Friday, May 8, 2009

2009 Adirondack Paddling Calendar

Eager boaters have been on the water since ice-out, but the Adirondack canoe-and-kayak social season really gets cruising this month. We offer a chronological calendar:

The first two get-togethers are really commercial affairs, aimed at selling canoes and kayaks, but hey we enjoy new gear as much as anyone: Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters holds Demo Days this weekend, May 9–10, by the state boat launch on Lake Flower, in Saranac Lake, (518) 891-7450. And Adirondack Paddlefest is May 15–17 at Mountainman Outdoor Supply Co., in Old Forge. The Fest is billed as “America’s largest on-water sale.” $5 admission for adults, (315) 369-6672

Next Saturday, May 16, flatwater racing season begins with the ‘Round the Mountain, a classic event on the headwater lakes of the Saranac River. The 10.5-mile loop circles Dewey Mountain and the village of Saranac Lake. (518) 891-2744

Sundowner Series clinics and time trials, every other Tuesday at 6 p.m. start June 2 at Saranac Inn state boat launch on Upper Saranac Lake. (518) 891-2744. If you want to paddle with others but aren’t competitive, Adirondack Lakes & Trails Outfitters in Saranac Lake offers Tuesday evening tours.

Saranac Riverwalk dedication day June 6 features canoe and kayak demos, plus whitewater kayak slalom and demonstrations. Village of Saranac Lake. (518) 891-7450

Tupper Lake 9-Miler is also June 6. Race on the Raquette River to Simon Pond, in Tupper Lake. (518) 891-2744

Lake Champlain Sea Kayak Institute, July 13–23. Classes for novice and experienced kayakers, based at SUNY Plattsburgh’s Twin Valleys education center. (518) 564-5292

Canoe the Blue, June 20. An eight-mile tour of Blue Mountain Lake with lunch at the Hedges. Organized by the Adirondack Museum in partnership with the Wild Center. (518) 352-7311

The Willard Hanmer Guideboat race (canoes and kayaks also allowed) will be held in Saranac Lake on July 5. Details will be posted on the Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce Web site when available.

Northern Forest Canoe Trail work trip, July 10-12. Erosion control at the Franklin Falls portage. (802) 496-2285

Freestyle canoe symposium, July 19–23. Obedience classes for canoes at Houghton College Star Lake Campus. (864) 296-6051

Saranac Flatwater Challenge, July 25. Race on the Saranac River, starting at Picketts Corners. A fundraiser to fight asthma. E-mail

Adirondack Canoe Classic, September 11–13. Old Forge to Saranac Lake. A storied 90-mile marathon with carries. (518) 891-2744

Long Lake Long Boat Regatta, September 26. Fifteen- and ten-mile races featuring the North American War Canoe Championships as well as kayak, canoe, guideboat and “anything goes” events. Long Lake public beach. (518) 891-2744

Paddle for the Cure, September 26. Six-mile cruise on the Moose River in Old Forge, to benefit the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Fund. (315) 464-6276

Photograph: Carry to Follensby Clear Pond, by Simon Thill

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Mary Thill lives in Saranac Lake and has worked alternately in journalism and Adirondack conservation for three decades.

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