Adirondacks of Hamilton County

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Book signing in Glens Falls

Posted by peteklein on November 3, 2016 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Pete Klein at Chronicle Book Fair

Pete Klein will be signing and selling his Adirondack Hikes in Hamilton County guide book and vampire novels at the annual Glens Falls Chronicle Book Fair, Autumn Leaves, on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 11 am to 3 pm at the Queensbury Hotel in downtown Glens Falls.

All books only $10 each.

 

Hamilton County has a birthday

Posted by peteklein on April 20, 2016 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Hamilton County has a birthday party

By PETE KLEIN

LAKE PLEASANT—The residents of Hamilton County held a countywide birthday party on Tuesday, April 12, celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Hamilton County as a county.

Bells were rung at 11 a.m. throughout the county, the time when the state of New York granted provisional rights to the fledgling county by naming the new municipality after founding father Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury.

The hub for the celebration was on the steps at the Court House in Lake Pleasant and this got started around 10:30 a.m. when William Farber, Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors, introduced State Sen. Hugh Farley and Assemblyman Marc Butler to the crowd of about 50 who gathered to hear them speak.

Both Farley and Butler spoke of the uniqueness of the county and the fortitude of its residents, interspersing their comments with some historical facts they later expanded upon in legislative Proclamations they presented to Farber when the celebrations moved inside the Court House.

Following Farley and Butler was Aaron Weaver, president of the Historical Society of Lake Pleasant & Speculator, who was dressed in clothing similar to what a farmer in Hamilton County in the early 1800’s might wear, provided more historical information before the cold wind drove everyone inside to await the ringing of a large bell at 11 a.m., provided by the Lake Pleasant Central School and rung by Hamilton County Historian Dr. Eliza Jane Darling.

Then it was back inside the Court House for cake and other refreshments, and celebrations that will continue throughout the county over the summer and into autumn.

PROCLAMATIONS

The proclamations bestowed upon the county by Farley and Butler are briefly summarized as follows. They will be on display at the Court House.

Butler noted the county was first served by a government formed by settlers who gathered at the family home of Moses Craig, founding the Town of Wells on April 1, 1805. The county would later be created from the 18,000 square miles of land partitioned from Montgomery County in 1806; and granted provisional rights to the fledgling county in 1816, naming the new municipality after founding father Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton County gained full stature as a county on April 22, 1837.

Butler’s proclamation further noted that much of the land in Hamilton County was purchased as part of the Totten and Crossfield Purchase and the Jessup Purchase. Brothers Edward and Ebenezer Jessup purchased large swaths of land above Albany, including the portion that covers parts of Hamilton County today.

Butler’s proclamation concluded by saying, “Whereas, the long and extensive history of Hamilton County and its people brings great pride to the state of New York; now, therefore, be it Proclaimed that as a duly-elected member of the Assembly of the State of New York, I celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of Hamilton County during its bicentennial year.”

Farley’s proclamation celebrated the fact that “For the past 200 years, Hamilton County has proudly stood as a close-knit, safe and vibrant community in the Adirondack Park region of northern New York State, the largest park in the contiguous United States.”

Referencing history, the Farley proclamation noted the county was formed from part of Montgomery County on April 12, 1816, as a provisional county and remained under the legislative control of Montgomery County until the late 1830’s because there were too few residents to form a government according to State Law.

It wasn’t until 1840 Hamilton County became an independent entity with the county seat at Sageville, present day Lake Pleasant.

The Farley proclamation noted that even after the county became an independent entity, it was threatened with dissolution through annexation to neighboring counties several times and as late as the 1930’s.

Farley’s proclamation concluded with, “Whereas Hamilton County has continued its steadfast commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all of its residents, ensuring a safe, peaceful and educational climate for individuals and families to thrive, now therefore be it Resolved, that this Legislative Body pauses to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Hamilton County to be celebrated on April, 12, 2016, in order to recognize the significant role the county plays in the life of the community of the State of New York.”

For more information about the history of Hamilton County and stay up to-date on celebrations planned for the months ahead, go to - http://www.hamiltoncountyhistorian.org/

 

Rachel???s Raquette Lake Elixir,

Posted by peteklein on April 11, 2015 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Rachel wows IDA

LAKE PLEASANT—Rachael Pohl knows how to sell a product and the young entrepreneur from Raquette Lake pulled out all stops when she met with the Hamilton County Industrial Agency in an effort to show them why they should approve her request for a loan that if granted would take her business up to a new level.

Pohl is the owner of Rachel’s Raquette Lake Elixir, a Bloody Mary’s mix she invented while working as bartender, beverage manager and special events coordinator on her father’s (Dean Pohl) cruise ship, the W.W. Durant on Raquette Lake.

According to Rachel, it was her brother Jim who suggested she start bottling her mix and she decided to do just that.

Racheal said she contacted Cornell University and applied for a scheduled process which would allow her to start producing her mix in Raquette Lake Navigation’s commercial kitchen. She started off in 2009 making one case per batch and that took three hours due to the sanitation, heating and filling process.

Demand increased and she knew she had to kick it up a notch. She started making multiple batches at a time, using every burner on the stove, whenever the kitchen was free. In 2012, she hit the road, passing out samples and acquired sixty new customers.

The following winter, after much consideration, she decided that she just didn’t have the time to make the Elixir to keep up with the demand. She contacted a processing facility in Central New York who would bottle her mix for her, using her exact recipe. That was the key. She was the able to use her time selling, instead of stirring the pot, waiting for the mix to come up to temperature.

Rachel has since formed many relationships with beer distributors all over New York State to help expand distribution and will soon expand into Massachusetts. Hundreds of retail grocery stores, beverage centers, convenience stores, gift shops, drug stores, restaurants and taverns now carry her Elixir Bloody Mary mix.

Rachel told the IDA she was there because she now has the opportunity to expand her market by wholesaling her mix to distributors who sell to bars and liquor stores but to do that she will need to add 1% alcohol to her mix and this will further result in the need to have the product bottled in minimum quantities of 2,000 cases. The non-alcoholic mix has a 100 minimum case run. It is because of this large number of cases needed that she came before the IDA, seeking the seed money to purchase the initial inventory needed to expand into liquor stores in New York State.

After holding an executive session to discuss the details of the loan request, IDA Chairman Brain Towers announced the board had come to an agreement to loan up to $50,000 to Pohl at 2% interest for 10 years. The loan is secured by inventory.

Board members complimented Pohl for her excellent presentation and wished her well in her efforts to succeed.

OTHER BUSINESS

Two quotes were received to appraise three properties adjoining the Oak Mnt. Ski Center the IDA owns and wishes to be put on the market.

Douglas Chamberlain of The Whittaker Appraisal Group, Northville, quoted $275 for each of the three properties and The Orr Appraisal Service, Glens Falls, quoted $1,100 for all three properties ($366.66 each).

The board accepted the low bid from Chamberlain.

This was the last meeting and the last official act for William (Bill) Osborne, who commented at the end of the meeting, “It’s been good working for you and I thank you for all your support over the years.”

To celebrate the occasion, Christy Wilt, who will now be taking over for Osborne and has been learning the ropes from him, baked a chocolate cake and a Hawaiian cake which were much appreciated and enjoyed by all.

 


 

Divided North Country

Posted by peteklein on March 5, 2015 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Intercounty Feb 26 2015

 

 

SPECULATOR—Usually when the Intercounty Legislative Committee of the North Country meets, there is unanimity of goals. But this was not the case when the committee met at the Oak Mountain Ski Center on Thursday, Feb. 26.

The split surfaced when Herkimer County put forth a resolution urging the governor to restructure his plan for the Upstate Revitalization Account grant program, better known as the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process, by eliminating the competitive aspect and replacing it by simply dividing the $1.5 billion in the account according to population in the counties.

Under the governor’s plan, the Mid-Hudson, Capital, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, North Country and Southern Tier regions would compete for one of three $500 million upstate revitalization grants.

William Farber, chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors, was quick to object to the idea, stating, “The resolution will split the group, due to Intercounty being in three different Regional Economic Development areas (North Country, Mohawk Valley and Capital Region).

Farber warned, “You won’t get a sack of money to do with what you want,” and suggested the supervisors should contact and work with their six different legislators in the state senate and assembly.

After some debate, a roll call vote was taken with Fulton, Herkimer and Lewis counties voting Yea while Hamilton, Washington, Essex, Saratoga and Warren counties voted Nay.

With Clinton, Franklin and St. Lawrence counties absent, the resolution failed by a vote of 5 Nays to 3 Yeas.

OAK MT

Bill Osborne, Hamilton County Economic Development Director, gave a brief history of the Oak Mt Ski Center.

Osborne said the ski center was built in 1948 by the Town of Lake Pleasant as a way to increase winter tourism. Osborne said, “As many as 15 buses would bring skiers up from New York City and New Jersey, who would stay at the hotels.”

In 1967, Tom and Milly Novosel bought the resort from the town. They had a daughter named Nancy, who later married Norm Germain. In 1978, that couple bought the resort from Nancy's parents.

Fast forward to 2000/2001 and the T-bar was replaced by a quad lift and snowmaking was added. But after several years of mild winters, the Hamilton County Industrial Development Agency foreclosed on the property, which was kept in operation by the Village of Speculator until it was purchase by Matt and Laura O’Brien in 2012.

Matt said they are doing well but did mention how even a colder than average winter can create problems just as a mild winter can do.

Matt said ticket sales were down during the President’s Week holiday because the below zero cold kept many skiers at home.

On a positive note, Matt said he and his wife are making plans to build a 30 room lodging with a swimming pool and are already benefiting by hosting weddings.

Matt said, “We are living the dream and enjoying it.”

THE GREAT SOUTH WOODS

Brian Houseal, director of the Adirondack Ecological Center at SUNY ESF, Newcomb, did a short presentation on the Great South Woods (GSW) and the community based Trails and Lodging plan.

Houseal said that in the past, planning was confined to the Unit Management Plans drafted by the Adirondack Park Agency and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Houseal said, “The GSW project is an attempt to look at the larger, regional picture to foster tourism and economic development.”

Houseal said DEC sponsored the Great South Woods (GSW) initiative with the goal of creating a destination-based system of trails and recreation assets to stimulate economic activity while protecting the region's unparalleled natural resources and wild character. ESF will facilitate the participatory process to engage local knowledge about how best to connect recreation destinations and communities through recreation infrastructure.

The project will develop a new strategic vision for recreation infrastructure across the vast GSW region, where nearly two of every three acres is State land, and where a diversity of natural settings remain an untapped resource for local communities and tourism-oriented businesses. The new initiative will generate a digital map-based inventory of existing and potential land and water trails and associated recreation infrastructure, as well as lodging facilities and other amenities currently available or needed to support recreational visitors. The process will draw on the knowledge, ideas and priorities of local residents and visitors, as well as guides, outfitters, recreationists, business owners and other stakeholders across the southern region of the Park. Digital and online mapping tools will help to gather and analyze this information, in order to generate new ideas and options for regional recreation planning.

 

Photo caption

 

Photo by Pete Klein

 

Photo 1887 or 1888

 

THE GREAT SOUTH WOODS

Brian Houseal, director of the Adirondack Ecological Center at SUNY ESF, Newcomb, did a short presentation on the Great South Woods (GSW) project at meeting of the Intercounty Legislative Committee when it met at the Oak Mt. Ski Center on Feb. 26.

 

Adirondacks vs Catskills a tale of two parks

Posted by peteklein on January 20, 2015 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

By PETE KLEIN

There is more to the NYS Forest Preserve than just the Adirondacks and it might be good to take a step back to view the bigger picture to better see what is meant when buzzwords such as the Forest Preserve, Forever Wild and Unit Management Plans are invoked.

New York's Forest Preserve is all the land owned by the state within the Adirondack (2.6 million acres) and Catskill (287,514 acres) parks, managed by the Department of Environmental Conservation. These properties are required to be kept "forever wild" by Article 14 of the state constitution, and thus enjoy the highest degree of protection of wild lands in any state.

The Adirondack Park and the Catskill Park with their expanding Blue Lines were created by state legislators in 1892 and formalized in the State Constitution (Article 14) on Jan. 1, 1895.

The Adirondack Park, composed of portions of St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, Lewis, Herkimer, Hamilton, Essex, Warren, Saratoga and Fulton counties now includes about 6,000,000 acres, of which about 2,600,000 acres are state owned lands.

Only Essex and Hamilton counties are fully in the Park.

The Catskill Park, composed of portions of Greene, Delaware Ulster and Sullivan Counties, now includes about 700,000 acres land inside the Blue Line, of which 287,514 acres is state owned Forest Preserve.

None of the counties in the Catskill Park are fully in the Park.

Other than the fact of the Adirondack Park being larger than the Catskill Park, there are a few major differences.

Most significant is there is an APA for the Adirondacks but there is no CPA for the Catskills. This is a huge difference because the APA has much to say about private land in the Adirondack Park. This is not the case in the Catskill Park. In the Catskill Park it is the local towns that regulate private property within the Park and it is the DEC who has the final say about regulations on state lands and only state lands within the Catskill Park.

If you look at the Catskill Park State Land Master Plan (CPSLMP), last updated in 2008, you will see the highlights of the update included many updates being suggested for the Adirondacks, including: the creation of a new Primitive Bicycle Corridor land classification; in Wild Forests, allow for bicycle use on most roads and trails; and include Invasive Species Management.

And let us not forget and be real in that the DEC does regulate and enforce environmental rules on all land, water and air, public and private property within New York State. It's not like the Adirondacks would be trashed if there were no APA and it certainly will not be trashed if the Adirondack Park SLMP is updated much in the same way the Catskill Park SLMP has been updated.

There is another difference between the Adirondacks and the Catskills, one which is seldom recognized by people who do not live and recreate near but not in the Catskill Park.

From Middleburg in Schoharie County to Stamford in Delaware county, and many more towns and villages beyond the Catskill Park Blue Line, many residents consider themselves to be, and proudly so, living in the Catskills. You don’t find this attitude among residents who live outside the Blue Line of the Adirondack Park.

Some of this difference in attitude is likely due to geography. Although the Catskills start rather abruptly a few miles west of the Hudson River, the mountains gradually diminish in height and grandeur until fading into the hills of the Southern Tier. Many who don’t live in the Catskill Park but live close by like to say they live in the Catskills.

Another difference could very well be the result of the Catskill Park not having a Catskill Park Agency, thus creating a greater feeling of pride and responsibility among those who live in and near the boundaries of the Catskill Park.

When the DEC plans to update a UMP or the SLMP in the Catskills, it simply holds public hearings, just as it does in the Adirondacks, but with one big difference. It doesn’t then need to go to a Catskill Park Agency to get its endorsement before sending it the governor for final approval.

This is not to say there aren’t any environmental groups in the Catskills who have no say in what happens in the Catskill Park. Many do but most are more regional and national and they, like the general public get only one pick at the apple. Whereas in the Adirondacks, they get two picks when you add in the public hearings put on by the APA.

There is one environmental group in the Catskills but its focus is on the Catskills and not just the Catskill Park. This groups is the Catskill Center, which according to its website, “is dedicated to conservation in the Catskill Mountains and Catskill Park, and to creating opportunities for communities throughout the Catskill Region. Our unique balance of regional advocacy, environmental education, promoting the region, arts & culture programming, and invasive species work to help to keep our region’s natural resources and communities vibrant.”

Many in the Adirondacks would like to see the APA become more like the Catskill Center. Something to think about in the competition for tourism dollars and efforts to attract people to live and work in the Adirondacks.

 

Need more Rangers

Posted by peteklein on December 25, 2014 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Need more Forest Rangers now

By PETE KLEIN

 

ALBANY—Local elected officials have been sounding the drumbeats on the need for more Forest Rangers and they now have an ally in Albany.

On Dec. 10 New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released a report on Environmental Funding in New York State which stated: “The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has experienced staff cuts and constrained funding since 2003 while its responsibilities have grown.”

This follows a letter sent by The Adirondack Council, the Catskill Center, the Adirondack Mountain Club and Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve on Oct. 15 to DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens.

The letter asks Martens to support the NYS Forest Rangers and expresses significant concerns regarding necessary levels of staffing and funding to support and manage the state's forever wild forests and other state administered public land.

The letter says, “New York State's Forest Rangers are critical to the safe use of the NYS Forest Preserve, state forests, and other lands administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation. The Forest Ranger's mission, to not only serve and protect, but to educate and inform the public about wild lands and the proper use of natural resources is unique. In order for our rangers to continue to maintain an appropriate level of service to the communities in which they serve, additional state support is needed.

“The ranger force is currently stretched very thin for the over 5 million acres of DEC managed lands. In fact, in 1970 DEC managed 3 million acres of state public land with 118 Forest Rangers, but today, with 5 million acres of state managed lands, the force is down to 106 Forest Rangers. In addition to managing more land, we expect our DEC field staff to do much more. For example, in 2013 Forest Rangers performed 171 search missions, 105 rescue missions, and 11 recoveries. Forest Rangers made 66,699 inspections of trailheads, 11,487 inspections of campsites or campground patrols, conducted foot patrol of 18,580 miles of trails, conducted 12,722 miles of snowmobile patrol and did 16,764 snowmobile law safety checks. Forest Rangers conducted 1,586 hours of boat patrol and 1,627 navigation law safety checks, inspected 1,743 miles of state boundary lines, issued 1,347 tickets or arrests for state land offense (as well as issuing tickets for 557 ATV violations, 471 snowmobile violations, 155fish and wildlife violations, and 300 EnCon or other violations. Forest Rangers conducted 241 educational presentations or training events to 19,021 people. NYS Forest Rangers also conducted 432 DEC permit inspections and l,197 state land use permit inspections, issued 210 new guide licenses, checked credentials for 624 existing guides, responded to 1,661 calls for service or complaints, and helped other agencies on 523 other incidents. Forest Rangers also suppressed 123fires, issued 2,794 burning permits, trained 1,058 people in wildfire control in 50 training events, conducted 19 prescribed fires, conducted 67 fire prevention events with 17,971 participants, and issued I03 fire prevention tickets.

“During the next 6 years 48 rangers will be eligible for retirement. To insure a steady level of service and to replenish the ranks, DEC must immediately establish a 2015 Academy for Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Officers (ECO) with at least 20 Forest Ranger recruits in 2015. DEC must also begin scheduling regular, biennial Academies.

“In addition to staffing requirements, our rangers need an appropriate operating budget including, $10 million in payroll (plus funding for new recruits), $2,164,100 Other Personal Services (OPS), and $1,350,000 Non-Personal Services (NPS).

“Additionally, $3,479,000 in capital funds is needed to update an aging fleet of vehicles ($934,000), upgrade or replace other non-vehicle equipment such as ATVs, boats, and trailers ($250,000), and to replace an outdated radio system ($2,295,000).

“Some important items for the rangers are not reflected in the numbers above, including new winter field uniforms (which have not been purchased for 12 years), new firefighting and rescue equipment, alcohol sensors, and radar units.

“The Assistant Forest Ranger (AFR) Program is a highly successful program that effectively increases the eyes and ears on our state lands to keep resources and visitors safe. However, current funding practices for this program decrease the available funding for full-time Forest Rangers for Emergency Response and other necessary overtime. We ask that the DEC include a specific budget line item, which is not part of the Forest Ranger OPS budget line, to support not less than 20 AFRs.

“Ranger patrols on foot are the best way rangers can fulfill the educational and outreach aspects of their mission. A limited number of AFR.s mean fewer people see rangers, let alone gain an understanding of our wild lands and the proper use of our natural resources. Making time to be in the forest for education and outreach is a critical and unique part of our rangers' mission. Only with a permanent line item in the state budget can AFRs fulfill their unique mission without regularly impacting funding needed for Forest Ranger Emergency Response.

“Our Forest Rangers protect and promote our forests, and in turn our communities. Our forest preserves are an economic asset for surrounding localities. If rangers aren't able to meet their mission they cannot support our communities.

The letter to Martens concludes by saying, “Without this support our NYS Forest Rangers cannot adequately provide stewardship for the growing forest preserve, fulfill their unique strategic mission and support communities which rely on functioning forests as a tourism resource. We strongly urge the DEC to fulfill their mandate by fully supporting NYS Forest Rangers with a budget that includes $10 million in payroll (plus funding for new recruits), $2,164,100 (OPS), and $1,350,000 (NPS), and $3,479,000 in capital funds; by establishing a 2015 Academy with biennial Academies thereafter; and finally by assuring the hire of 20 AFRs supported by a specific budget line which is not part of Forest Ranger OPS funding.”

DiNapoli agrees and said in his Dec. 10 report, “DEC’s staff has declined while funding has barely kept pace with inflation and now is projected to decline. Our natural resources are major assets for the state’s economy and New Yorkers’ health and quality of life. We must continue to safeguard these assets.”

The DiNapoli report says that since 2003, several new programs have been added to the agency’s list of responsibilities. These include the Brownfield Cleanup Program; the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative; and the Waste Tire Recycling and Management Act.

DEC spending was $795.3 million in SFY 2003-04 and $1 billion in SFY 2013-14. After adjusting for inflation, DEC spending rose by a total of 1.7 percent over the period examined. Since 2008, funding from state sources is down 15.1 percent. While federal funding has helped fill the gap, those resources are now declining as well. The state Division of the Budget projects that total DEC spending will decline this year and in each of the next three years by a cumulative total of 25.9 percent from the SFY 2013-14 level.

The size of the DEC workforce declined 10.4 percent, from 3,256 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in SFY 2003-04 to 2,917 FTEs in SFY 2013-14. It reached a peak of 3,779 FTEs in SFY 2007-08. Staffing in programs such as enforcement, air and water quality management, and solid and hazardous waste management has experienced significant cuts.

DiNapoli’s report also notes that two of the state’s major funds dedicated to the environment –the Environmental Protection Fund and the Hazardous Waste Oversight and Assistance Account combined have been subject to sweeps in excess of half a billion dollars to provide general state budget relief in the past.

Local governments and environmentalists agree it is time for the governor and the legislators to act by adequately funding the DEC and the Rangers.

For a copy of the report visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/environmental/environmental_funding_nys_2014.pdf

 

December Book Singing

Posted by peteklein on December 3, 2014 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Klein at Oak Mountain

 

HIKING AND VAMPIRE BOOKS... OH MY!

SPECULATOR--The Friends of the Lake Pleasant Library is hosting a Meet-the-Author event at the Oak Mountain Holiday Fair on Friday, Dec. 12, starting at 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pete Klein from Indian Lake will be the special guest author. He has written four vampire novels set in the Adirondacks ("The Dancing Valkyrie", "The Vampire Valkyrie", "And God Created Vampires" and "Blood Red Pleasure") as well as the guide book “Adirondack Hikes in Hamilton County.”

At 6 p.m. he will be speaking on "How to Self-Publish" as well as discussing his books. The books will be on sale at a special price. Buy One, Get one Free! Just in time for Christmas!

Pete will be signing copies of his books and he has graciously offered to donate half the proceeds from all books sold to the Friends of the Lake Pleasant Library toward the library's children's programs and cultural and community events.

 

November 2014 Book Signings

Posted by peteklein on November 4, 2014 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Pete Klein was at the Chronical Book Fair on Sunday, Nov. 2.

If you missed him then, Pete Klein, author of 4 vampire novels and the guide book “Adirondack Hikes in Hamilton County,” will be on hand at the Indian Lake Public Library on Friday, Nov. 14, starting at 7 p.m. to sign copies of his books, discuss the books with readers and offer opinions on the ins and outs of self-publishing.

Half of the proceeds from all books sold will be donated to the library.

Below is photo of Pete at Chronical Book Fair in Glens Falls, NY


Hike to OK Slip Falls.

Posted by peteklein on September 25, 2014 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (4)

A hike to OK Slip Falls

PETE KLEIN

INDIAN LAKE–It’s official. The hiking trail to OK Slip Falls was officially opened when NY

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens led a group of hikers into

the falls on Sunday, July 20, as part of the second annual Adirondack Challenge.

A few days later on Thursday, July 24, I took the six mile round trip hike to see the falls.

The parking area for the trailhead is located on the south side of Route 28, approximately 7.5

miles east of downtown Indian Lake. The trailhead itself is on the north side of Route 28, 0.2

miles west of the parking area. The trail also provides access to Ross, Whortleberry and Big Bad

Luck Ponds, places I have been to and can highly recommend for another day after you have seen

the falls.

The start of the hike is a steep drop from the road. Next you will see the trailhead sign where you

should sign in.

From this point you will be following red trail markers along the well tread trail to the popular

fishing ponds.

Approximately a half mile up the trail, you will see a sign with a blue trail marker on it, pointing

to your right and informing you it is 2.4 miles to OK Slip Falls. Follow the trail with blue trail

markers to the overlook on the east side of the OK Slip Gorge.

OK Slip Falls is considered one of the highest falls in the Adirondacks and is commonly listed as

falling 250 feet to the boulders at its base. Its waters flow into the Hudson River near the center

of the Hudson Gorge. The falls are located on the 2,780-acre OK Slip Falls Tract which the state

purchased from The Nature Conservancy in 2013.

This is a hike with no big ups or down but with many ups and downs. Because of the distance

traveled and with all of the ups and downs, I would rate it as a moderate hike.

Don’t rush it. Enjoy the woods you are hiking through. The forest has about every tree you’ll ever

see in the Adirondacks with the exception of oak. Here you will see some very large spruce,

maple, beech and ash, some with trunks wider than a large refrigerator and tops rising higher than

your ability to see them from the ground.

Don’t get confused or disappointed when you stumble out onto a fairly wide and well groomed

gravel road. It is part of the in-holding owned by Northern Frontier Camp and leads to OK Slip

Pond, part of the camp and the source for OK Slip Falls.

Reaching the road, turn left and walk about 25 yards or so up the road and you will pick up the

trail to the falls. Trail distance from the road to the falls is less than a half a mile.

It won’t be long before you start hearing falling water. Every step brings you closer and before

you know it, you are there at the first of two very good outlooks.

It is gorgeous and awe inspiring.

If at all possible, try to plan you hike for a clear day when sunlight on the falls creates a beautiful

rainbow at about mid point on the falls.

It should be needless to say but don’t forget your camera. You will want to capture one of the

most beautiful and wild views you will ever see in the Adirondacks. Then just sit for awhile,

relax, impregnate the beauty in you mind and have the lunch or snacks I am sure you were smart

enough to bring with you.

On the day I went, I was soon enjoying my lunch with an extended family of 17 and two dogs.

They weren’t the only ones hiking that day. When I signed out, I counted 49 who had signed in

between the time I signed in and out.

So how long should you plan for the in and out hike? It depends on how good a shape you are in

and whether or not you are trying to make time. Considering taking the time to relax and enjoy

the view, figure on a minimum three and a half hours to a maximum of five hours. This includes

the almost half mile hike to and from the parking area.

A note on the parking area. This is a very good parking area but as one man said to me, “It’s too

bad it is so far away from the trailhead. With traffic on the road moving at 60 and above, it might

be dangerous for people to hike along and cross the road.”

Until and if such a move of the parking area happens, be careful walking along and crossing the

road.


 

Long Lake needs new fire house.

Posted by peteklein on April 23, 2014 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

LONG LAKE–Things are becoming crowded at the Long Lake Volunteer Firehouse and in response the Long Lake Fire Commissioners have decided it is time to build a new firehouse that will provide more room for the fire trucks and equipment.

To let the public know what they are planning, the commissioners have decided to hold an open house and public hearing on their plans, and have scheduled it to take place on Wednesday, April 23, at 7 p.m. at the Long Lake Town Hall.

Details will be provided at the meeting and all residents in the Long Lake Fire District are invited to attend.

Fire Commissioner Harry Buxton has provided some early information on what is planned and why.

Buxton says, “One reason for our moving is it’s to tight for safe storage and response of fire apparatus. Also, with any future replacement of existing trucks, they would have to be specially designed for them to fit in the existing building adding to their cost.

“The old location will be turned over to the town. It will be good for small vehicle storage and equipment. But larger vehicle storage would be difficult.

“The proposed new firehouse will be located at South Hill and Newcomb Rd. The site is in rear of existing Rescue Squad building.”

Currently the fire district owns all its equipment, ambulances and fire apparatus along with the land for new firehouse. All past purchases have been made with monies put in reserve to pay for replacement as needed.

The fire district has a new $175.000 ambulance on order and will pay for it with reserve funds upon delivery. All engineering and architectural fees for design of building have been paid. The only thing being bonded is construction of the new firehouse and legal fees.

COSTS

The commissioners have released the following estimates on what the new firehouse will cost and how they plan to pay for it.

The total Bond cost is estimated at $800,000

The taxpayer is currently paying $63.80 per $100.000 of assessed valuation in fire taxes.

With the bond, it is estimated they would pay $73.28 per $100,000 of assessed valuation in fire taxes, which would translate into a rise of about $9.50 per year for 20 years in fire taxes.

An example, a house currently assessed at $123,000 would see about $12 added to the tax bill each year a new fire station for 20 years.

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