The Lake Abanakee Dam, NY

The Lake Abanakee Dam in Hamilton County, New York was constructed in the 1950s. Since 1997, regularly scheduled dam releases have made whitewater rafting on the Indian River possible — now rafts and kayaks can reach the Hudson River Gorge throughout the summer.

photo courtesy Indian Lake Museum

The structure is a gravity dam of earthen construction — it’s 15 feet high and 240 feet long. Maximum discharge is 6,870 cubic feet per second. Normal storage is 3,660 acre feet and capacity is 6,110 acre feet.

The dam brought jobs to the central Adirondacks from the very beginning. Hamilton County raised $60,000 in the summer of 1950 for land acquisition, clearing of the area, and the construction of the dam itself. Forty men were employed by the project.

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Restricted MTB Access in New York

Following seven years in Albuquerque and Chicago, I returned to New York City in early 1997. After making do with the Windy City region’s tolerable, but mostly unexceptional mountain bike offerings, I was happy to be back in the northeast. Unfortunately, I was clueless about where I could find decent trails close to the city.

I went to Barnes and Noble and bought a book that had been published earlier that year: Mountain Biking New York. The author, Michael Margulis, listed 93 rides throughout the eastern third of New York State stretching from the Atlantic Ocean up through the Adirondacks. Since I was living in Brooklyn, I focused on the rides in Long Island, Westchester, and northern New Jersey, along with a few trips to the Shawangunks, Catskills, and Adirondacks.

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Friday Fantasy Photo #21

Martha on Lies • Gore Mtn, NY • April 10, 2011

“We worked the hill in the usual order … a run off the front on Sunway, down Uncas, and Topridge. Next we went up to the top to check out the trees. We ran into Kirby and Martha, and started to follow them around. All the steepest terrain was skiing really well…”