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"In ecology, sustainability is how biological systems remain diverse and productive." Those words open the wikipedia entry on sustainability, providing an excellent mantra with which to approach the summer months, which are often the busiest and most active for so many of us. Yet as we (hopefully) remain productive in the heat of the summer, how can we diversify our time to be certain we make the most of it?  If your interests tend toward staying green, sustainable and outdoors, it turns out that you have a lot of local options.

The first possibility that I'll mention is one that often gets taken for granted, even though it exists right under our noses.  Here in Saratoga, we live in the midst of a veritable outdoor amusement park.  The Adirondack mountains span 6.1 million acres, with over 100 peaks, "ranging from under 1,200 feet (366 m) to over 5,000 feet (1,524 m) in elevation."  According to wikipedia, the Adirondack Park is "the largest park and the largest state-level protected area in the contiguous United States, and the largest National Historic Landmark."

Of the 100 or so peaks that make up the Adirondack mountains, 46 are considered "high peaks", which summit at or above 4,000 feet. In reality, four of those peaks are just under the 4,000 foot mark, but were included in the original 46 high peaks that
were climbed by brothers Robert and George Marshall between 1918 and 1924. A club, the Adirondack Forty Sixers, exists for people that have successfully summited all of the high peaks, 20 of which are trailless, and require bushwhacking or following herdpaths to the top.

For those seeking a more aquatic escape from the urban jungle, the Kayak Shak on Fish Creek, which feeds into Saratoga Lake, is a conveniently located and highly entertaining option. The Kayak Shak rents not only single and tandem kayaks, but also stand-up paddleboards, and even offers lessons for the complete novice.  Located in the Fish Creek marina on
Stafford Bridge Road, it is just a few minutes drive from the heart of Saratoga.

Trek a bit further north, and you'll end up in Bolton Landing, where amongst the attractions we are all familiar with, you will find Adirondack Extreme. Those of us who like our outdoorsmanship with a side of adrenaline will thoroughly enjoy the multiple aerial ropes courses they offer.  Billing itself as "the nation's #1 rated Aerial adventure park," Adirondack Extreme's courses are meant to be approached progressively, and the cost of admission will take you through a round of all five for adults. There are specialized paths for kids and young adults, and a sixth course for those who wish to take their day to the furthest, and highest, possible conclusion.

Lastly, for those who are interested in intellectual adventure, the city of Saratoga Springs offers an often overlooked guided walking tour through Congress Park.  Lasting 90 minutes, they are available throughout the year for groups of 10 or more, and in July and August for smaller gatherings.  The tour expounds on the city's history, and
how "Saratoga Springs evolved from the sacred Native American healing ground to the 'City in the Country' that it is today." Visitors will also learn how some of the larger-than-life personalities of the city's past "contributed to the preservation and growth of Saratoga Springs."

During the short summer months, those of us interested in protecting the environment and living a healthy, active life have no shortage of options in the Saratoga area.  Before the weather turns cool and fall makes its advance across the northeast, don't hesitate to take a few minutes to experience the world outside and remind yourself exactly what it is that we're trying to sustain.


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No, seriously, TV is cool...
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Stay green....no, really...
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If paddleboarding is your thing, the Kayak Shak has you covered
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Johnny Weissmuller has nothing on you guys
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In Congress Park, the wildlife comes to you
 


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07/27/2015 6:52am

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