The Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) is once again hosting its annual Rubber Loon Race on July 20 at 3 pm. The loon race mimics that long-standing rubber ducky race tradition, but with an Adirondack twist. The unique rubber loons make their trip downstream and three winners have the opportunity to collect a cash prize.
My family has been exploring the trails at the Adirondack Interpretive Center since my children were learning how to walk. We’ve attended special workshops. We’ve paddled, swam, and attended lectures. There is always a welcome staff member to answer our questions. Since most of the events and activities are free, all funds from the Rubber Loon Race are earmarked for special place-based public programming.
The rubber loons are dropped off the bridge upstream from the Rich Lake outflow and float downstream about a ¼ mile to the finish line at the second bridge before Beldon Pond. Participants are encouraged to walk along the shore, following the loons.
According to Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) Intern Lilly Stradtman, this year’s Loon Race coincides with Newcomb’s SummerFest, doubling the entertainment around the community. In addition to the race, SummerFest will include an outdoor movie, bounce house, water slide, live music and food. The Newcomb Overlook is SummerFest headquarters.
“We timed our event with Newcomb’s summer celebration so that people can come and go as they please,” says Stradtman. “We hope they will stop by, sponsor a loon, and participate in some of our many free activities. People do not have to present to win.”
Stradtman said that quite a few of the loon entries have arrived through their website, but all loons are eligible to win. She explains that AIC owns the loons so there are plenty of opportunities for people to participate. People can purchase a loon right up to the start of the race.
“The AIC has 3.5-miles of free trails. We are the stewards of nearby Goodnow Mountain, which has a fire tower. We have staff on hand to talk to and answer questions,” says Stradtman. “Our trails join with those leading to Great Camp Santanoni. There are so many opportunities for people to connect to the Newcomb area and it starts right here at the Interpretive Center.”
Participants may sponsor a loon for $10 with a chance to win prizes or purchase a loon for $20. First place prize is $75, second place prize is $50, and third place is a rubber loon and ESF bandanna.