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ADKX-tra Credit: Episode 3

Adirondack Guides

An Adirondack guide (left) and his sport. (Adirondack Experience Photo Collection P008149)

Have you ever heard of a “tour guide”? We don’t have tour guides up in the Adirondacks, but we do have individuals called guides! Navigating the wilderness is no easy task, especially back in the 1800s. Learn about the fascinating job of the Adirondack Guide and their importance in helping visitors safely discover the lakes, forests, and mountains of the Adirondacks, both in the past and today!


Charlie Blanchard, a guide, rowing a guideboat. Photograph was taken from inside the boat by Seneca Ray Stoddard, whose legs can be seen in the foreground. (Adirondack Experience Photo Collection P007922)

Connecting to Curriculum

  • Read-aloud – Students can follow along while listening. CLICK HERE to download a copy of the transcript.
  • Vocabulary – Explore new words. Students will be listening to high level vocabulary in context. CLICK HERE to download the vocabulary page.

Advertisement for a local camping and fishing guide in the Long Lake/Tupper Lake region. (Adirondack Experience Collection 12446)

  • Practice your persuasive writing! – Advertisements at hotels or in guidebooks were a great way for guides to find work. Have students imagine they are an Adirondack guide and have them create a persuasive advertisement about their services.
    • Different ideas to include on their advertisement can include:
      • What skills do they have?
      • What sets them apart from other guides?
      • What will they charge for their services?
  • Planning a Trip – As a guide, you’d have to be a very good planner. Have students plan their own trip as a guide.
    • Different ideas to include in guided trip:
      • Length of trip
      • How much will you charge the sport(s)
      • Map of different locations you’ll travel to
      • What activities you will be doing with your sports. (i.e. hunting, fishing, canoeing)
      • What supplies you’ll need
        • Fishing poles, canoe/guideboat, traps.
        • Food, tent?

Rob Peck and the LaPrairie brother’s playing cards, taken by famous Adirondack photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard (Adirondack Experience Photo Collection P022781)

  • Write your own campfire story! –– After listening to a guide tell his fishing adventure story, have students write/tell their own story about a particular event or day in their life. Prompt students to write how the event or day actually happened. Then, encourage students to turn their story into a tall tale— incorporating fictional and larger than life details into their original story.


Higher grade level students may want to explore some topics in more depth.

  1. What possible challenges could a guide have when taking a group of sports out on a trip in 1890?
  2. In what ways would a guided hunting trip in 1890 be different than a guided hunting trip in 2020? In what ways would they be similar?

The hunter, General Ed McAlphin, sits in the stern of the guideboat. His guide, Jack Richards, sits in the bow next to a hunting dog. Photo taken by famous Adirondack Photographer, Seneca Ray Stoddard. (Adirondack Experience Photo Collection P019986)