Karen Byer, 61, knows she’ll never join the 13,000 “ADK 46ers” who have summited all 46 of the major peaks in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. For one thing, she isn’t a fan of heights. But she’s part of an even more exclusive club of adventurers: the “ADK 47 Lakers,” a playful appellation for the small crew of “lake baggers” who have swum 47 lakes in the Adirondack Park.
Hiking New York’s historic Northville-Placid Trail is a great way to avoid crowds—and be reminded of the importance of trail networks.
We were coming down the final stretch of a grueling two-day backpacking trip, debating whether we should knock off early. It was a situation I’ve been in before—weighing the effort to summit one last peak against tired legs, blistered feet, and a shorter route back to the trailhead.
Only this time, it wasn’t a mountain my boyfriend and I wanted to bag: It was Staten Island.
It may not be the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail, but the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail offers an end-to-end journey, with views of Manhattan.
The doe and her fawn stood in a sunbathed clearing next to the trail. As we approached, the doe startled, leaping away into the underbrush, but the spotted fawn hesitated, uncertain. We crept forward, cooing with delight, until the fawn wobbled away into the trees, tripping over its own legs. So we continued our walk, alone with the rocks and the wildflowers and the hills, pleasantly surprised every time we glimpsed the Manhattan skyline in the distance.
In the 1970s a group of Argentinian exiles escaped captivity at JFK airport. They settled down in Brooklyn, built homes from scratch and started families. I speak, of course, of the elusive Wild Quaker Parrots, also known as the Monk Parrot.
Once a month, Steve Baldwin leads a group of bird-watchers and curiosity-seekers on a Wild Quaker Parrot Safari near Brooklyn College. I joined him on his most recent expedition, and the parrots were a riot—the guide even more so. Read more…