At 14, I moved to the Adirondack Coast with my family. I remember what it was like to drive through the small towns that sit at the bottom of the High Peaks and think, “There’s nothing to do here.” It wasn’t until college that I understood the cultural richness and opportunity for adventure that permeates the Adirondack region.
In my time at DoNorth, I have been lucky enough to hear the voices of these small communities. I’ve talked with farmers, crafters, paddlers, entrepreneurs and historians. I’ve walked with them along dirt roads that wind under golden fall foliage, on the farms where they’ve toiled through harsh winters and along sparkling blue summer waters that pool beneath imposing green mountains. In each story, I have found resilience: a reflection of their communities and telling of Adirondack life. And these stories shine through at the region’s farmers markets and art centers in products as varied as cheeses to oil paintings.
To me, each local product is a reflection of Adirondack values: wholesome, clean and ethical. What I have learned to appreciate most about this region is the abundance of culture compacted into small spaces. The details. The process. This is not an area of industrialism. Instead, an area of craft. Of perfecting. Of history. These Adirondack values nurture the local hops. The cheeses and meats. Returning to roots is a theme I have come across in every interview. Time stands still here, in the best way.
As I wrote in an article examining Adirondack history: “Just like the roots of red spruce and sugar maple trees that penetrate the mountains of the Adirondacks, human stories reside deep here. Tales of the Mohawk tribe drift through the waterways that cut through the mountains. Eccentric Adirondack Great Camps built from these woodlands boast of decades lending shelter to the rich and famous. Smooth stone buildings, barely worn with time, stand reminiscent of the industrial communities that built them.” The stories that have produced this new Adirondack culture are here. We just need to learn to uncover them.
A new Adirondack generation is growing, moving, changing and creating. You have to be here to experience it. Come taste it, chase it and climb it.
Together, let’s go forth and DoNorth
Editor in Chief