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Enjoy the arrival of an Adirondack spring while it lasts

With the arrival of the Strawberry Moon looming on the near horizon, fish and game will be on the move. Wildflowers will continue to brighten-up the otherwise dark evergreen forests, and the bogs as well.

Anglers, paddlers and like-minded outdoor travelers have been enjoying what has been a relatively, mild spring season to date. Although I’d rather not mention the increasingly presence of the dreaded “flying teeth” travelers should take precautions to cover-up, dope up and spend more time on the water than on the land. There really is no way to escape them. As always, the good old, “Adirondack Wave” will again be evident to usher in the new tourist season.

Hikers, bikers, climbers, paddlers, lillydippers and more will be on the waters and in the woods. Fortunately, they will have the opportunity to visit and enjoy a variety of recently acquired lands, which include the sprawling Boreas Tract in the High Peaks Wilderness, and the addition of the vast McIntyre Tracts. There are just too many land acquisitions to list on a single page. Simply put, the Adirondacks got a whole lot wider, deeper, sweeter and wilder with the stroke of a pen.

I do hope prospective travelers will take such facts to heart. Although I applaud the purchase and the protections it will provide for these reclaimed wild lands, there remains a palpable sadness hanging over the sleepy little, local communities that once claimed those lands as their own.

As I have watched and listened their stories at the various meetings, which span the generations, I could not escape memories of the the bitterness that still lingers whenever I visit the Lows Lake region. Their tales echoed similar remarks that were voiced after the state purchased “Mud Lake” and renamed it the Lows Lake-Bog River Flow Area. Shortly after the purchase, the entire area was closedd to motorized travel and most of the old camps were removed.

I spent a fair share of my youth working at a fishing camp on the lake, and it will always be Mud Lake to me. There are likely hundreds of similar tales all across the Adirondacks, explaining how the “State stole our land.” Like so many others, I was bitter for a time.

However, I soon realized I had a distinct advantage, with the knowledge and combined experience of the hunters and anglers who had come before me. I had learned where the spring holes were, and where the smelt runs occurred. In later years, I also learned where the deer runs could be found, their feeding areas and more. While the recent purchase is sure to disrupt the hunting and fishing routines of former lease-holders, it will continue to be be a vast outdoor playground for those who know it best.

So far, it has been a relatively mild pring season but it is sure to come to come to an end eventually. Get out and enjoy it now, before the summer crowds arrive.

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