Finding Home in the Adirondacks

Before I began working for the Lake Placid Land Conservancy and moving to a small farm in Westport for the summer, I had never spent more than a day in the Adirondack Park. Now, as I approach the two-month mark of living and working here, I feel very much at home. The great natural beauty of this area and the kindness of the communities I’ve been living and working in make the Adirondacks an easy place to love. Something I’ve come to admire about the local residents of the Park is the way they love to share their personal favorite spots in the area with newcomers like myself, a trait that has brought me to so many places I may never have seen otherwise. It seems like everyone I meet has a great recommendation for a hike, a swim, a view, a farmstand, something totally unique to the Adirondacks. So in the style of the Adirondack locals who have shown me so many memorable places, I would also like to share a few of the best spots of the area, in my outsider’s opinion.


One of my favorite finds this summer was swimming at Split Rock Falls in Elizabethtown. Although it’s a little busy, the series of waterfalls, the cold and clear water, and the opportunity for cliff jumping make it unbeatable. I’ve also come to love the view from the docks of the Westport Marina on Lake Champlain – it’s a great place to cool off in a heat wave. In terms of breweries, Ledge Hill Brewery is amazing, full of great people and drinks. My new favorite hike in the region is easily the short and scenic Baxter Mountain hike, recommended by a friend in Westport. My time in the Adirondacks, while at times somewhat challenging, has led to so many great new experiences thanks to the ADK locals who welcomed me.
Emma Kaminski joined LPLC as our Colgate Conservation Intern for the summer of 2021. She has played an important role in developing and rolling out our new Keeping Track community trail camera project in North Elba and our Wild Waypoints project that guides visitors and residents around the Ausable and Saranac River valleys. Emma is pursuing majors in Environmental Geography and Russian at Colgate and has enjoyed applying her studies to the work being done at LPLC conserving the land in and around Lake Placid.