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A Return to the South Slopes

Notes from the North Woods

Steve Harris ponders whether to continue to Moose Pond, or to turn back.  Old age and wisdom, soon sent him on the trip back home.

Steve Harris ponders whether to continue to Moose Pond, or to turn back. Old age and wisdom, soon sent him on the trip back home. Photo by Joe Hackett.

Following last week’s spell of foul weather which threatened to wash away winter, it appears the season has rebounded. Prior to this week’s storm, I had taken a trip south to Newcomb, with hopes that the south slopes of the High Peaks held snow.

Fortunately, I found few signs that winter was winding down in that town, and I discovered forests that were full of snow. There were also plenty of skiers and shoer’s as well.

I had planned to enjoy a leisurely ski trip into Great Camp Santanoni with an old friend, but we discovered the trail was crowded with a host of similarly minded travelers, who were enjoying an open house at the Great Camp.

The annual event, hosted by the Adirondack Architectural Heritage, was also attended by a small press corps, and a number of state officials, including DEC Commissioner Joe Martens, Region 5 DEC Director Bob Stegeman and his Public Affairs Officer, Dave Winchell.

I got there before the crowd arrived, and I enjoyed speaking with George Canon, supervisor of Newcomb about the potential boom in state lands that may soon be available all around his small town.

Mr. Canon appeared optimistic that the former Finch Pruyn lands would benefit the local economy, and he also appeared confident the newly acquired lands would be able to provide reasonable public access for those seeking traditional pursuits such as hunting and fishing.

With the potential for having over 160,000 acres of new, wild lands on the doorstep, Newcomb may soon become the new hub of wilderness travel in the Adirondacks.

Surrounded by soaring peaks, raging waters, and a variety of small ponds and large lakes, Newcomb has always been a gateway to the big woods. I just hope it doesn’t get too busy, and on Saturday, it was.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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