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Feathers and Flora of the Northern Forest

Program Number: 14872RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/1/2014 - 6/5/2014; 9/14/2014 - 9/18/2014;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: Raquette Lake, New York
Price starting at: $569.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding
Meals: 11; 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners    

The Adirondack region is the largest publicly-protected area in the continental U.S., with vast sections designated as wilderness or wild forest. This birding haven is one of the best places in the country to observe many boreal birds, including the much-sought-after Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, and Black-backed Woodpecker, as well as a variety of raptors and owl species. Join us at the one and only Great Camp Sagamore to learn identification skills by sight, habit, and song guided by an expert birder. Spring courses focus on treks into the pristine, deep woods to look for migratory species like the loons, vireos, fly-catchers, and an abundance of warblers. Late summer sessions will focus on the habits, habitats and protection of several Adirondack birds of prey. Plus, learn about the saga of Sagamore, a National Historic Landmark built during America's Gilded Age. A wonderful combination of natural history and social history in a unique setting!




Highlights

• Guided by a regional birding expert, learn what a boreal habitat is, as well as the nesting habits, migration, songs, and identification of native and migratory birds common to boreal regions.
• Enjoy birding treks and slide shows that demonstrate how to distinguish between native and migrating species.
• Glean insights into local Adirondack culture with talks or performances during your stay at Great Camp Sagamore.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles over uneven terrain; some hills; activity up to two hours.



This program is appropriate for both novice and veteran birders who want to experience a new ecosystem and see species unique to these habitats. So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1.




Date Specific Information

6-1-2014

Spring in the Adirondacks is a time of and renewal and new life including insects such as black flies. Deep woods repellent is essential to bring with you for programs in May and June. Some people are more bothered than others. For those who are especially sensitive, Sagamore has bug jackets available for use while outdoors. You may also wish to bring your own head net. Conditions are different from year to year, so check for local updates before departure. For 2014, this program takes place immediately before two birding festivals in the region happening June 6-8: the Great Adirondack Birding Celebration at Paul Smith`s College (approximately 90 minutes from Sagamore), and the Adirondack Boreal Birding Festival, which takes place at various locations around our own Hamilton County. Sagamore frequently participates in this latter event, hosting lectures, leading excursions or providing meals, entertainment or lodging to festival participants. As such, it might be possible for program participants to stay over on Thursday night in order to participate in either of these weekend events. This program session runs concurrently with Program #16453: Digital Photography: Conquering Cameras and Computers without Curses, June 1-5.



9-14-2014

The late summer sessions will involve spending time with an active raptor researcher examining the habits, behavior and conservation measures surrounding several boreal species, including Kestrals, Saw-whet Owls and Northern Goshawks, with activities focused on efforts to identify, quantify, and protect these important avian predators. This program runs concurrently with Program #14875: Illusion of Roughing It: Great Camp of the Vanderbilts, Sept. 14-17.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Sagamore Institute of the Adirondacks.




Raquette Lake

Raquette Lake’s pristine water and wooded lakeshores are located in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. Great Camp Sagamore, founded by the Vanderbilt family in 1897 and now a National Historic Landmark, shares this wilderness area.



Accommodations
National Historic Landmark-designated buildings.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Jeffrey Flagg

Dr. Jeff Flagg is the assistant director of the Sagamore Institute, and has been at Sagamore since completing a doctoral internship in 1997. A scholar of the Adirondack region, he received his Ph.D. in American culture studies from Bowling Green University in 1999, and also has degrees in business and literature. He is deeply invested in the history of the camp, the region and the park, and has taught at several colleges in the area, as well as innumerable Road Scholar programs.
 
Nancy Foltz

Nancy Sue Foltz is an artist and certified art teacher who has been directing the crafts program at Great Camp Sagamore for almost a decade. A former high school teacher, she focuses on offering a wide variety of age-appropriate crafts. From pots to plant pressing, from pine cone art to painting tee shirts, from papier mache to paper hats and so many things in between, her ideas are always fresh. Grandkids will end up with some great, outdoorsy craft projects to bring home. Among her other duties at Sagamore, Nancy Sue is also the group leader for many Road Scholar programs.
 
Mark Manske

Mark Manske is the founder or Adirondack Raptors, which monitors and studies raptor populations throughout the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park. Mark is a public school educator, an adjunct professor, a wildlife rehabilitator, a master falconer, and a master raptor bander. He has published widely on issues related to birds of prey, and also writes a column for EMBARK, a periodical that is published every other month by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in Saranac Lake.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Sagamore
  Raquette Lake, NY 4 nights
 Sagamore
Type: Lodge
  Description: Sagamore’s authentic buildings dating from 1897 are situated on a peninsula jutting into pristine and picturesque Sagamore Lake. The Adirondack Forest Preserve surrounds the entire 27-building Sagamore estate owned by the Alfred Vanderbilt family from 1901-1954. Its wood and stone buildings are the vernacular rustic architecture on which our National Park lodges were modeled. Sagamore’s remote location removed from the normal hubbub will allow your full concentration on learning, the camaraderie of the people at hand, and the history that envelops you. As a guest at Sagamore, you will be accommodated in our historic buildings in (mostly) double occupancy rooms with twin beds and bathrooms, many with footed tubs, in the hallways. Most of our guests are housed in one of our three lodges each sleeping 20. In summer you may be assigned to a cottage sleeping up to seven. There are no telephones in rooms, no cell service, and no TV so your relaxation is assured. Our chef will carefully prepare buffet meals from which you will make your selections. The buffet is served in our paneled dining room with splendid views of Sagamore Lake. Everyone is called to meals by the bell. One of the highlights of our dining experience is our excellent water. Please do not bring bottled water with you. You may purchase beer and wine to accompany your meal. The dining hall seats 99. During free time many of our guests enjoy our hiking trails and canoeing. All guests are given a free pass to our award-winning guided tour. We also recommend a cruise aboard the W.W. Durant on Raquette Lake and a trip to the “Smithsonian of the Adirondacks,” the Adirondack Museum. Sagamore has four meeting rooms varying in size from 20 to 150. Two of them have fireplaces. There is also a lean-to where you can sleep or enjoy a campfire. Nothing at Sagamore is paved. Sagamore has 20 miles of hiking trails.
  Contact info: Sagamore Road
PO Box 40
Raquette Lake, NY 13436 USA
phone: 315-354-5311 x21
web: www.sagamore.org
  Facility amenities: Sagamore is on a private lake. Canoes are available for guest use. Sagamore is also surrounded by 20 miles of hiking trails. The popular lake trail is an easy 3 1/2 mile walk.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Not all baths are private. Some baths have a shower only. Some have a tub only.
  Additional nights prior: $99. Based on availability. We are happy to accommodate these requests whenever possible.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $99. Based on availability. We are happy to accommodate these requests whenever possible.
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 PM is the starting time for check-in. You will be staying at Sagamore that night.
  End of Program:
10 AM You will be staying at Sagamore the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
There is a parking lot for Sagamore guests. It is free.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Raquette Lake, NY
  Nearest city or town:  Raquette Lake, NY
  Nearest highway: Rte.90 to the south, Rte.87 to the east
  Nearest airport:  Albany, NY
  From End of Program
  Location: Raquette Lake, NY
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

 

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

   

Unfortunately there isn't any public transportation to Sagamore. Amtrak serves Albany (Rensselaer) and Utica. The nearest airports are located in Syracuse and Albany. Bus service reaches only to Warrensburg. A new train service offers limited access to North Creek via an Amtrak connection in Saratoga Springs. Limo service is expensive, but available from the airports in Syracuse and Albany.

 
Driving Directions
  Albany, NY Drive time: Albany to Sagamore 2.5 hours. I-87 to x23 to Rte. 28 to Raquette Lake. Follow I-87 north to exit 23, Warrensburg. If you have time on the way, stop in Saratoga Springs. Exit 14 will take you quickly to the famous racetrack. Exit 15 is for shopping. If you would like to see Glens Falls, take exit 18 or 19 (shopping mall.) Lake George Outlet Stores are at exit 20. Continue north past the Great Escape amusement park. Take exit 23 and turn LEFT to Warrensburg. Follow concurrently Rte 9 and 28 through the town until Rte. 28 peels off to the LEFT. You will follow Rte. 28 for about 90 minutes o Raquette Lake. The scenery is lovely forested mountains and lakes. You will often be following the Hudson River and will pass Gore Mountain ski resort on your way up Blue Mountain. When you reach the small town of Blue Mountain Lake you will cross a continental divide separating waters that flow south to the Hudson River or north to the St. Lawrence River. At the intersection, turn left and continue on Rte. 28 the last 12 miles to Raquette Lake, the largest natural lake in the Adirondacks. Look to your right to see Blue Mountain as you cross the second causeway. Sagamore Road is well marked just past the school. You will turn LEFT and follow the four-mile road to the "registered guests" gate. Do not look for other signs. You are driving through protected Forest Preserve lands and signage is not permitted. At Sagamore's gate, let yourself in. You are welcome!
  GPS/Website Map Instructions Garmon Handheld GPS: Search 'Great Camp Sagamore' as a point of interest OR type 1105 Sagamore Road; RAQUETTE LAKE (make sure you list Raquette Lake!) - either will give accurate directions to Great Camp Sagamore. TomTom GPS: (currently the most popular GPS system): Search for SAGAMORE, NEW YORK - as a town, and it will give you accurate directions to Great Camp Sagamore. While Sagamore, NY does not actually exist, this seems to work while we wait for technology to catch up to the Adirondack region! Google Maps or Map Quest users: Search for SAGAMORE, NEW YORK - as a town, and it will give you accurate directions to Great Camp Sagamore. While Sagamore, NY does not actually exist, this seems to work while we wait for technology to catch up to the Adirondack region!
  Plattsburgh, NY Drive time: Plattsburgh to Sagamore, 3 hours. I-87 to Rte 3 to Rte. 30 to Rte 28 to Raquette Lake. Take the Plattsburgh exit off I-87 and head southwest to Saranac Lake on Rte. 3. If you have extra time consider this alternative: continue south on I-87 to exit 30, the Lake Placid exit. Lake Placid was the site of both the 1932 and the 1980 winter Olympics and you can visit the venues and museums of the games. Continue from Lake Placid to Saranac Lake on Rte. 86. You are in the Adirondack Park, a six-million acre forest preserve with public and private lands. Saranac Lake was founded by Dr. Trudeau (the cartoonist Gary's great grandfather) as a wilderness cure for tuberculosis. It is still a medical research center and charming 19th century town. Follow Rte. 3 from Saranac Lake to Tupper Lake. Tupper is the home to the newly opened natural history museum, the Wild Center. Continue on Rte. 30 from Tupper to Long Lake on a straight road known for its scenery and speed traps. Be cautious. Continue on Rte. 30 to Blue Mountain Lake, home of the famous 27-building Adirondack Museum. At the bottom of the hill you will follow Rte.28 the last 12 miles to Raquette Lake, the largest natural lake in the Adirondacks. Look to your right to see Blue Mountain as you cross the second causeway. Sagamore Road is well marked just past the school. You will turn LEFT and follow the four-mile road to the "registered guests" gate. Do not look for other signs. You are driving through protected Forest Preserve lands and signage is not permitted. At Sagamore's gate, let yourself in. You are welcome!
  Utica, NY Drive time: Utica to Sagamore, 1.5 hours. Rte.12 north to Rte. 28 to Raquette Lake. Follow Rte. 12 north to Rte. 28. Utica, an industrial town, is located in the Mohawk River valley. On Rte. 12 you will climb out of the valley through rolling hills. Rte. 28 peels off to the right. Along it you will see the deep forests and lovely lakes of the six-million acre Adirondack Park. The Adirondacks are a patchwork of public and private lands. Follow Rte.28 to the town of Old Forge with its famous landmark, Old Forge Hardware. Old Forge is also the home of New York’s largest water park, Water Safari. Old Forge is the beginning of the Fulton Chain of lakes (yes, Fulton as in steamship) and the starting point of the Adirondack Canoe Classic (also called the "90-miler" the weekend after Labor Day every year. The Classic is a three-day race for no-octane boats from Old Forge to Saranac Lake. Continue on Rte. 28 another 25 miles to Raquette Lake, the largest natural lake in the Adirondacks. Sagamore Road is well marked just before the school. You will turn RIGHT and follow the four-mile road to the “registered guest” gate. Do not look for other signs. You are driving through protected Forest Preserve lands and signage is not permitted. At Sagamore's gate, let yourself in. You are welcome!
Elevation Note: Sagamore's elevation is 1900 feet. Trails in the surrounding area may rise to 2100 feet.

Equipment Requirements: A good pair of binoculars is recommended. You may also want your camera. A notebook and pencil are useful.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome/ Introduction to the Vanderbilt Great Camp
(Sunday, June 1)
   
 Arrive To: Check in is between 4P and 6P.
 Dinner: Dinner is at 6P in the Dining Hall. You will select from an ample buffet. After dinner we will meet for introductions, schedule review, orientation, and a brief 14-minute presentation on Sagamore's history, programs, and preservation. Then you will relax and retire. This list is some of our most recent sitings during this course. You may want to use it as a reference: Kingbird, Cedar Waxwing, Chipping Sparrow, Chimney Swift, Tree Swallow, Least Flycatcher, Brown Creeper, Blackburnian, Winter Wren, Canada Warbler, Swainson's, Yellow Throat, Black Duck, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Turkey, Robin, Red-eyed Vireo, Purple finch, Alder Flycatcher, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Common Grackle, Osprey, Red-shoulder Hawk, Yellow Warbler, Northern Water thrush, Raven, Hairy Woodpecker, Crow, Pine Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker, Wood Duck, Oven Bird, Turkey Vulture, Black-throated Green Warbler, Loon, Woodcock, Black-capped Chickadee, Yellow Rump, Boreal Chickadee, Hummingbird, Bluebird, Junco, Broad-winged Hawk, Barn Swallow, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Spotted Sandpiper, White Crown Sparrow, Pewee, Rose-breasted Nuthatch, Parula, Whip-o-will, Yellow-bellied Sap Sucker, Grey Jay.
   
Accommodations: Sagamore
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Birding on Sagamore trails and at the Sagamore Lake/tour/lectures
(Monday, June 2)

Note: 1 Field Trip, 2 Lectures



   
 Breakfast: Coffee is on by 6A in the dining hall. Meet there for optional birding on the Sagamore grounds. Return at 8A for full breakfast.
 Morning: BIRDING: This morning, we'll spend time in or around Sagamore itself. Your instructor will guide you in identifying birds by both sign and sound. Remember your binoculars, guide, notebook, pencil.
 Lunch: Lunch at noon.
 Afternoon: GUIDED TOUR: Vanderbilt Great Camp. Then, you'll have a few hours of free time before dinner. You may want to hike, canoe, bowl, try croquet or play one of our other lawn games. There are also ample jigsaw puzzles, reading materials, and games to choose from for a bit of relaxation.
 Dinner: Dinner is at 6:00 in the Dining Hall.
 Evening: BIRDING LECTURE: Around 7:00 there will be a lecture on loons, arguably the most interesting of all water birds. Gary Lee, Sagamore's instructor for this course, is a retired NYS Ranger, and one of the founders of the Adirondack Loon Project, a park-wide initiative to inventory, protect and advocate for the regions common loon. After the lecture you will relax with options already mentioned or a period movie, or one of the special DVDs on the Adirondacks. Your group may also elect to meet around one of the fireplaces for an evening "camp" fire.
   
Accommodations: Sagamore
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Out trip to Important Birding Areas / Demonstration on Bird Banding
(Tuesday, June 3)

Note: 1 Field Trip, 3 Lectures



   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast at 5:45 in the Dining Hall. Board the van by 6:00
 Morning: BIRDING: You will travel by van to one of two designated IBAs (Important Birding Areas) near Sagamore: Ferd's Bog or The Moose River Plains. Both of the locales offer the possibility of adding some birds to your life list.
 Lunch: We'll stop at one of several locations to eat our packed lunches and enjoy the Adirondack spring.
 Afternoon: BIRD BANDING: After lunch, we'll head to the home of our instructor, Gary Lee, to watch (and participate) in bird banding. Gary has been banding birds for nearly 40 years, helping to document and track the behavior and health of many North Country bird species.
 Dinner: Dinner is at 6P in the Dining Hall.
 Evening: BIRDING LECTURE: After dinner, we'll enjoy a a lecture or presentation on an issue related to birds and birding in the Adirondacks. In addition to conservation of the Common Loon, Gary Lee is also involved with the protection and habitat restoration of many other bird species, and is frequently involved in projects to pursue these goals.
   
Accommodations: Sagamore
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Birding at an Important Birding Area / Visit a regional museum of natural history.
(Wednesday, June 4)

Note: 2 Field Trips, 1 Performance



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will at 8:00 this morning, Our birding today won't be as time sensitive as our earlier field trips, so we can take a little more time.
 Morning: BIRDING EXCURSION: Today we'll be getting off to another early start, this time heading out the Massawepie Mire, another IBA located relatively close-by. One of the largest boreal peat lands in the state, the mire contains extensive wetland habitat fringed by spruce and fir forests. Spruce Grouse and Palm Warblers breed at this site, along with other lowland boreal species including Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, Gray Jay, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Rusty Blackbird and Pine Siskin.
 Lunch: We'll eat our packed lunches somewhere between stops, or at the picnic grounds of the Wild Center in Tupper Lake.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: After lunch, we'll stop at the WILD Center, the national history museum of the Adirondacks. Established in 2006, the Center has several exhibits on birds of the Adirondack region, as well as demonstrations and presentations on birds and birding in the North Country. During our visit, we'll meet with one of the Center's naturalists, and walk some of the trails that encircle the facility.
 Dinner: We'll return in time for dinner back at Sagamore at 6:00
 Evening: ENTERTAINMENT: Tonight we'll have entertainment of one sort or another, perhaps in the form of an regional musician or storyteller, or a presentation on as aspect of Sagamore or the Adirondack Park.
   
Accommodations: Sagamore
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Final Q&A/ good-byes
(Thursday, June 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is at 8:00 in the Dining Hall.
 Morning: As always, pre-breakfast birding is your option. We will follow breakfast with a Q&A session with your program host. Check out and good-byes are at 10:00.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Raquette Lake, NY Adirondack Museum
A 27-building complex of art and culture called the "Smithsonian of the Adirondacks." 518-352-7311 For additional information, visit www.adirondackmuseum.org
  W.W.Durant
The Durant is a dine and cruise boat on Raquette Lake, the largest natural lake in the Adirondacks.It has meals and excursions. 315-354-5532 For additional information, visit www.raquettelakenavigation.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Adirondack Birding, 60 Great Places to Find Birds


Author: John Peterson & Gary Lee


Description: Gary Lee is the instructor for many Sagamore birding courses.



Great Camp Sagamore: The Vanderbilts' Adirondack Retreat


Author: Beverly Bridger


Description: Beverly Bridger has been Sagamore's Executive Director for more than 20 years.





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