Tag Archives: hiking

History Hike: Hudson River’s Iona Island


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iona island courtesy DEC/Hudson river national estuarine research reserveDoc Bayne is set to lead a ‘History Hike’ at Iona Island, in the Hudson River below Bear Mountain, on Saturday May 12th from 10 am to 2 pm.

A major US Navy arsenal from 1900 to 1946, complete with explosions and the famous “Mothball Fleet” following World War II, Iona Island has a story that goes back to prehistory.

Bayne will cover evidence of Native American use of the island; the colonial farms and settlements when Iona was known as Salisbury Island and, later, Weygant’s Island; and the 1800s, when it attracted tourists with an amusement park, hotel and picnic grounds. Continue reading

Saratoga Battlefield 100 Mile Challenge


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saratoga battlefield snowshoeingSaratoga National Historical Park has announced their Winter 100 Mile Challenge, the public is invited to snowshoe, ski, or hike the parks trails and try to accumulate 100 miles at the battlefield between now and April 30, 2018.

Through this challenge people can enjoy the rich natural and cultural heritage of this local site as they explore their national park.

Anyone can take part in this challenge, human and canine. To complete this challenge, each participating pet must hike 100 miles in the park with their human companion, following park pet policies. Continue reading

Fire Tower Guide New Edition Reflects Big Changes


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views on high bookADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) has released the second edition of its hiking guide, Views from on High: Fire Tower Trails in the Adirondacks and Catskills. Revised and redesigned, it includes a new chapter describing fire towers outside of both parks. The intervening years have seen what coauthor Jim Schneider refers to as “fire tower fever,” a sweeping enthusiasm that has helped prompt restoration of numerous towers and their trails.

Written by John P. (Jack) Freeman and Jim Schneider, Views from on High enables hikers, history buffs, and others fond of Adirondack and Catskill trails to visit and learn about 30 historic fire towers. Detailed trail descriptions are accompanied by numerous photographs and maps as well as an essay about these structures written by historic preservationist Wesley H. Haynes. The new chapter, Beyond the Blue Line, by tower aficionado Jacob C. (Jake) Wilde, describes 13 additional fire towers, three of them demonstration towers. Continue reading

William Henry Jackson’s Early Adirondack Color Postcards


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1902 Jackson ADK carryOne of the greatest landscape photographers during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century was William Henry Jackson (April 4, 1843 – June 30, 1942). A native son of the Adirondacks Jackson was born in Keeseville, New York to George Jackson and Harriet Allen. Harriet was a talented water-colorist and William inherited her artistic flair. His first job as an artist in 1858 was a re-toucher for a photography studio in Troy New York.

In 1866 after serving in the Civil War, Jackson boarded a Union Pacific train to the end of the line in Omaha, Nebraska. There he entered the photography business. The Union Pacific gave him a commission in 1869 to document the scenery along their routes for promotional purposes. It was this work that was discovered by Ferdinand Hayden who invited Jackson on the 1870 U.S. government survey (predecessor of the U.S. Geologic Survey) of the Yellowstone River and Rocky Mountains. He was also on the 1871 Hayden Geologic Survey which led to the creation of Yellowstone as America’s first National Park. It was Jackson’s images that played an important role in convincing Congress to establish the Park in 1872. Continue reading