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New guidebook now in stock: PENULTIMATE PADDLES in the Piseco, Indian & Canada Lakes Region: Southeast Adirondacks by Russell Dunn. The book's 67 chapters contain over 100 paddling forays, many of which have never before been written up in a paddling book.
20% to 50% off all in stock Cross Country Skis, Boots, Bindings & Poles!
Feb 7 -
Snow Falls: the Lake-effect Awakens - The Snowy Southern Adirondacks Part 2 - article.
Feb 1 - LAKE ANDREW from Tahawus. MacIntyre West tract. Same trailhead as Bradley Pond trail. NW on Upper Road (fairly wide dirt road, similar to The Lake Rd) soon crossing Harkness Lake Outlet that flows N into Henderson Lake; view of Wallface. Reach gate & register box for Santanoni Club at ~2.3 miles, map here shows trails that are not shown on any other map. Passed the Mt Andrew Hilton, a rustic camp. Trail S to Lake Andrew is reached at 3.45 miles (after gaining 500' from start), several camps are in this area, but we continued SW & bore L onto the Bowl Trail (narrower) which gained 250' in ~1 mile (intermediate+) to height of land at over 2,500'. Stopped for lunch; Bowl Trail drops steeply to the S so we returned the way we came. Took the Lake Trail (narrower) ~1 mile to Lake Andrew, a couple of rowboats on shore, could see a camp on the E shore; Mt Andrew to the NE. Lots of fun runs on the way out. Views of Santanoni Range from many spots. All trails showed some light snow machine use. Over a foot of snow, very good skiing. Temp in the 30s, couple of snow/sleet showers but some sun too. 12.5 miles, 5 hours. More info.
Jan 31 - TIRRELL POND from the S. Heard that Blue Mountain Lake area got 5" of new powder Jan 27. Northville-Placid Trail. 8" of powder on variable base; already tracked out by skiers, bare-booters went in half way, good skiing with temps above freezing; quite a few wet spots & rocks showing. Nice ice on cliffs a mile in. O'Neill Lean-to for lunch then skied across the pond (couple of slushy spots) with view of Blue & Tirrell Mtns. Stopped at lean-to at N end then skied back on the NPT. Lots of fun hills. 9.6 miles, 5.4 hours.
Jan 27 - DeBRAINE & TROUT LAKES from French Rd in Hoffmeister. Ferris Lake Wild Forest. Rained a little the day before leaving a breakable crust topped with 0.5" powder; fair skiing on ~1' snow total. See also Jan 4 trip. Crossed DL & were surprised to find that blue markers continued all the way to TL. This newly-marked trail climbs over 200' incl. a super steep cliffy part (tough skiing) before dropping 100' to TL (nice skiing). It is 1.2 miles from DL to TL. Interesting icefalls on TL 6 miles, 4 hours.
Jan 25 - FOXY BROWN SKI LOOP & MUD LAKE from Piseco Airport. Ski loop is 6 miles, took it counter-clockwise - mostly novice with an occasional short steeper spot. Bushwhacked E across a vly & picked up snowmobile trail & took that NNE until we could see Mud Lake down thru the trees; short but steep drop down to the pond-size "lake". Have been to Mud Lake before by canoe via Fall Stream & Vly Lake. Took an easier & shorter bushwhack back to the ski loop. Ran into the ranger twice - he was on a snowmobile & removing blowdown from the ski loop. Very good skiing with 6" powder on good base. 9+ miles, 5 hours.
Jan 24 - ROCKWOOD STATE FOREST from Rt.29 in Rockwood. Skied most of the trails (some twice) & spurs (incl. down to Caroga Creek) S of Rt.29. Some fun intermediate hills. Very nice skiing on 1-4" powder on good base. 8 miles, 3.8 hours incl. lunch stop.
Jan 20 - CATAMOUNT & MOUNTAIN VALLEY TRAILS ASSOCIATION TRAILS in Landgrove VT, from the end of plowing on the Danby-Mt Tabor Road (a snowmobile trail in winter). Very good skiing with 5" powder on good base. Started & finished on Utley Brook Trail (climbs 300' in a mile after it leaves the snowmobile trail; intermediate+). Not sure of the exact route we took on MVTA trails - none of the maps seemed to make sense - we did ski on Little Michigan & Stone Place Trails (intermediate) plus explored a logging road going NW alongside Griffith Brook. CT info. 9.1 miles, 5.3 hours.
Jan 18 - NORTH BRANCH from Rt.10 next to 1st bridge (upstream) over W Br Sacandaga River in Arietta. An unmarked somewhat grown-in old wagon road into the Silver Lake Wilderness Area. Very good skiing on about a foot of snow, 4" of new powder on good base. Had to skirt around a fair amount of blowdown (lost the path 3 or 4 times), some wet stream crossings. Scenic vly to the E 2 miles in. At ~2.5 miles there is a fork (ribbon on a tree at junction) - main path goes L; we took the R to a campsite on NB, then crossed the ice to a nice sunny spot for lunch. Skied alongside the stream & picked up the path again at a sharp bend in the stream. Turned around at a small vly. 7.5 miles, 5.8 hours.
Jan 17 - BREIA trails from Jackson Hill Rd in Boonville. Tug Hill Plateau. Foot of snow, a little rain yesterday left things a bit icy. Trails groomed 2 days earlier. Steeper trails like Telemark were challenging but fun. Skied a lot of easy stuff too. Deluxe warming hut. The black trails below the hut are intermediate+; Adirondack Field & Murray Hill Loop intermediate, Sunfield & Into the Woods Trails are novice. 9.8 miles, 4.6 hours.
Jan 13 - DRY, DEXTER & SPECTACLE LAKES ski from Rt.10 in Arietta. Sun, wind, temp in the teens. Good early winter skiing on 6" of fresh powder on a variable icy base, some wet spots, still hit some hidden rocks. A secondary snowmobile trail, saw no-one else today. Couple of steep, moist, rocky hills either side of Dexter; otherwise decent intermediate skiing. 8.5 miles, 4.5 hours.
Jan 11 - PORCUPINE LOOKOUT hike from Rt.9 (el 2,400') in Woodford VT. Temp in upper teens but much wind chill from gusty wind. Little Pond (snowmobile) Trail to crossover to Appalachian Trail. View of Mt. Snow, Haystack Mtn, Hoosac Range. 1-3" base (icy snow, a bit crunchy), 0 powder. Had traction device in pack but did not use. 420' el gain, 6.1 miles, 3.3 hours.
Jan 10 - record high temp of 55F & rain!
Jan 6 - KUNJAMUK CAVE from next to ice rink at Sacandaga River Community Park in Speculator. Fair skiing on 1-2" powder on ice base, some wet spots, animal post-holes - stayed on the flatter parts near the rivers, the easier part of the Kunjamuk Loop. Sacandaga River had some open water. The Kunjamuk River was mostly iced-over. Several whitetail deer. 4.3 hours.
Governor Cuomo proposes to greatly increase funding of the Environmental Protection Fund - story.
Jan 4 - DeBRAINE LAKE near Hoffmeister. Before leaving home replenished my fire starter supply in my essentials kit. Temp in single digits but sunny with minimal wind. Very good skiing on 3-4" powder on icy base. Farm Rd was plowed a short distance from French Rd. Skied on Farm Rd for half mile then on trail to DeBraine. After a short climb the trail parallels a vly seen on the L & soon reaches the lake. Blue trail markers around W side of the lake to "rusted metal hardware" mentioned in 5th Edition of Discover the Southern Adirondacks (available at APnP) but saw none S of there. Was hoping to continue to Trout Lake but when crossing the iced-over outlet I broke thru the ice & I was in water up to the tops of my gaiters. Changed out of wet socks & into SealSkinz waterproof/breathable socks that I usually carry in my pack on wilderness trips for situations like this. Decided it would be best to return to the car. 1.8 hours. On the drive up: most lakes were iced over except Canada Lake was mostly open water. Drove to nearby trailhead for HURRELL VLY. Skied on snowmobile trail (recent sled use at start but none for most of route) for ~2.5 miles & turned around before reaching the vly, pleasant woods with good peaceful wilderness feel. Some nice long gentle to moderate hills along the way. Some wet spots were easy to avoid, streams incl. Bochen Lake Outlet had bridges (1 was out). 2.2 hours.
Jan 3 - BREIA skiing, from E parking area on Egypt Rd. Excellent skiing on 5-8" powder over 2' icy base. Main trails groomed i.e. rolled, no track set. Trails: Creekside (ungroomed), Great, Cherry Tree (mostly ungroomed, some wet spots), Link, Glacier, Gully I II III IV, Creek View, Rim, Moss & back on Link & Great. Lunch in the warming hut; no fire in the wood-burning stove when we arrived but since I carry a fire-starter we had some heat in no time. ~3" fell in the time we were out. 9 miles, 5 hours.
Jan 1 - ROCKWOOD STATE FOREST ski. 3" of hard icy base with a dusting of fresh powder; snowing all the time we were out; added ~half inch of powder - fair to good skiing. Steeper hills a bit hairy. 6.7 miles, 2.9 hours.
Our local gray seal has been rescued: story.
- Nov 30 - PUTNAM POND canoeing. Got well below freezing overnight. 1.5 hour morning paddle around the perimeter, some ice around the edges & coves. Lots of ducks, some C geese. Drove up the road a bit & hiked to nearby LOST POND. Interesting loop around the rock-lined pond, water level low exposing some beaches. Temp did not get much above freezing today. 4.3 miles, 2.3 hours.
- Nov 29 - ALDER & CRANE PONDS canoeing, from Goose Pond trailhead on Crane Pond Rd (dirt, rough). Pharaoh Wilderness. AP very shallow, averaged 1' deep. Short 100 yard carry between the ponds, lots of red & white pines. Bushwhack hike up BEAR MOUNTAIN (recent forest fire) - views in most directions incl. High Peaks, Pharaoh Mtn & Hoffman Mtn (all showed a coating of snow) + Pyramid Lake, Tubmill Marsh & Crane Pond; 576' climb in 0.7 miles; the summit is on private but unposted land. Drove over to PUTNAM POND & paddled to a campsite in the dark with snow flurries, set up camp.
- 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.