Winter Hiking

Living in New York State we get winter, or something that resembles it depending on the year. I’ve learned to embrace it because it can be long and cold. Over the past few years I’ve been out and about our local parks and trails hiking with my snowshoes. I find winter hiking to be some of the most beautiful and peaceful time to be outdoors. Recently I had the opportunity to change things up a little. So I hopped in my car and headed for the Adirondacks.

A few hours later I arrived at the trailhead of the 3759 foot summit of Blue Mountain. This 2 mile trail (One Way) climbs 1670 feet in elevation with moderate to steep grades, ending at the fire tower. At the trailhead I met my friend Nancy an experienced hiker who would go with me since this would be my first winter hike with considerable elevation.

We decided that we didn’t need snowshoes and that micro spikes would be sufficient since the trail was very well packed. This is a very popular hike in any season. It was sunny and in the low 30’s when we began and quickly I had to stop to remove my jacket putting in my backpack. The trail climbed steeply as we bumped into our first hikers coming down from the summit around the one mile mark. We stopped and chatted for a little before continuing. We would see three more before reaching the summit.

The closer we got to the summit the snow got deeper, the temperatures colder and you could feel the wind picking up through the trees. Just before coming out of the tree line I stopped and layered back up before exposing myself to the open summit. Stepping out into the open the Blue Mountain fire tower stood proudly at an additional 35 feet encrusted in snow and ice.

Climbing the tower to the observers tower the wind was whipping pretty good and my fingers were so cold even through my gloves while trying to take some photos. The stairs were covered in at least 6 inches of snow and ice and the cabin had at least a foot of snow inside. The handrails were also encased in ice.

Even though there was a vast temperature difference between the base and summit the warm sun was doing its best to remove Mother Nature’s grasp. Chunks of ice had begun to fall off the tower like crystals falling from a chandelier crashing to the ground into pieces. The trees at the summit were encrusted in snow and ice giving them a powdered sugar look, it was breathtaking.

We spent about an hour at the summit taking in the sheer beauty, chatting with a few hikers who had come up the trail shortly behind us. I was completely hooked on winter hiking.

Once down and back to my car, putting my gear away it was time to head south to Old Forge where I would spend the night. But not before a stop at Fulton Chain Craft Brewing for a couple of well earned beverages.

I absolutely loved this experience and I hope to do some more winter hiking in the Adirondacks  in the future.

Nancy signing us into the trail register Blue Mountain Lake, NY © Joe Geronimo
Paused to take in the view as I make my way towards the summit of Blue Mountain. Photo by Nancy Lyons.
Nancy snaps a few photos as well. © Joe Geronimo
Arrived the summit of Blue Mountain. © Joe Geronimo
The 35 foot Blue Mountain fire tower stands encrusted in Mother Nature’s fury. © Joe Geronimo
The view of Blue Mountain Lake and others from the fire tower’s cabin. © Joe Geronimo
The summit of Blue Mountain provides a window into the eastern Adirondack high peaks. © Joe Geronimo
Making my way back down the trail from the summit of Blue Mountain. © Joe Geronimo

 

Snowshoeing Nick’s Lake Loop

Back in the fall the Northern Forest Canoe Trail reached out to me asking if I would be willing to do a presentation to a local outdoor club on their behalf. I’m not your typical motivational speaker but I jumped at the chance to talk about something I feel passionate about. This past week I traveled to Utica, NY to give my presentation. I’m truly grateful that the NFCT felt confident enough in me to even ask.

As winter pressed on I had been keeping an watchful eye on the volume of snow in the north country “Adirondacks”. As my presentation date grew closer I decided I would spend the night in Utica with my sights set on some snowshoeing. The next morning I would do my 4 mile run before checking out of the hotel and continue my trek northward.

I arrived in Old Forge at the Bisby Road trailhead under cover of overcast skies with temperatures around 28 degrees. In my opinion this was almost near perfect. Strapping on my snowshoes, throwing a few last minute items in my backpack I was soon off on my adventure.

The first mile of trail had been broken by XC skiers but that soon would change. The next 4 miles I would have to break trail myself and around the half way point my legs were beginning to feel it. I took a few rest breaks standing in awe of the beauty and the silence. I was the only one out here on these particular trails, I saw not one other human being until I returned to my car.

Once back to the trail junction and my final mile before returning to civilization I stopped for a bit to strip down some of my clothing. I worked up a pretty good sweat over those 4 miles, it was time for a snack and some water.

This 6 mile journey took me 4 hours in which I took a few breaks, some photos and a few video clips. The day could not have been more perfect as the clouds gave way to a blueberry Adirondack sky.

Cheers!

Bisby Road trailhead “Black River Wild Forest” Old Forge, NY. © Joe Geronimo
Bisby Road trailhead “Black River Wild Forest” trail register Old Forge, NY. © Joe Geronimo
Along the Nick’s Lake Loop Trail. © Joe Geronimo
Frozen silence at the Nick’s Lake canoe launch Old Forge, NY. © Joe Geronimo
Along the Nick’s Lake Loop Trail Old Forge, NY. © Joe Geronimo
I love how the snow clings to life on the Tamaracks along Nick’s Creek. © Joe Geronimo
Here I’m crossing a portion of Nick’s Lake Old forge, NY. © Joe Geronimo
Undisturbed beauty along the Nick’s Lake Loop Trail Old forge, NY. © Joe Geronimo
6 miles along the Bisby Road and Nick’s Lake Loop Trail Old Forge, NY.
I closed out my day at one of my favorite places, Fulton Chain Craft Brewing http://www.fccbrewery.com in Old Forge, NY. This is the Vanilla Caramel Cream Ale, that is so damn delicious I brought a crowler home with me. © Joe Geronimo

Winter Wonderland

It has been over a year now since I’ve put my snowshoes on but this past weekend I cinched them up and headed out to play.

First I hiked with my son Michael out to Nanticoke Lake in the Lisle, NY. Michael had to take some photographs for his college photography course and we thought this would be a great little adventure. Spending time with my son was the highlight of my day.  We had the entire place to ourselves! While we were out there taking in the beauty of our surroundings Micheal remarked to me “Dad it is so quiet out here, there is literally no sound what so ever”.  I simply responded “Exactly”!

I loved watching him dash and bound through the snow exploring things to photograph. It was even more entertaining since he doesn’t have snowshoes.

My next adventure for the day would be a 3 mile solo hike of the IBM Glen. The snow had clung to the trees like powdered sugar on a tasty dessert, truly a winter wonderland. I did see one couple hiking the trails and one person cross country skiing but that was it.

It had been so long since I was out winter hiking I forgot how much I enjoy it and cannot wait until I can get out again.

Cheers!

Starting our way into Nanticoke Lake. © Joe Geronimo
Michael behind the camera. He’s my Winter Cardinal. © Joe Geronimo
Mike working his shot. © Joe Geronimo
Enjoying the solitude at Nanticoke Lake. © Michael Geronimo
Nanticoke Creek flows under soft pines Lisle, NY. © Joe Geronimo
Nanticoke Creek Lisle, NY. © Joe Geronimo
Making my way through the IBM Glen. © Joe Geronimo
The serenity of the IBM Glen. © Joe Geronimo
The sound of water soothes the soul at the IBM Glen. © Joe Geronimo
Nothing better than a trail beer to finish a great day outdoors! © Joe Geronimo

Lake Colby

Part 3, Lake Colby a 272 acre lake located in the village of Saranac Lake, NY is a beautiful place to paddle, camp and swim. There are three primitive campsites along the shores of Lake Colby as well the village beach. New York State operates a boat launch and fishing access; there is a ten horsepower limit for motorboats.

Hope you enjoyed this short film series!

The canoe in this series is a 14′ Adirondack Canoe Company “Boreas” pack canoe that weighs in at 24#’s. She’s light, comfortable and paddles exceptionally well.

Visit http://adirondackcanoecompany.com

 

Map courtesy of https://andyarthur.org

 

Little Colby Pond to Lake Colby

Part 2 in a 3 part series, I call this the limbo! Paddling under the former New York Central “Adirondack Division” that splits Little Colby Pond And Lake Colby in Saranac Lake, NY.

This was really fun and I had to get pretty low in my canoe in order to get underneath the railroad tracks.

Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow fr part 3, enjoy the short film!

Delish in a Dish

Grilled veggies over rice, delish in a dish. ©Joe Geronimo

I’ve been having fun plotting and planning healthy dishes over the past several weeks. Last nights dinner was really yummy so I thought I would share.

However there are just a few minor changes that I would make. First off I would omit the eggplant. Not that I don’t like it I thought it threw the texture of the dish off a little. And the other change I would make is go easier on the amount of rice I cooked.

With that said I will post the recipe exactly how I made it.

1 green bell pepper (chopped or sliced)

1 red sweet bell pepper (chopped or sliced)

1 sweet Italian pepper (chopped or sliced)

Half of a medium vanilla onion sliced

3 cloves garlic

1 small package Bella button mushrooms

1 small package Bella sliced mushrooms

Half of a medium eggplant (Cubed)

2 TBSP olive oil

Salt & Pepper

1.5 cups rice

I prepped my vegetables and put them in a ziplock bag with the 2 TBSP of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Made sure everything was coated and put in the fridge for a few hours.

This evening I decided to grill the veggies but you can do them either on the stove or in the oven, the choice is yours.

While the veggies were cooking I cooked my rice. Now I used just water but you can use any stock you like for added flavor. Once everything was done I plated the dish.

I really enjoyed this and definitely would make it again. This made two large servings but hey I was hungry anyway.

Cheers!

Running Re-Boot

A lot has changed since the last time I wrote about running. For starters what I was doing just wasn’t working, I mean part of my personality is to over do pretty much everything.

I decided I needed a total running re-boot so I’m starting from scratch. So far all my runs have been short distance 2-3 miles and at a conversation pace. I have to say this has been wonderful! I’m after consistency and fitness above all but longevity is the ultimate goal.

I was also refitted for new running shoes which have made a huge difference in comfort. I’m currently in the Brooks GTS Adrenaline 2020’s. Wow what a difference in the weight compared to their older model shoes.

I’m excited and I feel energized and look forward to just taking my time and rebuilding.

Cheers!

Nelson Lake: September 25th 2019

Nelson Lake which is tucked away south of Minnehaha, NY or just outside of Old Forge in the Black River Wild Forest has been on my radar for close to a year now. The week of September 23rd I found myself working very close to the Adirondack Park, combine that with beautiful weather and you have a recipe for adventure.

The Nelson Lake trailhead sits along route 28 several miles south of Thendera, NY. There is a .35 mile carry along a wide dirt road to the put-in. After you cross the railroad tracks the path narrows and drops for the remaining several hundred feet to the Middle Branch of the Moose River. Once on the river it was about .06 mile paddle to the Nelson Lake outlet according to my GPS. The outlet was shallow and loaded with Pickerel weed. I zigged and I zagged through the outlet and easily crossed a small beaver dam before entering the 84 acre lake.

A palette of red, orange and yellow was evidence that Autumn was here while the sun at my back gave me some warmth from a cool breeze. Slowly paddling the shoreline I realized I was alone, I had the entire lake to myself. As I made my way around the lake I was looking for campsites. I did see what I thought was one however it wasn’t marked. I’ll have to look into it for the future.

I would paddle 3.6 miles, hike just over a half mile but more importantly spend time in a beautiful landscape.

Cheers!

Carrying my canoe along the Nelson Lake trail to the put-in on the Middle Branch of the Moose River September 25th 2019. © Joe Geronimo
Paddling along the Moose River towards the Nelson Lake outlet September 25th 2019. © Joe Geronimo
Navigating through the Pickerel weed on Nelson Lake outlet September 25th 2019. © Joe Geronimo
Entering Nelson Lake from the outlet September 25th 2019. © Joe Geronimo
Peace and solitude on Nelson Lake September 25th 2019. © Joe Geronimo

 

Going to Hell

Last week the weather was spectacular and I would find myself in the Adirondack Park for a few days. I’ve been wanting to visit Helldiver Pond in the Moose River Plains area for quite some time. Mostly because “Harold” the resident bull moose makes his daily morning appearance, sadly Harold is rumored to have passed.

Moose or not I would make the trip to Helldiver Pond. Helldiver is nestled 10 miles in on a dirt road from the DEC sign in off of Limekiln Lake Road in Inlet, NY. Once at the parking area it is a short 1/4 mile carry to the 15 acre pond. I had the place to myself until I noticed a mountain biker show up with a pair of binoculars and scope the place out. I paddled over for a few minutes to chat.

As I have mentioned this pond had been on my to do list for a while. Although I went mooseless I was not disappointed. Autumn had begun to show its true colors.

Cheers!

Helldiver Pond Moose River Plains Inlet, NY September 19th 2019. © Joe Geronimo
Helldiver Pond Moose River Plains Inlet, NY September 19th 2019. © Joe Geronimo
I just finished paddling Helldiver Pond Moose River Plains Inlet, NY September 19th 2019. © Joe Geronimo