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ADK updates Eastern Trails guide

August 24, 2018
By JUSTIN A. LEVINE - Outdoors Writer (jlevine@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Lake Placid News

The Adirondack Mountain Club does a lot of things inside the Blue Line, from trail work and lobbying the state to running a lodge in the heart of the High Peaks. But one of their most recognizable, and often indispensable, efforts is the club's guidebooks.

The ADK has published six books that cover the Adirondacks, the Catskills and the Northville-Placid Trail, and it's most recent release is the fifth edition of the Eastern Trails, which covers the southeast part of the park. Eastern Trails provides guidance on hiking in the Lake George and southern Lake Champlain areas, west to the Great Sacandaga Reservoir and Schroon Lake.

With 140 different hiking trails (some of which can be skied or snowshoed), Eastern Trails covers numerous state-managed areas, such as the Pharaoh Lake and Siamese Ponds wilderness areas, and much of the Lake George, Wilcox Lake and Vanderwhacker wild forests.

Article Photos


David Thomas-Train, editor of the ADK’s Eastern Trails guidebook, stands at the top of Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain in July 2017 during the centennial celebration of the mountain’s fire tower.
News file photo — Justin A. Levine

"The region is characterized by rolling hills, scenic vistas and isolated locations with hidden ponds and rugged terrain," ADK said in a press release. "The guide serves as a means to access some of the lesser known and less frequently traversed trails, offering the twofold benefit of guiding hikers away from overused trails and affording them the opportunity to experience some of the most isolated, wild and beautiful terrain as any found in the Adirondacks."

Eastern Trails was edited by David Thomas-Train, who lives in the area and was key in restoring the Poke-O-Moonshine fire tower, which celebrated its centennial last summer. Thomas-Train writes in the introduction that while hiking is the main focus of the book, there are other options as well.

"Many of the trails in the region lead to or connect bodies of water," he writes. "Thus while walking the trails is enjoyable in itself, hiking the trails with a small ultralight canoe adds a whole new dimension to exploring the eastern Adirondacks."

Thomas-Train also edited the previous edition [which came out in 2012], and notes that the fifth Eastern Trails represents a significant update to the fourth.

"Not only are there a number of changes to the trails themselves," he writes, "but there are also many entirely new trails, particularly on new Lake George Land Conservancy preserves."

Thomas-Train also notes that although there are 140 trails in the book, he has not included many popular bushwhacks.

"There are many fine lookouts and open rock knobs with spectacular views of the High Peaks, Lake Champlain and Vermont, and the rolling hills of the eastern Adirondacks," he writes. "One of the appeals of these isolated unmarked lookouts is the challenge of exploring the region and finding them on your own.

"The purpose of this guidebook is to help recreationists safely traverse the marked and maintained trails throughout the region and to introduce hikers to its beauty, not to stake out every unknown lookout and untracked pond. As pressures continue to mount on the wild regions of the Earth, my hope is that there will always be some uncharted wilderness for the backcountry adventurer."

Despite the lack of bushwhacks, Eastern Trails offers something for everyone. From short and flat hikes like the 0.5-mile walk to Gull Pond in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness to the popular 2.6-mile hike up Crane Mountain, the southeastern part of the Adirondacks is both accessible and varied.

Each trail description offers directions to the trailhead, how to follow the trail, and where views and landmarks are located. There is also information on parking areas and Leave No Trace principles as well.

The ADK guidebook series has been required reading for a couple of decades, and the associated National Geographic maps - developed in conjunction with the ADK - serve to offer the best recreational view of the Adirondacks one can get.

Eastern Trails, Fifth Edition, can be found at gear shops around the Adirondacks, and can also be purchased directly from the Adirondack Mountain Club on the group's website at www.adk.org.

 
 
 

 

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