Map: Tug Hill State Forest (North)

Map: Tug Hill State Forest (North)

This 12,242-acre state forest, actually a combination of four neighboring forests, is so named because it is located entirely on the Tug Hill Plateau, an area that is renowned for its harsh winters and heavy snowfalls. Much of the forest is formerly abandoned agricultural land which was purchased by the state in the 1930's for around $4 per acre. Immediately after the property was acquired, state tree planting crews reforested the depleted farm fields to white spruce, white pine, red pine, and, to a lesser degree, other conifer species. Today, these early tree planting efforts are evidenced by the many softwood plantations that exist on the forest. Under the care and custody of the State's foresters, these early plantings, along with natural hardwood and softwood stands, have matured and are now producing a wide variety of forest products.

In July 1995, a severe windstorm or "microburst" swept through the area, devastating hundreds of acres of timber and leaving in its wake dramatic scars to the landscape that will continue to be evident to future generations. The more valuable downed timber was purchased and salvaged by numerous local loggers under contract with the state. Many roads and recreational trails were temporarily blocked by trees that had been downed by the storm. In addition to the commercial logging operations, NYSDEC's Operations personnel and local volunteers joined forces and pitched in to reopen these routes in very short order.

Because of the heavy snow cover that this area endures for nearly half of the year, it is no surprise that winter sports such as snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dogsledding, and cross-country skiing dominate the local recreational scene. Other popular outdoor activities include white-tailed deer and snowshoe hare hunting, woodland hiking and biking, and brook trout fishing. Access to the area is provided by over 16 miles of graveled forest roads and is highlighted by the well known 13.2 mile Barnes Corners Cross-country Ski Trail System.

Map: Kunjamuk River To Elm Lake

Map: Kunjamuk River To Elm Lake

A popular paddle is from the Kunjamunk Bay in Spectulator up to Elm Lake. Elm Lake is quite scenic and it's a nice day trip, but crossing beaver dams on the Kunjamunk River is often not fun, as the river banks are mucky and water deep around the river banks. About halfway, you can stop at the bridge, and hike back to a man-made cave carved into Cave Mountain. The cave isn't real deep but still an interesting fascination.

The 89 million dollar question is will we break the 2007 record of 89 degrees today. Regardless, it’s going to be a hot and humid day today with dew points in the upper 60s and temperatures expected climb into the upper 80s or maybe low 90s. And the warmth is expected to progress into the evening. Enjoy it, much cooler weather starts pushing in on Thursday. 

The sun will set at 6:44 pm with dusk around 7:12 pm, which is one minute and 47 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for mostly clear conditions and 83 degrees. The dew point will be 69 degrees. The heat index around sunset will be 71. There will be a calm wind. Today will have 11 hours and 56 minutes of daytime, an increase of 2 minutes and 53 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be mostly clear, with a low of 64 degrees at 6am. 17 degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 69 at 6pm. Light south wind. Another hot and sticky evening here in the city but it will be somewhat  cooler come tomorrow evening. In 2016, we had mostly cloudy skies. It got down to 52 degrees. The record low of 24 occurred back in 1947.

Albany is still deja moo, the same old bull that pays the bills. Moose River Plains was so nice this past weekend as was the drive back through the Black River Valley and along the West Canada Creek. It evidence that a few nice places still remain in New York, not totally spoiled by dictates of out of touch politicians and the zealots who put them into office. I have a case of the Mondays. 

So I’m making progress in putting my camp gear away but I still have more to do. The camera looks like it is drying out well, I will see if it works later in the week. I probably should get a waterproof pouch for that too, they are so inexpensive today. While I can’t shoot well through that it could protect the camera while climbing in and out of the kayak when going over beaver dams and other times when I know there is a high risk of going into the drink. 

While next weekend is expected to be quite beautiful but much cooler, I probably will stay in town in preparation for my Columbus Day week trip. I still haven’t finalized my plans for the week and I don’t know if it’s even on the work schedule yet but I should follow up on that. I kind of want to do the Blue Ridge Parkway but I’m undecided about driving so far away and I really don’t like staying in developed campgrounds with campsites right upon each other. This time of year the days are so short and lately I’ve been so drowsy that I’m not not sure how far I really want to go. 

Looking ahead to next week, the sun will be setting at 6:32 pm with dusk at 7:00 pm. On that day in 2016, we had drizzle, mostly cloudy skies and temperatures between 72 and 57 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 65 degrees. We hit a record high of 83 back in 1967.

Good morning! Happy Tuesday as the late September heat wave continues (for now). Foggy and 65 degrees in Delmar, NY. Calm wind. The dew point is 64 degrees. Humid, muggy, and just a damp summer morning.

Today will have areas of fog before 8am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high of 87 degrees at 3pm. 19 degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 70 at 11am. Calm wind. Hazy, hot and humid. It’s Indian Summer. A year ago, we had partly cloudy skies. The high last year was 68 degrees. The record high of 89 was set in 2007. It’s possible we will break that record today, only time will show. Hopefully your office is well air coniditonined, so you won’t notice the heat until going home time. And by then the sun will have set low enough that the temperatures will be dropping.

Enjoy Indian Summer while you still can.