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Trip Report


2013:




  • 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). 
  • 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 canoe.   
  • 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 canoe. 
  • 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.   
  • Would you like the Essex Chain of Lakes to be motor-free?  If so click here.
  • 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. 
  • 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 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 hours.     
  • 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 snow. 
  • 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 SP.     
  • 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. 
  • More story & video on plane crash.
  • 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 - story.  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). 
  • Brown wins case - Shingle Shanty Brook is navigable-in-fact - story.
  • 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). 
  • 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 hours. 
  • 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 hours.   
  • 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 hours.   
  • 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 hours.       
  • 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.  4.1 hours. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Open Space Institute buys the Marion River Carry - story.
  • 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.  
  • Mohawk River has frozen over in the Schenectady area.
  • Backcountry Ski Touring article in Adirondack Sports & Fitness.

  • 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 hours.   


  • 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.   
  • An Adirondack High Peaks rescue on Nippletop Mtn - story.
  • 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.
  • 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.     
  • Dec 2 - HANNACROIX RAVINE PRESERVE hike, central Albany County.  2.5 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 & food.   
  • Bending Branches Holiday Video #1
  • 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 hikeThe 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 country.     
  • 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 hours.   
  • 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 hours. 
  • 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+ hours.        
  • Oct 21 - TIVOLI BAYS & POETS' WALK ROMANTIC LANDSCAPE PARK hikes.  Leaf-peeping (& romance?) in the Hudson Valley.  TIVOLI BAYSFrom 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. 
  • SE Zone (includes Hudson River south of here) Duck Hunting Season - Oct 13-21 & Nov 10-Dec 30.
  • 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 canoeingHampton 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, Chatham10-25 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 developed.
  • 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.        
  • 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:   







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  • 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.   
  • more on the middle saranac lake incident
  • 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 enjoyable
  • June 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.     
  • Take a Stand for Wilderness - Essex Chain of Lakes, Boreas Ponds, Hudson Gorge, etc.
  • 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.  
  • Some Beautiful Aluminum Canoes

  • 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 ...
  • 2011: 
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    2011:

  • 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.