A 'new' Cascade Falls, which tumbles from high in the notch located between the Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes in Keene, was revealed following Tropical Storm Irene. Although measurements need to be verified, the flow may be in contention for the title of the tallest waterfall in the Adirondacks. Currently, the title is held by T-Lake Falls, near Piesco in Hamiliton County, which falls over 600 feet.
Autumn’s full splendor has finally arrived, especially in the upper elevations, where the hillsides are currently flanked in a startling array of fall color.
Gradually, this fantastic fantasia of foliage will trickle down from the High Peaks to the foothills and into the valleys below, as the leaves progress from the brilliant scarlet, orange and red of the early season, to the duller yellows and rusty reds of late autumn.
Weather patterns will gradually become decidedly cooler, and as daylight hours begin to diminish more determinedly, the region will experience the full-on fall.
Wood smoke will again scent the evening air, as flocks of Canada and Snow geese sound the alarm from on high.
Salmon will return to the rivers to spawn, as brook trout and lake trout gather on the lakes and ponds, for the same purpose.
Whitetail deer will gradually change from the reddish shades of summer to their blue winter coats, and the bucks will begin polishing their headgear, in an effort to attract a mate.
Summer camps will be closed and shuttered for the year, just as hunting camps begin to be opened up and aired out in anticipation of the upcoming season.
It is a time to enjoy a long hike on a warm Indian Summer’s day, or embrace the quiet, stillness of a morning spent on a fog-enshrouded, stillwater, backwoods pond.
Busloads of leaf-peepers will return ‘up North’ for a visit, as hikers take to the trails in earnest, and paddlers venture upon cooler waters, for one last fling down the stream.
Unlike the winter, autumn arrives in a more gradual fashion. It slowly grows across the mountainous landscape, from the peaks to the bogs and beyond, until it finally encompasses the entire region.
A new license year
For members of the sporting community, autumn is a period of great indecision, for there are simply too many outdoor options available to consider, ranging from hunting, to fishing to trapping, and beyond.
However, sportsmen and women should not forget that October 1 is the beginning of the new license year, especially if they want to continue to hunt, fish or trap.
Monies collected from the sale of sporting licenses, combined with a special excise tax collected from the sale of sporting equipments such as firearms and ammunition, bows and arrows, and rods and reels, generates over $1.75 billion annually. These funds are used to pay the operating expenses for a majority of state fish and wildlife agencies.
All outdoor travelers must do their part! Fortunately, the non-consumptive outdoor sporting community now has an opportunity to contribute as well. They can pitch in by purchasing a Trails Supporter Patch, which is available for $5 at all, outlets where sporting licenses are sold. Proceeds from the sale of the patches goes to the Conservation Fund's Outdoor Recreation, Trail Maintenance, and Development Account, to help maintain and enhance over 3,500 miles of non-motorized trails throughout New York State.
Cold water PFD law
It is important for boaters and paddlers to remember that New York state now has a Cold Water PFD law which requires that all boaters on recreational watercraft less than 21 feet in length, including motorboats, canoes, kayaks, rowboats and sailboats, must wear a personal flotation device (PFD) from November 1 to May 1 on New York waters.
The measure was developed to address a number of fatalities involving off-season boaters who were not wearing PFDs. Roughly 25 percent of the state's total of boating fatalities have occurred in the off season.
According to the US Coast Guard, 75% of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, 88% were not wearing a life jacket.
Death by drowning continues to be one of the primary causes of hunter fatalities. It occurs most often, when a heavily dressed hunter stands in a boat to take a pee at seas.
Although the skies may be blue, the landscape colorful and the autumn weather, warm and wonderful, outdoor travelers should never forget that Adirondack waters are cold and deadly, especially in the fall of the year! A life jacket, no matter the season, is the single best way boaters can stay safe on the water. Tie one on, and be sure to waterproof your family and friends as well!
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org