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Saratoga Automobile Museum – Saratoga Springs, NY

Posted on: September 20th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

The Saratoga Automobile Museum is a must see for any automobile enthusiast.  Located in the Saratoga Spa State Park, it is housed in the 1935 bottling plant.  The museum focuses on the impact of the automobile, for the past, present, and future.

The museum can display approximately 30 cars between its three galleries.  The ground floor features a rotating exhibit and contains a childrens area which provides plenty of fun, hands on activities.  The second museum houses the New York State Stock Car Association Hall of Fame, and the permanent exhibit space, which over looks the ground floor.

This museum is the perfect size if you want something that holds your interest, but doesn’t take up your entire day.  The rotating exhibit currently features the Ford Mustang in its many incarnations.  Docents are happy to tell you about each car as you wonder through the exhibit.

The museum’s ongoing exhibitions include one called “East of Detroit,” which highlights the automobile industry in New York state. It provides an in depth look into the  state’s past and success stories like those of Pierce Arrow and the Franklin, as well as innovations that took place in New York.

Another exhibit explores automobile racing in New York State, and New York born cars that won famous races.  The New York Stock Car Association Hall of Fame also has a permanent exhibit, which features racing memorabilia, photographs and information about stock car racing, and the racers which made it possible, in New York.

There is a small exhibit about the spring bottling plant in which the museum is housed.  Learn about why Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed for the state operated spay to being its own bottling operation, and other history about the area.

While this museum is not large, it is full of all kinds of interesting information about the auto industry in New York, and the world a large.  It is a fun way to spend a few hours, especially for any car enthusiast.

National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame – Saratoga Springs, NY

Posted on: September 20th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

Located in Saratoga Spa State Park, the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame is the only museum in the country dedicated entirely to the art of dance.  Housed in the former Washington Bath House, the museum contains videos, artifacts, costumes, photographs and biographies about dance, dancers, and choreographers.  It also provides dance classes through the Lewis A. Sawyer School for the Arts.   The museum also houses the Dance Hall of Fame, which includes inductees like Fred Astaire, Michael Jackson, Tommy Tunes, and many others.

The museum is dedicated to the history and continuing education of American dance.  There are lots of fun artifacts to see, like Tommy Tunes’ shoes, and interesting topics to discover.  Learn about the history of tutus in ballet, ancient Mayan dances, and dance traditions in Harlem in exhibits that explode in visual fantasy, with costumes, artwork, and film to bring everything to life.  Even those who are not passionate about dance will find this museum exciting in its presentation of this aspect of history in the U.S.

Even for those who have are not interested in dance, this museum is a must see, if only for its stunning architecture and atmosphere.  The domed entrance is adorned with massive photographs and dancers on each wall, giving the appearance that the dancers in the photos really are flying and floating through the air.   The elegance and beauty of the building is juxtaposed with a casual, quite atmosphere.

The Hall of Fame features exhibits on its inductees, and other well known dancers and choreographers.   The Judith Jamison exhibit, for example, brings the details of her life to the forefront through beautiful photos, framed letters, and costumes that she wore.   The children’s section of the museum will entice and enthrall any aspiring ballerina.

This museum is surrounded by the beautiful grounds of Saratoga Spa State Park and housed in one of its famous hot spring bath houses.  There is plenty to see and lots of learn about, even for non-dancers or dance enthusiasts.  Kids and adults alike can enjoy this fun museum!

Saratoga Spa State Park – Saratoga Springs, NY

Posted on: September 12th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

1024px-Saratoga_State_Park_Perimeter_01Aug2008Saratoga Spa State Park is the cultural hub of Saratoga Springs.  A National Historic Landmark, the park is home to several mineral baths, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the Naional Museum of Dance, the Gideon Putnam Resort, Spa Little Theater, the Saratoga Automobile Museum, and Roosevelt Baths and Spa.  It is also home to two golf courses, which can be used for cross country skiing, ice skating, and ice hockey in the winter!  This park offers endless distractions to fill your day.  It is also just a great place to head for a picnic or a casual walk to enjoy the scenery!

Saratoga Springs is home to many natural mineral springs which are purported to heal all manner of ailments.  This belief has been held since the French and Indian War when Sir William Johnson was brought to Saratoga to recover from his injuries.   The city is home to the only active geysers east of the Mississippi.  It was during the 19th century that the area become visited by people traveling far and wide to experience its healing waters for themselves.  Its popularity continued and in WWII, veterans flooded the city to use the natural baths to aid their healing.  These spas became a state park in 1962, and a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

Operating springs are Hathorne, Hayes, Orenda, Charlie, Geyser, State Seal and Polaris.  The Lincoln baths are also in operation!Admission to the baths requires a $20 fee.

Aside from its famous mineral springs, Spa Park’s recreational opportunities are vast and varied.  The Performing Arts Center is the summer home of the New York City Ballet and the Philedelphia Orchestra.  The amphitheater hosts many different events, particularly jazz and dance.  The Little Theater also hosts numerous summer events.  The National Museum of Dance, and the Saratoga Automobile Museum are also worth a visit!

The park is well landscaped, and maintained well without compromising its natural beauty.  There are plenty of picnic tables mixed in along its tree lined lanes.  Hiking, cycling, tennis, golf, fishing, and in winter cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and hockey are all enjoyed by visitors to the park.  Peerless Pool offers lots of different pools to enjoy, including an Olympic sized pool, and pools with water slides.

Saratoga Spa State Park is a fabulous place to visit.  With tons of museums, its historic mineral springs, and countless other activities, you can easily spend several days here before exhausting all it has to offer.  Stroll through its wooded hiking trails, go for a swim, or enrich your mind by visiting one of its many museums, or just relax and enjoy the scenery! It’s impossible to run out of things to do at this great park!

Saratoga Spa State Park – Saratoga Springs, NY

Posted on: September 12th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

Saratoga Spa State Park is the cultural hub of Saratoga Springs.  A National Historic Landmark, the park is home to several mineral baths, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the Naional Museum of Dance, the Gideon Putnam Resort, Spa Little Theater, the Saratoga Automobile Museum, and Roosevelt Baths and Spa.  It is also home to two golf courses, which can be used for cross country skiing, ice skating, and ice hockey in the winter!  This park offers endless distractions to fill your day.  It is also just a great place to head for a picnic or a casual walk to enjoy the scenery!

Saratoga Springs is home to many natural mineral springs which are purported to heal all manner of ailments.  This belief has been held since the French and Indian War when Sir William Johnson was brought to Saratoga to recover from his injuries.   The city is home to the only active geysers east of the Mississippi.  It was during the 19th century that the area become visited by people traveling far and wide to experience its healing waters for themselves.  Its popularity continued and in WWII, veterans flooded the city to use the natural baths to aid their healing.  These spas became a state park in 1962, and a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

Operating springs are Hathorne, Hayes, Orenda, Charlie, Geyser, State Seal and Polaris.  The Lincoln baths are also in operation!Admission to the baths requires a $20 fee.

Aside from its famous mineral springs, Spa Park’s recreational opportunities are vast and varied.  The Performing Arts Center is the summer home of the New York City Ballet and the Philedelphia Orchestra.  The amphitheater hosts many different events, particularly jazz and dance.  The Little Theater also hosts numerous summer events.  The National Museum of Dance, and the Saratoga Automobile Museum are also worth a visit!

The park is well landscaped, and maintained well without compromising its natural beauty.  There are plenty of picnic tables mixed in along its tree lined lanes.  Hiking, cycling, tennis, golf, fishing, and in winter cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and hockey are all enjoyed by visitors to the park.  Peerless Pool offers lots of different pools to enjoy, including an Olympic sized pool, and pools with water slides.

Saratoga Spa State Park is a fabulous place to visit.  With tons of museums, its historic mineral springs, and countless other activities, you can easily spend several days here before exhausting all it has to offer.  Stroll through its wooded hiking trails, go for a swim, or enrich your mind by visiting one of its many museums, or just relax and enjoy the scenery! It’s impossible to run out of things to do at this great park!

Algonquin Mountain – Keene Valley, NY

Posted on: September 7th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

The second highest peak in New York State and the tallest of the McIntyre Range, Algonquin Mountain is number 2 on the list of high peaks. AlgonquinmtnAdkLojThe climb to the summit is quite short at just four miles, but it becomes quite steep as you get closer to the summit.  However the spectacular views from its bald summit make the steep climb more than worth it.  There is a steward at the summit who is happy to educate hikers about the rare and endangered vegetation found on the mountain, and to point out the gorgeous views.

The trailhead begins at the popular Adirondack Loj trail. Follow Rte 73 out of Lake Placid toward Keene.  Take a right onto Adirondack Loj Rd. and follow it until you reach the trailhead.  There is a $10 parking fee.   Hikers must fill out a trip ticket at the trail register or risk a fine.

The hike from here is 4.3 miles to the summit and has mixed terrain.  Follow the trail leading to Marcy Dam, and after about 1 mile you will come to an intersection.  Continue straight here and head up Algonquin.  The terrain becomes increasingly steeper and comes to a waterfall at 2.6 miles.   At 3.4 miles you will reach the intersection for Wright Peak.  As you reach the final ascent to the summit, the trail becomes very steep as you reach the tree line. Once you are above the tree line you will be exposed to the elements and the temperature may drop considerably.   Cairns and paint marks mark the trail when conditions limit visibility.    The view from the summit is 360 degrees, which especially gorgeous views of Mount Colden.

The hike up to the summit of Algonquin is challenging.  However, the hike is not especially long and the views from the top are very rewarding.

 

 

 

Mount Colden – Lake Placid, NY

Posted on: September 6th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

Number 11 on the list of 46 High Peaks, Mount Colden is among the most popular peaks in the High Peaks Region.  It is known for its very distinctive Trap Dike, which runs up the center of the mountain. The dike, which drops off into Avalanche Lake, is considered one of the best slide climbs in the area.

This peak is less crowded than Marcy and Algonquin but you can expect to see a few dozen people if you visit on a weekend.  The summit provides beautiful views of Algonquin and Marcy as well as amazing views down to Avalanche Lake.  The trail to Avalanche Lake also boasts its own impressive views.

There are two maintained trails up to Mount Colden.  Both can be reached from the Adirondack Loj trailhead.  The first makes its approach from the northeast, passing by Lake Arnold and crossing over the false summit before reaching the true summit.  The second approach comes from the southwest, beginning at Lake Colden.   The trails can be combined to make a loop.

You can reach the Adirondack Loj trailhead by following Rte 73 out of Lake Placid toward Keene.  Take a right (just after the ski jumps) on Adirondack Loj Rd.  This road ends at the car park and hiker trailhead.  There is a $10/day parking fee.  Be sure to fill out a trip ticket at the trailhead.  Without one you may be fined.

The primary route is 12 miles round trip.  The hike begins on the trail leading to Marcy Dam.  From Marcy Dam, take the well used trail toward Avalanche Camps.  Take a left and begin your climb toward Lake Arnold.  From here you will turn right and hike past the bond, and continue to climb, which will give you some breathtaking views.  The terrain will become much steeper in sections, and views become considerably less grand as you reach the false summit.  There is a slight descent followed by a very steep climb up to the true summit, which has some very rewarding views.

The secondary trail is nearly 15 miles round trip.  From Marcy Dam again take the trail toward Avalanche Camps.  Head toward Avalanche Pass instead of Lake Arnold.  The following mile is called the “Misery Mile,” but don’t be discouraged by the name! It’s steep, but manageable.  Pass through Avalanche Pass (where temperatures may drop considerably) and carry on past Avalanche Lake.  The trail passing by the lake is quite demanding and is dotted with boulders, rock stairs and ladders.  When you pass the lake, the trailhead becomes much more moderate and descends to a register at a junction.  Take the left trail leading to Lake Colden, and then go left again and begin the very steep and strenuous climb to the summit of Mount Colden.

Whichever trail you take, the hike is quite challenging (though markedly more so on the secondary trail), however, the gorgeous views along the way and from the summit it make the climb well worth it.

Mount Colden – Lake Placid, NY

Posted on: September 6th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

MtColdenNumber 11 on the list of 46 High Peaks, Mount Colden is among the most popular peaks in the High Peaks Region.  It is known for its very distinctive Trap Dike, which runs up the center of the mountain. The dike, which drops off into Avalanche Lake, is considered one of the best slide climbs in the area.

This peak is less crowded than Marcy and Algonquin but you can expect to see a few dozen people if you visit on a weekend.  The summit provides beautiful views of Algonquin and Marcy as well as amazing views down to Avalanche Lake.  The trail to Avalanche Lake also boasts its own impressive views.

There are two maintained trails up to Mount Colden.  Both can be reached from the Adirondack Loj trailhead.  The first makes its approach from the northeast, passing by Lake Arnold and crossing over the false summit before reaching the true summit.  The second approach comes from the southwest, beginning at Lake Colden.   The trails can be combined to make a loop.

You can reach the Adirondack Loj trailhead by following Rte 73 out of Lake Placid toward Keene.  Take a right (just after the ski jumps) on Adirondack Loj Rd.  This road ends at the car park and hiker trailhead.  There is a $10/day parking fee.  Be sure to fill out a trip ticket at the trailhead.  Without one you may be fined.

The primary route is 12 miles round trip.  The hike begins on the trail leading to Marcy Dam.  From Marcy Dam, take the well used trail toward Avalanche Camps.  Take a left and begin your climb toward Lake Arnold.  From here you will turn right and hike past the bond, and continue to climb, which will give you some breathtaking views.  The terrain will become much steeper in sections, and views become considerably less grand as you reach the false summit.  There is a slight descent followed by a very steep climb up to the true summit, which has some very rewarding views.

The secondary trail is nearly 15 miles round trip.  From Marcy Dam again take the trail toward Avalanche Camps.  Head toward Avalanche Pass instead of Lake Arnold.  The following mile is called the “Misery Mile,” but don’t be discouraged by the name! It’s steep, but manageable.  Pass through Avalanche Pass (where temperatures may drop considerably) and carry on past Avalanche Lake.  The trail passing by the lake is quite demanding and is dotted with boulders, rock stairs and ladders.  When you pass the lake, the trailhead becomes much more moderate and descends to a register at a junction.  Take the left trail leading to Lake Colden, and then go left again and begin the very steep and strenuous climb to the summit of Mount Colden.

Whichever trail you take, the hike is quite challenging (though markedly more so on the secondary trail), however, the gorgeous views along the way and from the summit it make the climb well worth it.

Seward Mountain – Tupper Lake, NY

Posted on: August 30th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

Seward_Mt_seen_from_Seymour_Mt_NYThe largest and most frequently climbed in its range, Seward Mountain is number twenty four of the 46 high peaks.  It marks the beginning of the most remote of the major peaks.  It is commonly climbed with Donaldson and Emmons.

Seward was named for the governor of New York, William Henry Seward, who founded the Republican Party and was Lincoln’s Secretary of State.   There is no maintained paths, and herdpaths must be used to climb this mountain, which makes it (and the other two in its range) one of the more difficult climbs of the 46 peaks.  However, the paths are well defined from semi-frequent foot traffic and are not too difficult to follow.

This range has a very dry micro climate.  Be sure to carry in water!  Because there are no official paths it’s also recommended that you bring a map and a compass, or hire a guide.  Some paths cross over private land, so be sure to respect private property.  Refrain from hunting, fishing, and camping, stick to the trail and keep all pets on a leash.   If you are hiking during hunting season (late October to late December) make sure you’re wearing bright colors, and don’t be too alarmed by gun shots and people with guns.

This trail is not especially beautiful and the view from the summit is not noteworthy.  However, the Seward range is significantly less crowded than any of the other high peaks.  The views from Donaldson and Emmons are also quite lovely, so if you plan to climb all three, you will get some great views in.

There are two methods of approach to climb Seward.  The primary trailhead can be found in Tupper Lake on Corey’s Rd. about 5.5 miles from Rte 3.

This will take you over Donaldson, along the Calkins Brook path.  Once you summit Donaldson, Seward is to the left, about 1.0 mile further.   There will be a short descent from Donaldson’s summit, followed by a very steep climb up to a small knob.  Another descent and rapid climb will bring you to the ridge on Seward.  While there are not spectacular views from the actual summit, there are some very pretty views just before you reach the top.  This route is about 12 miles round trip.

The second approach uses the same trailhead. The path is quite steep and very eroded in some parts.  It is much less used than the other path, and as such is not at all maintained.  Walk along the well used trail from the parking area for 4.5 miles. You will come to the Ward Brook Truck Trail.  This will take you over rolling hills which may be wet and muddy.  The herdpath on the right after you pass the first brook, not long after you start on the Truck Trail.  The herdpath begins with a very moderate incline, but steadily becomes much steeper, and eroded.  Just before the summit you will find some very nice views, as well as just beyond.  This route is 13.6 miles round trip.

 

Mount Emmons – Tupper Lake, NY

Posted on: August 29th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

1024px-Seward_Mountains_as_seen_from_Mt_SeymourThe fortieth on the list of 46 high peaks, Mount Emmons is the lowest mountain on the Seward range.   It is also the most western peak of the 46 High Peaks, which makes it the highest peak until well past the Mississippi. It is very commonly climbed together with Mount Donaldson.  The summit of Emmons boasts great views of the rest of the High Peaks, and a view of the Santanoni Range.

The path to Emmons is more isolated than most of the other 46 peaks, as the best approach is from the peak of Mount Donaldson, which is already rather remote.   Because it is quite remote it is recommended you bring food and water with you.  Also be sure to bring a map and compass, or hire a guide who can help you traverse the mountain.   If you plan to use a GPS be aware that overhanging trees may interfere with the signal and make it unusable, so you may wish to have a backup plan for navigation.

The approach to Emmons follows the same path for Donaldson and Seward.  You can hike all three peaks in one day, but it is quite a long and grueling hike at 18+ miles.

The herdpaths up to the summit of Donaldson can be reached by taking Rt 3 out of Saranac Lake toward Tupper Lake.  After 12.5 miles, take a left at Corey’s Rd and follow it for another 5.5 miles.  The trailhead is on the right.

The first 1.2 miles is a well used trail.  Then you will take a right on an old woods road and continue for another 2 miles until you meet the Calkins Brook herdpath.  This will wind along the brook and cross over it several times, as it rises steadily.  The summit of Emmons is about a mile further on from the summit of Donaldson.

From the summit of Donaldson, the herdpath descends to the west side of the ridge between Emmons and Donaldson.  It then begins to climb up to the top of Emmons.  The trail is very open in some parts and provides some great views of both mountains.  Once you reach the summit of Emmons, you’ll find some gigantic boulders that provide fantastic views, if you’re willing to climb them.

Mount Donaldson – Tupper Lake, NY

Posted on: August 28th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

Mt_Emmons_and_Mt_Donaldson_NYLocated in the center of the Seward Range, Mount Donaldson is the thirty third highest of the 46 high peaks.  As it is the middle peak, it boasts the best view of the Seward range of any of the other peaks.  An open rock ledge at the summit gives you stunning views of Long Lake to the south.

Donaldson is the most climbed peak on this ridge.  The herd paths used to ascend it are quite difficult and remote.  Hiking Donaldson is long and difficult, so bring your A game!

Because they are along the same ridge, Donadlson is commonly climbed with Seward and Emmons.  The three peaks together make for a very long, 18 mile day.  It requires an early start, as the hike could take upwards of 12 hours.

The mountain is quite remote, however, the herd paths are well defined, despite the lack of foot traffic.  The usual route to Donaldson follows the approach to Seward from the west.

There are two approaches to Donaldson and both involve trails that are on private land.  The Upper Works trail, and the Duck Hole trail are located on private land, while the Ward Brook trail follows the border along private land (as signs will point out).  Remember to keep dogs leashed, and refrain from off trail travel, hunting, fishing, camping, boating, or swimming while on private property.   The Seward Range is also a popular hunting destination during the big game hunting season (the last Sunday in Oct. to the first sunday in Dec.) so if you hike during this time, make sure you’re wearing brightly colored clothing, and don’t be alarmed at the sound of gunshots, or if you see hunters.

The primary trailhead can be found by following Rt 86 out of Lake Placid toward Saranac Lake.  At Lake Placid, take Rt 3 toward Tupper Lake to Coreys Rd (about 12.5 miles) and take a left.  Follow Corey’s Rd for 5.5 miles.  The trailhead is on the right.

The route travels along Calkins Brook and the first 1.2 mi is a well used trail.  Take a right on an old woods trail.  In 2 miles you will reach the Calkins Brook herd path, to the left.  The herd path will cross over the brook and then take on a moderate grade and rise high above it. There are several crossings of side brooks.  You will come to a ridge near the summit.  From here turn right and ascend the remaining 200 ft to the summit.  There is a large ledge just beyond the summit on the right, which provides good views to the north and west.  The path continues about another mile to the top of Mount Emmons.  The two peaks together are 11 miles round trip.

 

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