Under the guidance of Johnstown High School science teacher Mr. O (Gary Osarczuk), JHS students interested in hiking, snowshoeing, orienteering, plant & animal identification and Adirondack geology embarked on the first JHS Hiking Club adventure by climbing Hadley Mountain on January 23. With an elevation of 2,653 feet, Hadley Mountain is the highest peak in Saratoga County. It is the site of the Hadley Mountain Observation Station, built in 1916 and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Reaching the summit provides hikers with a vista that includes the Great Sacandaga Lake.
Mr. O, an avid outdoorsman who has already hiked 26 of the 46 ADK High Peaks and 10 of the 29 ADK Fire Tower Challenge, proposed the idea of a JHS Hiking Club after learning of student interest. The Board of Education gave approval in November and preparations began for hikes at least one time per quarter. Participants must attend a mandatory pre-hike meeting to review map and orienteering skills, basic first aid, safety precautions and equipment requirements. Parents drive students and participate in chaperoning hikes.
Future adventures may include hiking Kane Mountain and exploring the Speculator Plane wreck, among others.