To the pure joy of many, one of the Adirondack Park's High Peaks has a new name – with a Schroon Lake connection.
The summit in the Dix Range in the Essex County town of North Hudson will now be known as "Grace Peak" in honor of Grace Hudowalski.
Hudowalski passed away in 2004 at the age of 98. She had lived in Schroon for many years.
Last week, the US Board of Geographic Names approved a petition to rename East Dix, a summit that rises to 4,026 feet after Grace, a founding member of the Adirondack 46er hiking club and a long-time activist in the Park.
The name change comes after a twelve-year campaign by multiple 46ers that was joined by local government leaders, other groups and filmmaker Fred Schwoebel.
Fred has nothing but special memories of Grace and his time at her camp in Schroon Lake.
“When we came back to shoot -- I stayed with her both times – that openness and gregarious nature was infectious. She knew I loved mountains also. As soon as I imparted that information, we had a shared love.
Grace’s climbing days were well over when Fred shot the documentary. But she was still very connected to the 46 Peaks and 46ers, Fred said.
“In the documentary she talks about climbing one of the high peaks at 80 years old. She knew every inch of every trail in the Adirondacks. When she was typing those letters it was her way of being still connected to the mountains”.
Fred says Grace’s camp in Schroon Lake was fairly rustic.
“It was modest and filled with things she collected and people gave her. She loved hummingbirds, and feeding the raccoons and she had a cat called K2, so her environment there was very reflective of her love of animals and love of hiking and of the Adirondacks themselves.
Check out our interview with Fred here, where you will learn what an amazing person Grace was, and the incredible impact her legacy she has had on past – and future – 46ers.Last year, more than 150 folks turned out for a screening of Fred’s Film, “The Mountains Will Wait For You”, at a screening at The Strand.
We have followed Grace’s story, and the efforts to get the name change extensively here on Schroon Laker. In our search box to the right, type in Hudowalski.
Douglas Arnold, who led the local effort, issued a statement last week describing Grace Hudowalski as "a mentor to thousands of people as she shared her enthusiasm for the Adirondacks.
You can check out more on Grace’s story from the following news outlets, by clicking on the following links: