The Adirondacks are so close to where I live in Utica, and I feel so lucky to have the Park just a short drive away. It has become my utlimate oasis - a place to reflect, find inspiration and fuel my spirit.
FALL: There are few places in the world where the colors are as beautiful as the ADKS in the fall. One of the most rewarding ways to see the colors is to get out on some of the 30,000 miles of rivers and lakes in the park. This was taken on a small channel off of Canada Lake in the Southern ADKS on September 28, 2014.
MOUNTAINS: The high peaks above 4000 ft. get a lot of attention and, as wondrous and challenging as they are, there are many smaller mountains that are worth checking out. This past summer, the new Jay Mountain Ridge Trail won a special place in my heart. You can't beat the 1.5 miles of exposed trail (something hard to find in the ADKS), the wild blueberries in late summer, lack of crowds and the ever changing views in all directions.
BACKPACKING: In my opinion there is nothing more rewarding or better for the mind, body and soul, than carrying your gear into a remote spot and spending a few nights with only the bare necessities. It is the best way to disconnect and reconnect all at the same time. It was a challenging 9-mile hike into this beautiful campsite at Panther Gorge, but what a treat to lay our tent down on this bed of pine needles and have easy access to Mt. Marcy and Haystack in August of 2014.
SUNRISES & SUNSETS: There is only one way to watch the sunset: from the summit of a high peak. In this case, it was Mt. Marcy. You must commit to hiking down in the dark wearing a headlamp. It's entirely worth it to be the only people watching the sunset from the highest point in New York State. Some of the most unforgettable moments I've experienced in the ADKS have been at these special times of day, and the light makes for great photos. Taken in August 2014.
SNOWSHOEING: Many people that I talk to are intimidated by the thought of hiking a high peak in the winter. It has easily become my favorite time to hike. When the trails have a good base of snow on them you can get a good rhythm and glide up and down the mountains with such ease. It's much better on the joints and you can spend more time looking up and the scenery and less time looking at the ground. My boyfriend and I hiked to the summit of Cascade last February and were back to the car in less than three hours!
CAIRNS: I just love Cairns! These little rock piles are a symbol that you are on the right path or heading in the right direction, and I find them so charming because whenever I'm hiking in the ADKS I feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be! Rocky Peak Ridge Summit, June 2014.
INSPIRATION: Waking up on the summit of Bald Mountain this late September morning in 2013 to find Fourth Lake covered in a thick blanket of clouds and the sunrise illuminating the fall colors was one of the prettiest mornings of my life. The earth is achingly beautiful every day whether anyone is there to see it or not. It's mornings like this that inspire me to want to wake up early, to stay up late and put myself in places where I can be a witness to the magic that is planet earth!
Follow Holly's journeys on instagram @hollywashere.
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