Let’s Go Explore

Most people who choose to live in northern New York want to spend more time exploring the natural beauty of the Adirondack mountains up close. Eager outdoor adventurers can be quickly dissuaded from planning an outing by a host of legitimate questions and concerns that quickly fill the mind: Where is the trail head? How can I be sure I won’t get lost? What do I need to wear? Do I need to bring water or food? Absent an experienced friend to answer those questions, adventure options are quite limited. The Algonquin Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) offers a perfect solution. The group is led by experienced outdoorsmen and women who are passionate about sharing their love of the Adirondacks with individuals and families of all ages and experience levels.

The Plattsburgh-based chapter has more than 300 members and has been active for nearly 60 years. It offers a schedule of outings year-round such as hiking, backpacking and canoeing in the warmer months; and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and winter hiking now that the snow is here. The chapter is led by Phil Erickson, who particularly enjoys getting out of the range of cell phone service areas during outdoor adventures. “Too many people are always scurrying around, locked onto their iPhones and Androids. We all need time to stop and smell the roses,” he said. Erickson encouraged everyone to look at the Algonquin Chapter website and join an outing. The chapter also has a Facebook page that’s easy to find by typing “ADK Mountain Club, Plattsburgh” into Facebook’s Search bar. “There is something for everyone. Get out there with others who are looking for some peace and solitude. A hike in the High Peaks, say, or just a walk at Point Au Roche or the Saranac Land Trust,” he suggested.

All outings are led by experienced members of the chapter, which is affiliated with the Adirondack Mountain Club. Membership is encouraged, though not necessary prior to participating in outings or attending the monthly meetings. The chapter meets monthly from November through May on the second floor of the Old Clinton County Court House in Plattsburgh. Erickson praised the work of meeting organizer and longtime chapter member and leader Alix Heuston. “We are very fortunate to have Alix shake the bushes out there to arrange excellent pro- grams,” he commented. “She does a wonderful job finding interesting topics that have something to do with the Adirondacks.” Presentations and meetings are held on the second Friday of each month beginning at 7 p.m., and are open to the public.

Erickson also noted that there a many key members who lead outings, serve on the executive committee, and organize special events. “They are the backbone of our chapter, and without their input, we couldn’t operate.”

In addition to outings on trails and through the woods, the chapter sponsors potluck suppers and picnics, and participates in family friendly outdoor festivals such as the New Land Trust Chili Fest scheduled for February 18, 2017, and the Plattsburgh Sunrise Rotary’s Winter Carnival scheduled for February 25, 2017. An excellent source of information for all events, both off-trail and on, is the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Master Calendar, which can be found online at www.trumba.com/ calendar/adirondackmountainclub.

For more information on how to join the local Algonquin Chapter, visit the chapter’s website, www.adk.org/adk- chapter/algonquin. Or, visit the Adirondack Mountain Club website at www.adk.org or call 800-395-808