Spiking on the Plattsburgh Shore

(DoNorth/Seth Thomas) Worthy of a postcard from paradise, the fine-grained sand of Plattsburgh City Beach comprises one of the largest freshwater beaches in the United States. It has played host to sporting leagues, fitness classes, major cup events and live music festivals. On July 26, 2014, the beach will host its first ever Pro-Am Volleyball tournament — the Extreme Volleyball Professionals (EVP) Tour. Plattsburgh City Beach features over a mile of sandy beach, a swimming area, tables and grills, a concession stand, kayak rentals and a nature trail. The beach itself is smooth, with minimal rocks — perfect for volleyball. “To…

Plattsburgh Boasts Its Bass

Bobby Williams, a pro angler for the Bass Federation, glided in his boat in search for the bass that cultivated in the deep and shallow Lake Champlain waters. The water mirrored the sun as a bright glaze set upon the calm, flat surface. Two years ago, Williams decided to stick around after one of the annual New York Bass Federation, NYTBF collegiate tournaments. In three days, Williams caught over 100 fish. Under Champlain’s grayish-blue murky water live 81 different species of fish. Brook trout, lake trout, northern pike, pickerel, rainbow trout and landlocked salmon are among other fish that glide…

Plattsburgh Women Gear Up for Roller Derby

With helmets tight, arms steady and skates poised, eight women crouch, gazing over their shoulders at the lanky skater behind them. A hush overtakes the rambunctious crowd as the announcer starts bellowing: “The legend of these tracks. Right here.” “Five seconds,” the referee cues. The air horn sounds, and cheers erupt from the bleachers as the skaters charge down a straightaway, elbowing and tripping each other as they round the flat oval track’s curve and speed down the opposite stretch. They flip-flop positions, elbows flying. The last skater passes the pack, her hands slashing against her side to signal the…

Find Rich History and Ice Skating at Lake Placid

Worn wooden benches float near gleaming white rafters. Far below, parents and coaches sprinkle the sea of red stadium seats as amateur figure skaters glide along shining ice. A raspy, familiar voice — that of Al Michaels — resonates from a distant television. “Ten seconds, the countdown going on right now!” For a moment, the barren stands fill with jubilant spectators and American flags. “Morrow, up to Silk. Five seconds left in the game.” Glee palpitates the air. “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” The dainty girls in bejeweled costumes continue circling the ice, unaware the 10 people huddled in…

keags backflip

One DoNorther’s Snowboarding Experience

I pop off the 8-foot jump, flinging my legs over my head. I try to tuck my knees, but halfway through the back flip, I freeze. Bam. My head hits something solid, but within seconds the shock subsides. Laughing, I slide off the massive pillow, click out of my bindings and trek uphill for take two on Whiteface Mountain’s Air Bag. The 100-square-foot inflatable, accessible from most of the Whiteface lifts, allows skiers and snowboarders to practice twists and flips without risking injury. A few jumps later, I click through the photos of my in-air stunts. I look like an…

Giant Mountain

Winter Hiking Through the Adirondacks

As a young boy growing up in the Albany area, John Sasso always loved the outdoors. Annual summer outings spent at Thacher State Park proved to be a fond memory for him. Sasso and his father would hike the popular Indian Ladder Trail, which is situated along the Helderberg Escarpment. The two would check out the spectacular views of the Hudson-Mohawk Valleys as well as pick around for fossils. These childhood expeditions with his father are what inspired Sasso to continue with his passion for climbing. With upstate New York buried in snow for the next few months, many people…

Maui North

Gearing Up for Winter Cycling

Competitive cyclist Bruce Beauharnois wakes up with the sun rising over the sailboats as he gets ready for his 6 a.m. ride. In that moment, it is all about racing hard to get the most adrenaline out of the ride. When Beauharnois is looking for some gear, he heads to Maui North Ski, Bike & Board Co., a shop best known for its ski and snowboard equipment. Beauharnois, who’s been racing since 2008, has been shopping at Maui North since the 1980s. “It has been revitalized a little bit, and they have seemed to be really taking an interest in…

ice fishing

Ice Fishing in Northern New York and Vermont

Before trying his luck on the sixth largest body of fresh water in the nation, Evan Kivlen first stops at Gander Mountain to buy $10 worth of fishing bait. He drives his ATV-Yamaha past dairy farms, cornfields and a historical plaque where Benedict Arnold planned his defense of Valcour Island during the American Revolution. Home to more than 90 different species of fish, ranging from pike to trout, Lake Champlain encapsulates every angler’s dream. But this fishing trip isn’t like most people’s. Kivlen’s going fishing — on ice. Growing up in the North Country during the brutally cold winters instills…

A Glide Around the Lake Champlain Islands

I enjoy kayaking whenever I get the chance, but this trip is unlike any other. It’s a Saturday morning in May. The water is chilly, but I can’t wait until summer; the woman who leased me the kayak said The Kayak Shack doesn’t usually open until then. But she understands my restlessness. I embark from Ausable Point, one of many launch points in the North Country, including Peru, Plattsburgh and Point Au Roche. The picturesque scenery draws my thoughts away from everything, each stroke bringing me toward one feeling — subtle bliss. I travel along the coast, finding little coves…

Lake Champlain’s Historic Shipwrecks

More than three hundred shipwrecks sit mysteriously on the bottom of Lake Champlain — and Champy, the lake’s resident monster, isn’t the only one who gets to see them. Whether you want to scuba dive to them or stay dry in the comfort of a boat tour, the historic shipwrecks are sites to see. “Being underwater and diving down to the wrecks is like a time capsule,” Archie Jones says. “It’s very exhilarating.” Jones owns A & M Scuba in Ellenburg Depot, New York, where he offers multiple classes for all levels of divers. He’s been diving for more than…

bobsledders

Lake Placid’s Dream Sport: Bobsledding

As he stares at the back of his wife’s hel­met 5 inches from his face, Andy Clayton wonders what possessed him to get into the rocket ship-like capsule about to zoom 60 mph down a half-mile sheet of ice. Sud­denly, two muscular men pile into the sled, sandwiching Clayton and his wife tightly to­gether. The sled starts moving. Deep breath. There is no backing out now. They are off. Some 30 seconds of jerk­ing and jostling later, Clayton’s bucket list is one task closer to competition. Bobsled like an Olympian – done. You don’t need to study Russian or a…