Posts Tagged ‘Paddling’

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Commentary: A Vision For A ‘High Peaks South’ Gateway

Paddling on Boreas Ponds as guest of The Nature ConservancyOne of the biggest Adirondack issues of the year will be the debate over how to classify the Boreas Ponds Tract.  Anyone who has paid attention to land-use squabbles in the Adirondacks for the last fifty years can describe the lineups on either side just as well as I can: recreation, access and the welfare of local communities on one side and wilderness preservation, aesthetics, non-mechanized travel and ecological protection on the other.

But what if this debate is false, predicated on outdated ideas and a fading history?  What if adherence to this old narrative is detrimental to the natural world and to the residents of the Adirondacks in equal measure?   Suppose instead that Wilderness protection and the welfare of local communities is in fact a synergy ripe with opportunity?  Lots of evidence from across the country tells us what ought to make sense looking at how Lake Placid, Keene and Keene Valley thrive: proximity to grand wilderness is an economic asset, and the grander and better protected it is, the more valuable the asset. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Community Paddling Programs Planned For Lake Everest

lake everest paddlingThe Ausable River Association (AsRA) will be offering free guided community paddling programs on the Ausable Paddling Nature Trail in Wilmington this summer.

The paddling program will introduce people to flatwater paddling skills, safety, and the natural history of Lake Everest (an impoundment of the West Branch of the Ausable River), and the Ausable River Watershed. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Paul Smith’s Canoe Symposium Registration Deadline Friday

PaddlingThe registration deadline for the Adirondack Canoe Symposium, taking place from July 14-17 at Paul Smith’s College, is Friday, June 30. The symposium offers instruction for people wishing to improve paddling and precision boat control skills.

The Symposium is taking place concurrently with the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association Assembly, an opportunity to learn about the historical aspects of canoeing, meet canoe builders, and see hand-crafted wooden canoes. There will also be an interpretive freestyle exhibition and a candlelight paddle. » Continue Reading.


Friday, June 17, 2016

SUP Fest, Guideboat Panel, Cardboard Boat Race On Tap

cardboard boatsThe final week of a month-long celebration of paddling and water-based activities kicks off this weekend in Saranac Lake with the Adirondack SUP Festival at Lake Colby beach.

The SUP festival, which is organized by Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters, starts Friday and continues until Sunday. The festival will feature tours, clinics, gear demos, and races. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Northern Forest Canoe Trail Thru-Paddling Season Underway

John Connelly paddling the Northern Forest Canoe TrailJohn Connelly became the first Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) thru-paddler this season when he reached Fort Kent, Maine on Tuesday, May 24. He left Old Forge on April 16th, on the first leg of a 1,500-mile journey that combines the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT), the Maine Island Trail, and the waterways that connect them.

Founded in 2000 and officially opened in 2006, the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail consists of 22 rivers and streams, 58 lakes and ponds and 63 portages that stretch from Old Forge to Fort Kent, winding through Vermont, Québec and New Hampshire. The trail follows traditional travel routes used by Native Americans, early settlers and guides. It is one of the longest inland water trails in the United States. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Farrand Benedict: Crossing The Adirondacks

portraitA few years ago I learned of a fascinating but rather forgotten individual in Adirondack history. Along with his slightly older mentor Ebenezer Emmons and his younger contemporary Verplanck Colvin, he was among the first to accurately survey much of the Adirondacks. His name was Farrand Benedict.

Farrand Northrop Benedict was born in New Jersey in 1803, the oldest of seven. His parents died in the early 1830s and he became something of a father figure for his younger siblings. Graduating from Hamilton College in 1823, Benedict studied law and engineering and taught surveying and mathematics in Virginia and in Western New York before taking a professorship at the University of Vermont in Burlington in 1833. Teaching mathematics and surveying, Professor Benedict was known affectionately as “Professor B” or “Little Ben”.

Farrand Benedict first arrived in the Adirondacks in 1835, exploring and working in the Adirondacks, often bringing his wife and his brothers. He visited every year, often several times a year, until 1855. » Continue Reading.


Friday, May 27, 2016

NFCT Paddling Festival Coming to Saranac Lake

John ConnellyThe second annual Paddlers Freshet Fest will take place June 10–11 in Saranac Lake. Organized by the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, the festival celebrates the kickoff of the summer paddling season and provides a setting for thru-paddlers—those who have paddled the entire 740-mile trail—to gather.

Already this season, one thru-paddler has completed the trail. John Connelly of Maine finished the long-distance journey on Tuesday. He started on April 16. But he’s not done yet. Connelly is following waterways from Fort Kent, Maine to the Atlantic Ocean, where he will paddle the Maine Island Trail. He hopes to paddle 1,500 miles over 75 days. His trip is dedicated to inspiring other people to get outdoors. » Continue Reading.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Towns Favor Wild Forest Designation For Boreas Ponds

Boreas_Ponds Map_20160401Five local towns have set forth a land-use proposal for the newly acquired Boreas Ponds Tract that would allow mountain biking and “reasonable” motorized access — an alternative to plans supported by environmentalists.

Both the towns and environmental groups have proposed classification schemes that divide the 20,758-acre tract into Wilderness, where motors and bikes are prohibited, and Wild Forest, a less-restrictive classification. The major difference is that the towns recommend that the Boreas Ponds themselves be designated Wild Forest.

Under all the plans, most people would be allowed to drive on the dirt Gulf Brook Road only as far as LaBier Flow, an impoundment on the Boreas River, the outlet of the ponds. From there, hikers would have to walk a mile or so to the ponds. Canoeists would have to paddle up the flow and then portage to the ponds.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Questions About The Light Usage Of The Essex Chain Lakes

Photo of Sue Bibeau on Third Lake by Phil BrownI have heard from many who have gone into the Essex Chain Lakes area and encountered relatively few other people. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has stated that public use has been very high but provided no numbers. When I rode my bicycle from Newcomb to Blue Mountain Lake on a beautiful 75 degree Saturday of Labor Day weekend last year there were two cars at the Deer Pond parking lot to the Essex Chain Lakes area. This contrasted with the fairly heavy use of people hiking into OK Slip Falls, which is part of the Hudson Gorge Wilderness area.

Through a freedom of Information letter, I requested trailhead logbooks from the DEC to look at the use of other flatwater canoeing locations in the Adirondack Forest Preserve – Little Tupper Lake, Low’s Lake and Lake Lila. These are all wonderful motorless areas that provide incredible flatwater canoeing and overnight opportunities. I had certainly envisioned that the Essex Chain Lakes would become another such vaunted Wilderness destination where visitors were guaranteed a wild experience, away from motor vehicles.

Here’s what I found. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Court Orders Trial In Adirondack Paddlers’ Rights Dispute

shingle shanty web photoNew York State’s highest court has ruled that it doesn’t have enough evidence to rule on a long-running navigation-rights dispute between the editor of the Adirondack Explorer and a group of property owners.

The decision sends the six-year-old case back to a lower court for trial. It also wipes out, at least for now, a pair of decisions that cleared the way for the public to paddle a waterway that connects two parts of the state-owned William C. Whitney Wilderness.

In a unanimous decision handed down Tuesday morning, the seven-member Court of Appeals found the court record in the case is filled with too much “conflicting or inconclusive evidence” and that a trial on the facts is warranted.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, May 6, 2016

A Paddlers Guide To The Champlain Valley

a paddlers guide to the champlain valley

In their regional bestseller, A Kayaker’s Guide to Lake Champlain, now in its 3rd printing, Catherine Frank and Margaret Holden offered detailed paddling tours circumnavigating America’s “other great lake.”

Now, in A Paddler’s Guide to the Champlain Valley: Exploring the Rivers, Creeks, Wetlands and Ponds (Black Dome Press, 2015), they explore the “interior,” the waters within the seven basins of the Champlain Valley — the Missisquoi/Pike, Lamoille, Winooski, Otter/Lewis, Saranac/Chazy, Boquet/Ausable, and Poultney-Mettawee South Lake.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Pete Nelson: Close The Road Into The Boreas Ponds

Paddling on Boreas Ponds as guest of The Nature ConservancyThe State of New York has completed purchase of the Boreas Ponds Tract, the final stage of its acquisition of the former Finch Pruyn lands from the Nature Conservancy.  Now the classification process will begin.  As with the Essex Chain acquisition the debate will be over recreational access and protection of its biological assets and its aesthetic experience as a wild place.  As with the Essex Chain the debate will largely come down to roads, in this case Gulf Brook Road, a dirt and gravel road that provides access to the interior of the tract from Blue Ridge Road.

It’s obvious why arguments between wilderness protection and recreational access so often come down to roads, but I think that’s unfortunate.  I think it distracts us from the larger issues of land use and protection with which we should be more concerned.  The issue of Gulf Brook Road in the Boreas classification makes a perfect example.  So let’s look at it in a little more detail. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Paddling Long Trail: The Northern Forest Canoe Route

Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge by Abigail McKay.A few hundred water enthusiasts showed up last week at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts for the Reel Paddling Film Festival hosted by the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and Adirondack Lakes & Trails Outfitters. We watched two hours of the daring adventures of canoeists and kayakers battling North American rivers and the Alaskan wilderness. I learned of a way to test how to hold my double-bladed paddle to fit my upper torso and fitness level. At the raffle of donated goods by local sport shops and the NFCT organization, we won a copy of the three-hundred-page guidebook for the 740 mile paddling trail from Old Forge to Fort Kent, Maine. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Phil Brown: The True History of Mud Pond Waterway

john caffryLast month, the state’s top tribunal, the Court of Appeals, heard arguments in a legal dispute over the public’s right to paddle a two-mile stretch of water near Lake Lila. It is sometimes referred to as the Mud Pond Waterway.

I paddled the waterway in 2009 and was sued for trespass the following year. A state Supreme Court judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2013. The Appellate Division upheld the ruling in 2015, but the landowners appealed a second time.

Given that a ruling in the Court of Appeals could have statewide ramifications, there is a fair amount of interest in the case. Several reporters and photographers attended the oral arguments, and a number of newspapers around the state and outside the state ran stories.

Some news stories said the appellants — the Brandreth Park Association and the Friends of Thayer Lake — have owned the property since the mid-1800s. This is understandable, as a summary of the case on the Court of Appeals website stated that the land in question has been in the hands of the Brandreth family “since an ancestor bought it from the State in 1851.” » Continue Reading.


Friday, April 8, 2016

Reel Paddling Film Festival Tonight In Lake Placid

Reel Paddling Film FestThe Northern Forest Canoe Trail and Adirondack Lakes and Trails are co-hosting the Reel Paddling Film Festival tonight, April 8, at 7 pm at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. The award-winning films tell stories about canoeing, kayaking, and the privilege of having wild places to paddle.

Film themes include kayaking the Aleutians and a multi-sport adventure on Baffin Island. One of the feature films, Paddle for the North, tells the story of a six-man expedition team and their 1,500-kilometer journey through the Yukon and Peel river watersheds. » Continue Reading.


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