I consulted the map often while researching my guidebook Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures. The amount of detail is impressive: it shows the locations of lean-tos, campsites, trails, and put-ins and identifies just about every peak, pond, island, and stream that would be of interest to paddlers.
Cilley recently published a sixth edition of “Adirondack Paddler’s Map” that corrects a few mistakes that slipped through the earlier editions. It also updates things that have changed, such as the locations of campsites in the St. Regis Canoe Area.
“The sixth edition is our effort to keep the map up to the minute,” Cilley said. “The sales pretty much speak for themselves as far as what people want.” Over the years, he has sold more than fifteen thousand copies.
The full-color topographical map covers the major waterways in the northwestern sector of the Adirondack Park, including the Saranac Lakes, the William C. Whitney Wilderness, most of the Five Ponds Wilderness, several North Flow rivers, and of course the St. Regis Canoe Area. When spread out, it measures 44 inches by 36 inches. When there’s a breeze it makes a good sail.
“About twice a year I get someone saying it’s too big,” Cilley remarked.
As an alternative to the big map, Raquette River Outfitters in 2011 published a smaller map that covers just the Lows Lake/Bog River region. The owners say they intend to follow it up with similar maps of other paddling destinations, such as Lake Lila and the Raquette River. The next map should be out within a few years, according to co-owner Anne Fleck.
None of this has been lost on Dave Cilley. Last year he published “Adirondack Paddler’s Map—South.” This is a supplement to the first map, covering Stillwater Reservoir, the Fulton Chain of Lakes, Raquette Lake, Forked Lake, and Blue Mountain Lake. It’s just as detailed as the first map, and since both have the same scale (1:50,000), they can be used in tandem. The big difference is that the second map is a quarter of the size of the first, making it easier to fold in a windstorm.
I wish I had a copy of the “Adirondack Paddler’s Map—South” while doing my research. It would have come in handy for seven of the sixty day trips I describe in the guidebook.
Both of Cilley’s maps clearly differentiate Forest Preserve and private land. Further, he uses two shades of green to differentiate Wild Forest from motor-free Wilderness. The maps also list the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of the regional forest rangers, along with do’s and don’ts of wilderness travel.
“Adirondack Paddler’s Map” sells for $19.95, while “Adirondack Paddler’s Map—South” sells for $9.95. Both can be purchased at St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, which Cilley owns, as well as in many other stores around the Park. They also can be purchased online.
If you do a lot of paddling in the Adirondacks, they’re well worth the price.