There are certain aspects one anticipates before arriving at the Adirondak Loj. In the summer, it’s the haunting call of a loon in the evening as the sun sets behind Nye Mountain. When autumn settles in, we trade prospects of loons for the vibrant, variegated leaves that will blanket Mt. Jo. Hope quickly emerges for a crackling blaze upon the Great Room’s stone hearth to allay winter’s chill. Spring brings an interplay of ice and thaw on Heart Lake, closely followed by the budding promise of new beginnings across the forest floor. Young students and venerable explorers alike will soon be found scampering about, characters in a setting as familiar as home.
Dating back to the days of Henry Van Hoevenberg, the Finest Square Mile has had many storytellers who’ve chronicled the wonders of the property’s inherent wildness. Even if we are unable to visit each season ourselves, the stories emanating from this place have a way of resonating with us. More than simply evoking pleasant memories, a well-crafted message can inspire us to think critically about place that is bigger than ourselves. Over the past decade, the underlying story of the Adirondak Loj has had one consistent, behind-the-scenes narrator. That person is Seth Jones.
Seth grew up in Greece, New York, a suburb on the outskirts of Rochester. As a boy scout, Seth ventured eastward to help plan and execute numerous paddling trips throughout the Adirondack Park. These nascent introductions to wildness would eventually spur him to hike the Northville-Placid Trail, become a 46er, and paddle the entire 90-Miler. Before all of those grand adventures ever happened, Seth discovered ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club).
After beginning his pursuit of higher education at Monroe Community College, Seth eventually steered himself towards a B.S. in Conservation Biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. During these college years, Seth applied to ADK as a Summit Steward in 2008. That first year really pushed Seth. He speaks warmheartedly about tripping a lot on the training hikes up Mt. Marcy and Algonquin Peak, which bestowed him with the nickname “butter boots”. Although it was challenging at first, Seth fell in love with hiking mountains and protecting the alpine plants on the summits. Seth continued as a Summit Steward for three years, but then felt like he needed a change.