LONG LAKE - The Town of Long Lake is offering three fall hikes during this year's leaf peeping season.
State-certified guides Spencer Morrissey and Joan Collins will lead the Sept. 28, Oct. 5 and Oct. 12 hikes. The hikes are free, but gratuities for the guides are encouraged and appreciated.
All hikes require pre-registration and are limited to 15 people. They are open to all ages, but adults must accompany children under age 16. Call (518) 624-3077 to reserve a spot.
Free transportation is provided, and all trips depart from the Long Lake Town Offices at 1130 Deerland Road.
Saturday, Sept. 28, is West Mountain in Raquette Lake with Spencer Morrissey. Departure is at 9 a.m. This 9.6-mile round-trip is a slightly challenging, full-day hike up a former fire tower peak for very nice views of the surrounding area.
Saturday, Oct. 5, is Lows Ridge / Hitchins Pond with Joan Collins, departing at 8 a.m. Walk into beautiful Hitchins Pond and the Upper Dam on the Bog River. Common loons nest on Hitchins Pond each year, and bald eagles and great blue herons are also a common sight.
The route is an old dirt road that passes through many lovely and varied habitats. There will be a food break after the 2.5-mile walk on level terrain to Hitchins Pond. There will be an optional 1.5-mile round-trip hike up Low's Ridge for spectacular views of the Bog River Valley and High Peaks.
This is a flat, but long trip in a very isolated area. Hikers must be in good condition and carry ample energy food and lunch. Check in with trip organizers to order a lunch to be delivered trailside from the Adirondack Trading Post for $10. The trip takes five to six hours.
Bring bug protection, hat, sunscreen, water, lunch, binoculars and appropriate clothing / jacket and footwear. Lunch menus will be provided and must be returned and paid for in cash before departure.
Saturday, Oct. 12, go to Indian Pass with Spencer Morrissey, leaving at 9 a.m.
This 10.4-mile, one-way through hike is one of the more popular outings. Hike all the way through the pass from Tahawus to Lake Placid, where The Little Bus will pick everyone up.
This outstanding historic hike offers easy to very difficult terrain, but along the way the views and vistas are well worth the effort.
Spencer Morrissey is a 46er, a bushwack 46er and Adirondack 100 finisher. He has climbed 675 different Adirondack peaks and is proficient in GPS, map and compass navigation.
In addition to year-round Adirondack excursions, Morrissey has also been a team leader of a Mt. Rainer expedition, a team leader for Mount Adams in Washington State, completion of New Hampshire's 4,000-footers, Death Valley expeditions and a vast resume of winter excursions.
Morrissey is the author of "The Other 54" and "Adirondack Trail Runner." He also writes for the Lake Placid Visitors Bureau and the Town of Long Lake's website, www.mylonglake.com/blog.
Joan Collins is a New York state-licensed bird guide, bird walk leader, writer, speaker on ornithology topics and an Adirondack 46er. She has led walks and made presentations for many organizations including Audubon, Adirondack Mountain Club and New York State Ornithological Association.
Collins is a serious ear-birder and is fascinated by bird vocalizations / sounds, bird behavior, migration and the history of North American ornithology. She is a board member NYS Ornithological Association and Northern NY Audubon Society.