On Thursday, March 16 at 5:30 pm, the Kelly Adirondack Center in Niskayuna will host a lecture and discussion with John W. Caffry on the debate over navigability on rivers in the Old Chapel at Union College.
In the mid-19th century, the rivers of the state were declared public highways to allow their use for transportation of logs to market, regardless of whether they ran over public or private land. This principle was “forgotten” late in the century. Since the late 20th century, recreational paddlers testing the public use concept have been arrested for trespass. » Continue Reading.
Some might wonder: What’s the big deal about Boreas Ponds? Yes, it boasts a fantastic view of the High Peaks, but you can paddle the waterway in less than an hour. And then what?
Unlike Lake Lila, Boreas Ponds has no sandy beaches where you can loll in the sun or go for a swim. Nor is there a nearby peak to climb for a lookout (though you could bushwhack to the top of Boreas Mountain).
Nevertheless, Boreas Ponds is a big deal. It’s one of our last chances to add a sizable water body to the Forest Preserve and declare it motor-free.
The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is currently recruiting to fill four stewardship intern positions: two roving crew positions that will work in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, plus two positions that will concentrate on stewarding Maine’s iconic Bow Loop Trail.
The program is 10 weeks, running from June 12 to August 18. Interns will receive four weeks of training in the areas of leadership, paddling, and trail construction. They will then spend the remaining weeks taking turns leading volunteers on stewardship projects, ranging from campsite installation to water access and portage construction. » Continue Reading.
Tuesday, February 21, at 1 pm at the Chapman Museum in Glens Falls, Chapman Curator Jillian Mulder will present an illustrated talk about Seneca Ray Stoddard’s multi-year trip up the Atlantic coast in a canoe entitled Stoddard’s Adventure on “The Atlantis.”
Over the course of five years, from 1883-1887, Glens Falls photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard completed a five stage journey by canoe. Stoddard and a companion traveled down the Hudson River to New York City and northward up the Atlantic coast, finally ending at the Bay of Fundy, Canada. It was the first time a small craft of that size had ventured the nearly 2,000 miles following the New England coast to the Canadian Maritimes. » Continue Reading.
Western Trails, the fourth of six volumes in Adirondack Mountain Club’s (ADK) Forest Preserve Series is set to release the beginning of February.
The guidebook includes 7 Wilderness areas, 13 Wild Forest Areas, the extensive St. Regis Canoe Area, 1 Primitive Area, and 2 state forests. Also included is the relatively new Cranberry Lake 50, a 50-mile hiker’s challenge that falls within this region. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency held public hearings on Boreas Ponds at eight different locations around the state in November and December. Hundreds of people spoke, offering a potpourri of opinions. But one constant was a sea of green T-shirts bearing the slogan “I Want Wilderness.”
BeWildNY, a coalition of eight environmental groups, created the T-shirts to push the idea that Boreas Ponds should be classified as motor-free Wilderness. » Continue Reading.
Newly published research in the journal PLOS ONE by scientists at Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Colorado State University (CSU), and University of California-Berkeley finds that human recreation activities in protected areas are impacting wildlife, and more often than not, in negative ways.
Nature-based, outdoor recreation is the most widespread human land use in protected areas and is permitted in more than 94 percent of parks and reserves globally. Inspiring an estimated eight billion visits per year to these areas, outdoor recreation is typically assumed to be compatible with conservation. Increasingly, however, negative effects of recreation on wildlife are being reported. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is accepting public comments on Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan conformance for proposed activities to the Lake Champlain Islands Management Complex Unit Management Plan (LCIMC-UMP). Public comment should address if the proposed activities conform to the guidelines and criteria of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (APSLMP). The APA will accept public comment until January 6, 2017.
The islands that comprise the LCIMC encompass approximately 1,133 acres of Forest Preserve lands on six of the seven state-owned islands in Lake Champlain – Valcour, Schuyler, Cole, Garden, Sheepshead, and Signal Buoy.
There are also approximately 28 acres of land that make up the three boat launch sites included in the LCIMC which are administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Bureau of Fisheries: Peru Dock, Port Douglas and Willsboro Bay. » Continue Reading.
The Northern Forest Canoe Trail’s 12th Annual Online Auction is now live until December 1, 2016. Proceeds support the nonprofit’s mission to maintain and protect access to the longest inland water trail in the nation.
The auction includes name brand paddling and camping gear made by ExPed, Kokatat, Mitchell Paddles, Patagonia, Seattle Sports and Pelican watertight cases. Paddle craft include an Advanced Elements inflatable kayak package, an NRS inflatable SUP package and a 16-foot Wenonah Adirondack Ultralight Kevlar canoe ($2,699 value). » Continue Reading.
My favorite activity is paddling quiet waters. I cherish the experiences I’ve had on the lakes, rivers, and ponds in Adirondacks, including canoeing on the Boreas Ponds. I think the spectacular view of the high-rising peaks to the north is unmatched.
I also believe that reasonable access to these waters is in the best interest of the public, while minimizing harm to the environment. However, the definition of reasonable access and minimizing harm varies among the stakeholders, primarily centered on the use of the existing Gulf Brook Road – a 6.8 mile gravel road from Boreas or Blue Ridge Road (County Route 84) to the ponds.
A couple of weeks ago I drove up Gulf Brook Road for 3.2 miles as allowed by the state’s interim access plan, which is 2.5 miles from the ponds. I wanted to orient myself to the access issues raised in the many articles in the media, including the Adirondack Almanack. I parked my car at the parking lot, skirted the stop sign, and walked about a half-mile toward the ponds. Looking at the trail register I saw the names of two friends who had been to the ponds recently, and decided to email them, asking how they experienced the 2.5-mile carry on the road and the ponds. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park has its share of uninspired names for lakes and ponds. Think of all the Mud Ponds, Grass Ponds, Deer Ponds, and Moose Ponds scattered over our topo maps.
Perhaps no toponym is more prosaic than County Line Flow. Yes, it’s accurate, more or less. County Line Flow lies in Hamilton County less than a mile from the Essex County border [map]. But the name hardly does justice to the charm of this small water body and its marshy inlet. » Continue Reading.
Men have dominated the craft of building guideboats ever since the middle of the nineteenth century, when the first guideboats were made. The only known female builder is Allison Warner from Lake Clear.
Warner’s interest in wooden boats dates back to when she paddled wooden canoes while growing up in southern Texas. As a young adult, she moved to the Adirondacks and began working with AmeriCorps as a carpenter’s helper at Great Camp Santanoni under Tupper Lake carpenter Michael Frenette, who introduced her to boat restoration and guideboats in 1999. » Continue Reading.
Maybe this was another over-ambitious canoe trip, like the one that I had undertaken with the same naturalist friend in late June. At mid-seventies and late sixties perhaps we two women should have been following a strong young person pulling our boats, or more sensibly, home walking the dog. But modern, light-weight canoes and carriers tempted us to test our limits. We have never been serious sports enthusiasts, I myself never using anything more than boots and sticks of one kind or another for exercise, so our limits were set fairly low.
The plan was to meet at Bonnie’s house at 8:30, but neither of us could sleep in the early morning, from excitement – or fear? So we left her house an hour early in her husband’s truck, luckily, as much of the 3.2 mile road to the parking area for the Boreas Ponds was rough. » Continue Reading.
Building a traditional Adirondack guideboat is a complex task, with ribs carved from spruce-tree roots and with thin hull planks held in place with several thousand tiny tacks. It can take many weeks to complete one.
“I grew up working with wood one way or another, and these are by far the most complex, demanding things, by a long shot, I’ve ever built,” said Rob Davidson, who started building guideboats a few years ago after moving to the Adirondacks from Oregon. » Continue Reading.
Last month, Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) staff and volunteers spent a day replacing bog bridging and repairing a pedestrian bridge on the Indian Carry, a portage that connects Stony Creek Ponds to Upper Saranac Lake. The improved path helps deter trail widening and makes carrying canoes and kayaks safer.
Six volunteers removed a deteriorating bridge and replaced it with 60 feet of boardwalk. Lumber and materials where provided by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. The Adirondack Land Trust, which was instrumental in conserving this property and constructing the portage trail in the 1980s, provided funding for this project. » Continue Reading.
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