The organizers of Celebrate Paddling month are excited to announce that the month-long paddling festival is back.
Nearly all of our 2020 events had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the lack of events and races, people took to the water in droves, as interest in outdoor recreation boomed. Already, local outfitters are seeing this trend carry over into 2021, even as COVID restrictions are lifted.
Celebrate Paddling began in 2016 with the goal of featuring paddlesport events, races, presentations, guided trips, river clean-ups and more in Saranac Lake. Over the years, the event has expanded to include surrounding Tri-Lakes area communities, including Lake Clear and Tupper Lake.
This year, our schedule includes two races — the Tupper Lake 8-Miler on June 26 and the Celebrate Paddling Invitational on June 27 — as well as virtual presentations, river clean-ups on the Saranac and Raquette rivers and guided trips in the St. Regis Canoe Wilderness.
The Tri-Lakes area offers some of the best paddling in all of upstate New York and the Northern Forest. We hope you’ll join us this month at some of our offerings. You can find the schedule and other details at celebratepaddlingadk.com.
Fish barrier dams are an essential tool for the protection of native and restored fish communities from non-native species that could devastate the current native fish populations.
The Little Fish Pond barrier dam is the lowermost fish barrier dam protecting the waters of the Saint Regis Canoe Area from invasion by non-native species. It was built prior to one of the biggest reclamation projects in NYS history. In 1952-1954,14 ponds and 21 miles of inlets, outlets, river and tributaries were treated to restore wild trout populations.
The main part of this dam was rehabilitated in 2015 and 2016 by Region 5 fisheries staff and the Student Conservation Association (SCA). In 2020, fisheries staff built a new splash deck to prevent scour in the river channel below the dam from forming a jump pool. From start to finish, DEC and SCA staff have spent nearly 1,100 labor-hours on this dam. The improvements should protect these valuable resources while providing a unique angling experience for many years to come- a true testament to the lasting value of such an endeavor.
Long Pond Mountain (2,530 feet), located in the St. Regis Canoe Area is a great destination that covers both paddling and hiking in one trip.
The trailhead is located on the shores of Long Pond and can be reached by a paddling 1.5 miles from the main Long Pond hand launch site off Floodwood Road in the St. Regis Canoe Area. » Continue Reading.
Western Trails, the fourth of six volumes in Adirondack Mountain Club’s (ADK) Forest Preserve Series is set to release the beginning of February.
The guidebook includes 7 Wilderness areas, 13 Wild Forest Areas, the extensive St. Regis Canoe Area, 1 Primitive Area, and 2 state forests. Also included is the relatively new Cranberry Lake 50, a 50-mile hiker’s challenge that falls within this region. » Continue Reading.
Finding the balance between solitude and companionship during a paddling trip is often a challenge.
Looking for companionship a few years after moving to the Adirondacks, I found myself sitting with a group of eight women on a rocky outcrop on Moose Pond, taking a lunch break on a canoe outing. “We went to Germany for three weeks this winter” one of the women said. “Our trip with the grandchildren turned into a nightmare” replied a second. They go on-and-on talking about their travels and grandchildren. What’s happening? Why am I here listening to all this chatter in this supposedly tranquil wilderness, my confused mind shouted. We might as well be in Starbucks!» Continue Reading.
I wanted to find an excursion in my solo canoe that provided solitude and where I’d feel challenged, but not in danger. A big order, as in 1993 I had no friends, or even any colleagues, in the Central New York area I could consult who had knowledge of remote areas of the Adirondacks. So I read guidebooks and studied Adirondack maps.
Descriptions of the headwaters of the Saranac River caught my interest, as my first canoe adventure had been through a Girl Scout trip on Upper Saranac Lake many years before. » Continue Reading.
Sometimes my choice of canoe-camping adventure in the Adirondack Park is based on the lowest chance of family mutiny. My husband Jack and our three teens, Parker, Dom, and Zoe, still reeled from the memory of a 1.25-mile carry around Raquette Falls during a two-nighter down the Raquette River a year ago.
Loaded down with heavy boats and an overabundance of unorganized gear, we had grossly underestimated the portage distance and the ferocity of welt-inducing mosquitos. I was loath to ask my clan to ever portage again, but when the opportunity arose to paddle from Hoel Pond to Long Pond in the St. Regis Canoe Area, the desire to introduce my family to this eighteen-thousand-acre, motorboat-free canoeist’s Eden was too great. » Continue Reading.
St. Regis Canoe Outfitters has published two new waterproof maps for paddlers, one covering the three Saranac Lakes, the other covering the St. Regis Canoe Area.
The color maps cover some of the same territory as the Adirondack Paddler’s Map, also published by St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, but the new maps are more detailed and, being smaller, easier to handle.
They’re also less expensive: $9.95 versus $19.95 for the Adirondack Paddler’s Map (which is four times as large).
“Many first-time visitors are going to grab a $10 map before they grab a $20 map,” said Dave Cilley, owner of St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, which has stores in Saranac Lake and Floodwood. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released the draft unit management plans (UMPs) for the Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower Historic Area and the Saint Regis Mountain Fire Tower Historic Area. The UMPs contain management proposals for the fire observation towers located on the summit of Hurricane Mountain in the Town of Keene, Essex County, and the summit of Saint Regis Mountain in the Town of Santa Clara, Franklin County.
The Hurricane Mountain fire tower was discontinued for use as a fire observation station in 1979, and the Saint Regis Mountain fire tower was shut down in 1990. Both structures have been closed to the public ever since. The UMPs propose to restore the two fire towers to a condition that will accommodate full public access of the structures and include interpretive materials related to the towers’ history. » Continue Reading.
The hearings on the classification of the former Finch, Pruyn lands are finished, but the public can submit written comments to the Adirondack Park Agency through July 19.
In one such comment, a former APA board member recommends classifying the Essex Chain Lakes a Canoe Area.
Rick Hoffman, who served on the board as a representative of the New York State Department of State from 1998 to 2008, argues that a Canoe classification would be as protective of the natural resources as a Wilderness classification and would stimulate paddling tourism. » Continue Reading.
If you know cross-country skiers, by now you’ve heard the complaints about the lack of snow. After last week’s thaw, the Adirondack Ski Touring Council reported that no part of the 24-mile Jackrabbit Trail between Saranac Lake and Keene could be recommended for skiing.
I’ve done a fair amount of the complaining myself, but I enjoyed perfect conditions this past weekend on the ponds in the St. Regis Canoe Area. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its regularly scheduled monthly meeting this Thursday, October 14, 2010 at APA Headquarters in Ray Brook, NY. The October meeting is one day only.
Among the issues to be addressed will be water quality and shoreline protection measures, a change in the reclassification proposals related to fire towers on St. Regis and Hurricane Mountains, the Watson’s East Triangle Wild Forest Unit Management Plan, the expansion of Cold Spring Granite Company’s mine in Jay, a new 510 campsite campground in Fort Ann, and Barton Wind Partners will request a second renewal for wind monitoring masts located on Pete Gay Mountain near North Creek. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold three public hearings regarding the assessment of alternatives to amend the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (SLMP)related to the fire towers in the St. Regis Canoe Area and Hurricane Mountain Primitive Area. The APA is also accepting written comments on this matter until August 25, 2010.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its regularly scheduled monthly meeting this Thursday and Friday (May 13 and 14) at APA Headquarters in Ray Brook.
Among the items the Agency will be considering are a General Permit for the replacement and doubling of existing cell-towers and possible classification alternatives for fire towers in the Hurricane Primitive Area and the St. Regis Canoe Area. These could include reclassifying a small area around the base of the fire towers to a Historic Area classification, revising the State Land Master Plan. » Continue Reading.
The staff of the Adirondack Park Agency has raised several objections to the Local Government Review Board’s proposal to reclassify the tops of Hurricane Mountain and St. Regis Mountain as Historic Areas so that fire towers on the summits could remain.
APA spokesman Keith McKeever said the staff is not making a recommendation. However, the staff comments submitted to the APA commissioners are more negative than positive. » Continue Reading.
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