The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) and Lost Pond Press have released Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, a full-color guidebook that offers recommendations for canoeing and kayaking trips throughout the Adirondack Park.
Written by Phil Brown, Adirondack Almanack contributor and editor of the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine, the guidebook gives detailed descriptions of more than 60 trips on the region’s lakes, ponds and rivers. It also includes GPS coordinates for put-ins and takeouts, driving directions, color maps and more than 150 color photos of landscapes, wildlife and wildflowers.
Brown spent several years researching the book and selected trips that best reflect the variety and wild beauty of Adirondack waters. They include old favorites, such as High Falls on the Oswegatchie River, and little-known waterways such as Alderbed Flow and a quiet stretch of the West Branch of the St. Regis River. Each of the 60-plus trips can be done in a single day (sometimes a long day), but an appendix offers recommendations for multiday trips.
“Adirondack Paddling introduces you to the pantheon of flatwater trips in the Adirondack Park. This is a guidebook to enjoy while dreaming of paddling in midwinter and to keep in your dry bag as you dip and glide across a wild pond or along a winding stream,” said Kate Williams, executive director of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.
Adirondack Paddling is the only up-to-date paddling guidebook that focuses on the Adirondack Park and that covers the entire Park. Neil Woodworth, executive director of the Adirondack Mountain Club, said ADK saw a need for the book and felt Brown was the right person to undertake the job.
Brown has been the editor of the Adirondack Explorer, an environmental and outdoors magazine, for more than 13 years. In that post, he has explored all corners of the Adirondack Park, both on foot and in a canoe. Adirondack Paddling reflects his knowledge of the Park and his love for wilderness. As he writes in the introduction: “I prefer paddling wild places — the winding stream or placid pond — to large lakes abuzz with powerboats. If you too like the wild, this book is for you.”
While writing the book, Brown devised a statistic he calls the Meander Quotient that measures the twistiness of Adirondack rivers. The methodology is explained in an appendix that ranks the rivers by their MQ. “It’s not meant to be taken too seriously,” Brown said, “but it may generate debate among paddlers about the relative twistiness of Adirondacks rivers.”
Several professional photographers contributed outstanding images for the book, including Carl Heilman II, Mark Bowie, Nancie Battaglia and Nancy Ford. Susan Bibeau of Saranac Lake designed the book. The color maps were created by Matt Paul.
Adirondack Paddling can be purchased at The Book Store at ADK in Lake George, at ADK’s High Peaks Information Center near Lake Placid, book and outdoor stores in the Adirondacks, and online.
This is the second collaboration between the Adirondack Mountain Club and Lost Pond Press, which was founded by Brown in 2006. In 2008, they jointly published Adirondack Birding: 60 Great Places to Find Birds by John M.C. Peterson and Gary N. Lee. Lost Pond Press also published Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology edited by Brown, and Within a Forest Dark, an award-winning Adirondack novel by Michael Virtanen.
Note: Books noticed at Adirondack Almanack have been provided by their publishers.