An Adirondack Hike, Deep In Winter, Short On Snow

The lack of snow in most of the northeast has extended the hiking season for those willing to brave the cold. Brian Mann takes a winter hike into Roaring Brook Falls in New York's Adirondack Mountains.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Winter's finally arrived in much of the Northeast, bringing subzero temperatures to New York's Adirondack Mountains. This week, the region experienced its first major snowfall of the season. It stormed up nearly a foot of snow. But before the storm, North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann head out for a hike to a back country waterfall. He sent this audio postcard.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOOTSTEPS IN SNOW)

BRIAN MANN, BYLINE: So it's a weekday afternoon and I've snuck away from work to do a quick hike into Roaring Brook Falls.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOOTSTEPS IN SNOW)

MANN: This is one of the most iconic cascades in the Adirondack Park in northern New York. It's a place that people see from the highway as they drive in to places like Lake Placid. And for years I've seen it from the car going by, just this beautiful plummet of water. But this is the first time I've had the chance to hike in and check it out.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOOTSTEPS IN SNOW)

MANN: One of the things I love about being in the woods this time of year is that there is incredible color. In town, everything's grey and sort of washed out, but here the red pines are just glowing in this light and the birch trees have just enough of their kind of dry orange leaves, sort of banner-like. And then there are birds, these amazing little clouds of chickadees that come vibrating through the branches.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRDS CHIRPING)

(SOUNDBITE OF FOOTSTEPS IN SNOW)

MANN: So I circled around now to the base of the waterfall. There's this big face of rock leading up and there's a kind of a beam of sunshine that's broken through. And right now along the vein of water, the cold has turned it into just this sculpture of ice, moving water and ice everywhere. I'm going to get as close as I can to the falls.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOOTSTEPS IN SNOW)

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER ROARING)

MANN: So just imagine the biggest sugar confection you've ever seen and just this kind of champagne of water pouring through it - Roaring Brook Falls in all its glory.

For NPR News, I'm Brian Mann in New York's Adirondack Mountains.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: This is NPR News.

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