2016: Year in Review

2016: Year in Review - Pure Adirondacks

Each December we find it fun to take a look through the photos we’ve captured from the year to reflect on our adventures and experiences (here’s last year’s recap). We continue to see how each personal and professional experience in our life shapes who we are today. Overall, 2016 was filled with many new experiences, friends, challenges, and obstacles. As we approach the end of the 2016 chapter, we’re wishing for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017! Between our travels and various projects there is a lot to cover, but here are some of the highlights.

Paddling on Lewey Lake


For those of us that enjoy a snowy winter and outdoor recreation, unfortunately last season was not ideal. Snowfall was a record low in most places across the northeast, and temperatures fluctuated so much that when we did receive an accumulation, it either melted or turned to ice. In January, we did manage to get a beautiful day of fresh snow where we were able to enjoy a cross-country ski on the BREIA Trail System in Boonville.  

We also enjoyed a cabin weekend at the KOA in Wilmington, NY for a project (my old stomping grounds! I used to work there during summers in high school). Throughout the weekend, along with some friends, we captured video of our experiences enjoying the cabin and a few local activities. Located just around the corner from Whiteface, the cabins are in a prime location for skiers and snowboarders visiting the area during winter.


February brought us on some visits around New York State. One day we took a drive down to Ithaca to enjoy walking on the trails and doing some taste testing at the Ithaca Brewery. We got a flight of beers and even some of their root beer to go along with our burgers.

To our surprise, after sharing a photo on Instagram, we discovered that our college roommates were in town for a Cornell hockey game with their families, so our spontaneous day became even more random!  The Empire State Games were also in February.  Held at Titus Mountain in Malone, we made a trip up through Potsdam to visit ADK Fragrance and then head over to the Games.  At the ADK Fragrance Farm, we took a tour to see how their soaps and many cool products were made – we hope to team up with them in the future to create some PureADK lines!  Afterward we made our way to Titus where we got in a few runs on the hill and acted as spectators for the Games.  Toward the end of the month, we met up with some friends who hiked with us up Thomas Mountain, where there is a neat little cabin is available on a first come/first serve basis.


In March we made our one and only trips to Gore and Whiteface for some skiing.  With finally enough snow and some nice spring conditions, we made the most of our opportunities!  

I attended the ROOST Destination Marketing Summit in March as well, which was a fun way to network with local business owners and community representatives to explain more what PureADK is all about.


Spring arrived in April and we were able to get in some paddling on the Stillwater Reservoir, catch a sunset from Bald Mountain, help photograph a marriage proposal on Castle Rock, and try a new hike for us – Lyon Mountain.

Marriage Proposal on Castle Rock


Lyon Mountain


The month of May began our period of constant movement!  We started the month with working with some really interesting events – Trout Power and the Eat ADK Restaurant Week.  We took a camping trip to the Thousand Islands to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary and then prepared for a whirlwind adventure with our friends from Wander the Map.  Our tour with them included Skaneateles, Chimney Bluffs, an ADK Cabin weekend at Morningside Camps, and then a Finger Lakes Press Trip.

1000 Islands


Minerva Lake | Morningside Camps & Cottages


Glider Ride at Harris Hill | Elmira, NY


June started off with another fantastic trip to Iceland.  Working with Happy Campers and Wander the Map, we toured the country and experienced many incredible adventures.

Stokknes, Iceland


Big Moose Lake


Upon returning to the states, we headed straight up to Big Moose to photograph a beautiful wedding at The Waldheim.  We managed to fit in some weeknight adventures including catching a fantastic sunset in Oswego and paddling on the always clear Skaneateles Lake. We attended and shot video of the Adirondack Wine & Food Fest again this year – always a fun event!


July was the month of camping and paddling trips for us!  We inherited a canoe from Hilary’s parents and definitely found time to put it to good use.  We spent the 4th of July at our usual spot, Fish Creek, where we enjoyed paddling, boating, some swimming, and of course lots of eating.  

We also spent a weekend on Stillwater, camping out on one of the islands, paddling, and hiking the newly renovated Stillwater Fire Tower.  We also camped out at Lewey Lake with some friends, enjoying some perfect summer weather. To cap off July, we partnered with the Adirondack Mountain Club and their annual bike tour called the ididaride!

I filmed during the event as riders spent the day cycling the loop through the central Adirondacks that starts and ends in North Creek, NY. To see the video put together from the event, you can check it out here.


August was another full month with quite a bit of traveling around the ADKs and beyond. Hilary had an assignment on Lake Superior out in Minnesota with her consulting job, so she spent about 2 weeks out there. I also bounced around a bit, as I had a wedding to attend for a friend in Connecticut, then spent some time visiting family and planning for Cycle Adirondacks. I even connected with a few people for some hiking that I’d been wanting to meet for quite awhile.

St. Regis Mountain


Shortly after Hilary’s return from Minnesota, we were back on the road to kick-off Cycle Adirondacks 2016 as the digital media partner for the event. Throughout the event we were responsible for the social media updates, photography, and videography.

Day 2 of Cycle Adirondacks


Following a very busy August, we eased into September with a laid back camping trip to Fish Creek in our pop-up camper on Labor Day weekend. During our visit we took a paddle between Rollins Pond and Fish Creek and also got out for a hike up Floodwood Mountain.

On another weekend, we made our way to Great Pines, formerly known as The Northwoods Inn.  We visited for the weekend to continue filming a promo video we were working on for the newly renovated resort and it gave us a chance to experience the property for ourselves.

One of the big highlights of this month and the year in general came when we adopted our dog, Lucy. A german shepherd mix and only 6 months old, she became the newest member of our family and PureADK team! In the weeks following, we quickly got Lucy exposed to some of our favorite activities including camping and hiking, spending some time around the Old Forge region with her.

As the month came to a close, I also got out to The Wild Center in Tupper Lake to attend a session on marketing to millennials. It was interesting to learn about different perspectives and network with others who are working to draw younger people into visiting the park and even relocating to live in one of the local communities.


October was full of color… literally. When it looked as though the leaves may not be as vibrant this year, we were suddenly very surprised by the change to vibrant, bright colors in early October. I’d been wanting to create a fall video highlighting all the changes, so I hit the road to do a loop around the park to capture a mixture of shots, mostly focused on an aerial perspective using the drone.

Around the middle of the month, we got out to check out a hike we’d been wanting to do for quite a while; Watch Hill next to Indian Lake. The warm temps and sunny skies were a perfect combo for this October day.

Towards the end of the month, we visited the KOA in Wilmington, NY again to grab a cabin and show the area to some friends who hadn’t spent much time in the northern Adirondacks. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate as we had hoped, but we did see our first snowfall, enjoyed our cozy cabin, and also had a delicious meal and some beers at the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery.


November was a quiet month for us, as much of it was spent catching up on some projects and getting some work done around our house. Thanksgiving was spent with family on Hilary’s side out in the Rochester area.


To kick-off December we decided to do a little bit of a weekend getaway in a cabin rental in Wells, NY, an area in which we generally have not spent much time.  Fairly new, this cabin was beautiful inside and had a big back lawn with a fire pit.

Since we were in close proximity to Route 8, we decided to check out the Oregon Trail which runs along Stewart Creek. It was a pleasant walk back there, with just a little bit of snow on the trail in this section of the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest.

In the middle of the month, we made an outing back to the Chimney Bluffs on Lake Ontario, this time seeing them from the very different winter perspective. Located “Beyond the Blue Line”, this view of large clay formations is quite a sight to see in central New York.

To cap off our year, we spent Christmas with family in Wilmington, NY. While the weather, again, didn’t cooperate quite as we hoped, we did get out for a bit of hiking, which included one sunny afternoon on Silver Lake Mountain.

Thanks as always for following along and being part of our online community! It’s been so great to connect with so many people that have such a shared passion for the Adirondack region.

Happy New Year!

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