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NYS DEC issues annual muddy trail advisory for Adirondacks — The Adirondack Almanack

Hikers advised to temporarily avoid high elevation trails and prepare for variable conditions on low elevation trails. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today urged hikers to postpone hikes on Adirondack trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened. DEC advises hikers on how to reduce negative impacts on all…

NYS DEC issues annual muddy trail advisory for Adirondacks — The Adirondack Almanack

5 things you need for an Adirondack Fire Tower hike

Erin Goes Everywhere

It was a successful trip to the Adirondacks this week. On a whim, I booked a motel room and decided to cross two more fire tower trails off my list.

While the booking was spontaneous, prepping for the hike was not.

Here’s what I recommend if you’re looking to get out and explore the great outdoors.

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Vermont’s Long Trail

I’ve had many adventures on this trail! Thanks for posting!

A New Day Yesterday

Not to be confused with other long hiking trails, the Long Trail is the oldest long distance hiking trail in the US. It runs the entire length of Vermont, following the spine of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts state line to the Canadian border. It’s also known as one of the hardest thru-hikes in the country, mostly because a lot of the longer trails are graded for horses and this one…definitely isn’t. I’ve been hiking bits of it on day hikes for years and have wanted to do the whole thing for almost as long, but this was the year where I finally made it happen. At 273 miles and over a month on trail, this would be my first thru-hike and the biggest backpacking adventure that I’ve ever undertaken.I usually split these posts up by day but I couldn’t think of a good way to divide this…

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What do we do in the AT off season?

A fork in the road


Off Season on the Appalachian Trail, January – March, 2022 — Actually the trail does not hibernate in winter. Hikers hike, blowdowns fall and maintainers can be found year-round.

But we do use the off season to take care of business that is harder to do when the great armies of hikers are crunching gravel, filling privies and otherwise jamming traffic just west of the infamous, I-95.

It’s one week until Shenandoah’s North District Hoodlums hit the trail for the first time this season. This is what we and a lot of others have been up to since last year.

The off season is a time to maintain motorized tools – primarily weed whackers and chainsaws, sharpen traditional tools such as crosscuts and axes, inventory equipment, meet and plan and meet some more, conduct training, hire ridgerunners, and develop support. In the process, we about wore out Zoom.

For example…

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Hiking: Will It Build Your Leg Muscles?

Really Good Hiking

Many people will ask themselves, will hiking build leg muscle? This blog post will answer this question. Hiking does condition your lower body and will strengthen your legs, but let’s make sure hiking can do everything you are looking to accomplish.

First of all, hiking is a great form of cardio exercise. Cardio is a vital part of any workout routine to lose weight. Cardio will burn calories and will help you get fit, even if the cardio exercise is low impact such as hiking. How many calories will hiking burn? 30 minutes of hiking on average burns about 300-400 calories for a 150 pound person (source).

Not only is hiking amazing cardio, it is great for building leg muscles. Hiking builds your muscles through endurance. This is great for maintaining muscle mass and increasing longevity!

However, hiking will not necessarily help you build a ton of mass in…

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The Ten Essentials — Signature Camping

The original 10 essentials is a list of items, developed in the 1930’s, for mountaineers to keep with them in case of emergency. Technology has changed quite a bit since then and the list might differ depending on weather, length of your hike and how far you are from civilization. 24 more words

The Ten Essentials — Signature Camping

What you need to know for hiking during spring mud season — WSYR

As spring gets underway in the Adirondacks, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is warning visitors of mud season. As snow starts to melt on the trails, mud and monorails can make for difficult hiking conditions.

What you need to know for hiking during spring mud season — WSYR

It’s Time to Think About Turkeys

Spring turkey season is already here in parts of the United States, primarily in the south.  And I am jealous of you folks.  Me?  I have until May 1 up here in the northeast.  That said, there are plenty of things to start thinking about.

Where is all my gear?  My camo, turkey calls, face net, the things I flung down on the floor that last day of the season last May?  I couldn’t get the stuff off me quick enough, having absorbed plenty of butt whippings at the hands (spurs?) of our fine feathered friends.

Where am I going to hunt this spring?  Obviously, I need to truck it up the mountains and deep into the timber to get away from the crowd.  But where?  Only a thorough scouting job will give me such answers. 

It’s pointless to scout this far out from the season opener.  Birds are still in their winter areas and will not transition into the spring woods until a couple of weeks before the season.  This means I will have to “power scout” those couple of weeks.

What do I look for when scouting?  Well, for starters, it’s handy to know a piece of woods I’m checking out actually holds turkeys.  So, I search for turkey scratchings, which differs from when a deer digs mainly because of the mess a flock of birds make in the woods.  If I see an area that is massacred by turkeys, I know they routinely visit.

Look for an area that contains solid turkey habitat, such as acorns and butternuts.  In my neck of the woods (pun intended), I find birds devour these nuts in droves.  In my experience, they like to roost in an area around water.  Look for rivers, brooks, creeks, or trickles, areas that turkeys can fly down to in the morning.  Turkey droppings is another good find.  It means birds have frequented the area while feeding, and if they fed there once, they are quite likely to be back.  On a side note, “J” shaped droppings are that of a tom (male) turkey, which is what we are all after in the spring.

Of course, at dusk, we can attempt to elicit a shock gobble to give away tom locations.  Owl and coyote calls are my two favorites to locate birds.  It’s extremely beneficial to do so just before dark, as it gives the hunter a starting point for the next morning.  That said, I rarely attempt to roost a tom until a couple of days before the season.  If I were to locate one, say, a week before, there are too many scenarios that can drive out the finicky bird and render my locating him useless before I can hunt him.  Above all else, do not use turkey calls to find birds before the season starts.  You’ll only educate them and run the risk of making them call shy.

Above all else, have fun.  You are getting exercise and enjoying the peace and serenity of the wilderness.  I have gone on many scouting trips that proved fruitless yet found the turkeys during the season.  There are no two turkeys alike.  Some respond to different calls, on different days, in different weather conditions, or don’t respond at all.  Enjoy the process and eventually a little action will come your way.