Archive for the ‘Destinations’ Category

Things to do in Holderness, NH

Posted on: August 13th, 2017 by Erin Weir No Comments

MerrimackRiverOver the summer many tourists flock to Holderness and the lakes region to take advantage of the many lakes and all the fun they have to offer.  Fishing, boating, water skiing, and kayaking are just a few of the great things to do!

If history is your thing you might enjoy the Holderness Historical Society’s points of interest driving tour.  See the waterfalls, the mill which was once part of Holderness, the Holderness School, and many other historic buildings, some of which date back to the 18th century.

The Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is a great place to stop if you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of all the local wildlife without getting too close.  The Science Center is full of interactive exhibits, as well as live animal exhibits and several hiking trails and lake tours.  There is plenty to see and lots to learn about!

The Quincy Bog Natural Area  and the Markus Wildlife Sanctuary  are both home to some lovely hiking trails.  As nature preserves they will allow you to see plenty of flora and fauna in all of its unspoiled glory.

Armstrong Mountain – Keene Valley, NY

Posted on: November 1st, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

800px-Armstrong_from_NoonmarkNumber twenty two in magnitude of the high peaks, Armstrong stands between the Gothics and Upper Wolf Jaw.  It provides fantastic views of the Great Range and of Johns Brook Valley.  Climbing this mountain can be very entertaining and memorable, with its ladders and fixed cables to assist in ascent.

It is among the less popular mountains in the area, but makes a great spot for lunch if you’re doing the circle route from Johns Brook, over the peaks of the great range.

There are several ways to get to the top of this peak, but the usual route begins at the hikers parking lot in Keene Valley.  Approach via the Johns Brook trail and then come over Upper Wolfjaw to Armstrong, or continue on John Brook and come over Gothics toward Armstrong.

To reach the Armstrong Trailhead, take Rte 73  toward Keene and into Saint Huberts.  You can find parking across the road from the Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead leading to Giant Mountain.    You will cross through private property and the Adirondack Mountain Reserve on this trail.  No dogs are allowed in the game preserve.

The hike is 5.8 miles to the summit with moderate to steep terrain.  From the parking lot, follow along the dirt road to the paved road next to a golf course.  About .5 miles from the parking area, take a left between two tennis courts and get to the gate to the Adirondack Mountain Reserve.  From the gate, hike the dirt access road for about 2 miles to the Gothics access trail located on the right.  This trail takes you through forest to a bridge crossing over Ausable River, and then to the base of Beaver Meadow Falls.

From here the trail climbs very steeply to the left of the falls.  You will climb a ladder, and find that conditions are quite slippery at the top of the falls.  The trail from here becomes steady, with a few steep sections.  You will descend a few more ladders, and reach the trail leading up to the Great Range.  Armstrong is located to the right, and Gothics to the left.

Macomb Mountain – North Hudson, NY

Posted on: October 31st, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

The twenty first highest peak in the Adirondacks, Macomb Mountain is the furthest south of the major peaks. It is marked as the first of the Macomb, South and East Dix ridge walk.  It is relatively isolated in comparison to the other peaks. The views it provides are very similar to the views from East and South Dix.  It provides a good view of the Great Range, and a few lesser peaks.

While Macomb is commonly climbed by itself, it is also frequently combined with the some, or all of the Dix Range.  Macomb is one of the more exciting climbs on the Dix Range.  While the views from the summit are quite nice, the climb is what is especially memorable.

The most common route of approach is from Elk Lake via the Slide Brook herd path.  The summit is mostly wooded, but there is a large viewing platform that provides breathtaking views.

The trailhead can be reached by taking Rte 73 toward Keene and Keene Valley.  Continue onto I-87 South.  Take Exit 29 and follow Blue Ridge Rd toward Newcomb.  Continue for 4 miles to Elk Lake Rd on the right.  Continue along this road to the hiker parking lot.

The primary trail is 8 miles round trip, if you Macomb on its own.  Follow along the well traveled trail toward Dix Mountain.  Take a right after crossing Slide Brook.  This will take you through the Slide Brook campsite, and you will come to a herd path, which climbs above the brook through the forest.  You will descend to the base of the slide, which is mostly rubble and loose sand.  The slide is very steep and makes for difficult footing, especially on the trip down the mountain.  The upper portion of the slide can be especially difficult to maneuver, but the path soon returns to wind through the trees until you reach the summit.

Redfield Mountain

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

See the view from Redfield at 4:28


Located almost directly in the center on the Adirondack Park, Redfeild Mountain is the fiftieth highest peak in the Adirondacks.   Though the peak is wooded, it has a very large and dramatic summit which provides astounding views.

Because it is in the middle of the park there are several different routes of approach.  However, the most traveled route beings at Uphill Lean-to and follows along Uphill Brook to a large waterfall.  There are several waterfalls and watercrossings along the route, making for some very pleasant scenery.

To reach this route, follow Rte 73 toward Keene and continue toward Adirondack Loj Rd, located on the right.  Follow this road until it heads at Heart Lake and park in the main parking lot.  There will be a parking fee.

The hike from here is approximately 9 miles to the summit.  Follow the hikers approach trail to the High Peaks, which leads toward Marcy Dam.  From Marcy Dam, follow the trail to Avalanche Pass.  The climb begins once you’ve passed Avalanche Camps.  Take the left trail toward Lake Arnold.  The climb will be quite steep up the shoulder of Mount Colden, as you approach Lake Arnold.  Stay left at Lake Arnold and continue to climb to the top of the pass.  Here you will descend into a valley, which can be quite wet at times.  You will pass by Feldspar Lean-to and then come to a T-intersection.  The left trail leads to Four Corners, and south leads to Mount Marcy.  Take the path to the right, to Uphill.

The climb from here will be moderate, and can be quite wet up to the Uphill Lean-to.  Follow the herd path, which is marked by a cairn, directly across from the lean-to.  This is the beginning of the Cliff Route. The Redfield Route continues staight, after the Cliff Rte turn off.  You will walk along a very pretty brook, and will come to several water crossings and waterfalls along this path.  Make sure to turn around and enjoy views along the path!  The summit of Redfield is a large boulder, which offers some very beautiful views.

While Redfield is one of the more challenging hikes, if only because of its grueling distance, the view is well worth the hike.

Mt Van Hoevenberg Bed and Breakfast – North Elba, NY

Posted on: October 11th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

800px-File_BobsleighrunLPHidden between the pines and furs sits the beautiful Van Hoevenberg Lodge & Cabins.  This cozy retreat offers rooms in an inviting farmhouse or private cabins that make for the perfect hideaway, or a great base for your Adirondack vacation! Sitting outside Lake Placid, this bed and breakfast is far enough away from the traffic and tourists, while remaining close enough that anything you’d wish to see is right outside your doorstep.

Cabins offer great views of the Mt. Van Hoevenberg luge and bob sled runs! And the mountain’s 50 km of cross country trails are just a step away.  You could practically ski from your doorstep!

Cabins are small yet cozy, and offer anything you could want! The atmosphere is welcoming and comfortable, though rustic.  Surround yourself with wood floors, walls, as the smell of basalm pine wafts through the air.  Cabins offer a kitchenette,  bed. and dining area.   While there is WiFi, the lack of television and other unnecessary electronics make this a perfect rustic retreat, allowing you to truly get away from everyday life.  It’s an authentic mountain experience!

The Mt. Van Hoevenberg Bed and Breakfast is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking to get away from it all.  Its secluded location make it the perfect hideaway.  However, it’s still close enough to Lake Placid that you won’t miss out on any of the fun!  Its lack of unecessary amenities, like televisions, make it an authentic mountain experience.  No frills, no fuss, but a special, intimate getaway.  This is a place where memories are made!

Street Mountain – Lake Placid, NY

Posted on: October 10th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

Number 31 on the list of high peaks, Street Mountain is very commonly climbed with Nye Mountain.  The climb is markedly different than the rest of the high peaks.  The trails wind through hardwood forests of elm, birch, and maple, and trails are soft.  While the summit is tree covered, it is not with dense pine and spruce like most of the High Peaks.  The summit itself offers no spectacular views, but there are some very good views as you approach it.

Street was, at one time, one of the more difficult peaks to reach because of the lack of trails.  Climbers followed a web of tangled herd paths which we difficult to navigate.  The area has long been used by the National Guard, the Alpine Club of Canada, and the Boy Scouts as a training area for navigation.   However, many of the trails have now been standardized and the hike is now much easier.  It is now one of the easiest untrailed peaks to climb.   While there is still evidence of some of the herdpaths, if you stick to the main path you shouldn’t have much trouble finding the summit.  However, it is always a good idea to bring along a map and a compass.

There is a parking fee at the trailhead (Adirondack Loj), and all hiking parties must fill out a trip ticket, or risk a fine.  The best time to climb is in early fall, just after the leaves have dropped (usually in mid September), because your views will be wonderful.

The trailhead can be reached from Adirondack Loj.  Begin at the western corner of Heart Like and follow the Old Nye Ski Trail.  Follow this trail until you reach Indian Pass Brook.  You will need to cross the brook and pick up the trail on the other side.  From this point the path will wind along the brook that flows between Street and Nye.   The trail will take you through open hardwood forests, grassy meadows, and bogs.  After 1.75 miles you will reach an intersection between Street and Nye.  A tree is marked S (street) and N(Nye).  Head toward the S (left).  The summit is about .5 miles from this point.

Nye Mountain – Lake Placid, NY

Posted on: October 9th, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

Despite being only the fifty-first highest peak in the Adirondacks, Nye Moutain is considered one of the Major Peaks in the area.  Anyone who wants to become a 46er must climb this peak.  It is a significantly different hike than most of the other 46 peaks.  This hike will take you through open hardwood forests of maple, elm, and birch, and its trails are soft but not muddy.  While the summit is tree covered, and offers no view, of the trailless peaks, it is the easiest to reach.

Nye is typically climbed with Street Mountain, which is one of the more difficult peaks to access.  The summit of Nye was, at one time, equally difficult to reach because of the multiple crisscrossing herd paths that led to it.  However, trails have now been standardized, and the summits of both are significantly easier to reach.  While the summit of Nye offers no views, there are some very nice views along the path.

The trail can be reached from Heart Lake or from Adirondack Loj.  All hiking parties should have a trip ticket, or risk a fine.

Begin at the western corner of Hearth Lake and follow the Old Nye Ski Trail.  Follow the signs until you reach Indian Pass Brook.  Once you cross the brook you will pick up the trail on the other side.  This trail winds along the brook that sits between Street and Nye.  The trail will take you through bogs, forests and open meadows.  You will also have to cross the brook several times.  However, it is a fairly easy hike.

When you reach the plateau, you will reach the intersection of Street and Nye mountains.  There should be a sign marking “S” for Street and “N” for Nye (NOT North and South).  Follow this, and the summit is only a few hundred yards down the path.

Nye is a relatively short and easy hike.  While it does not offer views from the summit, the hike up to the summit is quite enjoyable, and offers its own views.

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

Posted on: September 21st, 2014 by Erin Weir No Comments

National_Museum_of_RacingThe National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is a fantastic museum detailing the history of Thoroughbread racing in the United States.  It brings history to life through its amazing collection of trophies from past wins, racing memorabilia, and equine art.

The Hall of Fame was opened in 1950 and each year it honors jockeys, trainers, and horses who have made significant contributions of the sport of throughbread racing.

Even those who are not racing fans can find enough to entertain themselves for an afternoon in this museum.  The exhibits are adorned with gorgeous photographs, art, and memorabilia that make learning about the history of racing all the more interesting.

Children and adults alike will enjoy the horse racing simulator, which allows you to see what it feels like to be a jockey! Children will also enjoy the hands on learning center, where children can groom and saddle a life-size horse, dress like a jockey, and learn about different shoes that racing thoroughbreads might wear.

The museum features multiple galleries, as well as exhibits on racing and horses in Colonial, Pre-Civil War era, Post Civil War era, and contemporary racing.  Other exhibits detail the anatomy of a horse, and recreation of a tack room lets you see everything that a jockey needs to compete. The garden features life sized memorials to Seabiscuite and Secretariat.

This museum is brimming with information and art about racing, and horses. Even someone who is not a racing fan, or a “horse person” will find it to be an enjoyable and informative museum, which they can find many hours exploring.

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!