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AMC guidebook offers various activities

November 24, 2012
By MIKE LYNCH - Outdoors Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

The Appalachian Mountain Club's newest guidebook on the Adirondacks is for people that enjoy a variety of activities.

"Discover the Adirondacks" is a four-season guide that has information on 50 biking, hiking and paddling trips. The book was written by Peter Kick and released this past summer. Kick is a native of the Catskill Mountains region and a licensed wilderness guide who has led trips in the Adirondacks.

He is the author of several hiking and mountain-biking guides, including the Catskill Mountain Guide, and AMC's Best Day Hikes in the Catskills & Hudson Valley. He has also written for Backpacker, Outdoor Traveler, Sailing, and Adirondack Life magazines.

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"This book stems from my interest in promoting and nurturing the relationships between green recreation and the inevitable awareness it generates in the vital necessity to preserve the wilderness," Kick writes in the preface. "It's commonly recognized that an appreciation of the outdoors leads to education and conservation (we tend to protect things we value), and, ultimately, to preservation. If we introduce our children to the outdoors with this idea foremost in our actions and intentions, and provide a guided discovery of the skills and rewards inherent in the outdoor experience, we will raise a generation who will learn the ways of the wilderness. They will work to preserve a world that their own children will not simply be a product of, but will also be proud of."

Following the preface are chapters on stewardship and conservation and trip planning and outdoor safety. Short essays on nature and history topics are found throughout the book.

"Blackfiles, the most notorious of the Adirondacks' biting fly species, are voracious, demoralizing, and persistent," Kick writes in the Blackflies essay. "They are born in moving water, which is almost everywhere in the Adirondacks. Relative distance from water, however, does not promise diminished concentration of flies: They can travel 30 to 50 miles from their hatching areas. Their incisions can take weeks to heal, remaining itchy and painful, or even become infected."

In addition to chapters on each trip, the book has an "At-a-glance trip planner." The planner informs readers of the basics one would want to know when selecting a trip such as distance, if dogs are allowed and what type of activity it is. It is a good source for readers to use when choosing which trip to embark upon.

The chapters are broken down into four regions: High Peaks, northwest lakes and foothills, southeast mountains and rivers and southwest lakes and mountains. Because there is a small sampling of hikes, paddles and bike rides from each region, those chosen for the books are the more well known ones. For instance, the High Peaks region section has chapters on Mount Jo, Mount Marcy, Giant and Ampersand mountains.

"Mount Jo (2,876 feet) is perhaps the most approachable and well-loved little peak in the Adirondacks, the centerpiece of what has been called the area's 'finest square mile,'" Kick writes. "It is the geologic mascot of the Adirondack Mountain Club, named for Joesphine Scofield, fiancee of Henry Van Hoevenberg, founder and builder of the first Adirondack Lodge (which would later be called 'Adirondak Loj)."

Those interested in the book may order directly from the AMC at or by calling 800-262-4455. The e-book version is slated to be available in late April for Kindle, Apple, and Nook devices.



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