Adirondack Gadabout (outdoors), by Joe Hackett

International intrigue with a touch of Irish luck

During my college career I was fortunate to have an opportunity to study abroad on an exchange program through Plattsburgh State. The year was 1976 and the cooperating school was Chester College, a small institution known for its School of Outdoor Pursuits and Physical Education. The ...

Patience pays in times like these

Judging by the depth of the snowpack remaining in the local woods, it may be a while before anglers have an opportunity to hit the lakes and ponds. I expect the lakes ponds will remain socked in with ice until warm weather and a bright sun combine to finally chase the winter away. As ...

Find the right balance when fishing with kids

If there is one single piece of advice l would offer to parents who want to introduce their kids to fishing, it would be to leave their own rods at home, at least for the first few outings. The experience should be all about the child, and their natural surroundings. Trust me, they will ...

Rebirth, renewal and a few ‘woodsisms’

While winter weather will remain in command of the local landscape, there has been a slow but sure warming trend in the forecast. Although winter conditions will likely remain intact in the upper elevations, spring will burst first in the valleys as mud season gives way to the annual ...

Falconry remains intact on the bucket list

It appears winter is getting ready to throw in the towel following one last cold snap. While the lakes and ponds retain their winter hard cover, it appears fair weather is on the way. All the signs are in the air, with the spring migration of birds of all sorts, high water on the rivers ...

Dreaming of an early ice-out with ski poles in hand

Although there’s currently more than two feet of snow in the deep woods, and a thick layer of black ice covering the local lakes and ponds, it’s time to think ahead. While the trout season does not open until April Fools’ Day, it will continue to attract plenty of April fools. ...

Risks beyond our control and comprehension

“There are the times when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.” — George Carlin - The above quotation comes from the late George Carlin, a comedian who had a knack for explaining the unexplainable. The country really needs a good laugh in such times as we are in right ...

Take your time during winter travel

As I work to finish up this week’s column, the warm sun and a cloudless sky have combined to create a bluebird day. It’s already sunburn season, and yet the local snowpack has remained surprisingly intact. As has been my habit of late, I was out skiing with the rising sun again this ...

Cheers, tears and hear-hears after Boreas classification

Snow conditions have been nearly ideal for skiing and snowshoeing, even though plummeting temperatures and mind-chilling windchills have made long jaunts more challenging than usual. However, I prefer snow and ice to rain and slush. Once you’ve learned how to thoroughly enjoy snow, ice ...

Tread lightly: Ice thickness can be deceptive

I’ve been enjoying some of the season’s best ski conditions in recent days. The deep woods currently retain a deep, firm snowpack that allows skiers and or snowshoers to go just about anywhere. While the bulletproof base makes for fast travel, there is still enough powder to slow down ...

Bathing in nature’s sights, sounds and smells

It is likely to be a bit cool for bathing in the local forests at this time of year, especially if the skinny red snake in the thermometer remains curled up in the bulb like a snoozing cobra. However, such was the case as I headed off to visit a secluded parcel of private land with a ...

When Frontier Town builds it, they will come

As the winter weather continues to take hold of the land, the recent cold snap served to deliver an echo from the past. Frigid temperatures provided locals and visitors alike with a taste of the arctic in the Adirondacks. As if we needed it. The cold snap solidified an ice cap on most of the ...

Nature therapy as old as mankind itself

The Barkeaters, who originally ranged across the Adirondack region and throughout New England, had a widely varied diet that was adjusted according to the season to take advantage of annual migrations and breeding seasons. Their diets typically included a mix of berries, tubers, fruit and ...

Power Moon ushers in the bitter cold of winter

The arrival of the recent full Power Moon served to kick off the winter season with temperatures that dropped into the double-digit below zero range. While pixie dust sparkled in the cold evening air, a huge full moon lit up evening scene. Trees groaned and popped in the nearby woods, as frost ...

Encountering an inexperienced, motley crew

It appears winter has arrived in time for the holidays. Fortunately, local trails already had a generous base of snow, which allowed both nordic and alpine skiers to hit the trails. There’s been plenty of snow for non-skiers as well, which was painfully evident as I watched a group of ...

The Old West rides again in the Adirondacks

It appears the winter season has finally arrived in the North Country, just in time for the looming holiday season. Although the snowpack has yet to set up a firm base, there is enough snow cover to ski in the woods, especially in the upper elevations, on tote roads and on the golf ...

Eagerly waiting for the first big snow of the year

With the conclusion of the annual big game hunting season in the bank, outdoor enthusiasts will be forced to seek alternative adventures until there is enough ice and snow to kick off the season for snowshoeing, ski touring, snowmobiling, free-skating, ice skating ice climbing, backcountry ...

Nature’s compass never runs out of battery

Women are known to have a better sense of direction than men. It is a fact that has been proven scientifically. Of course, I believe this is due to the fact that  women tend to be better listeners, more attentive and generally more in tune with their surroundings. They are also willing to ...

Snow falls in time for holiday season

The first significant snowstorm of the new season finally arrived just in time for the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Hopefully, the snowcover will stick around long enough for a nice kick off the ski season. Snow has remained a rare commodity in the woods this season, and I expect it ...

Tried and true: Get out in the woods and stay there

With the conclusion of the annual big game hunting season looming on the near horizon, it’s time for hunters to redouble their efforts. The rut is now in progress, and bucks will continue to travel far and wide looking for love in the old familiar places. As the rut unfolds, hunters ...