Friday, February 29, 2008

Great Adirondack Trail Run - A Good Thing or Not?

According to an unnamed official in the Spitzer Administration the Mountaineer has requested for 2008 a Temporary Revocable Permit (TRP) to hold the Great Adirondack Trail Run through the Giant Mt. Wilderness Area. DEC has not indicated so far whether it will be issuing a permit or not, but those who are opposed to this type of wilderness encroachment should speak up now and contact the Commissioner.
His name and mail address is
Commissioner Pete Grannis
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, N.Y. 12233-1010
Though an email may be less effective, to email him use this address:
If you don't want to write or email but feel strongly enough to phone you could try this number: (518) 402-8545

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Marsh in Winter

The Marsh in Winter

If you stand and listen,
you will hear the voice.
Reeds sharp as rapiers rasp the wind.
Frost creaks in the trees.
Sunlight, ice-bright, falls from the sky.
Scattered cedars and junipers loom like shadows.
Sheathed in ice, a willow droops heavily
across the path.
Driven snow packs the creviced bark of cottonwoods.
Once-hidden bird nests now plainly marked
by a white cap of snow...

Out on the marsh, blue water shows through shifting ice.
Tall brown reeds, slim as dancers, bend in the breeze.
A hundred thousand cattails, each one lit
by the low-angled light of westering sun,
each brown seed head blazing
like the head of a saint.

"The Marsh in Winter" by Timothy Walsh, from Wild Apples.© Parallel Press. 2004.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

THC Spring Hiking Schedule


Wednesday March 5 Tang Museum, Saratoga, NY

Visit the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College in Saratoga. Special exhibit: "Molecules That Matter", combining a century of science and art. The exhibition explores aspirin, isooctane, penicillin, nylon, polyethylene, DNA, DDT, Prozac, etc. If there is sufficient interest and reasonable weather, we could walk in the Skidmore Woods in the afternoon. Call Susan for meeting time and place.

CONTACT: Susan Roberts at 766-4170

LENGTH: To be determined by the group.

ROAD DISTANCE: Should be less than 80 miles round-trip.

Tuesday March 11 Garnet Hill, North River, NY

We will cross-country ski where we can ski down a hill and take the bus back up to the ski shop. This is one of the finest X-C areas in the east. Meet at the Northway Exit 9 P&R, call Judy for details.

CONTACT: Judy Brandow 482-4610 or

LENGTH: Several miles of groomed trails for your pleasure.

ROAD DISTANCE: 150 miles round-trip.

Sunday March 16 Kenneth Dubuque State Forest, West Hawley, MA

We will follow old roads and trails in a former hard scramble farming area to a stone lean-to for lunch. Wildlife is possible, I have seen bear, porcupines and moose tracks here. Meet at the Tamarac Plaza on Rt. 2, across from the Tamarac School at 8:30 a.m.

CONTACT: Willard Hoyt at 399-4992 or

LENGTH: 4 miles, ascent of 400 feet.

ROAD DISTANCE: About 130 miles round-trip.

Tuesday March 18 Ski Lapland Lake, Northville, NY

Lapland Lake frequently has snow later than other cross county ski areas. We will see. Contact Katie for meeting place and time.

CONTACT: Katie Henrikson at 439-4308 or

LENGTH: Several trails for your choice.

ROAD DISTANCE: Approximately 130 miles round-trip.

Tuesday March 25 X-C Ski Local Area

Contact Judy, as she will check local ski areas for the best snow conditions.

Must contact Judy for meeting place and time.

CONTACT: Judy Brandow 482-4610 or



Saturday March 29 Merck Forest, Rupert, VT

Enjoy the miles of varied trails at Merck Forest. We should find something suitable whether the conditions dictate a hike, ski or snowshoe. This is also Merck Forest Maple Sugaring Weekend and there will be maple sugaring demonstrations and tasting. Of course the real point is a pancake breakfast with maple syrup and sausage produced at the Merck Forest farm center. Contact Bob for any details, meeting place and time.

CONTACT: Bob Armao at 271-6512 or


ROAD DISTANCE: Approximately 125 miles round-trip.


Tuesday April 1 Rotary Scout Reservation, Poestenkill, NY

We will hike the Cloudburst Road over to Bernie Pond for lunch among the pines.

Meet in Menands at 9:15 a.m. Call Dale for further details.

CONTACT: Dale Blanchet at 273-4262

LENGTH: 5 to 6 miles, ascent of 500 feet.

ROAD DISTANCE: 30 miles round-trip.

Tuesday April 8 Bike Local Area

CONTACT: Judy Brandow for details at 482-4610 or

Mondays April 14, 21 & 28 and May 5 TCT Work Days

In addition to the "OFFICIAL TRAIL CLEARING DAYS" (April 19 & May 3) Colin will be walking the Taconic Crest Trail on the above mentioned Monday dates, with "The Saw". He'd appreciate company if anyone can make any of these dates, or at least do a car pick-up at the end of a trail section, in the late afternoon to avoid walking back. Please contact Colin if you can help in any way and for info on meeting place and time.

CONTACT: Colin Campbell at 438-9628 or

Tuesday April 15 Bike Local Area

CONTACT: Judy Brandow for details at 482-4610 or

Thursday April 17 Mount Greylock, Williamstown, MA

We will meet at the Cumberland Farms Store at the intersection of Routes 22 & 43 at the light in Stephentown, NY at 8:00 a.m. and continue into Williamstown to the Hopper Road trailhead, off Green River Road (Route 43). We will ascend the lovely Hopper Trail to the summit and enjoy the stupendous views. We will return the same way. It could be muddy there in the spring. Heavy rain cancels. Contact Karen or Lori in advance in case the meeting plans change.

CONTACT: Karen Ross at 794-7474 or

Lori McCarron at 587-1957 or

LENGTH: 8 miles and 2400 feet of vertical.

ROAD DISTANCE: Your house to Mount Greylock. Call Lori to car pool from the

Albany area.


This is one of two OFFICIAL Club Workdays. The End to End is only two weeks away and we need to post new trail signs, trim back brush and generally make OUR TRAIL as inviting as we can for our members and quests. Most hikers will be seeing our trail for the first time and we want them to enjoy it. Meet at the Route 4&43 Park & Ride at 8:30 a.m., bring lunch, drink, gloves and your favorite tools, if you wish. The Club will also supply tools. MUST call Colin to help plan which sections of the trail we will be grooming, Sunday will be the rain date.

CONTACT: Colin Campbell at 438-9629 or


ROAD DISTANCE: Less than 75 miles round-trip, car-pooling too.

Sunday April 20 Schodack Island Paddle, Castleton-on-Hudson, NY

We'll meet at either the canoe launch or main boat launch at Schodack Island State Park. Plan to be in the water and ready to go by 9: a.m. We will paddle/explore until 4:00 p.m. Best for touring kayaks, but strong canoers are welcome. Wet - or dry -suit recommended. We will try to find some short hikes during lunch. If there is time and interest, we can hike the trails in the State Park. Contact Dave for reservations.

CONTACT: Dave Pisaneschi at 459-5969 or


ROAD DISTANCE: Your house to the Schodack Island State Park.

Tuesday April 22 Bike Ride to Lake George, NY

We will bike from Fort Edward to Lake George. The first 8 miles will be on the "Feeder Canal Park Heritage Trail". The next 9 miles will be on the "Warren County Bikeway". Meet at the Clifton Park I-87 Exit 9 P&R at 8:30 a.m. MUST call Dick day before the ride.

CONTACT: Dick Hughes at 371-7655 or

LENGTH: About 35 miles round-trip.

ROAD DISTANCE: 70 miles round-trip.

Thursday April 24 Local Bike Ride

CONTACT: Judy Brandow for details at 482-4610 or

Friday April 25 Merck Forest, East Rupert,VT

Come join me for a late winter/early spring ramble around the beautiful grounds of Merck Forest in Vermont. Hopefully the snow will be gone and we'll be getting a sense of spring in the lush and lovely hills of the Green Mountain State.

CONTACT: Lynn Filarecki, 674-2125 for time and meeting place.

LENGTH: Depends upon group interest

ROAD DISTANCE: Approximately 140 miles round-trip.

Saturday April 26 Hike the Appalachian Trail in Salisbury, CT

We will hike up the Barrack Matiff and up and over Mount Prospect, with a couple of nice views along the way across the Housatonic Valley. Mostly a moderate hike with steep sections. Expect to keep a brisk, but not breakneck, pace. Contact R.J. for meeting place and time, will have a car spot also.

CONTACT: R.J. Hydorn at 283-6056 or

LENGTH: About 7.6 miles, ascent of 1000' and decent of 700'.

ROAD DISTANCE: Approximately 150 miles round-trip, with car spot.

Monday April 28 Siuslaw Forest, Acra, Greene Co., NY

This 147 acre model forest demonstrates forest management practices that preserve water quality. Trails are moderate and our pace will be too. Meet at Elm Avenue P&R in Delmar at 9:15 a.m.

CONTACT: Dale Blanchet 273-4262.

LENGTH: 3 miles, ascent of 300 feet. ROAD DISTANCE: 70 miles round-trip.

Tuesday April 29 Local Bike Ride

CONTACT: Judy Brandow for details at 482-4610 or

Wednesday April 30 Spring Walk, Schoharie County, NY

Come wander through a couple of preserves in the karst area of Carlisle. The exposed limestone features crevices, sinkholes and abundant wildflowers. Meet in Menands at 9:15 a.m.

CONTACT: Dale Blanchet 273-4262

LENGTH: 3 miles, ascent of 100 feet.

ROAD DISTANCE: 100 miles round-trip.



This is OUR second OFFICIAL Club Trail Day for cleaning up the trail. If we have enough people we can split up and cover more miles. Meet at Route 4 & 43 P&R in

North Greenbush at 8:30 a.m. On both Saturdays we'll end with ice cream and etc at the nearest Stewart's, supplied by the CLUB. Again, Sunday is the rain date. MUST contact Colin for pertinent details.

CONTACT: Colin Campbell at 438-9629 or


ROAD DISTANCE: Less than 75 miles round-trip, car- pooling too.

Saturday May 3 Mattison Hollow Access Trail, Berlin NY

We will be having a spring flower amble on Madison Hollow access trail - easy hike through open woods with a stop at a waterfall, for a snack or lunch. This will be a joint hike with the Rensselaer County Land Conservancy. Meet at 9:00 a.m. at the Berlin High School parking lot, to car-pool to the trailhead.

CONTACT: Doree Cox at 658-2643 or Nick Conrad at 658-2643.

LENGTH: 2.3 miles (stream crossing at 1.2 miles).

ROAD DISTANCE: Your house to Berlin High School.

Saturday May 3 Taconic Crest Trail, Berlin, NY

We will spot cars and hike this southern section of the TCT from Madden Road to Mattison Hollow Road. Our route will take us over Rounds Mountain with its bare summit and spectacular views. Contact Dave for meeting place and time.

CONTACT: Dave Pisaneschi at 459-5969 or

LENGTH: 10.6 miles, ascent of about 3000 feet.

ROAD DISTANCE: Contact Dave for reservation and possible car-pooling.

Sunday May 4 Val-Kill Trail, Hyde Park, Dutchess Co., NY

There are 4 to 5 miles of trail east of Route 9 connecting the Roosevelt Historic sites. I hope to continue past Val-Kill to Top Cottage. We will watch for flowers and returning birds. Meet at Schodack Park and Ride at 8 am or main lobby of the Wallace Visitor Center at 10 a.m.

CONTACT: Dale Blanchet 273-4262

LENGTH: 5 miles, ascent of 200 feet.

ROAD DISTANCE: Approximately 150 miles round-trip.

Tuesday May 6 Prospect Mountain

We will explore a new route to this summit via Rattlesnake Cobble. The guide book correctly states that the conventional way to Prospect Mountain is badly eroded and we have found a much nicer hidden "marked" trail. Please contact Judy for time and meeting place.

CONTACT: Judy Brandow for details at 482-4610 or

LENGTH: About 3.3 miles round-trip, total ascent about 1700 feet.

ROAD DISTANCE: Approximately 100 miles round-trip


Once again this is Leap Year for The Taconic Hiking Club's sponsored End To End hiking event. As we go to press we have more that 20 of the full roster of 25 entrants signed up for this endurance test. As a result we need volunteers for Friday May 9th and Saturday May 10th, (afternoon and evening) for camp setups and take-downs, car drivers, kitchen helpers, and trail safety sweeps.

CONTACT: Gayle Fountain 371-8585 or

LENGTH: 28 miles, ascent of 7800 feet and descent of 9400 feet.

ROAD DISTANCE: Your house to Berry Pond in Pittsfield St.Forest, MA

Monday May 12 to May 22 State Park, Murfreeboro, Arkansas

I am planning a camping trip to the Center of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. I am scheduling 2.5 days driving each way with 4 to 5 days staying in the State Park, digging for diamonds. If there is any interest we may paddle in a nearby lake. Must call Mary Ann for pertinent information.

CONTACT: Mary Ann Nicholas at 729-2963

LENGTH: Group decision.

ROAD DISTANCE: About 1400 miles one-way.

Tuesday May 13 Local Bike Ride

CONTACT: Judy Brandow for details at 482-4610 or

Saturday May 17 Hike the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut

We plan to hike a strenuous 10-mile section on the AT up and over Mount Easter, plus a mile of access trail. The reward is several spectacular views along the way. There will be difficult and steep sections in some areas. Expect to keep a brisk, but not breakneck, pace. Contact R.J. for details of car spot, meeting place and time.

CONTACT: R.J. Hydorn 283-6056 or

LENGTH: 11 miles with car spot, ascent of about 1000 feet.

ROAD DISTANCE: Approximately 175 miles round-trip, with car spot.

Sunday May 18 Canoe or Kayak, Schenectady, NY

We will spot a car(s) at Lock 7 and start our paddle from Schenectady Community College. If you don't have a boat, call and I will try to match you with someone. MUST call Dick to arrange car spot. We will meet at Lock 7 at 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m at Schenectady Community College, under the Route 5 Bridge.

CONTACT: Dick Hughes at 371-7655 or

LENGTH: 9 miles.

ROAD DISTANCE: 50 miles round-trip

Tuesday May 20 Paddle Round Lake, NY

This is a very nice small lake that is easy on the gas consumption. There are several Great Blue Heron nests with more chicks than nests, about a mile east of Route 9. We will meet at the Northway Exit 9 in Clifton Park on Fire Road at 5:30 P.M. or at Round Lake at 5:45 P.M.

CONTACT: Phil Fountain 371-8585 or

LENGTH: 3 to 4 miles round-trip, if we play nice.

ROAD DISTANCE: 20 miles round-trip from NW Exit 9.

Thursday May 22 Hoosick River Paddle, Buskirk, NY

A casual trip on a flatwater section of the Hoosick from the Buskirk covered bridge to the takeout at the Johnsonville Dam. There are some nice channels and marshy areas for exploring and botanzing. I plan to spot cars at the takeout so that wind will not spoil our downriver jaunt this time. Hopefully there will also be less mud!

CONTACT: Lynn Filarecki 674-2125 for meeting time and location.

LENGTH: About 5 miles.

ROAD DISTANCE: Approximately 50 miles.

Tuesday May 27 Local Bike Ride

CONTACT: Judy Brandow at 482-4610 or

Saturday May 31 Plant Seedlings, Berlin, NY

This will be the FIRST EVER ! Re-planting ATV damaged area on the Berlin Pass. This is part of our Taconic Hiking Club campaign to take back OUR trail from ATV damage and is part of a joint three-year project with NYS Department of Conservation. This first year is a test and only approximately 200 seedlings will be planted. We also plan to set-up a small exhibition on Petersburgh Pass with leaflet handouts from various organizations and guide anyone interested to hike up to Berlin Mountain. June 1st is rain date. MUST contact Colin to register, and for meeting place and time.

CONTACT: Colin Campbell at 438-9629 or

Saturday May 31 Leaders Choice in Massachusetts or Vermont

We want to do a hike in the Berkshires or Southern Vermont but couldn't decide where by publication time. We will probably do 6 to 10 miles over moderate terrain. Contact R.J. or Bob for details, meeting place and time.

CONTACT: R.J. Hydorn at 283-6056 or or

Bob Armao at 271-6512 or




???day June ?? Canoe/Kayak Hoosic River

Pownal, VT to Hoosick Falls, NY

Length: 14 miles

CONTACT: Colin Campbell 438-96290

or Dick Hughes 371-7655

Sunday August 3 thru Saturday August 9, 2008, Saranac, NY

This will be paddle trip on several water ways, with minimal portage's,

with very short lengths. Kathy will be reserving beds for 12 to 14 people,

so sign-up early. You MUST submit a non-refundable deposit of $50.00

with your reservation. Meals, car-pooling and any questions you have can

be discussed with Kathy.

CONTACT: Kathy Wolfe at 482-0424 or

LENGTH: Each day will be discussed with the group.

ROAD DISTANCE: From the Capital District to Saranac Lake about 300 miles RT.

Fri., Sat & Sunday August 22, 23 &24 Valcour Island, So. Plattsburgh, NY

Camp-out, paddle and clean-up Valcour Island. CONTACT: Colin Campbell 438-96290

or Dick Hughes 371-7655

ROAD DISTANCE: 285 miles Round Trip.

ADK Needs Your Help: EPF Being Raided for Budget Relief

Adirondack Mountain Club


ADK Needs Your Help: EPF Being Raided for Budget Relief

We are at a critical juncture in the history of open-space protection in New York State. Right now, we have a unique opportunity to protect tens thousands of acres of wild lands in the Adirondacks and across the state, but a proposed raid on the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) is jeopardizing that opportunity.

In his 2008-09 Executive Budget, Governor Spitzer proposed sweeping $125 million of unspent EPF funds into the General Fund for non-environmental purposes. The Governor also proposed additional sweeps totaling $75 million over the next three years. That would bring the total amount “borrowed” from the EPF to more than half a billion dollars – and not a penny has been paid back to the fund.

When lawmakers created the EPF in 1993, they intended it to be a locked box, ensuring that the state has the money for critical environmental projects even during economic downturns. It was not meant to be a slush fund.

Over the next two years, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation are expected to need $300 million for land acquisition projects. Last week, DEC and The Nature Conservancy reached an agreement to protect the former Finch, Pruyn lands. (Read ADK’s press release on the deal at Other pending projects include the Lassiter and Clerical Medical tracts in the Adirondacks; the Big Indian Plateau tract in the Catskills; Hemlock and Canadice Lakes, the last of the undeveloped Finger Lakes; and the AVR project on Long Island.

Because of these pending projects, ADK supports an increase in the current EPF from $250 million to $300 million. The proposed budget would increase the land acquisition category by $11 million to $66 million, but we are requesting that category be increased to $100 million for the coming fiscal year.

ADK is also concerned about the proposed reduction of the land stewardship category from $22 million to $5 million, a 78 percent cut. This category funds ADK’s professional trail crews, the Summit Steward program and other important initiatives for building and maintaining backcountry trails. While ADK applauds the Governor’s proposal to provide $100 million for New York’s 350,000-acre state park system, we also recognize that DEC needs sufficient funding to properly maintain the 4.5 million acres it manages.

ADK needs your help in urging the Assembly and Senate to:

  • Reject the $125 million EPF sweep this year and any future sweeps.
  • Increase land acquisition funding in the EPF to $100 million.
  • Restore the EPF land stewardship category to $22 million.

We expect the state budget to be adopted by April 1, so please write to your legislators as soon as possible. (Letters to the editor in your local newspaper would help as well.)

Contact information for your state legislators:


Please also copy ADK at: David Pisaneschi, Albany ADK, ESP, PO Box 2116, Albany, NY 12220 or at

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Art of Tracking at Thacher Nature Center on Wednesday, Februrary 20th

Wednesday, Feb 20th, : The Art of Tracking at Thacher Nature Center

10am-pm and again from 2pm-5pm

Take some time to come learn how to read again! You can read the forest just like you read a book and discover all the drama, mystery and excitement that happens there when you’re not around! Dan Yacobellis, local tracker and wilderness skills educator, will lead you on a trek through the snow covered hills and show you how to locate, identify and interpret the clues left by our resident animal neighbors. The morning session is for ages 12 and up and the afternoon is for ages 7 and up. Program fee is $10 for adults, no charge for children.

Space is limited. Call 872-0800 to register.

Dan Yacobellis
Tamakoce Wilderness Programs


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Feb 4th Rally Against a Hotel in the Pine Bush

Dear All,

Why should we care about the hotel proposal in the Pine Bush? Because the Environmental Impact Statement says "Walking and bicycling on Washington Avenue Extension should be discouraged." See

Save the Pine Bush won our case in NYS Supreme Court fair and square. The City should let our win stand, and not appeal our case. But, the City is appealing. So . . .

Oppose the Hotel - attend the Albany Common Council meeting on

Monday, February 4, 7:00 PM
Albany City Hall, Second Floor
24 Eagle Street, Albany, NY 12207

Monday, the Albany Common Council will vote on the legislation the Honorable Dominick Calsolaro introduced to stop the City’s appeal of Save the Pine Bush’s win of the Hotel case in the Pine Bush.

Theraldson Development has proposed to build a hotel on occupied Karner Blue Butterfly habitat in the Pine Bush. Save the Pine Bush sued the City of Albany over the approval of this development and won in NYS Supreme Court.

Mr. Calsolaro’s resolution will forbid the City appealing our win.

Please come to the meeting and support Mr. Calsolaro’s resolution. The City should not be wasting time and money appealing Save the Pine Bush’s win.

Read more about the details of the case at:

City Can’t Decide!, published in the Jan/Feb 2008 newsletter:

Stop the Hotel! - Ask the Governor and the Mayor To Do the Right Thing
Read about how the Pine Bush can be preserved:

Thank you so much! Please call me at 434-1954 if you have any questions or email me.
Lynne Jackson =