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Peak Experiences: Hiking the Highest Summits in New York, County by County.

Peak Experiences: Hiking the Highest Summits in New York, County by County by Gary Fallesen. 288 pages; $16.95 paperback. Footprint Press 716-421-9383.

Need a new hobby? Completed your birding life list? Already scaled all 46 Adirondack peaks? Well, author Gary Fallesen has the idea for you! In this book, Fallesen offers the reader sixty-two great hikes, ranging from New York State's highest peak, Mt. Marcy in Essex County at 5,344 feet, all the way down to Kings County's Greenwood Cemetery at 220 feet!

Documenting the highest peak in each county, Fallesen gives his readers a plethora of information. He documents history, provides anecdotes, describes vistas, and lists directions and nearby accommodations. Although a handful of the county "high peaks" are privately owned and thus not accessible, Fallesen provides an alternative high peak which readers can visit. A few privately held locations are accessible by contacting the landowner, and many summits are located on State lands.

Having visited all accessible peaks himself, the author gives important tips to hikers, including trail length and markings, alternative routes, and some good safety tips, such as, "Do not climb Seward (Franklin County) alone." Another feature included by the author is the "Trip Planner," a short paragraph for each peak that provides information on resources to contact for maps and additional information.

This handbook is small and light enough to bring along on your hike, so you can refer to the trail maps Fallesen provides. Hikers be warned, however, if you're looking for lots of scenic views, you won't be finding many among the sixty-two highest county peaks. Author Fallesen is quick to tell that many of the views are trees, trees, and well, more trees. Remember, these "peak" experiences don't have the elevation of the Adirondack High Peaks! However, the variety of the vistas and the interesting facts about the areas, shared by the author, make these journeys worth the effort and this book worth it's weight in your pack.

Patricia Nelson is a Citizen Participation Specialist in DEC's Buffalo Office. She is an avid photographer and birder, and also teaches creative writing.

COPYRIGHT 2001 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Nelson, Patricia
Publication:New York State Conservationist
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Feb 1, 2001
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