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2013: Dec 9 - NICK STONER GOLF COURSE
skiing from end of plowing on Irving Pond Rd. 1 lap on E side of
Rts. 10/29A & 2 laps on W side. Good skiing in 2" of powder on
thin icy base. Some light drizzle made the powder a bit heavier
by the time we finished. 1.8 hours. Lunched at the car then
skied the snowmobile trail to IRVING POND & BELLOWS LAKE.
On good dirt road to Irving alongside its scenic outlet stream.
The dam is out, leaving an interesting open shoreline on the pond.
Rougher snowmobile trail to Bellows thru some nice hemlock
forest. Skiing better than one would have thought despite some wet
spots & rocks. 6 miles, 2.2 hours. Visited Rockwood SF - had
1.5" & did not look good for skiing. Improve the glide of "No-wax" skis - Nehasane uses Swix F4 Universal which can be corked or ironed into ski base ahead of & behind the kick zone. Tour the backcountry with Fischer S-Bound skis. May 26 - WOODS POND & HOUSATONIC RIVER canoeing from
Lenox Station, MA. A plastic dock now replaces the muddy put-in
that I had to put up with last time I was here - a bit high for kayakers
tho. The river upstream passes thru wildlife refuge & state
forest land, mostly undeveloped. A dam downstream of the put-in
creates Woods Pond & very little current is noticed paddling
upstream for the first couple of miles. Many backwaters along the
way. 5 miles to Decker Landing access. Electrical lines
& power station of the Electric Power Research Institute -
interesting but jarring. Turned around a couple of miles above the
New Lenox Rd bridge. Abundant birdsong, bullfrogs doing the bass
lines. Beaver, muskrats, goslings, wood ducks, mallards, bald
eagle, yellow warblers, least sandpipers, oriole, cardinal, red-winged
blackbirds, hawks, water snake. A few blackflies in the morning
but absent later with temp at 80F & breezy. Quite a few other
folks out in canoes & kayaks on this Memorial Day. 13+ miles, 6
hours. Peregrine Ultralight Dry Summit Pack 25L - I can find good uses for this one especially on paddle/hike trips. June 16 - CANOE & KAYAK DEMO at Lock 7. July 20 - RICH LAKE & FISHING BROOK in Newcomb. Mostly undeveloped, AIC
& land owned by SUNY-ESF; no camping or motors. Paddled much
of the perimeter of the lake except the SE arm, some sand beaches, lots
of cedars & pines along shores. Fishing Brook has large marshy
areas & is navigable upstream for 2 miles, had 2 beaver dams to go
over & 1 blockage with downed trees which was a lot of work to
squeeze a 35" canoe thru. Turned around where outlet of Lilypad
Pond comes in. Goodnow Mtn & firetower to the S. Great
variety of flowers on the brook: pickerelweed (purple), Joe-Pye weed
(pinkish), swamp candles (yellow), cardinal flower (red), Queen Anne's
lace (white)... Saw a deer & a mink in the lake's NE arm on
the way to the outlet as well as some interesting rock formations;
frogs, osprey, kingfishers, loons, mergansers with chicks. Some
non-biting flies early, breezier in the pm & they were gone; some
mosquitoes in the woods but not on the water or beaches. 8.8
miles, 5.5 hours. Hung out on the beach at the put-in until
Freeman's Bridge boat launch on the Mohawk River now has a canoe/kayak
ramp & dock - I would not use the rollers with composite or
thermoformed boats, polyethylene or Royalex only. Aug 3&4 - ESSEX CHAIN LAKES canoe camping, S of Newcomb. Free camping permit can be picked up at the Adirondack Interpretive Center
(can also be emailed) - we got site #1 on Third Lake. 5+ mile
drive from Goodnow Flow on dirt road (there are 6 primitive campsites
along the way, with fire rings), 10.5 miles from Rt.28N. 0.3 mile
carry to Deer Pond, some interesting rock on its S shore. 0.5 mile
carry to Third Lake. Carries mostly on cartable dirt roads, but
off-road paths near the waters are a bit rough, with lots of juicy
raspberries along the way. Set up camp then paddled to Sixth Lake
stopping at all the campsites, all have privies of the thunderbox
type. Short winding channel thru water shield & waterlilies
between Third & Fourth. Thru a culvert into Fifth. Boggy
channel to Sixth past pickerelweed and some smartweed. Thunder
& rain made us retreat to camp. Beavers swam by our campsite
in the evening. No other campers Sunday night. After a
showery night, Monday's weather was good. The net that had been in
the narrows between Third & Second has been removed. 150 yard
carry around big beaver dam & rocks to First Lake which had 4 crazy
loons. Paddled the outlet, aka the "Chain Drain",
less than 2 miles going over half a dozen beaver dams & one downed
tree to the top of a spectacular 50' waterfall & ultimately reached
the Rock River on foot, wading in the stream to top of falls then
bushwhacking down thru the woods on river R. The Rock River here
is a 50' wide flat stream with a good current & grassy shores.
Cardinal flower. Back on First, stopped for lunch on the
westernmost of 2 trashy campsites reserved for folks who arrive by float
plane. Hiked the 0.4 mile carry trail to Grassy Pond, at one spot
one has to walk a slippery log across a wet & muddy area (imagine
it must be extremely tenuous if carrying a canoe). The piney
campsite at the end of the trail has a nice view of Dun Brook Mtn - do
not expect a flat tent spot tho. Saw 1 canoe & 2 rowboats
stashed here. .2 adult loons with 2 chicks on Third, stopped at a
day use spot on a point with picnic table & great view, swam from
here. Saw no-one all day until we were leaving Third Lake after
breaking camp. Light to moderate bug activity incl. mosquitoes,
deerflies & no-see-ums. The lowdown on the campsites... in
general, don't have high expectations, there are few flat spots &
campfires are not allowed. Deer Pond: wood dock, piney, 2 slopey
tent sites, good view, large outhouse. The campsite half way along
the carry from Deer to Third is a joke, you may not even notice it, no
permit needed. Third Lake #1: roomy, on the water, bear
scat. Third Lake #2: poor landing, one flat tent spot next to
large rock good for 2 small tents right next to each other or 1 big
tent, next to water, view across the lake is of the Gooley Club
buildings. Third Lake #3: decent tent spots, next to water, decent
landing & view. Third Lake #4: roomy, tent spots spread out,
decent landing, limited views. Fourth Lake: met backcountry
steward, tent sites being moved further away from water. From
culvert between Fourth & Fifth, walk E on dirt road uphill for a
quarter mile & the poor, buggy site is back in the woods on the L -
no permit needed. Fifth Lake: 3 tent spots, 2 of them flattish,
decent landing & view. Sixth Lake #1: close to water, 2 slopey
tent spots. Sixth Lake #2: 2 unflat tent spots, nice view.
First Lake #1: 2 lumpy tent spots, view down the lake. Oct 21 - MOHAWK RIVER from Kiwanis Park boat launch in Rotterdam. Paddled downstream to Lock 8. Moored above the lock was the Grande Mariner
which I believe was on a tour from NYC to Montreal. Around the N
side of Dalys Island & back along the sometimes steep & eroding N
shore. Continued upriver a bit in the dark, cool watching a train
engine go over the rr bridge. Highway noise. 2 hours.Now in stock: 2 new maps in the Adirondack Paddlers Map Close-Up Series - St. Regis Canoe Wilderness & The Saranac Lakes - story. Not sure why "Wilderness" when the area is actually called the St. Regis Canoe Area. Oct 20 thru Nov 7 - Break in southeast region (includes the tidal Hudson River) duck hunting season.Oct 20 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Lions Park. Paddled downstream along lightly developed S shore,
water chestnut breaking up. After almost 4 miles, poked into the
shallow Delphin Kill then crossed the river to Wager's Pond & the
old Erie Canal. W on the old canal for almost a mile passing
Clute's dry dock. Back on the river's N side; N shore all in the
Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve. Stopped for a break at a picnic
area. Further upstream crossed over to tip of Niska Isle (a
moderate 10 mph S wind opposing the current produced waves up to 1')
then back downstream alongside the upstream & middle islands which
are pretty much one as reeds & cattails have grown in in the
shallows between the islands. Red-tailed hawks, chickadees, gb
herons, gulls, mallards, cormorants. 11.5 miles, 3.7 hours, avg
moving speed 3.4 mph. Swift Kiwassa 14, a lightweight 14' kayak with largish cockpit.Oct 19 - HANNACROIX CREEK PRESERVE walk.
Parking area is W of Rt.144 S of Coeymans. Half mile trail E of
Rt.144 to Hudson River just S of the mouth of the creek, going over a
bridge made of 68,000 plastic milk cartons. Walked most of the
trails W of Rt.144: Irving, Red, Blue & Paper Mill. The latter
goes past old stone walls & foundations of Alms House & Cider
Mill. The highlight is the 10' falls on the creek. Foliage
past peak. Temp in upper 40s, gusty wind but sunny (not a good day
for paddling). 2.2 hours.
Oct 15 - CLIFF & LITTLE CLIFF PONDS.
Nickerson State Park. Clear green water, mostly undeveloped
shores, some fall color (maples & poison ivy looked lovely).
100' sandy portage from one pond to the other. Not very big bodies
of water but S wind created good chop at N side of Cliff Pond.
Hawks. Warm but very windy lunch at Nauset Light Beach (national
seashore). Walk from Hemenway Landing (a large dead fish at the
landing) looping on Fort Hill which has an excellent view of Nauset
Marsh, trail passes interesting whalebone arch at Captain Penniman
House. Hung out at Skaket Beach on bay side before heading off the
Oct 14 - BOAT MEADOW RIVER.
Morning walk on Race Point Beach on ocean side, saw grey seals.
Lunch at Harding Beach in Provincetown. Launched from Bayview Rd
Landing in Eastham a bit before high tide for the bay. River winds
thru marsh going under Bridge Rd bridge. After couple of miles
took N branch passing old dike into pond-like Boat Meadow Bog.
Back to junction then up S branch slowly closing in on powerline &
reaching bike trail. Back to the mouth, tide still coming in;
waves in Cape Cod Bay were just big enough to surf back in to
shore. Hung out for a nice sunset. Swallows.
Oct 13 - NAUSET INLET & MARSH.
Cool & dewy in the morning so drove over to ? Point on Pleasant Bay
in Chatham to get a look at the new break to the ocean, ebb tide
current moving right along here. Launched from end of Tonset Rd in
Orleans & had to carry down a flight of stairs to the beach (later
found 2 town landings to the S I could have used) near Nauset
Harbor. Paddled N inside Nauset Beach to the inlet & landed
for a long lunch break - great spot. Literally tons of grey seals
(adult males can weigh over 700 lbs) - saw maybe a hundred in the ocean
inlet area. After lunch, crossed the boating channel to wide creek
heading W; a fishing boat went by & threw steep short period waves
at me requiring braces to stay upright. Within sight of Hemenway
Landing turned SW in the Northwest Passage to Skiff Hill Creek passing
below Fort Hill, then back to start. Terns, gulls, gb herons,
yellowlegs, willets, cormorants. Drove over to 1st Encounter Beach
on the bay side to hang out hoping for a good sunset - folks from the
Mayflower had a fight with natives here - today is Columbus Day.
Oct 12 - Cape Cod kayaking, windy every day, high tide mid to late afternoon. CENTERVILLE RIVER
from Dowses Town Beach in Centerville. N wind so best to paddle
on the sound side. Launched 50 mins. before high tide into the
mouth of the river at the sound & crossed East Bay into the
river. Long & Craigville Beaches are between the river &
the mainland, light to moderate development, sometimes lavish.
Thru marshy area then at ~2 miles the river gets much narrower & one
is surrounded by 12' high phragmites. Green herons,
yellowlegs. WS Zephyr 160 PRO kayak.
Oct 7 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Lions/RR Station Park, Rosendale Rd, Niskayuna. Downstream a bit
then between the islands to the main river (water chestnuts not a major
problem) then up to the Lock 7 dam. Returned under the full moon -
a lovely evening! 2 hours.
Cliff Jacobson's canoe camping advice: video.Oct 6 - CHIMNEY MOUNTAIN hike
from Kings Flow near Indian Lake. Parking area is on private land
- $2 fee per car per day. Over a mile to caves area & the
Chimney. E on herd path along ridge past campsite for 0.3 miles
climbing another 100' to actual open rock summit with views in every
direction - the best is the view N to the High Peaks - I could even make
out the cliffs on Wallface. 1,000' climb, 3.2 miles, 3+
hours. Still some good color but foliage past peak. Drove to
13th Lake & walked the trail on W shore, heard a loon.
Oct 5 - UPPER KUNJAMUK RIVER. From Old Route 30 6.2 mile drive on Fly Creek Rd, a fair dirt road in the Speculator Tree Farm.
Drove past the Long Level Bridge to gate near where there used to be a
bridge across the river. Breezy & temp barely reached
50F. Paddled upstream 1.4 miles, going over 4 beaver dams, to old
fish barrier dam (now on state land), not maintained by humans but
beavers have helped keep it up, a campsite & jeep road to the
W. Paddled around the shallow 1.3 -mile-long flow above the dam,
many white pines along shoreline. Saw lots of ducks, a gaggle of
geese, 2 otters, northern harrier & a beaver on top of his
lodge. Had trouble finding the KR upstream in marshy area to the
NE. Returned past my put-in & 1.3 miles further downstream going
over one beaver dam & turning around at another. Views of the
cliffs on Upper Pine Mtn close-by to the E; Doug & East Mtns
prominent to the SW. River here is fairly deep & 20' to 30'
wide with lots of backwaters. Shores are varied, very scenic area -
I need to explore more of the river from here down to Elm Lake.
8.2 miles, 4.5 hours. Camped at Mason Lake (limited primitive
camping, most of the old on-water campsites have been closed, map)
- saw an adult loon & one juvenile, no sounds other than
owls. Could hear logging activities early Monday morning.
Sep 30 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Freeman's Bridge boat launch. Upstream to Lock 8 staying to the N
of Isles of the Cayugas, Onondagas & Oneidas on the way up & S
of the islands on the way back after sunset. S shore urban:
industrial, Schenectady Stockade & highway; N shore has much less
development. 7.9 miles, 2.1 hours. Swift Prospector 17 canoe.
Sep 29 - CEDAR RIVER, PINE LAKE & CLEAR POND hike
from the Outer Gooley Club building trailhead. Broke camp &
paddled down the E side of the flow on a calm morning passing 4 loons (2
juveniles). Drove to trailhead. Trail on dirt road, easy walking,
gently undulating terrain. Passed 2 new designated campsites &
jctn of Clear Pond trail. New gate at 1.5 miles then another
campsite on the L. At signpost turned R off the road to short
trail to the Cedar River which has very little current here (3
miles). Back to the dirt road continuing W (unsigned & not
shown on maps) for 1.2 miles to lovely Pine Lake. A designated
campsite to the L is the nicest I've seen in the Essex Chain Lakes Complex;
has fire ring, picnic table & thunderbox. On the return took
the rough half mile (sign says 0.3 miles) trail to Clear Pond ending at
an old cedar tree, some nice rock shore to the R. 9.1 miles, 4.6
hours. Still great fall colors but some leaves are dropping.
Went for a quick swim in Lake Abanakee on the drive out - surprisingly
comfortable water temp, not chilly at all.
Sep 28 - CEDAR RIVER FLOW.
August-like temps in upper 70s, also biting stable flies (aka
"ankle-biters") are back. Paddled to a campsite next to the NPT on
W shore & set up. Paddled up the stream to the west of Cedar
River, lifting over 7 beaver dams, to bridge on the NPT. Carried
almost half mile SE on the NPT to lean-to, couple of guys with small
motorboat encamped here. Paddled upriver on the Cedar for a bit
then downstream back to the flow, mostly spruce so very little fall
color. The firetower on Wakeley Mtn can often be seen. 0.75
miles up Buell Brook before returning to camp. 8.5 miles
round-trip from campsite. Brilliant fall foliage around the
flow. Mountains, incl. Lewey & Snowy, rise up to 1,800' above
the flow. C geese, wood ducks, beavers, no loony tunes.
Lovely starry night, left the fly off the tent.
Sep 25 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Lions Park. Open route thru the water chestnut downstream S of
the islands to end of downstream island then a quarter mile of chestnut
to the main river so turned around. Got out to the river between
islands with minimal push thru chestnut. Water very clear.
Gb herons & egret. Swift Adirondack 13.6, a 13.5' 33 lb large cockpit kayak.
Sep 23 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Freeman's Bridge. New kayak launch is good for plastic
boats. Paddled downstream & up the Alplaus Kill a ways.
Quite a few sculls out.
Sep 22 - GOODMAN MOUNTAIN hike on new 1.6 mile trail.
Broke camp & paddled out in drizzle. In my absence a dead
tree had fallen down & just missed the Nehasanemobile. Drove S
of Tupper Lake. Good view S (Coney Mtn) W (Horseshoe Lake, Rt.30)
from open rocks. Grouse; shortly before end of hike a mama bear
bounded across the trail soon followed by a cub & another cub &
yet another cub!!! (last time I saw a mama & 3 cubs was on
Hardigan Pond shortly after the Whitney Wilderness was opened up).
Mid-day temp 45F. 1.8 hours. Coney Mtn is a similar hike
& has better views. From Indian Lake drove to the new Essex
Chain Lakes parking area at the old ugly Gooley Club building with view
of Hudson River, a path leads down to the river.
Sep 21 - STONY CREEK & AMPERSAND BROOK. Water level on the low side. Got
about a mile up AB, pulled over one logjam & turned around at
another (should not be too hard to portage on river R & continue but
I wanted to get back to camp before the forecasted rain). Checked
out a lovely backwater that stretched out to the E - grassy shores
waved in the wind with scarlet maples backed by green pines &
cedars, good view of Stony Creek & Ampersand Mtns. SC is 2
miles long & twisty, noticeable current. Turtle, bald eagle,
dragonflies, orange butterflies, ducks. Brilliant fall
colors. 6.6 miles. 3 hours. The new The Saranac Lakes map has inset showing the area well. RAQUETTE RIVER.
Upstream from camp. Coyote swam across river. Got out &
bushwhacked short distance to an interesting meadow with bushes to the
knees. Silver & red maples line the shores. Rain in
evening, nice to be in a lean-to. Chipmunks, red squirrels &
blue jay in camp. 1 motorboat went by - the ranger?.
Sep 20 - BOREAS PONDS sneak
peak with The Nature Conservancy. Public not allowed until NYS
buys the area from TNC. 3 interconnected ponds with lots of
islands, S of the High Peaks. 7 mile drive on dirt roads (moose
tracks), thru 2 locked gates, to dam that creates the ponds, this dam
was rebuilt not too long ago & is similar to the one at Henderson
Lake. At ~5 miles stopped at wood dam on the Boreas River that creates
LeBiere Flow, this dam probably won't last 50 years. Visited the lodge
that Finch Pruyn built (1996?) for its guests; Dave, the caretaker, had
some coffee on & built a fire in the fireplace; moose head (from
Maine) over the front window; stuffed coyote too; Adirondack chairs
lined the front deck, several identical bedrooms neatly set up with
sheets & blankets. Paddled the perimeter of the ponds,
unfortunately clouds were low & we did not see Marcy & other
high peaks. Floating bogs, lilypads & sunken trees typical of a
flow; a spruce island in the middle. Loons. Fall foliage
excellent. Drove thru Placid & Saranac: trailheads packed,
colors not quite as good on N side of High Peaks. Paddled down
Stony Creek & set up camp for 2 nights in the Stony Creek Lean-to on
the Raquette River.
Sep 16 - HUDSON RIVER from
Waterford boat launch at the end of First St. Paddled upstream
around the islands close to Lock 1 dam. Partly developed but also
some wooded shores, shallow areas & good current near islands.
Pileated woodpeckers, bald eagle, beaver, Bambi. 2 hours.
Sep 15 - BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE & CASTLE ROCK
from the town beach. 2 mile paddle thru islands, some private
some public, to small beach W of rocky Bluff Point. Hiked 0.2
miles on blue trail then L on yellow trail for 0.7 miles of climbing
over roots & rocks, under a large rock ledge, gain of 670'.
Great view of whole lake to Blue & Snowy Mtns & Blue
Ridge. Colors not as vibrant as previous 2 destinations.
Bouncy ride across lake, does not take much wind to create waves on
BML. Friendly junco, bashful chipmunk. Quite a few kayaks
& canoes out for a Monday afternoon, only 2 motorboats.
Loons. Took a short swim - water felt comfortable still, not too
cold. 5.8 miles, 3.7 hours.
Sep 15 - BOG RIVER & LOWS RIDGE
from Lows Lower Dam. Lovely boreal river with many white pines
transitioning to marshy area & Hitchins Pond, a bald eagle flew low
across the pond. 1.1 mile hike (gain of 400') from HP to the open
rock of the ridge with stunning view across the winding river with high
peaks lining the horizon. Could hear loons down below. Quite a few
canoes & kayaks going in & out (less than 10 vehicles at the
parking area), 2 bikers at the Upper Dam. 8.5 miles, 4.1 hours.
Sep 14 - HENDERSON LAKE.
Easy 0.3 mile carry from Upper Works trailhead. Explored the S
inlet, Santanoni Brook & Indian Pass Brook. Awesome High Peaks
views. Foliage ~20% change, mostly red & purple maples.
Very little wildlife, no bad bugs. Saw just 1 kayak & 2 pack
canoes. 7.8 miles, 4.4 hours.
Sep 13 - High temp of 57F at Adirondack Paddle'n'Pole today, 30F in Saranac Lake this morning - seems to get rid of biting bugs & some people too.
Sep 9 - HUDSON RIVER from
boat launch next to Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Started a bit
after high tide & paddled upstream with view of Empire State Plaza
in the distance. Dutch Apple cruise boat went by both ways - waves
barely surfable. Bald eagle, gb herons. Full moon rose
above the trees as we took out. 2 hours. Zephyr kayak.
Sep 6 - MOOSEHEAD LAKE & PRONG POND.
Showers & storms predicted, am was nice. ML is only slightly
longer than NY's Lake George but its surface area of 120 sq. miles is
about 3 times that of LG making it New England's largest lake; less
developed, too. Paddled the Prospector from Rowell Cove at LBSP N
& E past Twomile Island with view of Mt Kineo
(on an island!? joined to the E shore by a narrow isthmus) & its
900' cliffs, exploring Tussle Lagoon & the islands? of Mathews Cove,
tough finding a way between with low water & rocks. 2
hours. Weather still looked ok so drove to nearby PP. 30 mph
headwind gusts as we returned to the put-in. ...tbc...
Sep 1-5 - LOBSTER LAKE in
central Maine. From Lily Bay drove 45 miles to LL, 30 miles on
dirt roads. The dirt started at Kakadjo, a bit on the rough side
but close to 2-lane (30-40mph), no signs telling us we were on the Sias
Hill Rd, then L on the smoother & wider Golden Rd (40mph+) to
Caribou Checkpoint where we had to stop & pay fees - $12 per car per
day to North Maine Woods,
$8 + tax pp per night to State of Maine for backcountry camping on
LL. 9 more miles on the Golden Rd then a L & 3 miles to the
put-in on Lobster Stream, a hundred yards off the W Br Penobscot
River. 2 mile paddle down LS which is ~150' wide entering LL from
the NW with view to Mt. Katahdin 30 miles to the E. Camped at
Ogden Point for 4 nights, the most awesome campsite on the lake with
view SE down Little Claw to nearby Big Spencer Mtn, sandy beach &
scraggly jack pines (red squirrels knocking the cones down early in the
am), 2 picnic tables & a new log outhouse. Light mosquito
(near the trees, not the sandy point) & mouse activity. Bald
eagle, loons. Lie-down-Thermaresting. Big Claw. A few
generally well-hidden cottages on N, E, & S shores, a float plane
took off when we arrived, saw 2 motor boats on the last day, otherwise
just a few canoes & kayaks. Big Island. Lobster Mtn
hike. Sunsets (had to paddle to get a view W), sunrises from
campsite. Moose in Halfway Brook. West Branch Penobscot
River - otters. ...tbc...
Drove back to Lily Bay SP campground & got a nice on-water site for
2 nights . Dinner in Greenville - good food & craft beer at
Stress Free Moose Pub & Cafe + Rod n' Reel Cafe.
31 - LILY BAY STATE PARK on MOOSEHEAD LAKE in central Maine, a 7+ hour
drive from APnP. LBSP has a nice campground on the E side of ML
& quite possibly the best shower rooms of any SP campground I've
ever been to. It is a short drive from Greenville which is at the S
end of the lake. Greenville is a small tourist village without
pretensions & ATV's are allowed on its roads. We had a site
with water access & a view across to Sugar Island the biggest island
on the lake.Aug 26 - ROUND LAKE
from new boat launch on Rt.9. Mostly undeveloped but hard to get
away from the road noise. Did the perimeter of the lake (lots of
waterlilies near S shore, milfoil near N shore) & went down the
outlet, the Anthony Kill (an osprey sat on one of the dead trees in what
used to be a heron rookery), thru some quickwater then R up the Dwaas
Kill a short distance sliding over a log. Nice after sunset.
Aug 25 - SOUTH BEACH from
Morris Island Rd in Chatham, MA. 150' carry to the water at edge
of marsh, S of a marina. Light S wind. Paddled around the S
end of Morris Island (not an island) into Nantucket Sound passing exotic
mansions then undeveloped beach & dunes to the inlet of Stage
Harbor, North Monomoy Island seen to the S. Crossed E over to SB
(a long undeveloped peninsula with the sound on one side & the ocean
on the other) watching out for motorboats to a new break opening out to
the Atlantic (could also see another break to the S, last time I was
here SB was connected to South Monomoy Island, things are constantly
changing here, maps/charts do not show the area accurately).
Lunched here, popular spot for sun-bathing motor-boaters too, no sand
fleas or green-head flies. Grey seals swam past, no sharks.
Back along the W side of SB with view of Chatham Light & stopped for
more beach time, lots of shallow water & undeveloped beach around
here. Lovely clear green water. Osprey, gulls, groups of
Aug 24 -WAQUOIT BAY & WASHBURN ISLAND, CAPE COD kayaking,
East Falmouth. WI is an an undeveloped island topped with pitch
pines with many sandy beaches around its perimeter, WB is on its E side,
the Childs River on its W, Nantucket Sound to its S. Light NE
wind, start 2 hours before high tide at town landing on Childs
River. L on the short Seapit River passing shellfish aquaculture
floating cages. Thru moored sailboats & down E side of the bay
then up shallow channel into marshy Sage Lot Pond. Along S side
of bay past the inlet (fair amount of boat traffic) at Dead Neck, waves
over 1' here & some current. Motor-boaters hung out on the
beach. At SW end of the bay paddled a twisty channel (look
for sea lavender) into Tims Pond, a lovely oasis rimmed with trees &
sand dunes with no sign of development. Walked 100 yard portage
to Eel Pond (a continuation of the Childs River). Decided to drag
the Alchemy 150' over low dunes (lots of rose hips) to Nantucket Sound,
Martha's Vineyard in view. Paddled W to the mouth of the Childs
then back for lunch & beach time, sand fleas a minor
annoyance. Back to the bay & up the E side of Washburn passing
several primitive campsites, most occupied by motor-boaters. Down
the Childs to the mouth completing the circuit of the island then back
upriver, W side of the river generally tastefully developed. Lots
of osprey, cormorants, gulls. 6.5 hours.
Aug 19 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Kiwanis Park in Rotterdam. Paddled upstream past the Mabee Farm,
its 2 bateaux were out on the water this evening. Downstream past
the launch returning in the dark - white flies (like mayflies) hatching
all over the place, bats having a field day. 2 hours. When
paddling after sunset you are required to have a white light which you
must shine in enough time to avoid collision with another boat (NYS law
pertaining to canoes, kayaks & SUPs).
Aug 18 - WOLF POND
from Blue Ridge Rd. Started ~1 mile E of the Boreas River, there
is a turnout on S side of road. Brutal bushwhack (esp. with canoe
overhead) N for a quarter mile but I hit the outlet below the bend in
the stream when flow changes from S to W. Over a beaver dam, then
reach rapids. Carried 200 yds on the R (river L), scouted 1st then
went back for canoe & pack, could not see a path so fairly
nasty. Back on flatwater the shallow stream widened & had
grass & lily-pads, couple of beaver dams. At rapid, carried on
river L on rough path, much nicer than whacking, & soon arrived at
WP with its magnificent High Peaks view (Redfield, Skylight, Marcy,
Haystack, Saddleback, Basin). Felt like 3 hours to get here but
actually only 1.25 miles in 1.4 hours. An overgrown 4WD "road"
leads to private land, a rowboat stashed by the pond. Paddled
around the pond & into islands of bog with turtlehead, pitcher
plants, sundews. On the return, continued downstream past the
point where I had initially entered the outlet wanting to avoid the
longer whack. Stream wide & shallow again. Reached the
top of a rapid & whacked S uphill for 200 yds & I was on Blue
Ridge Rd (half mile E of Boreas River bridge). Half mile road walk
E to get the Nehasanemobile. 5.3 miles, 4.5 hours. Plan to
paddle Boreas Ponds
with The Nature Conservancy (even closer to the peaks, not open to the
public yet, NYS still has to buy the area from TNC) in September, can't
Aug 17&18 - CHENEY POND & BOREAS RIVER.
Half mile drive on very rough dirt road, good clearance needed.
Newish lean-to above sandy beach on E shore of CP. Water level
high so I was able to run the short channel to BR without getting out of
the canoe. Going downstream there is a short easy (if you take
the inside of the bend) rapid, river is 30-50' wide. Quarter mile
further & I found a nice spacious campsite with picnic table on
river R, good view too (North River Range, Marcy & Haystack).
Lots of flowers. Paddled down to the old Lester Dam, got out &
explored the rapids below, view N to High Peaks. Upstream 2.5
miles to rocky rapids then back down to camp. Very little wildlife
in the afternoon but had 2 garter snakes in camp & heard a
white-throated sparrow in the evening. In the am heard loons
flying, chickadees & a hummingbird flew by. Minimal bad bugs -
mostly no-see-ums - not sure what happened to mosquitoes & deer
flies this year but I ain't complainin'. Back thru CP &
Aug 13 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Lock 7 boat launch in Niskayuna, It had rained much of the day
but showers ended as we got ready to launch. Paddled along N shore
& turned around just before the Rexford Bridge, an island hid a
lovely waterfall on 50' cliff. Easily passed the only motorboat we
saw. Colorful sunset. Gb & green herons. 8+
miles, 2 hours. WS Zephyr kayak.
Aug 12 - HUDSON RIVER from
Coeymans Landing boat launch. Put in around high tide which
allowed us to check out some marshy areas, coves & inlets incl.
Hannacroix Creek (its clear water contrasted with the Hudson's
murkiness; some impressive sycamore trees) downstream. Osprey
& bald eagles; cardinal flower. SSE wind opposing the current
produced some chop. Dagger Alchemy, a fun 14' kayak.
Aug 10&11 - LONG POND canoe camping in the St Regis Canoe Area.
Put in at SW end after an easy cartable 0.3 miles carry. Passed
an adult loon with 2 chicks. Checked out some campsites &
ended up at what is probably the nicest site on the pond (the previous
occupants were packed up & ready to leave when we showed), a roomy
area in the pines with a good landing & good for swimming. The
assistant ranger stopped to talk. After setting up camp we toured
the N & E lobes, took a swim at the sandy start to the Slang Pond
carry. Continued down the SW arm & up the channel into Pink
Pond then narrower channel to Upper/Little Pink Pond. Back to Pink
then up the shallow muddy stream that leads to the path to Ledge
Pond. Bald eagle on Pink. Loons were plentiful, somewhat
crazed & we also witnessed two fighting each other, with poking
beaks & punching wings like in this video.
Slightly before sunset the full "super" moon rose above the tree-tops -
super cool! I had paddled out into the middle of the pond for an
optimum view, a loon flew by within a few feet of me. In the
morning, we paddled into the W lobe & hiked to Long Pond Mountain
via Mountain Pond, ~2 miles one-way with a gain of 930', most of the
climbing in the last mile. The 1st view from open rocks is E
across the SRCA over to the High Peaks. An unmarked path leads
past the actual summit to a larger area of open rock with excellent
views S. Paddled around the W lobe of LP & poked up the inlet
from Mountain Pond, lots of water shield, lily pads & grass in the
water. A swim back at the campsite before packing up. Mostly
bug-free - a few mosquitoes on the hike - did not use DEET or Bug
Shirt. Saw quite a few other people on both Sunday &
Monday. Swift Keewaydin 15, a lightweight solo canoe.
NeJuly 27 - BATTEN KILL
from Rt.7A N of Arlington VT to picnic area past VT/NY state
line. Waited out a morning storm & killed some time with
brunch in Cambridge. Battenville gauge 4.7' & rising (peaked
at 5.72' 12 hours after the rain stopped); visual gauge at the Rochester
Bridge (Rt.313 in Arlington) 3.2' when we paddled by, 3.9' after the
trip (most previous trips this gauge has been in the 2.2-2.5' range) -
lively (waves often in the 1.5' range), the usually crystal clear water
was a murky brown this time. Some flat water to start then Roaring
Branch enters on the L & "The Rock" lurks ahead - I went to
the R of it where the main current goes, a gap of a few feet between
rocks + a small drop, watch out for more smaller rocks below - the only
real Class II rapid on the BK between Manchester VT & Battenville
NY. Much carnage: don't worry, Nehasane stayed dry in the Caption
but 1 of our kayakers, getting used to a new used ww kayak, capsized 5
times & rolled up 3 of those times!. Rapids generally Class
I/I+. Later, a canoe misread the current & ran into a sweeper
tree, rescue was fairly easy (all of our boats had float bags or
bulkheads). Stopped for a late lunch on a rocky beach on the R
where the Green River enters. We did not notice the water level
rising until Baja noticed we had 6 paddlers & there were only 5
boats remaining, one of the canoes had sneaked off undetected.
Fortunately it was stopped by a strainer 200 yards downstream, ropes
were attached & folks were able to pull it out, luckily the paddle
stayed with the canoe! The PFD was found a mile downstream!
Under the West Arlington covered bridge. The last 4 miles were
less eventful with easier rapids. Mergansers, kingfishers, cedar
waxwings, cows & a triceratops. 11 miles, 3.6 hours.
July 24 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Forts Ferry Rd in Latham. Upstream a bit & into Shaker Creek
hoping it was running well after yesterday's rain, it wasn't much.
Crossed to the N side of the Mohawk & paddled downstream along the
undeveloped shoreline of the Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve passing a
picnic area with a good landing. Some shots rang out from the
Colonie police firing range on the S shore, otherwise fairly peaceful
this morning. Dagger Caption, a 14' whitewater canoe (not made any
more) - good solo for larger paddler, slow to accelerate but moves
along once up to speed, very maneuverable of course, regular j-strokes
sufficient to keep it going straight on flatwater, river-j (aka the
"goon stroke" if used on flatwater) might be needed on whitewater tho,
high initial & secondary stability.
July 22 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS from
123rd St boat launch in Lansingburgh. Crossed the Hudson then up
the Mohawk's middle sprout between cliffy Peebles & Van Schaick
Islands to Buttermilk Falls. Water level low - watch out for
shallows & rocks under the surface. Back to the Hudson &
downstream a ways passing the historic Matton Shipyard. Turned
around within sight of the Federal Lock & Dam. Swift Keewaydin
15, a light weight solo canoe. 2 hours.
July 17 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Lock 7 boat launch. Saw bald eagle fly by as I was getting ready,
a great egret on the water chestnut near "Methane Mountain" (a capped
landfill), a tiny turtle (painted?) just a few inches long on a small
log, group of 14 mallard chicks + 1 adult. Shale/sandstone cliffs
up to 50' high. Light development (some industrial). Turned around at
the power line short of the Rexford Bridge. Saw just 3 motorboats
out on a Thursday morning. 1.8 hours.
July 13 - SCHROON RIVER & LAKE thru
trip from Rt.9 bridge below Schroon Falls, a class III drop, to the
town beach. Park just off Rt.9 on River Rd, 100 yard carry to
bottom of rapids to start. Shallow sand/pebbly bottom, light to
moderate current, 50'-100' wide. The river passes some cottages
& a couple of campgrounds but maintains a fairly wild feel.
Lots of nice sandy banks for breaks. No development from 2nd
bridge to the lake. Half mile side-trip up Alder Creek, had to
first go over 2 small beaver dams - much pickerelweed, yellow pond lily,
rose mallow, Joe-Pye-weed, swamp candles. Last mile across the
lake with 15-20 mph S wind made interesting with waves in the 1.5' range
- the Prospector
canoe handled things with aplomb. Merganser chicks, black ducks,
kingfishers, pileated woodpecker, white-throated sparrow. 10.8
miles, 4.2 hours.
July 10 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Forts Ferry Rd in Latham. Headed upstream on N side of the river
(undeveloped, Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve) to the Lock 7 dam then
returned on the S side (light development) past the islands. 3
motorboats, otherwise quite mellow this morning. Woodchuck, gb
& green herons, kingfisher, mallards, red-winged blackbirds,
swallows, red-tailed hawk. 10% faster going downstream. 7.9
miles, 2.1 hours. WS Zephyr kayak.
July 8 - HUDSON RIVER from
Corning Preserve boat launch in Albany. Launched 2.5 hours before
low tide. S wind opposing the current produced choppy water, some
of the waves were surfable. Went upstream, wooded shores mostly
but I-787 traffic noise was constant. 1.5 hours.July 6 - SOMERSET RESERVOIR in
southern VT. About 6 miles long, undeveloped. SW winds
10-20mph. Paddled over to & stayed on the W side.
Stopped at a picnic site (camping not allowed on SR) with small beach -
did some rescue practice, swimming, cooking (interesting 2 sided fire
pit) & relaxing then headed back in the late afternoon. Views
of Mt Snow & Stratton, Searsburg Wind Farm. Quite a few
loons. A handful of motorboats, fishing. Fairly quiet
overall. 8 hours. WS Zephyr 160 PRO kayak handles wind & waves so well I did not need to drop the skeg.
July 1 - ROUND LAKE from
new boat launch on Rt.9. Lots of milfoil catches the paddle
blades. Bald eagles, cormorants. Had to get off early due to
an approaching storm so did not get to check out the Anthony Kill, the
lake's outlet. Crowded on nice weekends. Perception Expression 11.5, an 11'8" kayak with thigh braces & skeg.June 29 - ESSEX CHAIN LAKES.
The dirt road in has been closed all spring but now repaired &
opened June 27. From Goodnow Flowage in Newcomb one drives a dirt
road for over 5 miles, the road getting rougher the further one goes,
there are a few new primitive campsites along the road. Easy 0.3
mile carry mostly on dirt road to pretty Deer Pond, paddled the long way
around. Half mile carry, much of it on dirt road, to Third
Lake. Over to Second Lake then 100 yard carry around beaver dam
& rapids to First Lake. Stopped at one of the 2 old campsites
for lunch; had picnic table, fire-ring & 4 rowboats. The other
campsite (reserved for float plane users!) had a dock & some
"improvements". FL has had float plane access for many years, half
the lake has been state land for a long time & not owned by
Finch. Down First Lake's outlet going over 3 or 4 beaver dams
& turning back at a downed tree. Thru all the "lakes" to
Seventh Lake checking out some of the 10 new campsites (on First thru
Seventh) along the way (camping is by permit only, 3 day max, no
campfires) - sites generally have 2 raked spots for tents & a
toilet. Gooley Club has ~10 buildings in the large bay on Third's
SE side, these will be removed after their lease expires in 2018. A
wide channel with waterlilies & watershield leads into
Fourth. Go thru a culvert into Fifth, there is a rope hanging from
the top which makes it easier to slide your boat thru. More
lilies plus floating bog mats to Sixth. Seventh is just an
extension of Sixth & has boggy shores. Stopped at a campsite
on Sixth with nice view W to Dun Brook Mtn which rises almost 2,000'
above the lakes. Campsites are well-spaced assuring privacy.
Could not find a good place to swim from - no sandy beaches or sloping
rock. Minimal bad bugs: no blackflies, a couple of mosquitoes,
deerflies (mostly on the outlet) not biting. Sheep laurel &
blue flag flowering along shorelines. Mountain views include:
Vanderwhacker, Blue, Snowy. Whitetail deer (twice); loons & 2
eggs in nest. A few other paddlers, 1 small motorboat (Gooley Club
members allowed thru 2018, electric only July-Sept). 8.3
hours. Swift Keewaydin 15, a lightweight solo canoe.
Essex Chain updates.
You can now drive to within 0.3 miles of the Polaris/Iron Bridge over
the Hudson River; new parking at Indian Lake end will be at the old
Gooley Club building. Camping on the lakes by permit only - details.June 24 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Kiwanis Park in Rotterdam. Upstream to Lock 9 & back.
No motorboats out this evening but some nearby highway noise. Much
undeveloped shoreline except for one industrial site & the Mabee
Farm. Mabee's bateaux were out on the water. Green
heron. <2 hours. Swift Kiwassa 12.6 kayak moved along nicely & at 32 lbs car-topped easily.
June 23 - SOUTH TACONIC TRAIL hike
from Taconic State Park in Copake Falls NY. From the cabin area
of the park the SCT (white paint blazes) starts climbing through an
attractive open hemlock woods. After a short level area the trail
climbs very steeply crossing the NY/MA border to Bash Bish Mtn (no
views) gaining over 1,000'. The narrow ridge trail to Alander Mtn
is lovely with stunted oaks & pitch pine, some grassy meadows &
blueberry. Turned around short of Alander's summit (had to be to work at
1pm) but views from open areas were very good: could see Mt Greylock
way to the N, Catskills to the W & Everett & Race Mtns to the
E. Mountain laurel blossoms, but not as many as I had hoped to
see. No mud or wet spots. Partridge, some mosquitoes &
non-biting blackflies. Lots of people late morning in parking lot
going 0.75 miles to Bash Bish Falls but I saw no-one on the SCT.
June 22 - SACANDAGA RIVER from
Wells to Hope. Class II whitewater. Hope gage at 2.88' -
hit many rocks, some really nice fun sections but one probably does not
want to do this at lower levels. River L has some light
development, river R mostly wild. Stopped for lunch at the
Sacandaga State Campground. The 2 kayaks in our group ran the dam
at the campground with some bumping, the 2 canoes carried around the
dam. The W Branch enters below the campground & the added
water helped. Some longer class II/II+ stretches after the
confluence. Nice playspot on R ~7 miles in. Merganser
family, vultures. No bad bugs. 8.6 miles, 4 hours.
Dagger Katana kayak. Much daylight so drove over to Benson Rd
& bushwhacked S lookout for any trace of new Northville-Placid
Trail, no markers or flagging found after an hour, some
Essex Chain of Lakes open for camping by permit in July - story.June 19 - SANDERS PRESERVE short
loop hike N of Sanders Rd in Glenville. From the northern marked
trail there is an unmarked path that in 5 minutes leads to a lean-to
with 3 nice benches around the fire pit. Some very wet & muddy
spots. The trail S of the road expected to be groomed for skiers
next winter. 1.3 hours.
June 17 - HUDSON RIVER from
concrete ramp boat launch in Coeymans at E end of Westerlo St.
Went downstream then up Hannacroix Creek, water turns from murky brown
to clear. Back downstream on the Hudson then crossed to undeveloped E
shore & back. Saw a guy stand-up canoeing (succing?) who
capsized when his dog moved, I helped empty out the boat by doing a boat
over boat rescue. Bald eagles. Good food at Yanni's Too
next to the boat launch. 2+ hours.
June 15 - BATTEN KILL from Rt.313
in Arlington VT to CR 64 in Shushan NY. Battenville gage at
5.35', visual gage in Arlington (on Rt.313 bridge, downstream side,
river L) at 2.85' - nice easy level. Quickwater, riffles &
class I rapids. Vermont part very scenic but some roadnoise, New
York section is away from roads. 2 covered bridges. Downed
trees we had on June 1 have been cut out. Some fun surfing waves
along the way. Goslings, merganser chicks, cedar waxwings.
15 miles, 5.5 hours excluding shuttle. Dagger Katana kayak.
June 11 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Lions/RR Station Park, Rosendale Rd in Niskayuna. Water chestnut
starting to come in but not too bad yet. Went downstream a bit
then thru the shallows between the islands out to the main river then up
to the Lock 7 dam. Bald eagle, 2 whitetail deer. 2
hours. Dagger Alchemy 14 kayak.
June 9 - JABE POND
in Hague. Mile drive on dirt road, bumpy on a steep hill.
100 yard carry to the pond. Just a mile & a half from Lake
George but very different, 1,000' higher in elevation. Less than 1
mile long but 3 miles of irregular shoreline & some piney islands
to explore, good wilderness feel. Lake George Wild Forest.
Osprey, loons, polliwogs in sandy shallows. Saw a few blackflies
but they did not seem too interested in my blood. 4+ hours (half
the time relaxing at a campsite).
June 9 - LAKE GEORGE
from Rogers Rock State Campground. Stopped at the boat inspection
station at the campground & was told that canoes & kayaks don't
have to be inspected - it's just for trailered boats. Windy early
but calmed down. Clear emerald water. Cliffs to the N of
the campground. Passed diminutive Juniper Island to view Rogers
Slide. Anthony's Nose across the lake & nice view S to
Elephant & Black Mtns. Light motorboat traffic on Monday
morning. 1.3 hours.
June 8 - SOUTH BAY OF LAKE CHAMPLAIN
from state boat launch on Rt.22 near Whitehall. Murky khaki-color
water. A few motorboats. Some development for 1st couple of
miles, wilder at the SW end. Cliffs: Little Diameter, The
Diameter. South Bay Creek - clear water - swampy area, went over 2
beaver dams & turned around not far from a road when I saw 2 more
beaver dams ahead. Immature & mature bald eagles, gbh,
kingfishers. Yellow flag, yellow water-buttercup,
bullhead-lily. No biting bugs. 13 miles. 5.7
hours. Drove thru Ticonderoga to Rogers Rock State
Campground. Very few campers on a Sunday night & I got a site
next to the swim beach. Saw a few blackflies early & some
mosquitoes at dusk but no need for DEET or bugshirt. A black snake
slithered by, loon.
June 6 - INDIAN KILL NATURE PRESERVE hike in Glenville. Some mosquitoes. 1.5 hours. Help stop the spread of aquatic invasives: info from DEC. May
27 - Hosed down the boats & some gear, washed with chlorine bleach
(1oz per gallon of water) to remove any possible invasives, after 10
minutes rinsed off with fresh water, applied 303 Protectant to prevent degradation from UV rays. June 2 - SUSQUEHANNA RIVER from
backwater at Crumhorn Landing. Headed upstream winding gently to
past the Rt.166 bridge in Milford then turned back. ~100' wide,
murky water, muddy shores - it was tough finding a good place for
lunch. Mostly wooded (willows & silver maples) & farmland,
very lightly developed. Some road & tractor
noise. Deer, snapping turtle, lots of birds. Forget-me-nots,
yellow flag, ragged robin, many buttercups. 4.6 hours. 10
min. drive to Brewery Ommegang. May 28 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Lock 7 boat launch. Headed upstream on S shore, back along N
shore past cliffs, saw peregrine falcons, wild columbine
flowering. Swift Keewaydin 15 solo canoe.
June 1 - BATTEN KILL from
Eagleville to CR61 bridge in Battenville. Battenville gage at
5.35' - a nice level altho I find lower levels more interesting due to
having to maneuver & read-the-river more. 3 covered
bridges. Sycamore tree down across the stream below the campground
- short easy portage on river R; then another tree down - able to scoot
across it on river R but portage might be needed if water level gets
lower. Quickwater, riffles & class 1 rapids; some surfing
waves. Deer, osprey nest. 15.3 miles, 5.6 hours.
May 31 - MOHAWK RIVER CLEAN-UP from
Lions Park in Niskayuna. Picked up a couple of good
"trophies". An Adirondack Mountain Club - Albany Chapter
May 25 - HOOSIC RIVER from
Ashton Rd, N Adams MA to Lincoln St, Pownal VT. Williamstown gage
at 5.8' - a very nice level. Class 1/1+ rapids. Hints of
civilization early but once past Williamstown the shores are mostly wild
passing Hopkins Memorial Forest on the L. Always a very enjoyable
run & leaves one wanting more. Nice weather, temp into the
70s. No bad bugs. Saw a couple of fisherman but no other
paddlers. 9.7 miles, 4 hours. Dagger Katana kayak.
May 24 - PEEBLES ISLAND
from boat launch at the S end of First St in Waterford. Around
the S side to Buttermilk Falls, played in the currents. Around to
other side into the Mohawk River's N channel, saw lots of turtles +
goslings. Happy to find a sweet beginner surfing wave on the
Polderump Island side of Peebles. Dagger Katana kayak.
May 20 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS 123rd
St boat launch in Lansingburgh. Crossed the Hudson and paddled
both sides of Peebles Island playing in the eddies & currents below
Polderump Island & Buttermilk Falls. Wild columbine flowering
on cliffs of Peebles. Dagger Katana, a whitewater touring
kayak. A Kayaker's Guide to New York's Capital Region guidebook - $17.95 at APnP.
May 19 - MOCCASIN KILL SANCTUARY from
Crawford Rd in Rotterdam. Walked both loops & a couple of
unmarked paths. Ravines, somewhat steep terrain. Fringed
polygala flowering but no moccasin (aka lady's slipper) flowers.
1.4 hours Natural Areas of Schenectady County guidebook - $10 at APnP.
May 18 - HOUSATONIC RIVER from
Brookside Rd in Great Barrington, MA to Rannapo Rd in Ashley Falls,
MA. After recent rains most area rivers were high but the
Housatonic was at a nice level (3.8' on the Gt Barrington gauge).
This stretch of the river is 50'-100' wide. Paddled a short
distance up the Green River (clear water compared to the browner
Housatonic) and other tributaries & backwaters. Good current
most of the way, some obstacle trees in the river but lots of room to
get around these. Old Covered Bridge. Least sandpiper,
spotted sandpiper, bank swallows, oriole, yellow warbler, yellowlegs,
mallard, vulture, red-tailed hawk, carp. Lots of birdsong.
Mount Everett often in view. Light development, shores mostly
woods & fields. No bad bugs. Paddling guide pdf. 15.8 miles, 5 hours. Perception Expression 11.5, a 11'8" kayak, a good choice for this trip.
May 14 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Freddie's Park, Albany Marine Service Lane, Latham - SE of Crescent
(Rt.9) Bridge. Headed upstream past islands, water level
low. After passing under the Kosciusko Bridge turned R before an
island thru very shallow mucky water to the old Erie Canal. L in
canal over shallow rocks but soon another set of shallow rocks stopped
us before reaching Clute's Dry Dock. The orange full moon rose thru the
trees on our return. 8+ miles, 2.1 hours. WS Zephyr
May 12 - ST. REGIS CANOE AREA.
Hoel Pond, short carry over rr tracks to Turtle Pond, shallow channel
with some current to Slang Pond, short carry with some mud to lovely
Long Pond (one of the larger "ponds" in the canoe area at 355 acres
& over 8 miles of shoreline), channel to Pink Pond, 1st R into small
channel to Upper Pink Pond & back to Hoel thru the same
ponds. Loons, bald eagle, romancing mergansers, painted turtles,
rainbow trout, perch. Breezy, temp in mid-70s. St Regis
& Long Pond Mountains seen from several spots en route. Some
blackflies but not biting. 6.4 hours.
May 11 - FLOODWOOD LOOP.
Gusty wind, temp in mid-60s. Floodwood Pond, light current on
Fish Creek, short carry to Follensby Clear Pond, short carry to
Horseshoe Pond, short carry to Little Polliwog Pond, short carry
to Polliwog Pond where we had spotted a car. Camped on Middle Pond
- I've wanted to camp there for a long time but it has always been
occupied, until today. Loons, turtles, mergansers, white-throated
sparrows & other songbirds. No biting bugs. 4
hours. Swift Keewaydin 15, a lightweight solo canoe.
Ready for bug season? We have The Original Bug Shirt Elite Edition in stock.May 6 - MOHAWK RIVER from Freeman's Bridge boat launch in Glenville. Semi-urban sunset paddle upstream to the islands below Lock 8.
May 5 - BOG MEADOW hike
from Edwards Hill Rd in Bakers Mills. An unmarked old road most
of the way. Found a good campsite N of the outlet.
Moose scat all over the place & tree scrapings on striped maple S of
the meadow, some thing has been eating the tips of balsam fir;
bluebird. Yellow violets, spring beauties; other wildflowers about
ready to come out. Some wet muddy spots to be expected this time
of year. 3.7 hours. GARNET LAKE kayaking. Sandy beach
put-in at end of road on E side. Some camps on N half of lake but
S half is wild. Scenic with mountains all around: Mt Blue rises
1,500' to the W, Crane Mtn's rocky hulk seen to the NE, the ridge of
Bearpen Peak to the S. 4 (or more) loons were real vocal when a
bald eagle flew over, nesting Canada goose, mergansers, mallards,
kingfisher, gb herons, snapping turtles. 2 hours.
May 4 - HUDSON RIVER WHITEWATER DERBY as
spectator. Walked the railroad tracks upstream from Riparius over
a mile until I saw the 1st boat coming down. The race was over
with a bit too quickly. Camped at Garnet Lake at one of the 2
primitive drive-in campsites. Windy, cool, showery - kept a fire
going & mellowed out under the tarp.
Apr 29 - MOHAWK RIVER fron
Lions/RR Station Park in Niskayuna. Muddy launch spot, river
level a bit on the low side. Paddled around the islands then
downstream to Shaker Creek to a culvert at River Rd. Temp in the
40s, light rain. 1st evening paddle with Albany Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club - nice to have 11 accomplices. Muskrats, beaver, lots of fish jumping. 1.5 hours. Dagger Alchemy 14 kayak.
Apr 28 - PUTNAM POND. Paddled around perimeter of the pond with shores of red & white pine, hemlock & some birch. Hike to TREADWAY MTN
(5.2 miles round-trip, 900' net el gain). Varied woods on the
way, an area of leafless hardwoods allowed the sun in, much of the last
mile over open rock incl. rose quartz. Far-ranging views to Green
Mts, snowy Mt Marcy & Great Range, Crane Mtn, Pharoah Lake, Crab
Pond, Glidden Marsh (spent 2 hours enjoying the summit area).
Sights & sounds of loons, mergansers, mallards, gb heron, Cooper's
hawk, pileated woodpecker, C geese, kingfisher, white-throated sparrow
& other songbirds. Temp in 50s, much sun, breezy.
Apr 27 - PUTNAM POND canoe
camping. State campground is E of the pond & there are
several hike & paddle-in campsites. We paddled a few minutes
to a lovely piney campsite. Pharoah Lake Wilderness Area surrounds
the pond. Paddled around the perimeter. Hike to ROCK POND
& exploration of old graphite mine - boiler, old stone walls, a
turquoise pool in quarry with waterfall... Little Rock Pond &
lean-to. Loon pairs, osprey, black furry animal. Handfull of
fishermen out. Temp in 40s, brief sprinkles, some sun, breezy;
Apr 21 - WADING RIVER from
Hawkins Bridge to Beaver Branch. Shuttle (half on sand roads) by
Mick's Canoe Rental - $30 + tip. A bit wider & less twisty
than the other pine barrens rivers. Lovely warm sunny day.
Lots of cranberry along shores. A group of whitetail deer.
6+ hours (a couple of long breaks on high sandy banks in the
pines). Take-out dinner (Stewart's), Tuckerton Beach overlooking
Great Egg Harbor - saw my 1st loon of the season.
Apr 20 - NJ Pine Barrens canoeing Part II. MULLICA RIVER from Constable Bridge (1.3 mile drive on sand road). Wharton State Forest. Upstream against a moderate current to Mullica River Wilderness Campsite
where we took a long break. Generally 20'-30' wide. Shores
of Atlantic white cedar & pitch pines, some backwater areas.
Lots of songbirds, got close to an eastern towhee, interesting
song. Lots less time & effort heading back downstream.
5+ hours. Prospector
style canoe is perfect for twisty Pine Barrens rivers. Dinner
(Doyle's Pour House) in Tuckerton, sunset over Great Bay from Great Bay
Blvd WMA, campfire & camping at Bass River SF (very few other
Apr 16 - 2" of fresh snow on my car this morning.Apr 14 - OSWEGO RIVER.
Forecast: S winds 15-20mph, gusts to 35mph, temp in mid 70s.
Normally start on Harrisville Lake but wanted to avoid the wind so drove
1.1 miles up a narrow sand road E of the lake & parked at a high
sandy bank above the river. Shallower than the Batsto with gravel
& sand bottom. Paddled upstream (stronger current than the
Batsto) past cedar lowlands & pine/oak uplands for an hour to Martha
Pond where the river splits into several channels around islands - the
challenge here is to find a route with deep water. Stopped at site
of old mining village of Martha where there is an old structure that I
think was used to bring water up to the village. A joy going back
downstream, past my put-in a short distance to the lake. Only saw 1
kayaker today. Spent much of the afternoon relaxing in the
peacefulness (altho the wind was rocking the tree tops) & relative
remoteness at my put-in. A lovely day, tough to leave.
Apr 13 - NJ PINE BARRENS canoeing Part I. BATSTO LAKE & RIVER.
The lake is just a dammed portion of the river, one can see where the
channel winds thru the lake & best to stay in the channel to avoid
shallows. The wild sandy-bottomed river twists & turns with a
light to moderate current to paddle against. Much of the shoreline
is maple (red buds opening) swamp & cedar lowlands (less than 5'
above water level), cranberry seen along shore. After a couple of
hours some higher land with pitch pines & oaks, some high sandy
banks - good for a break. 4WD road comes close to W shore, Batona
Trail close to E shore. Returning with the aid of the current very
enjoyable. Hundreds of turtles (large red-bellied & small
spotted) sunning themselves. Temp in mid 70s. Saw quite a
few other paddlers, most not wearing PFD's - I watched a group of 5
kayakers put in upstream & there was not a PFD in sight. Good
gusty headwind coming back on the lake. A beautiful Sunday in
spring - one car at canoe launch when I started, a dozen when I
left. 5.7 hours. Swift Keewaydin 15, a 15' lightweight solo
Apr 7 - OK SLIP FALLS. From Rt.28 in North River, parked on the shoulder. Unplowed dirt road accessing Northern Frontier Camp
had snowmobile use - rolling hills. After 30 minutes turned R on 1
mile marked trail to falls, trail had seen some recent ski &
snowshoe use (intermediate skiing). Took skis off & walked a
short steep section to 2 good but icy lookouts - what we could see of
the falls was real nice with ice & water. The falls drop 250'
down into the Hudson River Gorge (a 0.8 mile trail leads down to the
river). Continued up the road to camp's gate. Skiing good to
very good - no iciness, untracked snow was becoming unconsolidated in
the pm, temp ~50F. 4 hours.
- Now in stock: ADIRONDACK TRAIL SKIER by Spencer Morrissey - a new 357 page guidebook to Adirondack cross country skiing - $18.95.
Apr 6 - LOST POND from
Little Pond trailhead on Rt.9 in Woodford VT. Took the snowmobile
trail (saw none today) 2 miles to the Glastenbury Wilderness (snow was a
bit icy in shady areas but had a soft surface in sunny spots) then
bushwhacked NW to the AT/LT. AT/LT to Little Pond Lookout &
toward Little Pond Mtn. Left the AT/LT to the L (saw lots of moose
tracks & scat here) when trail starts to get steeper going
off-trail NW then NE staying close to 3,100' el. Saw LP down below
& had to zigzag carefully down to it on sometimes spotty icy snow
(NW facing slope). Lost Pond has been refound! Beaver seem
to have abandoned it & water level is low with rocks & stumps
showing above 2' of snow. Glastenbury Mtn can be seen to the
NW. A gorgeous cloudless day. Retraced our route & snow
was very nice on S facing slopes for the fun run back down to the
wilderness border. Took the path E of the snowmobile trail back to
the cars (snow getting a bit mushy at the end). Variable
conditions (poor to very good) with temp ranging from 30 (at 10:30am) to
45F. 6.4 hours. My 60th day of skiing this season.
Mar 31 - HI-NOTCH from
Adirondak Loj Rd. Started out on Meadow Lane, easy skiing with 1"
new powder. Klondike Notch Trail then L on the Mr. Van Ski Trail,
a wide old woods road with no recent use. Rolling terrain with
some short steep hills & view of cliffs on Mt. Van Hoevenberg.
Yellow xc ski trail markers, new bridges over all streams. Lean-to at
South Meadow Brook. After crossing the iced-over stream the trail
gains 300' in 0.7 miles arriving at Hi-Notch a little before reaching
trail at the Mt Van Hoevenberg Ski Area. Zippy run back to the
lean-to. Good base a bit crusty with some give to it, temp around
freezing - ok skiing, somewhat hairy on steeper sections, could use a
few inches of powder or warm temps to soften up the surface. Snowshoe
hare, red squirrel, blue jay. Intermediate+. 8.4
miles, 4.4 hours. More info.
Mar 30 - COOPER KILN POND
thru ski from Whiteface Mountain Rd to Bonnie View Rd in
Wilmington. Believe the start is the highest elevation plowed
trailhead in the Adirondacks, over 2,300'. 5" fresh heavy snow on
packed base. Climb of 900' to height of land at over 3,200'
(passed by 2 snowmobiles who soon turned off to Forestdale, broke trail
most of the way) then drop 200' (to the pond & lean-to.
Misty. Drop of 1,900' from height of land - steep, sometimes
washed out snowmobile trail (saw group of 6 near the end). 5.9
miles, 4.5 hours then added another hour going back a ways to look for
the last 2 members of our group. Best skiing was up high where the
new snow was lighter, got heavier & harder to snowplow & turn
down low. Epic skiing, best done by advanced skiers with new snow
before 'bilers get out. Lean-to camping on Heart Lake next to
Adirondack Loj - it was good to get smoke in the eyes once again.
Mar 26 - IVE'S DAM from
Old Farm Trailhead. Gain 500' on Halfway Brook trail passing jctn
to Botheration Pond then dropping over 200' to The Vly with its view of
Gore Mtn. (Coyote trapping in this area - keep your dog on
trail). Crossed Barton Mines Rd to Raymond Brook trail to top of
pass. SE on unofficial trail (some old markers) around N side of
Pete Gay Mtn with expansive view toward the High Peaks - mostly rolling
terrain with 2 steeper uphills, the 2nd is wide & likely was an old
ski trail. After gaining 700' from The Vly the spruce/fir-lined
trail drops down 150' past a powerline & soon arrives at the site of
Ive's Dam. The Schaefer Trail up Gore passes thru here, can also
see some ski trails on Gore's N side. Great run back out, got in
quite a few turns. Part of this trip goes along old trails of the
Highwinds Ski Touring Center which has long been closed. Good to
excellent skiing - a bit icy in old ski tracks, sweet out of tracks with
few inches of powder on good base. 12+ miles, 5.5 hours. Map. Some history.
Mar 24 - BOG MEADOW & SECOND POND BROOK from
end of plowing on Edwards Hill Rd in Bakers Mills. Same start as 5
days ago - additional 2-3" of snow in our tracks. About a mile in
took a R on fairly obvious old road, a tree on the L has a faded yellow
arrow on it pointing the way. After a gentle climb the unmarked
trail slowly drops to Bog Meadow. Just a small meadow on Round
Pond Brook but my what big footprints all around - lots of fresh moose
tracks & scat. The old road is less obvious past here but the
woods are very open. Stayed well to the S of the brook heading
NW. Dropped down to a large meadow on Second Pond Brook &
found a spot for lunch under blue skies & a few clouds.
Returned in our tracks. Very nice skiing on a few inches of powder
on top of deep base which had some give to it. 4.6 hours.
Mar 23 - TIRRELL POND thru
ski from Adk Museum to Lake Durant. Great skiing on 6" powder on
top of 2' of base - made the skiing a bit too easy tho;) Gorgeous
sunny day with temp rising into low 20's. The strong sun did make
the snow a little sticky in the pm but nothing that an application of
Maxiglide couldn't cure. Easy breaking trail to the pond, the
470'drop in a mile was too easy. Lunch at lean-to. Skied
down middle of pond, no slush or wet spots, Blue Mtn to the W, rock face
of Tirrell Mtn to the E, very scenic & a tail wind too!
Northville-Placid Trail south (rolling terrain) looked like someone had
skied in a couple of days ago, 1'" fresh snow in their tracks.
Good view over to Snowy Mtn fron O'Neill Flow. 8+ miles (skied
some hills twice), 4.6 hours. Camera not working, pic from 2010.
Mar 19 - DIAMOND BROOK from
end of plowing on Edwards Hill Rd in Bakers Mills (1,900' elev), a
little over a mile from where we started 2 days ago. Continued
uphill on the unplowed road (breakable icy crust, S facing) for a while,
at its end we turned L & followed a path W & soon reached an
old woods road (L leads thru private land back to EH Rd, this is the
route in that is mentioned in older guidebooks, the NatGeo map shows our
route). Taking a R we continued on this obvious but unmarked
route to a height of land (just under 2,300' elev). A R turn (a
tree has a yellow arrow pointing R) leads to Bog Meadow. We went
straight ahead on an obvious old road dropping to a vly on Diamond
Brook. After a lunch stop we proceeded on a less obvious path on
the S side of the brook then down along the brook losing 500' from the
height of land. Moose sign: tree bark scrapings. The
Eleventh Mountain massif constantly in view to the S. Don't expect
trail markers or signs here. Once we got off the unplowed road
conditions were powder & skiing was very good. Bumpy snowshoe
tracks for about half mile then we had to break trail the rest of the
way. 5 hours.
Mar 17 - SECOND POND
from Chatiemac Rd. Figured our best chance of finding powder
skiing was to start at high elevation - almost 2,300' here.
Generally uphill at first then mostly downhill to the pond.
Gore Mtn to the E. After lunch on the N shore we bushwhacked NE
eventually picking up a path (old woodsman type markings like axe blazes
& cuttings) that ran from the old Highwinds Ski Touring
Center. After leaving state land (no posted signs) & gaining
350' to a high point there were more obvious trails or old logging roads
with thru-the-trees view to the High Peaks. Back to the pond (I
think our path was slightly to the N of the trail shown on USGS map)
& out. Snowshoe tracks for the 1st mile made the trail
bumpy. Then ski tracks for a while but we ended up breaking trail
the last mile to the pond. Mostly very good skiing with a foot of
powder on deep unconsolidated base. 5.5 hours.
Mar 16 - T LAKE
from Piseco Lake. Temp in mid-teens, windy; snow depth in 3'
range. Fairly steep climb to start, gaining 700' - southern
exposure, icy crust topped with 1-2" powder - fair skiing (lots of
zigzagging on way back down this section but I stayed upright, Rongwae
fell & broke clavicle). More powder, less iciness at over
2,000' - very good to excellent skiing. The trail drops 300' &
crosses Mill Stream then climbs 400' to 2,500' elevation & drops to
the lean-to. Can hardly see the lake from the lean-to. A
tough, sometimes grueling but fun 7.6 miles in 6.3 hours - best for
Mar 13 - ALBANY PINE BUSH from Willow St. 1" powder on bumpy ice base - poor skiing. Stayed on the mostly flat red trail.
Mar 12 - Ugh! Rain! - SCHENECTADY MUNI GOLF COURSE.
Temp in the mid-30s. OK skiing on 0-8" wet sugar, some wet &
icy spots, bare under trees, best in fresh ski tracks made by someone
who got out earlier than I did. Skied a loop around the
perimeter. My 50th ski of this season. Looks like the Adks
getting all snow & lots of it.
Mar 10 - HUYCK PRESERVE from jctn
of Woods & Peasley Roads. 200 yd ski on unplowed Woods Rd to
the preserve. Temp rising thru the 30s - fair skiing on breakable
icy crust in the morning, good skiing as the surface softened up in the
afternoon. Loop 3 counterclockwise; loops 2, 1 & Race Track
clockwise. Some snowshoe use but best to stay on untracked
areas. Lots of open woods with little understory. Spent some
time playing on "the glade" on W side of Loop 2 - practicing my
parallelamark, snowplowamark & fake-a-mark :) - climbing was easy in
the warm snow so didn't mind yoyoing a bit. 4.3 hours.
Mar 9 - INDIAN HEAD via
Lake Rd from Ausable Club in St Huberts. Skied the Lake Rd then
switched to snowshoes at the Bypass Trail to Gill Brook & frozen
falls. Ascent of IH very steep in places. Blue skies &
little wind - gorgeous. Nice view toward Giant Mtn from northern
lookout. From the ledges on IH the Ausable Lakes are below, Lower
Lake flanked by Colvin & Sawteeth. The open rock face of
Gothics stands out in the Great Range. In the far distance
Vanderwhacker & Snowy (50 miles away!). Looped down on lake
side - trail switches back often, a ladder covered in ice was
unusable. Short side-trip to Gothics Window. Snowmobiles had
been on the Lake Road (private access to camps on Upper Ausable
Lake). Excitingly fast mostly downhill run out on the hard-packed
road. ~10 miles, 6+ hours. Ran into Tony Goodwin when we
stopped for dinner at the Ausable Inn. Best views in the Adirondacks.
Mar 5 - TRAMMEL CREEK from
the end of plowing on Oak Mountain (aka Bungtown) Rd near
Stratford. 6" powder on deep base with some give to it - very nice
skiing. Not an official state trail but marked sporadically with
orange ribbon. Starts out on a woods road & becomes less
distinct when the path gets to the creek. The path crosses the
stream many times - skiing on the stream was often easier than sticking
to the path. Banks sometimes steep. Got to a beaver pond
& large vly within a third of a mile of Jerseyfield Rd. 8.5
miles, 4.8 hours.
Mar 3 - GOOD LUCK MOUNTAIN CLIFFS from
Rt.10. Dexter Lake snowmobile trail to past the register then
off-trail up the NE side of the mountain climbing moderately at first
then steeply cutting switchbacks (climbing skins helped),
nice view of the W Br Sacandaga valley along the way. Picked up
the hiking trail just below the cliffs & side-stepped the final
steep pitch. Gain of 650' from start. From the cliffs there is a
great view across Spectacle Lake to the hills S of the Mohawk Valley
& W to Hedgehog Mountain & the hills in the Jerseyfield
area. Dropped down to the W then N skirting some cliffs but with
wide-open woods most of the way, much fun! Crossed the snowmobile
trail & off-trail over to State Brook (flows E) which we followed
upstream to the W, some beaver ponds along the way. Reached Hart
Vly Stream (flows W) then back down State Brook further
downstream. Spent most of time off-trail - 3-4" powder on good
base, excellent skiing; groomed snowmobile trail had a hint of iciness
to it. 7.3 miles, 4.8 hours.
Mar 2 - LITTLE POND & PORCUPINE LOOKOUT from
Rt.9, Green Mountain NF, Woodford, VT. 2"powder on somewhat
breakable crust over deep base made for very good skiing.
Appalachian/Long Trail. 9.3 miles, 5 hours.
Feb 26 - HEDGEHOG MOUNTAIN from
Curtis, N of Salisbury just outside the SW Adks. Intended to ski
something off Jerseyfield Road but the road was only plowed 3+ miles N
of Curtis. Lots of old logging roads in the area. Road
plowed for short distance E of Curtis, unplowed road goes past some
camps. Bushwhacked around the N side of top of Hedgehog (more hill
than mountain) to unplowed James Rd. Wanted to take it N to
Kettle Beaver but the route was gated & had many posted signs.
Skied S to Woods Corner instead then returned. Excellent skiing
on 5" of fresh powder on good deep base - breaking trail was practically
effortless. Map. 4 hours.
Feb 24 - PINNACLE CREEK from
end of Pinnacle Rd in Bleecker. 2' of snow. Morning radar
showed a narrow band of lake-effect snow along the Fulton/Hamilton
county line. Blue trail to County Line Lake goes along an old
woods road for a couple of miles. 1" new powder in tracked
hard-packed icy trail at start, powder increasing as I headed NNW.
When the trail crossed the W branch at about 2 miles I continued
off-trail NNW to the W of Panther Mtn following the drainage.
After gaining 500' from start turned around when things started to get
steeper but nice skiing here with 3" powder on slightly crunchy base
with just a bit of give. Explored the nearby vly, delightful
skiing with 4" powder, good view of Pigeon Mtn, gusty wind.
Side-trip off-trail (but tracked) up the E branch to another vly.
Good to very good skiing, best out of tracks. Snowing much of the time,
sun came out whenever snow stopped. Stream crossings good.
Feb 23 - MINNEWASKA STATE PARK in
the Shawangunks west of New Paltz. $6pp to ski. Out on the
groomed Awosting Lake Carriage Road, a hint of iciness in the morning
with temp in upper 30s. View of Rainbow Falls. To the
ungroomed Lake Shore Carriage Rd & around Awosting Lake.
Side-trip to Spruce Glen for lunch. Back to LA then under the
overhanging cliffs of Battlement Terrace up to Castle Point (el 2,193') -
wide-ranging views incl. High Point in NJ. Generally downhill on
Castle Point Carriage Rd on soft surface with temp in 40s, lots of
viewpoints along the way. Love the rocky scenery in the
Gunks. Good skiing on ~2' of snow, mostly novice, some steeper
hills near Lake Minnewaska. Most other skiers were on skinny skis
& stayed on the groomed carriage roads. 11+ miles, 5.2 hours.
Feb 20 - REIST PRESERVE from
Morgan Ave, Niskayuna. A quickie before work. Easy
terrain. Very good skiing with temp in upper 30s. 15-18".Feb 19 - MERCK FOREST.
Temp in 20s to low 30s. Gain of 800' to Mount Antone (el
2,610') took 1.5 hours, trail broken out - very windy & snowing, no
view today. S on Masters Mountain Trail, a fairly wide trail with
no recent use so had to break trail in 30" of powder - after a short
moderately steep climb we dropped 1,600', steeply thru windblown drifts
& cornices at first but soon switchbacks made the skiing less
challenging - sunk in quite a bit, wished I had wider skis than the
S-Bound 88s for this section. As we dropped in elevation the snow
showers turned to rain showers & the snow was wetter &
gloppy. Looped back on Old Town Rd climbing 1,000' gently, a
snowmobile had packed the trail down, stopped for a break at Dunc's
cabin on the way. Dropped 200' to the farm & out. 10.3
miles, 5.2 hours.
Feb 17 - SNOW HOLE.
Taconic Crest Trail from Petersburgh Pass (el 2,000') Rt.2 on the NY/MA
border. 2-3' of snow (perhaps too much?!) - very good skiing in
& out of snowshoe tracks, uphills a bit of work in the
troughs. Bare-booted the initial steep section from road to kiosk
but skied it on the way back. Great view from White Rocks lookout
(2,300') 2.5 miles in - the Taconics, across the Rensselaer Plateau to
the Catskills. Williams College/Hopkins Memorial Forest
has cut down most trees on a hill before White Rocks to attract flora
& fauna that was found here in the past. The grotto-like Snow
Hole did have snow in it,. Most of the trail is in NY but a
section is in VT. Short side-trip on Birch Brook Trail which
eventually drops 1,500' to Williamstown - nice conditions for
that. Mostly intermediate with one steeper hill. 6 miles,
Feb 16 - AVALANCHE PASS thru
trip from South Meadow to Upper Works. 18" at lower
elevations, more higher - excellent skiing despite a few rocks
showing. Trails all broken out. Meadow Lane to Marcy Dam,
Avalanche Lake, Lake Colden, Flowed Lands. Outstanding mountain
views - Algonquin & Colden stood out. Run out along Calamity
Brook Trail was a blast - loss of 1,000' from Flowed Land to Upper
Works. 13.7 miles, 5.8 hours.
Skiing & Snowshoeing the Snowy Southern Adirondacks - AS&F article.Feb 15 - MOHAWK RIVER STATE PARK from
Lock 7 boat launch. A quickie before work - did a couple of loops
in the E part of the preserve. 20" of snow - very good skiing,
temp in upper 20s, most trails lightly broken out by snowshoers making
it a bit bumpy.Feb 12 - FERRIS LAKE from
Rt.10 via Jockeybush Lake, Arietta area. Had heard snowshoers did
this trip 4 days ago so we did not have a lot of trailbreaking to
do. 1.1 mile trail to JL. 0.7 mile across the lake - mostly
good, a little slush. Tough 1+ mile bushwhack to Black Cat Outlet,
an early steep drop. Nice 1+ mile bushwhack thru open woods
around N side of hill (did not follow the ss tracks over the hill), some
rolling terrain then steep drop to FL. Lunch on an island with
cloudless sky. Back the same way. Fun mostly downhill twisty
run out from JL. ~2' of snow, very good skiing. 8+ miles,
Feb 10 - HUYCK PRESERVE
from Pond Hill Rd by Lincoln Pond in Rensselaerville. 15" mostly
powder, very nice skiing. Wheeler-Watson trail past an old
cemetary to Race Track then N on the Partridge Path. Loop 1
counterclockwise, southern part of Loop 2 with glade skiing en route,
all of Loop 3 (the longest at 2.7 miles) clockwise - breaking trail on 1
& 3. Lots of lovely open hardwoods & fun hills.
Bare-booters had walked in our tracks from start of Loop 1 back to
start! 5.5 hours.
Feb 9 - ROCK LAKE.
Northville-Placid Trail from Upper Benson. 30" - excellent
skiing. Broke trail all the way, great run back out losing
700'. Mostly hardwood forest. On the way in we crossed the
North Branch West Stony Creek & skied the new section of the NPT to
just above the bridge over the creek - not as easy as the traditional
route on the S side of the creek. Intermediate. 10.9 miles,
Feb 6 - ALBANY PINE BUSH PRESERVE from
the end of Madison Ave Ext. Excellent skiing on about a foot of
powder. Did a loop on the yellow trail & parts of the red
& blue to a clearcut area with view to the Heldergerg
Escarpment. All trails broken this morning. I did break
trail along part of the powerline. Snowshoers already walking in
the ski tracks!!! 1.4 hours.
Feb 5 - SCHENECTADY MUNI GOLF COURSE.
Went out mid-storm with 5" fresh powder. Parking lot had been
plowed already. No-one else out yet incl. sledders so I had all
the good hills to myself. 1.1 hours.
Feb 3 - ESSEX CHAIN OF LAKES from SE end of Goodnow Flow, Newcomb. Former Finch/Pruyn lands.
Fourth & Fifth Lakes. Side-trip to the Iron (aka Polaris)
Bridge over the Hudson River, camps of the Polaris Club on the E
shore. All on unmarked woods roads, the 3 mile route to the Hudson
had seen some snowmobile & ATV use, we broke trail to the lakes (no
signs or markers, helps to have the USGS Newcomb map + GPS). To
go to the lakes at 1.4 miles we took a R past a metal gate going
straight for over 3 miles then a R (a barrel filled with waders, boots,
fishing rod & more sat at the intersection) to Fourth & Fifth
Lakes. Views of Blue Mtn, Sixth Lake Mtn & Cedar Mtn along the
way. Gently rolling novice terrain a bit like Camp
Santanoni. 6-10" powder (fluffier than yesterday) on sometimes icy
base - very good to excellent skiing. There is a kiosk &
register 0.8 miles before the Hudson River, view of Vanderwhacker &
Polaris Mtns to the E, all downhill down to the bridge. 14.9
miles, 5.7 hours. The Town of Newcomb is plowing Goodnow Flow
Road. The public can park in the designated plowed area along the
Goodnow Flow Road just before the Chain Lakes Road entrance – this is
the road used in the summer to access the Hudson River at the Polaris or
Iron Bridge. The public can access the Essex Chain Lakes Tract to ski,
snowshoe or otherwise traverse the roadways and the lands. Interim
winter public access will be limited this year as no plowed parking
areas have been designated on the Essex Tract itself. The plowed parking
area on the Goodnow Flow Road is used by the Gooley and Polaris Club
members to park vehicles and snowmobile trailers . The Deer Pond and
Chain Lakes Road gates have been closed and locked. The roads beyond are
closed to public motor vehicle traffic until the end of the spring mud
season. Members of the Gooley and Polaris Clubs will be able to use
snowmobiles on the roadways to get to and from their camps.
Feb 2 - STONY POND thru
ski, Rt.28N to Irishtown. 6-10" dense wettish powder on some icy
base - very good skiing, did see some rocks but generally easy to miss,
some icy spots near the end. Center Pond Outlet -thin ice near
beaver dams, turned around before reaching Center Pond. From high
point between Stony & Sherman Ponds we dropped 1,000' to Irishtown -
wheeee! Falls Brook Yurts. No sign of recent snowmobile
use. 7.7 miles, 3.7 hours .
Jan 29 - WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER upstream of 1st bridge on Rt.10. Silver Lake Wilderness Area. No marked trails - USGS map
shows a trail to Silver Lake Outlet; Nat Geo Map shows it continuing up
Silver Lake Outlet - sometimes the trail was obvious, at other times it
was hard to see & we lost it a couple of times. See Discover the Southern Adirondacks for
more details. Crossed the North Branch & passed the
confluences of Silver Lake Outlet, White Lake Outlet & Whitman Flow
& went a bit further along the frozen river until one of my skis
broke thru the ice & dipped in water. Fairly flat terrain but
route-finding was interesting. Excellent skiing with well over a
foot of snow with good base & plenty of powder. Wonderfully
remote. 5.2 hours.
Jan 27 - HENNIG PRESERVE,
western Saratoga County, just outside the Adirondack Blue Line,
elevations over 1,500'. Skied most of the trails N of Centerline
Rd incl. new blue loop, all loops counterclockwise. Very good to
excellent skiing, mostly silky smooth but did hit 4 or 5 rocks (mostly
on northern white trail that goes over an interesting esker). Up
to 10" of snow, mostly powder. 1" fresh powder in tracks from
previous skiers, did have to break trail some of the time tho. 2
hours. More info & map.
Jan 26 - BIG EDDY on WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER from
end of plowing on West River Rd, west of Wells. 2 miles on
unplowed dirt road to Whitehouse - rolling hills.
Northville-Placid Trail. Unmarked path (had some blowdown to
skirt) W to Hamilton Lake Stream - shore & near-shore areas littered
with ice chunks deposited by high water from last rain event, the walls
of ice made crossing the frozen stream a challenge, I kept my skis on
but others removed skis & walked across. Over to the W Branch
& followed a fisherman's path upstream with sweet views of the river
which had a fair amount of open water. Very good skiing on up to
8" powder over a crunchy (sometimes icy) base. 9.4 miles, 5
Jan 22 - COLE HILL STATE FOREST from
Irish Hill Rd in E Berne. Did loops on both sides of the
road. -1F when I started but warmed up to +2F. 2-3" powder
on 0-1" base - good skiing on flatter areas but poor on the hills, some
rocks showing, best for rock skis. 1.5 hours.Jan 20 - POWLEY-PISECO ROAD from
the south, from bridge over East Canada Creek at Oregon. 4-8"
fresh powder over a good crunchy base - very good to excellent skiing,
snowing most of the time. To Powley Place & back.
Side-trips on unmarked paths to The Potholers (#5*) a falls on the
creek, Brayhouse Brook (#6*) & House Pond (#3*). MLK Day &
we saw the groomer go by in each direction (somewhat sticky immediately
after grooming, better when surface had cooled) but not one
snowmobile! Met the new ranger too. Easy skiing with gentle
hills on the road, still able to get in a bunch of turns; side-trips
more challenging. 10+ miles, 5.5 hours. *Trip # in Discover the Southern Adirondacks (available at APnP).
Jan 19 - ROCKWOOD STATE FOREST.
Did a sort of a loop counterclockwise. Area has seen moderate use
by skiers, snowshoers, bare-booters + someone had driven a truck in
part way in! 6"-8" hard icy base with 0.5"-1" fresh powder - fair
to good skiing, best in untracked snow to side of wide trails -
would be real nice with 3" more powder. 2+ hours.
Jan 15 - EAST CANADA CREEK
from bridge in Oregon. Past the bridge over the E Canada the
Powley-Piseco Rd was plowed for under a mile but not sanded & was
extremely icy - I drove up it a bit then chickened out. Skied the
snowbanks at side of the road to end of plowing at a campsite. The
snowmobile trail past there had good coverage. Large chunks of
ice on the road were evidence that the creek had overspilled its bank
recently. Views of rapids on the creek were awesome, a lot of
water going thru. I was a bit under the weather today & did
not have any major goal - better than staying home & feeling
sick. Crusty 6"-12" in the woods - will make for nice base when we
get more snow. Stopped at Rockwood on the drive over - 6"-8"
Jan 13 - CHASE LAKE "day
camping" from the end of Pinnacle Rd in Bleecker. Above
freezing. 6-12" of snow, good coverage. Hard snowshoe-packed
trail with a dusting of powder, crusty with some give off-trail - fair
to good skiing, softer on the return. Expected stream crossings to
be challenging but not too bad. Made a fire at the lean-to &
cooked up some smoked sausage - added sweet onions & brew masters
mustard on good bread & had best lunch in recent memory. Lake
looked slushy. Peaceful & relaxing. Sunny, no
wind. 5.4 miles. 5.3 hours (half skiing, half "camping").
Jan 12 - POWLEY-PISECO ROAD
from the N & Rt.10. Very little damage to this unplowed dirt
road after yesterday's rain. Easy skiing with gently rolling
hills. Very good skiing on hard-packed snowmobile (saw 2) trail
topped with 0.5" fresh powder; snowing lightly all the time we were
out. 6-10" off trail with light crust - I sunk in 6". Passed some
primitive campsites. The road is washed out near Mud Pond but no problrm
crossing. At Clockmill Corners we went E on narrower less-used
snowmobile trail past a vly & its outlet - fair skiing with some
small snowless wet spots. Found a nice spot for lunch then headed
back. Temp around freezing. 10 miles, 4.7 hours.
Jan 8 - WHITEHOUSE from
the end of plowing on West River Rd, W of Wells. Unplowed dirt
road for ~2 miles to summer parking area passing several primitive
campsites, a bit further to jctn with Northville-Placid Trail - last
people to sign in the register was on Dec 8! L on NPT & soon
at the long suspension bridge over the West Branch Sacandaga River, the
river had much open water. 2 chimney stacks remain from old
camps. Temp in teens, up to 10" of snow with dusting of powder,
icy under evergreens, slightly crunchy elsewhere, my skis sunk in
1-4". Used waxable skis with Swix Ice Klister - ironed on the
klister at home, should have put it on a larger area, left klister at
home so added some blue kick wax in the field which helped grip a
little. Nice river views & steep hills both on the drive & the
tour. 2.5 hours.
Jan 6 - CHARLESTON STATE FOREST from
Burtonsville Rd. Southern Montgomery County west of the Schoharie
Valley, elevations over 1,200'. Skied a figure 8 loop N of the
parking area past a couple of ponds, the Tall Oak Bridge & a variety
of woods & habitats. Lots of animal tracks. Had warmed
up overnight with rain in the morning. Started with temp above
freezing & snow was wet & heavy; dropped below freezing while I
was out & snow was getting icier. Up to 7", thin spots &
roots showing under softwoods - fair skiing. 6.3 miles, 2.8
hours. 23 miles of designated ski trails here. You can often
find maps at the register altho the maps in ECOS Ski & Snowshoe Tips (available at APnP) also add mileages between numbered junctions.
Jan 5 - NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL -
new section from Godfrey Rd in Upper Benson. Took the traditional
beginning thru easement land. Where the trail 1st meets the North
Branch West Stony Creek we crossed the iced-over stream & picked up
the new section of the NPT on the other side. The newly-marked
trail heads NE & soon crosses a small stream on a 2-log bridge, I
found it best to ski across the mostly frozen stream. After a
short climb the trail follows an old woods road & Abner Brook &
its vlies are seen to the R. The NPT leaves the old road to the R
& is harder to follow from this point on, we stopped often to look
for the next marker. Rolling terrain for a while before making a
U-turn to the 2-log bridge over Abner Brook. The trail now heads over a
hill to the E, switchbacks make for a moderate grade. From the top
of the hill there is good thru-the-hardwoods views of the cliffs on
Little Cathead Mtn. The drop down on the other side was real fun,
the trail zig-zagging thru open woods to our lunch stop on Dec 16.
Headed back the same way we came, the downhill on the other side of the
hill was fun too. Intermediate skiing on mostly good base with 6"
powder, breaking trail was fairly easy. 10 miles, 5.7
Jan 4 - "METHANE MOUNTAIN" from
Blatnick Park, River Rd, Niskayuna. Just a quickie before work;
good place to practice telemarks on this old landfill. Nice view
across the Mohawk River to the Taconics.
Jan 1 - 9 CORNER LAKE from
Rt.10. Trail to Broomstick Lake is marked with xc ski markers,
unusually steep & turny for a ski trail?! After skiing out
onto BL we headed off-trail going generally S & slowly climbing a
hill. Dropped down thru tight woods before taking skis off to
slide down a cliff & down to 9CL. Hit some wet spots on the
lake - good thing we always carry scrapers. Took a less hilly
& better route NE then N back to trail & dropped carefully back
down to the car, some rocks showing thru the snow (best with 2' of
snow). Good to very good skiing with 1-3" powder over slightly
crunchy base. 3.5 hours. Lakes were very scenic - what a way
to start the new year! Part of the 1936 version of Last of the Mohicans, was supposedly filmed at Broomstick Lake.
Dec 30 - HOLMES LAKE from
Benson Rd at Peters Corners. Snowmobile trail (no recent sled
use) with gradual increase in elevation. Newish lean-to a bit
before the pond-like lake. Took a windy spin on the pond.
Side-trip on snowmobile trail to Pinnacle Rd - gentle hills were fun in
these fast conditions . Up to 10" of snow with fast crusty
surface, some wet spots - fair to good skiing. 4.8 hours. Essex
Chain Lakes Tract: Gates to the Essex Chain Lakes Tract roadways will
be closed and locked on Monday, December 16. The Town of Newcomb will be
plowing the Goodnow Road, and there are some parking areas along that
road that people can use. The public can ski, snowshoe or otherwise trek
(non-motorized) into the parcel from plowed areas along the Goodnow
Flow Road. Members of the Gooley and Polaris Clubs will be able to use
snowmobiles on the roadways to get to and from the camps. Dec 13 -
APA approves plan for the former Fich Pruyn lands: more info (now needs the Governor's signature).
Dec 29 - ROCKWOOD STATE FOREST from
S of Rt.29, just S of the Adirondack Blue Line, WNW of Johnstown.
1-4", more in open areas & under hardwoods - good skiing on wide
rock-free trails. Temp in upper 20s to mid 30s, started to rain as
we were finishing. Some fun hills for the better skier. 3.7
Dec 27 - WOODS HOLLOW PRESERVE from
Rowland St in Ballston Spa. Fair skiing on 4-5" of crunchy base
with some give, a dusting of powder, trails packed by walkers, skiing
best off-trail.Dec 24 - LEONARD HILL hike in southern Schoharie County. Leonard Hill State Forest.
A dusting of snow. Parked on side of CR 61 1.4 miles E of CR 17
in Broome Center. Walked S on 4WD road until it disappeared so
bushwhacked S feeling sort of lost (just the start of a new
adventure). Came out on Leonard Mountain Rd opposite the start of
truck trail. The truck trail is easy walking & slowly gains
elevation. After going around the N side of Hubbard Hill (2,620')
the trail drops slightly for a short distance before the last climb to
the firetower which has the 2 lower sections of steps removed (next time
I'll have to bring a 15' ladder). There is a good open view W to
the Gilboa Reservoir. One passes plantations of Norway spruce
& red pine along the way but hardwoods dominate the summit &
there are some thru-the-trees views in other directions. Snowing
lightly all the way down. Took a R on Leonard Mountain Rd passing a
couple of houses & after ~10 mins. took a L on a good truck
road. When I got back to the paved CR 61 it was a short walk W to
the Nehasanemobile. Many rock walls attest to the fact that this
was once farmland. Grouse, lots of crows. 600' el gain, 5.5
miles, 2.5 hours. This route is skiable & appears in Nordic Skiing Trails in New York State,
a free booklet put out by NYSDEC & written by the late Almy
Coggeshall, not sure if it is still in print. Most of Albany &
Schoharie hilltowns are snow-free - there is more snow left in the
immediate Capital District.
Dec 22 - GARNSEY PARK skiing
& damage assessment (after a couple of warm rainy days). From
Mechanicville Rd (Rt.146) in Rexford. 5" heavy wet snow, a bit
icy in packed areas, temp around freezing in mid-morning - ok skiing on
novice terrain. Southern loop is thru edge habitat, good for
wildlife. Middle loop is a mix. New northern Ridge Loop thru
deciduous woods adds a mile to the trails here (& one intermediate
downhill if you go counterclockwise; clockwise is easier). Some
benches etc. along the way. Hopefully we'll be left with some base
tomorrow. 2.2 miles, 45 mins. The Mohawk River has been
frozen over this past week but today the ice was breaking up.
Dec 19 - MOHAWK RIVER STATE PARK skiing
from Blatnick Park, River Rd, Niskayuna. "Methane Mountain" (a
capped landfill) - good for practicing tele turns & has nice view of
the frozen over river. Shaker-Wit Trail accessed from the bike
path - intermediate+, some short steep hills with narrow must-make
turns. SE part of Shaker Gorge Loop Trail (NE part not recommended
for skiing). A beautiful sunny morning with temp in the upper
20s. Bobolinks & bald eagles have nested in the area.
Rain in the forecast for next 3 days :( ! 1.4 hours.
Dec 18 - SCHENECTADY MUNI GOLF COURSE skiing.
Have to take advantage of the great snow while we've got it.
Decided to use my waxable skis - Swix Green did not give me enough kick
(temp in upper teens) & did not bring any blue! 45 mins.Dec 16 - NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL,
new section N of Benson Rd. Started from small pull-out on N side of
Benson Rd 4.5 miles from Rt.30. The trail goes W for a short
distance near the road before heading uphill over a knoll then down
within sight of Woods Lake (this part had some hidden rocks, care
needed). Same route as return on Nov 20 hike. This time the
trail was marked all the way & we got to the hill half mile before
Abner Brook before turning around. Attention needed at times to
find the trail. Over a foot of snow with some base, actually
easier breaking trail than yesterday. One steep section, otherwise
mostly intermediate. 10 miles, 5.3 hours.
Dec 15 - ALBANY PINE BUSH skiing.
Excellent skiing on 12" new snow. From Trailhead #7 at end of
Madison Ave Ext. Did most of the trails in the Madison Ave
Pinelands & Great Dune areas, some trails twice. Had to break
trail some of the time but a lot was already broken. Novice to
Intermediate - some steep hills on the powerline. 3.6 hours.
Finally no need for rock skis so got out my go-to skis the Fischer
S-Bound 88 combined with Fischer BCX 675 boots.
Dec 8 - RENSSELAERVILLE SF skiing. Did a loop in the eastern part of the forest. 1" powder over thin icy base, poor skiing. 1.3 hours. Drove over to nearby HUYCK PRESERVE.
From Rt.85 walked short distance to bottom of falls - lovely!
Short spur to middle of falls then to top of falls & continued to
the dam on Lake Myosotis. <1" of snow. 1 hour.
Dec 2 - NICK STONER GOLF COURSE in
Wheelerville. Skied both sides of Rtes.10/29A plus a snowmobile
trail that led down close to an inlet of Canada Lake. CL &
Caroga Lakes were totally iced over. 1-2" icy/crunchy base topped
with 1-2" dense powder - good skiing. 2 hours. Drove over to
ROCKWOOD SF to check the conditions, skied <1 hour on woods
roads which are designated ski trails. Spoke with a chatty hunter
who said there are a lot of bobcats here (Northern zone big game rifle
hunting season ends Dec 8). 3" heavy wet snow, temp rising thru
Dec 1 - CEDAR RIVER skiing
from Chain Lakes Rd in Indian Lake. The last 2 miles of Chain
Lakes Rd were quite icy & the road has some steep spots so we
decided to park just past end of plowing 1.86 miles S of the summer
parking area since the dirt road was skiable (with nice views of
the Indian River). Think that with more snow the winter parking
area will be 2 miles S of the summer parking, a little N of the dam -
areas were plowed on either side of the road. From summer parking
to Cedar River is 3.7 miles, mostly on dirt roads on former Finch/Pruyn lands.
Hunters have been bare-booting thru here over the last week.
Cedar River is flat water here & was iced over. Gooley Club
building. Short side-trip to the Hudson River. Mud
Pond. Good skiing on 5" crunchy base with a dusting of
powder. Mostly gently rolling terrain, downhills were fairly fast
in these conditions. Similar to the old road to Camp Santanoni,
this route will be good skiing with minimal snow cover. 11.5
miles, 4.5 hours.
Nov 28 - RENSSELAERVILLE STATE FOREST skiing
in SW Albany County. Parked at jctn of Cheese Hill Rd & CCC
Rd. The latter was skiable so went W for a bit then off-trail to
the S. Reached a property line with view of the Catskills.
Followed the property line W crossing over some stone walls. Found
a couple old logging roads & skiing was real good. Worked my
way N back to CCC Rd & took that back to the car. Surprisingly
good skiing on 2-3" of snow with a bit of crunchy base. 2
hunters, 1 round of gunshots. 2 hours. Drove over to nearby HUYCK PRESERVE
& did a short walk around Lincoln Pond. Beaver sign. LP
& Myosotis Lake totally iced over. 1-2" snow. Happy
Nov 25 - NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL old
& new, hike from Godfrey Rd in Upper Benson. 1.6 miles, much
on 4wd road thru private land (hunting club), to bridge over scenic
North Branch West Stony Creek which had a fair amount of ice.
After the bridge I took a sharp R off-trail, angled uphill a short
distance & soon saw the blue NPT markers of the new to-be section to
Benson Rd. The trail climbs well above the NBWSC but the stream
is generally in view. Trail drops down steeply & narrowly to
stream level (this part could be challenging to skiers), jogs L & R
then crosses a brook on a high 2-log bridge. The trail then
follows an old woods road NE ithru open hardwoods for a couple of
miles. A vly on Abner Brook is seen to the R & the trail pulls
away uphill & soon takes a R leaving the woods road. The
trail winds down to Abner Brook just above the vly & crosses it on a
2-log bridge then goes uphill - I turned back here. Up to 1" of
snow. 5.4 hours.
Nov 24 - PINE VALLEY TRAIL skiing from
Rt.9 in Woodford, VT. 3-5" fresh powder. Forest Road 272 is
a snowmobile trail in winter. Hit some rocks but that was to be
expected. More wet spots than I would like & skis iced up a
few times. Beaver ponds. Took 2nd L & had lunch next to Little
Pond Outlet. 10-15F, very windy but you really don't feel the
wind in the woods. 3.3 hours.Nov 20 - NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL
hike, new (still unofficial til 2014?) section N of Benson Rd.
Parked on S side of road 4.7 miles W of Rt.30. Walked short
distance W & entered the woods at couple of ribbons. A
well-used path leads 0.2 miles to Woods Lake passing an outhouse..There
are 4 designated campsites in this area. Hiked along shore path to
the E & crossed inlet near ribbons. Uphill to the N &
soon spot blue NPT markers. The trail heads N generally uphill
between Woods Lake & Little Cathead Mtn. The trail drops
steeply next to some cliffs then flattens out & crosses some small
streams. Turning W the new NPT crosses 2 streams on 2-log bridges
then goes SW on a long straightaway (looks like an old woods road - I
think this is the trail from Lapland Lake resort to Grant Lake).
NPT markers lead R & stop - I went 10 more mins. on fairly obvious
trail but no more markers. On way back I followed the blue markers
past 3 huge glacial erratics then across the Woods Lake inlet on a
2-log bridge. The trail then pulls away uphill from the
lake. Markers stop before height of land but I continue on what I
thought was the new NPT (foot-tread somewhat obscured by leaves) &
reached Benson Rd at a small turn-out on N side of road 0.2 miles E of
where I started the hike (this turn-out is 4.5 miles from Rt.30.
Much open hardwoods with beech & maple, some ash, stands of
hemlock. 2 deer - another face-off with one of them & it
walked pretty close toward me. 0-0.5" of snow. 5.4
Nov 18 - DYKEN POND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER hike.
Short walk pondside (some development) then thru The Sentinals (glacial
erratics), boardwalk thru fen with cranberries & pitcher plants
then off-trail around 2 wetlands. Parts of the boardwalk S of the
lean-to are under water thanks to beaver activity. Nice &
quiet - area is away from main roads. Grouse. 2.2 hours.Nov 18 - PEEBLES ISLAND from The Battery boat launch at the S end of First St in Waterford. Had to give the new Dagger Katana
kayak a spin - a whitewater touring kayak good for up to Class III+
whitewater, skeg helps tracking on long flat stretches, very nice seat,
some nice touches incl. under deck storage, cockpit drain plug, deck
shockcord front & back, bulkhead footbrace, etc. - should be sweet
boat on anything from the Battenkill, Sacandaga or the Grand
Canyon. Fair amount of water coming over Buttermilk Falls creating
some strong currents. 1 hour.
Nov 17 - PLOTTER KILL PRESERVE hike.
20 cars filled the main trailhead on Rt.159 so I drove over to the
Coplon Rd trailhead where there was 1 car. Did a loop on the red
North & South Rim Trails in the lower part of the preserve plus the
new spur to the Lower Gregg Rd trailhead (not shown on the map).
Met some Long Path North folks who said the LP will be routed thru the
preserve. Very little water in the stream & crossings were no
problem. 2.5 hours.
Nov 13 - WOODFORD STATE PARK skiing.
1-2"of snow - ok for "rock skis". Good skiing on grassy &
leafy areas. Temp in low 20s but sunny. Adams Reservoir had a
fair amount of ice. 2.8 hours.
Nov 11 - NORTH CREEK RESERVOIR & RABBIT POND loop hike.
Schaefer Trail to Gore Mtn. Many lovely cascades on Roaring
Brook. Gain of 1,000' in 2.2 miles to NCR - can see the summit
from here. Downhill to RP - trees are far apart, good for strong
skiers. Beavers have built quite the dam at the outlet of the
pond. Downhill to junction with Raymond Brook Trail, good for
intermediate skiers. Gently downhill on wide yellow trail to the
Ski Bowl, easy intermediate skiing. Map. 4.2 hours.
Nov 10 - WOLF CREEK FALLS PRESERVE, west of Altamont. Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy.
Hiked most of the trails N of Bozenkill Rd & some S. Just a
trickle going over the picturesque falls. Long Path passes
thru. Mostly oaks. Saw 4 deer - stared one down for a couple
of minutes but as soon as I moved it took off. Should be good
skiing with 6" of snow, trails are smooth & wide with some moderate
hills. 1.6 hours.
Nov 6 - CHARLESTON SF loop hike.
XC ski trails (there are 23 miles of ski trails here, mostly on the
easy side) in SE part. Area is mostly over 1,200' el. Get
map at certain parking areas. A lot of intersections are numbered
but some numbers are missing. Started from Gidley Rd.
Overlook Trail - thru the trees could make out hills of southern
Adirondacks. 2 attractive beaver ponds N of Gordon Rd. 3.5
Nov 4 - STISSING MOUNTAIN & THOMPSON POND hike in northern Dutchess County. Friends of Stissing Landmarks.
Trailhead on Lake Rd next to wood post with "FISL - LAKE RD TRAILHEAD"
on it. Cross road & walk past Thompson Pond Nature Preserve
sign & climb steeply. Trail is mostly unmarked. At a fork I
went L along the shorter steeper trail. 35 mins. to fire
tower. Views very good - rural to the E, more woods, Catskills
& Gunks to the W. Still some fall color - oaks with leaves of
gold & bronze. Explored trails to the S, found a small log
cabin. Down on longer trail. 1,000' el gain to tower, 4
miles, 2.9 hrs. Walked E side of TP 1 mile to where folks were
building a new bridge over Wappingers Creek. SM rises steeply on
the W side & the fire tower is visible. Walked down W side of
pond on yellow trail to a kiosk then did a short Blue loop to the pond's
shore. Golden eagles & king rails supposedly breed
here. 1.5 hrs.
Nov 3 - FORSYTHE NWR. Scouted out some areas on Barnegat Bay. Walk at Eno's Pond. Drive home.
Enjoyed using the Bending Branches Expedition Plus
paddle - a most comfortable t-grip for maneuvering strokes, squared off
at bottom of blade for maximum purchase in shallow water. On
lakes I prefer a more rounded blade like the Espresso Plus ST.Nov 2 - WADING RIVER from
Hawkin Bridge to Beaver Branch. Start is on Tuplehocken Creek, a
short split around an island was shallow, soon reach the WR. Wider
& more current than the other rivers, no obstructions.
Godfrey Bridge camping area has been moved away from the river.
Lots of colorful maples & oaks, some good sandy banks for
breaks. 6.5 mile shuttle, some of it on dirt & sand roads thru
interesting pinelands (saw a red-tailed hawk take off with a grey
squirrel in its claws). ~10 miles, 4.8 hrs.
Nov 1 - Rainy day tourists. Tuckerton Beach post Sandy. Tuckerton Seaport museum - snow geese. Pygmy Pine Plains
from Bombing Range (!) Rd Wildlife Drive, 8 miles at the Forsythe
NWR - brants, great egrets, Atlantic City. Sunset from Great Bay
Blvd WMA. Being a Friday, more campers move in to our campground -
fairly deserted Sun-Thu.
Oct 31 - CEDAR CREEK from Dover Forge to the White Bridge at Double Trouble Village. Double Trouble SP.
Clearest water with sandy/grassy bottom. Starts wide, passing
area of dwarf pines & cedars then narrows & the current picks
up, widens again at Ore Pond. 200' portage around L side of
dam. 2 beaver daqms. Wood ducks. Easy shuttle but
parking at the village is a 6 min. walk from the take-out - you are
allowed to drive to the White Bridge but cannot park there. 3.3
hrs. 1.5 mile loop walk on nature trai l- cranberry bogs &
woods. 1 hr.
Oct 30 - MANAHAWKIN BAY from The Bridge to Nowhere.
Close to low tide. Marshy islands & creeks. Paddled N
on Cedar Creek then R to Log Creek Pond. Continued NE thru North
Pond, across the wide mouth of Big Flat Creek until we were out on the
bay by Marshelder Island. Returned E of the islands & thru
Turtle Cove. Long Beach Island seen 1-2 miles to the E - a barrier
island with much development. Barnegat Light seen across Barnegat
Bay to the NNE. Mussels & oysters. Fairly calm, saw just 4
motorboats on the bay. Nowhere to land for lunch. Many
ducks. Some rain. 2.8 hrs.
Oct 29 - MULLICA RIVER from
Atsion to Pleasant Mills. Most varied landscape - mixed forest,
open marsh, piney, maple swamp, cedars, some high sandy banks. 6
beaver dams + 1 liftover. Water level much better than
yesterday. Longer shuttle, all paved roads. 12+ miles, 6.3
Oct 28 - OSWEGO RIVER.
Across Oswego Lake, upstream on the OR for half hour then returned to
OL. Portaged around dam then downstream on the shallow cedar-lined
OR (had to get out & line some early portions) to Harrisville
Lake's piney shores where we saw a bald eagle. Easy shuttle.
~10 miles, 5.5 hrs.
Oct 27- Nov 3 - NJ PINELANDS
canoeing. Bass River SF - camping in an enclosed "lean-to" with
wood stove. Oswego, Mullica & Wading Rivers are in Wharton SF. Daytime highs low 60s to high 60s, overnight lows high 20s to 60F...
Oct 22 - MOHAWK RIVER
from Lions/RR Station Park. Still some water chestnut but we were
able to get out to the river close to Niska Isle then on to the Lock 7
dam where we saw a mature bald eagle. Wonderful starry sky on
return.Oct 21 - SCORTON CREEK
in E Sandwich. Got up early to watch the sunrise at Nauset Beach
then broke camp. Put in at State Wildlife Reservation S of
Rt.6A. Upstream with the incoming tide. Also paddled up
Jennys Dam River & Shove Creek to where they narrowed to almost
nothing. Ebb tide out. Walk to CC Bay on the Sandwich
Boardwalk, dinner at Flynn's Irish Pub & then the drive home.
Oct 20 - NAUSET MARSH
from town landing at end of Hemenway Rd.. Windy so stayed close
to the mainland. S to Fort Hill area, around a marshy island, N
& up Northwest Passage (someone scuba diving) into Main Channel,
thru Big Box (gulls & yellowlegs on oyster cages), along West Cove
& up Cedar Bank Creek into Nauset Bay, returned hugging the shore to
minimize windage. Had time today to visit CC Bay, eat lobster
roll at Marconi Beach on the ocean, do some souvenir shopping, watch the
sunset at Linnell Beach, eat dinner at Land Ho in Orleans & visit
Nauset Beach on the ocean under moonlight.
Oct 19 - LIEUTENANT ISLAND from
beach landing at end of Old Wharf Rd in Wellfleet. Limited
parking, parts can be under water at high tide. Paddled S on Loagy
Bay to the bridge - the road to the island is under water near high
tide. Passed the mouth of Fresh Brook & S into short creek
reaching trail & observation deck at Mass. Audubon Sanctuary.
Out to Cape Cod Bay & S to Hatches Creek which winds quite a
distance into the mainland, some tasteful development. Lunch at
beach at mouth of the creek with view of the bay & Great Island (see
Sep 8 trip). Windless pm & bay was real calm & inviting
so we paddled around LI, some development. Back across Loagy Bay
to the put-in. Eiders.
Sep 23&24 - OSWEGATCHIE RIVER.
Upstream against a fair current, mostly flat water, lots of twists
& turns. High Rock. Griffin Rapids lean-to (not on the Adirondack Paddler's Map but
newly refurbished). Buck Brook lean-to (lunch). Alders on
shores for much of 1st half, gives way to higher drier banks with mixed
woods with some very tall white pines in 2nd half. Lined up class I
Round Hill Rapids immediately before footbridge. Lined up
another rapid ~0.5 miles beyond footbridge. Had to get out for 3
beaver dams, poled up 3 others (others did more lift-overs than I
did). 13 miles, 7.3 hours. Spent the night in the N lean-to
at High Falls. Day 2: The day started out on an incendiary note
when Benni's old Svea stove blew up. 5.3 hours (& less effort)
to go back downstream stopping at both lean-tos & scouting out 3
other campsites. Was able to run or scoot over all beaver dams
without having to get out. The O is always a great wilderness
trip. Very nice fall foliage. Grey jays, wood ducks, gb
herons, red-tailed hawk; chipmunks by day, mice by night at lean-tos -
hang up all food or use a bear cannister. Asters added some more
color to shores. Wenonah Wilderness, a 15'4" solo canoe, was a very good choice, Royalex version for max durability. Dec 2 - HANNACROIX RAVINE PRESERVE hike, central Albany County. 2.5 hours. Dec
22 - at least most of the Adirondacks are getting a white Christmas - 5
or more inches reported in Caroga Lake, Hoffmeister, Blue Mountain
Lake, Newcomb. An Adirondack High Peaks rescue on Nippletop Mtn - story. Mohawk River has frozen over in the Schenectady area.Backcountry Ski Touring article in Adirondack Sports & Fitness. Feb 25 - CHASE LAKE "DAY CAMP".
Still tired from yesterday so I needed an easy trip. Took the
easier yellow trail to the S end of this small lake then crossed the
lake to the new lean-to at the N end. Campfire, beer, nap at the
lean-to. Someone had brought in a bunch of hay & spread it on
the lean-to floor. Nice & quiet. Returned on the newer
red trail. 15" - some light icy crust - fair to good skiing -
better in trail than off-trail. Recent users had
bare-booted! 5.5 miles, 4.5 hours (only half that time actually
skiing). Brown wins case - Shingle Shanty Brook is navigable-in-fact - story. Apr 22 - NORTH CREEK SKI BOWL skiing.
Most of the area snow-free but the half pipe had plenty. Did some
yo-yoing for over an hour. Soft sugar surface with temp ~50F - no
need for skins while climbing. GARNET LAKE canoeing.
Some patchy snow higher up on N sides of mountains, otherwise looking
like spring has arrived in the Adirondacks. Osprey, beaver, pair
of loons, mergansers & other ducks. Apr 23 - MOHAWK RIVER
from boat launch at S end of First St in Waterford. Practiced
peel-outs & ferrying next to Bolt Island which creates a good eddy
line then paddled to the falls on the S side of Peebles Island &
played in the currents there. Beavers, several deer. Dagger
Alchemy 14 kayak. June 30 - HOUSATONIC RIVER from
Brookside Rd, Great Barrington to Rannapo Rd, Ashley Falls, MA.
Gt. Barrington gauge at 3' - a very nice level. The Housatonic runs
thru a wide floodplain; silver maples, cottonwoods & sycamores
dominate the tops of its sandy banks. The current, sometimes gentle
sometimes quicker, helps us along. Over the banks, one gets occasional
views of Mt. Everett, the Taconics & the hills to the E. Pretty soon
we are in the area where the Stockbridge indians (Mohicans) had their
great 60' long house 300 years ago. The river winds gently with some
straight stretches; many strainers & some shallows are encountered
but are easily maneuvered around. Couldn't quite get away from road
noise in this 4.8 mi. stretch to the covered bridge (white marble
pilings). 2 miles further, Hubbard Brook enters from the W. The river
pulls further away from Rt. 7 & becomes more peaceful in a 6 mi.
stretch between bridges. Near the end of the trip the river is quite
wide. Mallards, mergansers, hawks, gb & green herons,
bank swallows, sandpipers, rw blackbirds, kingfisher, 4 owls, whitetail
deer. Lots of mosquitoes at put-in & take-out, none on water
& when we stopped for lunch on a low sandy bank. 13.7 miles,
4.5 hours. Paddling guide (pdf). Would you like the Essex Chain of Lakes to be motor-free? If so click here.
June 25 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch. Water level had been drawn down 3' so that new boards could be installed on top of dam - NYS Canals Notice to Mariners.
Peregrine falcons nesting on cliffs. Lots of mallards & gb
herons. Remnants of the old Erie Canal aqueduct. Paddled to
Rexford Bridge & back: 9 miles, 2 hours. Dagger Alchemy, a 14' kayak.
June 23 - BATTEN KILL from
Arlington, VT to Eagleville NY. Battenville gauge at 5.4', visual
gauge on Rt.313 bridge in Arlington at 2.55' - a very nice level.
An early rapid is maybe class I+ as it drops between some rocks, all
others class I. Above
Rt.61 bridge (being reconstructed) there is an old wood dam which
creates a nice surfable wave - we played here for quite some time.
Yellow warbler, mergansers. Tubers & renters out in the
pm. 11.5 miles, 5.4 hours.
June 18 - HUDSON RIVER from
Coeymans Landing boat launch. Paddled down the somewhat developed
W shore & saw 3 bald eagles. Returned on the E shore &
saw 6 eagles & an osprey. Tug pushing 3 barges upstream - able
to surf the wakes. Nice sunset again. Wilderness Systems
Zephyr 160 PRO, one of my favorite.
June 16 - HUDSON RIVER from
Thurman Station (downstream of Rt.418 bridge on river R) to
Hadley (takeout at end of Maple St.). Clear water, lot
different than the lower Hudson. North Creek gauge at 4.9', Hadley
gauge at 5.7' - mostly quickwater, some riffles with waves up to
1'. L shore undeveloped, light development on R shore. River
is fairly wide & has some islands. Steep hills on both sides;
could see Hadley Mtn when I turned around. Deer, bald eagle,
hawks. 15 miles, 4 hours. Caught some eddies behind rocks
with the Dagger Axis 12 kayak.
June 15 - CHRISTMAN SANCTUARY walk, on & off-trail, some very muddy spots. Many waterfalls on the Bozenkill.
June 12 - HUDSON RIVER from
boat launch next to Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. The murky
tidal Hudson. High water thanks to recent rain. Downstream
then up the Vloman Kill to the falls - domestic geese & goats.
Crossed the Hudson, checked out an empty eagle nest the went up the
Moordener Kill - good current in spots & strainers. A few big
boats on the river. Nice sunset.
June 9 - MINNEWASKA STATE PARK hike.
From Awosting parking area. Mossy Glen trail - bridge out over
the Peter's Kill, water level high due to recent rains so bushwhacked
upstream then out to the carriage road. After crossing Fly Stream
took L on orange trail (used to be the Long Path) climbing up rock slabs
revealing a view of the Catskills. Dropped steeply into
Huntington Ravine to the foot of pretty Rainbow Falls. Continued
up out of the ravine eventually reaching Litchfield Ledge where there
are wonderful views of Lake Awosting, the Catskills, The Badlands,
Rondout Reservoir & more - long break for lunch. Moved on to
Battlement Terrace & Castle Point with views to the Hudson Valley
& NJ. Looped back on the Blueberry Path, fittingly named,
& good bridge over the Peter's Kill. Finished on the carriage
road. Mountain laurel flowers (mostly pink, some white) plentiful
but mostly not open yet, saw some sheep laurel flowering. 5' long
black rat snake, small water snake; a few blackflies at the falls &
on carriage road. 9+ miles, ~1,000 gross elevation, 6.2 hours.
June 5 - COLLINS PARK LAKE SUPing in Scotia. Saw lots of fish. Boardworks B-Ray.
June 5 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Lock 7 boat launch. A very pleasant & calm morning.
Osprey, bg herons, red-tailed hawk. Wenonah Aurora, a 16' general
purpose tandem canoe - cruised easily at 4.5 mph, topped out at 6mph.June 4 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Lions Park, Rosendale Rd in Niskayuna. Water chestnut weeds are
starting to come in. A windy evening so stayed S of the
islands. Wilderness Systems Zephyr 155, a maneuverable 15.5' sea
kayak.June 3 - PETER'S KILL AREA hike.
Shawangunks, from park office Minnewaska State Park - get map here,
some new trails in the area. $8 parking fee. High Peter's
Kill Footpath over notch in Dickie Barre (from W side: view of cliffs
across the PK clove & N to the Catskills; from E side: view across
Coxsing Kill clove to Trapps & Mohonk's Sky Top Tower), Red Loop,
Bullwheel Trail - lots of steep ups & downs. Off-trail
upstream (rock-hopped & waded across the stream to get to a
waterfall with initial 6' drop followed by 20' drop) & downstream:
cascades & falls on the PK. Pitch pine, scrub oak, blueberry,
huckleberry, mountain laurel (starting to bloom). Turkey vultures,
chipping sparrows. A few disinterested blackflies - not a
problem. I love the 'gunks! 4.5 hours.
June 2 - HOOSIC RIVER from
Girardi Canoe Access, Ashton Ave in N Adams MA to Conservation Park
(unmarked, just an old sign frame left) near the bend on Lincoln St in
Pownal VT. Gage at Williamstown at 5.86', a very nice level.
Mix of quickwater, riffles & rapids up to class 1+. A few
left-hand turns early may have strainers on outside of turns - always
safest to eddy out on inside of the bends. Warning: before
reaching Williamstown there is a rope across the river (went under it to
the L but could be very dangerous with higher water levels) then a boom
(runnable) across - work being done on L shore. After passing
under the Rt.7 bridge there was a fun section of standing waves up to
2'. The river then mellows out a bit as it butts up against the
Taconic Range allowing one to pay more attention to the scenery &
birdsong. 9.7 miles, 3.7 hours.
May 27 - CANNONSVILLE RESERVOIR kayaking. A dammed portion of the W Br Delaware River just W of Catskill Park. Free NYC DEP
permit required. Boats have to be steam cleaned locally - $15 at
Rainbow Lodge. We did a one-way trip with shuttle from Apex Bridge
to Roods Creek with side-trip up the northern arm (Trout Creek),
unfortunately this gave us a headwind much of the way; boat launch areas
have a pink flag. Stopped by DEP Police in motorboat checking
permits etc, no other boats of any kind while we were paddling.
Nearby lightly-traveled roads but very little sign of development.
Steep verdant hardwood hills rise over 1,000' above the
reservoir. Deer swimming across, bald eagles, mergansers, a couple
of blackflies. 70F & mostly cloudless, moderate wind.
5+ hours. Dagger Axis 12 kayak.
May 26 - GIANT LEDGE & PANTHER MOUNTAIN hike
in the Catskills. Great views E from ledges on GL: Hunter,
Overlook, Slide & many other peaks. Lots of people on the trail to
GL (has several viewpoints). Up to 5" of snow above 3,500' on
Panther (3,720' el.; found 2 viewpoints) & 41F on top with melting
snow dripping off the balsams, trail was water &/or slush. Too
cold & windy for bad bugs. 6.6 miles, 4.75 hours, 1,700' of
climbing. Primitive car camping amongst tall red pines off
Millbrook Rd near Kelly Hollow Trail - no-one else there.
Essex Chain of Lakes: wilderness or wild forest? - comments.May 21 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS kayaking from
123rd St boat launch (closed for reconstruction but still room to
launch a kayak from rocky shore) in Lansingburgh. Got past Bolt
Island against a strong current, played in & out of the eddy.
Went around Peebles Island to Buttermilk Falls.
May 20 - MOXHAM MOUNTAIN
hike. Several viewpoints en route. Red efts, garter snake,
dragonfly. Flowering: painted & purple trillium, blueberry,
blue & yellow violet, pale corydalis. Some blackflies at the
summit - not too hungry tho. Views from clifftop mainly W & S -
Gore Mtn stands out; interesting ponds & vly below. Details. 5 miles, 4.8 hours.
May 19 - BATTEN KILL from
NY/VT state line to Rt.22. Was going to do the Hoosic River but
that was a bit too low(5.4' at Williamstown). Some tree debris
(sweepers/strainers) to avoid especially between Eagleville &
Shushan covered bridges. Generally peaceful with much
birdsong. Trip was going uneventfully when with 2 miles to go one
of the tandem canoes overturned at a sweeper to the R of a long island -
2 other boaters capsized while trying to help. Gage at
Battenville at 4.67' - a bit low but made for an ok run. 12 miles,
5.6 hours. Dagger Axis 10.5 kayak worked out very well.
May 18 - MOHAWK RIVER CLEAN-UP from Lions Park in Niskayuna, Albany Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club.
May 15 - MOHAWK RIVER from
NYSDEC boat launch on the Glenville side of Freeman's Bridge.
Headed upstream; at Glen Sanders House took a R into Reese Creek for
less than a mile then between Isle of the Cayugas & Isle of the
Onondagas to the main channel of the Mohawk & back. More interesting
from a historical aspect than visual; nice sunset tho. Dagger
Alchemy, a 14' kayak.
May 12 & 13 - LAKE LILA canoe
camping. Winds gusting to 30mph both days, waves up to 2', snow
coating the ground in the morning, ice pellet showers by day (had some
sun too). Managed to get to Canada Island then hiked up unnamed
nubble to the NE with great view. Toured the W end of the lake
(pair of loons) then went up Shingle Shanty Brook (whitetail deer) &
Mud Pond Outlet to the foot of rapids (4.5 miles from the lake).
We saw no-one else for the 2 days. High temp in 50s Sunday (3
miles paddling), 40s on Monday (14 miles). Hobblebush, dogwood
& painted trillium flowering. No bugs. A memorable trip
& what a difference from a week ago! Swift Kiwassa 15 solo
May 7 MOHAWK RIVER & ERIE CANAL from
Freddie's Park, Albany Marine Service Lane in Latham (off Rt. 9 just SE
of the Crescent Bridge). Paddled upstream past islands, under
I-87 then R into the old Erie Canal then L to Clute's Dry Dock.
Quite a few motorboats, other paddlers, a water skier & a jetski out
on this warm evening. 9+ miles, 2.5 hours. Wilderness
Systems Zephyr kayak.
May 5 & 6 - LITTLE TUPPER LAKE
canoe camping. Wanted to go to CEDAR RIVER FLOW but heard that
the dirt road is closed for at least a few more days. Gorgeous
weather in mid-70s. Had our pick of campsites on Sunday - saw 4
canoes Sunday & had the area to ourselves Monday until 2
day-tripping kayakers paddled past. Minimal bad bugs, saw a few
blackflies but no need for protection. 100 yard carry to Rock
Pond; ospreys (one on nest). Charlie Pond Outlet; snapping
turtle. Lots of vocal loons. Went swimming from campsite -
water surprisingly warmer than normal for this time of year - it also
helps that LTL is a shallow lake.
Apr 30 - MOHAWK RIVER
from Lions/RR Station Park on Rosendale Rd in Niskayuna. A
gorgeous evening to be on the water with temp in the 60s. Around 2
of the islands, up to Lock 7, poked into the Lisha Kill. Bald
eagle. 2+ hours. Swift Keewaydin 15, a lightweight 15' solo
Apr 28 & 29 - FORKED LAKE canoe camping. Camped on island, part of the campground
(not open yet, open May 17 - Sep 2) - nice views in all directions
incl. Blue Mtn - campsites have firepit, picnic table, outhouse &
bear-proof containers. Explored Brandreth Lake Outlet (over 1
beaver dam, turned back at 2nd dam), North Bay Stream (slid over a
b dam, lifted over another, view of Owls Head) & Raquette
River. Lots of loons & tunes; common mergansers (handsome
males), hooded mergansers, deer. Nearby Blue Mtn Lake still had
ice on it on the 28th.
Apr 21 - STRATTON MOUNTAIN VT. Still
top to bottom snow despite the ski area being closed for 2 weeks.
Poor to excellent conditions - icy early (used skins for the 1,800'
climb), softening as the day progressed with temps in the 40s & lots
of sun. From top of ski area a narrow trail leads 0.7 miles to
the firetower at the summit of southern Vermont's highest peak - 2' of
natural snow here - cabin closed but able to climb the tower most of the
way for great views in all directions into 4 states. Still a bit
icy coming down near the top but great in the bottom half & I got in
lots of turns. 6.8 miles, 5.4 hours.
Apr 15 - SCHOHARIE CREEK
kayaking from Rt. 30 bridge in North Blenheim (just below the site of
the old covered bridge that got wiped out by Irene) to Rt. 30 bridge in
Middleburgh. Not long before we had to go over an unexpected
man-made 3' drop! Next few rapids are class II (watch out for
strainers); rapids getting easier as the trip went on but there is
another class II after the creek goes under the 2nd Rt. 30 bridge just
before a picnic area. One can avoid the worst of the rapids by
putting-in at the North Blenheim Fishing Access Site on Rt. 30 N of the
village. A very scenic valley. Walhalla Rocks - a shale cliff
rising 600' above the creek. Vroman's Nose. Burtonsville gauge
at 2.7' (best run at 1.5-2.0'), Breakabeen at 4.6' - on the high side
& fairly strong current. Water temp in the 40s - best be
wearing a wet or dry suit - a swim is very likely for those with little
whitewater experience. 15.3 miles, 5.4 hours (w/2 good
breaks). Dagger Axis 12 kayak with added bow flotation bags.
Safety Code of American Whitewater.
Apr 14 - AIKEN WILDERNESS skiing
from Rt.9 in Woodford VT. S on FR 74 for a bit then into the
wilderness area doing a clockwise round-trip mostly off trail.
Combination of open woods, not-so-open woods, areas of hobblebush, open
meadows & one section of nasty blowdown - makes for a semi-epic
trip. 1.5' of snow, good base with half inch of fresh powder made
for very good fast & smooth skiing. 8.5 miles, 5.7
Apr 8 - LOST POND MOUNTAIN from
Somerset Rd VT. Snowmobile trail 7S starting on FR 325.
Off-trail up around NE end of the mountain climbing 1,200'. Views
of Haystack, Snow, Stratton & Glastenbury along the way + glimpse of
Somerset Reservoir. From 3,100' could see Lost Pond ~200' below
us. Some semi-open glades up high. Down along South Pond
Brook. 2' snow off-trail (very good skiing, sunk in 2"-3"),
snowmobile trail down to dirt in many spots (variable); temp getting up
into the 50s. 5.4 hours.
Apr 7 - EAST BRANCH DEERFIELD RIVER skiing from Somerset Rd VT. East River Trail then N on Catamount Trail
crossing the Deerfield & E Br on new aluminum bridges (the cool
swinging bridges are no more). Lots of moose tracks & scat;
grouse. Nice view of Mt. Snow across a beaver meadow. Got
close to Somerset Reservoir before turning back. My 50th ski of
the season. Excellent skiing on sugar/corn snow; mostly 1.5'
deep. Temp rising from 30s to ~50F. Had to take skis off to
get across a couple of very shallow streams. 5.6 hours.
Apr 4 - MOHAWK RIVER STATE PARK walk
from Lock 7 boat launch. More newly marked trails. From
shelter on the bike path (a bit W of Lock 7) a new yellow trail goes
along the lagoon to the Dikes & Jetties Loop Trail along the
river. Then did the Loop Trail over Lock View Ridge.
Apr 3 - Where's the snow? Inches of snow - Elevation - Location:
20.6" 2005 ELK LAKE ROAD;
20.5" 2270 HOFFMEISTER;
20.4" 1919 NORTHWOODS CLUB ROAD;
19" 2096 BLUE RIDGE ROAD AT BOREAS RIVER;
18.4" 2575 BAKERS MILLS;
17.6" 1995 GOODNOW FLOW ROAD;
17.6" 1778 TAHAWUS UPPER WORKS;
16.8" 1699 SHAKER PLACE;
16.4" 1713 ARIETTA;
16" 1650 INDIAN LAKE;
15.4" 1526 PETERS CORNERS;
14.5" 1916 LAKE PLACID 1.5 N;
14.2" 1621 GRIFFIN;
12.5" 1516 OLMSTEDVILLE 4.6 NNE;
12" 1818 LAKE PLEASANT;
11" 1660 PISECO;
10" 1568 BOONVILLE 4 SSW;
9" 1824 ELM LAKE;
8.6" 1125 8MI.NW HOPE;
7.8" 1014 HOPE FALLS.
Apr 1 - LYNUS VLY off-trail
skiing from the end of plowing on Tomantown Rd in Bleecker at
1,200' el. From Tomantown snowmobile trail followed twisty
scenic Lynus Vly Outlet upstream gaining 800' in elevation. Rain
at start but day got sunny & windy with some flurries as the temp
dropped from low 40s into the 30s. 1.5' of mostly consolidated
"wet sugar" snow - since it did not drop below freezing last night &
got some rain the surface was soft & we sunk in ~3" breaking trail -
good to very good skiing. Snow bridges still good. 2 other
vlies & a 20" waterfall along the way. Lynus Vly is pond-like
& sandwiched between steep hills on W & E sides. Nice
intermediate run back with just a few short steep parts. 4.8
hours. Still good skiing to be found in parts of the Adks &
Greens - best skiing will be when temp is above 40F or with 1"+ of new
Mar 31 - LITTLE POND & PORCUPINE LOOKOUT
back to skiing in Woodford VT. Up to 2' consolidated snow, soft
surface with temp close to 50F. From Rt.9 took FR 275 for 2 miles
then N into Glastenbury Wilderness, snowmobiles had illegally gone to
Little Pond. Crossover trail to AT/LT then S to Porcupine Lookout
(postholed by barebooters) - good view of the Mts. Haystack & Snow
ridge plus views S. Took the path to the E of FR 275 back - this
was untracked since the last snowfall but breaking trail no problem as I
only sank in 1-3". Catamount tracks. 3.3 hours.
Fischer S-Bound 88 skis.
Mar 29 - JANES ISLAND canoeing
Chrisfield MD. From the state park short crossing of canal &
along yellow trail to windy pond-like Flatcap Basin then green trail to
Rock Hole, the opening to Tangier Sound section of Chesapeake Bay.
Back along green trail & landed next to ferry dock then walked over
to the bay side for a long lunch where the sand beach stretches for
miles. Loons (wail), bald eagles. 4 hours.
Mar 28 - POCOMOKE RIVER & NASSAWANGO CREEK canoeing
from Byrd Park in Snow Hill, MD. Goats on island across from the
boat launch. 2 miles down the Pocomoke then up the Nassawango
which gets narrower as one paddles upstream thru bald cypress
swamp. Very light development. Stopped on Nature Conservancy
lands half way up (not much other solid land along the way) where there
are nature trails. Tidal. Otters, wood ducks, buffleheads,
loon, turkey vultures, gb herons, kingfisher. 5 hours.
Mar 27 - BLACKWATER NWR drive
on Wildlife Drive & wet hikes on Woods & Tubman Road
Trails. Windy. A cloud of snow geese, bald eagles, black
scoters, osprey. Boating not allowed from Oct 1 thru Mar 31.
Mar 26 - ASSATEAGUE ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE kayaking
from Old Ferry Landing. Around Little Egging Island & in
& out of coves of Chincoteague Bay. Buffleheads, American
oystercatchers, owl. Walk on hard sand ocean beach at Assateague
Mar 25 - SALISBURY ZOO - Free. Rain, sleet, snow - 37F most of the day. Red wolves howling.Mar 24 - CORKER'S CREEK & POCOMOKE RIVER canoeing
from Shad Landing campground, Pocomoke River SP. Shores of bald
cypress (knees or roots sticking up out of the water) swamp.
Around large island then up Corker's to just past Rt.113. Bald
eagle, orioles, chickadees, C geese.
Mar 23 - CHINCOTEAGUE BAY kayaking from George Island Landing in Stockton MD. E. A. Vaughn WMA - E A Vaughn Water Trail.
Johnson Bay. Cottman Creek. Beasey Creek.
Buffleheads, loon on bay; ducks & yellowlegs in creeks. 4
hours. Dagger Alchemy, a 14' kayak.
Mar 22 - Field of snow geese in Snow Hill MD. Water Trails of MD.
Mar 18 - RAYMOND BROOK & IVE'S DAM from
Barton Mines Rd in North River. Raymond Brook Ski Trail - 250'
gain to height of land at 2,350' then I dropped 800' (intermediate+ in
excellent conditions, initial drop of 300' is quite steep then "mellows"
a bit) passing an old sled shed. Crossed 2 good bridges.
Less powder down below so climbed back up (had climbing skins with me
but did not need). From height of land skied SE on unofficial
trail shown on this map
(intermediate, a few assorted markers, goes thru unposted private land)
around NE side of Pete Gay Mtn with views to the High Peaks (Mt Marcy's
white dome really stood out), up an old wide ski trail to 2,850' el.
before dropping past a powerline to site of Ive's Dam just to the N of
Gore Mtn - the blue-marked Schaefer Trail to Gore Mtn goes thru
here. Barton Mines tailings to the W. Nice run back to
start. 2"-5" (more at higher elevation) powder on 1.5' of icy base
- good to very good skiing - could have been perfect if there was 6"
more powder. 4 hours. Some background info..
Mar 17 - BREIA SKYFIELDS TRAILS ON JACKSON HILL from
Jackson Hill Rd in Boonville. A 50K system of trails free to the
public. Excellent skiing on 3" powder over good base with a hint
of crunchiness. Track set on most of the trails. Elevations
1,100' to over 1,600'. Telemark Hill Lodge warming hut -
deluxe. Telemark Field & Trail - great for turns. Down
to Canal Trail (moderately steep with turns, intermediate+ despite sign
shown below). Got in lots of telemark turns in the 1st couple of
hours. Lunch at the hut. Long distance view to the
Adirondacks from Adirondack Field. Sunfield lived up to its name,
exposed & windy. "Advanced" trails are intermediate,
"Intermediate" trails are novice. 5 hours.
Mar 13 - HUYCK PRESERVE from
Pond Hill Rd, Rensselaerville. West Lake Trail to Lake Myosotis,
to the interesting rock dam, then to Waldron Overlook at top of
spectacular Rensselaerville Falls. Somewhat icy at first but
getting better as temp rose thru the 30s, best where sun had softened
the surface - fair skiing overall. Novice in good
conditions. 2.3 hours.
Mar 11 - JACKRABBIT TRAIL & HAYSTACK MOUNTAIN.
From Whiteface Inn Ln, Lake Placid. 1st mile had snowmobile
tracks - trail was closed 2 days ago to remove a recently crashed plane -
Placid Lean-to. Off-trail to Haystack Mtn - great view of
the High Peaks - challenging coming down in tight woods with short steep
drops, more open woods when closer to the Jackrabbit. Down to
slushy McKenzie Pond dropping close to 1,300'. Climb back up to
the pass was a bit of a slog (no need herringboning in the wet grippy
snow), nice run down to the cars. Temp close to 50F - very good
skiing on soft wet snow. Whitetail deer. Over 2,000' of
elevation change, 4.6 hours.
Mar 10 - RAQUETTE FALLS
from Coreys. Horse trail. <1' of snow, icy at first but
softening as temps got above 40F - fair to very good skiing. Lower
falls were quite impressive. Rocks showing on several downhills
mostly when going S, better on way back. 5.5 hours. Camped
out in the Stony Creek Lean-to on the Raquette River.
Mar 8 - REIST PRESERVE from
Morgan Ave, Niskayuna. On my way to work, a quickie. 6"
fresh powder on minimal base - very good skiing. Mostly flat on
yellow loop, did find a real hill on blue trail to the E.Mar 6 - STONY BROOK LAKE from
the end of plowing on Edick Rd in Stratford. Nice skiing overall,
some minor iciness to top layer in the woods (hard to turn on the
steeper hills), real nice in the open vly. Short distance N on
snowmobile trail then L off-trail up Stony Brook. Lost the brook
but eventually found a good path marked with ribbons that led us over a
hill to the remote lake. Tried to do better on return but lost the
brook again but found our way out ok nevertheless. Very open
woods throughout the route. Saw bear claw marks on trunk of a
large beech. Dropped packs at the cars then took a sweet downhill
run (good for turns) down the snowmobile trail to E Canada Creek - nice
soft surface with the temp in upper 30s. 4.5 hours.
Mar 4 - PROSPECT MOUNTAIN from
Woodford State Park VT. Across Adams Reservoir (2,300' el).
Usual route to the Old Dewey Rd which we took W climbing slowly.
Some light blue trail markers. At a junction took a L & headed
S, some light snowmobile use, Reached trails of Prospect Mtn XC
Ski Center. Still followed the blue markers which brought us out
to a groomed ski trail just below the summit (2,767' el) - good
for turns. Nice mostly easy run back down. Back at the state
park took the trail to the E of the campground (blue paint
blazes). Dropped pack & did a side-trip down thru open
woods. Played "ski the teeter-totter" before heading out of the
park. 2'+ of snow, some crustiness, good to excellent skiing (best
up high). 4.2 hours.
Mar 3 - DEERFIELD RIDGE TRAIL from
Upper Dam Rd in Wilmington VT. Elevation 2,390' at the
trailhead. Trail climbs over 600' in 2.1 miles to junction of 0.3
mile spur to Haystack Mtn. The ridge trail continues above 3,000'
to Mt. Snow. As of Dec 14, 2012 motorized vehicles incl.
snowmobiles not allowed. Stopped for lunch & turns at top of
the private Haystack Ski Area. Continued N to a 1,055m summit
& a bit beyond, over a mile short of Mt. Snow, before turning
back. Some moderately steep terrain, some challenging hills with
moguls, trail generally fairly wide & good for turns. A few
limited views along the way - high up the trail tends to be bordered
with thick stands of red spruce heavily laden with snow. Some
crusty base with 1-2" powder down low (ok skiing); excellent skiing
above 3,000' with 5" powder on good base. At least
intermediate+. 1,000' net elevation change, 5.8 hours.
Feb 27 - ROCKWOOD STATE FOREST.
Borders the Adirondack Blue Line. 4" wet powder on about a foot
of base - good skiing. Raining on my drive up & back - precip-free
for 1st hour, drizzle 2nd hour. ESE on Chimney Loop Trail to "Camp
Hill" where there is a rock fireplace, the only remains of a camp. W
down Camp Road Trail (steep), L on South Loop Road, D East Rd, L on Camp
Road Trail, camp hill, down Camp Road (tree across trail near bottom), R
to D-Spur Road, C-Connector Road, C-4 Loop Road, Spring Road (beautiful
red pine woods), Camp Road Trail back to camp hill, down Chimney Loop
Trail (steep) back to parking lot. Temp in 30s - gonna be crunchy when
temp drop below freezing. 2 hours. New snow as of late afternoon: Bennington VT 1.25", Woodford VT 19" ! (Woodford is only about 10 miles from Bennington).
Feb 24 - LOST POND from
Rt.9 Little Pond trailhead in Woodford VT. Lost Pond remained
lost to us today - found it on 2 previous attempts but not today.
Same route as on 2/20 but continued off-trail N of Little Pond
Mtn. Did, however, find an open area ideal for tele - a stash! - a
bowl above the Deer Cabin Brook valley. Lots of nice runs on the
way back out. Powder a bit heavier today. 800' net elevation, 6.7 hours.
Feb 20 - LITTLE POND LOOKOUT from
Rt.9 in Woodford, VT (2,400' el.). ~2' of snow - 10"-15" powder
over good base. Snowmobile trail for 2 miles on FR 275.
Continued N into the Glastenbury Wilderness (no motors). After
passing the connector trail on the L (2,700'), I went off-trail to the
NW climbing ~300' to the Appalachian/Long Trail (white paint blazes not
easy to spot with fresh snow plastered to sides of trees). NE
along the blustery ridge (3,100') to the lookout which is getting grown
in & views are limited. Returned along the AT/LT (with all the
powder even the steep parts were easy) all the way to the connector
trail (unmarked) - L here & back to Little Pond trail having had to
break trail all the way from the time I first left the snowmobile
trail. Returned on the path to the E of FR 275. 4.7
Feb 18 - LIZARD POND from
Garnet Lake's E shore. Poor to excellent conditions, not
crusty. Nice mountain views crossing the lake - Mt Blue to the
W.. The 300' in 1 mile climb to Lizard had plenty of rocks
showing, was packed by skiers & snowshoers plus had been traveled by
ATV! - poor skiing. Skied across the pond to the lean-to for
lunch - and, yes, there is still quite the echo in winter. Mount
Blue N of the pond & Crane Mtn well to the E. Tracks of any
kind soon disappeared W of the pond & skiing was excellent with a
few inches of powder on a good base. Dropped 300' in about 1.5
miles thru pleasant mixed woods, E Stony Creek never far to the L - nice
skiing. Reached trail junction to Indian Pond & Baldwin
Springs & turned back - a snowmobile had been in recently.
Desiring to avoid a nasty downhill back to the lake, Rongwae suggested
we ski E off-trail to the S of Gillingham Knoll. Some interesting
steep terrain & obstacles drove us more SE - mostly very good snow
conditions. Reached marshes then headed NE along streambed then
short distance thru the woods to the lake. 10.4 miles, 5.7
Feb 17 - YAW POND BROOK,
Green Mountain NF between Woodford & Searsburg. From Rt. 9
skied down FR 74 (a snowmobile trail in winter) for 10 mins. then took a
L on an unmarked trail, down at first then up to a clearing with
raspberry bushes. Picked up an old logging road going S to a long
meadow. Off on another old logging road going SE which ended after
a gentle climb. Off-trail for a while to snowmobile trail at
height of land (2,600'). SW downhill on the snowmobile
trail. Headed S on Yaw Pond Trail (unmarked at the junction, a
couple of green diamond-shaped markers further). Before reaching
the brook blue tape marked the trail. Lots of recent moose tracks
in this area. Crossed the frozen stream on a beaver dam.
Soon reached an area of much blowdown & the trail has been rerouted W
of the stream. Stopped for lunch at a high point then returned
mostly the same way but with some added exploration. Up to 2.5' of
snow with a somewhat crusty surface - good skiing. Lots of animal
tracks incl. mountain lion. 4.4 hours.
Feb 16 - TACONIC CREST TRAIL
from Petersburg Pass on the NY/MA border. Skied a short distance N
& S of Rt.2. 8" with icy crust - poor skiing.Feb 13 - COD POND & LITTLE JOE POND
from Rt.8 near Bakers Mills. 1st checked out snow conditions near
the North Creek Ski Bowl with the possibility of skiing the Raymond
Brook trail - did not like the icy crust. Pleasantly surprised to
find a few inches of powder on good base down Rt. 8 - very good to
excellent skiing, a little sticky with temp around the freezing
mark. Trail to Cod Pond had seen some snowshoe use but had some
recent powder too. Crossed the pond to the S end & climbed
off-trail thru a notch to the SSE. Dropped down a bit to a swampy
area on the outlet to Little Joe. Not too far W thru tight
softwoods & we came out onto the secluded pond. Visited the
campsites on the N & S shores. From the outlet we dropped 200'
steeply, zigzagging to ease the grade, to the SSW aiming for a beaver
meadow/pond on a tributary to Georgia Creek. Once there skied to
the W end where we found an appropriate downed tree to sit on for
lunch. Back to Little Joe the same way. Wanted to find the
path marked on these maps
which heads NW to cross the snowmobile trail. Did not find it but
believe we were always not far SW of it. At least when we hit a
long downhill we could pick our own route thru the mostly open hardwoods
- lots of fun. Eventually followed a stream down to the
snowmobile trail (did not look like any snowmobiles had used it in the
last week). Headed NE & soon did find that end of the elusive
path which was marked with blue & red paint blazes. Continued
on the snowmobile trail with lots of fun ups & downs with views of
the mountains in the nearby Siamese Ponds Wilderness. R on the Cod
Pond trail again then crossed the pond going E to Stewart Creek. L
at bridge & down the snowmobile trail back to the cars finishing
off with a pleasant downhill run. 8.6 miles, 5.5 hours.
Feb 11 - HUYCK PRESERVE from
Peasley Rd. Short ski down unplowed Wood Rd then picked up
untracked Loop 3 in the preserve which we skied counterclockwise.
Did Loop 2 counterclockwise, also untracked had lunch in bright sunlight
& played on a hilly glade. Loop 1 had seen some light use,
counterclockwise. Rained earlier so we skied in 8" of wet powder -
good skiing, a bit of work breaking trail, better following the
trailbreaker ;) Some nice intermediate hills & plenty of open
woods. Temp got up into the low 40s. 3.4 hours.
Feb 10 - STONY POND THRU SKI.
From Rt.28N to Irishtown. Excellent conditions with good base
topped with 8-10" powder. Some snowmobiles (ice fishing?) on Stony
Pond & people camping in the lean-to. Crossed over to the NE
corner & picked up the Hewitt Pond trail for a bit then took a R on
trail to Center Pond - very steep climb & fairly steep drop to the
remote pond. After an enjoyable lunch in the warm sun we followed
the outlet to Stony & picked up the trail which drops steeply to
Sherman Ponds, snowmobiles there too. Some uphill before enjoying 2
miles of exhilarating downhill. Not too far from Sherman the
snowmobile tracks went sharp R past a camp on the L. At the sharp R
the foot trail actually goes straight & was easy to miss (no
markers) since it had received no recent use - this section was silky
smooth, a delight. Interesting ski bench as we entered private
land at Fall Brook Yurts. 930' of downhill, 8.3 miles, 5
Feb 9 - MOHAWK RIVER STATE PARK from
end of Lock 7 Rd in Niskayuna. 6" fresh snow, no base - ggod
skiing but I did hit some rocks. A quickie before work.
Feb 6 - G LAKE from
Rt.8. G Lake Rd (unplowed dirt) - 2.1 miles, excellent with 4-5"
powder on 6"+ base - downhill for 1st mile then a steady climb (a sweet
run on way back). Crossed lake from campsite on E shore &
followed outlet bushwhacking down along N side, altho there was a hint
of an old trail. Old trail along W side back to G Lake Rd -
unmarked, might receive some maintenance, some blowdown. Mostly
easy intermediate. Ran into 2 guys from DEC skiing in to do water
& snow sampling. 4 hours.
Feb 4 - THIRD & SPECTACLE LAKES LOOP from
N Stoner Lake. Lightly used snowmobile (none today) trails (fair
to good) - thin base with 2" powder. Off-trail several inches of
crunchy base with a bit of give. N up & over between Rooster
Hill & West Lake Mtn - the downhill had some rocks in trail. L
toward Third Lake - this trail also had some rocks & was not great
skiing. Out across Third Lake very nice skiing on the lakes. NW to
Spectacle (better skiing) for lunch with view of cliffs on Good Luck
Mtn. Spectacle has to be one of the more scenic lakes in the S
Adks - stopped at an island campsite that I've paddled to in fairer
weather - interesting plaque on rock. Tailwind across lake to
trail to Good Luck Lake which had no recent snowmobile use, some
blowdown - good skiing after a nasty initial climb. R back to W
Stoner. Nice downhill to finish. 8 miles, 4.3 hours.
Feb 3 - GARNET HILL LODGE.
Their website claimed 5" of powder - not true. Very good skiing
on groomed trails - used wide BC skis so did not use set tracks - got in
lots of turns. Off-trail: 8" of crunchy icy base with a bit of
give with 1"-2" powder. Skied all "most difficult" trails that
were open & some others. 13th Lake. Mountain
views. Bus shuttle. 5 hours.
Jan 30 - HELL HOLLOW BROOK
from Little Pond trailhead on Rt.9 in Woodford VT. FR 275, a
snowmobile trail, was very good with a soft surface over the packed
snow. The hill before the powerline can sometimes be gnarly but
was pretty good today (& good for a few turns on the way
back). A bit further up FR 275 I turned L following old ski tracks
on an unmarked trail going WNW. Skied across the edge of a small
meadow where there was some water flowing over a broken beaver
dam. Trail is hard to follow for a while. Pass nearby to a
couple more meadows/ponds. When the trail pulls away from Hell
Hollow Brook it is only 200' down alongside the brook to the AT/LT
bridge over the brook. Water was flowing over the ice. The
trail pulls away from the brook & climbs moderately up an old woods
road heading S around the W side of a 2,726' hill. At height of
land the powerline could be seen below & I could see the old
downhill ski slope at Prospect Mtn. Returned the same way.
Good to very good skiing - off-trail the 10"-15" of snow was somewhat
unconsolidated, better skiing in ski tracks. 1"-3" of rain
expected tonight! Temp in 50s - didn't wear gloves, sweater or
shell - shortsleeve shirt was fine. Wind howling especially on the
way back. 3.5 hours.
Jan 28 - DUNVILLE HOLLOW. Parked on Notch Rd
off Rt.9 just E of Bennington VT. Variable conditions. FR
75 from end of road (just to the R of a residence) - nice skiing
climbing gently alongside scenic Stamford Stream. Soon find out
that this forest road is closed even to foot traffic - a section is
washed out thanks to Irene - we took off skis & carefully got past
by grabbing a hold of vegetation, if you slipped on the ice you could be
down the creek! Half way up the road we passed 3 "camps" &
see a couple of moose ;-) Light snowmobile use from here (none
today, good skiing) up to a junction at 2.5 miles. Turned R past a
camp & climbed with Stamford Stream still down to our R. Next
R on Old Stage Trail (poor coverage on hills, stream crossings ok,
rocks, needs more snow). L on unmarked path (good) which led us to
Congdon Shelter on the AT/LT. After lunch headed N on the AT/LT
(poor, hit too many rocks) & past the junction of Old Stage Trail,
stopped at a steep uphill well before Harmon Hill. Decided to go
back down off-trail (very good to excellent) finally reaching the Old
Stage (poor on the downhills) which we took back down with a couple of
off-trail side-trips (excellent) for turns. Did a short loop over
to FR 273 before heading back down. 850' elevation change, 5.2
Jan 27 - GROUT POND & SOMERSET RESERVOIR from
Kelley Stand Rd, near W Wardsboro VT. Excellent skiing on good
base with 3"-4" of powder. S on snowmobile trail (saw none) to
Grout Pond Cabin (closed) then on West Loop coming close to the
Deerfield River, when the trail turned to the E we went S off-trail thru
very open woods to the N end of Somerset Reservoir. Headed E past
islands on the reservoir & stopped for lunch at the same island I
stopped at while canoeing here last year. Views S to Mt. Snow, N
to Stratton Mtn - can't complain about the 20F temp, cloudless blue sky
& just a light breeze to keep the bugs away ;-) Picked up the
Catamount Trail going N then Camp Trail with detour to Grout Pond.
Back to Camp Trail then East Trail. Went off to the R of trail
& skied NW alongside a frozen stream eventually reaching a large
beaver pond with view of Little Stratton Mtn with Stratton slightly
hidden behind. 4.8 hours.
Jan 23 - SECOND POND near
Johnsburg. Temp -1F at start, 2F at end. Elevations
2,200'-2,500'. Up to 6" of powder on good base made for excellent
skiing. Main trail is marked with yellow xc ski markers. 0.8 miles in a
red-marked trail goes off to the R & in not too long a distance
ends at a small beaver meadow on Black Mountain Brook - this trail could
be a work in progress. Bushwhacked back to main trail & took it to
height of land then whacked N then W getting to the inlet of Second
Pond. Pulled away from the inlet to avoid alders. Pond is pretty with
good view of Gore Mtn. Returned on the yellow trail - a long uphill, a
good downhill run & some rolling terrain. 4 hours. Feet
stayed quite warm in Fischer BCX 675 boots.
Jan 21 - LITTLE POND & PORCUPINE LOOKOUT,
from Rt.9 in Woodford VT. Green Mtn NF. Glastenbury
Wilderness. AT/LT. Elevations 2,300'-2,800'. From the
lookout could see Haystack Mtn & Mt Snow to the E, Prospect &
Greylock to the S - Searsburg wind farm the only nearby (within 10
miles) sign of civilization. Very good skiing especially at higher
(2,600'+) elevations - 3-4"powder over good to excellent base.
Jan 20 - LOWER AUSABLE LAKE & RAINBOW FALLS.
Lake Rd, AMR, Ausable Club. Good to excellent skiing - icy base with
1" powder at start but just kept getting better after the Gill Brook
bridge, 6" powder on good base closer to the lake. Intense wind as we
crossed the bridge below the dam & excellent view of the Indian Head
above. Gain of ~700'. Short (but more technical skiing) trail to
beautiful 150' icefalls. The run back down was so much fun. Side-trip
to the Canyon Bridge on the Ausable River. 10.6 miles, 4.5 hours.
Jan 16 - HUYCK PRESERVE from
Lincoln Pond on Pond Hill Rd in Rensselaerville. I had 1st tracks on
2"+ of base with 4" new powder - very good to excellent skiing.
Wheeler-Watson Trail to Partridge Path. Did Loop 2 counterclockwise
& Loop 1 clockwise. Loop 2 in nice shape. SE of the junction
with spur to Loop 3 there is a wonderful glade - I went off-trail,
climbed the hill & made turns in & out of the trees -
sweet! Loop1 could use a bit more snow but still fun. Hit
some rocks; small wet spots easily avoided. Judging by the tracks
I saw the otters were having just as much fun as I was in the new
snow. Intermediate. 5.5 miles, 2 hours.
Jan 14 - PINE VALLEY in
Woodford Vt, N of Rt.9. Snowmobile trail was snirty but I still had
good glide. Soon bushwhacked W to intersect a path going N which had
seen some light snowshoe & ski use. Mostly 8"-10" of heavy wet snow
- temperature will drop tonight & make this into a nice base for
any new snow. 2.5 hours. Testing out Fischer BCX 875 boots. Open Space Institute buys the Marion River Carry - story.
Jan 13 - AIKEN WILDERNESS
from Woodford State Park VT. Fair to good spring skiing on
15". Crossed Adams Reservoir - fairly solid, some light
slush. Took the old Dewey Rd S past the tin can junction &
down to the 3 Sisters (beaver meadows). Lots of fresh moose
tracks. 5 hours.
Jan 9 - HIDDEN VLY & WHITMAN FLOW from
Stoner Lake E of Rt.10. A small parking area was plowed. 15"-20" -
very good skiing. 1st couple of miles are on a hilly unmarked old road.
Crossed Hidden Vly & thru the woods to a hunter's campsite on
Whitman Flow (a stream). Had followed snowshoe tracks to this point.
Continued upstream, bushwhack breaking trail, sometimes welll away from
the stream to stay in open woods, to a small vly then another vly. Got
to within a quarter mile of Eastman Lake & steeper terrain before
turning around. The old road rivals Avalanche Pass in steepness - at
least intermediate+ - an exhilarating ride back. 4.9 hours.
Alpina Odyssey Edge skis, Fischer BCX 675 boots, Rottefella Super
Telemark bindings. Jan 8 - TOWN OF COLONIE GOLF COURSE on Consaul Rd. Somewhat icy in old tracks - still quite nice skiing in unbroken areas. 1 hour. Jan 7 - HUYCK PRESERVE
in Rensselaerville. 10"-15" - hint of iciness in snowshoe tracks
otherwise good to excellent skiing. Wheeler-Watson Trail & The
Racetrack well-used incl. bare-booters. Partridge Path Loop 1 had
seen minimal use & we were essentially breaking trail sinking in
3-6". Loop 2 had seen no use. Loop 3 had seen some ski &
snowshoe use (can be accessed from Peasley & Wood (unplowed)
roads. There are some wonderful downhills here, good for tele
turns - pretty woods too. 8 miles. 4 hours.
Jan 6 - PA'S FALLS ON THE BOG RIVER. 20"
- much powder over a wettish base. Bridge over Round Lake Stream.
S of the bridge an old road passes the sites of the "Bog River Hilton"
& other camps that the state removed soon after purchasing the land
eventually reaching a gate at the edge of state land - some
blowdown. NW of the bridge an old road (now also canoe carry for
those doing the Whitney Loop) goes up over a hill for 2 miles before
reaching the bridge over the Bog River. Crossed the bridge &
skied downstream a bit to the spectacular falls - lots of water dropping
over 20' between icy rock walls. 6+ hours.
Jan 5 - COLONIE TOWN GOLF COURSE. Beginner/novice terrain.Jan 4 - "METHANE MOUNTAIN" from
Blatnick Park on River Rd, Niskayuna. Wanted to practice telemark
turns on this old landfill but windblown snow turned hard &
snowmobiles had been on the hill so did not get in as many turns as I
would have liked. Nice view over the frozen Mohawk River with the
Tacanic Range in the far distance. The snow was more powdery on
the E side of the hill. Picked up white trail & was soon on
yellow-marked Shaker Gorge Scenic Loop trail (packed by snowshoers &
skiers, at least intermediate) & followed it along the top of the
ravine. 1 hour.Jan 1 - PARTRIDGE RUN WMA
in SW Albany County. 20" - very good skiing. From CR 13 -
Beaver Rd (unplowed) to xc ski loop (yellow ski markers & blue trail
markers). Looked like only one previous skier in last few days so
we were sort of breaking trail. Some wet spots. Side-trip
to old 19th century cemetery on Bradt Hill Rd. Illegal snowmobile
use near Beaver Rd. Intermediate. 3.4 hours. Find map
in ECOS Ski & Snowshoe Tips - 50 Cross Country Ski & Snowshoe Maps of the Capital Region - available at APnP.
2012:Dec 31 - HENNIG PRESERVE & HOMESTEAD COUNTY FOREST.
Have explored it on foot, now time to ski. 10"-15" - very good
skiing. Broke trail S of Centerline Rd doing a counterclockwise
loop. At junction of yellow & blue trails headed S, crossed
Packer Rd (dirt) & picked up the scenic new trail along Cadman
Creek. Returned to Hennig & green trail. Stream
crossings still abit on the wet side. Lunch at the cars then skied
all trails in the N section of the preserve with a stop at the
pond. Stream crossings bridged. Most trails intermediate,
yellow trail novice, blue trail over the esker the most
challenging. 5.2 hours.
Dec 30 - CLAPPER HOLLOW SF in
Jefferson, SW Schoharie county. Elevations to 2,100'. 1.5'
of snow - very good skiing. Pretty much had to break trail most of
the way. Trail #10 has lots of blowdown - best avoided.
Lunch at lean-to at man-made pond. Wide trails, mostly
novice. 4 hours. Good map in ECOS Ski & Snowshoe Tips - 50 XC Ski & Snowshoe Maps of the Capital Region - available at Adirondack Paddle'n'Pole.
Dec 28 - SCHENECTADY MUNI GOLF COURSE skiing. 10". Played on several of the hills. 1.2 hours.Dec 26 - DEERFIELD RIVER from
Somerset Airfield Campground just off Somerset Rd in Somerset VT
(population: 5). 6"-8" total - 2" of powder on good base - very good
skiing. N on FR 71 for 2.5-3 miles. L on FR 83. R or N on old
unmaintained 4WD trail to a small beaver meadow. Headed back a different
mostly bushwhack route to FR 83. A few snowmobiles - they sure do smell
bad! Easy skiing on snowmobile trails; more challenging off. 4.5
Dec 24 - CAMP SANTANONI on NEWCOMB LAKE.
Very good skiing on 8"-10" of snow, some crust mid-layer, 3"-4" light
powder on top. Novice. 10 miles, 3.8 hours.
Dec 23 - ROCKWOOD STATE FOREST ski.
2-4" & snowing - good skiing on flatter sections but could feel the
rocks on steeper sections. Some blowdown on trails.
Actually just outside the Adirondack Park. Just a quickie before
heading for work.
Dec 17 - FRED SCHROEDER MEMORIAL TRAIL from Carrick Rd. N part of Thacher State Park - pdf map.
Another misty Monday meander. I knew Fred so it was about time I
hiked this trail. Interesting parking area on rock with 400+
million year history. Did the loop clockwise - mostly flat except
for one steep twisty downhill. Joined the Long Path to High Point -
not much view today due to mist. Took an unmarked path near the
edge of the escarpment to Hang Glider Point - a little less mist & I
could see the Altamont Fairgrounds below. Back to FSMT &
out. 2 hours.
Dec 16 - HENNIG PRESERVE & HOMESTEAD COUNTY FOREST from
County Line Rd in the Town of Providence. A coating of
snow. SW on yellow trail, R on blue on top of esker, dropped down
steeply off esker to junction with yellow trail. R or S from this
junction & soon cross Packer Rd (4WD) then follow orange surveyor's
tape markings to Cadman Creek. This lovely brand new trail then
follows the creek upstream mostly well above it. County forest
trail markers face in the opposite direction that I went?! A
couple of beaver dams create a pond on the creek. Trail drops down
to creek at an old mill site then veers away, crosses a small stream on
a plank then returns to Cadman at another old mill site. A small
falls is just upstream. The trail then pulls way from the creek,
crosses a small stream on another plank, then climbs to an open
reforested area before reaching County Line Rd, a mile to the
start. This new trail thru the county forest is ~3 miles
long. To the N of the road pink tape marks a route into the Hennig
Preserve. 2.3 hours.
Dec 10 - KELEHER PRESERVE walk,
central Albany County. On Wolf Hill, elevations in the
1,400'-1,600' range. Bridge has interesting musical instrument
attached. Blue trail eventually comes out on the edge of an
escarpment with Rtes. 85&443 below (traffic noise). In the
clouds on this moist day so did not get any views. If you are
lucky you might find a better map at the register with additional trails
on it. 3.1 miles, 1.5 hours. For skiing: altho there are
flat stretches, the hills that are there are quite steep & I'd have
to call it advanced intermediate.
Dec 9 - HENNIG PRESERVE
hike in western Saratoga County. Preserve mostly at 1,300'-1,600'
elevation. 3.5 miles of trails N of County Line Rd - mix of
hardwoods (maple, beech, black cherry, yellow birch) & softwoods
(mostly hemlock & large white pine). Red trail at the far NE
of the preserve leads to boggy Round Pond. 2.5 miles of trails S
of County Line Rd - mostly softwoods. Left the green trail to walk
on Packer Rd (an old 4WD trail) then L on another 4WD trail going over a
snowmobile? bridge into Homestead County Forest. Returned to
green trail. Blue trail goes up onto the top of an esker.
Lots of ferns & clubmosses. ~8 miles, 4.4 hours. For xc
skiing: yellow trail novice, rest of trails intermediate, couple of
steep spots on blue trail. Drove over to Glenwild Rd & walked
up Packer Rd a bit then bushwhacked back along picturesque Cadman Creek.
Dec 3 - HUDSON RIVER kayaking
from Coxsackie boat launch. Launched at low tide.
Downstream along the W shore past 4 Mile Point (light
development). At Hudson Anchorage crossed to E side & headed N
(mostly undeveloped). Stopped for a break on beach of Stockport
Middle Ground, an island. Continued N past campsites of Gay's
Point to chimney stack of historic ice factory then crossed to the
put-in. Waves up to 1' with 5-15mph N wind opposing tidal
current. Some big boats. 3.4 hours.
Nov 29 - LISHA KILL NATURAL AREA walk, Rosendale Rd, Niskayuna.
Nov 28 - SHAKER GORGE SCENIC LOOP walk from Blatnick Park, River Rd, Niskayuna.Nov 26 - IRVING POND & BELLOWS LAKE from
Nick Stoner Golf Course in Wheelerville. Snowmobile trail.
Temp in 30s. 2-4" of sticky (had to re-Maxiglide the ski bases
every hour) snow - some wet spots & rocks. The dam is out on
Irving revealing open shores, active (but not today) logging going on on
S shore. Most lakes in the area mostly ice-free. 3.8 hours.
Nov 25 - RENSSELAERVILLE STATE FOREST skiing.
It was snowing lightly all morning in the Heldebergs, Albany County -
up to 2". From Cheese Hill Rd I skied W on the dirt CCC Rd.
Skiing in tire tracks was zippy but did hit some gravel & rocks at
times. Looped on 4WD trails N of the road too. Elevations
over 2,000'. 1.6 hours. Drove (great view of the Catskills
from CR359) over to the HUYCK PRESERVE in nearby Rensselaerville
& took a short hike to bottom middle & top of the falls on
Ten-Mile Creek - very impressive. Lots of new trail improvements.
Nov 22 - THANKSGIVING "DAY CAMPING" on GARNET LAKE.
N half of lake ice-free but S half had much ice early - the 50 degree
temp did manage to melt half that ice & we were able to paddle into
the S half of the lake later in the day. Foil cookery over the
fire which also warmed up the apple pie. Mount Blue rises almost
1,500' to the W & Crane Mtn is seen to the NE. Some cottages
in N half, S half mostly state land, several campsites on the
lake. Ducks, geese, bald eagles, beaver, mink. 6+
hours. Mad River Explorer LT 16 - tandem canoe to transport gear
Nov 19 - WOODFORD STATE PARK
hike in Woodford, VT. 2,300' elevation. Adams Reservoir
iced over. Blue trail follows the W shore then thru the woods E of
the campground. Off-trail S a short distance to a beaver
meadow/pond in the Aiken Wilderness. Bushwhacked a half mile ENE
to a "pond" shown on the Stamford USGS map - beaver no longer active
here & there is no pond just meadow. Whacked NW &
intersected the blue trail near the lean-tos. Moose tracks.
0-1" of crusty snow. 3.3 hours.
Nov 18 - KAYADEROSSERAS CREEK from
Waterfront Park, Crescent Ave on Saratoga Lake. Temp in 40s, lots
of sun, little wind. Water level low. Upstream to Driscoll Rd
access (picnic table) & back - noticeable current, some shallow
sections, bit of work going up but a nice cruise on return. 3
minor obstructions. Mostly undeveloped altho noisy at Northway
& Rt.9 bridges. Pair of loons on the lake, also float plane
practicing landings & take-offs. 5 hours. Mad River Explorer 16 LT, a 16' tandem canoe.
Nov 14 - PARTRIDGE RUN WMA. Have previously explored the W half of the WMA many times so today checked out the E half. The Long Path
W of CR6 - easy walking mostly on dirt roads & snowmobile trails
past 3 pretty man-made ponds - White Birch Lake, Fawn Lake & Tubbs
Pond. Some off-trail exploits to get a closer look at Fawn Lake
Outlet - steep slippery slopes in the ravine. Drove Partridge Run
Rd (rough dirt) E of CR6 then hiked E on the Long Path. Wood Duck
Trail under water at Pickerel Pond thanks to beavers making new pond on
the L with a long dam. R on Kingfisher Rd (good dirt), L on East
Gravel Pit to height of land then headed back. Some snow patches
& pond ice. Very peaceful - saw no-one. Southern zone
regular deer hunting season starts Sat Nov 17. 4.4 hours.
Nov 12 - CHIMNEY BLUFFS on LAKE ONTARIO hike. The state park
has over 4 miles of trails & ~ 2 miles of waterfront.
Highlights are the Bluff Trail which follows the top edge of the bluffs
(no fences, barriers, etc) with views of the most interesting formations
(spires & ridges cut out of a glacial drumlin) & the lake
(clear aqua water) & the pebble/rock beach. Wind predicted to
exceed 20mph so I did not bring a boat - the bluffs blocked the S wind
& the lake was calm near shore - darn! 5+ hours. Checked
out put-ins on East Bay & its marshy creeks, grape-growing
Nov 7 - BENNETT & MIDDLE LAKES hike,
from Creek Rd, N of Northville. Temp in the 30s, gotta get
acclimated to colder temps & you don't do that by staying
inside. The trail is along an old road, now also a snowmobile
trail. Have to leave the main trail to get a good look at
Bennett. Also left the main trail & followed a fisherman's
path counterclockwise around Middle passing thru some choice campsites
in hemlock woods. Built a small campfire at lunch. Very
quiet, nice clear green water. 7 miles, 500' el gain, 4.7
Nov 5 - HUYCK PRESERVE hike.
Rensselaerville, SW Albany County. 32f when I started, never got
out of the 30s, 30F in late afternoon on way home. 12 miles of
well-marked trails in the preserve, new signposts at junctions;
1,700'-1,900' elevation. From Pond Hill Rd to Wheeler-Watson Trail
passing an old graveyard. Partridge Path trails to new Loop Three
- nice new bridge over a stream. Went clockwise. Variety of
trees but I just love the large areas of open hardwoods with minimal
understory. Scenic small falls & cascades on tributary to
Ten-mile Creek. Around North Hill to Wood Rd, a gravel road.
Across the road is a beaver pond in the Partridge Run WMA. Trail
then follows Ten-mile Creek back to bridge & crosses a powerline
twice. Glimpses of the Catskills. Grouse. 7.5 miles,
4.5 hours. Can't wait to ski here.
Nov 4 - HUDSON RIVER from
Coxsackie. Temp in mid 40s. Launched 3.5 hours before low
tide. Paddled N staying to the W side of Coxsackie &
Rattlesnake Islands (2 eagle nests on the latter). Into Coxsackie
Creek which is navigable for a half mile. S on the river on the E
side of the islands. Continued past the put-in & stopped for
lunch. Clouds had come in & NW wind picked up to 15 knots with
higher gusts so we just headed back into the wind with 1' waves.
Saw 2 barges, a ship, a tour boat all heading upstream. 3.5
Oct 31 - GRAFTON LAKES STATE PARK.
Paddled the perimeters of 4 bodies of water in the main part of the
park - short carries between them. From main parking area headed
down to Shaver Pond, the most "remote" of the ponds. Back across
the parking lot to the swim beach on Long Pond, at a mile long the
largest of the ponds. Then down to Second & Mill Ponds, back
to Second & Long & out. It's not the St. Regis Canoe Area
but it is a lot closer to home. Deer, geese, mergansers,
mink. 3.2 hours. 17th day of paddling in October. Swift Keewaydin 15, a lightweight 15' solo canoe. Pro Lite Elbow a lightweight bent shaft paddle.
Oct 29&30 - HURRICANE SANDY.
Monday: tied down some boats, gassed up, shopped for groceries
(unusually busy), filled growlers with water. Still not raining so
went over to Lock 7 & walked loops on both sides of the bike path
(unusually deserted) then hung out at the shelter with a view of the
lagoon - gulls seemed to enjoy the wind. Water level on the Mohawk
River/Erie Canal has been drawn down a couple of feet. I wonder
how Asbury Park NJ is holding up - Bruce Springsteen's Sandy. Tuesday: windy but mostly dry & sunny. Photo of Tuckerton NJ looking out into Little Egg Harbor - Nehasane paddled somewhere to the far right of the photo on Oct 11. MOHAWK RIVER from
Lock 7 boat launch. Wind SE mostly 15-20mph - wind opposing
current produced over 1' short period waves - I had a blast! Surf
scoters. Returned under stars & a full moon playing peekaboo
behind some clouds. 1.6 hours. Dagger Axis 10.5,
a 10'8" kayak with skeg (did not use it), a wolf in sheep's clothing,
the only kayak under 12' that I enjoy paddling on "flat" water.
Paddled on over half the days of October.
Oct 28 - HUDSON RIVER - TIVOLI BAYS from
Tivoli. Launched over 3 hours before high tide. Waves over
1' with wind opposing the current. Don't expect to get under the
railroad bridges when going from the river into the bays at high tide;
at mid-tide the current under the bridges can be fairly strong.
Marshy North Bay - explored many channels - look at a satellite photo
to view, most maps do not show some that are passable near high
tide. Late lunch on Cruger Island. Crossed the open (non-marshy)
South Bay to the 50' waterfall on the Saw Kill. Eagle nest, wood
ducks, loon, merganser, red-tailed hawks, 14 mute swans. Views W
to the Catskills. A very scenic area. Foliage past peak but
still some good color on oaks & the occasional maple. 12
miles, 7 hours. Dagger Alchemy 14, a 14' touring kayak.
Oct 27 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Lions Park. Water level even higher than a few days ago.
Paddled up the Lisha Kill, under the bike path & turned around when
blocked by tree & beaver dam. Past the tip of Niska Isle then
downstream along the 3 islands. Back inside the islands. 1.6
hours. Current Designs Vision 120 SP, a 12' 32 lb light touring kayak.
Oct 24 - VISCHER FERRY PRESERVE
hike. Across the Whipple bridge then E along the S side of the
old Erie Canal - a lot of this trail is under a few inches of
water. S on gravel road passing a picnic area on the Mohawk
River. W on wide trails N of dredge spoils area (actually where
aliens land at night;). W on old towpath to old Lock 19 - built
1842 during enlargement of the canal - in 1853 175 boats per day passed
thru this lock. Lots of songbirds incl. chickadees, white-throated
sparrows, cardinals, doves, cedar waxwings. Old towpath back
passing pond. Not much fall color here - big trees have mostly
dropped their leaves already. 2.2 hours.
Oct 23 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Lions Park, Rosendale Rd, Niskayuna. The water chestnuts are
pretty much gone. Downstream a bit then between the islands.
Crossed to the undeveloped Vischer Ferry Preserve side & paddled
upstream to Lock 7 passing some dredging operations. Returned on
the S shore. Water level high. Light drizzle, very calm,
night paddle. 2 hours. Swift Saranac 14, a 14' light touring kayak.
Oct 22 - BONTICOU CRAG hike.
Gotta love that name! Leaf-peeping in the Gunks. Camped at a
primitive camping area at the foot of The Trapps on Rt.299 - nice spot
except steep downhill to campsites from parking area & too close to
road. 3 bears (mother & cubs) passed near to campsite during
my morning coffee. $12pp trail fee at Mohonk Preserve.
Had to use hands, feet & knees to climb the near vertical 150'
cliff face of the Crag - quite the experience. Follow the yellow
blazes of the Bonticou Ascent Path. Great views - spent 1.5 hours
enjoying the top. Returned the easy but longer way thru pitch
pines, oaks & mountain laurel heading N on the Northeast Trail (good
views of the Catskills), L on Clearwater Rd then L on Table Rocks
Trail. Garter & black rat snakes. 5 miles, 4+
Oct 21 - TIVOLI BAYS & POETS' WALK ROMANTIC LANDSCAPE PARK hikes. Leaf-peeping (& romance?) in the Hudson Valley. TIVOLI BAYS. From
canoe launch area walked S on blue trail never far from the bays.
At the junction with the red trail is a lookout with good view of the
Catskills across the marshy North Bay & the Hudson River. Good
view of the open South Bay from a small point. Turned around at
Bard College. Not long into the hike I had to pull a tick off my
arm. White goose, gulls, garter snakes. 2.4 hours. POET'S WALK.
Shocked to see ~50 vehicles in the parking area. Somewhat
park-like. Views of the Hudson, Catskills, Kingston-Rhinecliff
Bridge. 2 miles, 1+ hour.
Oct 16 - MOHAWK RIVER from
Freddie's Park, Albany Marine Service Rd SE of the Rt.9 Crescent
Bridge. To the Northway & back in the dark. Good fall
foliage, nice stars.
Oct 15 - MULLICA RIVER canoeing
from Pleasant Mills, upstream to above Constable Bridge &
back. Lots of high sandy banks. Maples turning red.
Slow to moderate current. 3.5 hours.
Oct 14 - WADING RIVER canoeing.
Evans Bridge to Beaver Branch. Good current, gentler turns, no
major obstructions. Lots of cranberry plants but no berries.
Saw quite a few rental kayaks & canoes on this Sunday with temp
above 70F. 4 hours (incl. long break on a high sandy bank).
Oct 13 - BATSTO RIVER canoeing. Hampton
Furnace to Batsto Lake. Temp below freezing early this morning
but warmed up nicely. Sun shining thru a haze amongst cedars -
looked for elves. Half dozen trees down en route - challenging
getting over or around them (especially for the kayakers). Slow
current, very twisty. 8.6 hours, finished after sunset. 16
mile drive between start & end, some of it on dirt roads.
Oct 12 - OSWEGO RIVER canoeing.
NJ Pine Barrens - pitch pine & oaks on high sandy areas, cedars on
lowland, red maples in swamps. Oswego Lake to Harrisville
Lake. 6.1 mile drive between put-in & take-out. One
obstruction which we had to get out for besides the short portage around
the dam on Oswego Lake. Moderate current, quite twisty. 8 miles,
4.5 hours. "The key incident"! Not good when the key to the
the vehicle at the take-out is in one of the vehicles at the
put-in! Took another 2 hours to get the ranger over to help us.Oct 11 - GREAT BAY BOULEVARD WMA kayaking, Tuckerton NJ From
end of road there is a short carry to a beach at the end of the
peninsula which separates Little Egg Harbor & Great Bay, the inlet
to the Atlantic Ocean is not far out. NE on Shooting
Thorofare. Poked into a small creek & got up it quite a
ways. Out toward Little Egg Harbor, a large bay. L into
Little Sheepshead Creek which is fairly wide even at low tide. L
into Newman's Thorofare. An old fish factory is seen on the
eastern of the Seven Islands. Could see Atlantic City ~10 miles
away. Paddled against a strong current especially around Hatfield
Point as the tide was coming in. Coast Guard Station.
Egrets, little blue heron. 4 hours.
Oct 10 - ABSEGAMI LAKE canoeing,
Bass River State Forest near Tuckerton NJ. Moved into a
campground "shelter", a small cabin w/living area & 2 bunkrooms
w/double bunks. Paddled the small lake right from our
shelter. Turtles, osprey. Oct 10-15 - SOUTHERN NJ.
Oct 9 - HARDING BEACH
walk. Practically deserted the day after Columbus Day.
Cloudy & some drizzle. To Stage Harbor inlet & back to
parking lot. 2+ miles.
Oct 8 - NAUSET MARSH from
Hemenway Rd. Started after high tide. Headed N & into
Salt Pond where we saw National Seashore Visitor Center & oysters
growing in cages on the water. NE from Salt Pond Bay but entrance
to Nauset Bay was already too shallow so turned SE into Robins Channel
which wound its way to the inlet where we were met by many grey
seals. The inlet is actually N of what is shown on most maps &
guidebooks - a recent aerial photo
shows it best. After a beach break we paddled S down the Straits
of Magellan staying near the deep water of the boating channel with
Nauset Beach on one side & the marsh on the other. The current
from the outgoing tide was quite noticeable here. Around The Horn
then back along Skiff Hill Creek passing the Fort Hill area - some
shallow spots. Finished at low tide. Horseshoe crabs, crabs,
lesser yellowlegs, water spout from buried clam, terns, gulls, great
blue herons. 5 hours.
Oct 7 - PLEASANT BAY from
Ryder Cove. Wind NNW 5-10 knots. Launched after high
tide. Passing a marina & many moored boats we entered this
very large bay. Some strong currents witnessed with the outgoing
tide. Circumnavigated Strong Island - a mansion sits at its W end
but the rest of the island is open to the public. The SW shore was
fascinating at the edge of marsh - watch out for shallow areas,
sandbars at low tide. After a stop at Fox Hill (where I found a
most interesting finger sponge) we poked into Crows Pond before
finishing. Harbor seals, eiders, crabs. 5 hours.
Oct 6 - STAGE HARBOR, Chatham. 10-25
knot winds from SSW. From town landing on Oyster Pond
River. Passed the back side of Harding Beach into Stage
Harbor, choppy at N end. After a break at the beach we crossed the
inlet (watch out for boat traffic & currents) to E side of
harbor. Beaches & dunes on either side of the inlet are
undeveloped except for an old lighthouse. Kite boarders enjoyed
the wind here & on Nantucket Sound. Explored small creeks on
back side of Harding Beach on way back - fiddler crabs, mussels,
willet. 5.5 hours. Oct 6-9 - CAPE COD. Stayed in Chatham. Low tide mid-day.
Oct 2 - HUDSON RIVER from
boat launch next to Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Paddled
upstream, turned around around high tide. Osprey, eagle. 2
barges (interesting when they go past in the dark), tour boat.Oct 1 - CEDARLANDS,
W of Long Lake. Public Access to McRorie Aug 20 thru June 23 -
scouts have it most of summer altho resident camp was cancelled this
year due to lack of funds, staff & attendees. 0.7 miles carry
on dirt roads to MUD POND. Bald eagle. Up the shallow inlet. 0.3 mile carry to McRORIE LAKE
(aka Rock Pond) - when you reach the dirt road take a L, cross bridge
then in 75' look R for 200' path to put-in on the outlet (this junction
was unmarked, some blowdown blocked the way & I missed it at
1st). Paddled 5 miles along the circumference of the lake.
Mt Masters dominates. Evergreens incl. cedars on shoreline,
gorgeous multi-colored hillsides at peak. Loon, mergansers.
Camping not currently allowed. O.A. OVERLOOK on MUD POND
MTN (aka O.A. Mtn), a very steep 35 min. lung-busting climb, 25 min.
knee-busting descent - used route from western bay mentioned in Phil
Brown's new book - gain of 675' in under a mile - worth the effort with
view of the Santanonis, Kempshall & Goodnow Mtns, the Fishing Brook
Range & parts of Long Lake. 6.1 hours.
Sep 30 - ROCK LAKE,
between Indian & Blue Mtn Lakes. 0.7 mile carry each way from
Rtes 28/30 - trail had rocks, roots, mud & puddles - glad I wore my
Chota Quicklace Mukluks. Put in on Johnny Mack Brook just below
the snowmobile bridge. Had to go over a beaver dam just before the
small lake. Paddled around the lake then up the Rock River for
<1 mile to a beaver dam at a small rapids (in fairer weather I might
have found a way over it & continued upstream). Brilliant fall
foliage. Top of Blue Mtn in the clouds. Bald eagle. 3
hours in the rain... Swift Keewaydin 15, a 15' solo canoe. Sep 25 - HUDSON RIVER from
123rd St boat launch in Lansingburgh. Launch is currently closed
off to motorboats - not complaining. Classic case of S wind
opposing the current created some waves. Rode the tailwind up to
& around the islands below Lock 1. Saw a pair of bald
eagles. Return in the dark under the moon - nice! Lightly
Sep 16&17 - LITTLE TUPPER LAKE.
A 6 mile long motorless lake. Paddled most of the perimeter W of
the put-in + parts of outlets of Charlie Pond, Rock Pond, Otter Pond
& Bum Pond. Swamp maples in stream areas were deep red, some
color change on the hills. Loons incl. a juvenile, bald eagle,
bittern. Camped on an island. Very quiet on a Sunday
night. Clear starry night, saw shooting star. Misty
morning. Some ankle-biters in the sun when temp got up over 65F
(only at end of trip). Wilderness Systems Zephyr, a sea/touring
kayak - just about fit all my gear inside incl. the oversize deluxe
sleeping pad. Sep 15 - LAKE DURANT. Spent a chilly 40F night at a primitive car camping site. Did not paddle but the sky at dusk was painterly.
Sep 11 - MOHAWK RIVER from Freeman's Bridge boat launch in Glenville. Upstream & around the 1st couple of islands.Sep 6-10 - INDIAN LAKE.
4 nights at campsite #35 at N end of Long Island. Water level
drawn down 7' below normal summer level - exposed more interesting rocky
shores & beaches. Day 2: Visited the waterfalls on Griffin
Brook on W shore before crossing & paddling along W side of
islands. Hike to Baldface Mtn - climb of 580' in 1.3 miles - very
nice views. Paddled further N but turned around before the
narrows. 14 miles paddling. Day 3: Very windy. Waiting
out the tornado watch. (24 boats capsized on Long Lake during the
90 Miler race - story).
Day 4: Emancipation Island. Jessup River very shallow - had to
line the canoes 100' to land at the picnic area. 0.3 mile hike to
30' Dug Mountain Brook falls. Stopped at Chocolate Bar (campsite
#50). Nice view of High Peaks (incl. Algonquin, Colden, Marcy) on
way back to camp. 15 miles. Day 5: High temp in the 50s
& windy too! Ankle-biting flies when sunny & warm (above
70F); no mosquitoes. Some motorboats. Swift Keewaydin 16, a
lightweight 16' tandem canoe - video.
Sep 5 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch. Great egrets.Sep 2&3 - LONG LAKE & RAQUETTE RIVER.
Great view of the Sewards all the way up LL & of the Santanonis
(replete with Ermine Brook Slide) from the N end of the lake.
Stopped at a beach for lunch & swim - cut short by biting flies
("ankle-biters" - look like house flies) - bugs not really a problem
rest of trip. Mouth of RR very shallow. 15.1 miles from the
state boat launch in Long Lake Village to start of the 1.3 mile carry
around Raquette Falls. Doubled the early uphill on the carry then
singled the rest. Camped at campsite #3 amongst conifers, the
closest to the river (from the carry trail take the Lower Falls Trail
100 yds). Ranger Gary visited with us both evening &
morning. Labor Day: took a short walk to the Lower Falls in the
morning - still an impressive 10' drop despite lower than normal
water. 13.1 mile paddle downstream on the Raquette River to "The
Crusher" state boat launch on Rt.3, E of Tupper Lake Village. Very
shallow at first. Low shores with silver maples, some piney
upland. Many campsites & a few lean-tos along the way.
Lunch & swim at sandy beach near Stoney Creek. Fair amount of
motorboats on Long Lake, a handful on the Raquette (most going too
fast), a few paddlers too. Swift Keewaydin 15 solo canoe. Sep 1 - LAKE EATON.
Stayed at the state campground & could not resist going out for a
short paddle to watch the moon rise. 4 loons. The campground
takes up a lot of shoreline & there are quite a few cottages on the
rest of the lake. Some motorboats.Aug 28 - MOHAWK RIVER from Kiwanis Park, Rt. 5S in Rotterdam. Paddled upriver past the Mabee Farm
(saw 2 of their bateaux being rowed on the river) to Lock 9 -
interesting to see the work that has been done around the lock which was
heavily-impacted by Irene exactly one year ago. Swift Saranac Classic, a 14' lightweight touring kayak. Aug 26&27 - NEWCOMB LAKE.
Carted in 4+ miles on dirt road, 1.6 hours - gently gain 350' in 3+
miles then lose over 200' in the next mile. Tried both
carrying pack on back & pulling a light load and placing the pack in
middle of canoe & pulling a heavier load - the latter was
easier. Good launch spots near the bridge before the great
camp. Camp Santanoni
- in the boathouse were a Dagger Axis 10.5 kayak (later seen at Fish
Rock Lean-to), a guideboat, 2 canoes & 3 rowboats ( a couple of
people have said that they are usable by the general public). View
of Mt. Santanoni which towers 2,900' above the lake. Paddled the N
shore & then set up camp in the Ward Pond Brook Lean-to - sandy
bottom here great for swimming, lots of blowdown meant no shortage of
firewood, view of Baldwin Mt which rises 1,100' above the lake, picnic
table. Lots of loons - a hawk flying overhead sent a pair of loons
into a tizzy. Explored the inlet on the W end going over 2 beaver
dams & under a footbridge before logs blocked the way. Day 2 -
Paddled under the road bridge & into Upper Duck Hole (2 beavers
here) which then widens into lilypad-filled Lower Duck Hole which
is very shallow averaging 1.5' in depth. Then into the Newcomb
River - there is a good unmarked trail on the L which I think is used by
a hunting club, a couple of rowboats that have seen better days are
nearby. After this the river drops thru an unrunnable rocky
area. Returned to dirt road & wheeled out. Many folks
hike, bike, jog or ride a horse carriage to the great camp - over 30
signed in Sunday. I believe there is only one horse carriage
operator going in these days & he (O'Donnell?) only takes people,
not boats - the two operators mentioned in McMartin's Fun on Flatwater guidebook
are no more. Only a few backpackers see the rest of Newcomb
Lake. A few mosquitoes in the evening, a couple of biting flies on
the water - no reason for DEET. Swift Keewaydin 15,
a 15' solo kevlar canoe @ 30 lbs - maiden voyage, will make an
excellent replacement for the Merlin II. The cart I used is an old
Wheeleez similar to the Harmony one - beware some look-alikes that are
weak. Aug 21 - KILLINGTON VT.
Trade show - checking out what's new for 2013 incl. stand up
paddleboards. New Wilderness Systems Aspire 105, a 10.5' rec
kayak with skeg:
Aug 20 - BASS HOLE area from Grays Beach in Yarmouthport, Cape Cod. Walk on boardwalk across marsh. Fiddler & green crabs. Light S wind. Launched 4 hours before high tide & there was a good current to paddle against to get out onto Cape Cod Bay. The bay was quite calm with clear water & shallow areas. Paddled SW toward Barnstable & then NE past Chapin Beach. Dunes closed off to allow for nesting terns & plovers. Back thru the inlet & up Chase Garden Creek. Look carefully for the miniature flowers of sea lavender. Bass Hole area probably best 2 hours either side of high tide to avoid max currents. Aug 19 - POPPONESSET BAY near Mashpee on CAPE COD. From town landing on Ockway Bay off Great Neck Rd. Across the bay & into Fullers Marsh - great egret, little green herons. Out thru the inlet & onto Nantucket Sound. N wind 5-10 knots, waves up to 1'. Popponesset Beach - lunch & swim on almost a mile of undeveloped beach. Across the bay & up the Mashpee River - some development at 1st but soon into conservation land. Large quantities of osprey. Some motorboats - there is a narrow deep water channel across the bay. Dagger Alchemy, a most versatile & fun 14' touring kayak. Aug 14 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS from 123rd St boat launch in Lansingburgh. Visited the falls to the S of cliffy Peebles Island then went around N side past the Onrust. Played in the current & eddies near the paper mill. Osprey.
Aug 13 - LAKEVIEW WMA from Lakeview Pond (more open water than the other ponds). Lilypad filled channel to Sandy Creek. Connector to Mud Brook (much lilypads). Down to Floodwater Pond. Lake Ontario - playing in the surf. Lunch on south beach. Up South Sandy Creek. Narrow connector to shallow North Colwell Pond (half lilypad filled). Back to Lakeview Pond. Harrier, kingbirds. Lovely area - enjoyed it immensely. 5.6 hours. Aug 12 - LAKEVIEW WMA on E shore of Lake Ontario NNW of Pulaski NY. Camped at Selkirk Shores Sate Park (campsites have no privacy but had sights & surf sounds of Lake Ontario, a lot less people on Sunday night). South Sandy Creek from Rt.3 - fairly wide & clear of vegetation. Goose Pond - only able to poke in a bit before there was too much vegetation. Floodwater Pond - semi-open water amongst lilypads, shallow. Out to Lake Ontario & playing in the waves, surf up to 4'. Lunch on north shore. Miles of sand beach, dunes separate lake from marsh. Sandy Creek (fairly wide) upstream until we saw houses (most of trip undeveloped). Up channel toward Lakeview Pond & stopped at lookout platform (not a good landing) with view of the lake on one side & the marsh on the other. Out on South Sandy Creek. Cattails, arrowhead (2 types), yellow pond lily, white fragrant lily, floating hearts, pickerelweed, purple loosestrife & lots more flowers. Gulls, terns, sandpipers, plovers, swallows, gb herons, kingfishers. 5.5 hours. Dagger Alchemy 14.0, a most versatile 14' kayak.
Aug 7 - HUDSON RIVER CHAMPLAIN CANAL from Lock 1, Lock 1 Rd in Halfmoon. Upstream almost to Lock 2. Halfmoon Lighthouse Park - new, dock too high for most kayakers. Bald eagle. Wilderness Systems Tempest 165, a sweet 16.5' sea/touring kayak.
Aug 6 - ST REGIS CANOE AREA. From town launch on Upper St Regis Lake - some motorboats, impressive camps, steward checks boats for invasives. Motor-free & quiet: short carry to Bog Pond. Very short carry to Bear Pond, some private shoreline. Little Long Pond. Green Pond, clear green water. St Regis Pond, biggest lake in the canoe area, lunched on island. Short portages. Paddled the outlet (the beginning of the West Branch St Regis River, fish barrier dam, 5 beaver dams & some debris to squeeze past) to Ochre Pond (took ~30 mins.) but carried back 0.75 miles to St Regis Pond in 12 mins. Saw quite a few canoes, 2 kayaks. Views of St Regis Mtn firetower from several locations. Many unoccupied campsites on a Monday. Loons, osprey, hawk, deer. 7 hours. 10 lakes/ponds & 11 carries on the day. No biting flies & just a couple of mosquitoes. The last day I paddle the Bell Merlin II, a 15' 33 lb solo canoe - glides thru the water quietly, a great design that has got me thru many miles of portages, big waves & wind, a bit of class II whitewater, camping trips... Will be replaced by a Swift Keewaydin 15, designer Dave Yost's latest 15' solo canoe design & 30lbs in kevlar.
Aug 5&6 - OSGOOD POND. Put in on Church Pond in Paul Smiths. A short channel leads into Little Osgood Pond (aka Frog Pond) then a shallow canal leads into Osgood. Secured a lean-to on Paul Smiths College easement land at SW end of lake expecting storms later in day. Shores dominated by white & red pines. Paddled over to White Pine Camp - very windy. Lots of time for RnR & swimming from the sand beach at the lean-to. Storm finally came thru at dinner time - 2 people in canoe got caught in 30+mph winds, initially paddling toward us but got swept down the lake. Some small leaks in back of lean-to. Loons. Some road noise. A few cottages on the lake. Only saw one motorboat. No biting flies & just a couple of mosquitoes, some non-biting flies around lean-to. Cool morning, broke camp & paddled out via Frog & Church.
Aug 4&5 - LITTLE GREEN POND. Drove up Sat evening & lucky to get a wonderful spacious primitive drive-in campsite amongst red pines at the edge of the St Regis Canoe Area. Fishing not allowed. Loons. Get camping permit at nearby fish hatchery.
Aug 1 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 Rd. 100yd carry to muddy beach. Eagle on tree below the dam. Paddled down to the islands. Full moon was a no-show - too many clouds. Dramatic sunset cloudshapes & colors tho. Many little green herons, great egret flying. Dagger Zydeco 11.0, an 11' recreational kayak, stable & slow.
July 31 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch. Nice almost full moon. Lots of gulls. Dagger Axis 12.0, a 12' kayak, a wolf in sheep's clothing.
July 29 - BATTEN KILL from Eagleville above the covered bridge to CR61 in Battenville. Recent rain has brought the water up to a decent level - I like to see the Battenville gauge above 4.4'. 5' today, a very nice level. Quickwater, riffles & some class 1 rapids - still have to watch out for strainers/sweepers on outside of turns. The stretch between the Shushan & Rexleigh covered bridges is especially nice with little sign of civilization except for the defunct Battenkill Railroad tracks & bridges. Lunch & cool swim on gravel/sand beach on an island. A couple of miles before the take-out there are trees across most of the stream, a small sneak route does exist to the L however. Not far from the end there is a ledge on the L side of the river where some of us decided to play - more keeper hole than surfing wave. I got sideways in it & had to paddle along the trough to find a spot where it would release me, meanwhile water piled over the gunwale into the canoe making it very unstable. Got to shore to empty out & noticed one of our kayakers had capsized. Lots of cedar waxwings flitting about, little green heron, osprey & nest, hawk, an owl flew across in front of me. 14 miles, 6 hours. Wenonah Wilderness, a 15'4" solo canoe. July 24 - MOHAWK RIVER from concrete ramp boat launch at end of Flight Lock Rd in Waterford, above Lock 6. Local fire departments doing dive practice near launch. Easy paddle past Rt.9 bridge, N shore somewhat developed, Colonie landfill on S shore (you don't want a S wind). Nice tailwind to finish. Swift Saranac 14, a 14' light touring kayak.
July 22 - WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER from 1st bridge (upstream, eastern) on Rt. 10 to just before Shaker Place. Water fairly low. Tree across the stream about a mile from start - muddy 20' portage/drag on river R. Not far below 2nd bridge there is a logjam of floating logs that we just pushed thru (a great blue heron reluctantly gave up its spot on one of the logs) & a large beaver dam that was easily hopped over. Side-trips into Good
Recently watched an "instructor" from a chain store demonstrate the paddlefloat self-rescue - altho he got back in his kayak he had a lot of pumping to do. When we do this there is very little water in the kayak & pumping is not needed - it's all about better technique.June 26 - HUDSON RIVER from Corning Preserve boat launch in Albany. Launched after low tide & headed down to the Port of Albany passing the USS Slater. Dagger Alchemy, a playful 14' kayak. National Canoe Day (Canada). June 24 - ALANDER MOUNTAIN hike from the N. No other cars in the parking area on Rt.344 when I pulled in at 8:45am, 50+ cars/mobikes/bus when I pulled out in mid-afternoon - most everybody going the 0.75 miles to Bash Bish Falls. Crossed Bash Bish Brook on a good bridge & followed white markers on the S Taconic Trail. Sometimes very steep. The undulating trail from Bash Bish Mtn (no view) to Alander is very attractive, mostly oaks. Still some mountain laurel blossoms (but toward end of season for that); blueberries all over the place. Views in all directions from near the summit if you move around a bit. Greylock stands out to the N; Brace & Frissell to the S; Catskills to the W; Everett & Race to the E. Lots of birdsong; no rattlers today. 7 miles, 1,300' elevation gain, 5.3 hours. No shortage of daylight this time of year so still time to explore KINDERHOOK CREEK by canoe. Put in next to CR21 bridge SE of Kinderhook. Only able to go about a half mile in either direction - downstream there was a logjam blocking the way & rocky shallows upstream. Very shallow overall. Bald eagle. Wenonah Wilderness, a 15.5' solo canoe. June 19 - MOHAWK RIVER from Kiwanis Park, Route 5S, Rotterdam. Concrete ramp boat launch. Downstream for over 2 miles. 37 paddlers in 34 boats went thru the lock (called lockmaster earlier to give him a heads-up) Milled about for bit below the lock then went back in the lock to be raised 14'. Interesting, especially with a large Albany ADK group. Perception Expression 14.5, smaller version of this versatile touring kayak. June 17 - THE BATTENKILL from Rt.313 bridge in Arlington VT to CR64 bridge in Shushan NY. Battenville gauge at 4.93', visual gauge in Arlington at 2.3' - boney in spots, hit a few rocks but did not get stuck. Quickwater, riffles & class 1 whitewater. Clear cool water. A couple of capsizes in the group - good to have throw bag with me. Very nice scenery; VT section stays closer to Rt.313, NY section gets further away from roads. Fair number of tubers on the river in the pm - hard to dodge them. Watch out for strainers on outside of turns. Nice wave to play in at an old wood dam upstream of CR61 bridge - watch out for metal rods tho. Went under covered bridges in W Arlington & Eagleville. 15.4 miles, 7 hours. Dagger Axis 10.5 - not quite as turny or surf as well as the Approach but still quite able, glides better than the Approach.
June 15 - GARNSEY PARK walk. On Rt.146 in Clifton Park, less than a mile E of Blue Barn Rd. Dew-laden grassy trails. New natural area with 1.3 miles of figure 8 loops much of it thru overgrown fields. View E to Taconics & maybe Greylock. Lots of flowers incl. thistle & black-eyed susan. Wild turkey, chipmunk. June 14 - MIGHTY WATERS Conference at Union College. Congressman Paul Tonko, Union College president Stephen Ainlay & others. Tonko bill HR5927. Cuomo collaboration announced today - NYS sets up a cabinet level work group for upper Hudson & Mohawk River revitalization. I could not stay all day so missed some more good stuff. More.June 13 - HUDSON RIVER from Coeymans. Close to low tide. N past (& under) the boats moored at the marina. A short distance into Coeymans Creek gorge. Crossed the river & went S along shore of Schodack Island SP. Surfed a motorboat wake. Explored Hannacroix Creek which enters from the W. Dagger Axis 12.0, a playful 12' kayak with skeg, great initial & secondary stability. June 10 - THE BATTENKILL from Richville Rd a little S of Manchester Village VT to the picnic area at the NY state line. Battenville gauge at 5.14', visual gauge in Arlington at 2.5' - hit a few rocks but never got stuck. The 1st 4 or 5 miles is fairly flat with some riffles & a logjam we had to get out for - being further from main roads it is quieter than downstream with very nice scenery incl. Mt. Equinox which rises 3,000' above the valley floor & The Burning in the Lye Brook Wilderness rising almost 2,000' to the S. The stream has changed some since Irene - at "The Rock" class 2 section there is less deep route on the outside & the tree that was jammed to the R of the rock is gone & now you can paddle either side of the rock. After that there are some class 1+ rapids then mostly class 1. Found some surfable waves en route. Mink, cows, orioles. 15+ miles (East-Central guidebook says 15 miles but I'm sure it is 2 or 3 miles more), 6 hours. Dagger Approach, a fun maneuverable 10' kayak. June 8 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7. Osprey. WS Zephyr 155, a 15.6" playful sea kayak, very enjoyableJune 5 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions/RR Station Park in Niskayuna. Lock 7 dam & back. Couple of bald eagles, one diving for dinner; more great blue herons than I've been seeing this spring; spotted sandpipers, cedar waxwings. Swift Saranac 15, the latest in the Saranac series, designed by Dave Yost for himself with a roomier cockpit for the less agile but with no compromise in performance - tracks well, speedy, turns easily - the LV (low volume) version felt best on me. Swift Canoes & Kayaks - Construction & Features - videos.June 3 - WEST BRANCH DELAWARE RIVER. CR26 bridge to Fairgrounds in Walton, NY. Walton gage at 4' - a bit shallow in spots but an ok level. Mostly quickwater, some riffles & a couple of easy class 1 rapids. Very nice scenery but too close to roads so some roadnoise intrudes. Fairly wide for the most part & not as twisty as some streams, wind can be a factor on the straights. Several merganser families, some with over 20 chicks. 9 miles, 3.5 hours. Mad River Reflection 15, a 15'4" canoe paddled solo from center seat. Checked out some upstream launch spots on the drive home - the W Branch has 18-25 miles of paddlable water.
June 1 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions/RR Station Park, Rosendale Rd, Niskayuna. Water chestnut growing in but not a major problem yet. Got thru to the main river between the upstream & middle islands but only just in 3" of water, returned between middle & downstream islands, a little bit deeper here. Paddled up to Lock 7. Current Designs Breeze, a 13.5' transitional touring kayak.
May 31 - LISHA KILL PRESERVE walk, Rosendale Rd Niskayuna. A gem with its huge white pines, hemlocks & oaks. Also very scenic streamside. So fortunate to have this close to home & work. Signposts allow you to use your device to learn more - personally I prefer nature without the technology - you can listen after the fact here. May 30 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch in Niskayuna. Water level high, lots of debris floating about, water chestnut starting to grow in. Red-tailed hawk, mallards, great blue heron. Swift Kiwassa 13.2, a 13'2" kayak weighing as low as 32 lbs. Reports coming in on Adirondack bugs: blackflies not too bad, mosquitoes picking up, deerflies starting to make an appearance. Original Bugshirts Elite Edition in stock. May 28 - SCHOHARIE CREEK from Middleburgh to Sloansville (Esperence Fishing Access Site on Rt.30A). Water levels: Breakabeen 2.6', Burtonsville 1.6' - a bit bumpy in a couple of rapids but ok. Interesting to see the creek post-Irene. Some class 1 rapids, riffles & long stretches of flatwater. Some light development. ~2.2 miles in there are strainers in the deep water on the R - we lined the boats in the shallows on the L - the L might be runnable with 6" more water. Other strainers easily avoidable by skilled paddlers. Cottonball-like pollen snowing down from cottonwoods. Saw bald eagles munching on a fish on rock in middle of river, sandpipers, red-tailed hawks, merganser families, owl. 14 miles, 4 hours (short lunch break). Dagger Axix 10.5 - does not flat spin as well as the Approach but turns easily when edged & is faster on the flats. May 27 - HOOSIC RIVER from N Adams, MA to Pownal, VT. Class 1+. 2nd rapid from the start has a new rock midstream & there is only a narrow area either side of it. One hardly notices Williamstown when passing thru & then the river becomes very scenic as it cuts thru the Taconic Range. Bald eagles, oriole, red-tailed hawk, turkey vulture, mergansers, mallards, grackles, kingfisher, killdeer, sandpipers, bank swallows. 9.7 miles, 5 hours at a leisurely pace. Williamstown gage at 5.6' - decent level, a couple of scratchy spots. Lots of fun in the Dagger Approach. The Nature Conservancy closes the Barberville Falls Preserve in Rensselaer Couty - story. Now in stock: new map & guide to the Hudson River from Bill's Maps May 22 - HUDSON RIVER, VLOMAN KILL, PAPSCANEE CREEK from boat launch next to Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Downstream near high tide on the Hudson to the VK & paddled up to the falls which were running pretty well after recent rains. Goats & farm ducks. Crossed the unusually calm Hudson & up a ways on the PC. Got to watch bald eagles feeding their young in nest.
Now in stock: "A Kayaker's Guide to Lake George, the Saratoga Region & Great Sacandaga Lake" a new guidebook by Russell Dunn.
May 21 - GREAT SACANDAGA LAKE from state boat launch on Lakeview Rd in Broadalbin, cartop boat launch is to the R, sand/rock beach. Paddled N along the E shore. Moderate development - not very interesting. Nice view of hills to the N & W. Crossed over to Sand Island which has an extensive sandy beach. Mallards with ducklings. A few motorboats on a Monday - expect more on weekends. 2.6 hours. May 20 - BIG MOOSE LAKE. Camped 2 nights at Mason Lake - colorful sunrises; jack-in-the-pulpit; pair of loons, pair of osprey, hummingbirds, ducks flying by, loud frogs, noisy campers Sat nite, quiet Sunday nite. Drove to BML which has many camps on it, mostly tasteful brown & green. Paddled NW from the beach/launch at end of Higby Rd & into North Bay, the far end of which is state land. At Pine Point there is a tall pine, a campsite & path to Merriam Lake. Loons & fish - 2 fishermen in a canoe had already caught 9 bass. Paddled back to the main lake then E along the N shore to the Inlet, a shallow bay with boggy shores. Various shades of green on steep hillsides to the N. Up the inlet for 0.3 miles to trailhead for Andy's Creek lean-to & Sister Lakes. There is an impressive semi-circular beaver dam holding back water in Andy's Creek. Another dam at the unnamed stream draining the E. Trail goes over a wet area on boardwalk. Painted trillium. Back to the lake, around East Bay. A few blackflies - no swarms. Temp in 80s might be too hot for BFs, they like 65-75F. A few motorboats. 5.2 hours. May 18 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch in Niskayuna. Water level low. Red-tailed hawk, bank swallows, sandpipers. I enjoy looking at the variety of plants (incl. flowering columbine) clinging to the shale cliffs. Swift Adirondack 13.6, a 13'8" large cockpit (good for tanning the legs) light touring kayak, as light as 32 lbs. May 15 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS from 123rd St boat launch in Lansingburgh. Some good current thanks to recent rain. Went around each side of Peebles Island & its falls & cliffs. Practiced going in & out of eddies & currents. Dagger Approach, a 10' river-running kayak. May 14 - INDIAN LAKE from Lewey Lake campsite #2 on Rt.30. Some drizzle in the morning but got some sun when I got out to paddle. Fresh moose tracks going right thru the campsite. S wind 0-10mph. Headed to John Mack Bay. SW part not too interesting but channel to the SE of the bay was nice - saw wood ducks & peepers were peeping. Stopped at John Mack Island (campsite #28) with sand beach & view across the bay to Snowy. Back around N & W sides of Long Island. Saw 3 motorboats (2 of which were campground workers), no other paddlers. 10 miles, 3.4 hours. May 13 - INDIAN LAKE from state boat launch off Rt.30. Camped for 2 nights near the launch - technically part of Lewey Lake Campground, roadnoise, view of Snowy Mtn. Spring peepers & loons provided the music. Boat access campsites on the lake are part of Indian Lake Islands Campground & should be reserved ahead of time (May 17-Oct 7 season, free outside of that time span). Some development mostly on W shore & at N end of lake. Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area is to the E. Paddled NE, then E of Long Island, then up E shore past several islands. Stopped at Long Beach picnic area. Turned back around Doherty Island (campsite #7) & crossed to W side. Stopped to check out falls on Griffin Brook in a small cove S of campsite #11. View of Snowy Mtn much of the way - rises 2,250' above the lake. SW wind 5-15mph - waves less than 1'. Mergansers (males in breeding plumage), gulls, hairy woodpecker, osprey, merlin, sandpipers, hummingbird, mallards, C geese, chipmunk, red squirrels, beaver; red & painted trillium. Some blackflies on land but they didn't seem very hungry - quite bearable - no need for DEET or the Original Bugshirt - did pre-impregnate some of my clothing with permethrine tho. Saw 3 motorboats, no other paddlers. 14 miles, 5.5 hours. Wilderness Systems Zephyr 155, a 15.5' sea kayak, more maneuverable than most - the 155 is the smaller version, I am 5'11" & had 240 lbs on board comfortably, I still think I like the roomier 160 better. Check out the old map at the boat launch & the cute local names; examples: Baldy Mtn instead of Baldface, Dorothy - Doherty, Johnny Mack Bay, Popple Point - Poplar. May 9 - MOHAWK RIVER - from Freddie's Park in Latham, just SE of the Rt.9 Crescent Bridge - Canada geese & goslings will leave their guano in the park so watch where you step. Water level high with noticeable current - easy to go upstream on S side of islands - this area can be very shallow in low water. Bald eagle & nest, beaver. Swift Bering Sea, a fast 15'10" touring kayak.May 6&7 - FISH CREEK LOOPS from Floodwood Rd. Floodwood Pond (camp), Fish Creek, Little Square, Copperas, Whey, Rollins, Rock Ponds. Fish Creek, Follensby Clear, Horseshoe, Little Polliwog, Polliwog, Middle, Floodwood Ponds. Mostly undeveloped, clear water, some other folks out paddling but very few camping. Mostly bad bug free - a few blackflies on land in the late afternoon - one tried to bite me in the parking area - she is dead now... Music by loons, white-throated sparrows, owls, pileated woodpeckers, spring peepers... May 1 - MOHAWK RIVER from Freeman's Bridge in Glenville. Alplaus Kill. Water level low. Swift Saranac kayak, 14' & as low as 30 lbs.
Apr 29&30 - SHALLOW LAKE & SUCKER BROOK canoe camping. Pigeon Lake Wilderness Area. 1.3 mile carry from Lower Browns Tract Pond. Trail rough at first then got worse as it got wet & muddy passing thru swamp on either side of Beaver Brook. Bridge over the latter has bouncy 3 log stringers at water level. Paddled down the brook half mile to large boggy area. Last 0.9 miles of trail better but not without its muddy spots. Aluminum canoe at the end of the trail. Very windy with waves over 1'. Paddled around E end & settled into an excellent campsite amongst white pines with a long rocky point & commanding view of the lake. 4 hours from the start & the partying began. There are at least 3 other campsites on the lake (did not like 2 of those). Great wilderness feel, very quiet. Wind finally died down in the evening - the next day was much calmer - temp dropped into the 20s overnight. Paddled down Sucker Brook the outlet for half an hour portaging around one downed tree & turned around when I saw 3 more blockages ahead. Paddled up Sucker Brook the inlet for half an hour sliding over a couple of small beaver dams, could have gone further. Loon, mallard & gull pairs; kingfisher, white-throated sparrows, pileated woodpecker, yellowlegs, barred owl, grouse, beaver. No bad bugs.
Apr 27 - RIVERSIDE LOOP TRAIL walk from Lock 7. Short distance NW on bike path past a shelter then right on the loop trail. Didn't see any trail markers (yellow) until taking a L near the river. A spur (white) leads out onto the overgrown jetty/peninsula separating a shallow bay from the main river. Yellow loop trail makes a muddy return to the bike path. River very low - Erie Canal is scheduled to be in operation Apr 28 so maybe they will bring the water level up later today. No sign of any dock at the Lock 7 boat launch - ok for paddlers, not-so-ok for motorboaters.Apr 26 - MOHAWK RIVER STATE PARK loop walk from Whitmyer Rd in Niskayuna. Blue Whit-Shaker Trail to Shaker Gorge Trail (yellow/blue) then R on white trail which parallels the bike path for a while before coming out onto it to avoid private land. Continued SE on bike path then into the preserve again before Lock 7. Bed Spring Ridge trail (red) in the MRSP now has a new link to Whitmyer Rd. Overall, the further you get away from Whitmyer Rd & the wastewater treatment plant, the better.
Apr 25 - SHAKER GORGE SCENIC LOOP TRAIL walk. Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail E from Blatnick Park in Niskayuna - nice view of the Mohawk as the trail goes downhill. After passing the old landfill area look for a yellow-marked trail in the woods on the R. This is part of the new John Brown Trail System adjacent to the Mohawk River SP. Some short steep spots. A special reward awaits the eagle-eyed observer. Apr 24 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions/RR Station Park. Water level now up higher than normal summer level. Muskrats, tree swallows flying close to the water. Dramatic skies this evening - intense double rainbow. Wilderness Systems Tempest touring kayak.
Apr 23 - SHADE SWAMP NATURE TRAIL walk in Farmington CT. Blue Trail makes a couple of loops on dry upland between swampy areas. Drove over to Torrington area & hiked around the pond at BURR POND STATE PARK. Osprey, lots of mountain laurel.
Apr 22 - BECKET MOUNTAIN & beyond hike from Becket Rd. Appalachian Trail in MA within October Mountain SF. 2,200'el - some thru-the-(mostly leafless)trees views. Flowering: lots of trout lilies, hobblebush, yellow & blue violets, spring beauties, purple trillium, sessile bellwort.
Apr 20 - LISHA KILL & MOHAWK RIVER from Lions/RR Station Park on Rosendale Rd in Niskayuna. Water level very low - the 3 islands are all connected with mud flats. Navigational buoys are in so the Canal Corp should have the water level up in a few days. Headed downstream, got somewhat shallow but no problem getting out to the river when well past the last island. Turned around at Forts Ferry, explored the south bay (very shallow at times). Back past the put-in to Niska Isle. Ducks, geese, swallows, hawk, fish jumping, couple of smaller turtles & a large snapping turtle swimming 2' from my paddle blade (yikes!). No other boats of any kind on the water this morning. 1.5 hours. Current Designs Kestrel 140 Roto, a 13'6" kayak.Apr 8-16 - DELMARVA paddling. Windy most days. Bell Prospector canoe & Dagger Alchemy 14 kayak.
Apr 16 - CORKER'S CREEK & POCOMOKE RIVER from Shad Landing, MD. Upstream on Corker's under Rt.113 (bald eagle; wisteria flowering). Cypress swamp. Back downstream to the river & circuit around island back to launch. A turtle day. Nice 2 hour paddle before the ride home.
Apr 15 - EASTERN SHORE OF VIRGINIA NWR. Kayak launch, best a couple of hours either side of high tide. A willet day; snowy egrets, osprey, gb heron, blue & hermit crabs. Explored some small creeks then out into Virginia Inside Passage channel. Stopped at sandy beach at SW end of Raccoon Island - can look past Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to the bay & SE to the Atlantic. Raccoon Creek. Took a long walk on trails, boardwalks & beach at Kiptopeke SP, 9 old concrete ships. Apr 14 - BROCKENBERRY BAY from Oyster, VA. On the ocean side. An oyster day; turtles. Very shallow (launched a little after low tide) but followed pole markers to find deep water. Ramshorn Channel. Lunch on shell "beach" not far from launch - marshy islands do not offer much in the way of places to land. Virginia's Seaside is home to the longest expanse of coastal wilderness remaining on the eastern US seaboard.
Apr 13 - TOM'S COVE & ASSATEAGUE CHANNEL, Chincoteague, VA. Chincoteague NWR. A pony day. Stop at Tom's Cove Visitor Center to find out where launching & landing is allowable. We parked at the neck with the cove on one side & the Atlantic on the other. 2 miles to Assateague Point passing an interesting building on stilts with a huge osprey nest on roof, stopped at Little Beach (view out to the ocean thru the inlet) then explored a creek into Black Duck Marsh where we saw the ponies in the distance. Osprey, great & cattle egrets, bald eagle, willets, terns, gulls. Headwind &am ...
Mar - GORE MOUNTAIN. Some bare spots but still some very nice skiing - turns aplenty! 1,700' elevation change - didn't quite make it to the top. Mostly on green trails, some blue & short run on a black diamond - didn't fall once! Lots of clouds, some sun, decent views. Alpina Lite Terrain skis, Fischer BCX675 boots, Voile 3-pin Cable bindings w/out the cables. 3.7 hours. Mar 19 - CAMP SANTANONI. Took a walk on the carry trail to check out the rapids. Took my time breaking camp - got down to 40F degrees in the am. Checked out a snowmobile trail S of Newcomb - shot. Checked out trail that goes around Vanderwacker Mtn - went less than a mile before hitting a wet area. Back to tried & true Camp Santanoni on Newcomb Lake. Temp in 60s again. Boathouse open - hung out on ramp in front, put the pad down, took off shirt & absorbed the rays. Couple of lawn chairs in boathouse too. Packed snow, lots of icy spots, some short bare spots. 9 miles, 3.9 hours. 10+ miles on the day. Mar 18 - MOOSE POND from Newcomb, same trailhead as Camp Santanoni. 8"-15" of snow - variable conditions, some unconsolidated deeper sections where skis sunk in, some very good sections, some wet spots, some icy spots esp on the road to the camp (nice & fast on the gentle downhills) - temp rising into the 60s. Nasty stream crossing about 2/3rds way in - almost got across makeshift log bridge before slipping in up to top of my thighs - made handrail for rest of Dagang to make things easier. Nice views of Santanoni Peak (& the Ermine Brook Slide) & the Sewards from campsite on S side of the pond. Mostly novice, perhaps easy intermediate closer to the pond. Wetter & thinner snow on last hill. 14.4 miles, 6.8 hours. Camped at 1 of 2 Deerland lean-tos at foot of rapids on the Raquette River where it enters the S end of Long Lake. Mar 14 - WATERS MILLPOND from Potter Homestead on Seeley Rd in Stratford. Sign says WM is 4.2 miles but really it's 3.2. Unplowed Hall Rd for ~1 mile then R on snowmobile Corridor 8A. At 2.6 miles L on trail to WM passing a vly on the R. Bridge over North Creek is out so found remains of a small beaver dam on the vly to cross the stream then bushwhack to WM S of its outlet, a pretty & worthy destination. Explored another vly to the S off 8A. Avg. 8" of variable snow - good to very good skiing most of the time, some icy patches on snowmobile trails tho mainly in center of trail. On the return I rode the center ice down the mostly gently sloping Hall Rd & got up some good speed - fun! 4.4 hours. Mar 12 - CASCADE POND from Lake Durant. NPT. Up to 2' of snow, a bit icy in the am, softening up in the pm with temp rising to 60F - good skiing. Long break at the lean-to. Pileated woodpeckers tapping & calling. Aluminum canoe in decent shape at water's edge. Otter feeding going on & off a rock on the pond. Pond looked wet & slushy. 5 hours. Mar 11 - BUCKHORN LAKE & PRIESTS VLY. Northville-Placid Trail S of Piseco. Off trail over a hill thru open hardwoods to Buckhorn Lake, around Buckhorn Mtn back to trail. Down to Priests Vly. 1'-2' of snow, some thin icy spots under hemlocks (mostly hardwoods here), temp ~50F - good to very good skiing. 3.5 hours. Camped out by Piseco Lake - stars were amazing! Mar 7 - RAKE BRANCH from Rt.9 in Searsburg VT. The unmarked Rake Branch Trail starts out as a road then L on closed snowmobile trail. Bear R at fork then soon R again. Cross a tributary. Pick up Rake Branch in a good size meadow & follow downstream sometimes on the trail & sometimes along the stream. The trail crosses RB after ~3 miles but we continue following the stream on its SE side - hints of a trail but would have to call it a bushwhack. Turned around not far from Somerset Rd. Sunny, temp well into the 40s at start & well into the 50s in the pm. Very good skiing on sugar snow (plenty of it) - sugar is sweet! Earliest I ever skied in shorts & short sleeves - usually doesn't happen til April. Novice. 5 hours. Map. Mar 5 - HUYCK PRESERVE in Rensselaerville. Chatted with Adam the supervisor at the preserve parking area by Lincoln Pond - he was nice enough to give me his tattered map of the preserve (wasn't sure where I was going when I left home, just knew I'd be headed for somewhere in the Helderbergs) & when I got back to the Nehasanemobile after the trip there were 2 "Hike the Huyck" stickers stuck under a windshield wiper. Wheeler-Watson Trail (novice) to Loops 1 & 2 (intermediate) - Loop 1 best done clockwise, Loop 2 counterclockwise. Lots of open hardwoods with little understory; old stone walls too. Could see Catskills well beyond Myosotis Lake. 8" of dense crusty snow - good skiing (at least I could make easy turns which was a notch better than yesterday). Saw several deer. 2.7 hours. Mar 4 - HENDERSON LAKE & PRESTON PONDS from Upper Works trailhead. 2'-3' of snow; 1' deep snowshoe trough in trail, semi-breakable crust off-trail; fair skiing. Snowing half the time, some sun also. Lots of flat lake skiing with outstanding mountain scenery. Climb of 400' on trail from Henderson to Upper Preston - I used climbing skins to go up the steepest stretch (intermediate+) - on the way back I found it easier to ski down off-trail thru semi-open woods. Made it part way out onto Lower Preston before turning back. Visited the cabin on Upper Preston. 7 hours. Mar 2 - ALBANY PINE BUSH from NW end of Madison Ave Ext. Madison Ave Pinelands & Great Dune areas. Good view of Helderberg Escarpment from the blue trail. Up to 10" of dense snow; it fell wet but this morning with temp barely at the freezing mark somewhat hard & icy - fair skiing. 2 hours. Feb 29 - CEDAR RIVER & ELM ISLAND from the end of Pelon Rd in Indian Lake Vil. Very good skiing, 1" new powder on old tracks, snowing lightly most of the time we were out. Snowmobile had gone on Cedar River Trail. Elm Island is about 1 mile further than where we had left the trail to go up McGinn Mtn 3 days ago. Some steep downhills but still intermediate. Upstream of Elm Island the Cedar goes thru a small gorge then makes a sharp L turn & widens at EI - cool spot. Tried to ski to Corner Pond but I broke thru the ice on the beaver pond we were using to get there. Found skull of recently killed beaver - amazing teeth! 8.8 miles, 4.2 hours. Feb 27 - GOOD LUCK LAKE from Rt. 10. Still tired from yesterday's semi-epic trip so just went out & poked around. 1"-3" powder on crunchy base, fair skiing. Snowmobile trails were fast & bunpy. Trail to Spectacle Lake had icy ski tracks, no snowmobile tracks. Short nap at a campsite on W end of the lake. 2.5 hours. Feb 26 - CEDAR RIVER & McGINN MOUNTAIN from end of Pelon Rd in Indian Lake Village. Excellent skiing on several inches of powder on good base. Snowmobile trail to Cedar River. Cedar River trail to Pasley Falls novice - yellow ski trail markers. SE (past an area that is recovering from blowdown from 1995 storm) to Elm Island trail marked with blue xc ski markers - rolling intermediate terrain. Abandoned ski trail up McGinn Mtn still has some yellow ski trail markers - advanced, used climbing skins to get up - a 600' gain in elevation in about a mile. A clear blue sky day & super views S & E from top of cliffs - Gore & Snowy Mts with the peaks of the Siamese Ponds Wilderness inbetween; High Peaks to N from a clearing at the actual summit. Tried a slightly different route on descent but went too far E & S & took a while to return to the EI trail - some nice skiing down thru open hardwoods eventually. Skipped the CR trail & took wide direct trail (yellow ski markers, some light snowmobile use) up then down back to start. Newest 2007 edition of Discover the Central Adirondacks describes all trails except the abandoned McGinn trail - older editions did mention it. Dutton Mtn USGS map shows the old ski trail around McGinn but does not name the 2,216' mountain. Nat Geo map does not show any of the trails!? 7.8 hours. Feb 22 - AIKEN WILDERNESS from Woodford SP again. Warm 40s, good skiing on wet powder over mostly good base. From the tin can we headed SSW this time following some ski tracks made yesterday. Lots of moose tracks, some scat, tree scrapings & a couple of hairy spots where a moose bedded down. Reached the pond on the W Branch Deerfield River where Gordy Lyons used to have his camp before the USFS made him give it up (the U-shaped pond in the center of this map). Explored a cute beaver pond to the S which took some climbing & crawling over blowdown to get to. The dam is so tall I believe the outlet must be a waterfall. Found an old trail (shown on the USGS Stamford map) which comes in from the NW (has some blowdown) & followed it back to Gordy Lyons' pond. Followed the pretty ice-covered river upstream to the S end of a long narrow pond at Beaver Meadows, saw a path for a while to the E then whacked (in most winters this area has 2'-3' of snow & hobblebush is not much of an issue, but with 1' of snow it is a bit of a pain) until we hit our tracks from earlier. Other than the old Dewey Rd the trails & paths in this wilderness area are growing in & unmaintained & must be considered bushwhacks. 5.7 hours.
Feb 21 - MOHAWK RIVER STATE PARK walk from Lock 7 parking area in Niskayuna, don't expect any signs. A beautiful sunny morning & I needed to get the lactic acid out of the legs before work. W on the bike path. A shelter stands next to trailhead for the trails S of the bike path. To the N I noticed a newly cleared & yellow-marked trail which goes out to the river & follows it to an old jetty-like structure (white markers on the spur) creating a protected bay then returning to the bike path. Good map of the old trails can be found in ECOS' Natural Areas of Schenectady County (available at Adirondack Paddle'n'Pole).
Feb 20 - AIKEN WILDERNESS from Woodford State Park. Very good skiing on this beautiful sunny day - 4" powder on good base. Started out via same route as Jan 23 trip with a detour across a beaver meadow/pond. Bushwhacked W from the "tin can junction" to the N end of Beaver Meadows - I've followed a path before in this general direction but could not find it on this day. Saw fresh moose tracks in our tracks on way back! 4 hours. Feb 19&20 - MERCK FOREST, West Rupert, VT. Up to 3" of powder, no base. Poor skiing on trails near visitor center; ok skiing in fields (off Discovery Trail & hay meadows at the farm). Moved into Barn Cabin then went for a hike (using traction devices) which included going up & over & around Spruce Peak - some very nice views along the way incl. Dorset Peak, Mt. Equinox & way out to Gore Mtn in the Adks. Very steep & icy going up the N end of Barton Trail - Hombrua lost his footing & slid down 50'. Took our time packing up in the morning (somewhat hung over) then easy half mile hike out. Drove to Woodford hoping for more snow. Feb 15 - PANTHER NOTCH from the end of Pinnacle Rd in Bleecker. Up to a foot of base with sometimes breakable crust & up to 1" powder - fair to good skiing; temp in 30s, snow sticky at times. You won't find PN on any maps - I just named it! Shaker Mtn Wild Forest. Followed the newly-marked blue trail to County Line Lake for a couple of miles. Climbs moderately at first & then more gently. I broke thru the ice while crossing the E branch of Pinnacle Creek (on the way back we crossed well upstream). After ~1.5 miles went out & skied along a vly to the W of the trail with views of Pigeon Mtn - nice spot. When the blue trail veered NW we continued N then climbed NE thru the notch just W of Panther Mtn entering the Silver Lake Wilderness Area - some nice ice formations on the cliffs here - a gain of 600' from start. Dropped steeply down the other side thru semi-open woods but broke thru the crust a couple of times & fell - this area can be a blast in better snow conditions. Back the way we came. Broke thru the ice again below a beaver dam in the vly. Some sweet downhill runs back to the cars. 6.8 miles, 4.2 hours. Feb 13 - SAND LAKE & BIG BAY of PISECO OUTLET loop from Rt.10. Good skiing on up to 3" of fresh powder on crunchy base. Started at the snowmobile trailhead on Rt.10 a bit S of the N end of Powley-Piseco Rd (a snowmobile trail in winter). Skied connector trail to P-P Rd then S ~1 mile & L on unmarked trail down to Sand Lake. Skied to the S end of the lake & up the inlet for a bit. Lunched near a small rapid. Bushwhacked NW (not in a straight line) until we reached an open wetland & the P-P Rd. Crossed over & N up a large vly, thru the woods for a bit & out onto another vly. Continued following this unnamed tributary of Piseco Outlet thru the woods. One very steep drop (at least it was downhill) before things leveled out altho now we had alders to push thru. Eventually things opened up & we reached the open water where PO makes a sharp turn E. Able to ski streamside most of the time with a jog thru the woods before reaching the ice of Big Bay. Nice tailwind across the bay back to Rt.10. S next to the road back to the start to complete the route. 5.4 hours. Feb 12 - ROCK LAKE & beyond, NW of Indian Lake Village. Still 15"-20" snowpack here. Hard-packed half mile trail to the lake, fair skiing. Great views of Blue & Dun Brook Mtns from the lake. Lake surface half ice half thin snow. Picked up the Rock River trail from the NE part of the lake. Still could make out our tracks from Jan 30 - good skiing here, a bit icy under softwoods but mostly nice under hardwoods - a couple of steep hills make this intermediate. Found the old abandoned snowmobile trail to Unknown Pond, marked with ribbon, snowmobile trail markers & reflector markers (none seen where it leaves the Rock River trail) - not too hard to follow despite minimal use (probably no use this winter before we got there) - easy terrain, very good skiing, sunk in 2"-3", went about a mile before returning. Good headwind when skiing back across the lake - very nice scenery took away some of the sting. 5.3 hours. Feb 8 - WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER & NORTH BRANCH, E (upstream) of 1st Rt.10 bridge. 15" of base, could use some powder; icy trails packed by hikers; fair skiing on flatter terrain, best off-trail where the crusty snow had a little give to it. Unmarked trails (shown on maps), paths (not shown on maps) & bushwhack. Lots of thick broken up ice on the W Br. O.3 miles then R on path that stays closer to the W Br than the trail. Soon arrive at a toll log bridge (a coffee can wired to a tree with a slit in the lid for toll collection, those Adirondackers sure do have a sense of humor). Whacked upstream on the NB until bank got steep, not far to the trail. Meadow on the North Branch can be seen thru the woods when the trail veers N away from the stream - nice spot for an hour long lunch break. Some open water on the streams, ice not to be trusted so did not cross the NB. Combination of trail & path on way back. 4.1 hours Feb 6 - CHASE LAKE from Pinnacle Rd. 8"-12" of base, temp up to 40F softened the surface a bit & made for fair skiing, icy hardpack in trail thanks to hikers, some give off-trail. 1.7 miles to trail junction, R on yellow trail to SW end of the lake & camsite at old lean-to site. Long way around on the E side of the lake with good ice & patches of snow, nice view of Pinnacle Mtn. On to new lean-to at N end of lake. "Day camped" for almost 2 hours, built fire & mellowed out. 1 mile on new trail back to junction - some rocks showing, narrow trail could use more snow. 6 miles, 4.6 hours. Feb 5 - GARNET HILL LODGE. Spoke with the ranger in Indian Lake & he said the backcountry has much ice & bc skiing is not recommended, so went groomed. Power-tilled fine granular snow surface. The intermediate trails were as sweet as can be, downhills were a blast (ear to ear grins were common amongst us), stayed out of the set tracks for the most part. A beautiful sunny day with temp in the 20s. 13th Lake - good ice with some crusty snow patches. Mountain views. Ski down losing 300', ride back in the shuttle bus. 5 hours. Off trail: unbreakable icy crust with a dusting of powder - could be nice skiing if get 3" or more new snow. Feb 1 - GLASGOW MILLS, HILLABRANDT VLY & MUD LAKE near Caroga Lake, from Glasgow Rd off Rt.10. About a foot of wet snow, it rained in the am but stopped as we got to the trailhead, temp in 40s. Snowmobile trail, we had it to ourselves today. Trail slowly gains elevation never far from pretty Glasgow Creek to Glasgow Mills (site of a sawmill over 100 years ago) where the remains of a dam create a pond. Trail is then fairly level to Hillabrandt Vly which is currently a good size pond thanks to beaver damming the outlet. Rolling terrain to Mud Lake, a scenic pond with a small heron rookery. Good skiing but will be icy once temp drops below freezing; some wet spots & rocks showing; water on top of the ice on the ponds. 10.7 miles, 4.3 hours. Jan 30 - ROCK RIVER from Rtes. 28&30 (NW of Indian Lake Village). 18" total - 12" base, 6" powder; perhaps a little better skiing than yesterday (less wetness in the base). Red trail 3.2 miles to the river then off-trail following the river upstream for about a mile often skiing on snow-topped ice shelves at river's edge - exciting scenery with rapids & a falls (a bit scary going up the side of the falls). Loss of 350' on way in, a lot of it in half a mile near beginning of trip - best for better skiers. Also marked as a snowmobile trail but bilers aren't using it - a better trail for snowmobilers is crossed about a mile from the road. A very steep downhill before reaching the river - I found a less steep route off-trail. Rock Lake slushy so did not cross it. 7.4 miles, 5 hours. Jan 29 - TIRRELL POND from the S. 20" of snow, 7" of powder on top of icy/wet base - very good skiing (a band of lake-effect snow hung over the area yesterday, got reports this morning of 5" new in Indian Lake). Northville-Placid Trail. Broke trail all the way - not too hard. A narrow log bridge (no handrail) a few feet over the outlet leads to O'Neill lean-to - I opted to ski out onto the pond (a little slush) well away from the outlet then over to the lean-to. 4.6 hours. Late day report of 10.75" new snow in Blue Mtn Lake. Jan 25 - ROCK, BLACK CAT & JOCKEYBUSH LAKES loop. Light breakable crust off-trail. Started N of Kennels Pond to avoid private land (unsure what is allowed, snowmobiles do go thru). Picked up the icy snowmobile trail W of Kennels, passed an old shack & Teeter Creek Vly (Barbara McMartin in Discover the Southern Adirondacks: "my favorite, picturesque, grassy vly") then on to Rock Lake. Bushwhacked to Black Cat Lake up & over a pass between hills, nice bowl-like setting with steep hills on 3 sides. Down Black Cat Outlet thru a long marshy area, kinda cool. Brutal whack over to Jockeybush - I don't think we took the best route. Jockeybush mostly just ice. Marked 1.2 mile trail back to Rt.10 packed by hikers: fast , some rocks & wet spots. Tough ski trip - not for weenies. Highlight of the trip: watching a flying squirrel glide from tree to tree. 8.8 miles, 5.7 hours. Jan 23 - AIKEN WILDERNESS from Woodford State Park, VT. Great quality snow with a few inches of base + 5" of powder - very good skiing, the only negatives being we usually expect twice as much snow here at this time of year & some very light drizzle with temps rising above freezing made things a bit sticky (reapplied Maxiglde) on our return. Skied across Adams Reservoir then thru campsite 64 to the path leading to the wilderness area. Surprised that no-one had skied in here over the weekend. Generally headed S. After skiing across 3 beaver ponds/meadows we turned L on the old Dewey Road, a long abandoned logging road - don't expect any trail markers in this federal wilderness area. Uphill for a while (& a fun run down on the way back) then down (a large beaver meadow is seen to the L), then up to the "tin can junction" - this year's model is a rusty old oil can jammed between 2 tree trunks. Continued on the old road for a bit before dropping down off-trail to a beaver pond to the R, the 1st of the "3 Sisters". Following the outlet we emerged onto a large meadow then dropped again to another meadow/pond. Below this there were very many trees down probably caused when Irene came thru & raised water levels. I have been further downstream & well down the W Branch Deerfield River several times but this seemed to us a good turn-around point today. Fisher & bobcat tracks but no moose. 4+ hours. Jan 22 - CASCADE & STEPHENS PONDS loop trip. 15", topped with 2"-4" of powder, some crustiness in the mix but still very good skiing. From the E end of Lake Durant we skied across the lake to the W end with Blue Mtn peering over our shoulders. The trail to Cascade Pond climbs very steeply at 1st, drops to a stream crossing then slowly gains elevation for a time before climbing a steep pitch to height of land (less effort with climbing skins). Lunched at the newish lean-to on Cascade (E of the outlet) - snow on the pond was silky smooth. Nice series of downhills on the way to Stephens & its lean-to, just watch out for some small wet streams at bottom of hills. Some slush on Stephens, skied to N end & took the shortcut path back to the Northville-Placid Trail, then fun mostly downhill to Durant Campground. 9.7 miles, 5+ hours . Jan 18 - BOWERS VLY from Powley-Piseco Rd. 15" (deepest so far this season), 1" fresh powder over a crunchy mix - ok skiing. 1.7 miles N of bridge over the E Canada Creek (where we parked). Leave P-P Rd (a snowmobile trail in winter, plowed another half mile from where we parked). Some unposted private land along this unmarked old road which stays close to the Fulton & Hamilton county line. The old road climbs gently at first then moderately passing Brayhouse Gore (gore = a small usually triangular piece of land). Lunch at the expansive & windy vly. Mostly downhill back to P-P Rd, N for 0.2 miles & side-trip to The Potholers on E Canada Creek - a wonderful waterfall any time of year, worth a visit. 8.5 miles, 4.3 hours. Jan 16 - LITTLE POND & PORCUPINE LOOKOUT from Rt.9, Woodford, VT. About a foot of snow, half base half powder - very good skiing, still some rocks showing tho. Stayed away from the snowmobile trails for the most part. After a sunny lunch at the scenic pond in the Glastenbury Wilderness Area we skied along a connector trail to the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail then S uphill to the lookout at 2,800' el. where there is a good view to the Searsburg wind farm but no other signs of civilization. Loss of over 400' of elevation on the return - sweet! 7.5 miles, 5.1 hours. Jan 15 - ROCKWOOD STATE FOREST. Just outside the southern border of the Adirondacks, Rt.29 NW of Johnstown. Good coverage; 2-3" powder over somewhat crunchy base - good skiing. Did a long counterclockwise loop which included a side-trip to Caroga Creek & then from the big white pine heading S on D South Rd (several good downhills) out of the forest then E & N re-entering the forest at South Loop & D East Rds. Wide relatively smooth trails, intermediate. 8.1 miles, 3.5 hours. Got back to town in time to watch the Giants manhandle the Packers.
Jan 12 - Brushed 5" of heavy wet white stuff off the Nehasanemobile this morning.
Jan 11 - MOHEGAN LAKE S from Rt. 28, trailhead is just S of entrance to Eighth Lake State Campground. 5"-8" - mostly very good skiing, a short period when the snow was sticky (keep the Maxiglide or Easy Glide handy). The Uncas Road (red trail markers; the road allowed guests to reach the Camp Uncas from Eagle Bay), a snowmobile trail that hasn't seen a snowmobile this year (nor any skiers it seems), gently gains 360' (a very pleasant cruise on the return) in ~2 miles then drops to a junction. At 2.7 miles we turn L on blue trail (the only section I would call intermediate, rest of trip mostly novice) for 0.4 miles then R on dirt road W of ML to S end of the lake. Skied on the lake, some slushy spots but mostly ok. View of Wakely Mtn to the E. Lunched at a piney campsite. Camp Uncas, the 3rd Adirondack great camp I've bagged in 8 days! The camp buildings are on private land on the E shore but most of the lakeshore is state land. Grouse. 9.96 miles, 4.5 hours. Jan 9 - HUYCK PRESERVE hike in SW Albany County. Started out on the Wheeler-Watson Trail which soon passes an old graveyard dating to over 200 years ago. Then explored the new Partridge Path trails - got to the start of Loop 3 before reaching my turn-around time. Variety of mostly open woods; lots of rock walls. Ground frozen hard but no snow. Enough hills to make the intermediate skier happy. Trails well-marked altho signs at junctions are cute yet temporary since half have been knocked to the ground - bring the map. 4 deer. 4.8 miles, 2.2 hours. Jan 8 - CAMP SANTANONI on NEWCOMB LAKE. Avg 6" - very good skiing on this old dirt road. Snowing half the time, some sun too. Lake ice seemed quite solid. Door to boathouse open (1st building on the L) in case you want to get out of the wind. Novice skiing. 10 miles, 4 hours. Jan 4 - SAGAMORE LAKE & SOUTH INLET. Avg. 8", mostly light powder - good skiing, easy breaking trail. Great Camp Sagamore. Red trail around Sagamore lake. Left the trail N of the lake & explored a clearing where the snow was 15" deep. Connector trail to blue Powerhouse Trail had a lot of blowdown & does not seem like it gets any maintenance. Followed blue trail N to its end at the Cascades, a small falls on South Inlet (have paddled from Raquette Lake upstream to this spot). Back S along the blue trail never far from South Inlet passing an old powerhouse & valve house. Along lightly plowed Sagamore Rd back to the car. Mostly novice skiing. Lots of deer & rabbit tracks; chicadees. 4.4 hours. Jan 1 & 2 - MERCK FOREST cabin camping - a tale of two Spruce Peaks. Day 1: Well above freezing, no snow, some mud & ice. 2 mile backpack along woods roads to Ridge cabin. Bushwhacked to the Spruce Peak in or near Rupert State Forest SE of Merck. Signs of old logging roads along the way but whacking thru mostly open hardwoods was relatively easy. Thru-trees views in all directions from the 2,803' summit (Mother Myrick & Bear Mtns stood out & Batten Kill valley to the E) - gain of over 700' from the cabin, 1-2" snow on N facing slope above 2,500'. Dropped down to old woods road (extension of East Hollow Rd) & then back up Hatch Trail near a pretty brook to cabin. Climbed at least 1,500' of gross elevation for the day. Rain at night then temp dropped below freezing. I won at RUMmy. Day 2: Colder & windy, ground frozen hard. Backpacked over Merck's Spruce Peak (2,585'; shown as "The Gallup" on most maps other than Merck's map) on trails climbing ~500' from the cabin. There is a good lookout near NW end of the ridge with view of Mt. Antone plus West Mt & the Adirondacks in the distance. The Bartman Trail then drops very steeply (don't plan to ever ski it) to Lodge Rd. Stopped to visit new Viewpoint cabin (view good, cabin lousy) then down Viewpoint Trail ducking under maple syruping lines, passing thru a logging area to Barn cabins & out. Nice view to the Adirondacks from the farm.
Dec 26 - G LAKE skiing. 2-3" powder over 1-2" icy base - good skiing on the 2.1 mile unplowed dirt road, fair skiing on trails. G Lake Rd drops 100' in the first mile then climbs 200' in the next mile. From the summer parking area it is 0.4 miles N along an old woods road to a campsite at the E end of the lake - major windchill with a W wind. Explored the old road S of the lake - had some minor blowdown. Sidetrips on Alder Brook snowmobile trail & to Big Marsh. 3.3 hours. Adirondack lakes mostly iced over (Canada Lake had the most open water).
Dec 25 - No snow at APnP, ~2" in the Adirondacks & Green Mtns; Mohawk & Hudson Rivers are open with just a little ice in protected bays (last year everything was iced over).
Dec 18 - COUNTY LINE LAKE hike from Pinnacle Rd in Bleecker. Shaker Mtn WF. Felt like winter with temp just getting into the 20s; looked almost like winter with dusting to 1.5" of snow; cloudless blue sky. Newly marked blue trail. Beautiful hemlock woods alongside the cascading waters of rocky Pinnacle Creek. A wide old forest road past vly with nice
Nov 13 - HOOSIC RIVER Johnsonville to Buskirk Covered Bridge & back. Temp close to 60F. Very little development outside of Johnsonville & Buskirk. About a mile upstream is an island, S side is very shallow, N side has deep water. Duck hunter, blind, decoys at E end of island - heard a few gunshots. Huge quantities of avian wildlife: bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, ducks, gulls, gb herons, kingfisher... Covered bridge shows some damage on upstream side due to flood waters. Saw 2 other kayakers without life jackets on - NYS law requires that paddlers wear life jackets from Nov 1 thru May 1. 4 hours.
Nov 7 - 13TH LAKE. Easy 150 yard carry to the water. Mostly undeveloped state land. Gas motors not allowed. White trunks of birch up the hillsides. Paddled S down the W shore. Spur trail to new Hour Pond trail is well-marked with red markers. Went over a large beaver dam on the inlet but not able to go much further due to ice up to an inch thick! Stopped for relaxing break on Elizabeth Point (new outhouse) then paddled back up the E shore. Several beaver lodges on the lake, chipmunk, loon calls. Built small fire & hung out til well after sunset.
Nov 3-6 - NJ PINE BARRENS canoeing. Wharton SF. Hired Bel Haven Paddlesports to shuttle us to the put-ins on the Wading & Mullica ($20-$26). Lowland (under 2' above rivers) Atlantis white cedar/red maple, upland pitch pine/oaks/huckleberry. Rivers mostly undeveloped. Military planes make for some noisy periods.
Nov 5&6 - MULLICA RIVER overnight from Atsion to Crowley Landing. 6.8 miles in 3 hours (incl. half hour lunch) to Mullica Camp ($2pp primitive backcountry camping with water & outhouses); narrow at first with alders, some sandy banks then widens pond-like before reaching Old Mullica Camp at 2.6 miles, sweetgum leaves deep red. Then there are a few beaver dams & obstructions before passing thru a maple swamp. Shared camping area with about 20 others, mostly backpackers, moderate privacy. River continues to be a bit wider but fairly wild until Pleasant Mills, after that there are houses on river R, the river is tidal & widens. "Saxman & friends" seen in someone's backyard. Take-out at a turnout (we thought it would be safer to leave the car here overnight) just W of Crowley Landing boat launch. ~8 miles (Enjnir's GPS batteries died). Rte. 542 is closed at the bridge over the Mullica W of Batsto so the shuttle is a bit longer than usual until they fix the road - the outfitter said it could be a couple of years. Had time to drive back to Great Bay Blvd WMA to see what everything looked like in daylight - very marshy with some sandy beach. The Mullica empties out into Great Bay before reaching the Atlantic.
Nov 4 - WADING RIVER from Hawkins Bridge to Beaver Branch. Barrens river with the strongest current, least obstructions & less sharp turns. Varied shores but mostly cedar, some maples added color. Passed Godfrey Bridge Campground (semi-primitive, $20), a private campground, Evans Bridge, Bodine Field (primitive car camping $2pp). Dirt road to Beaver Branch a bit rough. Lots of cranberries. Hawk, turkey vulture, squirrels. ~10 miles. Drove out of Tuckerton on Great Bay Blvd at night a few miles thru WMA to end of peninsula near outlet to ocean - could see lights of Atlantic City.
Nov 3 - HARRISVILLE LAKE & OSWEGO RIVER. Check in to Bass River SF campground for 2 nights then short drive to HL. HL shores of pine, OR shores cedar, some sandy banks. At Martha Pond there are several channels around islands - I would not call it a pond. Moderate current, lots easier coming back. Some cranberries at water's edge. Turtles, deer. 8+ miles..
Nov 1 - HUDSON RIVER from 123rd St boat launch in Lansingburgh. Upriver to Campbell Island, crescent moon on way back, noticeable current.
Oct 31 - GRAFTON LAKES SP poling'n'paddling from parking lot at end of Long Pond Rd. Up to 1 foot of snow. Lots of exposed rocks where snowmobiles, skiers, barebooters went yesterday, slow going skiing in untracked snow. Switched skis/poles for canoe/paddles & paddled the Prospector around the perimeter of Long Pond. Nice & peaceful. Still some autumnal foliage color thanks to oaks, beech & red-leaved shrubs (laurel?) along shoreline.
Oct 30 - PARTRIDGE RUN WMA xc skiing. Got report that S Berne got 9" last night. Up to 10", dry powder over heavy wet snow, some wet thin spots, temp rising thru the 30s. Started out at the old cemetary on Bradt Hollow Rd & picked up the xc ski trail going E to Beaver Rd, L to Becker Pond. Mostly uphill on way back, sticky snow, much better after I re-Maxiglided ski bases. 2+ hours. Peru in western MA reported 32"; Savoy MA (somewhere I've actually skied) 24".
Oct 25 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions/RR Station Park, Rosendale Rd in Niskayuna. Despite low water conditions we were able to reach the main river by hugging the tip of Niska Isle. Went up to the Lock 7 dam - some strong currents here especially closer to the N side - 2 mature bald eagles on a tree just below the dam.
Oct 24 - HUDSON RIVER VALLEY RnR (reading & relaxation) & walks. Fourmile Point Preserve - view across river to Stockport Middle Ground, eastern redcedar trees (juniper) had small blue berry-like cones. Vosburgh Swamp - from Fourmile Point Rd - walked a trail a short distance, short bushwhack to get a good view of wetland. Greenport Conservation Area - smooth wide trails, nice views (esp from a fancy rustic bench) of the river & Catskills along the way. Harrier Hill - pavillion, benches, silo, view across field to river & Catskills; work on trail connecting to Greenport Cons. Area starts in Nov. Stockport Station, Columbiaville - large parking area next to rr tracks, new gazebo & picnic tables, place to launch canoe/kayak into Stockport Creek.
Oct 23 - HUDSON RIVER from state boat launch on Rt. 385 north of Athens. Morning clouds gave way to afternoon sun, high of 60F, light wind. Launched 3.6 hours before high tide into Murderer's Kill which soon enters the Hudson & Middle Ground Flats, a long island, is seen to the E. Headed upstream along the W shore then into West Flats marsh, where there are many channels to explore (easier close to high tide), Vosburgh Swamp is a continuation of the marsh to the N. Back out to the river at Hudson Anchorage & Harrier Hill can be seen to the E with its silo & pavillion. Continued N & around cliffy Fourmile Point & then Four Mile Point Preserve where there are picnic tables. Stopped at the Coxsackie boat launch where there are picnic tables & portapotties. Continued W of Coxsackie & Rattlesnake Islands - a brant flew in low & landed amongst us. High tide. Crossed to E side of the river where you can find some small inlets & bays to explore plus small cliffs & sandy bluffs. Pass the brick chimney of an historic ice house at Nutten Hook. Pass beaches & campsites to Gay's Point part of Hudson Islands SP. Paddled E of Stockport Middle Ground (an island), Stopped at Stockport Station - new picnic tables & gazebo here next to rr tracks. As we paddled S on E shore there were nice views of Catskill mountains. Crossed over (best to minimize time paddling in the shipping channel by shooting across at a right angle to the channel) & came back down the W side of Middle Ground Flats. Stopped to visit the Halfmoon, moored just S of the mouth of the Murderer's. 4 bald eagles (look for nests on islands). Some barges & ships, not much pleasure boat traffic. Some fall color mainly on dry upland (oaks, sumac); most cottonwoods, swamp maples have dropped their leaves. Thing I like about this trip is little development & a lot of state land. 17.7 miles, 6.5 hours. Duck hunting season resumes Nov. 5.
Oct 18 - HUDSON RIVER from Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Nice & calm. Headed downriver on E side & back with the incoming tide on the W side after dark. A mature bald eagle flew overhead. 2 hours. Dagger Alchemy, a 14' kayak.
Oct 17 - COLGATE LAKE WILD FOREST walk. Catskills near East Jewett. View of Blackhead Range & other mountains from field at start. Trail to Dutcher Notch. Found an old boiler. More info.
Oct 16 - HELL HOLLOW BROOK hike. Green Mountain NF. Appalachian/Long Trails. Glastenbury Wilderness. Got to the brook & skies turned from sunny to grey - was intending to continue to Porcupine Lookout but decided to head back. 3 hours. Fall foliage near peak in Bennington but at over 1,500' elevation well past peak; in Woodford (2,300' el) most trees are leafless.
Oct 10-13 - BOG RIVER & LOWS LAKE. Monday Columbus Day. Most folks leaving, easy carry around Lows Upper Dam then <1 mile upriver the bog has closed off the old opening on N side & now one must portage/drag 20' on S side. Pretty much had my pick of campsites (all had outhouse or box privy) - took #20 in hardwoods where a maple was trying its best to hold on to its red leaves. Evening brought sounds of loons, ducks, owls, migrating geese + full moon. Tuesday. Gorgeous red sunrise. Grass Pond Mtn hike to open rocky ridge with superlative view - swear I saw a blackfly, other tiny flies. Campsite #24 is open again - I guess eagles have not returned to the nest above it. Very little wind, temp in 70s. Paddled into Grass & Tomar Ponds. Grass has cliffs, Tomar has boggy shores; yellow-leaved tamaracks contrasted with deep green of spruce. Stopped at Virgin Tinber Landing. Around the bog in middle of the lake & did the short carry between the 2 northern bays. Wednesday. Broke camp heading downriver past Lows Ridge & Hitchins Pond to site #2 (sites 2 & 3 do not have privies) stopping to take a look at most campsites along the way. Watched 3 military planes "in combat" above, noisy for a while. Tried catching up on my reading. Rain at night. Thursday. Rain early, kept a fire going, some sun by noon, short paddle out. Only 4 cars left in parking area, 3 from VT, one person had signed in for 11 days, took quick nippy cleanup dip in the river. Set up camp on primitive car camping site (#7 with picnic table & good view, close to outhouse at #8) on Horseshoe Lake. More reading; dinner of pierogies, sausages, carrots fried in butter - quite a change from freeze-dried dinners. A loon call or 2 otherwise very quiet. Still some very good foliage color. Biting flies on the water, but mosquitoes not an issue. Used the new Paddlers & Hikers Map Lows Lake & Bog River - very good except for some errors: Virgin Timber Landing is shown on the wrong point, states campsite #11 is only a picnic site whereas #11 is actually a campsite a little bit E of the picnic site, campsite #24 is missing, Hitchins spelled ok on map but spelled Hitchens in the write-up, campsites on Horseshoe have since been renumbered #1 thru #8.
Oct 8 & 9 - WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER GORGE from Rt. 10. Saturday. Doubled the 1 mile carry on unmarked trail in 1.3 hours (longer on way out) - tried singling but it was difficult following the path which was somewhat obscured with newly-fallen leaves. A little before Piseco Outlet red tape markers guide one around some blowdown. Put in below rapids. Flat/quick water for a short distance then most of the current goes L of an island. At this water level I would hit too many rocks with a full load in the canoe (did run it last time here with light day-tripping load, hit rocks). Put in below rapids & not long to the W Br which here is ~100' wide. Downstream for ~1 mile to top of rapids. Bushwhack backpack for half an hour & decide to quit that nonsense. Made camp - no campsites, found semi-flat spot for tent then bushwhacked (brutal at times) further downstream on N side of river for over an hour. Passed one falls with two 5' drops but hit my turn-around time before reaching the next falls. Sunday, paddled upstream past Piseco Outlet - a very pretty section until I hit rapids. Back to PO & carried out. Sore (blister & hotspot on my feet, gimpy knee) & tired. Camped Sunday night at Lake Durant State Campground - nice view of Blue Mtn, too much road noise.
Oct 4 - HUDSON RIVER from Corning Preserve boat launch in Albany. Some interesting boats in the Port of Albany.
Oct 3 - CEDAR RIVER FLOW. Good fall foliage but could be past peak at higher elevations. Floatplane landings. No bad bugs.
Oct 2 - PARTRIDGE RUN walk on xc ski trails. Fall foliage 10-20% change.
Sep 27 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 in Niskayuna. Water level very low, very little current. Some mud at shoreline. Some trees stuck in shallows & some floating debris. A mature bald eagle flew over the boat launch as we were getting ready; an immature bald eagle spotted upstream. Green & gb herons, C geese, egrets, gulls. 2+ hours.
Sep 26 - FALL STREAM. Had to get out for a shallow rocky spot, beaver dams exist but all were small or breached & no need to get out of the canoe. Varied shoreline from grass to trees, 2 tall pines stand up way above everything else. Mallards; loon on Vly Lake as we lunched at a campsite. More biting flies today, another unusually warm sunny day. Tandem paddled the Reflection 15. 5.5 hours.
Now in stock: new Paddlers & Hikers Map LOWS LAKE & BOG RIVER - water resistant, accurate shoreline features, campsite details, descriptions of 10 hikes.
Sep 25 - LEWEY LAKE & MIAMI RIVER. Leaf peeping - very good color. 5 loons (at least 1 juvenile), a small snake swimming across the stream, wood ducks, gb herons, a northern harrier (marsh hawk). Great views of Snowy Mtn which rises 2,000' above the lake. Had to get out over 12 beaver dams & 2 log obstructions. Road noise intrudes occasionally, quieter as one gets further from Lewey Lake. MR winds thru a wide wetland valley with mountain ridges to the W but after paddling upstream for a couple of hours trees & upland eventually close in for a while. Got to the area of Callahan Brook, looked for signs of the trail from Mason Lake but did not see; did see the path (marked with pink ribbon) to the W. Unusually warm for this time of year. Mosquitoes not an issue, some biting flies in late afternoon. Soloed the MRC Reflection 15, a 15'4" canoe. 7 hours.
Sep 20 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS from 123rd St boat launch in Troy. Waterford boat launch across the Hudson had a fair amount of mud. Fair amount of water going over the falls S of Peebles Island; bridge has a tree lodged in it ~10' above the water. 2 whitetail deer on Peebles, one just over the edge of cliff. Up the Hudson to Campbell Island, saw an osprey, around N end of CI - 2 mature & 1 immature bald eagles & nest. Quick return with the current. The Hudson is noticeably clearer than the Mohawk. 2.8 hours.
Mohawk River/Erie Canal is open from Lock 2 thru Lock 8 - most boat launches have slippery mud tho - info.
Sep 18 & 19 - ST. REGIS CANOE AREA. Hoel Pond thru culvert (up & over rr tracks on way back) into Turtle Pond then had to wade a few feet thru shallows to Slang Pond then short easy carry to scenic LONG POND, one of my favorite bodies of water. Most campsites were unoccupied (we saw a few day-trippers) & we picked a real sweet one. Some old sites have been closed & new ones have been constructed - the new ones are generally not very inviting. After setting up camp we paddled into Pink Pond & up its inlet to start of path to Ledge Pond - the water was very shallow since none of the beaver dams have been maintained. Lots of loons on Long incl. juveniles. Next morning took advantage of the cool weather & hiked up LONG POND MOUNTAIN via Mountain Pond (a little over an hour going up, less than an hour coming down, 1.5 hours on top) - views are excellent from 2 areas of open rock - from the 1st, one gazes across the ponds of the canoe area to the High Peaks; the other lookout (~200' along a path to the W) has expansive views to the S. Minimal bad bugs. Some fall foliage color change but somewhat muted. Swam in both Long & Hoel - water temp probably in the low 60s. Link to maps of campsites.
Frost expected in the Adirondacks Fri, Sat nights - this will help get the bad bug population down.
Sep 13 - HUDSON RIVER from Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Water level still a bit on the high side. S wind opposing the current created some waves. Paddled to the falls on the Vloman Kill then further downstream on the Hudson. Noticeable current on the way back (we launched just before high tide). Colorful sunset, golden moonrise. Tons of mosquitoes, even on the water. 10 days in a row paddling for Nehasane.
Sep 12 - BARNSTABLE HARBOR. Sandy Neck. Scorton Creek.
Sep 11 - WAQUOIT BAY. Washburn Island.
Sep 10 - SOUTH BEACH. Morris Island. North Monomoy Island. Grey seals, coyote..
Sep 9 - NAUSET MARSH. Lunch at the inlet next to a sculpture of found objects. Grey seals. Sunset from Rock Harbor. 1+ hour walk on Coast Guard Beach under moonlight.
Sep 8 - LITTLE PLEASANT BAY. The River. Sampson & Hog Islands.
Sep 7 - CLIFF POND. A quickie in Nickerson SP.
Sep 7-12 - CAPE COD kayaking. Camping at Nickerson SP & Shawme-Crowell SP.
Sep 4-6 - GREEN RIVER RESERVOIR in Hyde Park, VT. Largest lake in VT that does not allow gas motors. 19 miles of undeveloped shoreline - there is a house at the SE end. Lots of loons. Sunday - warm & humid, quite a few paddlers out. Our campsite (#24) is a short paddle from the put-in. After setting up camp, explored most bays & arms of the southern half of the reservoir. Monday - Morning paddle in light rain to Heron Bay - water shield. Rain afternoon, evening & night - spent a lot of quality tarp time catching up on my reading. Tuesday - paddled up the long N arm & up the inlet turning around at the 3rd beaver dam - did not see anyone else until mid-afternoon. A hint of fall foliage, orange berries on mountain ash. Campsites tend to be small & most are unspectacular, interesting raised toilets.
Aug 31 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch. A dirt berm blocks the boat launch, the dock is semi-dislodged, buoys have been dislodged on the river - the Erie Canal will not be open any time soon to motorboats. Water is reddish/brown - the red, I believe comes from Catskill sandstone coming from the Schoharie Creek. An oak tree is down next to the launch. As water has receded (water was down to normal level) mud has been left on shore - where wet it is very slippery - I brought my emergency snow shovel & removed some of it making launching the Perception Carolina 12 kayak easier. Poked around a bit on the water, not much current on the main river. Gb herons, great egrets, kingfisher still around; water chestnut less of an issue.
Aug 30 - ROUND LAKE & ANTHONY KILL from new parking area on Maltaville Rd. Water level a couple of feet above normal. 100 yards along the inlet to the lake, along the N & E shores to the Anthony Kill. The AK twists & turns for about a mile thru large lilypads & marsh/swamp (lots of purple loosestrife flowering, some pickerelweed) before high land closes in & the current quickens. The Dwaas Kill comes in from the right - I go just a bit further, returning against the current can be difficult Only 2 nests at the old heron rookery which just a few years ago had over 20 nests. Cormorants, osprey, wood ducks, pileated woodpecker, gb herons, mature & immature bald eagles. 2 hours.
No more Duck Hole - story. I'm glad I paddled it when I still could.
Aug 29 - INDIAN LAKE from Rt.30. Winds 5-15mph, waves up to 1' - lots of puffy clouds on a blue background, temp in the 60s. Visited the falls on Diamond Brook ~5 miles N on the W shore. Crossed to the E shore, stopped for lunch on a sandy beach then headed S thru the islands. Great views of Snowy Mtn. Down the S (Jessup River) arm a ways. Took long break sunning myself on a smooth rock. Saw maybe a dozen motor boats & a handful of paddlers, most campsites unoccupied. Float plane took off. Loons. 14.5 miles, 5+ hours. Dagger Alchemy, a 14' touring kayak. The Travelchair Ultimate Slacker chair ($19.95) fit into the round bow hatch. Drove up on the Northway & Rt.28 - no problems; Rt.30 S of Indian Lake had many limbs & trees down but road clear.
E High Peaks, Dix & Giant Wilderness Areas are closed, Marcy Dam bridge is out - story.
Aug 28 - HURRICANE IRENE. State campgrounds in Catskills & Adirondacks have been closed. 13"+ of rain in some areas. NY Thruway closed from exits 12 thru 24 & W of Amsterdam.