The Words That Made The Adirondack Park.

Section 1. The lands of the state, now owned or hereafter acquired,
constituting the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever
kept as wild forest lands. They shall not be leased, sold or
exchanged, or be taken by any corporation, public or private, nor
shall the timber thereon be sold, removed or destroyed. Nothing herein
contained shall prevent the state from constructing, completing and
maintaining any highway heretofore specifically authorized by
constitutional amendment, nor from constructing and maintaining to
federal standards federal aid interstate highway route five hundred
two from a point in the vicinity of the city of Glens Falls, thence
northerly to the vicinity of the villages of Lake George and
Warrensburg, the hamlets of South Horicon and Pottersville and thence
northerly in a generally straight line on the west side of Schroon
Lake to the vicinity of the hamlet of Schroon, then continuing
northerly to the vicinity of Schroon Falls, Schroon River and North
Hudson, and to the east of Makomis Mountain, east of the hamlet of New
Russia, east of the village of Elizabethtown and continuing northerly
in the vicinity of the hamlet of Towers Forge, and east of
Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain and continuing northerly to the vicinity of
the village of Keeseville and the city of Plattsburgh, all of the
aforesaid taking not to exceed a total of three hundred acres of state
forest preserve land, nor from constructing and maintaining not more
than twenty-five miles of ski trails thirty to two hundred feet wide,
together with appurtenances thereto, provided that no more than five
miles of such trails shall be in excess of one hundred twenty feet
wide, on the north, east and northwest slopes of Whiteface Mountain in
Essex county, nor from constructing and maintaining not more than
twenty-five miles of ski trails thirty to two hundred feet wide,
together with appurtenances thereto, provided that no more than two
miles of such trails shall be in excess of one hundred twenty feet
wide, on the slopes of Belleayre Mountain in Ulster and Delaware
counties and not more than forty miles of ski trails thirty to two
hundred feet wide, together with appurtenances thereto, provided that
no more than eight miles of such trails shall be in excess of one
hundred twenty feet wide, on the slopes of Gore and Pete Gay mountains
in Warren county, nor from relocating, reconstructing and maintaining
a total of not more than fifty miles of existing state highways for
the purpose of eliminating the hazards of dangerous curves and grades,
provided a total of no more than four hundred acres of forest preserve
land shall be used for such purpose and that no single relocated
portion of any highway shall exceed one mile in length.
Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, the state may convey to the
village of Saranac Lake ten acres of forest preserve land adjacent to
the boundaries of such village for public use in providing for refuse
disposal and in exchange therefore the village of Saranac Lake shall
convey to the state thirty acres of certain true forest land owned by
such village on Roaring Brook in the northern half of Lot 113,
Township 11, Richards Survey. Notwithstanding the foregoing
provisions, the state may convey to the town of Arietta twenty-eight
acres of forest preserve land within such town for public use in
providing for the extension of the runway and landing strip of the
Piseco airport and in exchange therefor the town of Arietta shall
convey to the state thirty acres of certain land owned by such town in
the town of Arietta. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions and
subject to legislative approval of the tracts to be exchanged prior to
the actual transfer of title, the state, in order to consolidate its
land holdings for better management, may convey to International Paper
Company approximately eight thousand five hundred acres of forest
preserve land located in townships two and three of Totten and
Crossfield`s Purchase and township nine of the Moose River Tract,
Hamilton county, and in exchange therefore International Paper Company
shall convey to the state for incorporation into the forest preserve
approximately the same number of acres of land located within such
townships and such County on condition that the legislature shall
determine that the lands to be received by the state are at least
equal in value to the lands to be conveyed by the state.
Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions and subject to legislative
approval of the tracts to be exchanged prior to the actual transfer of
title and the conditions herein set forth, the state, in order to
facilitate the preservation of historic buildings listed on the
national register of historic places by rejoining an historic grouping
of buildings under unitary ownership and stewardship, may convey to
Sagamore Institute Inc., a not-for-profit educational organization,
approximately ten acres of land and buildings thereon adjoining the
real property of the Sagamore Institute, Inc. and located on Sagamore
Road, near Racquette Lake Village, in the Town of Long Lake, county of
Hamilton, and in exchange therefor; Sagamore Institute, Inc. shall
convey to the state for incorporation into the forest preserve
approximately two hundred acres of wild forest land located within the
Adirondack Park on condition that the legislature shall determine that
the lands to be received by the state are at least equal in value to
the lands and buildings to be conveyed by the state and that the
natural and historic character of the lands and buildings conveyed by
the state will be secured by appropriate covenants and restrictions
and that the lands and buildings conveyed by the state will reasonably
be available for public visits according to agreement between Sagamore
Institute, Inc. and the state. Notwithstanding the foregoing
provisions the state may convey to the town of Arietta fifty acres of
forest preserve land within such town for public use in providing for
the extension of the runway and landing strip of the Piseco airport
and providing for the maintenance of a clear zone around such runway,
and in exchange therefor, the town of Arietta shall convey to the
state fifty-three acres of true forest land located in lot 2 township
2 Totten and Crossfield`s Purchase in the town of Lake Pleasant.
Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions and subject to
legislative approval prior to actual transfer of title, the state may
convey to the town of Keene, Essex county, for public use as a
cemetery owned by such town, approximately twelve acres of forest
preserve land within such town and, in exchange therefor, the town of
Keene shall convey to the state for incorporation into the forest
preserve approximately one hundred forty-four acres of land, together
with an easement over land owned by such town including the riverbed
adjacent to the land to be conveyed to the state that will restrict
further development of such land, on condition that the legislature
shall determine that the property to be received by the state is at
least equal in value to the land to be conveyed by the state.

Sec. 2. The legislature may by general laws provide for the
use of not exceeding three per centum of such lands for the
construction and maintenance of reservoirs for municipal water
supply, and for the canals of the state. Such reservoirs shall
be constructed, owned and controlled by the state, but such work
shall not be undertaken until after the boundaries and high flow
lines thereof shall have been accurately surveyed and fixed, and
after public notice, hearing and determination that such lands
are required for such public use. The expense of any such
improvements shall be apportioned on the public and private
property and municipalities benefited to the extent of the
benefits received. Any such reservoir shall always be operated
by the state and the legislature shall provide for a charge upon
the property and municipalities benefited for a reasonable return
to the state upon the value of the rights and property of the
state used and the services of the state rendered, which shall be
fixed for terms of not exceeding ten years and be readjustable at
the end of any term. Unsanitary conditions shall not be created
or continued by any such public works.

Sec. 3. 1. Forest and wild life conservation are hereby
declared to be policies of the state. For the purpose of
carrying out such policies the legislature may appropriate moneys
for the acquisition by the state of land, outside of the
Adirondack and Catskill parks as now fixed by law, for the
practice of forest or wild life conservation. The prohibitions
of section 1 of this article shall not apply to any lands
heretofore or hereafter acquired or dedicated for such purposes
within the forest preserve counties but outside of the Adirondack
and Catskill parks as now fixed by law, except that such lands
shall not be leased, sold or exchanged, or be taken by any
corporation, public or private.
2. As to any other lands of the state, now owned or
hereafter acquired, constituting the forest preserve referred to
in section one of this article, but outside of the Adirondack and
Catskill parks as now fixed by law, and consisting in any case of
not more than one hundred contiguous acres entirely separated
from any other portion of the forest preserve, the legislature
may by appropriate legislation, notwithstanding the provisions of
section one of this article, authorize: (a) the dedication
thereof for the practice of forest or wildlife conservation; or
(b) the use thereof for public recreational or other state
purposes or the sale, exchange or other disposition thereof;
provided, however, that all moneys derived from the sale or other
disposition of any of such lands shall be paid into a special
fund of the treasury and be expended only for the acquisition of
additional lands for such forest preserve within either such
Adirondack or Catskill park.

Sec. 4. The policy of the state shall be to conserve and
protect its natural resources and scenic beauty and encourage the
development and improvement of its agricultural lands for the
production of food and other agricultural products. The
legislature, in implementing this policy, shall include adequate
provision for the abatement of air and water pollution and of
excessive and unnecessary noise, the protection of agricultural
lands, wetlands and shorelines, and the development and
regulation of water resources. The legislature shall further
provide for the acquisition of lands and waters, including
improvements thereon and any interest therein, outside the forest
preserve counties, and the dedication of properties so acquired
or now owned, which because of their natural beauty, wilderness
character, or geological, ecological or historical significance,
shall be preserved and administered for the use and enjoyment of
the people. Properties so dedicated shall constitute the state
nature and historical preserve and they shall not be taken or
otherwise disposed of except by law enacted by two successive
regular sessions of the legislature.

Sec. 5. A violation of any of the provisions of this article
may be restrained at the suit of the people or, with the consent
of the supreme court in appellate division, on notice to the
attorney-general at the suit of any citizen.

Warren County Bikeway

At the southern tip of Lake George where the steamships dock, you’ll find the entrance to the Warren County Bikeway – a beautiful wooded 9.5-mile long bike path that travels from Lake George through the Glens Falls Region.

The bike path is dotted with signs from the historical association, telling of times past and events that make the trip educational as well as great fun! There are picnic tables along the way and scenic spots to stop and take a break, so be sure to pack your backpack with a snack and enjoy the sights and sounds of the streams that run along the path.

Along the way, you will bike in a forest under a canopy of trees. You’ll pass the Magic Forest Amusement Park, continue over the bridge near the outlet malls, and over a bridge which goes over a small inlet of Glen Lake and past the Glens Falls Country Club.

Note: Dogs are prohibited on the bikeway, as indicated by signs.

What is Powassan virus

Powassan virus is a flavivirus transmitted by ticks, found in North America and in the Russian Far East. It is named after the town of Powassan, Ontario, where it was identified in a young boy who eventually died from it. It can cause encephalitis, an infection of the brain. No vaccine or antiviral drug exists. Prevention of tick bites is the best precaution.


The Powassan Virus (POWV) is a flavivirus named after the town of Powassan, Ontario, where it was identified in a young boy who eventually died from it. The virus exists in North America [1][2] As of 2010, the Powassan Virus has been noted as the only tick-borne flavivirus in North America with human pathogenicity.[3]

Powassan virus is also found in the warm climate across Eurasia, where it is part of the tick-borne encephalitis virus-complex.[4] It is found in the Russian Far East (Primorsky Krai) and appears to have been introduced there 70 years ago.[5]


The Powassan Virus is an RNA virus split into two separate lineages, Lineage I, labeled as the “prototype” lineage, and Lineage II, the deer tick virus (DTV) lineage.[4] Lineage II has the most genetic variation, which indicates that it is most likely the ancestral lineage that split as a result of positive natural selection.[4] DTV is very closely related to Powassan virus and a sequence analysis showed that the two viruses diverged about 200 years ago.[6] Even though lineage II has been predominant in POWV positive tick pools, both lineages have had confirmed cases of human disease in North America and Russia[2][7] The lineages share 84% nucleotide sequences and 94% amino acid sequence identity.[4] Cross-neutralization occurs among flaviviruses due to the conservation of the envelope protein; this is what contributes to the fact that the two lineages are “serologically indistinguishable”.[1] As a result, the lineages are part of the same viral species.[5]


The virus can be transmitted with bites from altogether six known species of ticks; the following four species of Ixodes ticks: Ixodes cookei, Ixodes scapularis, Ixodes marxi and Ixodes spinipalpus and the ticksDermacentor andersoni and Dermacentor variabilis.[1]

There are rare cases in which Ix. cookei attaches to humans, and as a result people with POWV have been mostly confirmed as having one strain of POWV, the deer tick virus. [4] Ix. scapularis is an important vector for the Deer Tick Virus, which plays a vital role in maintaining the POWV.[4] Ix. scapularis is also a primary vector for the agent of Lyme disease, because they are generalist feeders and readily bite humans.[8]

In Canada and the Northeastern United States Ixodes cookei is the predominant species, while Ix. scapularis is a significant vector in Minnesota and Wisconsin.[2] POWV is transmitted, when an infected tick bites a mammal; in humans the tick is typically Ix. scapularis.[9] In North America, the lineages of the POWV are maintained in three main enzootic cycles[4] involving three different tick species and their respective small to medium-sized woodland mammals.[4] POWV may infect Ix. cookei and woodchucks, or it may infect Ix. marxi and squirrels, and it can cycle between Ix. scapularis and white-footed mice.[7]

Based on the time interval for other tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease and anaplasmosis, the time interval for transmission of POWV is expected to be less than 12 hours.[10] Once the POWV reaches humans it cannot be transmitted to a feeding tick, therefore humans are considered “dead-end” hosts.[7] As of 2004, the fastest transmission time of DTV from a Ix. scapularis nymph to a mouse was no more than 15 minutes.[11]


Powassan virus infection is rarely diagnosed as a cause of encephalitis; however, when it is, Powassan encephalitis is severe, and neurologic sequelae are common.[1] Powassan encephalitis has symptoms compatible with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, oftentimes making it difficult to diagnose.[1] Powassan virus encephalitis is a challenge to diagnose because there are only a few laboratories that offer testing, the most effective being serologic testing.[12]

There are currently no medications or vaccines to treat or prevent the POWV. Victims of the Powassan virus generally show first symptoms after 1 to 3 weeks.[2] The initial symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, occasional confusion, and weakness.[7] With severe Powassan illnesses the victims should be hospitalized, because the symptoms do worsen. If not treated, symptoms could extend to meningoencephalitis, which may include: seizures, aphasia, cranial nerve palsies, paresis and altered mental status.[2][7] Currently, the best ways to treat POWV illnesses include medications to reduce brain swelling, respiratory support and intravenous fluids.[7] About 10% of POWV encephalitis cases are fatal and half the survivors have permanent symptoms that affect their brain.[10] Powassan virus has been responsible for 49 deaths in the U.S. between 2000 and 2011.[8][verification needed]

A rare case of a five-month-old Connecticut infant boy contracting Powassan virus infection was published in 2017. He survived with normal motor and verbal development on follow-up at the age of 10 months, but a severely abnormal head MRI showed scarring (gliosis) and softening (encephalomalacia) in the thalamus and basal ganglia on both sides, and volume loss and early mineralization in the left basal ganglia.[13]


When it comes to tick-borne disease, prevention is the most important thing. To prevent humans from being bitten by a tick, it is best to avoid tick habitats such as densely wooded areas and/or areas covered with tall grass. In addition, wearing light colored clothing that covers all parts of the skin (long sleeves, tall socks) would help locate ticks on the body and prevent them from being able to attach directly to the skin.[14] Self-checks should be done every time after playing outside. It can also be beneficial to have a friend or family member check over one’s body and vice versa. To help prevent tick bites, clothing, footwear and outdoor gear may be pre-treated with repellent containing permethrin. For the prevention of animals being bitten by a tick, one should use a tick/insect repellent. Note that signs and symptoms may not arise for 7 to 21 days, so the pet must be monitored closely, especially if it has been outdoors in areas where ticks are more likely to dwell. In addition, a full body check to search for ticks that may be hitching a ride should be done.[15]

Second case of rare tick-borne illness confirmed in Upstate NY


ALBANY, N.Y. — Health officials say a second case of a rare tick-borne virus has been confirmed and another is probable in the upstate New York county where a man died last month after contracting the illness.

State health officials say Tuesday a second case of the Powassan virus has been confirmed in Saratoga County. Officials expected a third case to be confirmed as Powassan.

The person with the confirmed case of Powassan remains hospitalized, while the other person was treated and released. Officials aren’t releasing other information.

The Health Department previously said that a person was found to have had the Powassan virus after dying last month. The illness hasn’t been medically confirmed to have caused the death.

The victim’s family told local media he was a 74-year-old Saratoga County resident.

Take the past mild winter, growing deer and mice populations and the result is an expected boom in numbers of ticks this year  – and most likely, a rise in incidents of Lyme disease in Upstate New York.

If that isn’t bad enough, a more serious tick-borne disease may be emerging in the Northeast that’s been reported in deer ticks. It’s Powassan virus, which is far rarer but more deadly than the bacterium that results in Lyme, according to

Powassan causes inflammation of the brain and can lead to death or permanent disability in 60 percent of the cases. There is no real treatment for the disease, “just supportive care until the body vanquishes it.”

From 2006 to 2015,  a total of 75 instances of the severe disease have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those cases, 16 were in New York.

Just last week a 5-month-old baby from Connecticut was diagnosed after developing neurological symptoms,” according to

“The bottom line is that we should be very scared of it because nobody is safe from it,” said Dr. Jennifer Lyons, chief of the division of neurological and inflammatory diseases at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an assistant professor of neurology at the Harvard Medical School. “And it could be that it is emerging and will explode over the next few years.”

Researchers have known about the Powassan virus for a while, but didn’t consider it a big problem because it was carried by a tick that rarely bites humans. That has changed, though, because it is now being carried by deer ticks, which do bite humans.

Experts differ on the extent of the danger of this disease to the general population, emphasizing it’s still relatively rare.  They note that they don’t have a handle on how many are actually infected with it since the current stats are based on individuals who show severe symptoms – and that there possibly there more that are infected and only exhibit minor symptoms.

Nevertheless, one thing to emphasize is that the Powassan virus can be transmitted to a human host by a deer tick in as little as 15 minutes. By comparison, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease needs some 24 hours to pass from a tick to a human.

The Powassan virus “goes to the brain an attacks the part that keeps you awake, keep your heart rate steady and your breathing drive going,” said

Symptoms of Powassan virus include fever, headache, loss of coordination, trouble speaking, and even seizures.

The reported cases have mostly come from the Northeast and the northern part of the Midwest.

Nature’s call: How to properly go to the bathroom in the woods

What are the best ways for an Upstate New York outdoors enthusiast to pee and poop in the woods when there are no regular toilets or outhouses around?

Some may find this a humorous or silly subject, but the ramifications of doing things haphazardly or in a non-caring manner have both social/aesthetic and ecological implication

For example, as more people than ever flock to the Adirondacks to enjoy the park’s natural wonders and numerous activities, the number of people who answer Mother Nature’s call in the outdoors is steadily increasing.  And so are the incidents of those who relieve themselves without consideration of others or the environment.

“It’s a big issue in the High Peaks,” said Neil Woodward, executive director of the Adirondack Mountaion Club. He noted the highly popular, 6-mile trail up to Mt. Marcy, the highest peak in the state, occasionally shows signs of visible “toilet paper blooms” just off the trail leading up to the summit.

The following are recommendations from the Adirondack Mountain Club and other sources of how an outdoors enthusiast can handle No. 1 and No. 2 situations in discrete and sanitary ways without leaving any unsightly, messy or smelly traces behind.


For males, urination is usually not a problem for anatomical reasons. A good rule of thumb is relieving one’s self in a secluded spot at least 150 to 200 feet away (about 70 paces)  from a camping site, hiking trail or a water source.  Watch out for poison ivy and bees nests.

It gets a bit more complicated for females. Basics include:

*Pick a good spot to do your business. Choose an area that’s secluded and least 150 to 200 feet away (just like the guys). The best bet is an area that allows a clear drop on flat ground, without any plants in the way and not on a flat rock. You run the risk of splattering on yourself.  Also, be on the lookout for poison ivy, ant hills or bees nests. If on a slope, always position yourself so you’re facing downward.  If you have a hand shovel, you can dig a hole or trough to pee in, but it’s not necessary.

*Get your clothes out of the way. Your pants and underwear should be down to your mid-thighs, or slightly below your knees. It’s harder for the stream to clear your pants if they are around your ankles and you are more vulnerable to tripping and losing your balance, noted a story on the topic posted on

*The squat.  Assume a wide stance for balance (to make sure your feet are out of the way) and get down as low as you can.  Think of sitting in a chair. You can hold on to or put your back against a tree, a rock or something else for balance.

*The aftermath: One approach is to finish by shaking one’s hips to shake off any lingering drops and then allow a few seconds to air dry. Many prefer to bring toilet paper to wipe themselves. Don’t leave it on the ground.  Most toilet paper doesn’t biodegrade quickly and leaves a trashy mess on the ground. The best approach if you bring TP and use it is to put what you use in a ziplock baggie and pack it out. Another method is to bring along a “pee-kerchief,” a handkerchief one can use to wipe one’s self.  Attach it to your backpack to air dry.  It’s a good idea to bring along a little bottle of hand sanitizer lotion for your hands afterward.

The P-mate, one of several female urination devices available for outdoors enthusiasts. Photo by David Figura l
The P-mate, one of several female urination devices available for outdoors enthusiasts. Photo by David Figura l (David Figura l

*Pee like a guy. There are several products on the market called“female urination devices” that are either one-time or reusable funnel-type devices that enable women to pee standing up.  Products includeP-Mate, Go Girl, Pstyle, Pee Pocket.  “Make sure that all sides of the top of the pee funnel have good contact with your body so that if forms a complete seal and no pee escapes. It’s a good idea to practice at home in the shower beforehand to make sure you’ve mastered the technique,” according a story on


According to the ADK Mountain Club, there are four objectives for proper human waste disposal in the outdoors: “Avoid polluting water sources, eliminate contact with insects and animals, maximize decomposition and minimize the chances of social impacts.” Basics include:

*Pick a good, secluded location (150 to 200 feet away from a trail or campsite, free of poison ivy, etc..) and dig a “cat hole” with a stick or a garden trowel that you brought along.  Once again, look for a spot that provides a clear drop and be on the lookout for poison ivy, ant hills or bees nests. Using a garden trowel or a stick, dig a hole about 6 to 8 inches deep with a diameter of about 8 inches (the size of a coffee can).  Pick spots that “minimize the concentration of cumulative visitor deposits along trails or near campsite,” the ADK recommends.

*Get comfortable and squat. You can either squat and balance yourself; lean against or grab on to a tree trunk as you squat; grab an overhead branch as you squat – or find a log, dig your hole on one side and sit on the log hanging your rear over the hole.

*The aftermath. Once finished cover your feces with soil in the hole and cover the hole with leaves and sticks. You can either wipe yourself with leaves or toilet paper that you brought along.  Just putting a rock over it doesn’t cut it because the four objectives mentioned above aren’t met.

Options for disposing of toilet paper including “burying it deep in the cat hole or packing it out,” the ADK said. “Do not attempt to burn toilet paper as it rarely burns completely and has caused wild fires. … Always pack out feminine hygiene products.” Finally, it’s a good idea to bring along a little bottle of hand sanitizer lotion to use afterward.

*Another option: One can also just bag and seal the solid waste in a ziplock baggie, taking it with you when you leave.  It makes sense for winter campers and hikers when the ground is frozen, making digging a cat hole impossible “and spring snowmelt and runoff will leave it in the ground and possibly into water sources,” according to the ADK. Products you can buy for this include Biffy Bags, ReSTop and,Cleanwaste.

Sleeping Beauty


This trail has many switchbacks to keep the steepness moderate. Good views of Lake George and the southeastern Adirondacks. 6.4 mile loop hike from Hogs Town parking lot. 4.8 mile loop hike from the Dacy Clearing parking lot. The length of the hike to Sleeping Beauty depends on if the woods road from the trailhead parking lot to Dacy Clearing is open ( and you are willing to drive it) or not. If you can drive to Dacy Clearing the hike is a moderate 1.8 miles, each way, to the favored lookout and another 0.4 or so miles to the actual summit. If the woods road is closed, or you don’t want to drive it, add 1.6 miles each way of easy road walk to your trip. The trail from Dacy Clearing to the cutoff to Sleeping Beauty is a broad tote road. The trail beyond that point is a delight with actual switch backs, walking below and around cliffs that you will be looking out from near the summit. The views are expansive and include Crane Mountain to the west and Pico and Killington to the east, as well as Lake George. The cliffs face east, south, and west, so you can enjoy your day in the sun. From here, you can choose to backtrack and make it an out-and-back hike for 4.4 total miles from Dacy Clearing (7.6 miles if from Hog Town parking area). Alternately, you can head back to a marker in an earlier section of the trail and bear left to descend another series of switchbacks before reach Bumps Pond. Continue following the trail around the pond. The trail descends again, passing several lookouts before you complete the loop. Return the same route to Dacy Clearing and finally the parking area.


A great day and hike with awesome friends…..

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Follow these directions to the Hog Town Trailhead:

  • Take Exit 20 from the Adirondack Northway (I-87), and continue past the outlet malls.
  • Turn right onto Route 149, and continue until the intersection with Buttermilk Falls Road.
  • Turn left onto Buttermilk Falls Road, and continue for 3.2 miles until it becomes a dirt road (Sly Pond Road).
  • When Sly Pond Road intersects with Hog Town Road, stay straight onto Shelving Rock Road.
  • Dacy Clearing Road will branch off to the right, the parking lot you see here is the Hog Town Trailhead.

During certain times of year, usually in the summer and during prolonged periods of dry weather, the road from the Hog Town Trailhead to Dacy Clearing is open to vehicle traffic. It is a single-lane, dirt road with many bumps and dips, so if your car can’t handle this type of terrain, you should park in the Hog Town lot. If the gate to the road is closed, you will also have to park in the Hog Town lot and begin your hike from there.

If the gate is open and your car is well-suited for rough terrain, you can drive the approximately 1.5-mile dirt road to Dacy Clearing and begin your hike there.


As mentioned in the previous section, one of the most important elements of any survival situation is being prepared. Of course, no one can truly be prepared for everything, so it’s better to think of preparedness as a spectrum. On one end of the spectrum is someone who hasn’t spent any time thinking about survival or preparedness whatsoever. On the opposite side of that spectrum is a professional or instructor who has spent extensive time training, researching and honing their survival skills. Everyone should aim to be somewhere in the middle of these two extremes but also never stop seeking opportunities to gain more knowledge. We all have to start somewhere. If you’re just beginning to learn about survival skills and concepts, at least you’ve taken a step in the right direction.


Good opportunities to grow your survival knowledge include: reading books and articles; watching tutorial videos or programs from trustworthy sources; enrolling in reputable survival courses; and learning first-hand from someone with experience. No matter how much you know, there is always something more to learn. Even trained professionals continue to learn from one another and share knowledge. The best survivalists are life-long learners.

Practice and test your wilderness survival skills before you need them.

It’s very important to practice new skills before you need them in a survival scenario. Although you won’t necessarily be able to test every skill, you can try out many of the most fundamental wilderness survival skills on a camping trip or in your own backyard. Rehearsing these skills will give you a much better chance of performing them successfully in a real life-threatening situation.


Being well-prepared for potential survival scenarios also includes taking good care of your health. Skills and gear are certainly important, but you’ll greatly improve your odds of surviving by conditioning your body. This can be a distinct advantage in outdoor survival scenarios because you will be more resilient against the elements and better equipped to withstand injury and keep going. Working on your conditioning will also make you familiar with your own capabilities, which may help you avoid a bad situation. Simply knowing your physical limitations is an important aspect of making smart decisions in the great outdoors. For tips and information on creating a workout plan, check out our Fitness Guide.


Attitude and willpower can make a big difference in a survival scenario, more than most people realize. People who have survived life-threatening events are often surprised when they make it out alive. Although they were undoubtedly scared and possibly even on the brink of death, willpower kept them going. Nearly all survival instructors agree that willpower and attitude have a significant effect on a person’s ability to survive. We’re naturally wired to fight for self-preservation, but that willingness to fight inevitably starts to diminish during an extended, life-threatening situation, such as being stranded out in the wilderness. Making a concerted effort to focus on a positive outcome isn’t easy and only becomes harder as a situation grows increasingly dire. Fatigue, thirst, hunger, bad weather, injuries, pain and illness can all overpower the urge to keep going. No matter how bad things get, there is always hope. This is something that anyone in a survival situation must focus on.

People are often amazed at just how far they can push their bodies when the chips are down. Consider the story of Autumn Veatch. In 2015, the sixteen-year-old high-school student was in a small plane with her two grandparents, flying home from Kalispell, Montana to Lynden, Washington. Midway through the flight, her grandfather (the pilot) lost his bearings in thick clouds and crash landed deep in the North Cascades. As the plane caught fire, Autumn managed to escape and tried unsuccessfully to pull her grandfather to safety, suffering third-degree burns on her hands in the process. After realizing her grandparents had passed away in the flaming wreckage, Autumn started walking until she found a small stream. After following the stream for two days through difficult and dangerous alpine woodlands, she finally reached a hiking trailhead just off highway 20, where she was picked up by two hikers. Watching survival shows with her father had given her the knowledge to follow water downstream toward civilization.

“I was certain I was going to die,” Autumn said after her harrowing experience,according to Seattle Times. “I thought, ‘I can’t do this to my loved ones.’” Without any supplies, she had no way to stay warm or protect herself from the elements. Amazingly, despite being burned, wet and suffering from early stages of hypothermia, she kept going. As she walked through the woods, Autumn thought about what it would be like to eat her favorite cereal and hug her boyfriend again. “Appreciate the little things,” she said. “Those are the things you’ll miss when you’re in the forest, dying.”


There’s a military expression: “Good initiative, bad judgement.” Taking initiative is important, but it can also lead to a bad outcome. Finding the right balance between inaction and impulsiveness is critical in a survival scenario. If you suddenly find yourself in a struggle to survive, it’s crucial to stop, assess the situation and come up with a game plan. This includes assessing your surroundings, taking stock of any gear and supplies, and figuring out the best way to reach safety or alert rescuers. There are occasions when snap judgements must be made, but stopping to assess after that decision could make the difference between reaching safety or not. In a bad situation, this may include the decision to hunker down and wait for help or to attempt self-rescue. Likewise, if you decide to take a certain course of action and the conditions change, you may need to stop, re-evaluate and adjust your course of action. Survival is all about adaptation, problem solving and critical thinking.

Recommended Survival Kits — Top 10 Essentials

To trim a survival kit down to its top 10 essentials is to reveal the utmost necessary items for ad hoc shelter, warmth, communication, navigation, and sustenance in the deep backwoods. Here, then, are three survivalists’ lean lists of gear you should not be without in any wilderness situation.

Todd Smith, Outdoor Life Magazine

  • Personal locator beacon (PLB) or cell phone
  • Map of area
  • Compass
  • Small first-aid kit
  • Water bottle
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Lighter and fire starters
  • Space blanket/bivy sack
  • Whistle
  • Signal mirror
  • Doug Ritter, Equipped To Survive

    • HeatSheets brand space blanket
    • Gloves
    • Chlorine dioxide water-purification tablets
    • Nylon braided line
    • Whistle
    • Lighter
    • Waterproof matches
    • Tinder (for fire starting)
    • Signal mirror
    • Personal locator beacon (PLB)
    • Mike Forti, United States Air Force Survival School

      • Large knife (machete or hatchet)
      • Cell phone
      • Bic Lighter
      • 9 x 12 foot plastic painter’s tarp (0.35 mm thickness)
      • Mylar survival blanket
      • Mini LED flashlight
      • Water purification tablets
      • Water Container of some sort
      • Small roll of fishing line or dental floss
      • Fifty dollar bill (“After a few days lost in the woods eating bugs, it would be a real shame to emerge next to a 7-11, and have no money for food,” Forti said.)
      • Technology Updates: 2017

        Personal Locator Beacons: These are smaller, affordable, reliable, and offer many new features. Companies like SPOT andDeLorme now offer products that post almost real-time tracks of adventurers far off the grid. TheSPOT Gen3, for example, sells for as low as $150 and enables users to send simple, pre-programmed messages (all ok, send help, etc.) to friends and family or initiate rescue through a first-responder network.

        Satellite Messaging: Sending text messages via satellite phone has gotten affordable. DeLorme’s new inReach SE, a satellite-based GPScommunicator, costs $300 and, for $50 a month, offers unlimited texting from almost anywhere on the planet.

        Cell Phones: While cell phones are still not 100 percent reliable in the backcountry, service coverage and the usefulness of smartphones has increased dramatically in the last seven years. While cell phones are still questionably reliable in the backcountry, many adventurers will carry them anyway as they also serve as light cameras and can help with GPS and electronic compass navigation. Today, most of them also work as a flashlight. Regardless, they are worthless if the battery is dead, so plan accordingly.