From the Field, by Justin A. Levine

Strolling through history at Owen and Copperas

WILMINGTON — With the state Department of Environmental Conservation asking hikers to stay below 2,500 feet in elevation during mud season, Monday’s sunshine and summer-like weather provided a good chance to check out a pair of ponds, even if the water was too cold to go swimming. Owen ...

High-water moments on the Saranac River

The Saranac River can be paddled much of the year, including late in summer when water levels are low. But with the high water of spring flooding the river and its low-lying areas, it seemed like a good chance to get out and explore a little. My friend Jason and I set out from Pine Street ...

Barnum Pond icebreaker

PAUL SMITHS — It was sunny and warm, even relatively early in the morning, as I pushed my kayak into Barnum Pond. I paddled along the shore, heading roughly north for a few minutes, and as the little ripples from my paddle and boat hit the ice, it started to pop and crackle. The pond was ...

Azure skies on Azure Mountain

ST. REGIS FALLS — Spring hiking isn’t the easiest thing in the world, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation asks hikers to avoid certain areas during mud season. But after only using my snowshoes once all winter (I skied a lot), I felt the need to get out and climb ...

Easy entry into heart of the High Peaks

LAKE PLACID — The High Peaks, particularly the Marcy Dam area, may be one of the most visited places in the entire Adirondack Park. But on a warm day with hardly a cloud in the sky, I only saw three other people out enjoying one of the easiest entries into the High Peaks. Setting out ...

Skiing along historic Old Mountain Road

KEENE — The Jackrabbit Ski Trail covers a lot of ground between Keene and Paul Smiths, and at least one section is laden with history. The section of the Jackrabbit known as Old Mountain Road is about 3.6 miles, one way, that runs from Keene toward Lake Placid. Although it’s a ...

A closer look at the common redpoll

VERMONTVILLE — One notably absent species in the Tri-Lakes during last year’s annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count was the common redpoll, and although none were seen during the concerted effort, I’ve seen several at my feeder over the last couple of weeks. Mostly our bird feeder is ...

New trail, same killer views

LAKE PLACID — Just when the leaves began to change this fall, the rain moved in. With almost no precipitation all summer, it seemed like a cruel joke to have fall foliage at its peak when most of the peaks themselves were covered by gray clouds. So when the weather called for a break ...

Adirondack hikes included in NY guidebook

SARANAC LAKE — The fourth edition of Falcon Guides’ “Hiking New York” is out, and while the book features hikes in 10 different regions of the state, the Adirondacks loom large with two dozen hikes highlighted. While not meant to be a comprehensive guide listing all the hikes in ...

Placid waters for late-season paddle

It started back in June, when my friend Jason Labonte asked if I wanted to go paddle Lake Placid. I hadn’t been out on the Olympic village’s namesake in a long time, but the thought of paddling during the height of summer on one of the area’s most popular lakes was cause for ...

Time is short, and so are these trips

Although this summer seemed hotter than normal, everyone I talk to still doesn’t want to think about winter coming. But the leaves are changing and the days are shorter, so whether we want it to be or not, fall is upon us. But there’s still time to get out on the water or take a quick ...

Adventure in a remote wilderness

Sometimes a hike has no view at the end. Sometimes there’s clouds or trees blocking the vista. And sometimes, you just run out of time before getting to where you wanted to go. That was the case earlier this week when my friend Christian Wissler and I ventured into the heart of the ...

Tale of two hikes

BRANT LAKE — On an overcast morning, as my family slept, I snuck away for a quick hike out to Sand Lake, near the town of Speculator. Since we were visiting family in the area, I figured why not take advantage and check out a place I’ve never been to. I pulled up to the trailhead on ...

Family fun time on Moose Pond

I’ve been doing a lot of paddling this summer, but very little (or none) of it has been with my family. So when my friend Jason suggested we do a family paddle on an early July afternoon, I jumped at the chance. My wife, 10-month-old baby, 12-year-old stepson and I loaded up the canoe and ...

Beyond the fog: A morning paddle on Osgood

It was so foggy that we basically paddled until we saw land in front of us and then turned. Sure, I could have gotten out the map and compass, but that’s no fun. So as Aaron and I made our way into the gray, we kept an eye out for land and only had to make a couple of course corrections ...

Paddling the ’Round the Mountain route

SARANAC LAKE — It’s not often that a canoe route brings you back to within just a mile or so of where you started, but a three-lake loop out of Saranac Lake offers a long but convenient paddling excursion. Called the ‘Round the Mountain route, in honor of a canoe and kayak race of ...

Be considerate — it’s mud season

Having officially entered the Adirondacks’ fifth season — mud — it can be tempting to get out and enjoy the longer days and warmer sun. While the black flies haven’t made an appearance yet, mud season brings its own sets of challenges, including soft trails, the chance for snow and ...