2014 in the 'DACKS
As we get ready to ring in a new year and bid farewell to an old, we often find ourselves reflecting over what has happened throughout the past year. It may be that as the family gathered together for the holidays, you shared photos and stories from last summer's camping trip. Or maybe you have found that 2014 wasn't a year that you could get away during and are looking forward to planning a family ski trip or romantic Adirondack getaway in the new year.
Similar to individuals reflecting over the past year and setting goals for the new, as a region, the Adirondacks does the same. But before we start looking too far ahead, here are some of the highlights that 2014 brought to our neck of the woods:
New Trails on the Former Finch Pruyn Lands opened
In July of 2014, the new trail into OK Slip Falls officially opened to the public providing access to one of the Adirondacks tallest and most majestic waterfalls. This new trail is just part of New York State's largest land acquisition in over 117 years. In 2012, the State entered into a land acquisition of over 69,000 acres of lands formerly owned by Finch, Pruyn, Inc. With this purchase, the public is now gaining access to new areas for paddling, fishing, hunting, rafting, hiking, cross country skiing, wild life watching and more.
In the later half of the year, we sent out Joan Collins, President of Adirondack Avian Expeditions and one of our bloggers, to check out some of these new recreational opportunities. If you missed her blogs on these tracts of land, make sure to check them out now. They are absolutely breathtaking:
- Canoe Camping on the Essex Chain of Lakes
- Hike into Spectacular OK Slip Falls
- Hiking the Trails at Chain Lakes Road South
Political races that were... fun?
On July 20, 2014 New York State's Governor, Andrew Cuomo, and his family faced off against Governor Shumlin of Vermont (and his family) in one of the most adventurous political races of the year: The Adirondack Challenge. For the record, the NY and Vermont Governor's rafts tied in a dead heat in a highly contested whitewater rafting race. The 2nd Annual Summer Adirondack Challenge, attended by many state and local elected officials, featured fly fishing, golfing, paddling, and hiking, among other recreational disciplines.
LONG LAKE TOOK THEIR ART OUTDOORS
If you were lucky enough to spend some time in Long Lake in 2014, then you probably noticed some new additions to their streetscapes. During the past summer, Long Lake launched a large-scale outdoor art installation appropriately titled "Portraits in the Wilderness". The exhibition features three large scale 8x8 portraits featuring life in and around Long Lake. The beautiful collection of paintings were placed strategically around town and are accompanied by three additional smaller portraits along the Burns Road Wall on Route 30. Plans are already in the works to update and add more to the collection in the summer of 2015. (This installation was made possible with public funds from NYSCA Decentralization Regrant Program. In Hamilton County the Decentralization Program is administered by the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts.)
World Records were SHattered!
On September 13, 2014, over 3,150 boats came together to regain the Guinness World Record for the largest raft of canoes, kayaks and guideboats. Despite the cold and damp weather, spirits were high as paddlers from 31 states, 2 Canadian Provinces, Thailand and Belgium united on Fourth Lake in Inlet, NY. Not only did they shatter the record, but the also raised a "boat load" of money for breast cancer research. In order to break the world record, participants came together to form a giant raft, held together only by hands, for at least 30 seconds.
Oak Mountain Got More Snow & A New Chef!
In 2014, Oak Mountain continued to upgrade and expand their snowmaking capabilities. Just in time for the 2014-15 ski season, snowmaking was increased with a new, custom built, portable snowmaking system. With this new addition snowmaking has now expanded to cover over 50% of the mountain's terrain.
In addition to more snow, Oak also welcomed executive chef, Lou Petrozza to the mountain in 2014. Chef Petrozza's flavorful background includes a long lineup of culinary experience including finishing as runner up on season 2 of Fox Network's hit show - Hell's Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay. Since his arrival this past summer, Lou has been busy cooking up dishes for Oak Mountain's Acorn Pub & Eatery. If you missed our feature in 2014 on Chef Lou, make sure to check out this blog.
Happy New Year From the Adirondacks!
From breaking records on the lake to breaking trails in the backwoods, we certainly had a great 2014. What will we do in 2015? Why not visit and find out! We'll start you out by helping you find a comfy place to call your home away from home and pointing you in the right direction to find our good eats - the rest is up to you! Biking, paddling, birding, hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, breaking world records... the choices are endless. We look forward to see you and your family in 2015!