Saturday, October 25, 2008

Leave No Trace

I have been doing a little research and thinking about the principals of Leave No Trace. The way they are written they are met to be applied to a variety of situations. I thought it would be good to take each of the 7 principals and see how they should be applied to our Pilot Knob Ridge Preserve. I also will break this down into seven parts.

1. PLAN AHEAD AND PREPARE Know the regulations and special considerations for the area you'll visit.Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies. Travel in groups of less than ten people to minimize impacts.

This is fairly straight forward. At PKR there are only a few rules, but there are some.

No Hunting
Please stay on the marked trails.
Please be courteous of other guests at the preserve.
Please do not harass or harm any of the plants or animals found at the preserve.
No removal of plants or animals without permission.
No camping, littering, fires, motorized or non-motorized recreational vehicles allowed on the preserve.
Leashed dogs are permitted except at the Gull Bay Preserve due to its ecological sensitivity.
Please park only in the preserve’s designated areas. If all spaces are full, please reschedule your visit. Do not park on neighboring properties.

Now you know. Many of these are tied into the other 6 principles as we will see later.

While this trail system is only four miles long, you don't have pack for the high peaks, it still is a good idea to bring along a couple of snacks, something warm to put on, a first aid kit and some water. just because you never know. In general it is always good over prepare within reason. My father always used to say that you cannot put on what you don't bring.

It is always better hike with someone even on a small preserve like the PKR again for safety's sake. If you don't, this is something that I am guilty of, you should always let someone know where you are and when to expect you back. This is very important. When I go up, solo to do tail work, my wife knows where, when, and how.

That is it for the first principal. As you can see this may be adapted and expanded to where you are going.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall at Pilot Knob Ridge

Finally made it up to the PKR after a month away. I missed this little preserve. I took some pics for you to enjoy.

You can see the mist on Lake George as there was frost on the pumpkin and the water is still a balmy 60 F. Anyone want to go swimming?

Here is a good example of why it is a good idea to hike at different times of the year. This is a 30 foot high rock face that is obscured when the leaves are out, but is as clear as day when the leaves have dropped. Another little feature of this marvelous preserve.

Here is a shot that shows some of the color this young hardwood forest offers.

Shot from the gazebo at early morning.

Here is an example of how the trail can disappear in the fall. You are looking up a well trod section of the blue trail and it is almost gone. If you look close in the picture you can see the blue trail markers. At this time of year it is good to keep a close eye on the trail markers. During the fall season sometimes the trail can vanish. This is also why you will notice that the PKR trails are a little over marked. There is a reason to our madness...sometimes.

Anyway the trails are great and this is a good time to be outside. Cool weather and no bugs. Also you can enjoy the army of grey squirrels scurrying through the leaves burying there acorns for winter use.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Early Bird Gets the Worm"

I am soo embarrassed. This is probably one of the busiest hiking weekends in the Adirondacks and I had planned on putting in a waterbar on the blue trail above the waterfall. I got up late and when I reached the parking lot at 9:30 it was full with no legal place to park.

I always get up early and never am on the trail later than 8:00 am. My mistake. I feel bad as I have not been on the PKR for three weeks and I am having withdrawals. I know that through this month that there is still a Stewards Assistance making sure the trails are in good shape at all the preserves, but still I was looking forward to going. Next week then.

I did make sure the kiosk was filled with guides and such.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fall Foliage is at It's Peak!!!

The weather is going to be gorgeous this weekend and the leaves are just about at peak. It is a wonderful time to visit Pilot Knob Ridge or some other hike and get out and enjoy some of the best that the region offers without the crowds of the High Peaks. It is a cheap why to enrich your life.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I will be back

I just made my last hike into the adirondacks and I will be back on patrol this coming weekend. I will have the kiosk stocked early Saturday for the hoard of leaf lookers who will hopefully visit this weekend