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Spring is breathing new life into Hackensack Mountain in the southern Adirondacks

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You know, sometimes listening to the news can add to people's stress. We can be honest about that. It can raise your blood pressure to pay attention to the news. So let's take a moment to lower it. Spring has reached the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York, and North Country Public Radio's Emily Russell went for a hike.

(SOUNDBITE OF CRUNCHING UNDERFOOT)

EMILY RUSSELL, BYLINE: I'm heading up Hackensack Mountain, a rocky ridge that rises up from the small town of Warrensburg, N.Y. This place has been blanketed in ice and snow for months, but on this spring day, it's thrumming back to life.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD SINGING)

RUSSELL: This is so amazing. I'm standing here on the trail and it's just like this chorus of wildlife around me - chipmunks and birds, my dog out exploring. It's so beautiful.

Dried pine needles crunch beneath my boots. The trail is short and steep, so I have to grip onto roots and rocks to haul myself up the mountain. There's a moment when everything around me falls silent except for one lone woodpecker searching for food.

(SOUNDBITE OF WOODPECKER PECKING)

RUSSELL: The trail is become really dynamic, like, just these big, sharp boulders. So I'm having to hop from one to another.

(SOUNDBITE OF CRUNCHING UNDERFOOT)

RUSSELL: As I climb towards the summit, the trees thin out. That lets in more of the bright spring sunshine which seeps into my skin. I haven't felt warmth like this in months. And then the trail guides me out onto the summit, a rocky ledge overlooking the tiny Adirondack town below.

(SOUNDBITE OF CRUNCHING UNDERFOOT)

RUSSELL: You can see little churches and shops and homes, and there's birds flying above me. This is just so special. In a place where winter grips on for as long as it can. It feels like spring is finally here. For NPR News, I'm Emily Russell in Warrensburg, N.Y.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Wow, that was beautiful. Although it also brings one of the sounds of (laughter) spring to my house, Michel, which is the sound of sniffling.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm sorry. I was sneezing. Sorry. I'm sorry. Excuse me. I'm sorry.

INSKEEP: Here, let me hand you a tissue.

MARTIN: It was just - so much Claritin. So much Claritin.

INSKEEP: (Laughter). It is a great season to get outside, though. My 7-year-old the other day got new shoes, and she said, I want to go for a run. And then she wanted to pick four-leaf clovers during the run. And then she decided it could just be a hike.

MARTIN: I'd go for the shoes.

INSKEEP: There you go. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Emily Russell