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Children learn about natural treasures on pirate hike in Hannawa Falls

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HANNAWA FALLS — Dressed in their pirate hats, with superhero backpacks full of water and supplies for the hike, children of all ages set out with their parents and families on a hunt through nature to find treasure on Sunday afternoon.

The Kids Pirate Hike on Red Sandstone Trail was a three-mile trek for a group of over 24 people who were looking for adventures.

While searching for treasure coins along the way, the children and their guardians were also learning about frogs, beavers, hydropower and several other fascinations about the world around them.

The children also got to learn about the legend of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ who explored the St. Lawrence River.

Organizer Blair F. Madore, Potsdam, told the group about the pirates’ attraction to what they thought was a valuable gemstone that turned out to be red sandstone.

Small eyes and mouths were wide open as Mr. Madore explained how the pirates’ ship was turned over in a storm and how their gold turns up on the trail for the group to find.

Six-year-old Tate S. Rodriguez, Canton, was sporting his pirate hat for Sunday’s journey and said he was excited to look for treasure.

Mr. Rodriguez set his expectations high saying he was going to find gold while his brother ,Bowen R., 8, was more excited about seeing different animals.

“I like to get out in nature and see what’s out there,” Mr. Bowen Rodriguez said.

Mr. Madore, a member of the Adirondack Mountain Club, said the first Kids Pirate Hike he held was in 2009, and that he decided to have a second one this year.

“I’ve been a member of the Adirondack Mountain Club for about 10 years not and I’ve been leading trips for the club about four times a year,” he said.

Mr. Madore said that since many of the members in the club are over 50 years old he tries to encourage young families to participate in the outdoor activities.

“If we don’t have young families doing it, then who’s going to look after all these trails and the outdoors tomorrow?” he said.

This year, Mr. Madore partnered up with Nature Up North, a community-based organization whose goal is to get more people enjoying the outdoors.

Jacob D. Malcomb, Nature Up North project manager, said that since both Nature Up North and Adirondack Mountain Club are environmental organizations that want to see the community develop a passion for nature, teaming up for the hike was a good strategy.

“Hopefully, it will be the start of a working partnership with ADK,” he said. “We both have similar goals with environmental education and getting kids outside.”

After making it to the halfway point and picnic area of the trip, the gang of scallywags enjoyed a free lunch of hotdogs and marshmallows, prepared by Mr. Madore’s wife, Margaret E.

“We just enjoy the nice weather and a free, family-fun activity outside,” Stefani E. Ballard, Canton, said.

Mrs. Ballard and her husband Walter E. brought enjoyed the outdoor hike with their four daughters, Rachel, 10, Rebecca, 7, Riley, 3, and Rori, 2.

The four girls said they were excited to find coins, see several different animals and catch bugs while on the trail.

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