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Trail running guide highlights Adirondack routes

June 8, 2012
By MIKE LYNCH - Outdoors Writer ( , Lake Placid News

A pair of local authors have penned a trail running guidebook for the Adirondacks.

"Adirondack Trail Runner" was released in May. It was written by Spencer Morrissey and Corenne Black, who live in Saranac Lake.

The book contains 100 trail runs throughout the Adirondack Park. It contains directions, small topographical maps, elevations charts, photos and the basics you would expect when looking up information about the trails.

Article Photos

The book should be accompanied by full-sized maps and does provide information on what USGS topographical maps to use for specific routes.

Of course, these trails aren't specifically for trail running. All of the routes can be done as hikes, but they also lend themselves to those who want to move a little faster though the woods.

One of the local routes is the Fish Pond Truck Trail, which is located in Lake Clear and open to hiking, mountain biking, skiing and trail running. The trail is located off Fish Hatchery Road and is 5.45 miles from the trailhead to Fish Pond. Runners can do the more than 10-mile round trip jaunt or try to tackle a shortened version of it by turning around before the final destination.

"As you pass by this carry trail you will start to descend and come to yet another inlet crossing, this one for the Saint Regis River," the book states. "From this point, the terrain mellows out and you have a nice run for the remaining distance to Fish Pond.

"Fish Pond is an amazing backcountry pond nestled in the center of several small hidden gems, with a backdrop of small, rugged trailless peaks. Take time to soak it in - take off your socks and soak your feet - then just relax on the shores of the crisp waters of the Adirondacks - just watch out for leeches."

While the Fish Pond Truck Trail is a relatively flat, straight forward route, the book does tackle more complex and difficult runs.

One of those is the Upper Works Loop in the southern High Peaks, a 15.7-mile loop that likely won't be attempted by most people. The book breaks down this route into 11 segments.

"This trail has a mixture of the good, the bad, and the ugly," the book states. "Not only do you gain and lose over 2,000 feet in this loop, you also have to compete with serious mud and some slippery water crossings. But it's not all that bad; the scenery is spectacular and there are some nice dry sections of trail where you can move along very well."

In general, the book has a very colloquial feel - one that lacks pretension and invites people to get out in the woods.

In this way, it is similar to Morrissey's first guidebook. Morrissey is also the author of "The Other 54," a hiking guidebook focused on the 54 tallest mountains that fall after the traditional 46 highest peaks. The book was published in 2007 and then updated in 2011.

Morrissey grew up in Long Lake and later graduated from the ranger school in Wanakena with a degree in forest technology. He is a member of the Champlain Valley Search and Rescue K9 unit and the New York State Guides Association.

Black grew up in Cherry Valley and grew fond of the Adirondacks while volunteering with the Student Conservation Corps. She also attended the ranger school and is a member of the search and rescue unit.

Both work at EMS in Lake Placid.

Adirondack Trail Runner is $14.95 and can be found in area outfitters, including EMS in Lake Placid.



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