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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Adirondack Hiking Post-Irene/Lee

I've only been a "hiker" for a few years but, in my opinion, fall is the best time to hike and be outside in New York - it's not too hot, not too cold, no snow, no after-thaw mud. It is crisp, blue-skied, foliaged, and perfect. Usually.

It's a tad different this year, what with the hurricanes/tropical storms coming through the region and all. Along with the flooding in the Albany area and major affects in places like Binghamton and Vermont, I heard the Adirondacks' Keene Valley along Route 73 was hit pretty hard with mountain streams overflowing and mudslides down the nearby 4,000-foot High Peaks.

Route 73 was closed for a bit and basic community resources like libraries were destroyed and are being rebuilt.

I couldn't help but wonder where this left the trails, swimming holes, and campgrounds. The DEC has kept people pretty up to date on the status of these and other sorts of locations in the state that might have been affected. But, it's one thing to read about a trail's condition and another to experience it first hand.

A friend invited me to go hiking for their father-in-law's birthday at Cascade and Porter, the easier hikes of the 46. I was nervous about the flooding's affects but read that that the trails were at least open.

We went last weekend, a few weeks after the tropical storms, and it was still pretty wet on the trails. If you've ever hiked in the Adirondacks in the spring, that's basically what it was like - very wet and very muddy - but still do-able. Actually, my feet didn't get nearly as wet and dirty as I expected, which was good considering I was doing exactly what I told my friend not to do....I wore shoes that were not waterproof. It was fun jumping around the mud, testing my agility (and I'm not very agile).

It was like ninja hiking. And it was fun.

I'm not sure how the other peaks are right now but you should be good on similar mountains for hike leaf-peeping in the next couple of weeks.


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