Adirondack Paddle'n'Pole - Nehasane's Page
Ne-ha-sa-ne best translates to "beaver crossing river on a log"
Adirondacks - Greater Capital District - Other
Dec 30 - SCHENECTADY MUNI GOLF COURSE. Avg 4", some windblown bare spots - good skiing.
Dec 29 - ALBANY PINE BUSH from Willow St. Shorter distance to the blue trail which I skied in both directions - faster than 2 days ago now that more skiers have been on the trails. Intermediate.
Dec 27 - ALBANY PINE BUSH xc skiing from Madison Ave Ext. 10" fresh powder. Skied most of the trails in this section, breaking trail a lot of the way. The blue trail is my favorite for interesting skiing & scenery - there is a good view of the Helderberg Escarpment (Thacher Park). Deer. 6.8 miles, 3 hours.
Dec 26 - CAMP SANTANONI, NEWCOMB LAKE xc skiing. Several inches of powder on top of icy base made for excellent skiing. Temp stayed in the teens - used my narrower (70-60-65 sidecut) waxable skis for maximum glide since the hills here are mostly gentle. Sunny & not too windy - nice view across the lake to Santanoni Mtn. Skied out onto the lake - ice seemed pretty solid for the most part. Novice skiing, 10 miles.
Dec 25 - all area waterways are iced up.
Dec 19 - LITTLE POND TRAIL, Woodford, VT, from Rt.9. 5" powder on a bit of an icy base. Good skiing for the most part but some rocks exposed & some wet spots. 2 miles on snowmobile trail to edge of Glastenbury Wilderness where motors are not allowed. Judging by the tracks looked like a few skiers were out yesterday. Still best for "rock skis". Elevations above 2,300'. An hour's drive from Albany. 2 hours.
Dec 17 - PARTRIDGE RUN WMA xc skiing. 2-4" fair skiing.
Alpina BC 1675 - nice 75mm 3-pin backcountry ski boots, good ankle support.
Dec 13 - CLAPPER HOLLOW STATE FOREST, Jefferson, SW Schoharie County. 0-4" of snow - reports of over a foot a few days ago but yesterday's rain did it in. Hike to pond & lean-to - unfortunately, W winds blow into the open side of the leanto. 8 miles of trails marked for xc skiing. Elevation 1,800-2,100'. 3 hours. Still some daylight left so drove over thru Middleburgh to COTTON HILL STATE FOREST. Long Path to lean-to from Treadlemire Rd. Soon cross a snowmobile trial & pass thru flat-sided rocks. Short steep climb the short distance to the lean-to - limited view to the NW - wind chill kept me moving. Dusting of snow.
Dec 12 - REIST PRESERVE walk, Niskayuna. Rain always looks worse from indoors - not so bad when you get out into it. Testing the knee.
Maxiglide - keeps snow from sticking to nowax skis. Black Diamond Kicker Skins in stock - 50mm & 65mm - easier climbs on skis.
Dec 6 - RAQUETTE RIVER & FORKED LAKE xc skiing. 8" light powder, no base. 2 miles along unplowed Forked Lake Campsite Lane. Carry trail to Pinebrook Leanto at the foot of rapids on the Raquette River - lunch out of the wind. Crossed dam at the foot of the lake - a foot of snow here. Less snow on yellow trail thru campground. Observations: Minerva - dusting; Newcomb - 6"+; Blue Mtn Lake - 6"; Indian Lake 3"; Speculator - dusting; Long, Blue Mtn, Forked, Indian Lakes still mostly ice-free; Lake Durant mostly iced up. Picnicked at a drive-in campsite on the E Br Sacandaga River on way home - temp well below freezing, warmed up some soup over a campfire - have to get acclimated to cold.
Dec 5 - VISCHER FERRY NATURE PRESERVE walk, from Ferry Rd. Flat. Old Erie Canal Lock 19. Bluebirds. Nehasane has a knee problem which may call for easier trips for a while.
Nov 29 - BALM OF GILEAD MOUNTAIN hike. 1" of snow. 13th Lake still ice-free.
Nov 28 - LIMEKILN LAKE xc skiing. Much of the lake had ice on it, open near shore. 3"-4" on campground roads. Nice & quiet.
Nov 25 - CAT MOUNTAIN hike. Start not far E from Northway Exit 24. Lake George Land Conservancy. May not have gone above freezing, some ice in trail (old logging roads) easily avoided. Trail gets rougher the farther you get. Pass some icy beaver ponds, one with view of Cat & also expanding onto trail. Gain of over 700' from trailhead. Great views of southern half of Lake George, Green Mountains, Crane & Gore (making snow on 2 trails) Mtns, Mt Greylock?. Could also see the cabin on Thomas Mtn to the N. XC skiing would be easy on 1st 2+ miles but the climb over the final mile would make it advanced, plus you would need at least 1.5' of snow to cover all the rocks. 6.5 miles, 4.4 hours.
Nov 22 - CHRISTMAN SANCTUARY walk, Duanesburg. The Bozenkill bisects the property. One big waterfall (a leanto style shelter nearby) & many smaller ones. 1.5 hours.
Nov 21 - BRACE MOUNTAIN, S Taconic Trail hike. Very steep trail - gain of 1,300' in 1.9 miles to Brace. Nice view S from S Brace over Riga Lake to NW CT. Views in all directions from Brace (a pile of rocks & pole with windsock at the summit) - Bear Mtn (highest mountain in CT) not far to the E, Mt Greylock (highest in MA) in distance to the N, Catskills & Gunks across the valley to the W. Continued N along the ridge for about 1.5 miles - fairly open with views along the way. 5 hours.
Nov 20 - Southern zone regular deer hunting season starts.
Nov 17 - PLOTTER KILL PRESERVE hike. It's been raining - time to go check out some 40-60' waterfalls.
Nov 15 - ICE CAVES & HIGH POINT hike. Sam's Point Preserve. The Gunks. A visitor center was built since I was last here. $7 for parking. Start at 2,009' elevation - in the clouds this morning so views limited from cliff-tops of Sam's Point. Loop thru Ice Caves - really cool! Lake Maratanza. Thru the Badlands (dwarf pitch pine barrens) to High Point. Grouse, snow buntings. 8.5 miles, 5.2 hours.
Nov 14 - RAINBOW FALLS & LITCHFIELD LEDGE hike. Ya gotta love rock... Shawangunks. Minnewaska State Park W of New Paltz - there was a line of cars waiting to get into the main parking area (charge for parking). Long Path from Jenny Lane (free parking, room for 6 vehicles) - rough & rocky for a couple of miles until reaching smooth rock up on the ridge. No snakes. Mostly carriageways on the return. 5.2 hours.
Nov 10 - ACRA POINT loop hike. Catskills. From Big Hollow Rd/CR 56 near Maplecrest. Red trail up was wet at first but soon dry. Mostly hardwood forest. E on blue Escarpment Trail. Best view is from a rock ledge on the R well before the top of AP - snow could be seen on the N side of the Blackhead Range - just a few very small snow patches on my route. On top there is a very small lookout with view to Albany - 900' elevation gain. R on yellow trail down to leanto & the Batavia Kill. 5.2 miles, 3.6 hours.
Nov 8 - STONY CREEK & PONDS. Temp barely rising above freezing. Snowflakes, drizzle, sleet - thought this might shorten the trip but we still had much fun. Upstream on the Raquette River (noticeable current) a short distance then L up winding Stony Creek. Near N end of the Stony Ponds took a channel to the E. Up over a beaver dam (glad I had the mukluks on) then a short 20' carry around another beaver dam to an isolated pond, Stony Creek Mtn rises to the E. 4 hours.
Nov 7 - LAKE PLACID kayaking. Temp in upper 30s. Trace of snow below 2,000', more snow with elevation. Snowy mountains: McKenzie & Moose to the W, Whiteface rises 3,000' to the NE, the Sentinel Range to the E, most of the rest of the High Peaks to the S. Some really fancy "camps". State land at N end & large parts of the 2 big islands. Stopped at Whiteface Landing for lunch. Saw a couple of motorboats but mostly very quiet. Loons in winter plumage. 4.5 hours. Camped out at Axton Landing on the Raquette River - billions of stars, temp in 20s.
Nov 3 - HUDSON RIVER from state boat launch N of Athens, where the Murderer's Kill joins the Hudson. Very calm early. Around N end of Middle Ground Flats (a long island) & over to E side of the river. Explored East Flats, a bay with marshy N end - could see the silo & pavillion of Harrier Hill Park up to the E (see Oct 25). Bald eagle perched high on tree. Stopped for lunch at small beach at S end of Stockprt Middle Ground, an island. Circumnavigated the island, spotted a hawk & eagle's nest. High tide. Crossed over to W side of river after a barge/tug went by, wind picking up from the S. With the wind opposing the current we got short period steep waves over 1'. Ducked into the channels amongst the marshes of West Flats/Vosburgh Swamp & avoided the wind for a while - since it was close to high tide we were able to find a route thru. Back on the river for some more wind & waves - the seaworthy Merlin II canoe made for a fun ride. Finished by going upstream a bit on the Murderer's Kill to dam then back to launch. 4.8 hours. Many duck blinds in the marshy areas - duck hunting season resumes Sat Nov 6.
Nov 2 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions/RR Station Park, Rosendale Rd, Niskayuna. Last after work paddle of the season. Chilly once the sun set. While hanging out in the dark parking lot ~7:20pm we saw a big flash across the N sky going E to W then breaking up: quite likely a meteorite.
Nov 1 - TIVOLI BAYS & CRUGER ISLAND hike. From Kidd Lane. Hiked the figure 8 loops described in the book & more. Lots of nice views along the way, fair amount of ups & downs. Still some fall color. The old road to Cruger Island was very muddy for a while about 2.5 hours after high tide (under water at high tide) - a sign says access to Cruger only allowed October thru December. Followed a path (unmarked) to N end of "island" then along W side with views across the Hudson River. Found a nice rocky spot at S end for a break in the sun but out of the wind - the Hudson did not look too friendly today. Bushwhacked further E but woods not as open, took me a few minutes to find the start of path back to the mainland. Blue trail S to point that juts out into South Bay. I didn't find what I was looking for but I had a great time doing it. 5 hours.
Above & below hikes can be found in AMC's Best Day Hikes in the Catskills & Hudson Valley.
Oct 31 - STORM KING loop hike, near West Point, NY. The Hudson Highlands. Rocky trails are well-marked but there are no signs anywhere. From parking lot near top of Rt.9W, I took trail with reddish markers steeply up Butter Hill. At a junction with yellow & blue trails I realized I had left the guidebook in the Nehasanemobile. I guessed R which was the right way. Great views of Hudson River, Constitution Marsh & more - lookouts are1,300' above the river. Views along the way include the Gunks, Catskills, Taurus, Breakneck Ridge. Took the white trail back. Still a lot of fall foliage especially at lower elevations - the oaks are especially good this year & still some bright maples. The guidebook said it was a 6 mile hike but it was actually closer to 4. Time left to do a scenic loop drive On Rtes.218 down by the river & 9W up high.
Oct 30 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions/RR Station Park, Rosendale Rd, Niskayuna. The water chestnut weeds are gone, the put-in was mucky. Circumnavigated 2 of the islands & paddled up to Lock 7 - a lot of water going over the dam. Mallards, gb herons, gulls, red-tailed hawk, a smaller hawk, kingfishers, wood duck. 1.5 hours.
Oct 27 - WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER. Recent rains produced high water level. Upstream to Good Luck Lake (the current was actually going up the lake's outlet) - lots of ripe cranberries in the marsh to the W. Checked out a campsite - easy access brings bad campers sometimes (very quiet today). Downstream & into Chub Lake. KANE MOUNTAIN hike - sunset from firetower.
Oct 26 - HUDSON RIVER from boat launch next to Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Docks & portapotty have been removed. Variety of boats out this evening. Goose hunters were heading for the Papscannee so we headed upstream on the Hudson. Wind picked up on way back - interesting in the dark - WS Zephyr 160 handled real nice.
Oct 25 - HANNACROIX PRESERVE walk. Hudson River Interpretive Trail - bridge made of recycled plastic - immature bald eagle. Falls on Hannacroix Creek - whitetail deer. Drove to Four Mile Point - picked up a Scenic Hudson brochure then headed for Harrier Hill Park on E side of the Hudson N of Hudson - view of East & West Flats of Hudson River & Catskills past old farm fields & silo. Stopped at Stockport Station & saw a guideboat going upstream on the Hudson.
Oct 24 - HUDSON RIVER TIVOLI BAYS from concrete ramp boat launch at Glasco Mini Park (S of Saugerties). Crossing the Hudson 3 hours before high tide after a tug-pulled barge went by was a bit bumpy. Around rocky Magdalen Island & under railroad bridge into North Bay, a tidal marsh. Explored some of the channels, Stony Creek, a DEC dock for canoes/kayaks (lunch with great view of Catskill Mountains: North Point, Kaaterskil High Peak, Plattekill & firetower on Overlook Mtn.) & a very narrow passage (could call this a bushwhack) at the bay's N end. Out to the river & around Cruger Island (not an island) passing a bald eagle in a tree. Not much room to get under southern bridge into North Bay at high tide. Into South Bay via northernmost rr bridge. Summer sees a lot of water chestnut but it was mostly gone by this time of year; mud flats at low tide. Channel to Cruger Island Rd (under water near high tide) - great egrets & gb herons. Back into bay - 8 mute swans. Got out & got a close-up look at 50' waterfall on the Saw Kill between Blithewood & Montgomery Place estates. Small, rocky Skillpot (Dutch for turtle) Island. Out under southernmost of 3 bridges. Crossed river to cliffs of Turkey Point. Back to launch against the current. Fall colors excellent - wide range of colors in maples & oaks . 11+ miles, 5.5 hours. Trail map. Can't wait to go back.
Oct 23 - ROUND LAKE & ANTHONY KILL from the inlet. Full moon rises & sun sets ~6pm - how can one resist? Easy to go over the beaver dams on the AK. Bald eagle, buffleheads.
Oct 19 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS from 123rd St boat launch in Lansingburgh. Very little water coming in over the falls next to Peebles Island - suspect power companies are holding it back. Upstream a bit on the Hudson under the light of the moon. Lots of beavers (one very big old grandpa ambled down the bank, ever so slowly, entered the water, and gave the most halfhearted tail slap), merlin, great egret, juvenile black-crowned night heron. Swift Saranac 14, a 14' light touring kayak.
Oct 18 - VISCHER FERRY NATURE PRESERVE walk.
Oct 17 - ROCKY NECK SP, CT. Loop hike. Hung out at beach on LI Sound.
Oct 15 - CAPE MAY, NJ. Winds to 40mph - no paddling, lots of walking. The great common American birder. Mute swans, C geese, shovellers, tree swallows, merlins, kestrels, sharp-shinned hawks, cooper's hawk, peregrine falcon, osprey, bald eagle, turkey vultures. Sunset Beach.
Oct 9-14 - NJ PINE BARRENS. Wharton State Forest. The Pine Barrens are to NJ what the Adirondacks are to NY. Set up shuttles for downriver runs. Oswego, Mullica, Batsto & Wading Rivers provide miles of wild, undeveloped shoreline. Rivers have many sharp turns - this will tire you especially if your turning strokes are not too efficient. Lowland (<5' above the water) has red maples (some in fall colors) & Atlantic white cedars; upland (>5') pitch pines & oaks; sandy soil. High temps 75-80F the first few days then in the mid 60s, lows 45-60F. Tent camped at Atsion Family Campground the 1st 2 nights, cabin ($45 for 4 beds/2 bedrooms) for next 2 nights.
Oct 13 & 14 - BATSTO RIVER. Backcountry camping at Lower Forge (designated site). Hampton Furnace (just a few feet wide here & barely enough depth to float the boat) to Batsto Lake. Much lowland. 3.25 hours to campsite (shared with 1 late-arriving backpacker); 3.5 hours from camp to Batsto (early morning paddle with some mist on the water); osprey. Drove to Belleplain SP - stayed in a yurt (bunkbeds for 4) for 2 nights.
Oct 12 - BATSTO VILLAGE. Short hike on Tom's Pond Trail, visited a section of the Mullica we had paddled. Found & sampled a cranberry. Visited the historic old village. Hung out at Batsto Lake before moving into cabin. Started reading John McPhee's The Pine Barrens for some background.
Oct 11 - WADING RIVER. Short upstream & back from Beaver Branch, just wanted to find a nice spot on a high sandy bank for long lunch & relax - 80F today. Very little current at first but soon became work as the current picked up. Cranberries, turtles.
Oct 10 - MULLICA RIVER. Atsion to Pleasant Mills. Starts out 10'-20' wide, mostly hardwoods on shores. Opens up into a wide marshy area before Old Mullica Camp, nice spot for a break. After this beaver dams & obstructions are frequent. Later the river widens & there are more of the trademark Pine Barrens high sandy banks. Has the most scenic variety. 12.1 miles, 6.25 hours.
Oct 9 - OSWEGO RIVER. Oswego Lake to Harrisville Lake. Easy shuttle. Short carry around dam to get on the river. Cedar shores early, piney shores later. Kestrel. Cloudless 75F. Ran into 2 largish groups - one group of renters had 3 capsizes in first half of trip - luckily water is generally shallow & sandy-bottomed. 7.5 miles, 3.75 hours.
Oct 4 - PEAKED MOUNTAIN hike. Lots of water in Peaked Mtn Brook, lots of nice cascades & waterfalls (you have to go off trail a bit to see biggest). Passed several vlies - looked carefully, no moose. Old aluminum canoe at Peaked Mtn Pond. Views from summit in all directions - could see many mountains: Snowy, Blue, Marcy & her court, Gore, Crane, as well as the Green Mtns. Foliage colors best at 2,000-2,500'. 7 miles, 1,200+' net el. gain, 5 hours.
Oct 3 - BCU FOUNDATION SAFETY & RESCUE TRAINING. Offered by Albany Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club. Lake George, Bolton Landing, Veteran's Park beach. Water temp 66F - air about 10 degrees less - by afternoon the NE 15-20mph (twice what was predicted) wind made things a bit interesting. Afterwards, drove up to 13th Lake & camped at one of the 4 walk-in sites at the N end of the lake (all unoccupied on this Sunday evening). Looked at the trailhead register & Herb Terns reported seeing a moose that day on a hike up Peaked Mtn - I then knew what I wanted to do the next day. Some grouse & owl sounds in the evening, no loony tunes.
Sep 29 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7. Nice sunset colors again, most of time in the dark - remember, boating law says each canoe/kayak must have a lantern with a white light which can be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent a collision - I use a waterproof headlamp. Have to take advantage of nice weather.
Sep 28 - MOHAWK RIVER from Freddie's Park, just SE of Rt.9 Crescent Bridge. Paddled upstream & under the Nway. Warm evening, nice sunset. Ducks, geese, egrets, herons. Mohawk River Paddling Guide.
Sep 25-27 - Southern VT. Arlington-W Wardsboro (aka Kelly Stand) Rd. Grout & Branch Ponds. Hiking & Paddling.
Sep 23-24 - SPENCER LAKE, a little S of the Moose River. Part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Start on Fish Pond, soon a channel takes us into Spencer. We stop at Hardscrabble Lodge to get a camping permit (there are only 3 campsites on "the sandbar"), best to do this ahead of time, call 207-243-3020) - had short but very pleasant chat with the caretaker, Robbie - the lake is surrounded by private land. Steep mountains rise over 1,000' on either side. A bull moose swims past our beach campsite in the evening. Rain after midnight & Friday so we decide to head home. Stopped at the brewpub again for lunch, had lousy slow service but were offered the very good food & drink for free.
Sep 19-23 - MOOSE RIVER BOW TRIP starts & ends at Attean Pond near Jackman, ME. No bad bugs. Fall foliage ~30%. Bell Chestnut Prospector, a 16' canoe - really nice performance in both lakes & rivers with some rapids.
Sunday - drove up in ~8 hours with stop at Kennebec River Pub & Brewery. Short paddle to our 1st campsite on Attean Pond - a sand beach site at the start of trail to Sally Mtn - as nice a site as you'll ever camp on - picnic table & deluxe outhouse (doesn't smell, regular toilet seat, no spiders) don't hurt - curiously an oak stood front & center (you just don't see oaks at this latitude & elevation).
Monday - hiked Sally Mtn, 3.3 miles RT, 1,100' climb. Paddled to W end of AP. 1.2 mile portage (wide trail, boardwalk over muddy parts, gentle elevation gain) to Holeb Pond.
Tuesday - Paddled down Holeb Stream ~1 mile to Moose River. Ran Camel Rips after a quick scout from land. Portaged 0.4 miles around Holeb Falls which drops 40'. Camped across the river below falls.
Wednesday - Portaged R 30' around Mosquito Rips. Portaged R 0.1 mile around Spencer Rips - the Northern Forest Canoe Trail joins here, a long road portage connects to Fish Pond/Spencer Lake. Ran 1st rapid at Attean Falls. Camped here overlooking the stillwater between the 2 rapids. Watched 3 canoes go over the 2nd set of rapids (class II/II+) with varied success.
Thursday - I ran 2nd set of rapids solo in empty canoe. Soon the Moose River runs into Attean Pond to complete the loop.
Sep 14 - MOHAWK RIVER from Freeman's Bridge, Glenville Paddled upstream past the Rt.5 bridge then around the islands. Not as much development as one would expect from this urban paddle, some highway noise.
Sep 13 - Morning ocean beach walk at Coast Guard Beach down to Nauset Inlet - lots of seals in the water. SANDY NECK in Barnstable. Cape Cod Bay paddleable here well away from high tide. 2nd highest dunes on the Cape on 7 mile barrier beach. Chop up to 1'.
Sep 12 - CAPE COD. Camping at Nickerson SP - get your reservations early. Early morning paddle around CLIFF POND in the park, 1 windy hour, some nice beaches, very clear water. High tide ~3pm so needed to kill some time. Hung out at Head of the Meadow Beach on the ocean side & then at Mayo Beach on the bay side in Wellfleet. Launched into CAPE COD BAY at Sunken Meadow Beach. N past Audubon Sanctuary (mostly undeveloped). Lieutenant Island Rd, which joins the island to the mainland, floods at high tide so I paddle across the road, the bridge now an island. Into Loagy Bay, I pass a boatload of cormorants. Around LIEUTENANT ISLAND then explored an unnamed creek just N of Fresh Brook before returning. Watched the sunset from First Encounter Beach.
Sep 8 - HUDSON RIVER, VLOMAN KILL, PAPSCANEE CREEK. From boat launch next to Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. We started a bit after high tide - good time to explore the tributaries. The falls on the VK were down to a trickle. Crossed the Hudson (minimal motor traffic this evening) & into the Papscanee, a mature bald eagle was perched on downed tree a few feet above the water. Eagle's nest soon seen. Paddled up the creek for half an hour going under 2 bridges. Lots of gb herons, kingfishers, a hawk, some goats.
Sep 5 & 6 - FALL STREAM upstream from Piseco. Had 2 beaver dams to get out for (other dams breached, I suspect motorboaters have been taking them apart, water level 1'-2' lower than I've seen before) in the 4.5 miles to Vly Lake. Motorboat at campsite a bit before Vly Lake. The channel into Mud Lake was initially shallow but got better as we hopped over some beaver dams. Mud is a pretty boggy-shored pond, we found the only route to some dry upland for a lunchbreak. Back to Vly & campsite at the N end which has a nice view to the W (hills rise over 1,000' above the lake) across the water, 2 motorboats at the other campsite. After a relatively quiet night & a misty morning we paddled further upstream on Fall Stream, now much narrower than the section below Vly Lake. Soon go over a big beaver dam & water levels became better. We passed the site of a hunter's campsite which had stacks of firewood. More dams & obstructions, the forest closed in & we reached a rapid. Carried the 100' past it & we had more flat water. Passed junction with Willis Vly Outlet. 2 hours after leaving Vly Lake we turned around. Altho the sandy-bottomed stream was getting shallower we could have continued further upstream. Took 1.5 hours to get back to Vly, delayed somewhat by a capsize & recovery (Nehasane to the rescue) after going over a large downed tree. Broke camp & paddled out. Goldenrod & cardinal flower colored the shores; a hint of fall color in the trees.
Aug 31 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS from 123rd St boat launch in Lansingburgh. Played in the currents below Buttermilk Falls next to Peebles Island then paddled downstream on the Hudson. The Dagger Axis 10.5 kayak is a wolf in sheep's clothing - looks like a rec kayak, plays like a whitewater kayak.
Aug 29 & 30 - MADAWASKA FLOW, QUEBEC BROOK, ONION RIVER. ~6 mile drive on rough dirt roads - several turns, pay attention to directions in guidebook by Cilley Adirondack Paddler's Guide. Easy 0.42 mile portage to the flow. Paddled to roomy campsite near the dam. Short carry past dam & old road, rough put-in on Quebec Brook. Soon take a R on Onion River, stays fairly wide for over a mile then gets narrower - a couple of beaver dams to go over. Eventually too little water to continue. Jennings Mtn to the N. Back to QB & further downstream to rapids which I ran solo in the Royalex Prospector then carried back up along a path. Stopped at a designated campsite which looked like it has never been used - has my vote for worst backcountry campsite in the Adirondacks. After a quiet night & misty morning we drop off our overnight gear & continue upstream on QB. The main channel has multiple "S" turns but shortcuts can be taken if you are willing to push thru the lilypads. After exploring a spur to the SE we paddle SSW on QB which soon narrows. Views of Jenkins & St Regis Mtns. We go over 3 beaver dams before entering Quebec Pond which is ringed with red & white pines. A private leanto is seen. Headwind on the return. In general black spruce & tamarack seen on the lowest land, pines on drier land, harwoods up on the hills. 3 or 4 camps seen en route, otherwise very nice wilderness feel. 4-6 hours of actual paddling each day. Loon on the flow.
Aug 26 & 27 - MOHAWK RIVER Lock 7. The canal & locks have been closed this week due to high water. A common loon (a non-breeding adult) has been hanging around near the boat launch. A baby turtle (shell only 1.5" long) swimming, green herons, gb herons, ring-billed gulls, cormorants, mallards, great egrets.
Aug 24 - MOHAWK RIVER from Kiwanis Park in Rotterdam. Current had slowed to ~1.5mph. A couple of bateaus from the Mabee Farm were out. Interesting currents & textured water for the advanced paddler to play in below Lock 9. WS Zephyr, a 16' kayak.
Aug 23 - Mohawk River near flood due to recent rains. A canoeist I know took 70 mins. to go from Kiwanis Park to Lock 9 & 18 mins. to get back!
Aug 22 - CHITTENDEN RESERVOIR, NE of Rutland, VT. From boat launch near end of Dam Rd. 5mph speed limit, water-skiing & jetskis not allowed. W shore has some light development, rest undeveloped. Nice views of Green Mountains - light rain, clouds & mist draped the mountains. Several campsites on the lake - only one was occupied (a very large group with kayaks & inflatable motorboats). 4 otters in a group, loon. 3.2 hours.
Aug 16 - BOG RIVER from Lower Dam to Bog River Falls. A couple of thunderstorms passed thru early while we were in camp but rest of the day ended up real nice - had time to solo (using kneeling thwart) the kevlar Bell Northstar canoe & explore the N end of Hitchins Pond. Dropped off camping gear at the cars & spotted a car at Bog River Falls on Rt.421. In contrast to yesterday's route this section will need a few years to see a 100 paddlers, we saw no-one. The river has mostly wooded shores - mainly alders & spruce but also some very tall white pines & some hardwoods. From the dam we carry on river R past the powerhouse to the flat water below. All carries after this are on river L - expect to step over logs, etc. Soon come to a short rapid which we lined. At the next & longer rapid a rough carry trail well-marked with ribbons goes steeply up before leveling out somewhat. Ceebotar & Oceebota had a royalex canoe & decided to line instead of carry. The next carry starts above Split Rock Falls, rough at first it soon takes a R on an old logging road which leads to an old bridge. I have skied much of this area & am somewhat familiar with the paths. From the bridge the carry continues alongside the river passing a campsite & soon bears L at a red marker to the pool below Pa's Falls. Bearing R at the fork leads to the best view of the falls & is a great spot for a break. Here the river drops & turns R shooting down thru vertical rock walls, the roar of the water makes it difficult to carry on a conversation - a great spot. After a short paddle across the pool there are 2 shorter carries (not as well-marked, stay close to the river). Good stretch of flat water follows & a sign for the Bog River Ski Trail is seen on the L. We go over a couple of beaver dams. We almost miss the start of the next & longest carry which follows the ski trail with views of the river. Eventually the ski trail turns L along an old logging road while the carry trail jogs L & R. Occasionally could not see the next ribbon & the path is little used so one has to pay attention so as to not get lost. We arrive at the river just above the confluence with Round Lake Outlet. Flat water for last 1.75 miles to take-out. 5.4 hours for the trip from the Lower Dam to BR Falls. No bad bugs except for a few mosquitoes in camp.
Aug 15 - BOG RIVER, HITCHINS POND, LOW'S RIDGE from the Lower Dam. This is a paddlers' superhighway - probably saw close to 100 other paddlers (half canoes half kayaks, motors not allowed) either coming or going (most headed to & from Low's Lake). Most campsites early on on the Bog River & Hitchins were available mid-day Sunday & we chose #4 because it has room for 3 tents & it is away from the traffic. Paddled over to start of the Upper Dam portage. From there it is ~1.25 mile hike to the lookout on Low's Ridge - great views of the Bog River & distant High Peaks from the open rocks. Loons, black ducks - others saw a bald eagle & a swimming red squirrel.
Aug 12 - The fifth annual Canal Splash! weekend kicked off today at the Waterford Canal Harbor in Saratoga County with the opening of a handicap accessible pathway leading to new floating docks for canoes and kayaks - press release. Unfortunately, the canal authority later announced that they are buying an additional dock since the new "paddlers" dock is indeed NOT a paddlers dock but a small motorized boat dock. Someone dropped the ball and they were NOT open to discussion about it prior to installation! Duh!!! Politicians doing what they do best: spending our money - there is already a good boat launch 200 yds away!
Aug 10 - HUDSON RIVER from Corning Preserve boat launch in Albany. "Aqua Duck" attack.
Aug 8 & 9 - CEDAR RIVER FLOW canoe camping. Snagged a campsite on the E shore - saw previous occupants leave, they also left some trash, beer cans & fire burning (all no-nos). Paddled into Buell Brook then up the Cedar River (lots of spruce; some balsam; no cedar) to the lean-to, a motorboat made it up past the leanto. Walked the Northville-Placid Trail N for a third of a mile to footbridge over unnamed stream (US) to see if it looked navigable. Next day I paddled up the Cedar River again, carried over to the NPT taking a short-cut on overgrown old road a bit N of lean-to. The carry took 9 minutes - I just slung the Merlin II over my shoulder & went (had left the removable yoke in the Nehasanemobile). Put in next to footbridge on US. US sort of parallels the Cedar River but goes right thru the heart of the vast wetland S of CR Flow. Shores are grassy with some tamaracks, spruce & alder. Went over ~5 small beaver dams, then a confusing area with multiple channels & then after 15 mins. reached the spot where I had turned around on July 4. The stream gets wider & I sometimes push thru lilypads before reaching the flow. Lots of flowers incl. Joe-Pye weed, turtlehead, gentian, goldenrod, yellow pond lily, bladderwort. Loons, mergansers, wood ducks, gb herons, C geese, muskrat.
Aug 3 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch. Lots of green herons. Some light rain felt good on this humid evening. Dagger Tybee, a 14'10" ruddered touring kayak, fast for a 15-footer.
Aug 1 - SOMERSET RESERVOIR in southern VT. Paddled most of the undeveloped perimeter. A few small motorboats (fishing), fewer paddlers. Jetskis, waterskiing not allowed. Deerfield River. Views of Mt. Snow, Stratton Mtn, Glastenbury Mtn. Osprey, loons, mink, C geese, gb herons, kingfishers, mergansers. Lots of flowers incl. bottled gentian. Lunched on one of several islands at N end. No bad bugs during the paddle. ~15 miles, 7 hours. Stopped at the dam after paddling for the view up the reservoir - saw 5 loons together & got 2 blackfly bites.
Fred LeBrun's Times Union article on the Great Hudson River Paddle & more: click here.
Jul 27 - HUDSON RIVER from Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem.
Jul 25 - HOOSIC RIVER, N Adams MA (Ashton Ave) to Pownal VT (path off Lincoln is well-hidden, plants incl. stinging nettles are growing in). Class 1 rapids, one easy class 2 near the end - played quite a bit on the way. Recent rain had brought summer river levels up - 5.6' today on the Williamstown gauge (best to run at above 5.5'). Minimal signs of civilization, no other boaters, no fishermen. Mink, lots of kingfishers. 9+ miles, 4 hours. Had installed a center seat in Mad River Reflection 15 & paddled it solo - worked out very well. The Reflection 15 is an old Dagger design now being made by Mad River, despite only 1" of rocker I was able to pop into some small eddies behind rocks without too much trouble. Good boat to paddle both tandem or solo.
Jul 21 - HUDSON RIVER from Hudson Shores Park in Watervliet, just east of I-787 Exit 8. The low dock here is nice for launching canoes & kayaks (fishermen like it too). Remember that the Hudson is tidal here - approaching low tonight - S wind created 1' waves. Stopped & listened to blues guitarist Albert Cummings just N of Green Island Bridge in Troy (downtown Troy is pretty much inaccessible to paddlers) - the Perception Carolina 12 kayak danced on the waves to the music. Only 1 motorboat out. Story.
Jul 20 - HUDSON RIVER from 123rd St boat launch in Troy. Upstream against light current to islands below Lock 1 dam. Bald eagle at water's edge, eagle's nest sighted. The river gets a little less urban as you paddle upstream here. Some interesting sculptures. 2 hours.
Jul 18 - WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER upstream from 1st (easternmost) Rt.10 bridge. As one paddles upstream one goes deeper into the Silver Lake Wilderness. Saw no-one, great wilderness feel. 0.2 mile carry at the start on unmarked path near N shore, put in above rapids, several beaver dams, lift over downed tree, some lining thru rocky shallows. The river winds thru grassy banks topped with spruce & alder, some sandy & rocky banks. Break on rock. Skied to around here on 2/25/09. Eventually gets rocky & shallow, walked upstream a ways to check things out. Moose tracks. Avoided the carry on return by lining & paddling short distances, very rough & rocky - next time will do the carry. 5.5 hours. Prospector canoe (Bell & Swift versions are the same design).
Jul 16 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7. 8-10pm. Warm & very humid. Red sun going down, a brief shower, one motorboat, colorful post-sunset, stars, crescent moon, ducks, gb & green herons. Pulled off a scramble/cowboy self-rescue in the Zephyr.
St. Regis Canoe Area: DEC and Student Conservation Association crews will be working throughout the summer to move 8 campsites, close 23 campsites and create 21 new campsites. An online map of the St. Regis Canoe Area depicts the campsites that are being moved, closed or created. Please help protect this work by respecting closure signs. Work will occur during the week, and only on one or two campsites at a time.
Jul 13 - HUDSON RIVER from Coeymans Landing. A couple of warm showers, very few motorboats, calm winds, bald eagle. Poked up Hannacroix Creek - love that giant sycamore tree. Curious about that chimney stack hidden among the trees of otherwise undeveloped shores of Schodack Island - ice operation - detailed history.
Jul 11 - RICH LAKE & FISHING BROOK near Newcomb. Very picturesque, not far from road but minimal signs of civilization. VIC lands & trails are E of the lake; most other land is Huntington Forest (no camping). Sandy beaches, Goodnow Mtn firetower is visible from many spots, swimming (surface water was so warm that it was hardly refreshing, could find some cooler water 4' down), rapids at the outlet (optional, yeah, Rongwae & I ran them, or most of*). Took deeper S channel into Fishing Brook & only had 1 beaver dam to go over. Able to paddle up ~2 miles. Shallow N channel back into Rich Lake has 2 small beaver dams which we ran over. Loon, northern harrier, lots of little fish. Flowering: pickerelweed, cardinal flower, joe-pye weed. 9.5 miles, 5+ hours incl. playing at the put-in beach. See Quiet Water; NY for directions. *Rapids start at footbridge, scout top section from bridge, rapids are class II at first. 1st half went smoothly for me then popped into an eddy on the R from which I boat scouted next section, looked doable. Soon popped into another eddy on the R. Could not determine a good route over last 50' so got out & lined the kevlar Merlin II to the flatwater below. Easy carry trail back to footbridge.
Jul 9 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7. Started at 8:15pm, clouds obscured sunset but stars incl. Big Dipper came out on our return in the dark. Headwind on way back downstream blew bugs in our faces & created some chop. No motorboats out after sunset. 1.9 hours. Dagger Axis 12.0, very loose with skeg up (looking forward to doing some class 1&2 stuff in this kayak), good tracker with skeg down.
Jul 7 - MOHAWK RIVER from Canal Park at the end of Flight Lock Rd in Waterford. Above Lock 6. Too hot & humid to paddle hard. Took a look at the upstream ends of islands (do not go downstream of buoys, a kayaker got ticketed recently, dam below), checked out a marina tucked in behind a huge mat of water chestnut, thankfully no S wind to blow the smell of landfill over the river, turned around just past the Rt.9 bridge. 2 hours.
It's hot & humid - try these well-ventilated life jackets: Astral V-Eight, Kokatat Orbit Tour.
Jul 6 - MOHAWK RIVER upstream of Lock 7. I was teaching a kayak class when out of the corner of my eye I spot an overturned kayak ~250 yards away. 2 other kayakers in rec kayaks were close but had no idea how to help. I paddled hard & performed a standard assisted T rescue. Later a paddler in my class capsized & I got to do another recovery. Assisted rescues can be fast & empty the kayak of most of the water (kayaks with 2 bulkheads are easiest to rescue, 1 rear bulkhead is not too bad, no bulkheads very difficult) - many kayakers do not learn/practice rescues - wouldn't you rather paddle with people who are able to rescue you if you capsize?.
Jul 4 - CEDAR RIVER FLOW. Put-in next to Wakely Dam, a few car campers at this end. Soon saw my 1st loon du jour. Paddled down the E shore & up Buell Brook. 1st 3 campsites occupied, all rest unoccupied. Stopped at my May campsite for lunch, 3 small motorboats went past. Up the Cedar River to campsite at the big bend. Back down the river & turned S thru lilypads & up unnamed stream that comes in from the SW - some beaverdams to go over but deep water for quite a ways - thru flat grassy shores sometimes topped with tamarack & black spruce - turned around short of the NPT. Side-trips into E arm that ends close to Cedar River and WNW up Wilson Brook which after going over several small beaverdams gets narrow & shallow. Tailwind helped back across the flow. Stopped on an island for a break & bite to eat - not in any hurry to leave. Despite the motorboats, fairly mellow. Very scenic surrounded by Adirondacks highest mountains outside of the High Peaks. Varied shoreline offers much to explore. Northern harrier, black & wood ducks (some ducklings would dive as I approached), gulls. All big 3 bad bugs in evidence - blackflies, mosquitoes, deerflies. Bell Merlin II, a 15' solo canoe. 6.3 hours.
Jun 29 - HUDSON RIVER from boat launch next to Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Paddled upstream & turned around at high tide taking advantage of the tidal current. Lightly developed shores. Bald eagles, gb herons. Dagger Alchemy 14, a playful 14' touring kayak.
Jun 27 - HUCKLEBERRY POINT, Catskills hike. In 2nd half of June I like to take a hike in the hills S of Albany to see the mountain laurel bloom; saw some nice blossoms but was likely past peak. Driving up Platte Clove Rd to the trailhead is a minor adventure in itself. Uphill hike on wide snowmobile trail then R on yellow trail. Interesting rockpiles, why? The woods get more interesting as one goes over a hill & approaches the point; laurel, pitch pine & oaks. View from the rocks at the point are to the S across the clove (a deep steep valley): Hudson River, Ashokan Reservoir, Overlook Mtn firetower & the peaks along the Devils Path. Blueberries. Some mosquitoes in the woods - did not use protection & got 1 bite. 4.8 miles, 4.1 hours (over a third spent hanging out at the lookout).
Jun 25 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch. Started at 8pm, full moonrise at 8:16 & sunset at 8:39. Ducks, gb herons, mosquitoes. A few motorboats out - make sure you shine a white light. Very nice returning with the moon in sight, going in & out of clouds (once looking like a werewolf with fiery eyes). 2.2 hours.
Jun 22 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS from 123rd St boat launch in Troy. Downstream on the Hudson & up the southern branch of the Mohawk. Immature bald eagle. WS Tempest 170, a 17' sea/touring kayak.
Jun 20 - SCHROON RIVER from Horicon boat launch at S end of Schroon Lake. Downstream. Jenks Swamp is quite interesting & has some distant mountain views. Quite a few cottages, some motorboats (going slowly, all wave to us), roadnoise (never too far from the Northway). Lots of yellow & white lilies. 4.5 hours. Across the street from the boat launch is a sandy beach on the river - good for a swim.
Jun 19 - Saw a bear in a field as I was driving along a country road in southern Washington County.
Jun 15 - HUDSON RIVER from Coeymans Landing. Needed both hands to count the bald eagles we saw; also got close to a couple of great blue herons on dead trees. S from the concrete ramp boat launch & into Hannacroix Creek (best within 2 hours of high tide) under the Rt.144 bridge past a huge sycamore tree & house & turned around when things got too shallow below some rocky cliffs. Back out on the Hudson & shore of Hannacroix Creek Preserve. Went in & out of some small bays & passed a marina. At the house with waterfall (just a trickle today) we crossed the river & headed back along the undeveloped shores of Schodack Island State Park. 2.4 hours.
Jun 13 - BATTEN KILL from NY picnic area near NY/VT state line to Rt.22. Battenville gauge at a little over 5' - makes for a nice relatively easy float. Class 1 rapids & riffles. Surfed some waves. Went under 3 covered bridges. Bald eagle, osprey, oriole, kingfisher, mergansers (ducklings getting bigger), mink; some nice flowers too incl. yellow-flowered mossy stonecrop growing on wet rock. Saw no other paddlers other than our group, no tubers; some people fishing from shore; less road noise than VT section. Quite the contrast from Memorial Day trip. 12 miles, 4.6 hours.
So many paddlers are attracted to Lake George. Motorboats can create large confused waves - you need good skills in this environment. 2 paddlers have died on this lake in the last 2 weeks - neither was wearing a life jacket. Story.
Jun 9 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions/RR Station Park. Able to get out to the main river between the islands despite a fair amount of water chestnut weeds. Raining half the time & temp in low 50s - sprayskirt, waterproof/breathable paddling jacket & hat, pogies on the hands upped the comfort level. Beaver, muskrat.
Jun 7 - HOUSATONIC RIVER from Rannapo Rd, Sheffield, MA. downstream past Bartholomew's Cobble soon into CT to broken old Canaan Dam. Light current, headwind was more of a factor on way back upstream. Very little development seen from the 100' wide river, mostly wooded shores, some pastures; quite peaceful. Cows, turkey vultures, turtles (adult & little one, shell ~4" long). ~8 miles, 2.5 hours.
We carry many guidebooks for states along the east coast from Maine to Florida.
Jun 6 - GREAT ISLAND, Old Lyme, CT from boat launch at end of Smith Neck Rd. Connecticut River Estuary Canoe/Kayak Trail. Started ~3 hours before low tide. Great Island undeveloped, mainland lightly developed. After exploring the shallow bay behind Griswold Point went around the point & into Long Island Sound, played in moderate 1'+ waves. S wind was picking up so back (small standing waves created by wind opposing the current were interesting) & up a creek into the heart of Great Island. Back out & N up Judges Creek to Watch Rock, landing a bit rough but nice spot for a break. Poked into Duck River before heading back S. Just had to go back & look at Griswold Point at low tide - Sound now white-capped. Up the Black Hall River before calling it a day. Mute swans, lots of osprey, great & snowy egrets, gulls, terns, sandpipers, plovers, willet, crabs. My favorite place to paddle in CT - great variety, wildlife. 4 hours. WS Zephyr 160 Pro.
Jun 3 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions/RR Station Park Niskayuna. Water chestnut weeds starting to grow in. I was able to go downstream a bit then out to the main river between the middle & downstream islands. Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 - a 17' sea kayak.
Jun 2 - MOHAWK RIVER from Kiwanis Park, Rt.5S, Rotterdam. Downstream & around Dalys Island. Mad River Explorer 14TT, a 14' canoe.
May 31 Memorial Day - BATTEN KILL. Rt.7A in Arlington VT to Eagleville Covered Bridge NY. "The Rock" class 2. Scratchy at this level (walked one section): 2.2' at the Arlington gauge & 4.65' at Battenville. Just a few others in the morning; tons of people on the river in the afternoon, quite a zoo with beer-drinking tubers & makeshift rafts - one had to be quite skillful to get by them. 14+ miles, 4.6 hours. Somebody remind me not to do the BK on a holiday again. Dagger Axis 10.5 - an excellent choice.
May 30 - HOOSIC RIVER Hoosic Junction to Johnsonville. Morning: Hoosic Junction to New DEC/Rensselaer Land Trust car-top boat launch on Rt.67 W of Eagle Bridge (11.1 miles E of Rt.40 in Schagticoke) - class 1+ whitewater, 1st rapid is trickiest with strainers on the L (we had some carnage, paddler swam out ok but kayak got stuck under strainer, one rescuer also capsized). Saw no-one. Immature bald eagle. 4.75 miles, 2 hours. Afternoon: Flatwater from new launch to Johnsonville dam. Mature bald eagles, deer, muskrat; colorful flowers incl. buttercups, forget-me-nots, yellow flag. Saw a handful of other paddlers. Water high enough to explore some of the shallow backwaters. 9+ miles, 3 hours. Bell Chestnut Prospector 16' canoe.
Nehasane's Top 10 List for Bad Bug Bite Avoidance:
May 24 - SADAWGA POND in Whitingham VT. Most interesting is the large floating island in the middle of the pond. Some houses on shores & hillsides. Soloed the Prospector Omer Stringer style. Island had flowering sheep laurel, labrador tea, cranberry? + pitcher plant & tamarac trees; yellow water lily. If you need more mileage the S end of Harriman Reservoir is a couple of minutes away.
May 23 - JESSUP RIVER & INDIAN LAKE from Perkins Clearing. Some blackflies & mosquitoes at start but minimal during trip - started out wearing my Original Bugshirt but eventually took it off. Several pull-overs & one rough carry around a big logjam in first couple of miles. Scenery varies nicely on the narrow twisty stream. ~1.5 miles below Rt.30 is a class 2 ledge runnable on the R then ~0.5 mile of rocky rapids, water fairly low today so we hit some rocks but were able to stay in the boat. Most of the rest of group carried past the first half on the R then paddled/lined the shallow & rocky 2nd half. Indian Lake was just easy paddling in comparison. Distant view of High Peaks, Snowy Mtn nearby. $6 day use fee at boat launch. Mergansers with chicks, much birdsong incl. white-throated sparrow. 14.9 miles, 7 hours. Bell Chestnut Prospector 16' royalex canoe was an excellent choice - royalex is slippery, tough & light enough for short portages.
May 22 - MOHAWK RIVER CLEANUP. Lions/RR Station Park. Muddy landing on the upstream island. Soloed a Mad River Explorer 14TT - a 14' polyethylene canoe - turned it around & paddled it backwards from the bow seat.
May 18 - MOHAWK RIVER from Freeman's Bridge NYSDEC fishing access in Glenville. Rain. Downstream on the Mohawk & up Alplaus Creek. Perception Carolina 12 in lightweight airalite - nice combination of tracking & turning, features seen mostly on longer touring kayaks incl. perimeter deck lines, 2 hatches with Kajaksport hatch covers.
Aug 31 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS from boat launch at 123rd St Troy. Played in the currents below the falls S of Peebles Island then paddled downstream on the Hudson. Dagger Axis 10.5 is a wolf in sheep's clothing - looks like a rec kayak but plays like a whitewater boat.
May 16&17 - ROUND LAKE canoe camping & LITTLE TUPPER LAKE. Enjoyed exploring the irregular S shore. Clockwise around triangular-shaped Round Lake, eventually settled on a breezy campsite to ward off blackflies. Campsites have a thunderbox-style privy, small lids make for a wet seat if it has been raining. All undeveloped state land. Stayed above freezing overnight & 1st blackflies seen ~9am but never got really bad. Loon, beaver, fresh moose tracks on a sandy beach. After dropping off some gear at the car, we cruised the NE end of LTL (very light development) with break on an island beach. Saw only 2 solo canoeists in Bell canoes Sunday heading out, we had the place to ourselves after that, 1 solo canoer on LTL, no kayakers...
Didymo (aka Rock Snot) found in Kayaderosseras Creek - more info.
May 12 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS from boat launch at the S end of First St in Waterford. Peebles Island. Beavers.
May 10 - MOUNT ANTONE hike. Merck Forest, VT. Up Antone Rd, down via Lookout, Buechner (passing Ned's Place cabin & its view of Mt. Equinox), Lourie, stop at Spruce Cabin, up & over Viewpoint. Cool & breezy (no bad bugs); sunny & clear - views to snow-capped Adirondack High Peaks, some snow on Gore Mtn ski trails, farm below... Wildflowers mostly violets incl. white & yellow varieties. 6 miles, 820' el, 4.5 hours.
May 4 - MOHAWK RIVER & ERIE CANAL from Freddie's Park, SE of Rt.9 Crescent Bridge. Mohawk River Paddling Guide.
Gate to Moose River Plains is closed & may remain closed due to the state's budget crisis - news release.
lost recent trips - may take a few days to get them rewritten...
May 3&4 - CEDAR RIVER FLOW. Canoe camping. Up inlet that parallels Cedar River - grassy shores with spruce & tamaracks - turned around at 2nd beaver dam. Up Cedar River to leanto - watched a northern flicker peck at the ground. A few blackflies, got one bite, did not use protection. Side-trip into Buell Brook. Noisy C geese, osprey, spring peepers. Loons, mergansers (males are more common in spring), teal, muskrat, beaver. Very scenic area with some of the Adirondacks highest mountains outside of the High Peaks. Saw 3 canoes, 2 kayaks Sunday, had the place to myself Monday.
Apr 26 - GARNET LAKE.
Apr 19 - Skiing Arlington-W Wardsboro Rd - drove up from the E until skiing looked better than driving. Skied up to the top of the pass. Paddling GROUT POND - hairy 1 mile drive (some snow, mud; 4WD necessary) to cabin, carried the Merlin II down past downed tree to pond, views of snow-capped Stratton Mtn. Loon, goose nesting next to beaver hut.
Apr 15 - North-South Lakes in Catskills - Canoe overturns, she gets to shore, he is missing (which leads me to believe he was was not wearing a PFD which is illegal thru May 1). At an elevation of over 2,000', ice-out was probably quite recent & I doubt if the water temp was more than 40F - one should be wearing a wet or dry suit when water is cold. You will be safer by staying just a few feet from shore & paddling with others who have practiced rescues. More info. Story.
Apr 5-11 - NC kayaking. Outer Banks/Cape Hatteras National Seashore. 15-25 knot winds from S or SW for 1st 4 days, temp in lower 60s to upper 70s, lows in 50s & 60s. Saw alligators, dolphins, pelicans... More paddling info can be found in Guide to Sea Kayaking in NC by Malec. Started at Oregon Inlet Campground (colder showers, some traffic noise, little privacy, dunes for tenting, short walk thru dunes to beach & dolphins, more convenient to shops restaurants etc) on Bodie Island, moved to Frisco Campground (cold showers, quiet, more trees bushes privacy, longer walk on boardwalk to ocean, more mosquitoes, ocean view from sites higher up on hill) on Hatteras Island then back to Oregon Inlet.
Apr 11 - COLINGTON ISLAND. 1st a walk in Jockey's Ridge SP to highest natural sand dune on the E coast. Paddled into Blounts Bay, in & around marshy islands, down Colington Creek (could see Wright Bros Memorial, dunes of Jockey Ridge), Sloop Creek. Osprey & nest, fish jumping 10' thru the air. Light motorboat traffic, more development than previous trips.
Apr 10 - CURRITUCK SOUND from Whale Head Club at the county park. Corolla Lighthouse (Currituck Light) is nearby. Followed shoreline N to Ships Bay, came back around point & islands. Not much development here, only saw one small fishing boat, had the sound to myself most of the time, very nice. Climbed the lighthouse ($7) & enjoyed the views in all directions. Duck/Corolla area is more upscale than Kitty Hawk/Nags area to the S on Bodie Island - still quite touristy.
Apr 9 - MILLTAIL CREEK from Buffalo City Rd (dirt). Morning storms so visited the NC Aquarium ($8) in Manteo on Roanoke Island until skies dried up - alligators, otters, sharks... Alligator River NWR. Went downstream a bit to where the wide creek narrows, I had seen alligators at this spot on previous trips & saw 2 this time. Turned around & paddled S (upstream) for over 2 miles (wide & lake-like, some bald cypresses), then returned (another alligator) & poked into the red trail along a narrow stream then up to Sawyer Lake. Bald eagles, wood duck, osprey, egret.
Apr 8 - Sunrise at the beach. Took ferry to Ocracoke Island. Kiteboarding seems to be very popular on Hatteras & Ocracoke Islands. Spent some time in the village & at beaches. Walk on Hammock Woods Trail. Little blue herons, snowy egret. No paddling today.
Apr 7 - PAMLICO SOUND. Sandy Bay. Hatteras Island. Really windy & we didn't paddle long. Visited Hatteras Light & took a walk in Buxton Woods.
Apr 6 - PEA ISLAND NWR, Hatteras Island. In & out of marshy islands & creeks on Pamlico Sound. Oystercatcher, pelicans, cormorants, snowy egrets.
Apr 5 - ROANOKE SOUND & BROAD CREEK, Roanoke Island. Out along the sound, nice beach at point for lunchstop (fishing village of Wanchese across mouth of creek), back on the wide creek with quartering tailwind creating 1.5' waves, John's Ditch & Sand Beach Creek. Brown pelicans, gulls, tern, whimbrel, osprey & nest at the launch. Nice.
Apr 4 - BLACKWATER RIVER. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge near Cambridge MD. Very wide especially at start. Twisty; low (0-5') piney shores, some holly. Bald eagles, Osprey, turkey vultures, gb heron, terns, scary fish thrashing in the shallows. Wilderness Systems Zephyr 16.0, a 16' touring kayak.. Drove down to the Outer Banks of NC, camped at National Seashore campground at Oregon Inlet.
Round Lake boat launch closed - story - I have been told there still may be access from the inlet.
Mar 29 - FOREST ROAD 273 from Rt.9 in Woodford VT. Rained overnight, possibly freezing rain because the snowmobile trail was somewhat icy; better softer snow off-road. Raining & temp in mid-40s. Trail climbs a hill (exciting on way back in icy conditions), crosses 3 trails of Prospect Mountain ski area then proceeds S over rolling terrain. 1.6 hours. My 50th day of skiing this season; it would be nice to be able to ski at least once in April.
Mar 28 - AIKEN WILDERNESS from Rt. 9 in Woodford VT. Temp at freezing as we started out & snowmobile trail along FR74 was a bit icy. After less than a mile we head W off-trail into the wilderness area climbing to a small beaver pond then along SE side of hill at about 2,500' elevation. Firm snow with a little give to surface - excellent skiing as things warmed up. After lunch at a stream we head E mostly downhill & run into the Yaw Pond Trail. We cross Yaw Pond Brook on a fallen tree/beaver dam & continue N until we are back on the snowmobile trail. Moose tracks, tree scrapings & scat. 9.3 miles, 5.5 hours.
Mar 21&22 - GROUT POND from Kelley Stand Rd near Stratton VT. Is this winter or spring camping? 2'-3' of snow - good (in the woods) to excellent (on lakes & open area) skiing. Trail to cabin before pond sees some light snowmobile use, down to pond then along N edge of pond to one of two leantos where we set up camp with a view of Mt. Snow across the pond. Pond had some wet slushy areas. Catamount Trail to Somerset Reservoir & past point of turnaround of Feb 15 trip. Back N along sloped side of reservoir - the water gets drawn down in the fall & leaves a lot of open rock & gravel shoreline, the open slopes were great for practicing telemark turns. Lots of sun, temp in 50s, 10+ miles. Nice sunset on Grout. Stayed above freezing overnight. Next morning skied East Loop Trail ~4 miles. Best skiing was slightly off-trail alongside stream & beaver pond; view of Stratton Mtn. Packed up camping gear & headed out. Temp in low 40s. Started raining 5 minutes before reaching the car. Most skiing novice to easy intermediate. Get a free GMNF map of Grout Pond trails from ranger station E of Manchester.
Mar 19 - THACHER PARK from Hop Field parking area. There is a xc ski loop on this side of the road but I wanted to get to the edge of the escarpment to enjoy the views so I crossed the road & explored Yellow Rocks & Glen Doone areas. Nice stream with small waterfall. 2 whitetail deer. Temp in upper 40s, good skiing on 0-20" of corn snow, open grassy & paved areas are snowless, plenty of snow in treed areas.
Mar 17 - BOULDER ROCK, Catskills. Trail from Scutt Rd was icy hard early at 40F so started from South Lake because of early morning sun exposure. Skied on & off South & North Lakes then headed up the red & blue trails to Boulder Rock at the edge of the escarpment. Great view of the Hudson valley & across Kaaterskill Clove - had very pleasant 1.5 hour break. Nearby large rocks have split off the cliff - cool spot. 52F when I finished & snow was much softer. 65F on drive home - Palenville is just a few miles down the hill & 1,700' lower than North & South Lakes & has no snow. 10"-30", 8 miles, 5 hours.
Mar 15 - STONY POND. Minerva area. 15" avg heavy wet snow, some thin & wet spots, will have lots of stream crossings by end of the week. Temp in mid-40s. Water on top of snow & ice on the pond - altho ice is thick I wouldn't want to ski on this. Old rowboat near the leanto. Made a fire at the leanto, ate lunch, had a nap, enjoyed the peacefulness. I usually ski across the pond but this time explored the up & down trail to the E past cliffs. 4.5 miles, 4 hours.
Mar 14 - LITTLE POND from Little Pond parking area on Rt.9 in Woodford VT. Reports of 4"-6" of new snow; 3'-4' total - very nice skiing on firm base, I only sink in 1"-2" on or off trail. Temp 34F, light drizzle, windy. Snowmobile trail then off-trail W of Hagar Hill. Back to snowmobile trail then trail down to the pond - linked a bunch of telemarks & shot out onto the pond. Back to snowmobile trail & E plummeting downhill quickly dropping 300'. R on trail to Pine Valley parking area for a bit then R off-trail & found the path we often take to & from Little Pond when we want to avoid the snowmobile trails. 6-7 miles, 2.3 hours.
Mar 12 - FEATHERSTONHAUGH STATE FOREST. From Tidball Rd, Schenectady County. 1,300' elevation. Over 1' dense snow - temp did not drop below freezing last night so snow was soft & not icy. Skied a bit on snowmobile trail 7B but mostly on the designated ski trails.
Mar 10 - PARTRIDGE RUN WMA. 30"+ dense snow, sometimes unconsolidated, temp approaching 50F softened things up. 2,000' elevation attracts & retains snow. From Sickle Hill Rd (CR13, get good map at kiosk further S on CR13), skied a few minutes down unplowed Beaver Rd & turned R onto ski trail. Skied most non-motorized use trails past ponds & reforestation areas. Spur to Bradt Hill/Hollow Rd where there is an old cemetary. Crossed road, very high snowbanks. Picked up the Long Path. Crossed High Point Rd & did loop on other side then returned to Beaver Rd near Woods Pond. Quick run down Beaver Rd snowmobile trail then up to cars. Intermediate. 10.2 miles, 5 hours includes 1 hour nap in beaver flow with lots of dead tree trunks, that warm sun is so intoxicating.
Mar 8 - APPALACHIAN & LONG TRAILS from Dunville Hollow. Lots of snow, 2'+ above 2,000', hint of iciness at first but softened up as temp got well above freezing. Park car on Notch Rd off Rt. 9 E of Bennington. Lightly used snowmobile trail alonside Stamford Stream. Moose at couple of camps. Breaking trail from now on (only sink in 3-4"). Old Stage Trail across 2 streams (iced over) then unmarked trail L to Congdon Shelter. N on AT/LT to 2,560' hill. Would like to have reached Harmon Hill but ran out of time (lost trail for a while) - next time. Whitewater skiing on Stamford Stream on way back. 9.5 miles, 5.5 hours, 1,100' elevation gain/loss. See also Mar 4, 2009 trip.
Mar 7 - EAST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER from Rt.8. Over 1' in woods, a bit icy & fast early, softened up in the pm with temp above 40F, some thin spots near river. The initial up & over the shoulder of 11th Mtn was difficult, easier skiing alongside the river & very scenic. Had long lunch across river from leanto - so comfortable in the warm sun that no-one felt compelled to go on to the Siamese Ponds. 8.5 miles, 5.5 hours.
March 6 - the HUDSON RIVER is open but water temp is 36F - are you prepared to survive in case of capsize? You can die in just a few minutes. Smart paddlers wear a drysuit w/neoprene headwear or at least a wetsuit + take other precautions - do some research on this - more.
Mar 3 - ROCKWOOD STATE FOREST from Rt.29 W of Johnstown. There are about 10 miles of wide trails suitable for skiing here & the adjacent Canajoharie Waterworks land. Lots of fun hills. Western loops had just been "groomed" ~6' wide by running a snowmobile thru a few times - very good skiing (I usually don't like when they do this) - recreational snowmobiling is not allowed in the SF. Some of the rest was tracked but we had to break trail thru fairly heavy wet snow on the SE loop just N of Old State Rd & on a spur trail down to Caroga Creek which is open & running. Map in Discover the Southern Adirondacks shows most trails, map in Ski Tips does not show the SE loop - there are trails here that are not shown on any maps. Intermediate. 8.7 miles, 3.7 hours.
Mar 1 - OVERLOOK MOUNTAIN from the N, Catskills. 4' of snow (snow was up to handrails on a bridge), on the dense side of powder. Looked at Prediger Rd access but nowhere to park. Parked on Platte Clove Rd & started on Long Path thru Platte Clove Preserve - the narrow winding trail goes uphill & can be a challenge on return. After ~1 mile junctions of blue & red trails obscured by blowdown but we persist & are eventually on the blue-marked old road to Overlook. Leanto was cave-like under all the snow & outhouse was half buried. Mid part of route levels out some (we were breaking trail here) & there are views of the Hudson Valley. Occasional overhanging trees & blowdown but trail is fairly wide & obvious. Trail later wraps around W side of Overlook & views open up to the W. Met a tele skier & a bare-booter (gotta be nuts to post-hole like that). Porcupine in a tree. Great views from the top. Did not have a lot of time to linger at firetower. Took about half the time to return. Intermediate skiing. 11.8 miles, 6.2 hours, 1,300' climb/descent.
Feb 28 - WHALES TAIL NOTCH. Start at HPIC. Old Marcy Dam Trail. Marcy Dam - popular spot due to its magnificent mountain views (+nice & sunny today). Whales Tail Notch Ski Trail (400' up & down in 1.2 miles, wider than most hiking trails) - climbs moderately at first then quite steeply (climbing skins helped make this section easy) - view of Mt. Colden from notch. Quite steep down to Algonquin Trail. Skied out onto Heart Lake for views. 6.7 miles, 3.5 hours. 2'-3', good (WTN) to excellent (packed trail to Dam) skiing. WTN advanced, rest intermediate. Still time to grab a microbrew in Lake Placid. Skiers caught in avalanche on nearby Wright Peak yesterday - story.
Feb 26 - ERIE CANAL TOWPATH from Ferry Rd in Vischer Ferry. Good skiing on few inches of very wet snow - temp above freezing, will be icy when temp drops below freezing. Views of Mohawk river. W to Lock 7 dam. River still mostly iced up except below dam, ducks on open water. Flat beginner terrain. More miles of flat terrain to the E at Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve.
Feb 22 - FLOOD DAM, Somerset, VT. Drive Somerset Rd to bit N of Searsburg Reservoir. Walked across swinging bridge over Deerfield River then skied N to the Flood Dam, following occasional orange ribbons & paint blazes. Soon going uphill in washed out trail (avoided by going thru woods on way back). Things got better at top of hill & for a while to the dam, last section a bit nasty. Lots of open water in the flow above the old dam & in river below. On return took short side-trip (this trail is in much better condition than the Flood Dam Trail) to the swinging bridge over E Br Deerfield River to the Catamount Trail. 6.6 miles, 4.4 hours.
Feb 21 - STEPHENS POND & NEW SECTION OF NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL TO THE SOUTH. From Lake Durant Campsite. Added a couple of inches of powder to 2/17 total, very nice skiing. Trail well-used to Stephens leanto. After 40 mins. on NPT (1.5+ miles from start) look for an old beech on the left with red paint 10" circle. 100' further on the R there is an axe blaze on a tree with what looks like a 5 in it - the shortcut path to Stephens Pond goes off to the L & reaches the pond in 0.25 miles. Stopped at leanto for a break. Broke trail S along NPT on E slopes of Blue Ridge, have to pay attention to stay on trail. Slowly gain elevation in an up & down way, mostly open hardwoods. Turned around short of Brown's Brook. Out onto Stephens Pond as soon as we see it, go L or W of island, R or E has thin ice. Intermediate skiing. 11.7 miles, 5.7 hours.
Feb 19 - MOHAWK RIVER SP aka SCHENECTADY MUSEUM NATURE PRESERVE from Lock 7 Niskayuna. Up to 4", a bit icy but will soften as temps rise above freezing - skiing only for diehards. Spent most time on easier (but less interesting scenicly & skiingly) trails in the W half of the preserve. Finished up by skiing on Lock 7.
Feb 17 - CASCADE & STEPHENS PONDS from Lake Durant Campsite. NPT packed by skiers/snowshoers; off-trail 10" base with bit of crunchy give + 5" powder; very nice skiing. Peaceful 1 hour relax at Cascade leanto - somebody left an old pair of skis & boots here!?. Crossed outlet on 2-log bridge with no guiderails, open water underneath. Continued W. New trail connecting to Wilson Pond Trail is marked with pink ribbons (0.5 miles from leanto when red trail takes a turn N at signs pictured below) & I followed that for 15 mins. - not an official trail yet so has some blowdown. Lots of downhill on way back. Took unmarked path (leaves NPT a little W of an old beech with some fading red paint on it) over to Stephens. Ponds have solid ice with 5" powder, did not run into any slush like I have in previous visits. Views of Blue Mtn from Lake Durant. 9 miles, 5.2 hours.
Feb 15 - SOMERSET RESERVOIR. Parked below the dam & skied N on Catamount Ski Trail which stays close to the E shore of SR. Catamount Trail Guidebook calls this easy intermediate but I would drop the "easy" - enjoyed the deep drifts but there were some thin washouts, tricky stream crossings, exposed rocks & short steep hills. Nice views across the undeveloped lake incl. N to Stratton Mt & SE to Mt Snow. Turned around after ~5 miles near NE arm of the lake. Fair amount of snowmobiles on the reservoir on this Presidents Day. 5.4 hours.
Feb 14 - MOUNT GREYLOCK, MA. Checked out the N end of Bellows Pipe Trail at Notch Rd - thin base with an inch or 2 of powder. Later found out that the Thunderbolt Ski Trail race originally scheduled for Sat Feb 20 has been postponed - story. Decided to go elsewhere & ski path N toward Little Pond from Pine Valley parking area in Woodford VT again. A little more powder than Feb 7 trip. Gentle uphill going N, very pleasant downhill runs on way back, stream crossings no problem. 2.4 hours.
Feb 12 - Mohawk River Freeman's Bridge boat launch.
EPF money goes to building new non-motorized boat launches in Troy, Watervliet, Waterford, Halfmoon, more - press release.
Feb 10 - HIDDEN VLY & WHITMAN FLOW from E Stoner Lake Rd. Good base with a bit of crunch + a few inches of powder. There is an old road that heads NE above inlet of E Stoner Lake - do we take that route? No, we go on the S side of the stream where a steep narrow path climbs way above the stream & no normal person would ski up this way. Eventually pick up the old road & reach Hidden Vly. Followed a stream N, found another old road that lead E to a hunter's campsite. Bushwhacked downstream again to Whitman Flow. Had to push thru alders to get out into the open. Pushed further N on the vly/swamp occasionally breaking ice shelves left after water receded after rain 16 days ago. Explored some more to make sense of the area. Took the old road back which has some moderately steep downhills. No trail markers, signs, etc. Not for everyone. Snow flurries for 1st half of trip then sun came out. 7.9 miles, 4.5 hours.
Feb 8 - SAVOY MOUNTAIN STATE FOREST, S of Florida, MA. Good base topped with powder - good skiing. From parking area near North Pond took North Pond Loop trail counterclockwise. R downhill on Blackburnian Loop. L on Old Florida Rd slowly gaining elevation to height of land. Down Blackburnian to North (goes up & over a decent ridge) & South Pond Loops to Tyler Swamp Loop (nice easy skiing on N side but S side had lots of nasty small stream crossings). Most trails at least intermediate. 4.5 hours.
Feb 7 - LITTLE POND & PORCUPINE LOOKOUT from Rt.9 in Woodford, VT. Green Mountain NF & Glastenbury Wilderness. Excellent conditions: deep base topped with a few inches of powder. Short distance on snowmobile trail then followed path which bisects the area between FR272 & FR275 (can be hard to follow if no-one has been there recently). Lunch at windy Little Pond (now in the wilderness area) then crossover trail to AT/LT which we took S to Porcupine Lookout which has nice views with no signs of civilization except for the Searsburg Wind Farm. Mostly very enjoyable downhill on way back as we lose over 400'. 7 miles, 4.3 hours.
Feb 3 - FRIE FLOW via STEWART & INDIAN LAKES near Canada Lake. Deep crusty base with up to 6" powder; trail snowshoe-packed topped with 2" fresh powder, some thin spots where last week's rain washed out. Trail to Indian with side-trip across Stewart with view of Camelhump then 1.1 mile bushwhack from Indian to Frie. Quick 200' drop to Frie, long downhill from Stewart back to start some of it fairly steep (but fun). 7.5 miles, 4.4 hours.
Feb 1 - SPRUCE HILL - SAVOY MOUNTAIN STATE FOREST SE of N Adams, MA. 3-4" powder on top of good base. Busby Trail to the 2,566' summit, 700' elevation gain in 1.5 miles. 1st mile climbs gently on smooth wide trail. After passing a cellar hole on the R the trail turns sharp L & things get steeper so I put climbing skins on skis. Side-stepped a very steep section a little before reaching the summit. Grand views: Mt. Greylock to the W, Adirondacks to NW, VT to the N, Mt Monadnock NH to NE, etc. Lost Pond & Blackburnian Loop Trails on way back - more downs than ups passing some interesting ledges, some small stream crossings, somewhat rough trails. At least intermediate+. 3.6 hours.
Jan 31 - AIKEN WILDERNESS, Woodford, VT. From Woodford State Park. 3-4" powder on good deep base. Adams Reservoir ice seemed solid & thick but was cracking as we crossed. Broke thru ice while crossing a stream in the 1st meadow. Old logging road S to "Tin Can Junction". W on unmarked path which we soon lost so bushwhacked thru relatively open woods to Beaver Meadows & across going NW with view of Prospect Mt. Picked up another old logging road which lead to Prospect Mt Ski Area's Mountain Trail. Headed back the way we came. 8.5 miles, 5.5 hours.
Jan 27 - HOLMES LAKE OUTLET... SNOWMOBILE CORRIDOR 8 TRAIL from Pinnacle Rd off Benson Rd. Expected icy conditions from recent rain & figured the groomed trails of Lapland Lake would be the way to go today. But before forking over some $$ I would check out some trails in the area; the NPT looked a bit shaky but figured I could do a short run on the snowmobile trail. Icy hardpack with 1" fresh powder; off-trail crunchy 15". Trail heads W thru pleasant evergreen forest then turns N. Lunched next to scenic Holmes Lake Outlet. Turned back at junction of trail to Holmes Lake. Peaceful today (don't expect on weekends); snowing lightly. Some novice hills, much flat. Easy in good snow, fast today. Never made it to Lapland. 7+ miles, 3.5 hours. Great base, needs a few inches powder.
Jan 25 - FOREST ROAD 74. Temp in 50s, raining & wind gusting to 50mph. Parked on Rt. 9 in Woodford, VT. Green Mountain NF. The 1.5 mile road is unplowed & serves as a snowmobile trail - nice kick & glide skiing. Ventured off-road a couple of times (Aiken Wilderness is to the W) & 2'+ snow was wet & heavy making breaking trail hard work. 1.5 hours.
Contest: check out this video, identify the location & email us or stop in store with your answer - we will pick one winner of a $25 gift certificate from those who answer correctly - contest ends Jan 23rd. Ans: Chubb River.
Jan 24 - BOTHERATION POND LOOP from Old Farm trailhead near 13th Lake. 1'+ of snow, a hint of ice, good skiing. Trails broken out by previous skiers & snowshoers. Did the loop clockwise (did it counterclockwise last year). Up the Halfway Brook Trail over William Blake Pond, across another small pond. Continued on nice mostly downhill run to The Vly. Out to a double beaver lodge in the middle. Back to junction. Mostly downhill with lots of bumps to B Pond. Some slush under snow on pond, view of Gore Mt. New bridge over outlet. Mostly downhill to E Br Sacandaga River (aka Botheration Brook) & another new bridge. Rough side-trip down to Elizabeth Point on 13th Lake. 10 miles, 5.3 hours.
Jan 20 - COLE HILL STATE FOREST, East Berne. 1.5' of snow, a bit crunchy, icier under evergreens. Most parking areas unplowed, Irish Hill Rd one semi-plowed. Long Path. New blue spur trail goes to Willsie Rd. Mostly novice with a couple of intermediate hills. 3 hours. Checked out Thacher Park on way home & there is about 1' of crunchy snow, might be better for snowshoeing than skiing.
Jan 18 - MERCK FOREST. Couple inches of new; wettish powder, over foot total. Old Town Rd, Spruce cabin, down the open field back to Old Town, Birch Pond, Schenk Rd (nice views while climbing), Nenorod cabin, Beebe Pond lean-to for lunch (could pick ou Mt Equinox peeking out over yonder ridge), up Beebe Pond Trail, Buechner Rd, Ned's Place cabin, Lourie Trail (some nice short runs with views), part way down McCormick but looked too steep for me this day, Antone Rd, Wildlife & Discovery Trails (a snowperson on skis blocked our way). Lots of elevation changes. 7.2 miles, 4.3 hours.
Jan 17 - TIRRELL POND. Well-packed trail, plenty of snow. O'Neill Lean-to is a pleasant spot just E of the outlet. View of Blue Mtn from E side of pond, Tirrell Mtn & others from W side. Intermediate rolling terrain. 7 miles, 4.5 hours.
Jan 13 - GROFF CREEK & ABNER BROOK from River Rd (W side of Sacandaga River) in Hope. Less than 1' of snow at start, over 1' at higher elevations, some crunchy crust in the mix. Abandoned old town road to maintained unmarked trail, at times Groff Creek is 100'+ down steep ravine with conifers. After 2 miles trail ends & we continued up bushwhacking within sight of the creek, fairly open woods but also some blowdown to skirt. Gained over 700' from near start. Down to beaver pond on Abner Brook (on maps) for lunch - Rongwae broke thru some thin ice near shore & iced up skis, one reason why one should always carry a scraper. Nice run back out. See newest edition of Discover the Southern Adirondacks guidebook for more info. Maiden voyage of Fischer Snowbound skis. Intermediate. 7.5 miles, 4.9 hours.
Jan 11 - MERCK FOREST, VT just across the border from Salem NY. 30 miles of forest roads & trails. Lots of powder. Old Town Rd had packed snow (occasionally plowed), breaking trail on Hammond Rd. Dropped 1,100' on Gallop Rd (wheeee! what fun!). Lunch in lean-to. Up Old Town & Antone Rds then plummeted down Clarks Clearing Trail (expert, rest intermediate if good snow). Lost Silviculture Trail & got tangled up in some maple syrup lines. 7.5 miles, 4.3 hours, 1,800' gross elevation change.
Jan 10 - DYKEN POND ENV. ED. CENTER. Plenty of nice powder snow. Did most trails around perimeter and played on the hill near the parking lot. Dyken has close to 10 miles of trails - trails to N thru mostly hardwoods. Check out The Sentinels, a tricky downhill with turns around a couple of boulders. Trails S of the access road mainly thru evergreens and open beaver meadows. Enough tricky hills to make this intermediate. 6.5 hours.
Jan 6 - CLAPPER HOLLOW STATE FOREST, Clapper Hollow Rd, Jefferson, SW Schoharie County. Excellent skiing on 15" of powder snow. Numbered designated ski trails are mostly smooth & wide. Thru clearing with view S, leanto on pond, spruce reforestation on top of hill. Elevation from 1,800'-2,100'. Novice terrain. 7.5 miles, 4 hours. Good map in "Ski Tips" guidebook available at APnP.
Jan 4 - HOPKINS MEMORIAL FOREST, Williamstown, MA. Very good skiing on 8"-9" new powder on little base. Lower & Upper Loop Trails (both clockwise - enjoy looking at Birch Brook while climbing) - smooth wide trails, hilly. Check out canopy platforms 75' up trees for research. Hoosic River Trail - nice spot, river mostly open. Intermediate. 7 miles, 3.5 hours.
Jan 3 - SOUTHERN WASHINGTON COUNTY. Over a foot of new powder. Skied thru farm fields & woods - very nice skiing. 3 hours.
Jan 1 - AIKEN WILDERNESS from Woodford State Park, Woodford, VT. 20" - very good skiing. Took the old road past tin can junction. Explored some beaver meadows. No marked trails in the wilderness area. 4 hours.Home - Store Hours 2009 Trips
Dec 28 - WILTON WILDLIFE PRESERVE. A few inches, mostly icy base with 1-2" of fresh powder, sticky, fair skiing. Designated ski trails are occasionally groomed, beginner/novice.
Dec 27 - HELL HOLLOW BROOK, PORCUPINE LOOKOUT, LITTLE POND Woodford, VT, from Little Pond trailhead on Rt.9. About a foot of snow - rained some over the last 36 hours but temp stayed above freezing so snow was soft & we had good skiing. A vehicle had driven to the power line, rits made for tricky skiing; nice after that. Soon after powerline, left snowmobile trail & headed WNW on unmarked trail to HHB. Good bridge over HHB, headed N on AT/LT (white paint blazes) gaining 500' to PL. Crossover trail to Little Pond then back out on the snowmobile (saw 2) trail. 4.5 hours. Woodford got another foot of snow Dec 28.
Dec 26 - TOWN OF COLONIE GOLF COURSE. Happy to find 2" of wet snow on the Nehasanemobile this morning. A bit of thin icy base at the golf course, temp just above freezing. Beginner/novice terrain. Very nice glide even with wide Fischer Outtabounds skis.
Dec 22 - LISHAKILL NATURAL AREA walk, Rosendale Rd, Niskayuna. 0-4" crunchy snow, icy trails (use poles). Perhaps the nicest woods in the Capital District, ravines, icy streams.
Dec 21 - PEEBLES ISLAND walk. Lots of ice on Hudson & Mohawk Rivers. Always enjoy visiting the falls & clifftops. Some crusty snow, many bare spots. No admission charge in winter.
Dec 14 - PINE VALLEY, Woodford, VT. 1' of snow, icy crust. Good, fast trail skiing in ski tracks from yesterday; fair skiing off trail. Explored beaver ponds & followed other ski tracks thru open hardwoods that went off-trail (what did they know that I didn't?). Snowmobiles allowed on VAST trails Dec 16. 2.5 hours.
Dec 13 - CAMP SANTANONI - NEWCOMB LAKE skiing. 10" of snow, not a hint of ice, very good novice skiing to old great camp. Side-trip on 0.7 mile trail that connects with VIC trails - intermediate with a steep hill just before VIC land. L on Sage Trail down to Belden Lake. Snowing all afternoon. Popular trip, good chance trail broken especially if you go Sun/Mon. 11.5 miles, 5 hours.
Dec 10 - SCHENECTADY MUNI GOLF COURSE ski. 9" with icy crust - fair skiing in tracks of previous skiers. Parks Dept would like skiers to stay off the greens. Best to look for groomed trails if you want to ski locally.
Dec 7 - PARTRIDGE RUN WMA, near Berne. Avg. 5" of snow. 2,000' elevation helps keep snow longer. From CR13 skied down Beaver Pond Rd (unplowed but driven on), R on snowmobile trail then bushwhack over to ski trail near pond. Ski trail had some wet spots & snow started to stick to skis. Southern zone deer hunting season goes thru Dec 13 - wear bright clothing. 2 hours.
Dec 6 - GREEN MOUNTAIN NF from Pine Valley parking area on Rt.9 in Woodford, VT. Skied N then E on FR272, then across Little Pond Brook bridge & N on snowmobile trail 7N. Side-trip to beaver pond from which Mill Pond Brook flows. Avg. 4" of snow. Some rocks, many wet spots - Maxiglide helped minimize sticking on no-wax skis & used scraper a couple of times. 4+ hours.
Nov 30 - TACONIC CREST TRAIL walk S from Petersburg Pass. In the clouds but some views to the Little Hoosic Valley. A few very small patches of snow. Stayed in NY - Hopkins Memorial Forest (N & E of the pass) closed for hunting - MA shotgun deer hunting season started today (thru Dec 12).
Nov 29 - WOODFORD STATE PARK, VT xc skiing. Prospect Mtn Ski Area reported 7" of heavy wet snow. Avg. 6", less on paved road, more in the beaver meadows. Skied campground road, blue trail & off-trail a bit. Moose tracks. No ice on Adams Reservoir. Also checked out snowmobile trail N of parking area. 4.3 hours. Reports of others skiing the Whiteface Mtn road today too.
Nov 23 - NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL hike from Wakely Pond, Cedar River Rd. New section. 1st 1+ miles are on old 4WD trail, soon pass new handicap accessible campsite. Trail slowly gains 400' then drops passing big boulder, thru-trees view of Blue Ridge to the N. Reached turn-around time but heard Brown's Brook & had to check out the pretty bouldery stream. Red squirrel, hairy woodpecker, grouse. 9 miles, 4.7 hours. Plan to ski S from Stephens Pond this winter & check out rest of new section.
Nov 22 - SPRUCE MOUNTAIN & RAYCROFT LOOKOUT hike. A bit E of N Adams, MA in Hoosac Range. Monroe State Forest. From Monroe Rd which becomes a fairly narrow dirt road. Trail (faded blue paint blazes) goes up shoulder of Spruce with thru-the-trees views the whole way, gains 700'. Lots of downed trees, recently cleared. Small lookouts on the E & main summits with distant views S. Nearby Crum Hill is highest point in MA outside of the Mt. Greylock massif & only 100'+ higher than Spruce. Back to car & continued down to Raycroft Lookout 1,000' above the Deerfield River with views of Upper & Lower Reservoirs. No hunting in MA on Sundays - still heard gunshots. 3.5 hours.
Nov 18 - HOLT PRESERVE walk, near Clarksville, Albany County. Good view across Hudson Valley from Appleby Rd on drive to trailhead. Walked most of trails on Copeland Hill. Cute pond. Mostly smooth wide trails - good for intermediate skiers. <2 hours. Drove to LAWSON LAKE COUNTY PARK & walked the 1.25 mile loop trail - not too interesting. Fisherman in canoe on the small lake. Maps & descriptions in Natural Areas of Albany County 4th edition (available at APnP).
Become a better canoeist - Bill Mason's videos.
Nov 15&16 - LAKE LILA canoe camping. No cars in parking lot when we arrived Sunday morning - we had Lila to ourselves for both days (did see/hear couple of vehicles on private road N of lake). 0.3 mile carry to the lake. Paddled to lean-to & set up camp then across lake & up Shingle Shanty Brook (fun - lots of turns) to the carry at edge of private land (more on Shingle Shanty & navigational rights). Several beaver dams. Temp stayed above freezing overnight; mice in lean-to. Paddled over to campsite #5 & hiked up (no trail) unnamed rocky peak - gain 350' in 22 mins. Great views across Lila (more expansive than views from Mt Frederica); could also make out Cat Mtn (near Cranberry Lake) to the NW. Paddled down the Beaver River ~1 mile to rapids & private land; no obstructions, shallow in spots. Very mellow; no gunshots. Bell Northstar, a 16.5' tandem canoe.
APA reverses its decision on Low's Lake wilderness classification - 3 members change their votes, a Survivor-like backstab - more.
Nov 11 Veteran's Day - NORTH POINT, Catskills hike. Figure 8 route from Scutt Rd parking. Easy at first, steep near top. Extensive views from ledges: Albany & Adirondacks beyond, Taconics, Hudson River from Albany down to West Point. Escarpment Trail to Badman Cave. Ashley Falls at Mary's Glen. Last mile on North South Lake Campground road. 700', 6 miles, 4.3 hours.
Nov 9 - MERCK FOREST hike. Woods roads, old roads & trails to Spruce Peak where there is nice view W & SW without much evidence of civilization. Rentable lean-tos & cabins. Maple syruping. Good view to Adirondacks from the farm. Warm (60s) but windy. 5 hours.
Nov 8 - LAKE GEORGE from Veterans Memorial Park & Beach in Bolton Landing. Paddled across to the Narrows, in & around islands, Red Rock Bay, Paradise Bay & back. Poked into a small cave obscured by low cedar branches. Fairly calm & warm; SSW wind picked up a bit for crossing from Montcalm Point back to take-out creating waves over 1'. Very clear water, excellent scenery with mountains E & W. More motorboats here than last couple of weeks on the Hudson - sunny skies & temp ~60F might have something to do with it. 4+ hours.
Nov 4 - CLAPPER HOLLOW STATE FOREST hike, Jefferson, Schoharie County. From Clapper Hollow Rd. 8 miles of designated xc ski trails (mostly novice, smooth trails would only require ~6" of snow to make for good skiing). Mostly above 2,000' elevation. Lean-to (no trash!) on pond. View from large clearing on Trail #5. See ECOS' Ski Tips for good map (for sale in store). 3.5 hours. Southern zone regular deer hunting season starts Sat Nov 21.
Nov 2 - LITTLE POND hike, Woodford, VT. 2 miles on snowmobile/4WD trail then wilderness boundary & hiking trail down to the pond. Grouse. Not much color - maples & birches have no leaves - 2,400' elevation. 5 miles, 3.6 hours. Vermont rifle deer hunting season Nov 14-29.
In NY State you are required to wear a PFD while canoeing or kayaking between Nov 1 & May 1.
Nov 1 - HUDSON RIVER canoeing from Coxsackie. Coxsackie & Rattlesnake Islands. Coxsackie Creek. Van Schaak Campsite on Bronck Island (not an island) for lunch - picnic table, accessible outhouse, 2 tent platforms. Crossed to E side. Cattail Marsh. Mill Creek. Some fall foliage left, mainly oaks. Bald eagles, buffleheads. Returned after sunset, almost full moon was up, river calm - nice! 15.2 miles, 5.8 hours. Reasons for getting in the water before paddling: burp the air out of drysuit, make sure drysuit works, become onewithwater.
Oct 27 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7. Started in daylight, returned by moonlight.
Kahtoola MICROspikes - pocket-sized traction device is the answer for people who want to stay active in the winter with convenient, effective foot traction.
Oct 26 - BOTHERATION POND loop hike. 2 new bridges over E Br Sacandaga (aka Botheration Brook). Grouse, mergansers, otter. 7 miles, 4.7 hours. More background.
Oct 25 - HUDSON RIVER from state boat launch in Coxsackie. Passed cliffs on W shore. Hudson Anchorage marshes. Murderers Kill to dam which creates Sleepy Hollow Lake. Middle Ground Flats (an island) - red-throated loon, racoon in tree. A seaplane landed & took off, a wheeled plane landed & took off from sandy flats E of Middle Ground Flats! - seems like they were out playing together. E shore - couple of bald eagles. Stockport Middle Ground - eagle & nest. Brant on Gay's Point. Barnyard goose regularly hangs out near boat launch. Some good fall foliage - oaks are unusually colorful this year. 14.5 miles, 5.5 hours.
Oct 21 - HUDSON RIVER from Coeymans Landing. Downriver on W shore then across to beach on state land just S of Stuyvesant. Back along E shore. Good fall colors; Schodack Island somewhat dull (too many cottonwoods). Turned around after low tide & thus rode the current in both directions, very little wind too! Variety of boats on the water: small motorboats, yachts, cruisers, tugs, barges, kayak & cargo ship (very little wake). Bald eagles. 5+ hours. Bell Merlin II, a 15' solo canoe. Break in duck hunting season in SE zone (includes tidal Hudson River) from Oct 19 thru Nov 6 - NYS duck hunting seasons
Oct 20 - HUDSON RIVER from 123rd St Lansingburgh. 2 bald eagles at N end of Campbells Island. Bell Merlin II, a 15' solo canoe.
Oct 19 - MOREAU LAKE STATE PARK paddle & hike. Paddled Moreau Lake's clear green water - could see fish swimming; liftover under the footbridge to get to N lobe where I saw a small turtle swimming. Hiked light blue trail <1 mile to the lookout - steep, fair view SE. Good fall colors. Bell Merlin II, a 15' solo canoe.
Oct 16 - POCOMOKE RIVER upstream of Snow Hill, MD. Wide tidal river slowly narrows to bald cypress swamp. 11 miles, 5 hours.
Oct 14- JANES ISLAND, CHESAPEAKE BAY. Crisfield, Maryland. Circumnavigation of undeveloped 5 mile long island. Fox walking the beach, bald eagle. West Creek. 13.8 miles. Small town but good restaurants (Olde Crisfield, Waterman's) close to campground - crab cakes, seafood.
Oct 13 - BATSTO RIVER. Batsto Lake upstream & back. No obstructions in this section. 10.5 miles.
Oct 11-12 - NEW JERSEY PINE BARRENS, MULLICA RIVER, BATSTO RIVER. From Rt.206. Spotted cars in Batsto. Varied scenery, twisty, undeveloped, one obstruction we had to get out for, beaver dams all runnable. Backcountry camping at Mullica River Wilderness Camp ($2pp) - had it all to ourselves on Sunday night of Columbus Day weekend. River continues undeveloped to Batsto, where we saw & cleaned up some trash. After Pleasant Mills the R shore has houses & river becomes tidal. We turn into & paddle upstream on the undeveloped Batsto River, many obstructions in the last mile to Rt.542. 6.8 miles 1st day, 9.8 miles 2nd day.
Oct 10 - ATSION LAKE, MULLICA RIVER, GOSHEN POND. Set up camp at Atsion Campground then went for a paddle. Put in at E end of campground. From Atsion Lake upstream on Mullica River to low bridge. Carried around bridge & continued - narrow, current, multiple obstructions, persevered & finally into Goshen Pond, a shallow widening of the river with primitive campsites accessible by car. Back to Atsion. 4.4 miles. Wharton State Forest. NJ Pine Barrens - hard to believe one is in NJ.
Oct 6 - MOHAWK RIVER upstream from Freeman's Bridge. WS Zephyr 160 composite version, quite a bit lighter than the poly version.
Oct 5 - JESSUP RIVER from Rt.30. Upstream for 1.5 hours, turned around at a log jam, explored Whittaker Lake Outlet, a narrow tributary. Downstream from Rt. 30 to top of rapids, one beaver dam. 4.7 hours.
Oct 4 - CHIMNEY MOUNTAIN hike. Views in all directions from the open rock dome of actual summit (from the chimney rock 10 mins. on an unmarked path, hung out there for 1.5 hours) - spectacular fall foliage. 2.5 miles, 900', 4+ hours. Camped at primitive site on Mason Lake - full moonrise, 3 loons, beaver, barred owls in stereo.
Sep 29 - MOHAWK RIVER from Freddie's Park at SE of Crescent Bridge, Rt.9. Herons, egrets, bittern, great horned owl. WS Tempest sea kayak.
Sep 28 - OSGOOD RIVER. Meacham Lake, view of Debar Mtn. Scenic twisty stream with only minor beaver dams. Side-trips into Mud & Baker Ponds. Tall white pines on the E shore esker, some colorful maples. Osprey, big gb herons. Mostly wild but did pass 3 private camps & bridges. Took a short walk over the esker & took a peek at McColloms Pond before turning back. Some road noise as one goes further S (upstream). 12+ miles, 6 hours.
Sep 27 - OSGOOD RIVER. Church Pond to Little Osgood Pond to Osgood Pond (some development) to upper Osgood River, part way up Jones Pond Outlet (bald eagle). Maples at peak color (yellow, orange, red, purple), not much else changing yet. River goes thru swamp with tamaracks & black spruce. Also explored a tributary which enters Osgood River from the NE going over 2 beaver dams. 13 miles, 6+ hours.
NYS fall foliage report
Sep 22 - HUDSON RIVER from Corning Preserve Boat Launch in Albany. Many Dutch sailing barges moored at Albany Yacht Club on Rensselaer side (one "tjalk" was built in 1888), Halfmoon replica on Albany side not far S of boat launch. Henry Hudson still in Albany on this day 400 years ago, left on the 23rd - more details. Swift Saranac 14, 14' kayak, always a pleasure.
Sep 21 - RICH & BELDEN LAKES in Newcomb. Some interesting rock shores. Sandy beach. VIC. Easy smooth 100 yard carry to Belden. Undeveloped. Bell Northstar, 16.5' tandem canoe.
Sep 20 - HARRIS LAKES & HUDSON RIVER in Newcomb. It's leaf-peeping time....early fall color. This website makes it sound like an easy trip between Harris & Rich Lakes - we found at least 4 rapids between the 2 lakes from class 1 to class 3 (if enough water)! Geese, ducks, kingfishers, herons, yellowlegs, loon. Couple of small motorboats not too obtrusive; can't say same for the couple of jetskis on Harris - Hudson River was best part of trip. Nice High Peaks views from Hudson River a mile S of Rt.28N bridge. Some development on S shore of Harris. 11 miles, 5 hours.
NEHASANE'S BEST OF THE YEAR AWARDS: Bell Chestnut Prospector 16' canoe (also made in composites by Swift) - would be nice to have one in Royalex for rocky streams & one in carbon/kevlar for portages; Wilderness Systems Zephyr 16' touring kayak; Dagger Alchemy 14' touring kayak. What raises these above others are responsivess & playfulness (Nehasane does not like hard-tracking boats, going straight can get boring).
Sep 15 - HUDSON RIVER from Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Headed upstream, returned to the sounds of a bagpiper. WS Zephyr.
Sep 14 - CEDAR LAKE, Sturbridge MA. Tried out some new canoes & kayaks. Swift Keewaydin, 17' tandem canoe - very nice in all respects - I want one! Bell Rockstar - 15' solo canoe for big loads - with 220# aboard turned easily, not particularly fast. Bell Yellowstone Solo (kevlar), 14' - felt zippy. Bell will be adding a 12' pack canoe with tumblehome to the line for 2010. Tried out glass versions of WS Tempest & Zephyr - very nice predictable handling + lighter than previous versions. Wilderness Systems Commander, 12' solo canoe - best as a fishing platform, low kayak style & high seats. Dagger Axis 10.5 - replaces Blackwater 10.5 - slow to accelerate but easy to maintain speed once you get there, very good initial & secondary stability, carves turns very well, much better seat. Tried some composite kayaks made by Tahe 14'-17', nice price but a bit quirky, could not fit in their Greenland.
Sep 6-13 - DEBSCONEAG LAKES WILDERNESS, ME. Got free fire permit ahead of time by phone by calling the ranger station in Old Town. Get Maine Gazetteer by DeLorme before going - shows campsites, dirt roads, etc. Granite rocks & boulders litter shorelines & can be seen down in the clear waters. Lakes with cottages might have light float plane & small motorboat use, most lakes not accessible by road. Old canoes & rowboats stored at most lakes. Views of Katahdin from most lakes. Elevations in 500'-1,000' range - so Katahdin rises over 4,000' above. Shorelines mostly white cedar, pitch pine, red spruce. No moose sightings, lots of tracks tho. No rain. Bell Chestnut Prospector canoe in Royalex - tough but a bit heavy on portages, should have used a Kevlar canoe in hindsight.
Sep 13 - Carried to 3rd. Carried to 4th then out past Chewonki.
Sep 12 - Daytrip. Carried to 1st Debsconeag Lake, paddled into Debsconeag Deadwater section of W Branch Penobscot River. Stopped at sandy Omaha Beach with great view of Katahdin, unfortunately mosquitoes were vicious. Paddled up to Debsconeag Falls. Up Hurd Pond Stream then back to camp on 2nd D where we saw 3 otters. 8 hours.
Sep 11 - Carried over to 2nd Debsconeag Lake, set up on the only campsite below waterfall. Hiked to Big Minister Pond & paddled it in old canoe stored there. Evening paddle on 2nd - saw group of 8 loons & a bald eagle. Most wildernessy lake on the trip.
Sep 10 - Tried paddling Nahmakanta Stream - class 1& 2 rapids but too little water & we gave up. Drove 1.25 miles to 4th Debsconeag Lake. Carried to 3rd Debsconeag Lake & camped at the only campsite, high up with nice view of lake & sunset.
Sep 9 - Carried out. Drove a few miles to Nahmakanta Lake where we camped. Relaxed.
Sep 8 - Paddled past Rainbow Camps. Hiked up to Rainbow Mtn where there are excellent views of Katahdin & mountains to the N, lakes to the E. 2 float plane landings. Swim at beach.
Sep 7 - Paddled shoreline of Rainbow Lake. Appalachian Trail follows S shore. Short hike to Big Beaver Pond. Float plane lands. Rainbow Camp has several cabins on S shore, rest of lake is wild. Swim beach.
Sep 6 - Rt.11 W of Millinocket ME. Paid $20 (& again on way out a week later, only fees of the trip) to pass thru Jo Mary Checkpoint then drove N on increasingly narrowing dirt roads to a small grassy parking area. Carted canoe ~0.5 mile on old road, ditched cart as we had to turn L on green-marked rough trail. paddled out onto lake & checked out campsites on islands but returned to near where we put in & camped with excellent view of Katahdin.
Sep 1 - MOHAWK RIVER from NYSDEC boat launch next to Freeman's Bridge in Glenville. Paddled downstream on the Mohawk a couple miles then up the Alplaus Kill. Reached some shallows, able to go under a fallen tree before stream became too shallow to continue. 6 miles, 2 hours. Dagger Alchemy, a playful 14' kayak.
Aug 31 - BRANDRETH LAKE OUTLET. Fairly easy going until 50' carry around rocky rapid, some beaver dams & liftovers. Ended up at what looks like it could have been a logging bridge at one time. Towering pines. 1 mosquito. I figure we got 2 miles from the lake as the crow flies, 3-4 miles by water. Highly rewarding for the adventurous paddler. 4.5 hours on the stream.
Aug 30 - FORKED LAKE. Paddled up the N arm & took a look at the gate & fence blocking access to Little Forked. Loons, 2 adults 1 chick hung out in view of our backcountry campsite at W end of lake. No bad bugs, cool & windy. In 2 days only saw 1 canoe, 1 kayak, 2 motorboats. Bell Northstar, a 16.5' lightweight canoe.
Aug 25 - HUDSON RIVER from 123rd St in Lansingburgh. Headed upriver, shores get less developed after ~1 mile. In & out of the islands below Lock 1 - a bald eagle flew across the river, spotted another perched on dead tree, nest on N end of Campbells island. 6 miles, 2 hours. Swift Saranac 14.5, 14.5' touring kayak for the bigger paddler.
Aug 23&24 - BROWN'S TRACT. Stayed at Brown Tract Pond State Campground. Paddled Lower & Upper Ponds which are connected by a shallow twisty stream, a short carry/drag to get around a trail bridge. Osprey, ducks. Heard thunder so returned quickly. Next day: pine-topped rocky island in Upper Pond, stopped & climbed a ladder for view from rock. Down the outlet & short carry across road into Brown's Tract Inlet which snakes its way to Raquette Lake Village. Very narrow at first but things open up as one travels downstream. Soon had to get past downed tree & barely make it under an old railroad bridge. Some beaver dams the rest of the way but we were able to paddle thru in both directions. Nice cliffs on Wolf Mt to the N. Stopped for lunch at beach in village - lots of motorboats on the lake - ice cream from the general store. Back the way we came. 5 hours. Mosquitoes: light; deerflies: moderate. Bell Northstar, a light 16.5' canoe.
Aug 21 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7. The dock is back in. Clearing skies after a day of rain - rainbows, colorful sunset, only one motorboat. Great egret; gb herons. Saw bald eagles fly over boat launch 2 days ago. Mosquitoes brutal on shore. WS Tsunami 140, 14' touring kayak tracks great.
Aug 18 - MOHAWK RIVER from Kiwanis Park in Rotterdam - take Exit 1A off I-890 onto Rt.5S, soon look for park on the R, concrete ramp boat launch. A storm approaches, a paddler capsizes, the subsequent rescue; another paddler goes backwards going into the gusty wind, Nehasane tows paddler out of trouble. Paddled downstream & around Dalys Island. A storm approached preceded by strong winds (Albany reported winds of 29mph with gusts to 39mph), a kayaker (BW1) had difficulty paddling into the wind (actually was going backwards) & I then heard Rongwae call out "capsize!" Turning around I see another kayaker (BW2) in the water (kayak floating away faster than BW2 could swim) & instructed BW1 to hide in the calm behind the island. I retrieved the capsized kayak while Rongwae had BW2 hang on to his boat, took a while to get boat & paddler back together; standard T-recovery went smoothly. I went back to BW1. I fashioned a towline (didn't bring my regular one because I was trying to minimize bringing extra stuff for preceding rescue/recovery clinic) with 15' floating rope I had brought as stirrup for the clinic & a paddle biner attaching all to waist belt of my PFD which has a quick-release fastex buckle. We all paddled into the wind crossing the river then hugged the shoreline back to the launch, towing BW1 all the way because BW1 said they felt better being attached to me. An exciting evening paddle! WS Zephyr kayak. Do you know how to get a capsized kayaker back into a water-free boat? Are you prepared to tow a weeker paddler to safety? Do you have effective sweep & draw strokes to maneuver your kayak into rescue position? Can you control your kayak in the wind? We have some good videos on these & other skills for sale or rent at Adirondack Paddle'n'Pole.
New guidebook now in stock: A Kayaker's Guide to Luebec Shores - $17.95- Exploring the New York, Vermont & Q
Aug 11 - HUDSON RIVER from Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Headed downstream, soon saw a mature bald eagle. Passed the Berkshire Spur bridge then turned back. A large freight ship went slowly by but did not create much wave action. Dagger Alchemy 14' full-featured (skeg, dayhatch, perimeter deck lines, snug seat) kayak.
Aug 9 & 10 - LAKE CHAMPLAIN. Checked in to Ausable Point State Campsite & got the last on-water site at the mouth of the Ausable River. 20 knot winds from SE produced surf at the campsite. From the Dead Creek parking area just outside the entrance booth paddled out onto the lake (N facing & out of full wind) & up the Little Ausable River for over a mile until downed tree. Back & then carried across road to Dead Creek, a great spot for poking around in thru lily-pads & grasses enjoying the plants, wildlife & distant Adirondack mountain views; ospreys & nest; tons of wood ducks; swamp maples turning red. Back at our campsite we were entertained by 2 guys in an aluminum canoe coming out of the river into the lake waves. They got around the 1st point into the waves ok, turning to go downwind looked good & it looked like they were surfing. For some reason they turned sideways to the waves & over they went, luckily in shallow enough water to be able to stand & recover. Ausable River - Upper & Lower Mouths. Put in at the small boat launch in the campground at the upper mouth. Paddled up the river to just past the Rt.9 bridge then back to the lake down the S branch to the Lower Mouth. Enjoyed the wide variety of wildflowers along the shores. Wind had changed from S to W and Lake Champlain was fairly calm. Terns & gulls on the sandbars; views across the lake to the Green Mountains of Vermont. Sand beach shores tempt one to stop. The Prospector is becoming the do-it-all boat. Swim & nap at the park's N facing beach with view of Valcour Island 2+ miles away.
Aug 7 - MOHAWK RIVER from Freeman's Bridge launch in Scotia. The Onrust is moored here. Paddled upstream to islands. Fountain out in front of Glen Sanders Mansion. Fair amount of motors on a Friday evening. Ducks, geese, egrets. Dagger Alchemy, a full-featured versatile 14' kayak.
Aug 4 - MOHAWK RIVER from Canal Park boat launch at end of Flight Lock Rd W of Waterford. Popular spot this warm evening for launching motorboats & PWCs just above Lock 6 & dam (make sure you paddle upriver). Colonie landfill on S shore then Rt.9/Crescent Bridge. After that S shore mostly undeveloped until one gets to Colonie Mohawk River Town Park. Hazy almost full moonrise on return. 2 hours. Bell Merlin II.
Aug 2&3 - LITTLE TUPPER LAKE. Only 5 cars in parking lot mid-day on rainy Sunday (stopped ~3pm); ~20 cars mid-day on sunny Monday, interestingly many more canoes than kayaks. No motors allowed on this 6 mile long lake, mostly wild. Checked out some campsites in W half of lake; our #1 pick was taken; took one in red pines with sandy beach. Sunset cruise. In morning paddled around W end of lake then out along S shore between the islands. Lot of mosquitoes on land; some deerflies when sun out. Lots of loons, incl. chick that spent a lot of time near our campsite; immature yellow-bellied sapsuckers, bald eagle, kingfishers, mergansers, gulls. Bell Merlin II, a 15' solo canoe.
Jul 31 - MOHAWK RIVER. Dock at Lock 7 boat launch has been removed (for repair, I think) & is technically closed to motorboaters (altho it hasn't been stopping motorboaters from launching anyway). Egrets; bald eagle flew by. Raining all day (it's now in the books - the rainiest July on record in Albany!!!), nice evening with colorful sunset. Dagger Blackwater 12.0, a 12' rec/lt. touring/river running kayak with skeg.
New NYS law: you are now required to actually wear your PFD (personal flotation device aka life jacket) from Nov 1 thru May 1.
Jul 30 - MOHAWK RIVER from Forts Ferry Rd. Headed up towards the islands. Fairly peaceful this morning, 3 motorboats, 3 airplanes taking off from airport. Great egrets. Bell Northstar, a 16.5' tandem canoe paddled solo from a kneeling thwart (brings the paddler close to center of canoe for better balance) & canoe heeled over.
Jul 28 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS from 123rd St, Lansingburgh. Crossed the Hudson & paddled up the Mohawk's cliffy middle branch to the falls S of Peebles Island again, played in the currents - falls have been called Little Falls, Little Cohoes Falls, Buttermilk Falls, Whirlpool Falls. Around the island counterclockwise to dam & Bock Island on NW side of Peebles. Strong eddy & current between Bock Island & Mohawk Paper Mill & I practised my eddy turns - 16' Zephyr had quite a bit of "pop". Beaver.
Jul 27 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7. Bald eagle. WS Zephyr.
Jul 26 - SCHROON RIVER, Schroon Falls to town boat launch on Schroon Lake. Schroon Falls is a class 3 drop under Rt.9 bridge, skipped that but did the short class 2 section below it (one can launch below the rapids) - rest of trip flatwater with moderate current, river ~50' wide. Some cottages & a couple of campgrounds along the way but also much undeveloped wooded shoreline - can't quite get away from distant hum of traffic, Rt.9 & I-87 less than mile away. Nice sandy banks for breaks; sometimes could see Hoffman Mtn behind us & sometimes in front. Half hour side-trip up Alder Creek filled with purple-flowered pickerelweed - went over 2 small beaver dams before turning around at a house. 15-20mph south winds (long fetch) on the lake, some surf in shallows where river runs into the lake - wind waves 1'+, boat wakes 2' added to the excitement - the Prospector came thru dry & handled very impressively. 11+ miles, 4+ hours.
Mason (Bill, Becky, Paul) family newsletter - canoeing, art...
Jul 22 - MOHAWK & HUDSON RIVERS from concrete ramp boat launch in Waterford at S end of First St. Played in the currents below falls on S side of Peebles Island then headed S on the Hudson past the old Matson Shipyard. Swift Saranac 14, a well-designed light weight 14' touring kayak.
Jul 21 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch. Raining all day but stopped just as we put in this evening. No motorboats, no wind. Mature bald eagle, green herons, lots of gb herons, ducks with little ducklings. WS Zephyr - my go-to touring kayak.
Jul 19 - WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER from 1st (eastern/upstream) Rt.10 bridge to Shaker Place. The further adventures of Bowzilla & Frankenstern in the Bell Chestnut Prospector canoe. No beaver dams that needed lift-overs - just a tree down just below water level a bit below 2nd bridge & we were able to pull/push everybody over. Side-trips E up a stream over 2 beaver dams (mentioned in Discover the Southern Adirondacks) for quarter mile to boggy vly & into Trout Lake for lunch stop (where we watched a loon feeding). Ravens. Wished Rt. 10 was a little farther away but still a very nice scenic trip with mostly wild shores. Saw more kayaks & canoes than I have ever seen here before - perhaps due to recent article in Adirondack Explorer - note they skipped the section between bridges & missed very pleasant paddling thru more intimate wooded shores different than rest of trip, shallower but plenty deep today. Steep take-out on Rt.10 - Shaker Place still gated. Breezy, so bad bugs minimal. 11+ miles, 6 hours.
Jul 17 - MOHAWK RIVER from Forts Ferry Rd. Light to moderate rain this evening but that was ok - less motors. N shore undeveloped Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve. WS Zephyr kayak.
Jul 14 - HUDSON RIVER, from Corning Preserve boat launch in Albany. Headed downstream thru the port of Albany - just a couple of tugs & a barge to ogle. Moderate NW wind & incoming tide created some texture to the water. Night heron. Perception Carolina 14, a 14' light touring kayak with roomy cockpit.
Jul 12 - FALL STREAM, Piseco. Water level on the high side & we were able to paddle up & over the half dozen beaver dams between Fall & Vly Lakes - can not say that for everyone in our group as a couple of solo canoeists had "incidents". Some private land early on then wild state land rest of trip. Joe-pye-weed blooming. Lunched at campsite on the only high & dry ground on Vly (nice view) then explore Mud Lake & its boggy shores; pitcher plants, bog rosemary, pink orchids (rose pogonia?). Gb herons, osprey, cedar waxwings, kingbirds; sounds of white-throated sparrow, chicadee, thrush. 11.7 miles, 6.25 hours. Bell Chestnut Prospector, 16' canoe, just loves this stuff!
Jul 9 - HIGH FALLS on Agawamuck Creek - walk in Philmont, Columbia County. A Columbia Land Conservancy Preserve. Trails dry smooth wide. At end of Green Trail there is a perfectly-framed view of the 150' falls. Upper blue trail upstream then over some slippery rocks to bottom of falls. Good maps at kiosk next to large parking lot. 2+ miles.
Jul 7 - ROUND LAKE & ANTHONY KILL. Half of parking area off Rt.9 is flooded thanks to beaver whose dam has raised the lake level a couple of feet. Much milfoil. Poked into Little Round Lake then down the AK. Lilypads, pickerelweed - some of our canoeists pulled out a patch of water chestnut. Due to the high water it is possible to explore the wetlands off the stream. Great sunset colors, somewhat obscured full moonrise. Cormorants, gb herons on nests, swallows, osprey. Dagger Alchemy, 14' playful kayak, a most versatile kayak good for sea kayaking thru moderate whitewater - able to make the turns in the AK just with edging.
Plan would increase 5 Ponds Wilderness by 10% incl. Lows Lake - more.
Jul 5 - SOMERSET RESERVOIR near Wilmington, VT. Quite a few picnickers near the parking area but much mellower out on the water. Some motor boats, 10mph speed limit, mostly fishing - PWCs & waterskiing not allowed. Waves up to 1', winds W 10-20 mph so we paddled across to W shore. Sandpipers, gb herons, loons. Mountain views include Stratton & Snow, undeveloped shores other than dam at S end. Canoe/kayak launch area requires carrying the boat 100'. Relaxed on an island with loony tunes. Bell Prospector - a 16' canoe - sweet! On drive home, saw a moose in wetland not far from Rt.9 in Woodford.
Beware of strainers in Kayaderosseras Creek - especially over a mile upstream of Rt.9 - folks capsizing - check Friends Of the Kayaderosseras for updates.
Jun 30 - HUDSON RIVER, Coeymans Landing. Nice quiet rainy evening. Poked into Coeymans Creek to see the small falls. Crossed over to the undeveloped E side.
Jun 28 - HOOSIC RIVER from NY/VT state line to Hoosic Falls (see ADK East Central guidebook for put-in & take-out). Quickwater, many class 1 rapids & one class 2 - Williamstown gauge in high 5's, Eagle Bridge gauge at 4'. Took the class 2 drop (~half hour into the trip as river comes close to road & RR) a bit R of center closely avoiding the close to 3' wave at the bottom. 3 small drops before Rt.22 bridge are playable then flatwater to take-out on the L - saw 2 deer bound across the river here. Very little development seen, some farm smell. 11 miles, 5.5 hours. Dagger Approach - fun! - catches eddies well, high initial & secondary stability.
Jun 25 - Town of Clifton Park meeting on Recreation Plan which could include storage of personal kayaks & canoes - you can also take an online survey - more (pdf).
Jun 24 - Took a swim on Mohawk River at Lock 7 - water feels nice - great for a rescue class.
Jun 23 - MOHAWK RIVER from near end of Forts Ferry Rd in Latham. Paddled mainly on N shore along undeveloped shores of Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve. Swift Osprey, a 15' solo canoe - similar to Bell Merlin II perhaps a bit easier to turn & a bit less tracking.
Bell Canoe Works Adventurer Club - for paddlers who take extended paddling trips in their Bell canoe & take a canoe trip of 100 miles or more in 2009.
Jun 21 - ALANDER MOUNTAIN hike, from Mt. Washington SP HQ, Mt. Washington, MA. Very wet after recent rains, sometimes trail resembled a stream. Some really nice waterfalls early in the hike. Summit in clouds when I got there, entertained by a couple of towhees. Started raining so I retreated to a cabin a little below the summit. Rain stopped, went back to summit now with better views. Spent 1.5 hours at or near summit. Some mountain laurel (mostly pink) flowering near summit but blossoms not as pervasive as hoped for. 7 miles, 4.4 hours.
Jun 16 - HUDSON RIVER from boat launch at 123rd St in Lansingburgh. Headed upstream & around the islands below Lock 1. Osprey on dead tree; bald eagle flies off its nest; beaver slaps its tail. Noticeable current after recent rains - easier coming back downstream. Bell Northstar, a lightweight 16.5' touring canoe, handles motorboat wakes nicely. 6 miles, 2 hours.
Little Tupper to Lake Lila the easy way (Nehasane did this route quite a few years ago) & navigation rights - story.
A rapidly growing problem in some of the rivers we paddle: "Rock Snot". As river users we should do our best to help reduce it's spread. http://vtwaterquality.org/lakes/htm/ans/lp_didymo.htm
Clean and DRY your equipment, especially booties, wetsuits, and drysuits.
Didymo "Rock Snot" is now in the upper reaches of the Mad-Vt, White, Battenkill, Connecticut
and all rivers downstream from those.
Jun 14 - BATTEN KILL, from Rt.313 bridge in Arlington, VT to Rt.64 bridge in Shushan. Mergansers with smalll chicks, deer bounding across the stream. Found some waves to play & surf along the way. Arlington visual gauge at 2.8', Battenville gauge at a bit over 5' - a very nice level. 14+ miles, 5.5 hours.
Jun 10 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions Park (by the old train station), Rosendale Rd, Niskayuna. Muddy put-in (best to wear the Chota Mukluks). Water chestnut weeds getting worse but able to get thru shallow area between upstream & middle islands & out to deep water; a bit deeper & easier between middle & downstream islands on return. Headed up to the Lock 7 dam - saw osprey & ducklings. A few motorboats out this warm evening. 6.5 miles, 2 hours. Bell Merlin II, a 15' solo touring canoe.
What do you burn in your campfire? Plastics can give off nasty chemicals. Some food wrappers (like instant oatmeal) have plastic linings. Read more.
Jun 7 - BATTEN KILL from Eagleville Covered Bridge to Rt.61 in Battenville. 2 more covered bridges in Shushan & Rexleigh. Class 1 whitewater & riffles - some downed trees make the section between Eagleville & Shushan a bit more technical. Very little development/roads until you reach Rexleigh. Water level 4.67' at Battenville gauge. Side-trip: went over a beaver dam & paddled up a stream into the Eldridge Swamp. Deer, woodchucks, osprey & nest, black ducks & ducklings, mergansers & chicks, C geese & goslings, fish; yellow flag & other flowers added color. 15.7 miles, 5+ hours. Dagger Alchemy 14.0, an extremely versatile 14' light touring kayak - flat water, easy rapids, sea kayaking...
Jun 3 - RIVERVIEW PUBLIC ACCESS PROJECT. This is a new Town of Clifton Park picnic area off Riverview Rd W of Vischer Ferry (just W of Brian Dr., E of Riverview Orchards). A smooth (wheelable) trail leads ~250 yards to a shale beach on the Mohawk River. No picnic tables here yet. Have seen it referred to as Riverview Landing & Mohawk Landing. Mohawk River Paddling Guide.
Jun 2 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch. Tuesday evening & no motor boats. Turtle, muskrat, gb herons, mallard mom & brood. Dagger Blackwater 12, a fun 12' kayak with skeg. Over 40 paddlers in the group tonight thanks to Adirondack Mountain Club - Albany Chapter.
Jun 1 - MELVILLE NAUHEIM SHELTER hike from parking turnout on Rt.9 near top of Woodford hill, a popular spring here & folks regularly come to fill up their jugs. 600' less climb than taking the AT/LT from its Rt.9 trailhead. Old logging road for 20 min, then R on Long Trail/Appalachian Trail to shelter. AT/LT to powerline where there are views E & W. Scouted out the old logging road which continues across powerline across shoulder of Maple Hill then steeply down toward Woodford Hollow. No bad bugs except for few after noon when I stopped for a break - freeze last night & still very cool when I started out. 3.5 hours.
May 31 - MOHAWK RIVER CLEANUP, Lions Park, Old Niskayuna Train Station, Rosendale Rd. Wind picked up in midafternoon (20-35mph) & we had an exciting paddle from N shore downstream back to the put-in. Mad River Explorer 14TT, a 14.5' tandem canoe paddled solo. Mad River Legend 16, a 16' tandem canoe - handled waves from front & quartering very well, a bit rocky in beam waves thanks to its flattish hull (shallow arch hulls like in Dave Yost designed boats seem to do better in beam waves).
May 27 - HUDSON RIVER, VLOMAN KILL, PAPSCANEE CREEK from state boat launch next to Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. A couple of barges went by on the Hudson this Wed evening, otherwise no other motor traffic. Waterfall on the VK running nicely. Eagles on both sides of the Hudson on the VK & mouth of Papscanee. 2 hours. Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140, a 14' touring kayak.
May 25 - HOOSIC RIVER from Buskirk Covered Bridge. Downstream for 3 or 4 miles - very little development. Fish jumping, bald eagles, hawk on nest. Dam at Johnsonville creates ~6 miles of flat water.
May 24 - HOOSIC RIVER, Girardi Canoe Access in N Adams MA to Conservation Park (unmarked) in Pownal VT. Class 1+ whitewater. At 5.6' on the Williamstown gauge = water level good for the most part, a couple of boney rapids. Despite passing thru Williamstown, the river remains mostly development-free becoming especially scenic in the 2nd half as it butts up against the Taconic Range. 9.7 miles, 3.6 hours. Dagger Approach, a fun kayak for easy whitewater.
May 19 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS from 123rd St boat launch in Lansingburgh. Interesting currents & eddies below falls S of Peebles Island. Dagger Alchemy, 14' playful touring kayak also designed to handle whitewater.
May 18 - SOUTH POND. Not very big but lots of stuff to explore. A few cottages but mostly state land. Views of Blue Mtn & other mountains to the E. Islands, inlet can be paddled up quite a ways. Loons, C goose on nest, osprey & nest. Some blackflies on lee side of islands. Temp in 50s. 3.5 hours. Swift Saranac 14.6, a 14.5' light touring kayak.
May 17 - SOUTH INLET (of Raquette Lake). 2 miles to falls. Pitcher plants; flowering: bog rosemary. leatherleaf. Too cold (40s) & windy for blackflies.
May 11 - UPPER GOOSE POND, near Lee, MA. Hike on Appalachian Trail from Goose Pond Rd (dirt). Beech, oaks, mountain laurel. Painted trillium. 5.5 miles, 3 hours.
May 11 - GREAT POND, near Simsbury, CT. Loop hike around pond. Pines, mountain laurel, Pink lady's slipper. 1.5 miles.
May 10 - PEOPLES STATE FOREST, near Winsted, CT. Loop hike on Charles Pack, Jesse Girrard & Robert Ross Trails - nice views from Chaugham Lookout & The Overlook of Farmington River 600' below & the hills beyond. Swarming blackflies at sunny lookouts but not biting. 6 miles, 3+ hours.
May 5 - MOHAWK RIVER & ERIE CANAL from Freddie's Park SE of Rt.9 Crescent Bridge. Upstream past islands (columbine growing on rocks), Colonie Mohawk River Park, under the Northway then R into the old Erie Canal to Clute's Dry Dock. Beaver, muskrat, gb heron. 8 miles, 2+ hours. Wilderness Systems Zephyr.
May 3&4 - CEDAR RIVER FLOW from Wakeley Dam. Up Buell Brook ~half mile & several small rapids. Camped at NE part of flow - picnic table & thunderbox. Cedar River - no beaverdams. Carry lean-to - helicopter came down nearby for a few minutes - stocking trout? Surrounded by mountains rising up to 2,000' above the flow - very scenic & peaceful. Loons, osprey, mergansers (many males), trout. A few blackflies (not hungering for blood yet).
Apr 28 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions Park. Paddled up to the Lisha Kill but water too shallow & did not reach bridge to Niska Isle. Downstream past the 3 islands. Immature bald eagle, gb herons, mallards, C geese, wood ducks, snapping turtle, muskrats. 1.5 hours. Wilderness Systems Zephyr 16.0, a 16' sea/touring kayak - did extremely well in the gusty wind.
Apr 26&27 - PUTNAM POND canoe camping. Told that ice has been out for over 2 weeks. Paddled out & set up camp on the island - one must pay for these on-water sites once the campground is open, not today - fire ring, picnic table, outhouse. Paddled around N end of pond then to S end. Romancing pairs of loons, mergansers & mallards. Hiked to & around Grizzle Ocean (an "ocean" that is much smaller than the "pond") - 3 miles. Yellow violets. A beaver passes our campsite both evening & morning. Hike Treadway Mountain (trailhead 5 min. paddle from our campsite - very pleasant route, excellent views from the rocky summit, still snow on Mt. Marcy & other High Peaks - 5 miles, 900"+. Garter & green snakes on rocky upper trail; hawks, osprey fly over the summit; a few blackflies (not biting yet). Bell Merlin II, a 15' solo touring canoe, & Bell Northstar, a 16.5' tandem touring canoe.
Apr 20 - AIKEN WILDERNESS skiwhacking. Walked a short distance down FR74 (mostly snow-free) then headed W to where we saw larger patches of snow. Continued along snowy route mainly on N facing slopes past a meadow, to a beaver pond & to the high point of the wilderness where there is a large rock, some thru-the-trees views (last April 21 we reached this spot but started from Woodford SP). Saw the "Blind Man's Trail", someone had once blazed a trail in here with blue paint, ranger has since gone in & painted them over with brown. Elevation 2,300-2,600'. 0-10" corn snow, very good skiing just watch out for hobblebush. 3.5 hours.
Apr 19 - STEWART MTN hike. Short hike on private land E of Loon Lake in Chestertown to wonderful lookout - see across Loon Lake to Crane, 11th & Gore Mountains. BRANT LAKE canoeing - put in at state boat launch in the village - scenery is nice but much of shore has camps along it, not far from roads & a manufacturer of beautiful wood motorboats was taking folks for rides (noisier than a bunch of motorcycles).
Apr 17 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions Park in Niskayuna. Muddy put-in. No other boats of any kind out this morning. Water level low - will be raised before they put the locks into action - little chance of getting out to main channel between the islands. 3 crows chasing hawk, all land on same tree, another red-tail screams in & all fly away, 2 hite-throated sparrow sounds, fish jumping, eagle nest inactive. 1 hour. Perception Carolina 12, a 12' recreational kayak - very adjustable seat, perimeter deck lines for safety, medium size cockpit. Mohawk River Paddling Guide & other local spots.seen soaring. Watch a muskrat come out of the water & onto island. Geese, ducks, heron, turtle. W
Float planes allowed on Lows Lake for 3 more years - story.
Apr 16 - Ice out on many Adirondack lakes incl. Pharoah, Loon, Schroon, Long, Cranberry...
Apr 5-12 - Kayaking MD & NC. Highs 55F-80F, lows low 40s-60F; winds mostly 15-20mph.
Apr 12 - MERCHANTS MILLPOND. Northern NC. Rented a canoe ($14 for 4 hours). Lassiter Swamp, Bennett's Creek. Turtles. Bald cypress trees & their "knees" are so neat.
Apr 11 - OUTER BANKS, NC. Oregon Inlet Campground. Bodie Lighthouse. National Seashore beach.
Apr 10 - BEAR ISLAND from Hammocks Beach SP HQ. Much wider & better marked than route from Shell Rock. Lagoon.
Apr 9 - BEAR ISLAND from Shell Rock Landing. See dolphins as we get ready to launch. Cross Intracoastal Waterway. Brown canoe trail marker posts thru marshes. Up the Trout Channel along the island to Ferry dock - ranger told us middle of island closed due to heavy machinery on beach (backcountry campsites also closed) so we headed back to W end of island ~low tide. Sandy bluffs & dunes, very scenic. Bear Inlet very narrow route out to Ocean. Tricolored herons, egrets. Very shallow in spots on way back (even 4 hours after low tide for Bogue Inlet), we also take a wrong turn for short time.
Apr 8 - WHITE OAK RIVER from Cedar Point. Estuary, over a mile wide, now a couple of miles before the river meets the ocean, tidal. Also explored Dubling & Boathouse Creeks. Clammers. Tricolored herons. Undeveloped on E shore & islands, W side developed.
Apr 7 - WHITE OAK RIVER & tributaries from Haywood Landing. River averages 100' wide here. To Long Point & back - also explored Mulberry & Grants Creeks. Fire in evidence in pines on E shore, Croatan NF. Undeveloped shores. Wood ducks, turtles, osprey, prothonotary warblers.
Apr 5 - ASSATEAGUE, MD. Chincoteague Bay. Wild horses, little blue heron, loons.
Mar 30 - AIKEN WILDERNESS skiing. Mostly off trail. 1'-2' of wet granular snow topped with up to 2" new. Raining down in Bennington, snowing up in Woodford. Skied down FR74 for ~10 mins. then R or W on old logging road which we soon left. Reached old logging road S of the state park. One tricky stream crossing. 3 hours.
Mar 29 - HOOSIC RIVER kayaking. From Johnsonville upstream. Bald eagle, Canada geese, red-tailed hawk, muskrats. 2.6 hours.
Mar 25 - SPECULATOR TREE FARM ski. From parking area just off Rtes 8&30 near bridge on Old Rtes 8&30 which is not plowed shortly after the bridge. Avg. 1.5' of snow. Icy at first but real nice as temp rose well over 40F + lots of sun to soften things up. S on Old Rtes 8&30 for ~1 mile, rapids of Sacandaga River seen to the R. L on Fly Creek Rd, a snowmobile trail (mountain bike trail in summer). Pass 3 Camp Rd which goes to Elm Lake then pretty much stay close to Kunjamuk River (mostly ice-free). Pass Long Level Bridge & continued on E side of Kunjamuk to site of Upper Bridge, there is no longer a bridge here. Some nice views along the way with Upper Pine Mtn's cliffs to the E & East & Dug Mtns to the W. I wouldn't ski here on a winter weekend due to snowmobiles but makes for a good late season weekday trip. Mostly novice but with enough hills to make things interesting. 15 miles, 5.1 hours. Nehasanes's 52nd ski day of the season. Snowmobile Snow Report.
Mar 23 - PORCUPINE LOOKOUT. Same start as yesterday. Determined to find & follow old road W of Hagar Hill. Found & followed & lost it but stayed on course running into Little Pond-AT/LT connector trail then W to AT/LT then SW to lookout. Long break, wonderful view E & S Mts, Snow & Haystack, meadows - no sign of civilization except for Searsburg Wind Farm. N on AT/LT to find our tracks from yesterday, down to Little Pond Trail, off-trail short cut to "Secret Trail". Temp below freezing so a bit icier in tracks than yesterday; nice in untracked areas; snow here should last well into April. Elevation ranges from 2,400' to 3,100'. 4.3 hours.
Mar 22 - LITTLE POND LOOKOUT. From Little Pond trailhead on Rt.9 a bit E of Big Pond in Woodford. Snowmobile trail. W side of Hagar Hill - old road & bushwhack. Spur to Little Pond. Off-trail NW uphill to Appalachian/Long Trail (return on this open woods route is a blast). N on AT/LT to lookout. Back on "The Secret Trail". Very nice skiing away from snowmobile trail: avg. 20" firm base topped with soft granular topped with 1" new; snowing for over half of trip; temp above freezing; a bit sticky, make sure you use Maxiglide or Easy Glide. No stream crossing issues. Almost too much fun! 4.3 hours.
Nehasane's go-to skis - Fischer Outtabounds Crown - like them more every time I'm out.
Mar 18 - HOLMES & LITTLE HOLMES LAKES, FRIE FLOW from Peters Corners. Still ~2' of snow. A bit icy at start but softened up as temp rose over 40F. Snowmobile trail for couple of miles, spur trail to new lean-to S of Holmes Lake faces E but far enough from the lake that there are no views of the lake. Off-trail to connect with unmarked path/old road to Little Holmes & along E side of Frie Flow where there is some blowdown. Reached a stream we did not want to cross & found a way onto the flow passing an old boiler from logging operation ~100 years ago. 7 miles, 4 hours.
Mar 16 - DUNVILLE HOLLOW, Woodford, VT. Excellent conditions as sun had softened the surface - area is mostly hardwoods. Parked on City Stream Rd just off Rt.9. Out on Forest Road 273, a snowmobile trail. Crossed 3 trails of Prospect Mtn Ski Area then R "off-trail" heading W. Soon found an old logging road going in our direction, then another one R or N up unnamed 2,315' hill. Turned around, enjoying the downhill then R or W on original old road & down along stream that dumps into Stamford Stream in Dunville Hollow after 650' drop from our highest elevation - exhilarating! Looped the long way back on snowmobile trails. 3 hours.
Mar 15 - CRANE POND & GLIDDEN MARSH. Pharoah Wilderness. Firm base, bit icy in shady spots to soft surface in sunny areas - mostly good skiing + one can't complain about the cloudless skies & temp in upper 40s. After noon start to allow snow to soften. Falls on Alder Creek. Lonnnnng break sun-worshipping at mostly snow-free piney campsite on pond with view of Pharoah Mtn to the S. 6+ miles, 4.7 hours.
Mar 11 - SPECTACLE LAKE from Rt.29A between Canada Lake & Stratford. ~2' snow - temp well above freezing. Rained last night & this morning - cloudy on way in, sunny on way out. Snowmobile trail - packed trail softened by the warmth - good to very good skiing (wet & heavy off trail, slow going). Pass by Burnt Vly & Third Lake. Arrived at middle lobe of Spectacle. Easy intermediate on well-packed trail to Third Lake, rougher (especially for snowmobiles) from there to Spectacle. Some wet spots, easily avoided. Nice & quiet midweek, no snowmobiles. 11 miles, 4 hours (shorter break than usual). ADK guidebook & NatGeo map have mileage wrong - they say it is 4 miles to Spectacle but upon examination one can easily see that it is 4 miles as the crow flies & not trail mileage. Until we get new snow expect things to be icy hard & fast when temp is below freezing, nice spring skiing when well above freezing.
Mar 9 - WILTON WILDLIFE PRESERVE. Very good skiing on groomed (not today) trails N of Scout Rd - 2" of new heavy powder on 1'+ base. The ~5 miles of trails they groom are easy, almost comical the way they have "Hill" signs at top of small hills. Wide smooth trails. 4.5 miles, 1.3 hours. Amazing how Saratoga area still has lots of snow & Albany nothing just 30 miles away.
Mar 8 - PINNACLE CREEK from end of Pinnacle Rd in Bleecker. Shaker Mtn WF. Over 2' of snow, fair to good skiing. Rained a lot last night & streams were up - had to go way upstream to cross 1st stream. Pinnacle Creek even wider so we just followed it's E branch upstream off-trail a half mile to a vly between Pinnacle & Panther Mtns, skirted the edge of vly on the SE & past a lot of pretty icefalls on small cliffs. Temp in 40s made for very comfortable lunch break in the sun. 5.5 miles, 4.5 hours.
Mar 4 - CONGDON SHELTER from Notch Rd (S off the Rt.9 hill @ ~1,450'el), Woodford, VT, drive short distance to parking area on L. Walk/ski to end of road & take a right on 4WD road to R of house. 3"-6" powder on crunchy base - very nice skiing. Going up Dunville Hollow along Stamford Stream. Eventually reach couple of fancy camps & some very interesting moose statues. At ~2.3 miles, after gaining over 400', take R at a clearing & pass another camp, now climbing moderately (great for telemark turns on way back). At 4-way junction take R on Old Stage Trail (occasionally marked, but obvious old road, aka Dunville Hollow Trail on the Stamford USGS map). Gain of 800' from start as we take L on Appalachian & Long Trails (lots of moose tracks). AT not as easy to follow & we lose it a couple of times down to Congdon Shelter. After lunch we cross the stream next to the shelter & find an old trail which soon leads to our tracks on Old Stage. Explore a clearing with blackberry bushes which has view of Houghton Mtn. Back to 4-way, we take R then L on snowmobile trail then L back on Old Stage & out. Nice variety. 8-9 miles, 4.4 hours.
Mar 1 - CATAMOUNT TRAIL - HARRIMAN RESERVOIR S of Rt.9 near Wilmington, VT. Rained a couple of days ago. Lightly used snowmobile trail for ~3 miles - a hint of iciness, very gentle grades, easy skiing. CT bears L from snowmobile trail (sign points L & says "Dam") & follows old railroad bed - slightly icy powder, not a crust, not bad skiing. Pass thru interesting rock cut. After crossing Wilder Brook, took an unmarked trail to the reservoir. Water drawn down ~40' lower than high; looked like a snowy moonscape. 8 miles, 4.6 hours.
Feb 25 - WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER upstream from Rt.10. Old roads (unmarked)into Silver Lake Wilderness. Broke trail thru lots of deep snow. Missed the turn for the "path" that parallels the W Br so continued on N Br "trail". After ~2 miles crossed the N Br at a vly, went off-trail SE over a small ridge, down to a stream, along the stream thru a wetland to the West Branch. Followed the bank of the W Br upstream for a while - a very beautiful spot in the wilderness. The river looked like a 20'-30' wide white ditch, not much open water. Warm cloudless wind-free day - very very quiet. Followed my tracks back. Would love to get a canoe back in here. Ref: Discover the Southern Adirondacks. Skiing: novice; route-finding: intermediate+. 6.7 hours. Nearby Piseco reported 49" snow depth earlier in the week.
Feb 23 - HOPKINS MEMORIAL FOREST from Rosenburg Center, Williamstown, MA. Parking area well-plowed. Up to 8" powder on good base. Did Upper & Lower Loop Trails (the former twice - once in each direction) + spur to Northwest Hill Rd. 500' elevation change from start to high point. Wide smooth trails with some good hills. 900'+ el, 8.3 miles, 3.5 hours.
Feb 22 - HOFFMAN NOTCH from Blue Ridge Rd. Parking area not plowed recently, we shoveled out one spot. 8" powder on good base, snowing lightly, temp around freezing, a bit sticky in the afternoon (make sure you use Maxiglide or Easy Glide on skis to minimize sticking). Worth a short sidetrip to bottom of wonderful icy waterfalls W of trail. Scenic brook much of the way, crossings easy. Gain over 500' on way in, fun run out. Lunch at Big Marsh. 7.4 miles, 4.6 hours.
Feb 18 - HELL HOLLOW BROOK & PORCUPINE LOOKOUT from Little Pond trailhead in Woodford, VT. Green Mountain NF. Snowmobile trail to just past powerline, L at clearing to unofficial (aka "secret") trail (sparsely marked with ribbons, old axe blazes & cuttings) heading NW, downstream on S side of HH Brook to Appalachian/Long Trail bridge at 2,300'. Uphill on AT/LT to Porcupine Lookout at 2,800' where there is a good view S & E. Down to connector trail to Little Pond for short distance then S off-trail picking up headwaters of HHB. Many beaver ponds/meadows along HH Brook. Moose tracks & piles of scat - & look! there goes the moose, a good look at its tail end! 4.7 hours.
Feb 16 - LITTLE POND, N of Rt.9 in Woodford, VT. Avoided the snowmobile trails by finding a "secret trail" marked with ribbons (mostly yellow, some orange). Same excellent conditions as yesterday. Had the pond all to ourselves for pleasant 1.5 hour relax in the sun. Run back out was heavenly, losing over 300' in ~2 miles. 6 miles, 4.5 hours.
Feb 15 - AIKEN WILDERNESS from Woodford State Park. 6" powder on top of firm deep base - best skiing of the season! Across Adams Reservoir to end of campground, over 3 beaver ponds/meadows, L on old logging road (unmarked) uphill, down to large meadow for long break in the warm sun, to "the tin can" junction & bear L, now beaking trail (easy), down to string of beaver meadows/ponds to W Br Deerfield River then returned. Moose & otter tracks. 8 miles, 5 hours.
Feb 11 - WEST STONY CREEK from Benson Rd, 4.7 miles from Rt.30. Very good skiing, spring conditions with temp in 40s. Very roughly followed route of proposed continuation of Northville-Placid Trail, bushwhack 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. See Discover the Southern Adirondacks 2005 4th edition 2nd printing Map 3 trip 97. 7+ miles, 5 hours.
Feb 9 - THOMAS MOUNTAIN. Stopped at Lake George Rec Center - not groomed, icy hard, skied a loop, not much fun. Drove over to Thomas. Trail was packed hard & I could have bare-booted whole way without post-holing but donned snowshoes for the grip of their crampons. Great view from cabin near top: south end of Lake George, Cat Mtn not far to the S, Crane & Gore Mnts to the W. Enjoyed the sun on the cabin porch for 1.5 hours. Explored a bit - sunk up to 1.5' even with snowshoes on off-trail. Some distant road noise (I-87 is ~1 mile away). 700', 3 miles, 3.6 hours.
Feb 8 - HOUR POND. From Old Farm trailhead. Siamese Ponds Wilderness. Temp slightly above freezing at start (mostly heavy wet powder), slightly below freezing at end (tracks icing up). Branched off Puffer Pond Trail to Hour Pond & lean-to. Took new red trail back down to 13th Lake - advanced skiing today, intermediate+ in perfect conditions. Crossed lake with lots of slush/water to Elizabeth Point & back up to start. 8 miles, 6 hours.
Feb 4 - MUD LAKE. Silver Lake Wilderness. 2.5' of snow. From end of plowing to Whitehouse ~2 miles novice. Cross long suspension bridge over W Br Sacandaga River, now on Northville-Placid Trail. Soon start climbing 650' to height of land then slow drop to Mud's lean-to, intermediate. Broke trail all the way - a lot of work for just 2 skiers. 3.5 hours in, 2.5 hours out. Only 2 parties signed in at Whitehouse in January. Last entry in lean-to register was Nov 23, 08 (Bill Ingersoll). 10 miles, 6.8 hours.
Feb 2 - MERCK FOREST from little-used S entrance at end of plowing on Hidden Valley Rd. Poor skiing - over a foot of snow topped with icy crust. Old Town Rd never far from a stream. Dunc's Place. Long lunchbreak in one of lean-tos with view to the S. 800' gradual elevation gain in ~2.5 miles to Birch Pond. Workers getting maple sugaring apparatus ready - will tap trees in a couple of weeks. Easy intermediate in good powder conditions; intermediate+ today. 3.5 hours.
Feb 1 - DIPPIKILL. Skied old logging roads from a friend's house to Dippikill then down to Dippikill Pond for lunch then down 450' in a mile on wide trail to Rt.28 at The Glen where we had spotted a car. 6 miles, 3 hours. Back to Dippikill Rd & did the run down to Rt.28 again. 2.5 ' snow , foot of new powder on top of an icy layer - very good skiing. 700' loss, 2.6 miles, 1+ hours. Intermediate+ the last half mile.
Jan 28 - WASHINGTON COUNTY WOODS & FIELDS. Over 1' with some new snow made for good skiing in the morning; alas, rain in the afternoon left an icy crust on top! 2.5 hours.
Jan 26 - HALFWAY BROOK & RAYMOND BROOK TRAILS. Thru ski from Old Farm Trailhead to Rt.28. Climb over 400' on HB Trail, drop to The Vly & campsite with view of Gore. Cross Barton Mines Rd & pick up newly marked RB Trail which climbs moderately before dropping 1,200' in ~3.5 miles to Rt.28. Initial drop from height of land is steep but there is room to move & pick your best way down. Things moderate for ~2 miles, pass historic "Sled Shed" from the 30's, even some uphill. Raymond Brook in ravine to our L. Good new bridges over streams. Another steep section before Rt.28 parking area. Exhilarating! Intermediate+. 9 miles, 4 hours, 15 min. shuttle (one-way)between trailheads. Another trip report - this one did not go as well as ours.
Jan 25 - BOTHERATION POND loop from Old Farm trailhead near 13th Lake. 2'-3', excellent snow conditions, trail broken. 2 miles of new trail from the crossing of the E Br Sacandaga River (aka Botheration Brook/River) to the Halfway Brook Trail marked with red ski markers. Some slush under the snow on Botheration Pond, view of Gore Mtn. Side-trip toward The Vly on Halfway Brook Trail - nice downhill. Easiest to ski out onto William Blake Pond & small beaver pond to its E & fun run out. Interesting scenery & skiing. 8+ miles, 4+ hours.
Jan 23 - WOLF CREEK FALLS PRESERVE. Did all of the trails N of the road & some to the S. Could not find the unmarked trail that goes down to the creek from near the wall on the white trail so bushwhacked down & upstream a bit to 15' icy falls, opposite wall rises 50' from creek - nice spot. 1' snow; off trail icy crust topped with 4" powder; most trails broken by skiers & snowshoers. Intermediate. 1.7 hours.
Jan 22 - MOHAWK RIVER STATE PARK aka SCHENECTADY MUSEUM NATURE PRESERVE, from Lock 7 parking lot in Niskayuna.
Jan 21 - ROCKWOOD STATE FOREST. A few miles NW of Johnstown. Over 5 miles of designated ski trails (generally wide & smooth) + more on spurs, etc. Most trails broken out - excellent skiing; off-trail there is 2.5' incl. an icy crust topped with 8-10" powder (somewhat hard to herringbone). Some exciting hills especially from top of hill (an old chimney can be found here) SE of parking lot. Broke trail on side-trip to Caroga Creek. Main trails shown in Discover the Southern Adirondacks. 3+ hours.
Jan 19 - PHAROAH LAKE skiing, from Beaver Pond Rd. Pharoah Wilderness. Very good skiing; ~1.5', off-trail mostly powder but with some crust midway; someone had taken snowmobile in (illegal in wilderness areas) so trail was packed. ~2 miles in, go off trail at the bridge over outlet to campsite with good view of Pharoah Mtn across the beaver flow; mighty impressive beaver dam, too. Great view of Treadway Mtn & lower flanks of Pharoah Mtn from Watch Rock. Easy intermediate. 9 miles, 4.5 hours.
Jan 18 - DYKEN POND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER near Grafton. ~1.5' mostly powder over good base. Only 1 other car (snowshoers) in parking lot on a Sunday of holiday weekend! Trails to the W had not been broken in over a week! Easy intermediate. Some blowdown. 3 hours.
Jan 14 - EASTMAN LAKE from Green Lake. Shaker Mountain Wild Forest. 2'+ incl. sometimes breakable icy crust topped with 5" powder. Started on the ski trail to Pine Lake with temp at -3F but soon went off-trail & across Otter Lake. After crossing outlets of Stewart & Indian Lakes started climbing a ridge heading NE - I hate to admit it but this might be more appropriate for snowshoes & we turned around before making it to Eastman. Fairly remote. 600' elevation gain, 5 hours.
Jan 14 - Piseco hits the 40" mark! NY Snow Totals.
Jan 12 - BELLOWS PIPE TRAIL from Notch Rd. NE side of Mt. Greylock near N Adams, MA. Parking lot uphill from trailhead not a priority for plowing (got plowed just after we got there). Great conditions - good base topped with up to a foot of powder. Some blowdown; stream crossings not too bad (just make sure its been cold lately). Climb for 2.7 miles to lean-to; thru-trees view of Hoosic River valley. Continued on to Thunderbolt Ski Trail; watched a couple of guys come down using alpine touring gear. Fun run back; intermediate with only 1 steeper hill. 1, 000'+ elevation, 6.5 miles, 4+ hours.
Jan 11 - THE SNOW HOLE & BALD MTN. Taconic Crest Trail from Petersburg Pass at NY/MA border (~2,000'). Quite a few cars here ahead of us at 10:30am - telemark skiers & boarders like the old ski trails on Mt. Raimer. Great conditions - good base topped with over 6" powder. Very steep hill at start can be walked or skinned; one more fairly steep hill but intermediate overall. Had to break trail over half the way. Nice view from White Rocks a little before the Snow Hole. Continued on to Bald Mtn (2,480'), trail gets very steep, found unmarked trail to the L which was less steep, used climbing skins, no open views. 7 miles, 5 hours.
Jan 9 - INDIAN MEADOWS PARK, Droms Rd, Glenville. Report of 5" new snow in Glenville. Up to 10"; sometimes breakable crust with 1"-5" powder on top. Groomed trail around ballfields is beginner. More scenic ungroomed trails in woods & marsh to S around the Indian Kill are novice. Ran off a few telemark runs on the sledding hill. 1.2 hours.
Head N or W of Capital District to avoid trails with much blowdown from ice storm. Thacher Park trails are closed (over 100 trees down) & they are looking for volunteers willing to help with cleanup - call park office at 872-1237.
Jan 5 - WILTON WILDLIFE PRESERVE. Freezing rain earlier in day. Skied Camp Saratoga section both sides of Scout Rd. 10" - icy hard & poor skiing on groomed sections (maybe they don't groom on Mondays?); good skiing in untracked snow wherever no-one had gone. Groomed trails are easy terrain; ungroomed intermediate. 2 hours.
Jan 4 - ROCK LAKE. Northville-Placid Trail from Upper Benson. Deep base with 5"-8" powder - nice skiing. Trail well-used by skiers & snowshoers early but use diminished the further we went & we had to break trail as we got closer to Rock Lake. Mostly uphill on way in; nice ride back out. Very nice peaceful wilderness destination. 700' elevation change, 9.5 miles, 5.5 hours.
Almy Coggeshall dies - his "25 Ski Tours" guidebook was Nehasane's 1st xc ski guidebook. Quite a character, you shoulda heard him at UMP public comment meetings.
Jan 2 - SCHENECTADY MUNI GOLF COURSE. Very good skiing on 6" powder, variety of terrain.
Jan 1 - HOPKINS MEMORIAL FOREST, Williamstown, MA. Fair to good skiing on 6" powder on top of thin icy base, some rocks & an open wet area on one hill. Did a figure 8 on Lower & Upper Loop trails - wide trails, 500' elevation change. 3 branches of Birch Brook. N of Lower Loop there are interesting platforms 75' up in 2 trees connected by 25' walkway - used for research. Mile-long trail to Hoosic River drops 250' - ice forming in its green waters. 6 miles, 3.6 hours.
Dec 29 - GAGE BROOK XC SKI TRAILS at Lake George Recreation Center. Take Rt.9N west from I-87 for over half mile, take R on Transfer Rd & follow signs. 1'. Less than half of trails groomed, no set track. Good skiing where groomed. Some wet areas. Free. Nice cascades & falls, good view of falls from lean-to. Backcountry trail leaves Rec Center to Prospect Mtn. 1.5 hours.
Dec 28 - JOHN POND. Siamese Ponds Wilderness. 10"-20" heavy wet powder. Temp up to 50F. Wet spots. New lean-to (roof leeks) set back a bit from old location but still a nice view to cliffs across pond. View across John Pond Brook to Bullhead Mtn. Side-trip to old burial plot (fun hill). Tricky stream crossings on log bridges. John Pond Crossover Trail for less than a mile to another tough stream crossing. 7 miles, 4 hours.
Dec 26 - WASHINGTON COUNTY WOODS & FARM FIELDS skiing. 8", a bit icy & faster.
Dec 23 - LISHA KILL PRESERVE skiing, Rosendale Rd, Niskayuna. ~1' snow. Trails packed by skiers, snowshoers, bare-booters, animals. Some steep hills best for better skiers (steepest hills can be avoided by going off trail; snowshoers will love it). Wonderful old growth woods. A little blowdown but not bad. 1.2 hours.
Rangers from Columbia County & Thacher Park stopped in the store & reported much blowdown on trails, in fact Thacher has been closed.
Dec 21 - WASHINGTON COUNTY WOODS & FARM FIELDS skiing. 3 whitetails. Spent time on wide nowax bc skis & also narrower waxable bc skis - enjoyed the former most. Over foot of snow. 3 hours.
Dec 15 - ROBIN'S LOOKOUT hike. Equinox Preservation Trust trails on E side of Equinox Mtn, Manchester, VT. Up to 2" wet snow & ice. Up via Snicket, down by Red Gate Trail. View of Equinox Pond below & across Battenkill valley to Green Mountains. Most trails are wide. 400' climb, 2 miles, 1.5 hours.
Dec 14 - MUD LAKE. There are many Mud Lakes & Ponds in the Adirondacks, this has got to be the tiniest, I've seen bigger beaver ponds! This one is about a mile NNW of Chase Lake in the Shaker Mtn WF. Started at the end of Pinnacle Rd & Chase Lake trailhead but immediately went off-trail keeping the slopes of Pinnacle Mtn to our left. Some challenging stream crossings but mostly very good skiing thru mostly open hardwoods with 6" dense powder over good base. Overshot the lake; after consulting the maps (USGS Caroga Lake & Jackson Summit) headed over a knoll to the hemlock-rimmed "lake". Stayed closer to its outlet on way back & picked up the Chase Lake trail. 7 miles?, 4.3 hours.
Dec 8 - DRY, DEXTER & SPECTACLE LAKES from Rt.10. Very good skiing on ~15". 1st day snowmobiles allowed on state land but no sign of them yet. Temp 3F as we started out - very sunny with little wind tho. We broke trail most of the way. Some downed trees a minor annoyance for skiers - could be major annoyance for snowmobiles. Intermediate, the hill before Dexter will challenge most skiers (some rocks, water). Trail from Dexter to Spectacle is obvious (some guidebooks call it a bushwhack but I believe they refer to the old trail). Probably best to stay off lakes. 8.2 miles, 4.7 hours.
Dec 7 - REDFIELD BROOK & "THE BURNING" ski, Woodford, VT. Forest Road 272 from Rt.9. Snowmobile trail but snowmobiles not allowed for another week yet. Very good skiing on 3"-6" powder on somewhat crunchy base. Windy, snowing all afternoon. Wandered around the open area around Redfield Brook. Found an unmarked trail which crossed Little Pond Brook (broken bridge) & back over to "The Burning". 6 miles, 3.7 hours.
Dec 1 - HAPGOOD POND skiing, Peru, VT. Green Mountain NF - stopped by ranger station on Rt.11 E of Manchester for free maps. 1,500' elevation. Avg 5" heavy very wet snow - expecting to go for a short hike, glad I had my skis with me. Campground roads easy, nature trail intermediate. 2+ hours. The Catamount Trail passes to the E of the park.
Nov 30 - PILLSBURY LAKE xc skiing. Gate open (I suspect they will close it after hunting season & allow snowmobiles to take over) near Mason Lake; Perkins Clearing Rd plowed. Perkins Clearing to Sled Harbor not plowed but driven by 4WD so we drove on to Sled Harbor. Skied to summer trailhead (this section multi-use); then past the gate, just ski tracks into the West Canada Wilderness. Gain 700' in 1st 3.5 miles - fun run out, no sharp turns, intermediate. 15" snow - excellent conditions; some blowdown & a tricky stream crossing near the lake. Frozen over Pillsbury Lake at 2,500' elevation, snowing, leanto. 9.6 miles, 5 hours.
Nov 27 - OLD FARM CLEARING xc skiing. ~10" avg. heavy snow. Down to Elizabeth Point on 13th Lake (some wet spots & rocks); some ice on the lake but more open water, nice spot. Over to Old Farm Clearing & Botheration Pond Trail (red ski markers). E Br Sacandaga has much ice & snow but I could not chance crossing (red trail continues on other side of river to BP & the Halfway Brook Trail). Back to OFC then from register on blue ski trail up to William Blake Pond. 8 miles, 4 hours. With the new trail a 7 mile round-trip is possible via Botheration Pond.
Nov 24 - FLOOD DAM hike from Somerset Rd (W of Wilmington, VT). Deerfield River creaky suspension bridge at start then bear L on Flood Dam Trail, unmarked for over a mile then sporadic orange or yellow paint blazes. Half inch snow - stained for quarter mile with the blood of a deer someone had dragged out. At ~2 mile mark there is a fork - L follows orange tape markers NE (took that 1st then cut over to the flow/vly). Returned & took R fork to flow on East Branch Deerfield River above the old dam - nice peaceful spot. Grouse. 6+ miles, 4.25 hours.
Nov 23 - MOUNT OLGA loop hike, E of Wilmington, VT. Start at Molly Stark SP. N trail to firetower goes thru pleasant spruce/balsam woods. Wind chill must have been below zero, thankfully top of tower is enclosed. Nice 360 view of 3 states (VT, NH, MA) - incl Mts Haystack, Snow, Stratton, Bromley, Monadnock, Greylock. Down on S trail thru hardwoods to campground. 2 miles, 2+ hours.
Nov 19 - G LAKE xc skiing. Piseco/Speculator region reported 6"-9" & more W of there; Boonville & Tug Hill area over a foot. So we drive up to Speculator - 2", head west on Rt.8 Piseco 5", things start to look real good west of Piseco Lake. ~6" at start of the unplowed (4wd vehicles have driven the first 2.1 miles) dirt road & ~10" around G Lake. Went around E & N side of lake (some ice on lake but mostly open) then down the outlet some - unmarked old logging roads & hunters' path. Had to take skis off to cross a couple of streams; not as much wet areas as expected, surprisingly good skiing. The 2.5 miles to the lake is novice/easy intermediate; rest intermediate. 7.8 miles, 4.7 hours.
Nov 17 - DYKEN POND ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER hike. I like the trails S of the access road - variety of woods, streams, swamp, vlies.
Nov 16 - FISH CREEK from Mennen Rd, Victory Mills. Moderate current due to recent rains; heavy current under westernmost Rt.29 bridge (we were able to paddle up thru it). Mostly wooded shores; some light development near bridges. 8.7 miles; 3.8 hours.
Nov 12 - WALLKILL RIVER from Sojourner Truth Park, New Paltz. Ref: A Kayaker's Guide to the Hudson River Valley by Aber. Upstream for a bit, turned around at shallow riffles then downstream 4 or 5 miles. Turned into Cameo Lake Outlet, interesting with its oak & shagbark hickory woods. Views of white cliffs of the Shawangunks much of the way. Wood ducks, buck. Never too far from roads, light development. Bell Yellowstone Solo, a 14' solo canoe - this one made of Royalex, its foam core insulates better than most materials canoes are made of.
Nov 10 - AIKEN WILDERNESS hike from Woodford SP, VT. Up to 1" new snow. No ice. New beaver dams & ponds. Moose tracks & scat. Don't expect trail markers & signs in the wilderness area; there are old logging roads that can be followed.
Nov 9 - SPRUCE PEAK hike from Rtes.11&30 E of Manchester, VT. Long Trail/Appalachian Trail. View from small lookout on Spruce Peak across valley to Mt. Equinox. Continued on to Spruce Peak Shelter, a log cabin. Mostly deciduous trees so thru-trees views most of way; some road noise. 5.6 miles, 4+ hours.
Nov 7 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7. Water chestnut gone, able to paddle the shallows & back bay. Dagger Approach, a 10' kayak.
Nov 3 - MOUNT PROSPECT in MOUNT GREYLOCK STATE RESERVATION hike near Williamstown, MA. Scouting ski trail. Money Brook Trail. The Hopper (glacial cirque). Steep climb up Prospect (1,600' total elevation gain) where there is a viewpoint 10 mins. before the treed summit - with leaves off the trees there were filtered views the whole way. Enjoyed most the brookside valley trails. For skiing purposes, the 1st mile of Money Brook Trail is easy; connector trail to the Hopper Trail climbs 300' in half mile to the Hopper Trail; Hopper Trail is wide & drops 400' in over a mile. 6 miles, 5 hours.
Nov 2 - HUDSON RIVER kayaking from end of Station Rd in Stockport. Started a little before low tide. Headed S & around Middle Ground Flats, a long island near Hudson. Interesting Hudson-Athens Lighthouse & view of snowy Catskill Mountains. N on W side of river, explored backwater & channels in marshy area. Around Stockport Middle Ground (an island) before going up Stockport Creek. Bald eagles, r-t hawks, swans. A ship & a few motorboats but most of time we had the river to ourselves. Major duck hunting resumes Nov 8. 15 miles, 5.5 hours. Perception Essence, a 17' touring kayak.
Oct 30 - THACHER NATURE CENTER & THOMPSON'S LAKE xc skiing. 5"-10" in open areas; up to 4" on woodsy trails. Stayed mostly in open areas; never got far on any woods trails which eventually had wet spots, snow-laden branches hanging low over trail or protruding rocks. Also skied campground & beach at adjacent Thompson's Lake SP. 1.8 hours.
Oct 27 - SWYER PRESERVE trails closed - mud on boardwalk, boardwalk washed out in places. NUTTEN HOOK RESERVE walk - yellow-marked nature trail loop, old ice factory, bushwhack N along Hudson River. 1+ hours. OLANA walk. Home of Federick Church, Hudson River School painter. Ridge Rd, the lake (nice view & fall colors), Crown Hill. 2+ hours.
Oct 26 - CATSKILL CREEK, DUBOIS CREEK, RAMSHORN CREEK, HUDSON RIVER. Put-in on West Main St in Catskill across from High School; gravel canoe/kayak ramp. Water level high due to 2"+ rain in last 24 hours but nice day today. Trees in tidal swamp forest of RamsHorn-Livingston Sanctuary were mostly leafless but still some nice color in dry upland areas. View across Hudson to Olana. Bald eagles, red-tailed hawks. Bell Northwind RX, a 16.5' general purpose tandem canoe (note: the Royalex Northwind is 16.5', the composite Northwind is 17.5'); like most recent Dave Yost designs, very seaworthy, 2' boat wakes no problem.
Oct 22 - HUDSON RIVER from Waterford boat launch. Headed upstream to islands below Lock 1. Started in daylight, finished in the dark. Bald eagles, osprey, loon, gb herons, thousands of C geese. 6 miles, 2 hours. Wilderness Systems Zephyr 15.5, a maneuverable & playful 15.5' touring kayak - manufacturer's website is incorrect, it is nowhere near 16" deep, more like 13".
Do you want to avoid duck hunting season on the tidal Hudson River? Paddle between Oct 20 & Nov 7. Southeast hunting seasons.
Oct 20 - HOPKINS MEMORIAL FOREST hike, Williamstown, MA. Foliage past peak but still some good color. Figure 8 loops on smooth wide trails & up Birch Brook trail for a bit. Off-trail to waterfalls on South Branch Birch Brook. 5 miles.
Oct 18 - MYSTIC SEAPORT, Mystic, CT. Toured the museum for 5 hours, very interesting.
Oct 17 - ISLAND BEACH SP, Ocean County, NJ. Walk thru dunes to Atlantic Ocean. 4WD vehicles allowed on beach. Sedge Islands canoe & kayak trails on the bay side.
Oct 16 - FORSYTHE NWR. Salt water marshy area around high tide from Scott's Landing in Leeds Point. Creek to Hammock Cove, then Landing Creek to Great Bay (where Mullica River meets the Atlantic). Can see Atlantic City 9 miles to S. Lots of egrets, ducks, gulls, turkey vulture. Interesting marsh plants.
Oct 11-15 - NJ PINE BARRENS canoeing. Wharton State Forest. High temps 72-80F, lows high 40s to low 60s, lots of sun, no rain. Water levels fairly low so more obstructions than usual. "Rivers" generally 10' to 30' wide. Wet areas dominated by red maple (red fall foliage) & Atlantic white cedar; dry areas by pitch pine & oak (red leaves of blueberry in understory). I paddled bow a lot - lots to do for the bow paddler on these twisty streams icl. draws, cross-bow draws, pries, bow rudder, etc.; Frankenstern took over j-stroking chores from the back. Would have loved to have a Royalex Bell Chestnut Prospector for this trip for its maneuverability & durability.
Oct 15 - OSWEGO RIVER. Oswego Lake to Harrisville Lake. Wading again early on below Oswego Lake dam but little debris & nice firm gravelly bottom. Cedars dominate early then pines.
Oct 14 - WADING RIVER. Yeah!!! wading!!!...from Speedwell we go downstream with lots of debris & liftovers, walking more than paddling, decided to turn back. Restarted further downstream Hawkin Bridge to Evans Bridge. Less sharp turns, no major obstructions & more current than the other rivers. Cranberry farming area NE side of Wharton.
Oct 13 - MULLICA RIVER from Rt.206 to Pleasant Mills. Much variety & my favorite. 6 beaver dams - liftover 4 of them; carried 100 yds. around 2 at Old Mullica Camp (easy path). 7+ hours.
Oct 11&12 - BATSTO RIVER From Hampton Furnace 5 miles & over 3 hours (narrow, several liftovers slowed us down) to designated camping at Lower Forge ($2pp camping permit). 8 more miles to take-out on Batsto Lake.
Oct 7 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7. Water chestnut weeds are cutting away. Paddled upstream to just before Rexford Bridge, good spot for sunset. Finished up under starry skies with half moon - nice. Ducks, egrets, herons. Venture Skye, a 16'7" user-friendly full-featured PE touring kayak (aka Venture Easky 17). Switched to P&H Quest LV, a 17'7" composite tourer, accelerated & held speed nicely, edged turns came easily, despite its "low volume" Nehasane's 5'11" 220lb frame fit comfortably.
Oct 6 - BALM OF GILEAD MOUNTAIN hike. From Old Farm Clearing trailhead, turn L at register on blue trail (not on maps) climbing gently, then R on yellow trail climbing moderately to rocky outcrops. Great view S & E across 13th Lake, Puffer Mtn, Bullhead Mtn, Peaked Mtn, Blue Mtn. Great fall foliage. 3 miles; 45 mins up; 35 down. Lunched at N end of 13th Lake - needed long johns & down jacket. Saw ruffed grouse displaying. Scouted out trailheads for new Raymond Brook ski trail - will now be able to ski from 13th Lake via Halfway & Raymond Brooks to Rt.28 a mile N of North Creek - 8.5 miles one way, crossing Garnet Mines Rd (4 miles from Rt.28) half way. 1,000' elevation change in 4+ miles on Raymond Brook Trail! GARNET LAKE paddle. Surrounded by steep hills. Some camps near put-in but much state land - very scenic, good view of Crane Mtn. Loon.
Oct 5 - FAWN LAKE, W of Speculator. Nehasane a bit under the weather but peak foliage beckoned. Wheeled the 0.5 miles to the lake - somewhat rough at the end, think I would have been faster just using the removable yoke. View of Pillsbury Mtn firetower, several campsites on this 1.5 mile long lake. Bald eagle near inlet. Walked trail 15 mins. to flooding thanks to beaver. Grouse. Hung out at sandy beach at NE shore. 3 fishermen in gas-powered boat, otherwise pretty quiet. Bell Yellowstone Solo, a 14' solo canoe. Wheeleez cart - pneumatic tires, transports up to 176 lbs, wheels come off the Kayak Canoe Cart and re-attach quickly with clip pins, while the aluminum frame folds scissors-style to fit in your boat (beware of poorly-constructed look-alikes).
Sep 30 - MOHAWK RIVER from Freddie's Park SE of Rt.9 Creescent Bridge. paddled upstream to just beyond I-87 bridges. Great egrets. 7 miles, 2 hours. Perception Essence, a 17' touring kayak.
Sep 29 - QUEBEC BROOK. From Blue Mountain Rd. Some beaver dams & obstructions. Portages fairly flat & easy (used to be railroad over 80 years ago). After 2nd portage there is short rapid that was very difficult to line, then a longer rapid. On return we took out at top of rapids (class 2 if more water) & portaged along a path with some blowdown within sight of the stream for ~5 mins - much easier than lining. Personally, I don't see why this is not the official portage. Moose tracks. Above the rapids the stream is wider but shallower, grassy in parts. Views open up - hills aflame with color. Able to go under old railroad bridge; Onion River enters. Lunch near dam with view of Madawaska Pond. 6+ hours. Not paddled often judging by entries in register. Tough trip but worth it. Feet in water a lot - Chota Mukluks invaluable. Bell Merlin II turns well especially when heeled.
Sep 28 - UPPER & LOWER St REGIS & SPITFIRE LAKES. From Keese Mill Rd near dam. Lots of interesting fancy "camps" to ogle as well as the variety of boats in the boathouses - Camp Topridge on Upper St Regis Lake especially interesting. Loons. Very light motorboat traffic. 16 miles, 6 hours. Bell Merlin II, a lightweight 15' solo canoe, tracks well, has good speed. Camped at Slush Pond (drive in).
DEC warns motorists to be alert for moose in the Adirondacks - more.
Sep 23 - HUDSON RIVER from state boat launch next to Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Close to low tide. Headed downstream, turned around before boat launch at Schodack Island SP. Perception Essence 17, a 17' touring kayak.
Sep 21 & 22 - HENDERSON LAKE, PRESTON PONDS, DUCK HOLE. Easy 0.25 mi. carry from Upper Works to Henderson Lake put-in next to dam. Leanto + 3 new campsites (map near put-in). Paddled around S end , took a short walk to Masten House, then N with super view of Wallface & other mountains. Muddy landing near leanto then pick up trail for 1.8 mi. carry to Upper Preston Pond - very rough in many spots with rocks, roots & mud; gain over 300' most of which occurs a little over a mile in. Mountainsides come steeply down to Upper Preston Pond. Narrow 100yd carry S of outlet (there is an old oar marking the spot) to muddy landing at Lower Preston Pond. Lined the outlet thru shallows/rocks (Chota Mukluks very useful; for the muklukless, there is also a rough path on the right) to a narrow 100' carry on L which drops steeply around a 12' falls to Duck Hole. Moved into one of the leantos near dam. Very good fall colors, superlative mountain scenery; clear waters. Morning mist. Hiked Northville-Placid Trail (very easy smooth old road; Cold River, Moose Creek & 2 leantos along the way) 2 miles to Mountain Pond, had to bushwhack short distance to get to its S shore - pretty, view of Sawtooth Mountains. From Duck Hole paddled up Roaring Brook (one liftover) to within sight of hiking trail. Took our time heading out, hardly a cloud in the sky, colors & views were outstanding. Bell Northstar, a 16.5' tandem canoe.
Sep 20 - HOOSIC RIVER upstream from Buskirk Covered Bridge. Higher water than last time washed out gravel bars & made for less quickwater. Soloed Bell Northstar from kneeling thwart. 1 hour.
Sep 18 - The Nature Conservancy purchases 3 mile long 1,000 acre Follensby Pond, 14,600 acres total incl. 10 miles of Raquette River frontage - read more. We've been waiting a long time for this one...
Sep 16 - ROUND LAKE & ANTHONY KILL. Beavers have built up the dam on the AK - now over 2' drop. Sunset from the AK, moonrise from W shore of RL. Pyranha Master TG, 9' kayak best for river-running but skeg helps tracking on flatwater, very stable.
Sep 15 - PUTNAM POND circuit hike. Wind forecast gusts to 50mph so we left the paddles at home. CLEAR POND - watch out for poison ivy in rocks in front of leanto; the great hat rescue as a gust of wind blows Nehasane's hat into the pond - Pinkpadla teeters on semi-floating logs to retrieve the hat. ROCK POND loon, very nice. LITTLE ROCK POND. HEART POND. Snakes. Much variety in woods & ponds. Trails over rolling terrain, somewhat rough but rock trailwork has minimized muddy spots. 6 miles, 5.5 hours.
Sep 14 - HARRIMAN RESERVOIR from boat launch at end of Fairview Ave, Wilmington, VT. Much rocky shoreline; well over 20 miles of shoreline. E side very lightly developed, W side undeveloped with small mountains rising up to 1,500' from the lake; Searsburg wind farm can be seen. A few nude sunbathers at The Ledges. Haystack Mtn seen to the N 2,000' above lake. Some motorboats, sailboats, PWCs, kayaks - probably a lot busier in July/Aug. Swift Bering Sea, a 15'10" lightweight composite touring kayak. Got half way down, had nice break on a piny island. 4 hours.
Sep 9 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS from 123rd boat launch in Troy. Interesting array of tugboats & more moored in Waterford. Around both sides of Peebles Island admiring cliffs & falls. Osprey. Downstream on Hudson River a bit past historic Matson Boatyard. 2 hours.
Sep 8 - CEDAR LAKE, Sturbridge, MA. Swift Kiwassa 12.5 LV, lightweight 12.5' light touring kayak for smaller paddler, nice combination of maneuvering/tracking, responsive to edging. Swift Prospector, 16' classic canoe, nice. P&H Capella 167 composite sea kayak, solid predictable handling. P&H Scorpio poly sea kayak, wow! stern slides out when edged & turns are sharp. WS Zephyr 15.5, 15.5' sea kayak, nice & playful, felt a bit tippier than the 16. WS Tsunami 120, a 12' rec/touring kayak, no nonsense good tracker. Dagger Alchemy, 14' touring kayak with skeg capable of doing class 2 rivers, flatwater, ocean, would like to spend more time with this one (not available til spring). Emotion Bliss, 10'10" sporty rec kayak for smaller paddler, zippy. Emotion Glide, 9'7" kayak did not glide well but very stable & comfortable. Emotion Temptation, 10'3" sit-on-top kayak, pleasant for such a short kayak (angler version called Stealth).
Aug 31-Sep 7 - LAKE LILA>LOWS LAKE>OSWEGATCHIE RIVER. 5 miles of carries. Light fly & mosquito activity; latter more active for an hour after sunset. Misty mornings on the lakes. Seems like late morning each day there was noise from military training flights. Bell Northstar, 16.5' tandem canoe; Swift Kipawa, 16.5' tandem canoe; Bell Bucktail, 12' pack canoe.
Sep 7 - HIGH FALLS to INLET. Showers had raised water level a few inches. 13 miles in 5 hours incl. rest stops at Cage Lake Springhole/Buck Brook leanto & High Rock. Very pleasant scenic paddle; any beaver dams were runnable without having to get out of the canoe.
Sep 6 - HIGH FALLS. A day of rest. Firewood scarce around leanto, had to paddle downstream to find some. Swam in pool below falls.
Sep 5 - CAMP JOHNNY to HIGH FALLS. 2 miles, more dams, obstructions. As we arrive at top of falls we surprise a naked guy with hands raised to the sky. His group was in the leanto to river R. Leanto on river L was open & we moved in - forecast was for rain 9/6 - my Cobra VHF/weather radio picked up channel 5. No view of falls from leanto but paths lead to open rocks both above & below falls - great spots to hang out.
Sep 4 - LOWS LAKE to OSWEGATCHIE RIVER. 0.8 mile carry from Lows to Big Deer Pond fairly smooth, one short steep hill some beaver flooding near end - took 20 mins. Moose footprint. 3 loons. Blue ribbons marked the start of 2.2 mile Headwaters Carry to the O. Mostly smooth & flattish. Crossing on an old beaver dam, then mailbox with register, then moderate uphill, downhill, then mostly smooth & flat, last section a bit rougher thru area highly impacted by 1995 blowdown. Lots of piles of bear scat in trail. Lows to O in under 3 hours. We work our way downstream for 5 miles going over many beaver dams & log obstructions (on one we had to remove packs from canoes to get over the tree). Stopped to look at most campsites - most good for 1 or 2 tents. Ended up at Camp Johnny #11, room for our 4 tents, rock overlooking river, only campsite of trip with no privy.
Sep 3 - LOWS LAKE, GRASS POND MTN. Hike up to the open rock on GP Mtn very well marked with ribbons, steep but takes less than an hour to viewpoint (see Discover Northwestern Adirondacks). Walked W of main viewpoint to where I could see Grassy Pond, bald eagle, ravens & hear loon calls. Lay my head down on small rock cairn - everything was just right - Nirvana! Swam, relaxed in camp. Sunset paddle. After dark could see flashes of lightning to the SE; above our heads nothing but stars & milky way.
Sep 2 - CLEAR POND to LOWS LAKE. Carried directly from campsite N to dirt road, L for a short distance then R on an older dirt road (closed to vehicles) to landing on Bog Lake. The campsite nearby is nice. Paddled around W end of lake then down the outlet. Bald eagle flies overhead; lots of C geese in outlet (Bog River). Out onto Lows, we take the sneak route to E of the bog & look for a campsite on N of lake. Settle on #26 - squeeze in 4 tents near the water, box privy, view across bay to eagle's nest, Grassy Pond Mtn, view S across lake from lookout. Shallow sandy bottom good for swimming out to island. Sunset paddle. Lots of loons.
Sep 1 - LAKE LILA to CLEAR POND. Paddled short distance & landed just W of Harrington Brook. Ribbons mark the rough 0.3 mile carry to flatwater. Up the brook & into shallow lilypad-filled Harrington Pond. Back a bit & up Rainer Brook for over a mile going over 3 beaver dams. Back down to railroad tracks. Carried E along tracks for 0.5 miles then left on 0.4 mile trail marked with yellow canoe carry discs to Clear Pond. 2 of us paddled to check out the campsite & go for a swim. 3 loons (1 chick). Back at the carry, 2 of the group had not yet arrived. After 3 hours we find them - they had continued on the tracks past the well-marked L turn & added 3 or 4 miles to their carry! Lousy steep landing at campsite, not much of a view but it had plenty of room for a few tents & did have a box privy. Some traffic on dirt road to N of pond, believe there is logging going on to the W. Coyotes across pond at night. Carries shown on Adirondack Paddlers Map 2nd Edition & in the book Adirondack Paddlers Guide by Cilley - not in older maps & guidebooks.
Aug 31 - LAKE LILA. 0.3 mile carry to the lake. A group was just leaving campsite on Canada Island & we move in. Box privy (aka "thunderbox"), sandy beach, large smooth rocks. Paddled up Shingle Shanty Brook, 3 beaver dams, new signs at carry & edge of state land warn canoes/kayak to stay out. Bald eagles. 4 barred owls hooted away in the evening.
Aug 26 - HUDSON RIVER upstream from Lock 1 in Halfmoon N of Waterford. Wilderness Systems Zephyr touring kayak.
Aug 25 - BATTEN KILL from Rt.313 in Arlington, VT to CR64 near Shushan, NY. Arlington gauge at 2.4', Battenville 4.8" - a little scratchy in spots but fine, scenic run nonetheless. A couple of small drops early on Class 1+, rest Class 1 & riffles. Eagleville Covered Bridge - swimming in the clear cool waters from small sandy beach, rope swing. Mouse & babies found nesting under float bags of Wayvhog's canoe. 14+ miles, 5.5 hours. Dagger Approach, a playful 10' kayak.
Aug 24 - BRANCH & BOURN PONDS canoeing & hiking in Vermont from FR70 (off Kelley Stand Rd E of Arlington). Both ponds at over 2,500' elevation. 3 minute carry to Branch (less than the 0.3 miles it says on sign at trailhead), only half mile long but an attractive destination. Green Mtn NF, Lye Brook Wilderness. Loons in Branch; moose prints & scat on trail to Bourn. Bourn is an hour's hike (thru birch, spruce, balsam; some muddy spots) from Branch. Peaceful. Views of Stratton Mtn from both ponds. 5 hours. Bell Northstar, light weight 16.5' tandem canoe - spent the morning getting it ready for "The Big Trip" - raised the seats to better accomodate kneeling, glued in kneeling pads, added CVCA bolt-on yoke pads.
Aug 19 - HUDSON RIVER from Corning Preserve boat launch in Albany. Launched before high tide & paddled upstream. Not particularly interesting, no wildlife of note, lots of road noise. View of Catskills on return. No motors until the Capn JP II tour boat went by & sent some surfable waves our way. 2 hours. WS Tempest 170, a 17' touring kayak.
Aug 18 - EAST CANADA CREEK from Powley-Piseco Rd. Downstream ~2 miles over 2 beaver dams to a rocky rapid & back under the bridge upstream to a beaver dam. Very scenic varied shores. Blue flowers of gentian; gb herons.
Aug 17 & 18 - SAND LAKE & INLET canoe camping from Powley-Piseco Rd (a 20 mile dirt road). 0.5 mile rough & muddy carry on unmarked trail to Sand Lake. Couple of campsites at end of trail & 3 little-used sites out on the lake - took out some beer cans that others had left (slobs drink lousy beer - Bud Lite, etc.; we sipped on some Creme Brulee Stout). A large sloping rock is a nice place to spend some time. Paddled up the inlet at the lake's S end. Soon doing a 100 yard bushwhack carry thru the woods. Back on the stream, thru a marsh, over 10 beaver dams, a short carry around a rocky area. Poked up the outlet of Mud Pond. Snapping turtle crawling over a beaver lodge; loons (1 chick) very vocal in the morning. Moonrise paddle. Some biting flies; light mosquito activity. Bell Northstar, a 16.5' 40lb tandem canoe.
Aug 12 - MOHAWK RIVER & ALPLAUS KILL from Freeman's Bridge boat launch in Glenville. Water level high due to recent rains; murky & some debris. Rainbow as we paddled down the Mohawk. Up the AK past backyards for half an hour, slid across a log (thanks to high water) & a bit further, water was getting shallow. Long kayaks had problems with the currents around bends & strainers. Mosquitoes - worse than Little Tupper. Bell Northwind Rx, a 16.5' Royalex canoe. Mohawk River Paddling Guide (& other local places to paddle). Don't forget you must have a white light when paddling after sunset - NYS Boater's Guide: "manually propelled vessels may carry, in lieu of fixed lights, a lantern with a white light which can be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent a collision".
Aug 10&11 - LITTLE TUPPER LAKE. No motors. Many paddlers were on their way out on Sunday. Got my favorite campsite among white & red pines with commanding view of the lake - lots of blueberries too. Raining on way down the lake but after I set up the tarp did not rain for rest of day. Quiet, peaceful, relaxing, one with nature - spent a lot of time in camp, not a lot of paddling. Nice color at sunset. Paddled up Charley Pond Outlet to footbridge (paddleable above the bridge but we were too lazy to do the short portage). A handful of campsites taken on Monday. Lots of loons; pair of bald eagles. Light bad bug activity - deerflies, mosquitoes, no-see-ums - I was able to go DEET-free.
Aug 5 - MOHAWK RIVER from Kiwanis Park, Rt.5S, Rotterdam.
Aug 4 - CAPE COD NORTH MONOMOY ISLAND near Chatham, MA. W winds 10-15 knots. Launched from N end of Morris Island Rd causeway, 200' carry to water. Osprey with nest next to road. S on the W side of South Beach, across to N end of South Monomoy then back along E side of N Monomoy - whole area may be referred to as The Southway. Walked across South Beach to the Atlantic (Enjnir saw a gray seal). Development on Morris Island, rest undeveloped & managed as wilderness. Tons of gulls & other shorebirds - greenhead flies kept our lunchstop on NM short. Launched ~3 hours before high tide, returned a little after high. Some light motor traffic stays in the marked deepwater channel; a lot of this area is shallow. 9 miles, 4 hours. Wilderness Systems Zephyr kayak worked out really well.
Aug 3 - CAPE COD BAY. Winds NW 10 knots early, calm in the afternoon. Launched from town landing at end of Old Wharf Rd (part of road floods at high tide, park at a high spot) in Wellfleet. Around W side of Lieutenant Island - surfed some 1.5' waves. S along undeveloped shores of Massachussetts Audubon - marshes, paddled S up a stream all the way to hiking trail bridge, very narrow at the end. Out & S a bit to deserted beach for lunch & swim in the warm water - no bad bugs. N under causeway bridge E of Lieutenant Island (road flooded on both sides at high tide). Into Loagy Bay, past Old Wharf Landing & N toward Wellfleet Harbor before turning back. Views across to the dunes of Great Island. Nice variety. Osprey, gb herons, hermit & horshoe crabs. Motors stay far from shore. 10+ miles, 5.3 hours. Camped at Nickerson SP - grilled swordfish, tuna & scallops over the wood fire - mmmmmmmmmmm.
Jul 29 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7. Perfect weather also brought out the motorboaters & PWCs. Saw the great egret in the same spot again; a black duck decided to lead the group for a while. Variety of flowers grow on the cliffs. Swift Shearwater, a 16'2" solo canoe, just ate up the boat wakes & screamed for more.
Jul 27 - SACANDAGA RIVER from Wells to Hope. Class 1 & 2 whitewater; not usually runnable in summer except after heavy rains. Runnable if gauge at Hope reads over 3' - 3.4' today. Very nice scenery, just wish the road was farther away. Met another small group in rec kayaks - one had capsized, lost the boat, paddler ok - floatation bags & spray skirt would have helped, not to mention helmets & other safety items. Lunch break at state campground then paddled over a small dam (hit bottom of canoe but just keep paddling) then long stretch of class 2 rapids with waves & rocks to dodge. Things get easier as one gets closer to Hope; there is a play spot on river R where a ledge comes 20' out into the river & another play spot to the L of an island where the L channel drops over a ledge with standing waves below (after surfing the waves we got the gunwale in the water but avoided a capsize) - for map & more info check out the East-Central NYS guidebook. 8.6 miles, 4 hours. Afterwards, swam from village beach on Lake Algonquin & picked blueberries by the E Br Sacandaga River. Dagger Legend 16, a 16' tandem river-running canoe (this model is now being made by Mad River) - with center & end floatation bags, thigh braces for better control.
Jul 25 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch in Niskayuna. High water, debris hanging up on buoys. Gb herons hanging out on trees, kingfisher, great egret. WS Zephyr.
Jul 25 - PLOTTER KILL PRESERVE hike. Lots of rain this week so good time to check out the 3 40'-60' waterfalls in this preserve. From trails one can see all falls from the top - I also went off-trail (steep, slippery, do at own risk) to bottom of lower & Rynex Creek Falls (lots of small ledges, "bridalveil" style). Indian pipe; red efts. Had the preserve all to myself early this morning - nice. 1.6 hours.
Jul 22 - HUDSON RIVER from Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Headed upstream on W side & back on E side going in & out of every cove & feeder stream. A trawler? provided some decent surfing waves; very little motorboats out probably due to storm that passed thru before we launched (skies cleared for our evening paddle); mist on the water in certain areas. Lots of gb herons, black-crowned night heron, deer; mature bald eagles on the mostly undeveloped E side. 6 miles, 2 hours. WS Zephyr, a playful touring kayak.
Jul 20 - THIRTEENTH LAKE paddling & HOUR POND hiking. Raining often. Paddle 1 mile down the lake & start the hike on the new red-marked trail. Gain 500' in ~1mile. Join yellow trail from Puffer Pond Trail at 1.8 miles then it is 0.8 miles to Hour Pond which incl. crossing an old overgrown beaver dam. A peaceful wilderness destination. New leanto half way up E side has some trash already, carried some out. 1.4 hr. hike from 13th Lake, 1.1 hrs for the return. Red efts. Cruised the rest of 2 mile long 13th Lake which is mostly state land - misty mountains. Osprey, merganser family, 3 adult loons & 1 chick. 5.5 hours. Light mosquito activity off the water, mostly in leanto. Bell Merlin II, a 15' composite solo canoe.
Jul 18 - ROUND LAKE & ANTHONY KILL. Fin of a shark er...fish. Purple flowers of loosestrife & pickerel weed in the outlet. Fiery red-orange sunset; pinkish-orange full moonrise. Light mosquito activity after sunset. Bell Yellowstone Solo, a 14' solo canoe. 2.5 hours.
Jul 18 - CHRISTMAN SANCTUARY walk, Schoharie Trnpk in Duanesburg. Have to get off my butt some of the time. Hiked both loops on either side of the Bozenkill. Big waterfall & many small ones. Lots of cute wildflowers incl. touch-me-nots, forget-me-nots, Venus's looking-glass. 3 miles, 1.2 hrs.
Jul 15 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS from 123rd St. concrete ramp boat launch in Lansingburgh. Crossed the Hudson & into Mohawk River channel S of Peebles Island to the falls - quite a bit of water coming over, squirrelly currents, nice eddy line on river R to practice peel-outs. Back to the Hudson & headed upstream. Some interesting bluffs on E shore then mostly woods to Campbell Island - beavers. Up E side of island & around smaller islands - 2 mature bald eagles & nest, lots of gb herons. Back along W side of CI. 8 miles, 2.1 hours. Swift Bering Sea, a 15'10" composite touring kayak, faster than most touring kayaks.
Jul 13 - OTTER CREEK, S of Middlebury, VT. Put-in next to confluence with Halnon Brook on E side of OC. 80' wide, light current. Mostly undeveloped & away from roads. Silver maples line the muddy banks. Had to lift over one logjam. Pass Cornwall Swamp but cannot get good look from the river. Cedar Swamp Covered Bridge being rebuilt - road closed. Glimpses of Green Mountains. Mosquitoes on land; bug-free on water. 12 miles, 4.6 hrs.
Jul 11 - INDIAN KILL PRESERVE walk. Hecheltown Rd, Glenville. See Natural Areas of Schenectady County for details.
Jul 8 - HUDSON RIVER & HANNACROIX CREEK from Coeymans Landing in Coeymans. NY Thruway Exit 22, go 4.5 miles S on Rt.144, take a L on Westerlo St. Concrete ramp boat launch. Short distance upstream & into Coeymans Creek where there is a small falls in a gorge. Downstream on the Hudson, around point & into Hannacroix Creek which can be paddled to just past the road bridge. Back on the Hudson we follow edge of bay & sandy shore of Hannacroix Preserve. Creek & Bay can be shallow near low tide, we were out 6:30-8:30pm with high tide ~9:30pm, current going upstream. Crossed to E side of river to Schodack Island SP's undeveloped shoreline. An immature bald eagle did not seem phased by our presence. Setting sun glowed on the horizon. Light development on W shore. Unusually quiet on the river this evening, saw tug & 3 motorboats in 2 hours. Worth stopping at Yanni's Too right next to launch for food & drink. Wilderness Systems Zephyr 16, a 16' sea/touring kayak - most fun touring kayak I've paddled since the P & H Cetus (& a third of the price), more playful than the Tempest - available to rent.
Jul 6 - Is it possible to find peace & quiet on July 4 weekend? Well, yes... COD POND & STEWART CREEK. From Rt.8 in Oregon; Wilcox Lake Wild Forest. 1 mile carry to the pond, 1st 0.4 miles generally uphill & rough underfoot (so forget the wheels). Cod Pond is half covered with lily pads. Channel to Stewart Creek is obscured by pickerel weed. Upstream on the creek, we cross over some small beaver dams & then a big one. Arrive at rocky rapids, carry up streambed a ways & then bushwhack thru nasty woods, over downed trees, etc. 200 yds then another 200 yds on little-used trail. Continue paddling upstream, over another big beaver dam, stream gets deeper & wider around North Bend, under foot bridge then less than a mile to where the stream gets shallow & rocky. Take a rest & head back. Shores mostly wet & marshy, small mountains. Nice wilderness feel. Black ducks with cute little chicks, gb herons, swallows, beaver, leeches, snake(rat snake?). Non-biting flies; some skeeters in woods (20% deet is fine). 7.7 hours. Bell Northstar, a 16.5' light weight tandem canoe.
Jul 4 - MOHAWK RIVER from DEC Freeman's Bridge boat launch in Glenville. On the water before 6:30am, many skulls out, some fishermen in motorboats. Headed dowmstream to past Rexford Bridge & back. Light development. Gb heron, lots of duck familes with chicks of all sizes. 6 miles, 1.4 hours. Perception Essence 17, very good tracking but not too hard to turn, all the features one wants in a touring kayak these days.
Jul 1 - ROUND LAKE & ANTHONY KILL. E across the lake & down the AK for about a mile. Purple flowers of pickerel weed & white lilies starting to appear; over 30 gb herons on their nests. Returned to lake at sunset. Some mosquitoes in parking lot afterwards. 2 hours. Perception Prodigy 12, a 12' poly kayak, tracks well & is very stable.
Pakboats Puffin Sport packcanoe/kayak 17 lbs $675
Jun 29 - HOOSIC RIVER, state line to just past Rt. 7 in Hoosic. Pastoral (smell the manure) with forested hills, little development, some road noise. Riffles, some class 1 rapids & an easy class 2 drop ("The Hoosic Wave", nice wave train & a spot for some of the group to surf). Weatherfolks predicted a nasty day of storms & all we got was a humid sunny day. A deer crossed the river ahead of us, merganser family, bald eagle, red-tailed hawks. Gauges: Williamstown 5.5', Eagle Bridge 3.5' - decent level, some scratchy spots. Be careful of strainers on outside of bends. 7 miles, 4 hours. Dagger Approach, a fun 10' poly kayak, also comes in 9' version for the smaller paddler.
Paddling for a Cure - July 20
Jun 24 - HUDSON RIVER from Lock 1, Lock 1 Rd, Halfmoon (~2 miles N of Waterford). Concrete ramp launch just upstream of the lock - note that boat launch gates close at 8pm & parking area gates close at 9pm. Headed upstream poking in & out of any coves & inlets. Light to moderate development. Poked into the Deer Kill on E shore & able to go 300 yds - very nice, saw deer. No motorboats out on a weekday evening. Osprey, kingfishers, hawk, swallows, beaver. 7 miles, 1.8 hrs. Swift Saranac 14 Sport, a 14' touring kayak.
Jun 22 - BATTEN KILL from CR64 in Shushan to CR61 in Battenville. Didn't get far downriver before we were in the middle of a wicked storm - hunkered down on shore under canoes & tarp for over an hour while thunder & lightning all around us. Noaa weather radio said storms should be out by 12:30pm. Afternoon got nice & sunny - nice to dry out. 2 covered bridges. Shushan to Rexleigh: somewhat remote feel, other than railroad tracks & bridges. Salem to Battenville: closer to Rt.29, light development. Easy class 1 whitewater, riffles, flatwater - at "deadman's curve" (approaching E Greenwich, a little after the "vulture tree hangout"), a L hand curve, there is a log partially submerged on river R - make sure you stay L. After E Greenwich there is a tree down across the main channel & we had to portage a short distance along gravel bar on L. River level at Battenville ~4.4' & rising - scratchy in a few spots but makes for a fine run. 11+ miles, 5 hrs (3.5 hrs actually paddling).
Jun 17 - MOHAWK RIVER from Kiwanis Park boat launch, Rt.5S, Rotterdam. Got into a race with a bateau (4 rowers & rudderman) & beat it. Turned around at Mabee Farm. Checked out the old Plotter Kill Aqueduct below the put-in - small falls over some interesting rock blocks 3+ miles, 1.6 hrs. Bell Yellowstone Solo handled very well in windy conditions.
Jun 15 - HOOSIC RIVER, Hoosic Junction to Buskirk Covered Bridge. Class 1 whitewater, riffles & long stretches of flatwater. 1st rapid is the trickiest as the main flow goes L toward strainers - you must be able to keep your boat as far R as possible, side-slipping skills using draws & eddy turn skills useful. Very pleasant with light development mainly near the 2 road bridges. Osprey, mergansers, gb heron, deer. No bad bugs. Eagle Bridge gauge at 3.4', a nice level. 6 miles, a leisurely 3 hours. Bell Yellowstone Solo, a 14' solo canoe.
Jun 11 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lock 7 boat launch, Lock 7 Rd, Niskayuna. Dagger Catalyst 12.8, a 12'10" poly light touring kayak.
Jun 9 - DUNHAM RESERVOIR. From Rt.2 go S on Dunham Res Rd for 0.8 miles to gravel boat launch. Part of Grafton Lakes SP but no parking charge here. Beaver, gb heron. Hot, humid, windy. 3+ miles, 2.5 hours - spent as much time relaxing as paddling. LONG POND, gravel beach at end of Long Pond Rd (no parking charge at E end of pond), Grafton Lakes SP. Swim in cool clear water. Cormorants. 2 miles, 2 hrs. Bell Merlin II, a 15' solo canoe.
Jun 5 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions/Railroad Station Park. To Lock 7 & around islands. C goose with mostly white neck, goslings (small yellowish ones & bigger beige ones), immature bald eagle. Swift Saranac 14 Sport, 14' touring kayak - nice glide, easy handling, stable enough for photography & birding.
Adirondack Quiet Waters - press release
Jun 3 - MOHAWK RIVER CLEANUP. National River Cleanup Week. Lions/Railroad Station Park, Niskayuna. Took out boatfulls of tires & other stuff. Nehasane, wildlife & the Mohawk River thank the folks who helped. A few mosquitoes. Water chestnut weeds have grown noticeably in last 4 days - will be extrememly difficult to launch here soon which is unfortunate because this is my favorite part of the Mohawk. Beaver (there is a double lodge just down from the put-in). Bell Northwind 16'6" Royalex canoe loaded up well, only slightly tippy with tires piled head high, handled motorboat wakes nicely, survived a carp attack.
Jun 2 - HOOSIC RIVER from above dam in Johnsonville. Flatwater for over 6 miles to above Buskirk Covered Bridge. Upstream of the bridge, paddled up the 1st swift, lined up the 2nd & turned around at the 3rd (45 mins. from bridge). Light development, farms, but also stretches with no sign of development, some road noise. Bald eagle, gb herons, oriole, deer, Canada & domestic geese, r-t hawk, sandpipers, muskrats, mergansers w/chicks, 100s of fish (up to 2'). Dame's rocket, yellow flag, buttercups colored the shorelines. 14 miles, 5.7 hours. Picked up some trash in the spirit of National River Cleanup Week. Bell Merlin II, a 15' composite solo canoe.
Jun 1 - HUDSON RIVER, Rt.418 bridge in Thurman to Canoe Access (steep shore next to huge cedar) on River Rd in Luzerne. Quickwater, riffles, flatwater. Bald eagle. North Creek gauge at 3.2' - plenty of water for this trip but do have to watch where you are going to stay in deeper water, river is ~200' wide. Very pleasant valley with steep hills & cliffs. L shore mostly undeveloped, R shore has light development, some road noise. A few bad bugs at put-in & take-out. 15 miles, 5 hours. Dagger Blackwater 12, a 12' poly kayak, zippy, fairly maneuverable, handled headwind very well - a good choice for anything from class 1 rivers to medium size lakes.
May 30 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions/Railroad Station Park, Rosendale Rd, Niskayuna. Scouting trip for cleanup on 6/2. Got out near old eagle's nest, ferns are shoulder height, stinging nettles waist high - couldn't spot the old nest - easier in early spring. Have been seeing goslings many places lately; immature bald eagle, muskrat, gb herons, gulls, mallards, sandpipers, red-winged blackbirds, fish jumping. Mellow morning. 4 miles, 2 hours. Bell Yellowstone Solo, a 14' solo canoe.
Of 38 people who died while canoeing, kayaking, or rafting in Maine in 2006, fewer than a third were wearing life jackets, and 5 had blood alcohol levels that exceeded the legal limit for driving or boating. Twenty-three of the deaths were by drowning after capsizing; 8 people died after falling overboard...92 percent of those who died were guys.
May 28 - HUDSON RIVER from 123rd St. boat ramp in Lansingburgh. Upstream to Lock 1, played in the waves below lock for a bit. Went around N end of Campbell Island & saw bald eagle & nest. 6 miles, 2 hours. Swift Raven, a 15.5' solo tripping canoe - would like to try some river-running with this one - turns easier, is a bit deeper, longer, heavier than the Bell Yellowstone Solo. Swift Saranac 14LT, a lightweight (32lbs) 14' touring kayak - sweet. Venture Ayr 165, a 16.5' sea/touring kayak - nice paddling, 47lbs fiberglass, nice price, skeg, dayhatch.
Float planes allowed to land on Lows Lake - press release.
May 26 Memorial Day - BATTEN KILL from above Arlington, VT to Eagleville, NY. Put-in below Rt.7A bridge 2 miles N of Arlington, take-out just before Eagleville Covered Bridge. Class 2 at "the rock" a mile from the start where Roaring Branch comes in (land & scout from river L) - a log blocks the main current to the R of the rock so one must make a hard L then R while the current tries to put you into the rock. After that rapids are class 1. Very scenic valley; road noise often intrudes; many other users in canoes, kayaks, rafts (coolers & beer often in evidence). Gauge at Battenville was at 4.65' (fairly scratchy, river will be less scratchy at over 5'), visual gauge on Rt.313 bridge (river L, downstream side) in Arlington read 2.3'(best if above 2.5'). Interesting frogsongs in the afternoon. 14.2 miles, 5+ hours. Battenkill Conservancy.
May 25 - HOOSIC RIVER from N Adams, MA to Pownal, VT. Put-in at Girardi Memorial Access Area on Ashton Av., N Adams, MA. - take-out: from Rt.346 in Pownal, VT. take Main St then R before bridge onto Lincoln St for 0.3 mi. to Clayton/Conservation Park (sign is missing, basically looks like a wide trail that goes to the riverbank) on L. Gauge at Williamstown was at 5.5', some scratchy rapids, would have been better with water level closer to 6'. Mostly class 1 with a class 2 before the finish. Despite passing thru Williamstown, the river remains mostly development-free becoming especially scenic in the 2nd half as it butts up against the Taconic Range. Stopped for lunch near Hopkins Memorial Forest, unfortunately soon heard gunshots from nearby firing range, otherwise trip was quite peaceful. Hoosic River Watershed Association. 9.7 miles, 5 hours. Dagger Approach, a fun river-runner yet stable enough for fishing/birding on flatwater.
May 20 - HUDSON RIVER, VLOMAN KILL, PAPSCANEE CREEK from boat launch next to Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Some 1' waves on the Hudson due to S wind going against the current. VK at high tide to falls, bad smell from water treatment plant (avoid S winds). Crossed the Hudson & into PC where we were entertained by bald eagles, saw nest. Turned back at 2nd bridge. A double barge threw us some 2' waves before recrossing the HR. Venture Easky 15, a versatile 15' poly touring kayak.
May 19 - SOMERSET RESERVOIR in southern VT. Undeveloped shores. W winds gusting to 30mph, some horizontal sleet (temp in low 40s), some sun. Quickly got over to W shore to minimize wind exposure. Loons, bald eagle, mallards, beaver; moose tracks. Flowering: hobblebush, trout lily, painted trillium; still looks like early spring here, trees only starting to leaf out. Views of Stratton Mt. & Mt. Snow (still some snow left on N side). Too windy for bugs. 4 hours.
May 18 - SCHROON RIVER whitewater canoeing from Starbuckville dam to Riverbank. Light development. Riverbank gauge at a hair over 3'. Several class 2 rapids, a class 2+ & a class 3. Nehasane & Pinkpartner take a swim on the latter, throw rope came in perfectly but thrower did not have feet planted well & had to let go so we had to swim further; portage trail on river L. Items needed & used: floatation bags, dry bag, bailer, throw rope/bag, helmet, wet or dry suit. 7 miles, 3.5 hours.
May 14 - MOHAWK RIVER from Freddie's Park off Rt.9 SE of Crescent Bridge. Old Erie Canal - watch for shallow rocks. Clute's Dry Dock. 8.5 miles, 2.2 hours. Mohawk River Paddling Guide. Dagger Exodus, a 17' poly touring kayak.
May 12 - LAKE ABANAKEE & ROUND POND BROOK. Put-in E of causeway on Big Brook Rd. Headed SW past camps & private shores & 2 loons to where Indian River rapids enter; took a short walk upstream to a pool. Back on Abanakee & under Jerry Savarie Rd bridge into SE lobe. Up Round Pond Brook, undeveloped & very nice, best part of this trip. Portaged around a log jam (went over it on way back) & stopped at a small rapid with 1' drop (tried to paddle up it but when paddling hard my paddle hit a rock & the grip hit my ear; the ringing eventually stopped). Bushwhacked (in every sense of the word, some blackflies) on river R for 25 minutes & the stream looked quite paddleable, will have to return. Went up Big Brook past some camps to road bridge then returned. 4 hours.
The Indian Lake boat launch is closed for construction thru May 16 - you will see a new concrete ramp launch.
May 11 - JESSUP RIVER & MOSSY VLY BROOK near Perkins Clearing. The dirt road to Perkins Clearing is closed thru the end of May so we started from the Rt.30 bridge & headed upstream against a noticeable current. Very scenic stream, some obstructions for the 1st 4+ miles to Perkins Clearing Rd bridge, carried around class 1 rapid (ran it on way back) on river L. Flatwater for another mile to a set of rapids with 2' & 3' ledge drops (on return I lined down these but ran the rest of the rapids). Carried/lined on river L 0.25 mile; scouted rapids; there is a nice campsite along the way. Flatwater again for a mile to junction with Mossy Vly Brook. Over a beaverdam on MVB & up a ways; muddy shores contrasted with the Jessup's 5' banks. Met up with a very nonchalant beaver on way back, saw bear tracks in sandy bank, many songbirds. Return trip took 60% of the time of the upstream trip. Very light blackfly activity. A fun trip for the adventurous paddler. 12.9 miles, 7.5 hours. Bell Yellowstone Solo, a 14' solo canoe - mine is made of durable Royalex which can stand much banging around, not too heavy for short portages, good glide on flatwater, easy to turn - very versatile canoe for lakes thru class 2 rapids. Also used several Bell accessories incl. Glove Compartment dry thwart bag, Portage Yoke w/CVCA Pads, kneeling pads (available at APnP).
May 6 - ROUND LAKE, ANTHONY KILL, DWAAS KILL from Rt.9. Crossed windy (waves to 1') Round Lake & down the outlet, the Anthony Kill, for about a mile. Heron rookery has 15 nests, 10 or 11 less than a year ago. The usual beaverdam was more like a short class 1 rapid, shortly after we took a right & headed upstream on the Dwaas Kill, banks topped with fiddleheads & violets. Went thru large culvert under old railroad & then under a road bridge (Ushers Rd), some shallows & downed trees. Saw bald eagle just before heading back out on the lake. 1.8 hours. Dagger Blackwater 10.5, a 10.5' kayak with skeg (skeg can help tracking in quartering winds).
May 4&5 - FLOODWOOD PONDS canoe camping - short carries (100yd avg), beautiful ponds with clear waters. Put-in from Floodwood Rd, paddled short distance to campsite on Floodwood Pond (some cottages on W shore but most of pond undeveloped). After setting up camp, paddled down Fish Creek, around Little Square Pond, further down Fish Creek, into Copperas Pond, carried 0.3 miles to Whey Pond, short carry across campground road to Rollins Pond. Followed W shore to stay out of W wind. Narrow outlet leads back to Floodwood. 10 miles, 3.5+ hours. Next day: down Fish Creek all the way to Fish Creek Ponds (only part of trip where there is moderate development), up Spider Creek, into Follensby Clear Pond, short carry to Horseshoe Pond where we had lunch & soaked in some sun. Short carry to Little Polliwog Pond then carry to Polliwog Pond. Carry back to Follensby Clear, carry to Fish Creek & back upstream to break camp. 14 miles, 6+ hours. No bad bugs. Loons (& calls), marsh hawks, otter. Bell Northstar, a 16'6" lightweight tandem canoe which can be soloed. SealLine Boundary Day Pack 35, a dry bag with shoulder straps.
Apr 29 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions Park, muddy launch area near old train station. Very shallow, mud flats near islands. Paddled S of islands downstream into the bay then back upstream to the mouth of the Lisha Kill. Lots of gulls & swallows, muskrats. Perception Carolina 14, a 14' light touring kayak, handled the 20mph winds without use of a rudder.
Apr 27 - SCHOHARIE CREEK canoeing. From N Blenheim Covered Bridge to Rt.30 bridge in Middleburgh. First few rapids close to class 2 at this water level; then mostly class 1, scratchy riffles & lots of flatwater. Very scenic valley, cliffs, steep hills, Vroman's Nose. After 1st bridge one paddles next to cliff of Walhalla Rocks. Water level at Breakabeen 3.6', Burtonsville 1.4' - this is about as low as is runnable. 14 miles, 5.7 hours.
Apr 22 - MOHAWK RIVER canoeing from Lock 7 in Niskayuna. Water level low, mild current. Upstream on N shore, some very shallow spots, small waterfalls. Downstream on S shore, bigger waterfalls, impressive cliffs. Mohawk River Paddling Guide.
Apr 21 - AIKEN WILDERNESS from Woodford SP, Woodford, VT. 0"-20" corn snow - most snow on N facing slopes. Left the campground road near the swings & bushwhacked generally SE following areas of best snow. Reached a 2,500' hill not far from FR74 - no snow on top but nice thru the trees views. On the way back checked out a snow-free beaver meadow with a small stream running thru it. Still ice on Adams Reservoir but won't last long now. 4.5 hours. Fischer Rebound skis.
Apr 20 - FARMINGTON RIVER from Rt.185 bridge in Simsbury, CT. Pinchot Sycamore - largest tree in CT with 24' circumference. Heublein Tower on Halcott Mtn in view most of the time. Upstream against fair current, return took half the time. Golf courses, light development. 2 hours. Bell Northstar, a 16'6" tandem canoe - spent a few fun minutes soloing it from a kneeling thwart, the canoe has excellent secondary stability & can be heeled way over to the gunwale.
Apr 18 - MOHAWK RIVER from Lions Park, Rosendale Rd, Niskayuna. Water level low. Muddy launch with tree washed up next to shore, watch out for cinder blocks in water close to shore. Upstream to the Lisha Kill, in & out of the islands, downstream to the south bay. Mature bald eagle, muskrats, C geese, mallards, mergansers, wood ducks, carp jumping. Bell Yellowstone Solo, a 14' solo canoe, only boat on the water this morning.
Apr 6-13 - NC kayaking. WS Tempest 170, a 17' polyethylene touring kayak.
Apr 13 - BOGUE SOUND. From Hoop Pole Woods (behind closed Hardee's & shopping center) in Atlantic Beach. Marshy islands at start, many oyster beds. Headed W on the sound, very shallow at low tide. Shores mostly developed after the marshes. 8 miles.
Apr 12 - WHITE OAK RIVER. Upstream from Haywood Landing boat launch. Explored some feeders incl. Holston Creek. Turned around at power line. Water snake.
Apr 11 - HUGGINS ISLAND. From Bear Island, marked trail around Huggins then to visitor center. Most of the islands between the barrier islands & the mainland are marshy (saltmarsh cordgrass), Huggins has a maritime forest & lies at the mouth of the White Oak River. Drove to Cedar Point campground, our base for rest of trip - convenient, some road noise, not much privacy.
Apr 10 - BEAR ISLAND. Trout Channel on N side of the island to sandy beach at Bear Inlet. Got lost for over an hour in a maze of channels trying to follow the marked trail to Shell Rock Landing. Egrets, tricolored herons, black skimmers.
Apr 9 - BEAR ISLAND. Get camping permit & launch from Hammocks Beach SP Visitor Center. 3 mile marked trail thru marshy islands to Bear, a shallow channel leads into a lagoon & landing near campsite #7 - we have to walk the beach to site #6 which is in the dunes. From our site it is a 10 min. beach walk to restroom/shower building. Atlantic Ocean surf zone - played/practiced, got wiped out when I didn't edge enough into a large breaking wave & lost my prescription sunglasses because in the excitement I had forgotten to attach Croakies & floater. Bottlenose dolphins, brown pelicans, jellyfish (washed up on beach).
Apr 8 - GREAT LAKE. In the heart of Croatan NF. About 2 x 3 miles - paddled most of perimeter - some small sandy beaches on E shore - coffee colored water. Windy - waves to 1.5'. No development - wilderness shores - pocosin (raised bog) habitat - shapely trees in water. Osprey nest. 8.7 miles, 3.5 hrs.
Apr 7 - BRICE CREEK. From NC Wildlife Resources Commission boat ramp to SR 1111 bridge & back. Paddled upstream, explored many inlets & side-channels. Osprey with fish in claws & nest. Mostly undeveloped, W shore is in Croatan NF. 14.9 miles.
Apr 6 - NEUSE RIVER upstream from Seven Springs. Noticeable current. White, yellow & pink blossoms. Cliffs of the Neuse rise 70' above. Above the cliffs explored a swampy inlet with interesting bald cypress trees. Mostly undeveloped. Watch out for poison ivy on shore. Deer. 10.8 miles, 4.5 hrs. Drove to Neuse River campground - nice, fairly private sites, nearby sandy beach, got some great paddling maps of Carteret County from campground host.
Mar 31 - "THE BURNING" from Somerset Rd. Green Mountain National Forest. 6" wet powder on 3' base, a liitle icy in open spots early, one tricky stream crossing. Trailhead is ~5 miles from Rt.9. FR326 is an old road that doesn't look maintained, paralels Rake Branch for a while. Mile long open area on either side of Redfield Brook burned over a few decades ago - there is supposed to be an old steam boiler around here somewhere. Moose tracks; pair of ducks (buffleheads?). 4+ hrs.
Mar 30 - CASCADE POND & MITCHELL PONDS. From Rt.28/Lake Durant Campground. 4" powder on 3' of base - very good skiing - gorgeous cloudless blue sky day. Nice view of Blue Mtn from S side of Cascade. Explored an off-trail route to Wilson Pond from Cascade Pond via Mitchell Ponds. Got to within ~0.25 miles of Wilson before hitting our turn-around time. 6+ hrs.
Mar 24 - CAMP MEADOWS. Aiken Wilderness near Woodford, VT. S on FR 273 snowmobile trail from Rt.9 (limited parking) for 2 miles then cross over to Old Stage Rd snowmobile trail which goes just S of the Aiken Wilderness. At height of land we head NE off-trail to the meadows. Crossed over 3 beaver ponds/meadows. From the middle one we go N thru open hardwoods, see fresh moose scat & tracks. Eventually hit a trail & follow it W to Prospect Mtn Ski Area & back to FR273. A few inches of powder on top of icy base - ok on snowmobile trail, very good elsewhere. 9.6 miles, 4.5 hrs.
Mar 23 - BUCKHORN LAKE & PRIEST'S VLY from Rt.8 in Piseco. 1"-2" powder on deep hard base; good skiing off-trail, ok on Northville-Placid Trail. Left the NPT & skied across scenic Buckhorn Lake then bushwhacked around N side of Buckhorn Mtn thru open woods. After top of the draw dropped down to a stream & followed that to Priest's Vly. Returned on the NPT. Stream crossings getting difficult. For a comfortable lunch stop, Nehasane always brings along a Z-Lite pad, skis can act as backrest. 4+hrs. Osprey nest on top of dead tree on Buckhorn Lake (aka Fiddlers Lake).
Mar 17 - ROSS, BIG BAD LUCK & WHORTLEBERRY PONDS. Hudson River Gorge Primitive Area. Deep hard base; lousy (shaded areas icy) to good (sun-softened areas & out on ponds) skiing; without new snow best skiing will be when temp is above 40F. Some blowdown; stream crossings ok. Trail seemed like it was rarely flat, fairly steep up to the notch. Quick icy drop/slide to Ross; tight, narrow trail thru evergreens to BBLP (view of Snowy Mtn, some ATV & snowmobile tracks); tight, narrow drop to WP. Each pond has a totally different character. Explored WP Outlet a short distance - area downstream should be added to the Forest Preserve in near future, hopefully giving access to OK Slip Falls. Otter tracks. Intermediate+ in good conditions, advanced today. 9 miles, 5.7 hrs. What's a whortleberry?.
Mar 16 - STRATTON POND from Kelley Stand Rd near Stratton, VT. 3"-4" of wet powder on deep base - very good skiing. Drove W from Stratton & parked at end of plowing next to E Br Deerfield River. Quarter mile W on Kelley Stand Rd/snowmobile trail then R on well-marked Catamount Trail. Gain elevation gently on wide old road thru young hardwoods. The CT joins the Stratton Pond Trail, narrower & twistier thru nice woods of balsam, spruce & birch. Visited the Stratton Pond Shelter - much fancier than our simple Adirondack lean-tos. Skied to W side of the pond for lunch & view of Stratton Mtn which rises 1,400' above the pond. Took the SPT all the way back to the snowmobile trail. Moose tracks & tree scrapings. Elevation in 2,250'-2,700' range. Easy intermediate. 10 miles, 5+ hrs.
Mar 13 - IRVING POND from Nick Stoner Golf Course in Wheelerville. 1st checked out trailheads at Rockwood SF & Glasgow Vly - did not like conditions. 1" powder on deep hard icy base; fair to good skiing. Snowmobile trail to the pond had decent skiing. The dam at the outlet was removed in 1997 & there is much open shoreline to explore. Major Nicholas Stoner, patriot soldier, statue at the edge of the golf course. Wishing for more powder or temps above freezing.
Mar 10 - PINNACLE CREEK. Shaker Mtn WF from the end of Pinnacle Rd in Bleecker. Good skiing on 1"-5" powder (thanks to previous day's lake-effect) on deep crunchy base with a bit of give to it. Skied NNW on the unmarked old road. After the initial uphill there was a wet stream crossing - we went well upstream before finding a good place to cross. About a mile from start we went off trail NE following the eastern arm of Pinnacle Creek. After a half mile we reached a good size vly with a view of Pinnacle. Continued thru open woods past height of land close to the county line. Saw coyote & fisher tracks. Just one of those beautiful clear sunny days of late winter.
Mar 9 - LAKE COLDEN via AVALANCHE PASS. 1"-2" powder on top of deep icy hardpack - fair to good skiing. Started out on the Old Marcy Dam trail from Heart Lake, easy except for the hill just before joining the regular hiking trail to Marcy Dam. Stopped for lunch at the new relocated Avalanche Camps leanto - nice spot farther off the trail. Used climbing skins to get up to the pass (never used skins here on previous trips). At the pass, impressed by the slide created by the avalanche of 1999. Narrow trail passes by ice-covered rock walls. Avalanche Lake as scenic as ever with its steep rocky mountainsides & the trap dyke. One of our group members went thru the ice on Avalanche Lake just before the outlet on the W side (stay to the E side). 4' of snow on bridge before Lake Colden. Skiing down from the Pass was hairy in these conditions. From Av. Camps to Marcy Dam was a nice run. From MD to Old MD trail was fun. Took the hiking trail back, missed the ski by-pass & had another hairy drop then climb back up to the trailhead at the HPIC. AC to AP advanced; rest intermediate in good conditions. 10 miles, 5.6 hours. Lake Placid Area Ski Conditions.
Mar 3 - HOPKINS MEMORIAL FOREST. From the Rosenburg Center skied the Hoosic River Trail on up to 6". Nice to see the river from this perspective. Some commercial development on opposite shore. 3 miles, 1.5 hrs. Left the Nehasanemobile at RC & drove up to Petersburg Pass Rt.2 at the NY/MA border. Skied N on the Taconic Crest Trail (tracked by skis & snowshoes) for 1 mile (couple of steep uphills near start) & took a R onto Birch Brook Trail. Dropped 1,100' in 1.5 miles (untracked, what fun! Trail wide enough to link some telemarks, open hardwoods. Intermediate+ in favorable snow conditions, advanced in most conditions) to the Upper Loop Trail then on to Lower Loop & the Rosenburg Center. Loop trails (intermediate) had seen fair amount of recent ski & snowshoe traffic but few (none recently) attempt the BBT. 4+ miles, 1,500' total elevation loss. 1'-2' of snow, powder slightly heavy from 50F temp. Gas is a lot cheaper in MA. Fischer Outtabounds skis with cable bindings.
Mar 2 - SIAMESE PONDS cross country skiing from Rt.8. 15" powder on deep base, 3'+ total. 200' climb & 400' drop in 1st 1.5 miles (intermediate in good snow), nice views of cliffs on 11th Mtn. Another 2.5 miles (novice) along the E Branch Sacandaga River to leanto & bridge. Climb over 400' in 2+ miles to the remote ponds, this is a very enjoyable run out (intermediate). Trail packed until a little past the leanto then we broke trail for over 2 miles, much slower going. 13 miles, 7 hrs. Fischer Rebound skis with 3-pin bindings.
Feb 28 - ALBANY PINE BUSH PRESERVE from Willow St. Shortest way to get to the blue trail (intermediate) over the Great Dune. Yellow trail goes thru open area of a prescribed burn. 6"-8".
Feb 27 - H. G. REIST WILDLIFE SANCTUARY skiing from Morgan Ave in Niskayuna. 6". Maintained by Hudson Mohawk Bird Club. Yellow trail mostly flat, beginner; rest novice. Made tracks to the side of trail hoping that barebooters would not be tempted to walk in them.
Feb 25 - MT. BRACE from Mt. Washington State Forest HQ in SW Mass. Average of 6" dense powder with little base - a bit more in woods & N facing slopes, less in the open & S facing slopes; fair to good skiing, quite a few exposed rocks especially on steeper hills, tricky stream crossings. Started on the trail to Alander Mt. & soon took a L on Ashley Hill trail high up Ashley Hill Brook ravine. Trail is wide old carriage road. AH trail turns L & we continue straight ahead. Cross AHB & climb up to the S Taconic Trail. Views open up as we headed S to Brace & its huge cairn. Wonderful views in all directions from the open summit, Catskills off to the W. Mostly intermediate with a couple of steep spots. 700' gain from start, 850' from low point. 9.5 miles, 4.8 hrs.
Feb 24 - LOST POND - Woodford, VT from Little Pond trailhead on N side of Rt.9. 2'+ of base with 7" powder - excellent skiing Trailhead is at 2,400'. Snowmobile trail for 2 miles then straight on hiking trail, before it starts to drop to Little Pond we head off trail NW climbing to the Appalachian/Long Trails (this was a fun downhill thru relatively open woods on the return). Headed N past Little Pond Lookout but turned off trail before top (3,331') of Little Pond Mt. Thru mostly open woods to Lost Pond. The spruce-bordered pond has a good view of Glastenbury Mt. Relaxed in the warm sun. Back to the snowmobile trail then E then S bushwhacking S. Wandered a bit too much E & came out on the snowmobile trail not far from the Pine Valley parking. Skied thru woods never far from Rt.9 back to start. 800' elevation gain/loss,10.5 miles, 7 hrs.
Feb 18 - REDFIELD BROOK. From Pine Valley parking, Rt.9, Woodford, Vt. Snowmobile trails 7F, 7AS, 7S. Good skiing on 2'+; wet powder surface; temp ~50F. Streams up & flowing from last night's rain but well-bridged on this dirt road. Crossed Redfield brook & explored open area to the N at junction with Little Pond Brook - this is at the W end of what locals call the "burning". Moose signs: scat, tracks, scrapings. Rain on the return. 2.8 hours.
Feb 17 - OXSHOE POND. ~2' of snow, light breakable crust off-trail; most trails broken out by skiers & snowshoers; skiing was good. Pharoah Wilderness. Goose Pond, off-trail alongside Alder Pond, Crane Pond, Glidden Marsh, broke trail to Oxshoe Pond & leanto (nice spot), back out via Crane Pond Rd. Views of Pharoah Mt from GP, GM & CPR. Nice woods: lots of pines & hemlocks. 7+ miles, 4.6 hours.
Feb 11 - HOUR POND. Good base with foot of powder - excellent conditions. Started at the N end of 13th Lake, skied 0.8 miles along the lake (some slush under the snow) with winds over 20mph, temp 7 degrees. Onto the Peaked Mountain Pond trail where we gain 400' in less than a mile - I get good grip & acceptable glide with Swix Polar grip wax on glide zone of Fischer Outtabounds skis, Maxiglide on nowax pattern. Crossed Peaked Mtn Brook on good ice bridge. From vly with view of Slide Mtn headed off-trail to the S (described in latest 2005 edition of Discover the South Central Adirondacks) thru open woods climbing gently to a beaver meadow. Crossed above a beaver dam & broke thru the ice, one foot getting very wet. Changed into a dry sock (because boots will still be wet, I recommend that you carry spare wool socks & plastic bags or waterproof socks like Sealskins) & scraped the ice off skis. Height of land ~2,200', dropped down in view of beaver pond on Hour Pond Trail but stayed high & circled the hill to Hour Pond where we went up the E side to a brand new leanto. Returned via Hour Pond Trail to junction with new red trail to 13th Lake (junction recently marked). Uphill on new red trail to top of pass at 2,163'. The next mile is a wonderful mostly downhill run ENE to 13th Lake dropping almost 500'. The red trail continues above the lake shore for a third of a mile on rolling terrain until it crosses Peaked Mountain Brook & joins the Peaked Mtn Pond Trail ~100 yds from 13th Lake. Intermediate if snow conditions are excellent. 8.6 miles, 5 hours. Can't wait to do it again - without the wet feet!
Feb 10 - HOFFMAN NOTCH & BIG MARSH. Over a foot of base with over a foot of powder - excellent. Headed N from Loch Muller. Pleasant stretch next to a stream, several dips into stream crossings (good snow bridges generally), many short ups & downs, some blowdown. Nice mountain views from the pond at Big Marsh - Hoffman Mt rises over 2,000' above, Texas & Washburn Ridges with snow-covered trees. Marten, grouse. Intermediate. Fischer Rebound skis. 8 miles, 5 hours.
Feb 4 - SOMERSET RESERVOIR near Wilmington, VT. Snowmobile trails - hard packed topped with powder - very good skiing. From Somerset Rd, skied Recreational Hwy 71 (aka Arlington Rd) N - soon pass an old airstrip, main branch of Deerfield River seen to the W. At ~3 miles there is a view W across Shep Meadow. Soon take a R on C7-100, not quite as wide as RH71. After ~1 mile take L on narrow unmarked trail which soon drops down to the reservoir half way up its W shore. View of Stratton Mt. across the reservoir from tip of peninsula. Saw ~30 snowmobiles on a Monday. Mostly easy terrain. 4 hrs.
Bell Canoes - top-of-the-line Kevlar & Royalex canoes.
Feb 3 - GARNET HILL groomed granular, easy & more difficult trails were plenty fast. Took shuttle bus back to ski shop. 13th Lake quite scenic. Short backcountry trip (1+ mile roundtrip) to WILLIAM BLAKE POND following new red & blue ski trail markers - icy crust (occasionally breakable) on good base, broken up a bit by snowshoers, ok on the flats but downhills a bit scary in these conditions. 4.5 hours.
Jan 28 - PINE & KETTLE MOUNTAINS from Northwoods Club Rd near Minerva, a mile W of Boreas River. Good base with 6" powder - easy breaking trail. No trails but much open hardwoods, some dense growth too. Spectacular views from Pine 900' down into Hudson River Gorge, Gore Mtn off to the S. Larger open area on Kettle, super views of Snowy & Blue Mtns, OK Slip Falls across the gorge with its 250' drop. A cedar swamp had quite a few downed trees, not too hard to avoid. Finished by skiing on edge of road back to car. 5+ miles, 5+ hrs., 1,200' cumulative elevation change (altho highest point was only 350' above start.) Some of the best views that most folks will never see. Route described in Discover the South Central Adirondacks.
Jan 27 - STONY & CENTER PONDS thru trip ending in Irishtown. Good base with up to 8" powder - packed by snowmobile from Rt.28N to half mile S of Sherman Pond. From SE end of Stony went up Center Pond's outlet (trailless) - mostly open with 2 spots where one has to bushwhack 100-200 yds. thru woods - easier than taking the trail. Lunched at island on remote Center Pond. Back to Stony, steep up & down to Sherman Ponds, 900' drop in the last 2 miles down to Irishtown (after 1st drop the snowmobile tracks turned R thru a private inholding, bear L to stay on trail) - exhilarating. Interesting bench made of old downhill skis before last stretch run to road; rentable yurts not far from trail; icy spot after bridge over Falls Brook. 8 miles, 5.5 hrs.
Jan 21 - SECOND POND from Chatiemac Rd near Johnsburg. No sign at trailhead - start at well over 2,000' (one of the highest winter trailheads in the Adirondacks on a plowed road). After some ups & downs climb a moderately steep hill (fun on way back) & continue on rolling terrain (more downs than ups) to the scenic pond where there is a good view of Gore Mtn. Tried to find the old trail to Highwinds on Gore Mtn that is shown on older maps but no luck after bushwhacking around a fair amount of blowdown. Ice on pond covered with snow felt quite solid. Very good hard base with up to 10" powder. 6 miles, 5 hrs.
Jan 20 - SHAKER MTN WF from the end of Pinnacle Rd in Bleecker. Headed NNW on unmarked old road, soon go thru beautiful hemlock forest with Pinnacle Brook to the L. At ~1.5 miles went out onto a large vly with views of the mountains, some wet spots. Continued up to the pass between Pigeon & Panther Mtns. On N side of pass the terrain quickly drops 300' thru semi-open woods - so much fun that we climb back up & ski down again. Very good hard base with up to 10" of powder. Intermediate. 4.5 hrs.
Jan 17 - SCHENECTADY MUNI GOLF COURSE cross country skiing. Beginner thru intermediate. Ski it while you can!
Jan 16 - SCHENECTADY MUNI GOLF COURSE cross country skiing. 3"-4" fresh powder, little or no base - nice skiing in open areas. Tested waxable vs nonwax skis (older Karhu Pinnacle/Vela vs newer Pinnacle) - better glide waxable; nonwax had slight edge climbing - temp in low 20s.
Jan 14 - GREEN MOUNTAIN NF, unplowed Forest Road 74 from RT.9 between Woodford & Searsburg, VT. Unmarked old logging roads to the E shown on the 1997 Woodford & Stamford 7.5min maps. Left FR74 heading E, crossed stream (lots of fresh beaver activity), lost the trail, bushwhacked for a while, found another trail, headed S then W. Returned to FR74 across from Aiken Wilderness sign near S end of road. Skied to the 1st pond on Yaw Pond Trail. Up to 4" of fresh powder over deep solid base - nice skiing. 3.5 hrs.
Jan 13 - PROSPECT MT NORDIC SKI CENTER, Woodford, VT. 18" of icy hardpack in the woods - groom it & you have good skiing.
Jan 10 - MOHAWK HUDSON BIKE PATH xc skiing from Lock 7 in Niskayuna. Up to 6", a bit icy, would have been better in the warmth of the afternoon - this section from Lock 7 Rd W seems to hold the snow pretty well. Mohawk River is open, bays are iced.
Jan 7 - MOTHER MYRICK MOUNTAIN, near Manchester, VT. Parked on Three Maple Dr, walked up Beartown Rd to end of plowing; rest of route groomed by snowmobiles but I did not see any on this Monday. Trails, altho unmarked, are pretty much what you see on the map. Fair amount of posted signs on either side of trails but there is a portion of Nature Conservancy land (got directions from their website). Worked my way up without herringboning to the notch between MM Mtn & Mt Equinox then took the dead end trail further up Mother Myrick. Trip back down was a bit too steep for me & ended up doing more snowplowing than I would have liked. 2 hours to go up, 1 hour to come down. Some nice thru the trees views along the way. Top of Equinox was in the clouds. Some exposed rocks & bare areas. 1,400' climb, 6 miles, 3.5 hrs.
Jan 6 - HOUR POND from 13th Lake. Siamese Ponds Wilderness xc skiing. Took Puffer Pond Trail from Old Farm Clearing, very scenic as one climbs up along Hour Pond Outlet. 1.5 mile trail to Hour Pond is unmarked. Drop down to a stream crossing & the unmarked trail goes L ( a new red trail goes NNE to intersect the Peaked Mtn Pond Trail not far from 13th Lake), across a beaver dam, goes SW for a bit before turning NW & N. Bullhead Mtn rises 1,200' to the W but was in the clouds, Hour Pond Mtn to the N; there is a new leanto on the E shore of the pond. A bat flew by at the pond & snowfleas seen on the snow (those tiny black specks move). Fun run out. Very good base with a few inches of wettish powder - ~20" total. Temp in the 30's. 8.5 miles, 6.5 hours.
Jan 4 - LISHA KILL PRESERVE, Rosendale Rd in Niskayuna. Streams, ravines, mature woods. Skiing is challenging - the 1st downhill is steep, has a must make sharp turn & some exposed roots & rocks. You can do an intermediate tour if you are willing to go off-trail at some of the hills. Red & the new Frank's Trails. 1.3 hrs. Used Fischer Outtabounds skis, cable bindings & plastic boots for optimum control.
Jan 1 - GRAFTON LAKES STATE PARK cross country skiing. 10", some wet spots & quite a few rocks - needs better base. Starting at Mill Pond (on Long Pond Rd) we took the Spruce Bog Trail (completing the 3 day "bog" theme) - after a climb the trail levels out for the next 2 miles. Snowmobile trails to Long Pond. Trail around N side of pond has lots of rocks so crossed pond to S side. 4.7 miles, 2.7 hrs.
Dec 31 - BOG MEADOW from Edwards Hill Rd in Bakers Mills. Unmarked trail + bushwhack. Foot of base with 4" fresh powder - nice. Start on driveway (described in latest editions of Discover & ADK guidebooks) which leads to old woods road & a mile of uphill (nice run back to finish the day). After a couple of miles there is no obvious trail - we continue W & SW (some tricky small stream crossings) & stop for lunch next to a scenic stream. 8 miles, 5 hrs.
Dec 30 - PA'S & SPLIT ROCK FALLS, BOG RIVER on unmarked trail from Rt.30 (0.2 miles S of Rt.421). 20" in the Tupper Lake area - bit of an icy crust made for more challenging skiing. 1.5 miles on rolling hilly terrain, soon reach Bog River then follow Round Lake Outlet. A R on dirt road goes over a good bridge, bear R long uphill then drop to cross bridge over the Bog River - a R turn leads to best spot to enjoy noisy Pa's Falls which drops 30'. From bridge continued on old logging road, bearing L then turning L (following orange ribbons) & reach 6' Split Rock Falls in 10 mins. The river upstream is calm - pretty spot. The camps we saw last year have already been removed - area was recently purchased by the state. Lots of deer tracks. Intermediate. 7.5 miles, 5 hrs.
Dec 20 - ALBANY PINE BUSH PRESERVE skiing from Madison Ave Ext. 1"-2" fresh powder in snowshoe packed trail, sometimes a separate ski track to the side; off-track about a foot of snow with some breakable crust. Red trail novice; blue trail intermediate. 1.5 hrs.
Dec 17 - DIPPIKILL skiing, near The Glen. Area owned by UAlbany - visitors must register. Valley Trail to scenic, peaceful Dippikill Pond (watched as a guy snowshoed to center of pond & set up for ice fishing - windy & cold out there), around the pond & back up the Ski Trail. Breaking trail thru 15"+, slow going. Checked out trails/roads E of parking area where the rental cabins are - view of Crane Mtn. 4 miles, 3 hrs.
Dec 16 - SARATOGA NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK skiing, near Stillwater. In the morning skied fields & woods around the hideout. Smell of wood smoke; a rough-legged hawk flew overhead (a winter visitor that summers in the Arctic). By afternoon roads looked driveable so headed over to SNHP. Took Wilkinson Trail from the Visitor Center - hills are on the intermediate side but there is much flat terrain sometimes in woods & sometimes in the open. Started raining half way thru & snow became a bit sticky (very sticky if you didn't have Maxiglide on bases). Temperature dropped & tracks became slightly icy & faster. Whitetail deer. 4.5 miles, 1.8 hrs.
Dec 14 - SCHENECTADY MUSEUM NATURE PRESERVE skiing from Lock 7 in Niskayuna. 7" powder, little base. Intermediate. Some ski tracks & barebooter but I broke trail most of the way. 1.5 hrs.
Dec 10 - NEWCOMB LAKE. 10-12" incl. 1-2" fresh powder in tracks. Trail to Camp Santanoni is smooth wide dirt road (easy). 0.4 miles from gate a new trail goes W for 0.7 miles & connects with trails at the VIC. Passed The Farm buildings at 1 mile. Before reaching Newcomb Lake we turned L on red trail to Fish Rock Leanto. This trail (intermediate+, some steep sections may have to be side-stepped, some wet stream crossings, rocks). View N to the Santanonis. 10 miles, 4.8 hrs.
Dec 9 - PROSPECT MOUNTAIN, from Woodford State Park, a few miles E (& 1,000' higher) of Bennington, VT. Over a foot of snow, some wet spots. Leave the SP campground at S end & head into Green Mountain NF (unmarked), across a meadow with tricky stream crossing, passed 2 beaver ponds to old woods road (light blue markers). Headed WNW over height of land & took a L (going S; not on USGS map) at 4 way junction, moderate uphill (light blue markers) to trails of ski area, L on loop & L again on Hawthorn then R to top. 430' elevation gain. Views include Stratton Mt. Some nice runs on the way down. Intermediate. 8 miles, 5 hrs. Prospect Mtn Ski Area conditions.
Dec 5 - ROCKWOOD STATE FOREST, 10 mins. from Johnstown. Parking area on Rt.29 not plowed. Very good skiing on 2" of powder on icy base. Trails are wide & smooth. Nice stands of red pine reforestation. Several loops; hills are easy to intermediate+. Believe I was the first skier of the season here; JP, who I often run into here, followed in my tracks. 1.5 hours.
We sell Cat Crap defogger for your glasses, goggles, etc.
Nov 26 - EAST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER hike. Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area from Rt.8 near Bakers Mills. Snow (<1"), ice, mud, water. Gain 240' on rough trail then drop 400' to river which had some ice in calmer sections. Peaceful except a crash when ice fell off 11th Mtn cliffs. Originally wanted to go to Kibby Pond but limited parking was icy. Also scouted out start of path to E Branch Sacandaga Gorge but 1st stream crossing was difficult due to ice on rocks which would have to be hopped.
Nov 25 - DYKEN POND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER hike. Did a big loop. Trails N of the road mostly hardwoods, some interesting boulders, vernal ponds, huge multi-trunked pine. S of road there are more evergreens, spruce swamp, vlies (boardwalk across), streams. 4 hours.
Nov 22 - THOMPSON'S LAKE STATE PARK hike. Started from the Thacher Nature Center - hiked the yellow loop, crossed the road to Meadow Loop (red), headed NE on Salisbury Trail (white) which connects in about 0.75 miles with Thacher Park's system of trails. Lots of "edge" habitat - woods & fields. Started out foggy but the sun soon broke thru (meteorologists predicted clouds/rain). 1.7 hours. Stopped by WOLF CREEK FALLS PRESERVE (3 miles W of Altamont on CR 253). Scouted out trails to S of road - will have to return (skis maybe?). Get trail map at parking area kiosk.
North Country National Scenic Trail - upcoming comment period for Adirondack section plans.
Nov 19 - HOOSIC RIVER from Johnsonville. Minimal development. Headed up to the Buskirk Covered Bridge & returned. Ice in the backwaters. Bald eagle, red-tailed hawk, gb herons. 3 hours. Swift Kiwassa 12.5, a new 12.5' lightweight kayak with 2 hatches & optional skeg - not on their website yet; 24.5"wide, 13"deck height, as low as 30lbs, cockpit 32.75"x16".
We sell Grip-Rite bungie & deckline (reflective & non-reflective) by the foot.
Nov 18 - OLYMPIC SPORTS COMPLEX aka Mt. VAN HOEVENBERG xc skiing. 4"-8" of nice snow - a bit heavier on bottom more powdery on top. No admission charge, not officially open. Closer to the lodge there had been some light grooming but no grooming & less use as we got further out. East Mtn. & Porter Mtn. Loops incl. Peggy's Puddle & Cascade Mtn. Loop ("most difficult"; "intermediate" by backcountry standards). Some views of High Peaks (Cascade, Porter, Phelps, Algonquin, Wright). 9-10 miles, 4.5 hours. A great start to ski season.
Nov 14 - PLOTTER KILL PRESERVE hike. Past the Upper Falls, Rynex Creek Falls, down across the PK for a bit, up the powerline & back. 3 miles, 1.6 hours. 10 miles of trails here for you to get lost in - some hikers did get lost here recently, came out from the lower end of the preserve to the NY Thruway, called a taxi to pick them up & take them back to their car. Natural Areas of Schenectady County gives you maps & ideas where to go hunter-free (southern zone deer season starts Nov 17) - we also stock guides for Albany, Saratoga & Rensselaer counties.
Nov 12 - KAYADEROSSERAS CREEK from small parking area at the end of Arrowhead Rd. 200 yard carry down to the creek; water low, muddy launch. This puts you on the K just before it enters Saratoga Lake. Headed upstream. Ice in the marshy area. Good to see the old logjam removed - piles of logs & debris now on shores. See a raccoon napping on shore, it looks up at us for a couple of seconds then curls back up to snooze. Cardinals, wood ducks. Shallow in spots, noticeable current, turned around just past Rt.9 bridge where there was a small rapid. 9 miles, 3.8 hours.
2006 - A work in progress - lost the original trip reports....
Nov 12 - HUDSON RIVER from concrete ramp boat launch just N of Rt.29 bridge in Schuylerville. Water & air temps in 40s, breezy, cloudy, threat of rain - nice day for an envigorating paddle. Upstream against a good current to Lock 5 - some fun squirrelly currents below rapids. Back downriver a bit & up the Batten Kill to dam & paper mill. Back to Hudson, downstream under Rt.29 bridge, around island with camp/picnic site at its N end. Back upstream against a healthy headwind, poked up Fish Creek to a falls/rapid & more playful currents, back to launch. Light development, interesting area. 4 hours. Dagger Catalyst 12.8, a 12'10" plastic light touring kayak - good speed for kayak of this length, playful, light for a plastic kayak. Some Snow Totals for the NE Fourmile Point, Coxsackie (newly redone boat ramp, parking, portajohn, picnic tables), Coxsackie & Rattlesnake Islands (the latter may only be an island near high tide), across river to old ice factory, Gay Point (break on sandy beach), Stockport Creek to rapids at bridge, back to Athens. Mostly calm but 10mph S winds opposing the current created some 1' waves near end of trip. Nice sunset & full moon rise for a perfect ending. Light development; light motor traffic; much state land - my favorite section of the Hudson. Duck hunting season resumes Nov 11. 19.5 miles, 6.4 hours. Dagger Exodus, a 16'11" polyethylene touring kayak with rudder. Venture Easky 15, a 15' polyethylene touring kayak with skeg - fun, versatile boat. from Corning Preserve boat launch in Albany. Water level high due to recent rains - the downstream current trumped the incoming tide; 15mph WNW wind was felt if one got far from the W shore. Down to the Port of Albany where a ship was laden with wind generator blades. Our group of 14 kayakers started out after 5pm; returned in dark & lights of downtown Albany reflected off the water. 6 miles, 1.7 hours. Swift Saranac 14.6, a lightweight 14'6" touring kayak for the larger paddler.
Nov 6 - MOUNT RAIMER from Petersburg Pass Rt.2 on the NY/MA border. Up to 3" of snow - bare spots in areas that receive full sun. Just so happened to have xc skis in the Nehasanemobile so poked around for half an hour on the Fischer Rebounds. This is an old downhill ski area so trails are quite steep. Hiked to top of mountain (500' in 0.7 mi.) where there are limited views; views best near the trailhead: E to Mt. Greylock, W toward Capital District. Taconic Crest Trail continues S to Berlin Mt. Snow buntings.
Nov 5 - HUDSON RIVER kayaking from state boat launch N of Athens. Several bald eagles, both mature & immature; beavers, ruddy ducks. Hudson Anchorage/Vosburgh Marsh (a marshy bay),
Oct 31 - HUDSON RIVER from Marion Av. in Pleasantdale. Gravel/mud beach. Noticeable current as I headed upstream. Stronger current as I went up E side of Campbell Island below Lock 1 - water a bit squirrelly as I round N end of island. I love the smell of fallen leaves. Red-tailed hawks & an immature bald eagle. 40 mins. up, 20 mins. back. Easky 15 - appropriately pumpkin orange in color.
Oct 30 - ROUND LAKE from small parking area on Rt.9. High water level; portion of parking area under water. Sun set behind trees/nests of heron rookery. Mile down ANTHONY KILL & then a right into DWAAS KILL for 10 mins. to tunnel under old railroad grade.
Oct 29 - Snow reports from various sources: Old Forge 9"; Stillwater 7.5"; Speculator 5".
Oct 24 - HUDSON RIVER
Oct 22 - HOOSIC RIVER canoeing. Launch site above dam on S side of river in Johnsonville. River is lake-like for a while upstream & has some mats of water chestnut - narrows somewhat upstream to ~100' width. Lightly developed. Very good variety of fall colors from oaks - most other hardwoods have dropped their leaves. Some side bays & channels to explore. Views E to Green Mountains of Vt. Turned around within sight of Buskirk Covered Bridge. Usual assortment of C geese, gb herons, gulls, ducks until we were almost back to dam when we spotted 3 bald eagles (1 mature) on a log in the river & some (snow?) geese. 9 miles, 3 hours.
Oct 13-16 - CAPE COD kayaking. Camping at Nickerson SP. Had to work around low tide on coastal trips.. P&H Quest, a 17'7" sea kayak.
Oct 16 - POPPONESSET BAY. Launch at Pirate's Cove Town Landing in Mashpee. N up Shoestring Bay to bridge then back to P Bay. Out into Nantucket Sound a little before low tide - a shoal is avoided by staying close to W shore. Along the sound & undeveloped beach for a mile before coming back & relaxing on the beach. Martha's Vineyard & the Monomoy Islands visible. Back inside the bay around slack tide then thru canal-like Popponesset Creek which is very developed with nice homes. 9 miles.
Oct 15 - GREAT ISLAND. Launched on Herring River, Wellfleet. 10-20 knot W winds shielded by Great Island (actually a long undeveloped peninsula, National Seashore). Jeremy Point out on tip looking out onto Cape Cod Bay. Lots of dead ducks on beach. Waves up to 1.5' when returning with tide coming in + tailwind. 10 miles.
Oct 14 - NAUSET MARSH. Town landing at Hemenway Rd in Eastham. NE toward Nauset Bay then cut into Creek C/Beach Channel with dwindling water as tide was going out. Out into Atlantic Ocean a bit but turned before reaching some good surf. A BCU kayak class spent much time in those waves. Seal. S thru Nauset Harbor & Mill Pond then back to start passing Fort & Skiff Hills. 9 miles.
Oct 13 - WALKER UPPER & LOWER MILL PONDS. Town Landing on Slough Rd in Brewster. Did perimeters of all ponds - lightly developed, freshwater kettle ponds. An opening of a few feet between Walker & Upper. A 100 yard narrow twisty shallow channel between Upper & Lower was a bit of a workout with a long boat. Mill at NW of Lower Mill Pond. Swans, turtle. 5.5 miles.
Oct 7-11 - OSWEGATCHIE RIVER canoe camping. To the source or bust! Foliage well past peak. 60 beaver dams between put-in & the sources.
Oct 11 - Paddled the 15+ miles out in 5.5 hours with lunch at Cage Lake Springhole leanto which had been refurbished this year. Nehasanemobile was the only car left in parking area.
Oct 10 - Day trip - Passed Beaverdam & Headwaters Carry & ~1.5 miles further upstream, explored 2 branches. Easterly one petered out; westerly one ended at a beaver pond. 30 beaver dams en route.
Oct 9 - 9 beaver dams, couple of short class 1/1+ rapids to go up in the 2 miles to spectacular High Falls. Carried around falls & had lunch on top. 2 more miles, 9 more beaver dams to Camp Johnny (#11).
Oct 8 - Upstream 11 miles to campsite #22 just past footbridge. 2 1' beaver dams of note (1st comes soon into trip - we paddled up it on 3rd try), couple of log jams, Round Hill Rapid just before footbridge is best poled up. Stopped at High Rock for view, leanto at Griffin Rapids (no rapids) for lunch. Saw a canoe go by late afternoon - we were not to see any more people for rest of trip ~70 hours.
Oct. 7 - Stopped at new The Wild Center nature museum in Tupper Lake - spent about 1.5 hours (could easily have spent twice that) - not real big but very well done - the otter was great to watch. Camped at put-in at Inlet Landing - ~7 cars in parking area.
Oct 3 - MOHAWK RIVER & ALPLAUS CREEK from boat launch on Glenville side of Freeman's Bridge. 2 miles downstream on river then ~1 mile up the creek. River: light development on river but plenty trash & bad smells, skullers use this section. Creek: past pleasant backyards, shallow in spots, noticeable current, couple of interesting huge old gnarly willows on shore, turned around at fallen trees. 1.8 hours. P&H Quest, a 17'7" sea kayak. Used 3 differentWerner paddles: Kalliste bent shaft, Ikelos & Cyprus (the former a low angle paddling style paddle, the latter 2 high angle).
Oct 2 - THIRTEENTH LAKE canoeing. Put-in has changed: 150 yard carry on smooth wide gravel trail - new day use area with picnic tables, outhouses. Wonderfull fall colors. Lake is mostly state land with some nice bc campsites. Explored inlet at S end - got over 3 beaver dams & turned around at 4th (gimpy leg is making it hard for me) - have gone further before. Loon, mergansers. Couple of fishermen in small motorboats, couple of kayaks, couple of canoes on a Monday. 4.5 miles, 3 hours. Bell Merlin II. Hiked along trail on W shore.
Oct 1 - LEWEY LAKE & MIAMI RIVER from the beach at the state campground. Stunning peak fall foliage - swamp maples ablaze with color. 4 otters in the river; 3 loons (1 a juvenile), wood ducks. One beaver dam ~1 mile up the river (runnable downstream); turned around at another 1' beaver dam ~ 3 miles up the river which I was able to run upstream due to good water level & hard paddling. Very scenic with cloud-topped, misty mountains incl. Lewey & Snowy (the latter is the tallest Adk mountain outside of the High Peaks). Rainbows on return. 8 miles, 3.8 hours. Dagger Catalyst 13.0, a 13' lite touring kayak. Temp in 50s & a couple of showers - I remain comfortable in non-cotton clothing, sprayskirt, paddling jacket with latex wrist gaskets (so no cold water goes up my arms), OR Seattle Sombrero waterproof/breathable wide-brimmed hat - brought along 2 prs. gloves & chemical hand warmer packets but did not need - you can get all these things at APnP.
Sep 26 - HUDSON RIVER canoeing from Lock 1 in Halfmoon. No motorboats out on this pleasant evening; some road noise tho. 1.5 hours.
Sep 25 - LAKE HARRIS & HUDSON RIVER in Newcomb. Put in at boat launch on Lake Harris Rd. A shallow channel leads from the lake to the river. Downstream (Vanderwhacker Mt. stands out) on Hudson to Long Falls Rapids, turned around to view Marcy, Algonquin & other High peaks; upstream to rapids under bridge. Circuited the lake. Loon. S shore of lake has moderate development. Foliage colors approaching peak. 8 miles, 3.8 hours. Swift Saranac 14.6, a 14'6" touring kayak for the larger paddler. RANKIN POND hike - rough 0.4 mile trail to peaceful pond - tested out my gimpy knee & ankle.
Sep 24 - HOOSIC RIVER canoeing from Buskirk's Covered Bridge, mostly downstream, a bit upstream. Dam at Johnsonville backs up the water for about 5 miles upstream of it so very little current here. Back bays to explore. Green & gb heron, whitetail deer, red-tailed hawk, osprey, immature bald eagle. 7 miles, 3 hours.
Sep 19 - HUDSON RIVER from boat launch at S end of First St in Waterford. Rained most of the afternoon but stopped as we put in at 5:30pm. Headed upstream to Lock 1. Light to moderate development. Several islands below the lock are home to bald eagles - saw at least 5; also red-tailed hawk, wild turkeys. Skies opened up for cool sunset & a rainbow. 6 miles, 2 hours. Swift Saranac 14, a 14', 34 lb. touring kayak.
Sep 18 - FLOODWOOD MOUNTAIN hike. Views from summit of Rollins Pond; Long Pond, St. Regis & Debar Mts. to the NE. From S summit open rock affords views toward Tupper Lake. Maples offered some good late summer fall foliage colors. 600' el. gain, 3 miles, 2.8 hours. EAST & WEST PINE PONDS canoeing. Start on East Pine Pond which is right next to Floodwood Rd. Short but very steep up & down carry to scenic West Pine - overlooked by Floodwood Mtn. E half is state land (a campsite is on N shore), W half belongs to Floodwood Boy Scouts. Investigated a small wood tower which unfortunately for me had a hornets nest at top - I scooted down the steps & dove into the water (good thing the camera in my pocket is waterproof) but still ended up with a dozen stings, somehow hurt my achilles tendon in the process too & going back over the carry was not easy. 3 miles, 1.5 hours.
Sep 17 - CHUBB RIVER. 100 yd carry from Averyville Rd, Lake Placid to put-in with log "dock". Half hour to 0.25 mile carry around rapids. Above that, the stream & views open up - Street & Nye Mts. rise over 2,000' above the river, Sawtooth Range. Lunched at small campsite. Turned around when stream narrowed & trees blocked the way. Good views of Whiteface Mtn. on return. Saw no-one else on a Sunday - most of hiking trail parking lots were full on drive over. Fall foliage season is well on its way. Light mosquitoes on land, some biting flies on water. 9 miles, 5.3 hours. Bell Merlin II, a 15' solo canoe. Day-tripping gear: SealLine Boundary 35 (a waterproof daypack), Bell Glove Compartment (a waterproof thwart bag), Bell removable solo portage yoke with CVCA pads - thwart bag & pfd easily clip on the daypack for portaging. APnP stocks most SealLine/Cascade Designs & Bell Canoe Works accessories.
from small town park SE of Rt. 9 Crescent Bridge. Paddled upstream past islands, Colonie Town Park, under Northway bridges (noisy) & short distance up a small creek on S side. 1.8 hours. P&H Quest, a 17'7" sea kayak.
Sep 12 - MOHAWK RIVER
Sep 11 - CONNECTICUT RIVER, SELDEN CREEK & WHALEBONE COVE kayaking from Lyme, Ct. Launch next to Chester-Hadlyme Ferry ($3 cars). Tidal freshwater. Fairly peaceful on this Monday. Downstream (against incoming tide, of course) on river alongside undeveloped Selden Neck (an island) & campsites - forested & some rock. W shore of river has light development. Turned upstream (with incoming tide) into Selden Creek for 3 miles then back into river at N end of island - nice wide creek with shores of wild rice marsh, woods & rocky outcrops. Into Whalebone Cove past some cliffs, ponds to Roaring Brook road bridge. Mute swans, osprey. 10 miles, 4.5 hours. Swift Saranac 14, a 14' touring kayak. Walked up the hill from parking area to Gillette Castle - great view of river & ferry.
Sep 10 - GREAT ISLAND area kayaking, Old Lyme, Ct. Paddled thru break in Griswold Point & into LONG ISLAND SOUND (waves up to 1.5'), turned E for a bit then returned to lunch on the beach point with views across the sound & mouth of the Connecticut River at high tide. Up the BLACKHALL RIVER (light home development) for over 2 miles, returned with outgoing tide. Cut across Great Island's saltwater marsh to CONNECTICUT RIVER (some waves from motorboats), Lieutenant River & back on protected E side of island. Cormorants, ospreys, snowy & great egrets, gbh, mute swans, marsh hawk. Very interesting area. P&H Quest, a 17'7" sea kayak.
Sep 6 - CONNECTICUT RIVER from Riverside Park in Hartford (I-91 exit 33, follow signs to park). Tried out new 2007 models from several manufacturers. Best of show: P&H Cetus, a new 17'10"L 21.5"W soft-chined sea kayak with 4 hatches (4th is on front deck) - stable, fast, real sweet handling, I want one!
Aug 27-Sep 4 -
Sun. Aug. 27 - Magnetawan Lake (camp) - small lake but attractive start to trip.
Mon. Aug. 28 - Magnetawan Lake p295 Hambone Lake (clear green water, hid a bottle of Arrogant Bastard for later in the week) p295 Ralph Bice (Butt) Lake (clear green water) p435 Little Trout Lake p175 Queer Lake (camp on point with nice view)
Tue. Aug. 29 - p1330 (cross a logging road, nice 20' falls a little before put-in) Tim River (one log to climb over, go under logging road bridge) p275 p460 (buggy camp & portages)
Wed. Aug. 30 - Tim River p125 Shippagew Lake p1335 Longer Lake (camp next to Petawawa River falls/rapids, 9 mergansers swim up falls)ALGONQUIN PROVINCIAL PARK canoe camping in Ontario. Nice weather for 6 days then showers Sep 2 evening & Sep 3. Light mosquito activity except at Tim River campsite & portages. Took 4 to 6 hours to get from one campsite to the next. Loons everywhere. A hint of fall - maples starting to change color, some yellow on the cedars. Singled most of the portages thanks to Hunnee. Hunnee & Nehasane tandem in Kipawa, Enjnir in a Bell Bucktail & Rongwae in a Bell Merlin II. Swift Kipawa, perhaps the most respected modern Canadian 16'6" tandem canoe ( the Chestnut Prospector would be the most respected older design); the one we used is a Carbon Fusion model weighing 43 lbs. & looks just like the pic.
Thu. Aug. 31 - p300 Big Trout Lake > White Trout Lake (150' cliffs, camp 2 nites on large island with views on both sides)
Fri. Sep. 1 - White Trout Lake (1.5 mile one way hike on unmaintained trail to site of old downed firetower & limited view, spring water next to ranger cabin, floatplane lands)
Sat. Sep. 2 - > Grassy Bay > Petawawa River p200 p80 p160 p195 p155 p850 Misty Lake (3 otters, camp on western island)
Sun. Sep. 3 - p935 Little Misty Lake (cow & calf moose) > Petawawa River p450 p135 Daisy Lake p420 p55 Hambone Lake (camp)
Mon. Sep. 4 - (morning swim) p135 Magnetawan Lake & out.
p = portages in meters.
Aug 22 - MOHAWK RIVER from Kiwanis Park, Rt.5S in Rotterdam (not far from I-890 Exit 1A). Concrete ramp boat launch. Took it easy toward Lock 9. Light development with some road & industrial noise. Green heron. Some folks were out rowing abateaux. Swift Caspian Sea, a 15'4" composite touring kayak - best tracking kayak we sell.
Aug 20 & 21 - SPECTACLE LAKE
Aug 15 - HUDSON RIVERDagger Catalyst 12.8, a 12'10" plastic light touring kayak.
Aug 14 - LAKE CHAMPLAIN, AUSABLE RIVER & MARSH. From access road into Ausable Point State Campground. Winds from the S 10-20 knots. Rounded the beach at Ausable Point thru whitecapped 2' waves. The calm of the 2 river channels, the Upper & Lower Mouth, & the Marsh contrasted greatly with the lake conditions. The river is clear with a sandy (sable: French for sand) bottom & silver maples dominate the shorelines. We turn around at rapids just past Rt.9 then head to the lake along the S channel. Just before the lake the S shore has steep sandy banks topped with white pines. Winds were still whipping up surf so we went back upstream & down the N channel; at the lake we poked into the marsh - explored both forks. Waves had calmed a bit when we returned past the beach & point - still a bit of work. Ospreys. 12.6 miles, 5.5 hours. P&H Capella RM 166. Aug 13 & 14 -
Aug 11 - KANE MOUNTAIN hike. From Green Lake Rd it took 25 min. to get to top of firetower which has 360 views - I like the view toward West, Canada & Lily Lakes. Headed N following red paint blazes then S on xc ski trail looping back to start. No bad bugs early on this clear morning. 500', 2.5 miles, 1.2 hrs.
Aug 8 - MOHAWK RIVER from Klamsteam Tavern, Canal Rd, Clifton Park. Dirt launch area. Upstream & under the Northway's Kosciusko Bridge. After that things got much quieter with little development - the N shore is in the Vischer Ferry Preserve, light development on S shore. Turned around at the downstream island below Lions Park - saw gb heron, great egret, teal, couple of deer, a mature bald eagle flying across to N side. 7 miles, 1.8 hours. Merrimack Traveler, a 17' tandem canoe.
Aug 7 - LONG POND, St. REGIS CANOE AREA. After a 5 min. 0.25 mile carry to the pond, paddled most of its perimeter including inlet to NW & channel (1 beaver dam) into PINK POND. Swam at the beach at the carry to Slang Pond. Hiked 1 mile over to Mountain Pond, enjoyed the solitary loon & the wind which kept bad bugs away. Lots of loons on Long incl. 2 chicks. Lots of the excellent campsites were occupied - fairly busy for a Monday; otherwise very scenic wilderness. No motors allowed in the Canoe Area. 9 miles, 7 hours. Traveler tandem canoe.
Aug 6 - EAST BRANCH ST. REGIS RIVER upstream from Everton Falls. Good put-in a bit above the falls. Very winding for the most part - early on thru grassy banks with lots of dull pink flowered Joe-Pye-weed, then alders, a stretch of forested banks before turning around. Yellow goldenrod & red cardinal flower added more color. Flushed out bitterns 3 times. 2 campsites on N shore near E end of straightaway a few miles in & one at carry S (lots of mosquitoes) - all look hardly used. Attractive scenery & good wilderness feel but good spots for lunch & breaks were rare. No beaver dams! No people! 15 miles, 6 hours. Traveler tandem canoe.
Aug 4 - MOHAWK RIVER from Freeman's Bridge in Scotia.
Aug 1 - HUDSON RIVER from state boat launch next to Henry Hudson Park in Bethlehem. Downstream to Berkshire Spur bridge against tide & refreshing headwind & back. Evening paddle on a hot steamy day. Cicadas ("hot bugs") chattering in trees on E side. Saw pair of mature bald eagles not far up the Papscanee Creek. Surfed some motorboat & barge wakes. Lots of mosquitoes at take-out at dusk. 6 miles, 1.8 hours. Bell Merlin II, a 15' solo canoe.
Jul 30 & 31 - FORKED LAKE canoe camping. Raquette River upstream to rapids. Brandreth Lake Outlet - able to go up it about 1.5 miles to a small rapids (a short carry leads to more flat water) - lots of flowers. Snapping turtle on rock, beaver, loons, deer. Minimal bad bugs during the day, light mosquito activity after sunset. State land mostly on S shore; private land elsewhere with minimal development (altho the yellow water trampoline at one camp stood out like a sore thumb). Most popular with fishermen in small motorboats, saw 6 canoes in the 2 days & no kayaks; only one other backcountry campsite occupied. 12 + 6.5 miles. Bell Merlin II solo canoe.
Jul 25 - HUDSON & MOHAWK RIVERS from boat ramp at 123rd St. in Lansingburgh. Crossed the Hudson with up to 2' waves due to 15mph S wind opposing the current. Went around S side of Peebles Island & up the middle branch of the Mohawk to the falls. Back around the N side of peebles, past the Waterford Harbor Visitor Center to shallow rocky area below a dam. Poked & played for 1.7 hours. Bell Merlin II, a 15' solo canoe.
Jul 23 - FALL STREAM, near Piseco. Upstream from Old Piseco Rd, Fall Stream is a scenic & varied flatwater stream. ~6 beaver dams to go over (all runnable downstream) & one log. One johnboat with motor got thru, otherwise wilderness level is very good. After lunch on Vly Lake we found the channel to Mud Lake which deserves a much nicer name - boggy shores include "fields" of flowering pitcher plants. Deer seen on Vly Lake. Moderate mosquito activity on shore & some deer flies on water as we got more sun & air heated up. 11 miles, 6.2 hours. Bell Northwind, a 17'6" composite tandem canoe. After the main trip switched to a Dagger Reflection 16 (made of Royalex) & ran the rapids (class 2+/easy class 3) under the road bridge.....twice!! Stayed to river right - water high due to rains, had to watch head going under old wood bridge before going under road bridge.Dagger Blackwater 12.0, a 12' plastic kayak with skeg.