPS radio collars, and released. The movements of all twelve of the moose continue to be tracked remotely. Of the nine cows that were collared, seven had calves and two of those had twins. You can read more about moose in New York State and the study in an article I wrote in the current edition of the Conservationist Magazine, where... read more
Amorous Moose of Northern New York and How to Avoid Them

Amorous Moose of Northern New York and How to Avoid Them

It is that lovey-dovey time of year in northern New York when moose mate, otherwise known as the rut. From the middle of September to the middle of October, amorous moose are out and about, looking for love. For everyone’s safety, Ben Tabor, Wildlife Biologist at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, warned we should ease up on the accelerator, especially at night, dawn, and dusk. Low-light conditions make it more difficult to see moose and give drivers enough time to stop or slow down enough to avoid hitting the animal. Although it is fun to make light of moose courtship, this is no laughing matter. A man was killed in New Hampshire last week when he struck a moose with his car. Tabor said scientific literature suggests people who hit a moose while driving 55 mph or faster had a significantly increased chance of being seriously injured or killed. He said it is best to simply drive slower this time of year in moose country. He also reminded drivers who see wildlife in the road to brake, slow down, but don’t swerve to avoid the animal. A swerve into a tree or oncoming traffic can be more dangerous than hitting an animal on the road. Cow moose and bulls both wander around during the rut, but the bulls go farther, and are more aggressive than usual. Although cow moose are not the big wanderers, they are pursued by the love-sick bulls, and this leads to moose that show up in places they don’t normally frequent, such as highways, roads, and suburban backyards. This is serious business.... read more
Happy Fall Equinox 2015 From Lake Placid

Happy Fall Equinox 2015 From Lake Placid

How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days. John Burroughs Fall arrived in Lake Placid this morning at 4:21 a.m. This time of year in the Adirondacks is usually noted for the outrageously colorful foliage, but the leaves are slow off the starting blocks this year. The change to breathtaking brilliance is behind schedule, possibly because of the dry weather. The reds of last fall’s Equinox have not arrived yet and some of us worry they may never. Experts believe the colors in this foliage season will be less vibrant and perhaps downright frumpy. Large swaths of rusty brown leaf-covered trees make russet stripes across the sides of mountains throughout the Adirondacks. The even worse news is the leaves are dry and crunchy, even those still attached to their branches. The culprit is the last two months of unusually hot and dry weather in the Adirondacks; the late first frost broke records. The good news is, this is the best time of year for hiking in the Adirondacks. The biting insects are gone except for a few opportunists and the trails are nice and dry. The temperatures are moderate; a sixty-five-degree day on the trail is a good day. Granted, there is no such thing as a bad autumn day in the woods in the Adirondack Mountains. Even though the leaves may not be as dazzling as other years, they are full of light and color in these, their last days. The even better news is…winter is... read more
Memories of Marcy Dam

Memories of Marcy Dam

When Hurricane Irene stormed through northern New York’s Adirondack Mountains in 2011, the blowout of Marcy Dam in the High Peaks Wilderness Area was a minor mishap compared to the human devastation and million dollar losses left in her wake. Although real damage to the natural world from the breach wasn’t large, for many humans, it never felt like a minor mishap. The mountains Colden, Avalanche, and Wright probably didn’t notice the hole in Marcy Dam, but scores of outdoor recreation enthusiasts surely did. Marcy Dam, or the Marcy Dam Pond, was an iconic spot for anyone who ever hiked, biked, ran, or skied to the dam itself, or beyond to Mts. Marcy, Avalanche, Colden, Wright, and more. In a brilliant move, the Civilian Conservation Corps built a dam on the Marcy Brook around 1930, which created Marcy Pond. The dam, resulting pond, and footbridge were perfectly sited and provided gentle access to outdoor recreation and stunning views. A wooden footbridge connected the two sides of the pond. Two popular trails led to the Marcy Dam, the truck trail and the hiking trail, in addition to the many alternate routes. It was an easy 2.6-miles on the truck trail to get to “the Dam,” a great rest spot or destination. I know I am not the only one with fond memories of the Marcy Dam. Like many, I took it hard when Irene took it out. Marcy Dam had been a part of my life since 1987; it was in my backyard. Since the storm, I’ve been living in a kind of Adirondack Marcy Dam purgatory–I knew the dam was breached... 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.