From the Field, by Justin A. Levine

A quick trip to the Washbowl

The Roaring Brook trailhead for Giant Mountain is often packed full, but for good reason. From there, a number of pleasant hikes begin, including up the 12th-highest mountain in New York, the top of Roaring Brook Falls and the lone named pond in the wilderness area, Giant Washbowl. During ...

Unending views on the Soda Range

The first glimpse of the views we could expect all day only took a few minutes to get to from the parking area, which only had two other cars in it early on a Monday morning. And after that, it wasn’t that there were unending views so much as there were just occasional breaks where we could ...

Finding solitude on a misty mountain

Most people, including myself, typically climb mountains for the views. But with an ever-increasing crush of hikers entering the Adirondacks, perhaps the best way to get some solitude is to climb a mountain on a weekday in the rain. A couple weeks ago, colleagues and I were heading to ...

Improvements, history and a rude paddler

I pulled into the Axton Landing parking lot in Tupper Lake and was pleasantly surprised to see just four cars. With perfect weather, I expected more people to be out enjoying the water, and I was soon proven correct. With my kayak sitting at the edge of the water, I loaded up my dry bag ...

Two ponds connected by history

The Saranac River is a paddler’s dream, stretching 81 miles from the St. Regis Canoe area to Lake Champlain. And although there are dozens of lakes and ponds that contribute water to the river, two parts of the river were dammed more than 100 years ago. In the early 1900s, Paul Smith — ...

From bridge to bridge on Two Bridge Brook

I’ve driven over the little bridge on Oregon Plains Road thousands of times. And while I’ve stopped there to fish a few times, I’ve never gone and paddled Sumner Brook. So with a strong enough breeze to keep the bugs down earlier this week, I put my kayak in near the bridge and began ...

High Peaks by water

LAKE PLACID — As hiking season heats up and parking lots begin to fill earlier and earlier, the High Peaks — with all their allure — may best be avoided during the summer crush. But there’s another way to enjoy the Adirondacks’ most popular wilderness, and that’s by ...

Soggy spring hiking on Snow Mountain

KEENE VALLEY — There’s certainly no shortage of hiking opportunities in the Keene Valley area, but Snow Mountain via Deer Brook offers essentially two hikes: one easy, and one a little more moderate. Starting out from the trailhead on state Route 73, the trail — marked with blue ...

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 ...