Adirondack Gadabout (outdoors), by Joe Hackett

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 ...

Hunters need to think outside the box

Each breath appeared to crystallize in the cold morning air as I trudged across a long, open field on the way to camp. The view was only slightly infringed by the steam of my own breath. The entire landscape was illuminated by a brilliant full moon that hung high in the dark sky. ...

Big-game hunting season is a time like no other

While traveling from Saranac Lake to Tupper Lake earlier this week, I happened upon a most welcome sign. In fact, I discovered several signs that offered historic reminders of the popularity that Adirondack big-game hunters enjoyed from the 1930s through the 1970s. I actually recall visiting ...

Muzzleloader season to kick off amid rainy forecast

Foul weather always seems to mark the opening day of muzzleloader season, which will kick off over the weekend of Oct. 14. Hunters should prepare accordingly by weatherizing their firearms to ensure a reliable discharge despite the foul, wet weather that’s typical of the season. It is ...

Loon migration is a sure sign of transition

Whether you choose to spend your time in the company of a lake, river or pond, or upon a lonely mountaintop deep in the forested wilderness, the first few weeks of October always usher in the high holy days of the sporting season. It’s a time of ever-changing landscapes backdropped by dark ...

User conflicts are unnecessary and avoidable

In recent days, I’ve fished my way through a variety of ponds, lakes and streams in search of species of all sorts. On Upper St. Regis Lake, we landed both largemouth and smallmouth bass, a few northern pike and a very healthy land-locked Atlantic salmon that danced across the still ...

A cautionary tale for this time of seasonal transition

Autumn has finally arrived despite recent efforts to restore the summer season with a brief Indian Summer. Fortunately, the mountain breeze has already tinged the air with a sweet pungency of decay. Birds have already begun flying south on their annual migration as the local hills and ...

Lost hikers, Teddy Roosevelt and more

Last week’s column focused on the search and eventual rescue of a soldier from Fort Drum who had become lost on St. Regis Mountain while hiking. The missing soldier, a member of the famed 10th Mountain Division, was eventually located on the second day of search efforts. He had managed to ...

New season in the woods and on the waters

At this time of year, the ever-diminishing length of daylight hours triggers a natural hormonal responses in all wild creatures — ranging from whitetail deer to brook trout, wild turkey and the always entertaining woodcock, an odd shaped bird that can be found dropping out of the sky as ...

Destructive forces of nature

After witnessing the incredible power and natural force of heavy rains, blizzards, floods and electrical storms, I can empathize with residents of Texas and other southern states who have recently weathered the great damage natural events can deliver in the blink of an eye. Tropical ...