The Northern Forest Canoe Trail’s film festival in Lake Placid on Friday night will feature footage from all over the world, from Russia to Hawaii, from the Grand Canyon to the North Atlantic. But for many Adirondackers, the highlight will be a movie made by Saranac Lake resident Mike Lynch.
Lynch, an outdoors writer for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, canoed the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail last summer—from Old Forge to Fort Kent, Maine—and has created a 37-minute film about his adventure titled Through Paddle. Click here to read my earlier interview with Lynch on Adirondack Almanack.
Although passionate about photography, Lynch had never made a film before, apart from a three-minute video about a backcountry ski festival. He got the idea for making a feature about the NFCT from Jason Smith, who works for Adirondack Lakes and Trails, a Saranac Lake outfitter (and sponsor of the film festival).
“As a full-time writer and photographer, I had a good understanding of what elements I would need for a story and what images I needed to capture to pull that off,” Lynch told me in an e-mail. “But in terms of the technical aspects of making a film, I came into this project completely cold … The hardest part was editing.”
Through Paddle is a series of vignettes, arranged chronologically. The film contains lots of scenery; shots of wildlife, including eagles and moose; and interviews with people Lynch met along the way.
The Adirondack section includes a scene with Ryan and Catherine Thompson of Old Forge. A few years ago the couple paddled the NFCT and hiked the Appalachian Trail in one extended journey. Other Adirondack footage spotlights Browns Tract Inlet, Buttermilk Falls, and Lower Raquette Falls. Steve Langdon, a fellow Saranac Lake resident, plays some mean blues at Lynch’s send-off party.
On the first part of the trip, Mike was joined by a friend, Jacob Resneck. After Jacob left, Mike was joined by his wife, Ariel Diggory Lynch. Both Jacob and Ariel shot pieces of the movie. Ariel also created some of the graphics.
You can view the film’s trailer by clicking here.
Through Paddle will be shown just before intermission at the film festival at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.
All told, there will be about an hour and forty-five minutes of films, according to Jason Smith. For a complete lineup, click here.
The festival starts at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Proceeds will benefit the NFCT, a nonprofit organization that maintains the paddling trail.
Photo by Ed Burke: Mike Lynch (in stern) and Jacob Resneck on Lake Memphremagog in Vermont.
Phil Brown is the editor of the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine.