Happiness means Maple syrup over Pancakes

maple-weekend-poster-2016Every spring, the members of the New York State Maple Producers Association invite families and friends into their “sugar houses” to experience the world of pure NY maple syrup. Located at approximately 160 farms and museums across New York State, Maple Weekend offers a delicious, fun-filled outing that has a little something for all maple-lovers to taste and experience.

Maple Weekend began in 1995 in Western New York as “Maple Sundays” with a simple goal:  To educate the public about New York’s maple farming processes and traditions and to provide a chance to taste pure maple syrup in its many forms, right from the source.

Like last year, we went to the Cornell University Uihlein Forest, toured the (new) facility with some volunteers, and met with Mike Farrell Ph.D, who told us about the new developments there. We tasted many different kinds of syrup, and picked the pure birch syrup, that, we think, will make a perfect glaze for our salmon fillets. Then, we walked Bear Cub road up to Heaven Hill farm, with its wonderful views of the High Peaks.

What a lovely Sunday morning!

Last year was the best year for maple syrup production in New York state history despite a short season following the harsh winter. Maple farmers produced more than 600,000 gallons of syrup from more than 2.3 million taps. To know more about last year’s experience, check here.

 

Skating on Mirror Lake

Skating, for me, has always been a challenge.

As a kid, I was daredevil enough to put on skates, go full speed on a rink and ram into other skaters because I had no clue how to stop!

Nowadays, this is more about avoiding to fall and breaking any part of my ageing body!

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On the Loop

That being said, I had always wanted to go skating on the lake, especially this formidable loop that the village prepares for the winter. I believe it’s the third winter people can enjoy skating on the loop, as before, The Parks Department only cleared a space for hockey and general skating near the town beach.

Well, it was rough and difficult (for me, as a beginner) but enjoyable, as we met families, kids and elders, all appreciating the views and the warm day on the lake.

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Another lesser-known Peak

End of Winter – early Spring, we like to kick-off our hiking program by picking easier hikes, or selecting less crowded trails. Last weekend, under beautiful skies and a shining sun, we decided to hike another 46er: Table Top.

Table Top Mountain has three summits with its southern peak as its highest at 4427 feet, making this mountain the 19th highest in the Adirondacks. It is likely one of the most massive but not well-known peaks because it has no marked trail that leads to the main summit, although there is now a new trail, created by the ADK 46ers.

We started from the Loj, then to the dam, then onto the Van Hoevenberg Trail, went past the Phelps trail junction, and up the Indian Falls trail, when, less than a mile after the Phelps junction, we found the newly created trail to Table Top.

Although it is a herd path, it is quite easy to follow.  The entire hike is actually relatively easy, with no extremely difficult sections. As we started to get near the summit plateau, it began to look like winter. There was a little snow and rime ice in the trees.  We wore micro spikes for traction.  No snowshoes or crampons were necessary.
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Algonquin, Boundary and Iroquois from Table Top

On the top, a large plateau greets you with perfect views of Algonquin and Colden north-west, a good view of Phelps and a great view of Marcy. We stayed there for a while, enjoying our lunch while staring at the mountains all around.

This is not as popular as other summit hikes but we still enjoyed it. It was one of the easier high peaks to climb since there were no sections of the trail that posed any great difficulty, a perfect choice to get back in shape.
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Marcy from Table Top