Sunday, March 29, 2009

Developers in Rural Areas - Effluence in Groundwater

The house the Johns bought uses what is commonly known as an alternative or nonconventional septic system, an advanced wastewater-treatment system that enables developers to build in remote rural areas not serviced by municipal sewers and lacking drainage appropriate for conventional septic systems. The problem is that these new systems are often quirky, demanding frequent inspections and maintenance to avoid leaching effluence into groundwater, which is typically the source of drinking water in these rural areas.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why did the salamander cross the Road? Please report amphibian migration activity!

Why did the salamander cross the road? To get to the woodland pool!
Conditions may be right for amphibian migrations tomorrow night... The forecast calls for rain during the day and continuing into the night, so while it may be a little chilly, there's a chance that some salamanders and frogs will continue spring migrations from forests to woodland pools. Many will need to cross roads on their way to breeding pools, and we'd like to know where this is happening.

If you see any migration activity or road crossings, either tomorrow or on the next rainy evening, and wish to share your observations, please fill out our simple data form. Directions are included:

More information about Amphibian Migrations and Road Crossings:

Many thanks for your help!
Laura T. Heady
Biodiversity Outreach Coordinator
Hudson River Estuary Program
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation / Cornell University

21 South Putt Corners Road
New Paltz, NY 12561-1620
845.256.3061 phone / 845.255.3649 fax

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring XC Skiing at Lapland Lakes-Two-fers on Friday!

Tervetuloa! Greetings!

Please note: There is no food service; please bring along a lunch or stop along the way for a sub. Trails are open weekdays from 10am - 4:30pm and weekends from 9am - 4:30pm. We have a few private rooms and tupas (private housekeeping cottages) available this weekend (see rates and package information below.)

Skiing is good! 47km of trails are open for skiing and snowshoeing, and our junior tubing hills are open. The 3km loop directly on Woods Lake is closed (ice is thin) and the hill at the top of the third Karhu expert double diamond loop is closed (less than 1/4km). 35km of xc ski trails are nicely snowcat groomed with trackset and skating lanes.

Surface is a power-tilled mixture of corn snow and loose granular. 12km of pristine trails are also open for snowshoeing. We have a very solid snow base that is serving us nicely during these milder early spring days! Our compacted base averages two-and-a-half feet.

Today, Wednesday, is gorgeous - sunny with a high of 54. Thursday will be cloudy with showers likely by mid-afternoon, a high near 46. Overnight Thursday a mix of rain and snow showers are expected as temperatures fall below freezing. Sunshine returns for Friday (it's Two-fer Friday!) with a high in the mid-50's. Saturday looks good with clouds and a high in the low 50's.

Two-fer Fridays! Bring a friend for free any non-holiday Friday! Buy one pass at the regular price, receive the second pass for free. (Free pass must be of equal or lesser value; no other discounts apply)

"GET-IT-GONE" SALE! Through the end of the winter season, all "Finnish Line" Ski Shop merchandise is 30% off! This includes new ski and snowshoe equipment, clothing, mugs, books, gloves, hats, socks, water bottles, Finnish specialty food items, souvenirs, etc. Excluded are items already on sale (take 10% more off these items for a total savings of 40%) and all waxes and wax supplies. Select rental ski gear is also on sale with complete adult sets (skis, boots, poles, bindings) starting at only $170 and junior sets starting at $110!

Lessons are offered on weekends through the end of the season (advance reservations recommended). Our snowshoe trails and both children's tubing hills (old-fashioned ride down, carry back up) are open and ready for use! Come visit with our reindeer! Your facility use pass or Season Pass Membership gives you access to xc ski and snowshoe trails, tubing hills and all the reindeer-visiting you can fit in!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nova Scotia Sea Kayaking Slides March 28th 4pm at the Arcadian Shop in Lenox, Mass

Sea Kayaking in Nova Scotia and New Foundland

Saturday, March 28, 4 pm at the Arcadian Shop Trailside Cafe

The rugged coasts where the land meets the sea have always held a special fascination for us. Atlantic Canada has some of the most spectacular coastline on the continent, with its thousands of kilometres of bays, beaches, harbours and headlands. Join Dr. Scott Cunningham in a slide show voyage to the rugged islands of Nova Scotia’s Atlantic archipelago, the whale rich waters of the Cape Breton Highlands, the highest tides on earth at the Bay of Fundy, Prince Edward Island’s beautiful sand beaches, and the deep fjords and icebergs of Newfoundland.

91 Pittsfield Rd
Lenox, MA 01240
(413) 637-3010

Friday, March 20, 2009

Falconer Natural History Lecture Series Schedule

The Falconer Natural History 2009 Spring Lecture Series
Tuesdays at 8pm
Sponsored by the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center

You are invited to a series of free lectures in the John J. Sullivan Auditorium, CESTM Building, SUNY at 251 Fuller Road, Albany.

March 31st, James F. Kasting, "The Origin of Life: How and When Did It Occur?"
April 7th, Jon Thiem, "Rabbit Creek Country: The Natural History of a Colorado Foothills Landscape"
April 14th, Jack Kaye, "The Climate System As Viewed From Space"
April 21st, Steven Wofsy, "Understanding Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere - past, present and future"
April 28th, Chris Thorncroft, "West African Climate Variabiity and its Impacts on Society"
May 5th, Jose D. Fuentes, "Plant-emitted Volatile Gases and Their Role in Air Quality and Climate"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring! NE Style...

Welcome New Members!

New members are especially invited to attend the annual Summer Picnic at Grafton Lakes State Park on June 6th, National Trails Day.

Robert Thien
Jay Barron
Maria Judge
Margaret Campbell
Elona Cadman
Nick Conrad
Margaret Grogan
Sharon Bonk

3/19 and XCing is still good at Lapland Lakes!

When there is no snow anywhere else you will find skiing here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Light Exists in Spring, Emily Dickinson

A light exists in spring
Not present on the year
At any other period.
When March is scarcely here

A color stands abroad
On solitary hills
That science cannot overtake,
But human nature feels.

It waits upon the lawn;
It shows the furthest tree
Upon the furthest slope we know;
It almost speaks to me.

Then, as horizons step,
Or noons report away,
Without the formula of sound,
It passes, and we stay:

A quality of loss
Affecting our content,
As trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a sacrament.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cycling: Traffic Skills 101 in March and April

There is increasing interest in bicycling as a viable form of transportation. Here is a link to the League of American Bicyclists where you can see course details:

Traffic Skills 101 will be offered in two locations in the Saratoga/Capital Regions of NY ($50):
Saratoga - Friday and Saturday March 27 and March 28
Albany - Friday and Saturday May 1 and May 2.

If you have questions or if you would like to host a location for a future Traffic Skill 101- or any other Bike Ed Programming in a work place, neighborhood or with a civic group, contact Claire Nolan

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lapland Lake Reports Good XC Conditions!!!

Tervehdys! (Greetings)

We have all trails open (except skiing directly on Woods Lake). It looks like great weather ahead! 47km of trails are open. 35km of trails are snowcat groomed with trackset and skating lanes. Surface is a power-tilled mixture of loose and frozen granular. 12km of pristine trails are also open for snowshoeing.

Our compacted base is over 3 feet with more than 3-1/2 feet of snow in the woods. We have received nearly 12 feet of snow so far this season!

Our weather is expected to be just wonderful right through the weekend. Plan for some great skiing, snowshoeing and tubing! Friday sunny, 30; Saturday sunny, 44; Sunday sunny, 46. Overnight temperatures are expected to fall below freezing throughout the period. Forecasters are watching a system that may bring some snow Tuesday night. (We are still waiting for our inevitable March snowstorm!)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Appalachian Trail Festival 2009, July 17-24, Castleton State College, VT 12 mi west of Rutland. Open to the Public:

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Cycling: Important to be Aware of Dangers

"The idea of young people riding around a city in groups on bikes armed and shooting guns is almost unbelievable," the judge told Timmons. "It is shocking. It is frightening and it is totally unacceptable here and in every civilized society."

Thursday, March 05, 2009

March 5th Marks the Beginning of the Sandhill Crane Migration - most of them fly though

From March 5 to April 7 more than 500,000 sandhill cranes (80% of the world's sandhill crane population)visit the central Platte River Valley near Grand Island,Nebraska. Trivia buffs: Cranes are among the oldest living birds on the planet. Fossil records place cranes in Nebraska more than 9 million years ago, long before there was a Platte River, which by comparison, is a youthful 10,000 years of age!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

THC Outings Schedule Spring 2009

Monday March 2: Berlin Mountain, Petersburg, NY
This is a rescheduled hike that was canceled in January. We will start from Petersburg Pass and hike south to the summit of Berlin Mountain and continue out via the Southeast Hollow access trail, to a pre-spotted car. We will meet at Walmart’s on Hoosick Street,
(Route 7) in Brunswick. Please contact Phil for the meeting time. This will be a joint hike with ADK.
CONTACT: Phil Fountain at or 371-8585.
LENGTH: 6.75 miles, ascent of about 1000 feet.
ROAD DISTANCE: About 65 miles round-trip.

Tuesday, March 3: Local hike or snowshoe
If the ground is well frozen, the Open Space Preserve on Peltz Road in Selkirk will be dry, otherwise the Hanacrois Creek Preserve in New Baltimore might be suitable. Call Dale Blanchett for meeting time and place.
CONTACT: Dale Blanchet, 273-4262.
LENGTH: 2 to 3 miles, ascent of 200 feet.

Friday, March 6: Hike or snowshoe New Scotland, Albany County
Hike or snowshoe Holt Preserve, New Scotland, Albany County. This area offers some good views this time of year and some sheltering evergreen plantations. We will meet at the Elm Ave. Park & Ride in Delmar at 9:30am.
CONTACT: Dale Blanchett, 273-4262.
LENGTH: 2 miles, ascent of 600 feet.
ROAD DISTANCE: 18 miles R.T.

Monday, March 9: Hike or snowshoe John Boyd Thacher State Park.
We’ll meet at Delmar Park & Ride. Call Judy for details.
CONTACT: Judy Brandow at or 482-4610.
LENGTH: 4 – 5 miles depending on conditions.
ROAD DISTANCE: Approximately 40 miles R.T.

Wednesday, March 25: Bike Ride, Clifton Park
We will bike the back roads of Clifton Park. This date may change depending on the weather. Meet at 10am, 19 Lace Lane, Clifton Park.
CONTACT: Dick Hughes at or 371-7655
LENGTH: 30 miles + or -.
ROAD DISTANCE: Your house to Clifton Park.

Thursday April 16: Sawteeth Mountain. Keene Valley, NY
The plan will be to hike the Ausable Lake Road trail to the col between Pyramid and Sawteeth.
We will take a side trip to view Rainbow Falls before continuing to the summit. Meet at the Northway Exit 9 Park & Ride in Clifton Park on Fire Road; please call Phil for meeting time.
CONTACT: Phil Fountain at or 371-8585.
LENGTH: About 12.5 miles roundtrip, ascent of about 3000 feet.
ROAD DISTANCE: 210 miles round-trip.

Saturday, April 18: Taconic Crest Trail, trail work
We’ll cover the section of the TCT from Robinson Hollow to Mattison Hollow. This will involve blow down removal and drainage work. We’ll also repair some of the ATV damage. Bad weather postpones to the following day or weekend. Contact Dave for meeting place and time.
CONTACT: Dave Pisaneschi at or 459-5969.
LENGTH: Approximately 6 miles, including access trails, with an ascent of approximately 1500 ft.
ROAD DISTANCE: Contact Dave.

Saturday, April 18: Trail Clearing, TCT
This winter saw a lot of heavy snow and ice on the Taconic Crest Trail. We have reports of extensive blow down on the trail and we have a lot of work ahead of us to clean this up. We will provide some tools for usage but please bring your own if you want too.
CONTACT: Colin Campbell at or 438-9629, for meeting place, time and section to be cleared.
LRNGTH: Contact Colin.
ROAD DISTANCE: Contact Colin.

Sunday, April 19: Schodack Island State Park
The trail south has been blocked due to eagles nesting and the Corp of Engineers dumping area for dredging beyond the park. We can explore and, unless there is high tide, walk along the shore to the end of the point.
CONTACT: Willard Hoyt at or 732-2390 for starting time.
LENGTH: 8 or 9 miles.
ROAD DISTANCE: Meet at south parking area.

Thursday, April 23: Bike Ride, Leaders Choice.
Contact Judy for the location and details of this bike ride.
CONTACT: Judy Brandow at or 482-4610.
LENGTH: 25 miles.
ROAD DISTANCE: Contact Judy.

Saturday, April 25: Trail Clearing, TCT
This is a continuation of the work started on April 18.
CONTACT: Colin Campbell at or 438-9629, for meeting place, time and section to be cleared.
LRNGTH: Contact Colin.
ROAD DISTANCE: Contact Colin.

Sunday, April 26: Schodack Island Paddle
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 9am. We will paddle/explore until about 4pm. 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: David Pisaneschi at or 459-5969.
LENGTH: As time allows
ROAD DISTANCE: Your house to Schodack Island State Park.

Sunday, April 26: AT in Massachusetts and Pine Cobble
Hike the Appalachian Trail from Route 2 in North Adams to the junction with the Pine Cobble Trail. We will descend to the Pine Cobble and back to Williamstown, with great views of the Hoosac Range and the Berkshires.
CONTACT: R.J. Hydorn at or 283-6056.
LENGTH: 5 miles. 1,350 feet elevation gain and descent.
ROAD DISTANCE: Approximately 75 miles, plus a short car spot.

Monday, April 27: Trail Clearing, TCT
In addition to April 18 & 25, Colin will be setting aside more weekdays beginning April 27, to systematically cover remaining areas of the trail. All are invited (as their schedule allows) to join Colin in a day’s stroll to repair the trail or by assisting him at the end and returning him to his vehicle. Afterwards, an ice cream treat at Stewart’s, courtesy of THC!
CONTACT: Colin Campbell at or 438-9629, for meeting place, time and section to be cleared.
LRNGTH: To be determined by Colin and workers.
ROAD DISTANCE: Contact Colin.

Wednesday, April 29: Hike Elephant Mountain, Lake George.
Elephant Mountain has a different view of the North End of Lake George. It is located 1.3 miles north of Black Mountain. We will start hiking from Black Mountain parking area.
CONTACT: Dick Hughes at or 371-7655.
LENGTH: Bushwack 5 miles R.T.
ROAD DISTANCE: 140 miles R.T.

Friday, May 1: Paddle Mohawk and Hudson & Rivers
We will launch from either Waterford or Peebles Island. We will explore the intersecting area of the two rivers including a Hudson River lock and the falls south of Peebles Island, perhaps with lunch at Peebles Island. This is intended to be a good seasonal warm up paddle. We will meet at Northway Exit 9 Park & Ride at 9am.
CONTACT: Bill Valentino at or 439-9686.
LENGTH: Total paddle distance is expected to be less than 7 miles.
ROAD DISTANCE: 20 miles R.T.

Sunday, May 3: Val-Kill Trail, Hyde Park, Dutchess County
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 8am or in the main lobby of the Wallace Visitor’s Center at 10 am.
CONTACT: Dale Blanchet: 273-4262
LENGTH: 5 miles, ascent of 200 feet.
ROAD DISTANCE: Approximately 150 miles R.T.

Monday, May 4: Canoe or Kayak, Schenectady.
We will spot a car at Lock 7 and start our paddle from Schenectady County Community College. MUST call Judy for details and car spot.
CONTACT: Judy Brandow at or 482-4610.
LENGTH: 9 miles.
ROAD DISTANCE: 48 miles R.T.

Tuesday, May 5: Siuslaw Forest. Acra, Greene County.
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 Park & Ride in Delmar at 9:15am.
CONTACT: Dale Blanchet 273-4262.
LENGTH: 3 miles, ascent of 300 feet.
ROAD DISTANCE: 70 miles R.T.

Tuesday, May 12: Balm of Gilead Mountain and Blake Pond
We will do two short hikes in the area of Garnet hill cross-country ski trails. First loop will take us to Balm of Gilead Mountain, a short climb with a dramatic view over 13th Lake, and down into the Siamese Ponds Wilderness. We will start from Garnet Hill, or from Old Farm Clearing if we can’t get permission from Garnet Hill. Meet at Northway Exit 9 Park & Ride at 8:30am.
CONTACT: Katie Henrikson at or 439-4308.
LENGTH: About 5 miles, ascent.500 feet.
ROAD DISTANCE: Contact Katie.

Wednesday, May 13: Bike Ride, Lake George.
We will bike from Fort Edward to Lake George. First 4 miles will be on the “Feeder Canal Park Heritage Trail”. The next 12 miles will be on the “Warren County Bikeway”. Meet at Exit 9 Park and Ride at 8:30am, must call Dick before the ride.
CONTACT: Dick Hughes at or 371-7655.
LENGTH: 32 miles R.T.
ROAD DISTANCE: 70 miles R.T.

Thursday May 14: Paddle Round Lake, NY
This will be my annual early paddle to evaluate the Great Blue Heron nests on this nice local lake. We will meet at the Northway Exit 9 in Clifton Park on Fire Road. Please call Phil for the
meeting time.
CONTACT: Phil Fountain at or 371-8585
LENGTH: 3 to 4 miles roundtrip.
ROAD DISTANCE: 20 miles roundtrip from NW Exit 9 P&R.

Saturday, May 16: Grafton, NY
We will hike the new Escarpment Trail created by Nancy Heaslip off Scheafer Rd. This hike starts at the top of the mountain and is all down hill. This a joint hike with RLC.
CONTACT: Doree Cox at 658-2643 for time and meeting place.
LENGTH: 2 miles with no ascent-all down hill.
ROAD DISTANCE: Contact Doree.

Sunday, May 17: Pine Cobble & AT Mass/VT
This is another chance to hike the Pine Cobble. We will ascend to the Appalachian Trail and hike to County Road in VT. Other highlights include Eph’s Lookout and crossing the Mass/VT border.
CONTACT: R.J. Hydorn at or 283-6056.
LENGTH: 6.5 miles. 1,680 feet elevation gain.
ROAD DISTANCE: Approximately 75 miles plus a moderate car spot.

Thursday, May 21: Paddle Hudson River Feeder Canal
The Feeder Canal is the only surviving part of the original Erie Canal system that carries both water and boats. The canal goes through beautiful forest, industrial lands, then right through the middle of Glens Falls. The paddling distance is about 5 miles with a slight current assist. We will shuttle cars. We will meet at Northway Exit 9 Park & Ride at 8am.
CONTACT: Bill Valentino at or 439-9686.
LENGTH: Total paddle distance is expected to be less than 6 miles.
ROAD DISTANCE: 100 miles R.T.


Saturday, June 6: National Trail’s Day
Trail work to be done at Grafton Lakes State Park.
Saturday, June 6: THC Annual Potluck Picnic at Grafton, NY Lakes State Park
The Grafton Lakes State Park opens at 9am and closes at dusk for hiking, boating and swimming. We are once again at the Amphitheater Pavilion (by the Beach).
Our activities are:
• At 9:30 am we will meet at GLSP Office and join with volunteers across the US on National Trails Day. Our trail assignment will be in the summer schedule.
• Car shuttle from Mill Pond Parking Lot will start at 11am and end at noon to bring those who chose to the Amphitheater.
• Noon to 1pm Pot Luck appetizers.
• 1pm Pot Luck salads, desserts and treats along with THC supplied hot dogs, hamburgers, cold drinks (lemonade and bottled water) and condiments.
• Please bring your own wine, beer or other choice.
• Lawn chairs and games are recommended.
• 2pm short THC meeting.
• Enjoy the park for the rest of the day.
• Please call Doree Cox at 658-2643 to let her know how many people are coming and what your contribution to the picnic will be (appetizers, salad or dessert). Please leave a message if Doree doesn’t answer.

June 3, 10, 17 & 24 Evening Bike Rides with Rosemary Daley
June 11 and 25: Bill Valentino’s Paddles
August 2 – August 8: Kathy Wolfe’s canoe/kayak trip is full, but Kathy is taking a waiting list. To be put on the list contact Kathy at or 482-0424.

Summer hikes (June, July & August) are due by May 15 to or Gayle Fountain at 371-8585.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Lapland Lakes: We received 3" of snow Monday 3/2! All 50km of trails are open.

ADK Meeting Tue, March 10th: Beaks and Peaks

Albany Chapter ADK Monthly Meeting
March 10 (6:30PM) – Birding Basics by Alan Mapes - Birds are all around us as we hike, paddle and camp. Alan will give tips for identification, review the best of the bird guidebooks, and give tips on selecting binoculars for birding. Spring migration is just starting, so this will be a good time to boost your birding skills.
At 7:30PM Peak Experiences:
The Adirondacks, Catskills and New England by Carol and David White. In a stunning slide presentation, Carol and David White will give us a sneak peek at their upcoming books, "Adirondack Peak Experiences" and the third edition of "New England Peak Experiences" in addition to recently published "Catskill Peak Experiences." Long –active members of ADK, ADK46Rs , and the Catskill 3500 Club, our speakers have led many a hike over the years and will share mountaineering tales of endurance, survival, exploration and adventure.

The Albany Chapter's monthly informal meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month, October through June. The meetings consist of an Educational session, a brief chapter business meeting followed by an interesting program presentation, usually with slides. Refreshments are also served.

The May meeting is replaced by the annual banquet held at a local restaurant. This years presenter will be Carl Heilman II scenic Adirondack photographer. The public is always welcome to attend any of the Chapter functions. These meetings and accompanying programs, except the May banquet, are held at 6:30 p.m. at West Albany Firehouse (Station #1), 113 Sand Creek Road, Albany, New York. Visit our website at for map and directions and more information.
Please Join us!
Phil Seward
Chairman Albany Chapter ADK