The Town of Colton is gearing up for its summer series of music performances to be held at locations along the Raquette River. The Colton Riverside Performances are organized by the town’s Tourism & Beautification Committee in cooperation with the Colton Historical Society and others. As a Raquette River community, the town’s series continues to showcase groups with musicians and singers from communities along the 174-mile long river which begins at Blue Mountain Lake and flows into the St. Lawrence River at Akwesasne.
The following six performances — all on Wednesday evenings starting at 6:30 pm — will be held at venues in the hamlets of Colton and South Colton. The backup location for all performances is the town’s Pavilion at Swift Field in South Colton. » Continue Reading.
The Wild Center announced today the acquisition of 50 acres of Raquette River front property made possible by a group of supporters. The new acquisition adjoins the Center’s current 31-acre site and includes significant river-frontage on the Raquette River, a seasonal building and wetland habitat.
“This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for The Wild Center,” said Board Chairman and co-founder Obie Clifford in a statement announcing the acquisition. “We had hoped for years to acquire this piece of property to add to our dreams for our campus. Although we didn’t anticipate the property coming on the market so soon, we are tremendously grateful to the generous supporters who joined in pooling their resources to make this purchase possible.” » Continue Reading.
Our family has two large metal boxes filled with George Hornell Thacher’s handwritten letters. We are fortunate to have three letters written from the Thacher “Camp” on Indian Point on Raquette Lake.
George Hornell Thacher’s correspondence to his son George Jr. dated August 7, 1881 is a unique piece of history. He references a tragic affair which became the talk of the major NY newspapers
Camp, Aug. 7th, 1881 Dear George,
My health is about as usual. Nothing new here of importance except the recapture of Parker yesterday, the desperado, the man who outraged a lady on the carry between Forked and Long Lakes. He was arrested at Lowville while fleeing to Canada and taken back to Long Lake where he got away from the constable. Yesterday the same officer overhauled him on Forked Lake near the outlet, shot and broke his arm and recaptured him. The lady was a sister of the wife of U.S. Senator Platt of Connecticut. Parker was a newcomer here and took up the business of guiding. He was guiding her to Long Lake and perpetrated the deed near Butter Milk Falls.
P.S. Parker was shot through the arm and breast. The Doctor says he will die probably before night. The way of the transgressor is hard. 10 A.M.
The Troy Press said, “Probably no event occurring in the Adirondack region has caused as much comment and excitement as the crime that is attributed to Charles Parker.” » Continue Reading.
Over the past several years I have been involved with the Raquette River Blueway Corridor (RRBC), which organizes Raquette River Awareness Week, a week of events along the river from its source at Blue Mountain Lake to the St. Lawrence River at Akewesasne.
The staff at The Wild Center have also been involved, by helping to educate the public about the natural history of river with a week of river-related activities, and a river clean-up from “The Crusher” boat launch on Route 30 between Tupper Lake and Upper Saranac Lake, to Simon(d) Pond. This section of the Raquette includes the Oxbow and “The Cut” (an area just north of Simon Pond). » Continue Reading.
After a week of frost warnings and even snow flurries, the weekend temperatures are due to ease into the sixties and just in time for the Adirondack Paddlefest. In its 15th year, the Adirondack Paddlefest will host paddling presentations, test paddles, on-water canoe and kayak sales, demos, clinics, food and entertainment this Friday – Sunday, May 17-19 in Old Forge. » Continue Reading.
The Raquette River, from Raquette Falls to the State Boat Launch on Tupper Lake, is one of the nicest stretches of flat-water anywhere in the Adirondacks. Paddling this river corridor under a clear cerulean blue sky, on a sunny autumn day with the riverbanks ablaze in orange and red, is exquisite. For me, though, the river’s history is as captivating as its natural beauty.
Countless people have traveled this section of river over the centuries. There were native peoples who hunted, fished, and trapped, the hinterlands of Long Lake and further into the Raquette Lake area, long before whites appeared on the Adirondack Plateau. There were the early farmers and families wanting to start a new livelihood. There were the guides and their wealthy “sports”, (and later the families of these sports) desiring adventure and recreation. There were people seeking better health and relief from the despair and disease of the cities. There were merchants, hotelkeepers, charwomen, day labors, ax-men, river drivers, and a host of others. There were the famous, the not so famous, and the down-and-out.
All of these people, and many others, used the Raquette ( Racket or Racquette ) River as a transportation highway. The number of footfalls on the carries at and around Raquette Falls is limited only to the imagination. In his book Adirondack Canoe Waters: North Flow, Paul Jamieson refers to the nearby Indian Carry, at Corey’s separating the Raquette River system from the Sacanac River system, as the “Times Square of the woods.” ( Note: In the Adirondacks one “carries” around rapids and waterfalls, one does not “portage.” ) » Continue Reading.
There is a well-known story included in the wonderful Adirondack Reader (a collection everyone on the planet should own, in my humble opinion), which happens to be one of my favorite Adirondack tales. It is a narrative account of the journey of a young teacher and his student on the Raquette River in 1843 when its course was still largely unknown to the white man. Teacher and student made it as far as they could on a raft until they were stopped by debris clogging the river near approaching rapids. There on the banks they were come upon by the soon-to-be-famous guide Mitchell Sabattis. Sabattis and party agreed to guide the young travelers, saving them from their predicament.
The two men needed a proper craft to continue their voyage, so Sabattis and his companions built them a canoe. They selected a tall conifer with a straight trunk and a diameter of a foot-and-a-half and felled it. From that trunk they easily spudded off a sheet of bark roughly five by fifteen feet in dimension. With careful cuts of the outer layer of the bark they folded the whole into a canoe shape, then sowed it in place using the roots of the very same tree as thread. To seal the threads and make the craft watertight they chewed the sap of this tree and made gum which they pushed into the holes. Thus it was that one tree – a conifer of marvelous qualities – supplied the hull of a canoe that carried four men and their gear down the rapids of the Raquette River. » Continue Reading.
This year the Raquette River Blueway Corridor’s Advisory Committee will be hosting several events throughout the corridor during Raquette River Awareness Week (Saturday, July 28th through Saturday, August 4th) to highlight the assets the Raquette River has to offer.
A variety of events held in communities all along the river will feature the grand opening celebration of a canoe access trail to the Raquette River near Moody Falls in Sevey Corners and will be punctuated with three screenings of “The Raquette River Experience”, a travel documentary on the Raquette River produced by the Raquette River Blueway Corridor’s partner, WPBS-DT, Watertown, NY. » Continue Reading.
A new exhibit featuring twenty original Seneca Ray Stoddard photographs of waterfalls in the Adirondacks is now on view at the Chapman Historical Museum in Glens Falls.
Included are popular falls located on the Hudson, Raquette and Ausable Rivers, as well as lesser known falls in remote locations in the central Adirondacks — places that today still are accessible only by foot. Examples are Roaring Brook Falls on Giant, Buttermilk Falls on the Raquette, Surprise Falls on Gill Brook near Lower Ausable, and Silver Cascade in Elizabethtown. The photos will be on display until July 3rd. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Thursday, August 12 and Friday August 13, 2010 at APA Headquarters in Ray Brook, NY.
The Agency will consider a third renewal for the Westport Development Park’s commercial/industrial use permit, a shoreline structure setback variance for Camp Chingachgook on Lake George, a Benson Mines wind project, Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan compliance for the Jessup River Wild Forest UMP, Champlain-Hudson Power Express’s proposed 300-mile, 2,000-MW electric transmission line from Canada to New York City via Lake Champlain and the Hudson River, a memorandum of understanding between the Adirondack Park Agency and the Department of Environmental Conservation concerning State-owned conservation easements on private lands within the Adirondack Park, and the Route 3 Travel Corridor Management Plan. Meeting materials are available for download from the Agency’s website. » Continue Reading.
Ah, the ideal Adirondack day: sunny, mild, few people, no bugs. These circumstances aligned the other day when I paddled from Axton Landing to Raquette Falls.
The six-mile trip up the Raquette River is one of the more popular flatwater paddles in the Adirondacks. (Click here for a description and photos.) Meandering upriver, you see lovely silver maples overhanging grassy banks, kingfishers darting across the water, common mergansers with their young in train, inlets that lead to hidden marshes. » Continue Reading.
If you ever wanted to plan a multi-day paddling trip on some of the Adirondack’s best water routes, the next few weeks are a prime time. Only fall-foliage season beats early spring for sheer perfection.
You’ve got long, sunny days. Even the most popular lakes around, such as Long and Lower Saranac lakes, are mostly free of power boats. And the bugs won’t come out in earnest for another two to three weeks.
After multiple canoe trips this time of year, I’ve found the only thing I miss are the leaves, which had not yet budded during an early-May trip to Long Lake. Having done a trip a few weeks later, where we had leaves but also black flies, I think I’d take the bare trees. However, know that even if it’s the heart of black-fly season, if temperatures are cool enough the bugs will not be a problem. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondacks have a number of remote, difficult trips suitable for either long, single-day trips or for multi-day trips. One notable trip is the Cold River, starting at Tahawus and on to Duck Hole, paddling the entire length of river down to the Raquette, and then either upstream to Long Lake or down to Axton’s Landing.
Another involves a paddle down the upper East Branch of the Oswegatchie to Inlet starting from the Lower Dam on the Bog River, up Lows Lake , and over to the Oswegatchie via Big Deer Pond. (I know of one party that got to the upper East Branch from Stillwater Reservoir and then north via Salmon, Witchhopple, and Clear Lakes.) » Continue Reading.
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 » Continue Reading.
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