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SALE - At least 15% off everything in stock Fri Nov 27 & Sat Nov 28.
Kayak Rescue Class in the pool - Thu Dec 3 7:30pm - if your buddy capsizes can you empty the kayak & get them back in in under a minute? Info.
- Nov 26 - MOHAWK RIVER from Forts Ferry Rd in Latham. Temp in low 50s, winds 10-15mph with gusts to 25 mph - a little windier than forecasted; waves up to 1'. Lock 7. Mallards,mergansers, wood ducks, gulls, gb herons, red-tailed hawks, a pair of mature bald eagles together on a tree branch. 8.8 miles, 2.8 hours.
- Nov 25 - SLEEPING BEAUTY MOUNTAIN lollipop hike from Dacy Clearing. 1.6 mile drive over fair dirt road to DC (ok for passenger cars with care). Lower trails are wide old roads with loose rock, higher trails have switchbacks & the usual Adirondack roots, rocks & half-iced mud. After climbing 900' came out on rock ledges with extensive views, some low haze today but brilliant blue sky above. Buck Mtn to the S; across Lake George could see Cat & Thomas & Crane & Gore Mtns beyond. Continued on blue trail up around true summit then down to iced-over Bumps Pond, a lovely spot ~2,000' el, stone chimney. Back to DC on wide trail below cliffs. Saw 1 hunter, heard some gunshots but mostly peaceful. 4.7 miles, 3.8 hours.
- Nov 23 - FAHNESTOCK STATE PARK figure 8 hike from Rt.301. 3 Lakes Trail to Dennyson Rd & back on Appalachian Trail. Hidden Lake. John Allen Pond. Denny (iron) Mine. Lots of ups & downs, some easy flat sections (the AT follows the bed of an old narrow-gauge railroad at the Rt.301 end). Much oaks & some mountain laurel. Lots of thru-the-trees views with the leaves off. Surprisingly wild - very little signs of civilization. Temp in the 30s. 9 miles, 5 hours.
- Nov 22 - DEVIL'S DEN PRESERVE hike. The Nature Conservancy's largest preserve in CT - 1,756 acres with 20 miles of trails. Oak-dominated hardwoods, some rocky ridges. Best part was Ambler Gorge.
- Nov 20 - PLOTTER KILL PRESERVE hike. Went to tops & bottoms of the 3 waterfalls (40-60' high) - required some very steep bushwhacking - hiking/ski pole comes in handy on slippery leaves & clay. Red trail past the powerline & back. 3.9 miles, 2.8 hours.
- Nov 18 - HUYCK PRESERVE hike, from visitor center on Rt.85 in Rensselaerville. Soon come to spectacular Rensselaerville Falls on Ten-Mile Creek. Climb around to top of falls then loop around Lake Myosotis & Lincoln Pond (some ice around the edges). Hooded & common mergansers, mallards, C geese, kingfisher. 5 miles, 2.6 hours. Info. Lots of daylight left so drove over to adjacent Partridge Run WMA & hung out at peaceful Fawn Lake down a dirt road off CR13 - read The Hudson River Valley Reader (edited by E.C. Goodman) which raises more questions than it answers.
- Nov 16 - METACOMET TRAIL hike, from Plainville CT. Pinnacle Rocks. View of suburbia & rolling hills. View to Hartford from open rock further N. 2 hours.
- Nov 15 - PEOPLES STATE FOREST hike, near Winsted CT. From end of King Rd (dirt) to Chaugham Lookout. Blue & blue/yellow trails along the top of the escarpment. Farmington River valley views. Nice woods of oaks (mostly chestnut) & hemlocks with mountain laurel in the understory. 2 hours.
- Nov 13 - DYKEN POND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER loop hike. Went off-trail from Spring Trail for a bit to check out Newcomb Swamp. Did most of Long Trail plus Otter Creek & Shoreline Trails. Boardwalk across Dustin Swamp is flooded - there is a detour route marked. Over 1,600' elevation on the Rensselaer Plateau E of Troy. Their latest map shows a proposed trail from the Old Road Trail leading N then W to the NE part of Newcomb Swamp - wish I had checked their website info on the Newcomb Pond parcel before I went there. 6.6 miles, 3.5 hours.
- Nov 9 - NORTH TIVOLI BAY canoeing. Did not have enough time a week ago to really explore this marshy area so had to revisit. Launched from DEC car-top boat launch at the E side of the WMA over an hour before high tide for Tivoli - this allowed for plenty of water to explore the channels & creeks. One has to carry one's boat down 66 steps to get to the floating dock - not a problem with a lightweight Swift canoe. View of the Catskills. Some duck blinds but no-one duck hunting today. Wandered about the cattails for 3+ hours. Gb herons, hawk, mergansers & other ducks, mosquito. Hiked blue trail S to the South Bay.
- Nov 8 - THACHER STATE PARK NORTH hike from old quarry site at end of Carrick Rd. Views across the valley to Adks & Taconics from High Point Cliff & Hang Glider Point. Salisbury Trail past old fields across easement lands to Meadow Loop of Thompson's Lake SP. Poison ivy in full fall color! Fairly flat terrain ~1,400' elevation. Map. 7.1 miles, 3.3 hours.
- Nov 6 - HUDSON RIVER from Athens state boat launch. Record high temp in the 70s, very windy tho. Started over an hour before high tide so that we would have maximum water in the marshes. Upstream with tailwind to West Flats, a large marshy area with many channels to explore & get lost in. Wind knocked much cattail "fur" into the air, looked like snow & got into my eyes. Followed a stream toward Vosburgh Swamp, downed trees blocked the way eventually. Back to launch with 2' waves (wind opposing the current creates bigger waves), SSW wind gusting to 30mph - a blast in the Alchemy kayak. Paddled up Murderers Creek for 0.6 miles to the large dam that creates Sleepy Hollow Lake. 7.9 miles, 3.5 hours. Stopped at nearby Four-Mile Point Preserve to hang out & watch some big boats pass by; much eastern red cedar here.
- Nov 4 - HUDSON RIVER from Stockport Station at the end of Station Rd in Columbiaville. A gravel/mud launch into the mouth of Stockport Creek next to rr tracks. Started at high tide. 1st explored the creek to the SE which goes under the rr bridge then up a spur to the R - wood ducks. S on the HR & into East Flats. Silo & picnic pavilion of Harrier Hill Park can be seen on the hill to the E. Up a winding creek in a generally NW direction slowly narrowing to boat width, shores of wild rice & cattails. Lunch on sandy beach near Priming Hook with view of the Catskills. N past Stockport Middle Ground, an island, stopped to check out a campsite. Past to the E of Gays Point & into Empire Brickyard Bay - shallow mud flats, find deeper water on E side. Back to launch avoiding shallow water to the E. 11.3 miles, 5.6 hours. Another warm sunny Indian Summer day. Saw 2 people in kayaks without PFDs on - NYS requires that PFDs be worn (not just made accessible) from Nov 1 thru May 1. Southeast zone duck hunting season starts again on Sat Nov 7.
- Nov 2 - HUDSON RIVER from Diana St in Tivoli, a gravel beach across from the rr tracks. 60F & negligible wind; started ~2 hours before low tide. Crossed to the W side of the river, rocky steep shores. Stopped at the old wharf at Turkey Point SF, where we camped 2 years ago. Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge. Charles Rider Park for lunch. Crossed to E side - barge went by & sent some surfable waves. Headed upstream passing Edgewater, a Greek Revival mansion (white pillars). Under rr bridge (good flood tide current) into shallow Tivoli South Bay - mute swans (4 adults, 2 juveniles), Saw Kill waterfall (20'). Back to the river under another rr bridge & around Cruger Island (not an island any more). Into Tivoli North Bay - marshy creeks (so different from the South Bay), lost one of the group. Out under another rr bridge by Magdalen Island. Great sunset to end a great day! Female long-tailed duck in winter plumage, ruddy duck, American coot. 17.2 miles, 6.5 hours. More pictures on our Facebook page.
- Oct 30 - PALENVILLE OVERLOOK hike via Sleepy Hollow Horse Trail, from end of Mountain Turnpike Rd. The wide trail (mostly loose rocks) starts climbing moderately up Rip Van Winkle Hollow with Stony Brook's waterfalls & cascades down below to the L. At 1 mile, crossed brook at Sleepy Hollow & foundation of the Rip Van Winkle House. The old stage road continued climbing gently to moderately. At 1.5 miles, good view E from Little Pine Orchard picnic site. At 3 miles (after gaining 1,300'), took a sharp L turn & dropped down a bit before leveling out, some very wet spots. At 3.9 miles, 1st L was wet E side of loop to the overlook, 2nd L was dry side of loop. From rock ledges there are great views of Kaaterskill High Peak & Roundtop, Rt.23A & Kaaterskill Creek are way down below & the Hudson River valley stretches out to the SE. I could make out an Amtrak train passing Tivoli Bays. No headless horsemen. I know folks who ski this snowmobile route. 9.1 miles, 5 hours.
- Oct 28 - VISCHER FERRY NATURE PRESERVE walk from Ferry Rd. Followed an old gravel road E to Mohawk River. Gb herons, mallards, mergansers; a mature bald eagle flew by as a NYS tug came downstream. Back a bit & on marked trail past historic double-chamber Lock 19 - a new wood & recycled plastic bridge crosses over one chamber to get a better look at the 2nd. Light rain at first, became heavier - a $15 umbrella is more waterproof & breathable than a $300 Gore-tex shell! Still some good fall color. 1.5 hours.
- Oct 27 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions Park in Niskayuna. We had 17 paddlers for the final Albany ADK evening paddle of the season. Paddled downstream a bit then between the islands (only ~10' wide & 1' deep) out to the main part of the river. Upstream along the N shore (Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve) to the Lock 7 dam. Downstream on the S shore. Full moon rose slowly but was spectacular. Lightly developed.
- Oct 26 - NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL, hiking the newest section S from Benson Rd. Trailhead at 1,350'. Trail climbs 200' in the 1st 0.7 miles then levels off. After ~2.5 miles the trail starts dropping over 500' in the next 1.2 miles, gently at first then a bit more steeply after a R curve. Rain yesterday so fording 80'-wide West Stony Creek would be a wet & cold experience (a bridge is planned in the future) - I was disappointed because I wanted to get to our lunch spot from 3 days ago - this section is not as interesting as that section to the S - more rocks, would need 2' of snow to ski. 7.8 miles, 5.1 hours. Skied this general route on Feb 11, 2009 - "...Very good skiing, spring conditions with temp in 40s. Very roughly followed route of proposed continuation of Northville-Placid Trail, thru mostly open woods at this time. About halfway picked up an old road in a N-S orientation marked with ribbons before turning E & dropping 400' down to the creek (we stayed high over steepest section, maybe should have gone below it). Creek is ~50' wide where we met it below 1,000' elevation, mostly iced over, probably crossable but we didn't have to. 7+ miles, 5 hours."
- Oct 23 - NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL, hiking the new southernmost section from Collins Gifford Valley Rd near Northville. Trailhead at ~950' elevation. Under 2 miles & 700' elevation gain to Mud Lake (a pond), switchbacks moderate the steepness. Some hemlocks early but most of the route is thru open hardwoods incl. oak, maple, beech & ash; very little understory. The pond was an attractive spot with the fall colors; several beaver lodges. The trail continues near Mud Lake Outlet & loses elevation gently crossing the stream twice. After the 2nd crossing (3.2 miles) there is a huge 20' cube-shaped boulder. Trail starts climbing again & we stopped for lunch at 3.4 miles. Bushwhacked N gaining over 500' in half a mile coming out on some open rock on "West Stony Mtn" (elevation 1,980', unnamed on maps, named by Ingersoll in Discover the Southern Adirondacks, book avail. at APnP) with great view to the W across the West Stony Creek valley into much of the Shaker Mtn WF & Silver Lake Wilderness - no civilization in view, nice! Found a small viewpoint that faced SE - could see part of Great Sacandaga Reservoir & all the way to the Helderberg Escarpment. The trail is generally smooth & free of rocks/roots/mud - would only need 1' of snow (for advanced skiers). 8.4 miles, 6.5 hours. More info.
Construction of a roadway, parking area and trail which provide access for paddlers to the County Line Flow on the Township 20 Tract is complete and open for public use. July 21, 2013 - FISHING BROOK canoeing, upstream of COUNTY LINE FLOW. I've paddled FB upstream of Rich Lake several times before, 1st time for this gorgeous section. Views of Kempshall Mtn to the NW, Windfall Mtn to the S & Goodnow Mtn to the ESE. The streamsides vary from wooded to open wetlands; grassy banks, some alders & lots of black spruce. 5 blockages & 7 beaver dams to get past. Sweet sounds of songbirds incl. white-throated sparrows; leeches. Minimal bad bugs - I went DEETless. Flowering joe-pye-weed, pickerel weed, bullhead lilies; water shield. 6.7 miles, 5.3 hours. This is private land on which the state has a fishing easement. No signs of planned boat launches on CLF & Fishing Brook Bog (which we scouted - small but beautiful) yet. From Rt.28N FB drops over 100' in over a mile then is flatwater to CLF.
- Oct 21 - HUDSON RIVER from Coeymans Landing; one-way downstream trip to state boat launch in Athens, shuttle required, start close to high tide. Met birder Rich Guthrie at the launch & waved as we passed his house (he did a great program on owls for Albany ADK last week). Calm to start, light wind in the afternoon. Paddled down the W shore (some development) & stopped at Bronck Island campsite for lunch - not used much, platform for tent, picnic table, poison ivy, a long wood walkway leads up to an outhouse. W of Rattlesnake Island then crossed river to site of old ice factory at Nutten Hook - powerhouse chimney still stands. Past Gays Point & E of Stockport Middle Ground, an island, watch for shallows. Past East Flats & more shallow area. Middle Ground Flats (an island) & view of Catskill peaks; American Star & Glory tour boats went by - 1 in each direction. Several bald eagles, raven, red-tailed hawk, turkey vultures, pileated woodpecker, sandpipers, gulls, sanderlings, gb herons, Carolina wren; large flocks of cormorants heading S. 16.1 miles, 5.6 hours.
Hudson River water temperature in Albany: 54F - it's wet/dry suit time for paddlers.
- Oct 20 - MOHAWK RIVER from Kiwanis Park Rt.5S in Rotterdam. Water level unusually high, current noticeable. Paddled upstream along N shore to Lock 9 (bald eagle) & returned on the S shore under the half moon. Road & train noise, acrid smell passing SI Group (there are much nicer sections of the Mohawk). 2 hrs.
- Oct 19 - WOLF CREEK FALLS PRESERVE from Bozenkill Rd, 2.5 miles W of Westfall Rd. Looped past the main falls & another smaller falls below - barely a trickle. Undulating terrain. Oaks beginning to turn colors. 1 hour.
- Oct 19 - BOZEN KILL PRESERVE walk from Westfall Rd, a newly-opened preserve. Blue (quarter mile one way, goes across a field to the stream) & white trails (0.6 miles one way, goes across a field then climbs gently to a lookout well above the stream then drops to stream level & some large sycamores, love their bark). Most maple leaves have dropped. 1.9 miles, 1 hour.
- Oct 18 - MINNEWASKA STATE PARK hike in the "Gunks". Initial goal was to walk out to Hamilton Point from Lake Minnewaska but main entrance parking lots were full by the time I got there (guidebook advises getting there before 10am) so started from the western parking area ($10 per car). Mossy Glen Trail along the scenic Peters Kill then L on Blueberry Run. R on the Upper Awosting Carriage Road then side-trip SW on Rainbow Falls Trail to some views of the Catskills from ledges. Back to UACR & down to Lake Awosting & out via Lower Awosting Carriage Road. Snow flurries early & late. A few maples offered some fall colors, oaks not turning yet, lots of pitch pine with blueberry, mountain laurel in the understory. 3.7 hours.
- Oct 16 - SPRUCE MOUNTAIN hike, South Corinth. Newly-marked trail to firetower. Picked up blue markers after crossing bridge over a brook, trail starts climbing moderately. Some hemlocks early but rest of the way is mostly hardwoods incl. maple, oak, beech, ash, shagbark hickory, black cherry; a few spruce around the tower. No views without climbing the newly-restored firetower. Cab has plexi?glass windows otherwise windy on the way up. View W over Macomber Vly & hills. Clear views today to High Peaks, Green Mountains & Catskills; could make out Saratoga Lake. A radio tower is nearby. Peak foliage. Almost 400 parties have signed the register since Oct 1 - this is no secret place! 1,000' elevation gain. 3.2 miles, 2.3 hours. Trail will be closed for 6 weeks starting Oct 24. More details.
Article on paddling Rock Pond, Rock Lake, Rock River & Lake Durant.
- Oct 14 - HUDSON RIVER from Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Started after low tide. Downstream along W shore past Berkshire Spur & railroad bridges then R into the Binnen Kill to an old low private bridge. Back to the Hudson & crossed over to the E shore & Schodack Island SP. Headed back upstream with the flood tide but also some headwind. Poked up the Moordener Kill (yellow cottonwood & silver maple leaves littered its surface) before heading back across to the start. Light development, 1 motorboat & 1 ship. Eagles, cormorants, hawk, beaver. 9 miles, 2.5 hours. After a half hour break got back onto the water & crossed to the sunny E side, paddled upstream. More eagles. Returned on the W side as the sun set. 8 deer crossed a large lawn. No motorboats. 5 miles, 1.8 hours.
- Oct 11 - SOMERSET RESERVOIR. Water level drawn down a few feet revealing rocky shoreline. 10-15mph winds fron SW so quickly crossed to W side but still had to occasionally deal with wind & waves up to 1'. Paddled into the W bay & stopped at an island. Colors & views were absolutely lovely - Stratton & Little Stratton Mountains stood out to the N, Mount Snow to the SE. Couple of motorboats out fishing but lots of space for everyone. Loon. 7.2 miles, 3.5 hours.
- Oct 10 - MOUNT ANTONE hike. Merck Forest & Farmland Center, VT. Went up the direct way via Antone Rd (a wide fairly smooth trail) - 2.5 miles; 800' climb. Wonderful views to the distant Adirondack High Peaks from a lookout past the actual summit - foliage close to peak - red-tailed hawks. Steeply down on the Beebe Pond Trail then L past Ned's Place cabin & its view of Mt Equinox, then Lourie Trail back to Antone Rd & out past the farm with more Adk views - 3.2 miles out. 4+ hours.
- Oct 6 - MOHAWK RIVER from Freddie's Park (SE of the Rt.9 Crescent Bridge). Headed upstream past islands. Pink/purple skies after sunset. A deer swam across the river in front of us, slowed by water chestnut near shore. 2+ hours.
- Oct 5 - HUDSON & GOODNOW RIVERS from the Polaris Bridge near Newcomb. Essex Chain Lakes Complex. Below freezing early this morning but warmed to low 60s. Third of a mile carry on dirt road gently downhill to the bridge. There is a campsite on the L a bit before the bridge. Just before the bridge a path leads 100' upstream to a put-in next to a boulder on river R. Blackwell Stillwater is about 3 miles long. Short distance to Goodnow River, got up it for 0.6 miles before rocky shallows after passing a huge boulder, couple of breached beaver dams on the way. 1 mile upstream from the bridge on the Hudson reached long stretch of rapids, stopped for lunch. Back downstream, swift water under the bridge (upstream travel difficult). Cabins of the Polaris club on E shore. 2 miles from bridge to top of rapids, rock-hopped to center of river for better view, a bald eagle flew past. Varied shores, some marsh, beaver ponds & steep forested areas. 8.4 miles.
- Oct 4 - HUDSON & OPALESCENT RIVERS from CR76 bridge. Hudson River gauge in Newcomb at 2.4'. 1.5 miles to S end of Sanford Lake where there were good views of Wallface & the Santanonis, half mile more to mouth of the OR. Got 3 miles up the OR, hard work against the current, had to get out a few times to line the canoe thru shallows. Under railroad bridge at 1.7 miles from HR. Lots of sand/gravel banks offer many places to rest. From HR (between OR & SL) looking N there was a good view of Algonquin, Colden & Marcy. Fall foliage close to peak. 10.2 miles. More details on 7-12-15 trip.
- Sep 28 - OSWEGATCHIE RIVER return. Ran Round Hill Rapids empty then loaded gear. Stopped at both lean-tos on the way back. Mostly cloudy but overnight low was in mid 50s. Maples close to peak with purple, lots of red, orange, yellow & green; birch & beech still green. Quick cool swim in the river before going home. 10 miles, 4.5 hours.
- >Sep 27 - BIG SHALLOW POND hike, one of the 5 Ponds. Trail roughly parallels Wolf Creek for over a mile then pulls away to cross Big Shallow Outlet & follow that to the lean-to at the lovely pond with steep side of esker on N side. Saw 4 ducks (long-tailed?). 4 miles round-trip. Paddled upstream to scenic HIGH FALLS. I (a single-blader) got up Crooked Rapids but the rest of the gang (all double-bladers) needed help. Lots of tall white pines. Some beaver dams to go over. Moss Rock. 4 miles round-trip. Full moon eclipse that evening from the other side of the footbridge near camp. Sunny with temp in 70s, Low in 40s overnight.
- Sep 26 - OSWEGATCHIE RIVER upstream from the end of Inlet Rd in Fine. Five Ponds Wilderness Area. Water level low. Soon arrived at shallow rocky area, Bee Bee Rapid - best route close to shore on river L (on the R going upstream) then a breached beaver dam. Bear paw prints in the sand at Sam's Curve. Straight of the Woods. 3.6 miles to High Rock, nice view from 25' above the river. Griffin Rapids (not really rapids) in front of lean-to (site 38) - at top of rapids a shallow rocky section in front of site 37 was lined by some. Cage Lake Springhole (aka Buck Brook) Lean-to at 6.7 miles. Alders for a while then shores are high & treed - beautiful. Lined up Round Hill Rapids to footbridge (can also do a short carry on river L thru site 23). 10 miles & 6+! hours to campsite #22, the site of Walter Moore's (lumber) Camp, just past the footbridge. Sunny with temp in 60's.
- Sep 22 - HUDSON RIVER from boat launch next to Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Paddled upstream around low tide. A ship (likely empty, very little wake) & a couple of barge/tugs. Bald eagles. Returned under the half moon. 2 hours.
- Sep 21 - ROCK LAKE & ROCK RIVER. 30F in Saranac Lake this am, high 30s where I camped. 0.7 mile carry to the mucky lake shore. Paddled upstream on the river for 1 mile to rocky rapids. Bushwhacked 0.25 miles on S shore - only saw a 200 yard stretch of flat water. Back to the lake, lunch at a piney campsite. Short distance downstream on the river before rocks block the way. Circuited the lake. Views of Blue, Dun Brook, Sawyer & Snowy Mountains. 7.5 miles, 5.2 hours.
- Sep 20 - LAKE DURANT & ROCK POND. Put-in at end of dirt road past trail-head for Cascade Pond, at W end of LD. Channel W to lift-over at low footbridge. Into RP & its boggy islands. Paddled inlet a short distance going over 2 beaver dams. Back to LD & paddled it counter-clockwise. Blue Mtn to the N, Blue Ridge to the S, mostly wild shores, road noise, 3 loons (1 juvenile), ducks. Fall foliage ~10% color change. No bad bugs. 7.3 miles, 3.5 hours.
- Sep 16 - HUDSON RIVER from Champlain Canal Lock 1 (gate open 7am-4:30pm today). On the subject of seals: there has been a seal hanging out above & below Lock 1 for most of the summer - unfortunately I did not see it today. Paddled upstream on E shore, saw gb & green herons & wood ducks in the Deep Kill; osprey - turned around short of Lock 2 & returned on W shore, saw osprey, short stop at Lighthouse Park dock. Light development. 2 hours.
- Sep 15 - HUDSON RIVER from Battery Park boat launch at the S end of First St in Waterford. The curious-looking Lehigh Valley Railroad Barge was still moored here after this past weekend's Tugboat Roundup. The Onrust. Headed upriver to the islands below Champlain Canal Lock 1 staying R & going counter-clockwise to avoid shallows. An osprey hit the water, a deer on one of the smaller islands & a bald eagle high up in a dead tree. Nice sunset color, crescent moon.
Pick up a copy of Paddling Cape Cod - A Coastal Explorer's Guide at Adirondack Paddle'n'Pole.
- Sep 13 - Walk Namskaket Sea Path on beach from end of Crosby Rd in Brewster, bay side. CLIFF POND from Fisherman's Landing in Nickerson SP. Nice clear water, mostly undeveloped shores with some interesting secluded coves with sandy beaches. Great for swimming. Osprey, bald eagles. 1+ hrs.
- Sep 12 - NAUSET MARSH from Hemenway Landing in Eastham. Started over 2 hours before high tide for the ocean. Poked into Salt Pond where the National Seashore Visitor Center is. NE to shallow Nauset Bay then down easternmost creek SE to Nauset Inlet. Hung out almost 2 hours watching gray & harbor seals. Zig zag course on marsh creeks then around S side of marsh going past Fort Hill. Water is clear, even in the marsh. Hundreds of seals, group of scoters, plovers, great & snowy egrets. 10 miles, 5.5 hrs. A shark was spotted at Marconi Beach today. 16' shark spotted at Nauset Inlet - story.
- Sep 11 - WALKERS, UPPER & LOWER MILLPONDS from Slough Rd in Brewster. Wanted to paddle Chase Garden Creek but the bay was real choppy, so to plan B. Wind 10-20mph from the N. Freshwater kettle ponds, lightly developed, some conservation lands. Did each pond clockwise. Shallow passage from Walkers to Upper (the biggest of the ponds). Narrow (down to 3') 250 yard passage to Lower & grist mill/dam. Wind & bouncy waves on return. Green & gb herons, osprey, swans (1 cygnet). Drove over to Coast Guard Beach & walked S on Nauset Spit over 1 mile to Nauset Inlet, saw over a thousand seals. Sunset at Rock Harbor.
- Sep 10 - LITTLE PLEASANT BAY from landing at end of Portanimicut Rd in Orleans. Forecast for rain in pm, light wind. Started at mid flood tide. Past Seal Rock & across to Hog & Sampson Islands. Around S side, eelgrass in water, then N on shallow Broad Creek (best done closer to high tide) with barrier dunes & Atlantic Ocean to the E, snowy egrets in shallows. Saw fog rolling in (I have a Brunton deck compass) so crossed over to Old Field Point then across to Namequoit Point following shore back to landing. Continued S to Sipson Island with short break at Eelman's Point, saw seal. Back to landing & into tiny Paw-Wah Pond, heard thunder. 6.6 miles, 2 hrs. Visited several beaches in the rain, not many people - used inexpensive highly waterproof/breathable umbrella.
- Sep 9 - HERRING RIVER from Rt.28 in West Harwich. Good SW wind, hot. Start just before high tide for the sound. Side-trip 0.6 miles up Coy Brook to low bridge. Back to HR. Side-trip into East Reservoir, green herons. Continued upstream on HR under 2 bridges to West Reservoir. Quick return with current. Swans, osprey, red-tailed hawk, yellowlegs, sandpipers, gb herons, cormorants, kingfishers, fiddler crabs, black snake. 8 miles, 3.5 hrs.
- Sep 8 - BARNSTABLE HARBOR from Blish Point state boat launch. Hot, humid, light breeze. Sandy Neck is a 7-mile-long barrier beach on Cape Cod Bay with 2nd highest dunes on Cape Cod. Paddled 1.5 miles to the old lighthouse then to Beach Point at the tip. Back W, good look at The Dromedary dunes, around N side of marshy Great Thatch & Little Thatch islands then up Wells Creek - I could feel the ebb current & turned around then across harbor S of Phillis Island. 8.8 miles, 2.6 hrs (no breaks).
- Sep 7 - WASHBURN ISLAND from Whites Landing in Falmouth. Down Childs River, L on Seapit River to Waquoit Bay. Had to go wide around 2 shallow spits as I paddled down the E shore of Washburn Island & past some campsites. Over to the narrow inlet for a break then over to Tom's Pond. Short walk across dunes past rugosa rose with hips to the Sound - stiff SW wind creating good waves here, Martha's Vineyard seen 5 miles out. Crossed Tom's Pond to 200' portage to Eel Pond then N to Childs River. Lots of osprey, gulls, cormorants. 8.4 miles, 4.7 hrs. Drove over to the Estuarine Preserve & hung out on an Adirondack chair on top of bluff with view of the bay - learned that in 2012 there were 37 nesting pairs of osprey in the bay area. Cape Cod. Sharks. Sign at Nauset Beach:
- Sep 2 - DYKEN POND from Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center on the Rensselaer Plateau above 1,500' (got to 89 degrees in town, cooler up here). You are allowed to drive down to boat launch but must park back in the parking lot - since the Keewaydin 15 is light I just carried it the 800' from the parking lot. Paddled around the perimeter clockwise. Light to moderately developed shores. Saw 1 sailboat, 1 kayak, 1 motorboat & 1 PWC for a short time - expect to see more on weekends. Pink fragrant water lilies; red dragonflies. 1.7 hours. Took a short walk to Dustin Swamp which I find very interesting altho the boardwalk has been flooded by beavers. Drove over to nearby Grafton Lakes SP & Long Pond's E end for RnR & a couple of swims in the warm clear water. Watched an osprey hit the water 3 times.
- Sep 1 - MOHAWK RIVER from the boat launch at the end of Flight Lock Rd in Waterford. This put us above Lock 6. Went along N shore past the Crescent Bridge & back on S shore (goose hunters had decoys out). Fair amount of motor traffic for a Tuesday evening. Green heron.
- Aug 30 & 31 - LITTLE TUPPER LAKE. Happy to get my favorite campsite near the far end of this 6-mile-long lake. Paddled around the islands & part-way up Rock Pond Outlet + 0.2 miles up Bum Pond Outlet (saw cranberries). Very quiet evening, not much loon activity. Paddled up Charley Pond Outlet to the bridge & walked the overgrown trail a short distance. Poked up Otter Pond Outlet on the way out. 15mph W wind created 1' waves for a bouncy ride out. Beaches for swimming. White-throated sparrows boldly walked into camp, group of 16 mergansers passed by.
- Aug 28 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch. Upstream along N shore, back along S shore. Sunset, full moonrise. Falcon; lots of gulls, great egrets, gb herons, green herons, kingfishers.
- Aug 26 - SARATOGA LAKE, KAYADEROSSERAS CREEK & LAKE LONELY OUTLET kayaking from Waterfront Park at the N end of SL. The lake is heavily developed but 2,000' of shoreline (Manning Cove Preserve) is undeveloped on NW shore S of the mouth of KC - a shallow sandy-bottomed area is attractive to motorboaters who moor here & hang out & swim. Lots of aquatic vegetation in shallows. Reached Saratoga Lake Sailing Club then turned around. Went a mile up undeveloped KC passing many turtles basking in the sun on logs. Took a R up LLO for 0.9 miles to bridge - tight & shallow in spots. Back on SL motor traffic was moderate - I would not want to paddle here on a summer weekend. 2.7 hours. Dagger Alchemy 14 kayak.
- Aug 26 - ROUND LAKE PRESERVE walk. Had to take a closer look at this new 92 acre preserve N of the Anthony Kill. Entrance is on Rt.67 about 1.7 miles E of Rt.9. A gravel road leads to the small parking & observation area. If launching a canoe/kayak one can drive 200 yards further & carry/wheel boat over 100 yards to the Anthony Kill. Preserve is a work in progress & more trails & boardwalk are planned.
- Aug 25 - ROUND LAKE from boat launch on Rt.9. Crossed the lake & into its outlet the Anthony Kill. Lily-pads but also some blade-snagging milfoil, purple loosestrife colored the shores. Passed new boardwalk, observation platform & canoe/kayak launch (a floating platform) of the Round Lake Preserve. Sunset skies on return around N side of lake. Gb herons, cormorants. 1.7 hours.
- Aug 23 & 24 - ESSEX CHAIN LAKES canoe camping. Reserved (free) a campsite on Third Lake. No campfires allowed at lakeside campsites. From Goodnow Flow it is a 5.3 mile drive on dirt roads. 0.25 mile carry to Deer Pond, paddled around the long way, lovely pond; 0.5 mile carry (with some stops to pick wild raspberries) to Third Lake; the campsite half way looks like it has never been used & the thunderbox is sitting trailside?! Paddled Third Lake to Seventh Lake with view to Vanderwhacker Mtn & back. Channels between lakes are filled with lily pads. Dun Brook Mtn (rises almost 2,000' above the lakes) dominates the view to the W & Blue Mtn sometimes appears to its L. Swam from camp & enjoyed loony antics. Monday paddled past the Gooley Club cabins then carried 240 yards to First Lake & down its outlet for 0.7 miles going over 2 beaver dams. Lunch at a day use area with great view on W end of Third. Saw 7 other paddlers over 2 days (all day trippers), no other campers. Garter snake, osprey, harrier, merlin, kingfisher, gb heron; saw quite a few loons incl. 6 hanging out together, no juveniles tho; thought I saw a juvenile but when I got the binos out I could see it was just a cormorant hanging out with a pair of loons. Light to moderate (at dusk) mosquito activity; no-see-ums in the morning; no biting bugs on the water . The campsite on Fifth is being made handicap accessible - work is in progress, wheelbarrows, etc at the site. 2014 trip.
- Aug 18 - MOHAWK RIVER from concrete ramp boat launch at Kiwanis Park, Rt.5S, Rotterdam. Steep hills rise N & S (Yantapuchaberg was a ski area many decades ago). Passing SI Group we could hear the fire-breathing dragon. Cedar waxwings flitted about; mature bald eagle on tree just below Lock 9. 2 batteaux from Mabee Farm were out on the water too. Road noise; little development riverside. 5.5 miles, 2 hours.
- Aug 16 & 17 - ROUND LAKE canoe camping. The channel connecting RL from Little Tupper Lake is a lovely wide stream with lots of lily pads. RL is triangular shaped. E shore has many interesting coves, the best campsites (all were available mid-day Sunday, got one with nice lake view & new thunderbox) & good swimming from sandy beaches & sloping rocks. Cruised the perimeter ~6 miles. S end has some boggy shores. Fairly quiet (no road noise), not a lot of loonacy. Monday had lunch on one of the piney islands before heading for LITTLE TUPPER LAKE & BOG STREAM. One is able to paddle up the latter for over 2.5 miles, 1 beaver dam. Bittern. Shores are private so no getting out. Could see a fire tower to the SE on Buck Mtn - on private land, can't find any info on it. Light mosquito activity on land; light to moderate biting fly (mostly stable flies aka "ankle-biters") activity on the water. 20+ miles over 2 days. Finished with a swim in LTL.
Paddling the Upper Hudson & Opalescent Rivers - article.
- Aug 11 - MOHAWK RIVER upstream from Lock 7 boat launch. Interesting cliffs. August on the Mohawk means great egrets; also peregrine falcons, osprey, gb herons, green heron, gulls, ducks, C geese, kingfishers.
- Aug 9 & 10 - ST. REGIS CANOE AREA, Upper St Regis Lake to St Regis Pond . 5 short (up to 0.15 miles) carries. Bog Pond - small. Bear Pond - some private land with 3 lean-tos. Little Long Pond - ospreys & nest, watched adult loon feeding junior. Green Pond - lovely clear green water. St Regis Pond - explored most of the shoreline incl. unnamed pond SE, fish barrier dam at outlet; great campsite (Rt.30 is over 2 miles away but could still hear traffic when the loons weren't wailing) with rock out front to swim from & watch the stars, mink? (unsure, had white at the tip of its tail, rest dark brown), eagles harassed some of the many loons. Light mosquito activity on land, a few biting flies. Views of St. Regis Mtn & firetower (recently inspected with help of a camera on a drone - video) from ponds; Whiteface Mtn & McKenzie Range from W end of SRP. Walk to Ochre Pond + bushwhack to the campsite. Storm hit us on way out across Bear so rode it out in lean-to near Bear/Bog carry. Quite a few motorboats on Upper SRL.
- Aug 4 - HUDSON RIVER from Coeymans Landing. Downstream & up Hannacroix Creek to old mill site & huge old sycamore tree. Crossed to E side of HR after a barge went by. Headed upstream past chimney from an old ice factory, saw immature eagle. Crossed to W shore & up Coeymans Creek & waterfall, saw a beaver. 1.5 hours.
- Aug 2 & 3 - CEDAR RIVER FLOW. First visited Barker Pond out of curiosity (2.5 mile drive on fair dirt roads, 5 min. hike ends at small campsite, pond is small, might be of interest for fishing; Rock River looks interesting but there were rocky shallows above & below the bridge) then drove over to CRF Camped at the best drive-in site near Wakely Dam, only 2 other sites occupied Sunday night. The flow is quite wild & scenic away from the dam. Paddled up Payne Brook, over a 2' beaver dam & maybe 200 yards further to shallows. Fairly windy on the main part of the flow, whitecaps, so did not go too far. Great mountain views incl. Lewey & Blue Ridge (cliff & slide seen). Curious variety of craft on the flow, a fat inflatable kayak (I easily overtook it), inflatable rowboat, couple of small motorboats, as well as canoes & kayaks. Windy again in the morning but went out for a short spin. Loons, osprey, cedar waxwings, minimal bad bugs (wind probably helped). Drove into Moose River Plains, short walk on NPT to Payne Brook, looks a lot different here. From Cedar River Rd: WAKELY POND canoeing. Could see Wakely Mtn fire tower. Loons (1 adult, 1 juvenile). 1 hour. SPRAGUE POND walk. Short side-trip to fish barrier dam. 3 loons (2 adults, 1 juvenile). 2 rowboats & 1 canoe stored at pond. 1 mile.
Up to 500 out-of-service oil/ethanol railroad tank cars could be stored at Tahawus - story.
- Jul 28 - HUDSON RIVER upstream of Champlain Canal Lock 1. A seal was seen below the lock gates a few days ago. Short but interesting side-trip into the Deep Kill on E shore half mile upstream of the lock. 2 hours. Current Designs Breeze, a 13.5' kayak.
- Jul 26 - OTSEGO LAKE from Glimmerglass State Park. Put in on murky Shadow Brook & paddled upstream for 10 minutes passing under the oldest covered bridge in NYS, downed trees block the way after that. Back downstream & into Hyde Bay. Past swim beach & around Clarke Point where the water was a clear green - could see up & down this 9-mile-long lake. Light to moderate development outside of the state park lands, hills rise hundreds of feet W & E. Light motorboat traffic (storms forecasted but never came). A blimp flew over Cooperstown at the S end ~ 7 miles away. Ducks, geese, gulls, cedar waxwings. 1.5 hours. Picnic & swim in the park. The Decemberists concert at Brewery Ommegang south of Cooperstown in the evening.
- Jul 21 - HUDSON RIVER from boat launch at Corning Preserve in Albany. Downstream along the W shore. USS Slater, a WWII destroyer. One good size ship at the Port of Albany. Mid flood tide - a brisk NW wind created some chop on the way back up the E shore. Noisy I-787. 2 hours. Join one of our evening tours, try out a kayak.
- Jul 19 - UPPER KUNJAMUK from Long Level Rd in Speculator Tree Farm. From Old Rt.30 drove up dirt Fly Creek Rd (rough, high clearance desirable) for 3.5 miles then L on Long Level to bridge; drove out on dirt Elm Lake Rd (longer but much smoother). Paddled upstream for 3.6 miles, just past where I put in last Oct 5. Went over at least a dozen beaver dams. Very scenic as mountains rise up over 1,000' above the stream, shores varied from grassy to wooded. Great views of cliffs on Big Pine Mtn. Some deerflies while on the water, a few mosquitoes when I stopped for lunch. Continued below the bridge for 0.6 miles, over a beaver dam & small tree, under another tree & turned back at a logjam. Shallower & a bit more current in this section. Lots of flowers, butterflies & damselflies. 8.1 miles, 4.7 hours.
- Jul 14 - HUDSON RIVER & PAPSCANEE CREEK from boat launch at the N end of Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Crossed the HR then up the Moordener Kill a short distance to Rt.9J bridge. Up the PC, under rr bridge & further.up the creek & under another bridge. Explored a creek to the NW amongst cattails. Interesting creek but too close to the road noise. Eagles & nest; Canada lilies & pickerelweed flowering. 2 hours before low tide care was needed at the mouth of PC to get past a long wooden bulkhead with protruding steel rebar of the old Cow Island dike. 2 hours.
- Jul 12 - OPALESCENT & HUDSON RIVERS. MacIntyre East. Hudson River gauge at Newcomb was at 2.35' this morning - I would not want to do this trip when levels are much lower. Started at the bridge over the Hudson at Opalescent Rd, a dirt logging road & gated (at the bridge) access to hunting camps. Upstream 1 mile on the shallow (1-1.5' deep) Hudson against a noticeable current soon passing the mouth of the OR to Sanford Lake, a widening of the river. Before reaching the lake there is a great mountain view incl. firetower on Adams + Algonquin, Colden & Marcy. From the S end of the lake Wallface seen to the N & Santanoni to the W. Back down the HR & up the OR. Got 3.7 miles up the Opalescent passing under rr bridge at less than half way. Had to line boats several times thru shallows (but only once going back downstream). Current was light to moderate. Lots of bends with sand/pebble banks for break &/or swim. Views of the North River Mountain range which rises over 2,000' above the river to the SE. Got out & viewed the river from the RR bridge. Back to the start, shuttled cars 1 mile S on CR25 then paddled downstream on the Hudson. Expected to go 2 miles on the river; realized we had missed the best take-out spot after going 2.5 miles so turned around & paddled upstream. "Best" take-out was a steep 100 yard bushwhack!. A great semi-epic outing. 13.4 miles, 7.5 hours. Swift Keewaydin 15 solo canoe.
- Jul 7 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 9 near Rotterdam Junction. From Route 5 turn S onto Rt.103 & immediately R on gravel drive down to the water & gravel launch area. Paddled upstream to Swart Island then returned. Very little development seen but road noise from Rt.5 & NY Thruway can be heard. Hills rise up to 1,000' on both sides. Bald eagle. 7.2 miles, 2 hours. Wilderness Systems Zephyr kayak.
- Jul 5 - SCHOHARIE CREEK from Rt.30 in Middleburgh to Esperance Fishing Access Site on Rt.30A in Sloansville. Burtonsville gauge at 1.76'; Breakabeen gauge at 2.96' - a very nice level (& rare in summer). Class I rapids, riffles, quickwater & some long stretches of slowwater. Woods & fields, a few houses; lush vegetation. 3 or 4 spots with playable waves. Whitetail doe & fawns early, eagle on nest half way thru trip. 14.5 miles, 5.2 hours (incl. an hour-long lunch break).
- Jul 4 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS from 123rd St launch in Lansingburgh. Steamboat Meet in Waterford Harbor - about 15 of these interesting craft. Paddled both sides of Peebles Island (saw eagles) then parked ourselves next to island on the North Sprout but were told to move by fire dept boat because fireworks barge was being moved to a nearby spot. So we moved below the bridge to the Peebles shore to watch the fireworks. Not much in the way of motorboat traffic. 3 hours.
- Jun 30 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS from 123rd St boat launch in Lansingburgh. Crossed the Hudson & went around the S side of Peebles Island to the falls then around N side of the island passing Waterford harbor & the Onrust. Lots of water & some swift currents. 2 hours. Dagger Alchemy 14 kayak.
- Jun 28 - BATTENKILL from Rt.313 in Arlington VT to Eagleville NY. Rain overnight. Visual gauge in Arlington read 3.15' at the start; Battenville gauge rising from 4.65' to 4.8' but level at Eagleville rose at least 6" while we were out. Temp in the low to mid 60s - I was very warm in long sleeve base layer with splash top. Windy but winds not really felt down at water level. Some class I rapids in VT section, mostly wave trains & riffles in the NY section. Some strainers/sweepers to be dodged. Surfed some waves. Not wilderness but a very scenic valley. Lots of birds incl. cedar waxwings, swallows, kingbirds & cute merganser chicks. 11.5 miles, 3.3 hours.
- Jun 23 - MOHAWK RIVER from boat launch next to Freeman's Bridge in Glenville. Concrete ramp boat launch + canoe/kayak launch with rollers good for polyethylene boats - since I was in an Alchemy I used the latter. Upstream to the big island then downstream past Jumping Jack's & the US Water Ski Team. R down a dead end channel past the Glen Sanders Mansion. 2.4 hours.
- Jun 21 - HOOSIC RIVER from N Pownal VT (upstream of the Dean Rd bridge on river R below the dam) to just past Rt.7 (off Rt.22 there are 2 dirt drives with deep mud puddles that lead to a long pebbly beach, best for high clearance 4WD ) in Hoosick. Williamstown gauge 6.4'; Eagle Bridge gauge 3.05' rising to 3.3'. Class I rapids early then a class II drop at "The Hoosic Wave", stopped for lunch here. The last half was mostly quickwater & riffles with some strainers. A mix of woods & farms. Day lilies, chimney swifts, deer. 10 miles, 3.3 hours. Dagger Katana 10.4 kayak.
- Jun 20 - HARVEY MOUNTAIN short hike after work in eastern Columbia county. Harvey Mtn State Forest. From Rt.22 go S 0.4 miles on East Hill Rd then take a L on good dirt road for another 1.2 miles passing some primitive roadside campsites. Hiked up gated old gravel road on the L. Easy uphill then down for a bit then up again to large blueberry field - found some ready to eat, should be great berrying in July. In the clouds at the 2,065' summit so no views for me. From the top took an unmarked path SSW going gently downhill & noticed a little mountain laurel. Turned around, now going slower, & noticed much mountain laurel flowering - lovely. Back to top & down the old road. Lovely birdsongs. 1.6 hours.
- Jun 16 - HUDSON RIVER from Coeymans Landing boat launch. Eagles seen flying. Paddled downstream then W into Hannacroix Creek passing a house from the 1700s, a little past the Rt.144 bridge there is a chimney stack from an old mill & a huge sycamore. Stream gets shallow & rocky. Back to the Hudson & crossed to the E side then headed N along Schodack Island; a brick chimney, all that is left of an old icehouse (there were 13 icehouses on Schodack & Houghtaling Islands in the late 1800s & early 1900s), is seen. Crossed back to the W side with noticeable current (now 2.5 hours after high tide). Poked into Coeymans Creek (beavers) & soon reach cascades with a surfable wave, a bigger falls can be seen in the gorge beyond - a cool spot. Back past the marina to the boat launch. 1.9 hours.
- Jun 14 - CHENANGO RIVER from Rt.80 in Sherburne (gauge @ 2.95') to River Rd off Rt.23 in Norwich (gauge @ 4.8'). A semi-epic adventure. Mostly quickwater, some riffles, maybe 3 Class I rapids; mostly clear but occasionally there are downed trees or strainers requiring good maneuvering skills. Rural, very little development seen from the river, some road noise. Well into the trip trees were down river-wide - took a narrow channel to the L & still ended up having to do a short 50' portage back to the main river. Another area of strainers appeared dangerous so took a narrow channel to the R which was mostly clear but in a calm section tree debris blocked the way & required a lift-over or at least a scootch-over, under a rr bridge & soon back to the main channel. A rapid had strainers at its foot that required a strong maneuver R. Finished with a nice bouncy rapid under the Rt.23 bridge. Beaver, ducks, gbh, flicker. Forget-me-nots, yellow flag, dames rocket. 15.7 miles, 5.8 hours. Dagger Alchemy 14 kayak worked out great.
- Jun 10 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions Park in Niskayuna. Water chestnut growing in but no problem getting out onto the main river from between the islands downstream of the put-in. Followed the undeveloped N shore - Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve. ~2.5 miles from the start poked into a shallow backwater filled with arrowhead plants with some forget-me-nots along shore, eventually became reedy - cool spot! Crossed to S shore & returned with side-trip up Shaker Creek to the large culvert under River Rd. 2+ hours.
- Jun 7 - HOOSIC RIVER from Ashton Ave in N Adams MA to Clayton Park (narrow path w/stinging nettles) on Lincoln St in Pownal VT. Quickwater, rapids up to Class II, mostly Class I, waves up to 15". Williamstown gauge at 5.4' - the lowest I've ever run this scenic section at but was lots of fun anyway (I enjoy "reading the river" + perfect weather in the low 70s), I hit some rocks but never got stuck. 9.7 miles, 5+ hours ( 2 breaks & a relaxed pace).. River info. Dagger Katana kayak.
Access to Deer Pond & Essex Chain Lakes will be closed: Beginning Monday, June 8, the Shadow Dam Gate will be locked and Cornell/Deer Pond Road will be closed to motor vehicles for 1-2 weeks so a bridge on the road can be replaced.
- Jun 6 - MOHAWK RIVER CLEANUP from Lions Park Niskayuna with Adirondack Mountain Club - Albany Chapter.
- Jun 2 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch. Canine rescue. Bald eagles, peregrine falcon, mallards with chicks. 1.8 hours.
- Jun 1 - THOMPSONS LAKE from Fishing Access on W side off Rt.157. Cool (~50F), breezy, light drizzle - I was overdressed with non-cotton base layer, fleece sweater, splash jacket & PFD - could have skipped the fleece. Went around clockwise then around counterclockwise. Nice clear water. A lot of shoreline is developed, less so on NW where the state campground is. As I approached the swim beach a mature bald eagle flew off a dead tree & another joined it low over the water. A duck guided some tiny ducklings; also saw Canada goslings, swallows, gb heron, warblers. ~4 miles, 1.6 hours. Dagger Axis kayak.
Good info here for river-runners.
- May 31 - BATTEN KILL from NY/VT state line to Rt. 22. Battenville gauge at 4.4' when I left the house but rose to 4.8' by the time we finished paddling. Cloudy, cool (low 50s) but no rain. Had the stream to ourselves, no other boaters, just a couple of fly fishermen. 3 covered bridges (Eagleville, Shushan, Rexleigh), minimal development. Always enjoy playing in the wave at an old dam a little before the Tacklebox Bridge (CR 61). After passing the campground but before the stream turns N: there is tree debris in the stream that needs to be maneuvered around in current (2 of our group capsized) & a bit further there was a sycamore tree downed across the water, one can get under it on the L. Eagle, woodchuck, kingfishers, lots of swallows flying low across the water. 12.6 miles, 4.5 hours. Dagger Katana kayak.
- May 27 - ROUND LAKE from boat launch on Rt. 9. Went around N shore, poked into Little Round Lake then into the outlet, the Anthony Kill, for close to a mile where we saw a new observation deck in the process of being built. Lots of snapping turtles in the AK, turned around at a beaver dam. 1.8 hours.
- May 25 - HOOSIC RIVER from Hoosick Junction to Johnsonville. Eagle Bridge gauge at 2.6' - some shallow areas, wouldn't want levels to be much lower. The first rapid has strainers on the left in deeper faster water. Class 1 rapids interspersed with long stretches of flatwater. Played in rapid below the rr bridge, watch out for rocks. River flattens out a mile above Buskirk Covered Bridge. From there it is deep flatwater to the dam at Johnsonville - used a whitewater canoe (Dagger Caption) which was fun in the rapids but too bow light in headwind on the flats, was not easy to add weight to the bow with a float bag in there. Bald eagles, green herons, gb heron, kingfishers, sandpipers, killdeer, mergansers, mallards. Class 1+ from HJ to Buskirk Covered Bridge 7 miles, 2.4 hours; BCB to J 5.2 miles, 2.1 hours.
- May 24 - HUDSON RIVER from Thurman Station to Hadley. North Creek & Hadley gauges a bit above 3' - some shallow spots but I only scraped bottom twice. Quickwater, riffles, flatwater. Clear water - so much nicer than the lower Hudson. Hills rise rise sharply on both sides of the river. Went along the L shore the 1st half of trip - a good choice, a wilder side with the Hudson River Special Management Area on that side. Some light development on R shore (golf course, ranch resort). Stopped to look at the campsite & have an early lunch at Chamberlain Farm. Sandpipers, green heron, mergansers. Tubers going very slowly, not much current in last 4 miles above Hadley. 14.9 miles, 4.5 hours.
- May 19 - HUDSON RIVER TRIBUTARIES from boat launch next to Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Paddled a short distance downriver then up the Vloman Kill to the falls (you want to do this close to high tide). Crossed to the E side of the Hudson & went up the Moordener Kill & Papscanee Creek. An eagle sat on a branch next to its nest. Gusty winds while crossing back over the Hudson made things interesting. Dagger Alchemy, a 14' kayak.
- May 17 & 18 - LITTLE TUPPER LAKE & ROCK POND. Turning off Rt.30 onto Sabattis Rd & there is a moose crossing the road - what a great start!! Sunday, wind 0-5 mph - Paddled down the S shore of LTL going in & out of the islands - 2 paddlers were heading out & they were the only other folks that we saw over the 2 days. At 4.6 miles turned into Rock Pond Outlet & paddled upstream past boggy shores (leatherleaf flowering & sheep laurel starting to) for 1.5 miles. Carried 100 yards (always admire that tall white pine) & put back in next to dilapidated bridge. Entering RP one notices an osprey nest. Visited all the campsites on RP & chose campsite #25 - most others only could fit 1 or 2 tents, we had 3. Hung out & swam from the nice rock area in front of the campsite. Wore the Original Bugshirt for a time. Sunset paddle. Monday, S winds 5-15mph - Paddled up the inlet of RP for 2 miles going over a dozen beaver dams - no posted signs so not sure if we left state land - turned around at a log jam. Checked out the new start of the carry to Hardigan Pond (a little N of the old one, supposed to be less wet). Headed out near the N shore of LTL, waves less than a foot, saw a group of 17 ducks (scoters?). Loons, gulls (a gull chased an osprey across the pond but backed off when 2 more osprey came in to help out), doe & fawn. Blackflies were bearable - not super hungry, some light swarming - used Cutter Advanced picardin spray on Monday (I like that it is unscented & non-greasy, feels nicer than DEET). 25 miles in 2 days. Swift Keewaydin 15 solo canoe.
- May 13 - MOHAWK RIVER from Freddie's Park, Marine Service Rd in Latham. Circumnavigated the islands upstream, some shallow areas. 2 hours .
- May 11 - THIRTEENTH LAKE Paddled around the 2-mile-long lake + up the inlet at the S end for 0.4 miles going over 3 beaver dams. Hot again. Much colder water than Garnet, waded in but no swimming. Light blackfly activity. Male mergansers hung out together; a Canada goose laid low over nest on top of a beaver lodge; red-winged blackbirds chattered, white-throated sparrows sang; loons. Only saw one other paddler but a lot of folks had signed in on the weekend.
- May 10 - GARNET LAKE Paddled around the 2-mile-long lake in the morning. The hillsides were various shades of green - Mt Blue rises almost 1,500' above W shore, Crane Mtn seen to the NE. Lots of drowned stumps in the southern half of the lake. Just hung out in the pm waiting for predicted showers & storms which never came, water warm enough for a swim. A hot Sunday, saw ~15 other paddlers, most in small kayaks. Turtles, loons. Columbine bloomed on rock on NW shore, leatherleaf on islands. Light blackfly activity - did not use protection (did have the Original Bugshirt with me), got some bites.
- May 3&4 - BOG RIVER canoe camping from Lows Lower Dam. The gate at start of the dirt road to the dam had been opened just a day or 2 ago. Side-trip of 1.3 miles up Horseshoe Lake outlet to Horseshoe Lake Rd, 2 beaver dams. Hitchins Pond campsite #6. 1.3 mile (one way) hike from HP up to Low's Ridge (gain of 400') with lots of trout lilies blooming - awesome view with Bog River below & snowy Marcy & Algonquin in the far distance. Full moonrise. Saw a few other people, most heading out. Day 2 - Paddled the perimeter of Hitchins poking into inlet at N end for a quarter mile. 1 mile up unnamed stream S going over about 10 beaver dams & approaching the rr tracks - turned around where a stream (outlet of Little Trout Pond) comes in from the E thru a culvert under the tracks. Day 2 had gusty winds, both days temp in the 70s. Mosquitoes, bald eagles, loons, osprey, otters, deer; also sounds of grouse drumming, woodpeckers tapping, spring peepers - no sign of blackflies. Leatherleaf blooming at water's edge. Took a quick refreshing clean-up dip at the take-out. On the drive out: there was a spine of snow to the side of CR 421 so I got out the skis.
Apr 29 - Saw work boats installing buoys above Lock 7 - water level about as low it gets - canal set to open May 8.
- Apr 28 - MOHAWK RIVER kayaking from Lions Park. Went up to the downed tree on the Lisha Kill again then around the tip of Niska Isle & upstream on the Mohawk toward Lock 7. Osprey, lovely sunset. 1.8 hours.
- Apr 27 - MOHAWK RIVER & LISHA KILL. canoeing from next to the old Niskayuna rr station at Lions Park. Water level ~2' lower than a week ago (think it has been lowered for installation of buoys). Upstream then under the bike path bridge into the LK. Large beaver hut & soon a tree across the stream (the saw I brought was not good enough to cut thru). Portaged around but did not get much further before reaching a small rapid. Muskrat on shore. 1.5 hours.
- Apr 26 - STRATTON MOUNTAIN skiing. 1,800' climb via "Easy Street" - nowax skis worked great, no herringboning or climbing skins needed with temp rising thru the 40s. 0.8 miles from top of ski area on bc trail (tough, bumpy post-holed) to fire tower (~3' of natural snow here) & 360 views incl. Somerset Reservoir & Grout Pond (both iced over), Mt. Snow, Marcy in NY, Monadnock in NH, Greylock in MA. Mucho turnworthy on way down Easy Street with detour on Lower Wanderer & uphill on Cabot's Run - very good skiing on ski area trails, top-to-bottom coverage. 66th ski of the season, 3rd in shorts. 7.5 miles, 4.9 hours.
- Apr 22 - MOHAWK-HUDSON BIKE/HIKE TRAIL walk from Lions Park in Niskayuna. Saw 2 painted turtles right on the paved path. Male wood duck, downy woodpecker, beaver, more... Water level on the Mohawk River slightly higher than summer levels.
In the last 10 days I have heard of 3 different incidents of kayakers capsizing in NY state, one dead (not wearing PFD), fellow people in kayaks unable to do rescues - what does that say?*
Mount Snow not open for uphill travel this spring - info. Apr 19 - DUTCH HILL & HOOSAC RANGE skiing. Green Mountain NF. Good skiing on 0-15" corn, some wet spots. Started at ~2,200' on Rue Madeline in Heartwellville VT. Some bushwhacking, some old woods roads, some old ski trails. Climbed to the N of DH. View E to MA & NH? from ledge on 2,657' peak. Found an old camp & abandoned vehicles incl. school bus. Looped back on woods road to DH. Nice view across Aiken Wilderness to Prospect & Glastenbury Mtns from top of the old (closed in 1985) Dutch Hill Ski Area. Went partway down one of the old runs (not much snow down low). Sunny, temp rising thru the 40s to mid 50s, skied in shorts again. 4.7 miles, 4.5 hours.
- Apr 13 - BASHA KILL LAKE kayaking, near Wurtsboro. Basha Kill WMA. The lake is a widening of the Basha (aka Basher) Kill; the Long Path passes along its SE shore following an old rr bed. The Shawangunks rise up to its E & hills rise to the W. Best place to launch is on the SE shore. While I ate lunch & got ready, several birders were enjoying the sights; an LLBean kayak landed - the occupant was wearing a PFD (good) but his cotton jeans (bad) were wet up to his knees. Paddled around the lake clockwise with some poking around the islands. Soon saw an eagles' nest in a tall pine. Lots of Canada geese, some nesting already. Painted turtles basked in the sun (temp got up into the low 70s) on logs & hummocks. Noticeable current near the outlet. Saw an immature eagle on a tree branch & 3 mature eagles flew by. Some marshy & brushy areas, water clear & mostly about 2' deep. A muskrat swam across in front of me, got out next to a tree stump & munched on something then casually slid back into the water & swam away. Lots of maple hardwoods along shoreline but also areas of white pines. Not enough room to get under the Haven Rd bridge so did not explore the NE section (would only be a 20' carry across the road). Great blue heron, wood ducks, mergansers, ring-necked ducks, bluebirds, red-winged blackbirds, tree swallows; the sounds of spring peepers. Motors - only electric allowed. 8.4 miles, 4 hours on the water.
Apr 11 Kayak capsized in Hudson River on a windy day (probably not the best conditions), dog was wearing a PFD- rescue report. Another report.
- Apr 12 - CAMP MEADOWS in the Aiken Wilderness from Heartwellville VT. From Green Mountain National Forest - Southern Section by Bruce Scofield: "...this excursion is suggested only for serious explorers of trailless areas who know how to use a topographic map, a compass, and common sense." "The one trail (or more accurately, the dotted line on the topo map)..." Started out on FR 73, a snowmobile trail, for 2.3 miles then headed off into the woods just past the bridge over Reservoir Brook. Soon found a path marked with a rainbow of flagging heading N then W. Abandoned that route & crossed Camp Meadows Brook just before the southeastern-most pond/meadow. Remains of an old cabin (shown on the Stamford quad), an old stove & corrugated roof, were just across the brook. Crossed the meadow & had lunch at its SW corner; behind us was a yellow bucket on a dead tree (something else for you to find now if you already are familiar with the "tin can"). Spent the rest of the trip in shorts. Continued N & bagged more ponds/meadows; between ponds in a sprucey area were moose tracks & scat. Looped back & followed "the dotted line on the topo map", sometimes the old road was fairly obvious, sometimes not. Reached jctn of Camp Meadows Brook & W Br Deerfield River & skied up the river past a cable across the stream. Turned around & followed the river to Reservoir Brook then followed that uphill past frozen cascades. Back on FR 73, mostly downhill. Elevations 1,800'-2,300'. Below freezing last night; sunny, temp rising thru the 40s & 50s, excellent skiing before noon, good (unconsolidated, punched thru occasionally, once 2' into water, did not realize there was a stream underneath) in the afternoon; 1'-2' snow depth. A beautiful day in the wilderness. 10.1 miles, 5.5 hours.
Apr 9 - 3" new snow at Adirondak Loj last night.
- Apr 6 - ROCKY FALLS & SCOTT CLEARING from Heart Lake. Indian Pass Trail in High Peaks Wilderness. Lots of ups & downs (some steep), very little flat. Some exposed rocks on downhills going in, ok on way back. Spur loop to frozen Indian Pass Brook, skied up brook to lean-to at the falls. Crossed brook just above the falls then very steeply back up to IPT & on to the lean-to at Scott Clearing where I took a longish break. Snowed lightly for rest of trip. Took South Camp Trail around S end of Heart Lake, the open Ski Slope good for practicing tele - get Adirondak Loj Winter Property Map at the Loj (over 10 miles of ski/snowshoe trails near the Loj). Good skiing on snowshoe-packed trail, off-trail mostly unbreakable crust with 1-3" powder, 15"-30" total snow depth. Snowshoers had recently post-holed in spots when they stepped off the packed spine. 8.5 miles, 4.6 hours. 32F in mid-afternoon & still snowing, 62F back in Albany!
- Apr 5 - INDIAN FALLS from Adirondak Loj Rd. After Friday's rain 1-5" of snow fell in the Lake Placid area on Saturday morning & 1-2" more on this Sunday morning. Temp 25-35F & sunny; 2-6" powder on firmly packed base - very good skiing. High Peaks Wilderness. Along unplowed Meadow Rd then up Marcy Dam Truck trail. Always awesome mountain views from Marcy Dam area. VanHoevenberg Trail (the most popular route up Mt Marcy) to the top of the frozen falls where there is an excellent framed view of Algonquin Peak & the rest of the MacIntyre Range. Interesting seeing usnea (old man's beard, a lichen) & snow on some trees. Intermediate to the bridge over Phelps Brook then advanced (mostly on designated ski trail) to the falls - David Goodman in Backcountry Skiing Adventures: "a mile-long 6- to 8-foot-wide pipeline that charges relentlessly downhill" - it wasn't pretty going down this section. From the bridge to Marcy Dam it was fast skiing on sometimes narrow trail. Took another break at Marcy Dam to take in the views. Lowest elevation 2,060', highest elevation 3,660'. 11.6 miles, 5.4 hours. Spent the night at Adirondak Loj on Heart Lake. Photos courtesy of THart.
NYS Budget: Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) increased from $162 million to $177 million which includes an increase of $4.9 million for Open Space for a total $26.5 million (maybe soon buy Follensby Pond from The Nature Conservancy?) & public land stewardship increased by $1.15 million to $18.5 million.
- Apr 1 - BOG MEADOW in Bakers Mills. Stomping ground of Paul Schaefer & Howard Zahniser. Parked at end of plowing on Edwards Hill Rd (2,000'), skied uphill to the end of the road (look S for good view of Crane Mtn) then L on path & into the Siamese Ponds Wilderness. R on unmarked old road then R at fork*. Some blowdown. No moose sign at BM like we saw last winter. Checked out the campsite to the N then headed up Round Pond Brook then NNW up Mud Pond outlet - nice skiing in the stream beds. View of Gore Mtn as we entered the pond (2,400'), lunch stop with view of Height of Land Mtn. Bushwhacked SE & reached Round Pond Brook at a vly. Followed the brook upstream to a beaver pond then a fairly short steep uphill to remote Round Pond. Whacked SE to the inlet of Chatiemac lake, found a dirt road. Continued SW up the inlet then S back to the unmarked old road just SE of fork*. 13th Lake quad very helpful, did not use a compass with blue skies & sun for directions. Well over a foot of firm snow, a little icy at first but softening up nicely as temp rose thru the 30s - good to excellent skiing. 8.5 miles, 5.4 hours. My 60th day of skiing this season.
- Mar 30 - DUTCHER NOTCH from Colgate Late near E Jewett in the Catskills. Views of the Blackhead Range along the way. Frozen falls on the East Kill. The old road approaches the notch above a steep gully. Gain of 400'. Good to very good skiing, temp in upper 30s & cloudy, soft surface, 0-12", some exposed rocks, bumpy snowshoe tracks, not much snow in the field next to parking. Easy intermediate. 9.3 miles, 4.5 hours. More info.
- Mar 29 - LITTLE POND, PORCUPINE LOOKOUT & HELL HOLLOW BROOK. Path & off-trail to LP. Loop incl. AT/LT (white paint blazes were only 3' above top of snow) which we lost anyway & bushwhacked downhill (oh so much fun going in & out of the trees!) thru fairly open woods til we got to the bridge over HHB. View of 2 windfarms from PL, otherwise no sign of civilization. Unmarked path back to LP snowmobile trail, Views of Mts Haystack & Snow. All streams still well frozen over - looks like snow will still be around for most of April. Gorgeous blue sky day, temp around freezing: at least 30", unbreakable crust with a little give topped with 1-2" fresh powder - very good skiing. 8+ miles, 4.8 hours.
- Mar 25 - VERNOOY KILL STATE FOREST, SW of Kingston, bordering the Catskill Park. The Long Path currently runs along roads in this area but may be routed thru the SF in the future. Parked on Rouge (aka Rogue) Harbor Rd a liitle NE of Lyon Lake (private) & skied up an old road (a few blue flagging markers) to the N which switchbacks uphill (a fun run out). Climbed over 600' in 1.7 miles to a ledge with view across the Rondout valley to the Shawangunk ridge incl. Mohonk's Sky Top Tower. Blueberry in open areas, mountain laurel in the woods. Continued N steeply downhill, crossed an open stream & turned back. Explored some state land S of Rouge Rd. Temp in 40s, very good skiing with sugar snow, 0-15", some bare spots & rocks showing. Elevations 600' to 1,250'. 6.5 miles, 3.5 hours.
- Mar 23 - LAPLAND LAKE. Skied mostly on "more" & "most difficult" trails. W Branch Stony Creek. Woods Lake. Saw a reindeer. Hardpack groomed with powder surface - good skiing, fun downhills. 10 miles, 3.2 hours.
- Mar 22 - MAGIC MOUNTAIN in Londonderry VT. A great uphill policy: free if you climb to the top, ski down, get a free ride up on the chairlift, ski down again. Skinned up to the top - 1,700' in 1.7 miles in a little over an hour - nice views to northern VT & to NH on this sunny but windy day . Going down was not so easy for me on touring gear - conditions were hard ice with some powdered shavings in spots, boilerplate to the sides. Skipped a 2nd run from the top. Instead yoyoed on an easy slope to practice my skills. 4.5 miles, 4 hours.
- Mar 18 - BLACK CREEK from Lake Desolation State Forest. Plenty of hard snow, slightly icy surface but with some give to it still allowed for decent control & fair to good skiing. Mostly off-trail (nothing marked). Skiing down the creek was fun. Passed thru several vlies. 8.5 miles, 5.3 hours.
- Mar 16 - PA'S (aka WINDING) FALLS. Bog River Ski Trail.
- Mar 15&16 - RAQUETTE RIVER lean-to camping.
- Mar 15 - UPPER HUDSON RIVER SKI TRAIL, Newcomb.
- Mar 11 - BOTHERATION POND LOOP from Barton Mines Rd.
- Mar 9 - MERCK FOREST. Mount Antone.
- Mar 8 - MERCK FOREST. Gallop Peak.
- Mar 6 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch.
- Mar 4 - PALMERTOWN RANGE, Moreau SP.
- Mar 2 - CHARLESTON STATE FOREST
- Mar 1 - GROFF CREEK & ABNER BROOK
- Feb 28 - REIST PRESERVE
- Feb 25 - HALFWAY BROOK
- Feb 23 - HOLLYHOCK HOLLOW SANCTUARY
- Feb 22 - HOFFMAN NOTCH.
- Feb 21 - MOHAWK RIVER STATE PARK
- Feb 18 - BIRCH BROOK TRAIL. Petersburgh Pass, Taconic Crest Trail, 1,100' drop on BBT to Upper Loop, Lower Loop, Rosenburg Center, Hoosic River.
- Feb 16 - PEOPLES STATE FOREST in CT.
- Feb 15 - PEOPLES STATE FOREST in CT.
- Feb 11 - RAYMOND BROOK & RABBIT POND
- Feb 8 - THACHER PARK
- Feb 4 - GREENPORT CONSERVATION AREA.
- Feb 1 -
- Jan 30 - SCHENECTADY MUNI GOLF COURSE. Just 5 minutes from the store. Breaking in a new pair of Fischer BCX 675 boots
- my old ones are usable but showing some wear. Excellent skiing
on up to 6" of powder on thin icy or crunchy base; snowing all the time I
was out. 1.2 hours.
- Jan 28 - PARTRIDGE RUN WMA from
Sickle Hill Rd (CR 13). Did all the Nordic ski trails.
Started down Beaver Rd ~0.3 miles to 2nd R. Climbed to over 2,000'
el passing a couple of ponds. Spur to old cemetery at Bradt
Hollow Rd. Crossed road, trail runs concurrently with snowmobile
trail dropping down (Long Path also joins part way down) then
climbing. R on Long Path. Best to cross beaver pond to L of
trail to avoid thin spots under dense softwoods. Crossed High
Point Rd to keyhole loop (counterclockwise). Back to Beaver Rd
along S route passing another pond. Down along Beaver Rd then up
back to start. 8" of snow, half crunchy base, half powder - very
good skiing; a bit grabby when I tried some turns off-trail (there are
some nice areas of open hardwoods). Several deer, vole. 9.5
miles, 6.2 hours.
- Jan 26 - LITTLE POND AREA from
Little Pond trailhead on Rt.9 in Woodford VT. Headed N up the
usual path between snowmobile trails which had recently been skied -
tracks had firmed up & had a hint of iciness - good skiing.
After 2 miles took a L on snowmobile trail going uphill (recently
groomed to smooth icy hardpack) then R into the Glastenbury
Wilderness. After passing an unmarked trail on the L I climbed on
the "short-cut" off-trail route toward the AT/LT following some ski
tracks. Stopped for lunch in the hardwoods here. Back the
same way. 5 miles, 2.7 hours.
- Jan 25 - ESSEX CHAIN LAKES from
Newcomb. Chain Lakes Rd North leaves Goodnow Rd for 1.3 miles
then R thru gate. At 2.5 miles from start took R on another good
dirt road (seen as double broken line on USGS map). Sixth Lake
seen on L, rolling trail, Fifth Lake on L. Much evidence of
logging. Stopped on NW shore of Fifth for lunch - good sun &
little wind, comfortable despite temp barely in double digits.
Good view of Vanderwhacker Mtn. On to the culvert between Fifth
& Fourth Lakes passing a new accessible outhouse. Stopped at
campsite #2 on Sixth. All trails had some snowmobile use - ranger
said it was illegal for sleds to go N of the lakes; out of tracks there
was 6" of powder on hard icy base - very good skiing. Easy
terrain. Temp in single digits at start & finish.
Several snowmobiles came out of Polaris Club camps. 10.85 miles,
- Jan 21 - GREEN MOUNTAIN NF from
Rt.8 south of Searsburg. Parked opposite a cemetery & the
Searsburg Wind Farm (2,500' el). Headed W on an old road, some
obstructions, harder to follow the further we went. L on
snowmobile trail down to a T junction, took a R for a while then R again
off-trail down to a tributary of Yaw Pond Brook. Upstream to a
beaver pond then more uphill skirting a long blowdown area (suspect a
microburst) generally thru semi-open hardwoods with some
hobblebush. Came out on the snowmobile trail just 200' S of where
we had entered it earlier. Took the snowmobile trail N to height
of land then off-trail E down to a beaver meadow then S until we hit our
earlier tracks. 6.6 miles, 5 hours. Good skiing on 1-3"
powder on crunchy base, bushwhacking was easy as we only sunk in
- Jan 19 - FALL STREAM.
MLK Day. Snowmobile trail (saw 5) around Fawn Lake to Willis
Vly. Off-trail alongside the vly's outlet for 0.8 miles to Fall
Stream, some obstructions. Lake Pleasant area did not get the rain
last night that areas to the S got & we had 8" of powder on good
base. 8.8 miles, 4.7 hours.
- Jan 18 - NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL
thru ski from Upper Benson (Godfrey Rd) to Benson Rd. New parking
area on Benson Rd is on the S side 4.7 miles from Rt.30 - despite that I
still skied to the old new (of last winter) parking turnout on the N
side of the road 4.5 miles from Rt.30 - NPT markers that were there last
winter have been removed near this end. From the hunting camp at
the end of Godfrey Rd the trail is now marked with yellow markers &
is no longer part of the NPT. 1.75 miles to the bridge over the N
Branch W Stony Creek & picked up the new section going E.
Lunch at Abner Brook then 280' climb over a hill (1,700' el) then fun
150' downhill run. Excellent conditions for the most part with
4"-6" powder on hard icy base. On the harder side of
intermediate. Some exposed rocks later in the trip - needs 2' of
snow in the Woods Lake area to cover up the rocks in the
softwoods. Light rain for last hour, heavier rain & freezing
rain on drive home. 9.4 miles, 7 hours (had some slower skiers in
the group today). See 2014 edition of Discover the Southern Adirondacks by Ingersoll for description & map of this new section.
- Jan 14 - AIKEN WILDERNESS from
Woodford State Park. Parking area is just E of the park entrance
on the N side of Rt.9. A new trail (blue paint blazes) leads from
the S of the parking area back to Rt.9 opposite the park entrance.
Skied across Adams Reservoir. A path leads from the back of
Campsite 64 down (crossing over the park's blue trail) to the 1st meadow
(watch out for exposed rocks at the bottom of the hill). Crossed 2
ponds & picked up the old Dewey Road & took it S climbing a
series of hills (fun on the way back, I did them twice). After
height of land the old road drops with some hobblebush interfering
passing another beaver pond on the L. Climbed up to the Tin Can
which is wedged waist high in a tree. Continued SE on the old road
then dropped SW to a beaver pond, the 1st of the 3 Sisters shown at the
bottom of this map.
After a relaxed lunch-stop dropped to a large meadow then a short
distance to the 3rd Sister which looks like the beavers have let some
water out of their dam. On the way back took a side-trip from the
Tin Can W then NW dropping down (fun!) thru open woods to the "W"-shaped
pond in the Beaver Meadows area. Don't expect any markers or
signs, the Tin Can is all you get. Excellent conditions with 4-8"
of light powder on good base. Mostly sunny yet some light snow
fell during the 1st half of the trip - a beautiful day! 8.3 miles,
- Jan 12 - HAYES CREEK
from Rts.30&8. Started from the E end of Old Rt.8 at the
closed bridge. Old Rt. 8 stays close to the Sacandaga River
passing many rapids, scenic Austin Falls & some flatwater (saw a
beaver on our way back). After about 1.5 miles we took a R before
Robbs Creek on a maze of logging roads which we thought could be Robbs
Creek Rd because the NatGeo #744 map shows (incorrectly) the road
starting on the E side of the creek (now that I'm home I see 2 other
maps show it correctly on the W side of the creek). The slash on
the logging roads made skiing extra difficult. Found a good spot
to cross the creek & continued on Robbs Creek Rd. After
passing a 1 mile marker & a good bridge over Robbs Creek we took a R
on a 4WD road, Hayes Creek on our R. The 4WD road pulls L away
from the creek but we took a R on an old road (no markers) that
continues alongside the creek. Soon leave the Speculator Tree Farm
& enter state land & the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area.
The old road supposedly crosses the creek & continues on the other
side but we saw no sign of it. Continued upstream mostly on the stream
ice. Bushwhacked uphill to the SE but unable to find any sign of
the path to Hayes Flow. Easy terrain if you take the right
route. Good skiing on 3" of powder on decent base; a bit sticky
with temp approaching freezing. 8.4 miles, 4.3 hours.
- Jan 11 - CLOCKMILL POND from
Rt.10. Lightly used snowmobile trail passes Kennels Pond &
Rock Lake. Rolling intermediate terrain. Did not see the
path to CP so bushwhacked over & came out at a small vly to the W of
CP. Staying close to the outlet stream we soon were on CP &
its convoluted shoreline. Whacked over to Rock Lake then picked up
the trail again for the return. Passed 2 sleds who came in to
clear the trail, until then we had broken trail all the way. 5"
powder on a firm base made for excellent skiing. 8.2 miles, 4.7
- Jan 7 - ROCKWOOD STATE FOREST, halfway
between Johnstown & Caroga Lake. Designated xc ski trails on
wide woods roads with a variety of terrain. Very good skiing with
2" fresh powder on hard base, maybe 5-6" total. I generally ski
the trails S of Rt.29. Care needed on steeper hills, still some
debris (I removed some of it). Temp dropping thru the teens, 11F
when I finished. Excellent map in ECOS Ski & Snowshoe Tips. 2.3 hours.
- Jan 5 - ELM LAKE from
Rtes. 8&30 in Speculator. Old Rt. 8 is plowed a short
distance to the power station at Christine Falls on the Sacandaga
River. Never far from rapids on the river, after ~1 mile we took a
L on Fly Creek Rd, a dirt road that is a snowmobile (saw none today)
trail in winter. Now in the Speculator Tree Farm
we pass a couple of camps then slowly gain elevation. Drop down
to a junction. L past gate on road to Elm Lake. The Kunjamuk
River is seen for a short time. Elm Lake, a widening of the KR,
is a popular paddling destination - interesting seeing it in
winter. Novice skiing. 1" fresh powder on firm base made for
good skiing, except for a few icy spots where the wind had blown the
snow off. Temp dropping thru the teens. 11.5 miles, 4.75
- Jan 4 - LITTLE POND from
Rt.9 in Woodford VT. Snow, freezing rain & rain
overnight. Good skiing on 2"-3" wet snow with a bit of iciness
(8-10" total, solid base) which got better as the day wore on with temp
reaching the low 40s. Headed over to the unofficial trail between
snowmobile trails, bisecting the area between FR 275 & FR 272.
The southern end is on a very old woods road, the rest is less
obvious. 3 streams were difficult to cross but with temp above
freezing I didn't mind getting my skis wet. L on snowmobile trail for a
short distance then R & bushwhacked down to the pond. Clouds
hid the higher peaks around the peaceful pond which is in the
Glastenbury Wilderness. From the campsite at the pond's W end
climbed the trail back to the snowmobile trail on FR 275 (untracked by
humans) & looped back to the start. Between the powerline
& Rt.9 a portion is plowed & I had to ski along the side of the
dirt road. Woodford Snobusters advise snowmobilers to stay off the trails - good for skiers. 5.2 miles, 3.2 hours.
- Jan 1 - FOREST ROAD 73 from
Heartwellville VT. First stopped on Rt.8 across from the cemetary
below the Searsburg Wind Farm (2,500'+ el.) & attempted to ski an
old woods road W but it was somewhat washed out & too steep for the
conditions today so gave up on that idea after skiing under 0.2 miles,
tough ski back to the car. Drove over to Heartwellville. FR
73 is a snowmobile (saw none) trail in winter, el. 1,800'+ at
start. Had half inch of powder on hard icy base - fair
skiing. Slowly gained 350' in 2.5 miles crossing the W Br
Deerfield River & Reservoir Brook on good bridges. Lunched at a
small beaver meadow to the N on Reservoir Brook at the S edge of the
Aiken Wilderness. On the way back took a side-trip up the Yaw Pond
Brook trail which was in tough shape but the brook was quite
photogenic. Downhills on FR 73 are novice/easy intermediate but
really fast today. Temp in lower 20s. 5.3 miles, 3.1
ECOS SKI & SNOWSHOE TIPS - a book of 50 cross country ski & snowshoe maps of the greater Capital Region, updated in 2011, in stock - $14.95.
.Dec 14 - PHAROAH LAKE from
end of plowing on Pharoah Lake Rd off Beaver Pond Rd. 1.1 miles
to bridge & raised boardwalk over Mill Brook, some blowdown &
wet spots along the way. Soon after the brook there was a lot of
blowdown - best to whack on SE side. Clearer trail the rest of the
way. Side-trip L just before the bridge over Pharoah Lake Outlet
to campsite with very nice view across a flow of Pharoah Mtn's cliffy W
side. Crossing the outlet on a good bridge the wide trail then
passes a lovely stretch thru hemlock woods & view of the flow to the
L. Took trail on S side of the lake to lunch at leanto #1 with
its view across the lake to Treadway Mtn. Still some open water on
the lake. Continued past double-wide leanto #2 a short distance
before turning back. Temp in mid 30s, over a foot of snow, only
sunk in 2 or 3 inches - very good skiing. Lots of snow on trees
starting to melt. Easy intermediate to the lake, intermediate on S
side trail. 10.1 miles (I did some of route twice), 5.6 hours.
Dec 25 - MOHAWK RIVER walk
from Ferry Rd, Vischer Ferry. Walked the old towpath W to the
Lock 7 dam - lots of water going over the dam after recent rains. Gore-Tex Gaiters in stock: $49.95.Dec 29 - GARNET HILL. 15k
groomed, reduced $10 trail fee - good fast skiing. Temp in
mid-20s. Used my S-Bound 88s & worked on my teles. Up to
6" hard snow off-trail. We need new snow to make bc conditions
good again. Nearby 13th Lake iced over, open water near
outlet, cool sounds as temp was dropping. Dec 27 - Snow depths - Lake Placid 6", North Creek 5", Wheelerville 2".
Dec 28 - FOREST ROAD 273 from
Rt.9 in Woodford VT, elevation ~2,100'. The snowmobile (saw none)
trail climbs moderately gaining a quick 150', crosses some trails of
the Prospect Mtn Nordic Ski Center
then slowly drops over 200' (novice). The road condition worsens
(a good thing for skiers) after about 3 miles & snowmobile use drops
off greatly. Lots of recent moose tracks & scat then I see
the guilty party, scrambled for my camera but the moose headed off thru
the woods, I followed its tracks for a while. Some wet spots but
easily avoided. Stamford Stream seen to the R, a bridge over it
leads shortly to the AT/LT. Continued for a bit on FR 273 with
meadow to the R but trail had more wet spots here so turned
around. ~8" avg hardpack, soft surface since temp had been above
freezing for over 24 hours (rain overnight). Good skiing.
Used my rock skis but good skis would have been ok. 8.1 miles, 3.5
Dec 24 (early) - Rain: bah humbug! Snow depths - Lake Placid 9.5", Indian Lake 9", North Creek 8", Wheelerville 5".Dec 21 - HELL HOLLOW BROOK from
Little Pond trailhead on Rt.9 in Woodford VT. Last autumn trip of
the year. Green Mountain NF & Glastenbury Wilderness.
Snowmobile trail to past the powerline. Unmarked path into the
wilderness area to the brook, past 3 beaver meadows/ponds & down to
bridge (closed?) that takes the AT/LT across the brook. Up then
down (& out of the wilderness area) on unmarked old logging road
around the W side of 2,726' hill (E of Maple Hill). Looped back
partly off-trail, partly on powerline snowmobile trail & partly on
another trail. Mostly excellent skiing with well over a foot of
snow, 3" powder on slightly crusty base. Elevations in
2,300'-2,600' range. Shark? 6 miles, 3.8 hours. How Werner Paddles tests their whitewater paddles: video.Dec 15 - HUYCK PRESERVE.
Wheeler-Watson trail to Partridge Path trails. Surprised to find
minimal use since the storm 5 days ago - trail broken to Loop 1 but we
ended having to break trail on Loops ! & 2, slowed us down.
Yoyoed a couple of times at glade on SW part of Loop 2. Steep drop
thru open woods to Loop 3, glad to see some old ski tracks there.
Cut Loop 3 short by skiing down the powerline. Hilly terrain,
1,600' to 1,900' elevation. 15" dense snow, temp in mid 30s,
somewhat sticky & had to reapply Maxiglide a couple of times.
Billions of snow fleas (springtails) - don't remember ever seeing them in December before, usually a late winter phenomenon. 6.3 miles, 4.8 hours.
Dec 12 - THACHER STATE PARK from
Paint Mine Picnic Area. Parking lots well-plowed - no other
visitors before 10am. 15"-20" total, powder on crunchy base - very
good skiing, trails lightly broken out, lots of bent-over trees.
Steady uphill S & Long Path to Beaver Dam Rd. Blue trail is
flat near the road but expect some good hills away from the road.
W3 Trail then R on red with good downhill then L on LP/Nature Trail,
flat thru Knowles Flats then down to bridge. Wander off-trail a
bit to get best views of cascades & waterfalls on Mine Lot
Creek. 1.5 hours.
Dec 11 - MOHAWK RIVER STATE PARK from
Lock 7 boat launch in Niskayuna. The lagoon at the boat launch is
iced over (just in case you were thinking of paddling). A quickie
before work. Up to 10" of snow, thin under hemlocks, top snow is
nice powder but there is wet snow below; some wet spots & lots of
snow-laden overhanging branches. OK skiing on Bedspring Loop &
Lock View Ridge. 9" at Adirondack Paddle'n'Pole - higher amounts
of snow can be found in the Helderbergs & Catskills.
Dec 8 - BALM OF GILEAD MOU
Albany New York area leading Kayak & Canoe specialty shop. Kayaks by Current Designs, Dagger, Perception, Swift, Wilderness Systems. Canoes by Mad River, Northern, Swift. Great selection of car racks & canoeing & kayaking accessories. Sales, Lessons, Rentals, Tours. Our 19th year in business.
2123 CENTRAL AV, COLONIE (Albany/Schenectady), NY (518)346-3180
Store Hours: M 11-6; Tu 11-5; W 11-6; Th 11-6; Fr 11-6; Sa 10-5
I-87 Adirondack Northway exit 2W, then 4.25 miles west on Rt. 5 Between Albany & Schenectady. 1.5 miles east of Balltown Rd.