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Adirondack Explorer

September, 2017

Big, Wild, and Connected: Scouting an Eastern Wildway from the Everglades to Quebec
Author: John Davis

Review by: Tim Rowland

The mission of John Davis is not entirely dissimilar to that of the biblical Noah. Davis is out to protect a broad platform of species in an unconventional way that faces both long odds and more than a few arched eyebrows. The central idea is that up and down the lands that parallel the Eastern Seaboard there are insular swatches of wilderness large enough to serve as habitats for big predators, such as cougars and wolves. Davis, and conservationists like him, would see these parks and forests connected in a way that would sustain a population of wolves and allow >>More

April, 2016

So There We Were: River Running in the Hudson Gorge
Author: Jeff Dickinson

Review by: Michael Virtanen

The flow of history Book review by Michael Virtanen Jeff Dickinson’s history of running the whitewater of the Hudson River is weighty with research: it has 111 pages of footnotes and bibliography. Those follow his 237-page narrative that launches with descriptions of the landscape and Colonial explorers, flows on through decades of log drivers and adventurers, then crests with the commercial rafting that began in the 1980s and brought tourists to the Adirondacks in the once-spare shoulder season of melting snow. Rafting has since matured into a spring and summer enterprise that extends even into autumn. Dickinson, a whitewater guide >>More

May, 2013

Women on Water
Author: Ruth Dandrea, Kathy DeLong, Carol Moseman, and Bonnie Sanderson

Review by: Betsy Kepes

Women on Water is a difficult book to categorize. It looks like a guidebook, with a table of contents that lists twenty-five day trips, most of them in the southwestern Adirondacks. Flipping through the book I admired the hand-drawn maps, beautiful pen-and-ink drawings that reminded me of Nancy Bernstein’s work in the Adirondack Explorer. Black-and-white photos show kayakers in scenic locations and close-ups of loons and butterflies. But don’t expect many facts and figures in this book. The trip descriptions rarely include landmarks or mileage, and the maps do not include a scale. I wondered, is the Francis Lake trip >>More

November, 2012

Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures
Author: Phil Brown

Review by: Gillian Scott

Long before I went car camping with high school friends, before I discovered the High Peaks, before I explored nature preserves close to my Capital Region home, I saw nature from the middle of a canoe. Nestled next to my brother in my parents’ Grumman, I trailed my fingers in the water and watched the eddies swirl off my mother’s paddle as the shoreline drifted slowly by. I had forgotten the meditative peace found on the water until this summer, when my husband and I tried canoe camping for the first time in the St. Regis Canoe Area in the >>More

May, 2010

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail The Official Guidebook
Author: Mountaineers Books

Review by: Phil Brown

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a paradox. It’s been around forever, but it was “completed” just four years ago. Whatever, we’re glad it exists. The NFCT is a 740-mile water trail that follows Native American paddling routes. It starts in Old Forge and ends in northern Maine, after passing through Vermont, Quebec, and New Hampshire. This includes sixty-two carries, totaling fifty-miles. You can paddle it in the other direction, but that will require more portaging. The nonprofit Northern Forest Canoe Trail Inc. has done a great job of promotion. Over the past ten years, the group has put up >>More

November, 2008

Adirondack Paddler’s Guide
Author: Dave Cilley


Some of my favorite canoe trips are included in Adirondack Paddler’s Guide, a highly welcome guidebook by Dave Cilley, the owner of St. Regis Canoe Outfitters in Saranac Lake and Floodwood. The Lower Osgood is one of them. I’ve paddled and written about it many times, though only once did I choose to start from the highest navigable point, encountering, as Cilley warns, considerable brush-whipping from alders whose branches had grown across the river. It can be a little disconcerting when faced with a brisk spring current. The branches sting, they tear off eyeglasses and hats, and there is little >>More

May, 2004

Canoe and Kayak Guide East-Central New York State
Author: Kathie Armstrong and Chet Harvey

Review by: MARK BOWIE

The Adirondack Mountain Club Canoe and Kayak Guide: East-Central New York State is the fourth in a series of guides to the canoeable waters of the state. It replaces ADK’s Adirondack Canoe Waters: South Flow and is chock-full of good information. Unlike its predecessor, this guidebook ranges far beyond the Blue Line to describe major rivers and tributaries in central and eastern New York and western Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Its focus, however, remains the Adirondacks. The Adirondack waters covered include the Hudson, Cedar, Miami, Boreas, Schroon and Sacandaga rivers, Cheney Pond, West Canada Creek, and Northwest Bay Brook on >>More

May, 2004

Adirondack Paddler’s Map
Author: Dave Cilley

Review by: MARK BOWIE

Paddlesports Press of Saranac Lake recently released the Adirondack Paddler’s Map, a waterproof, double-sided foldout of the northern Adirondack canoe country. It is a full-color, shaded-relief topographic map measuring about 36-by-44 inches. Though the generous size can be unwieldy, that can be excused, as it covers hundreds of miles of our paddling waters. It is absolutely beautiful! The cartography, based on state and federal geographic data, is by John Barge and Meg Van Dyck-Holmes. The map is the brainchild of Dave Cilley, owner of St. Regis Canoe Outfitters. He notes that the map’s scale of 1:50,000 (1 inch = 0.8 >>More

March, 2002

Quiet Water Canoe Guide: New York
Author: John Hayes, Alex Wilson


To broaden one’s horizons, try the Quiet Water Canoe Guide: New York. Here everything is our oyster—literally, from the oyster beds of Long Island to Coles Creek on the St. Lawrence River, from East Bay on Lake Ontario to the Erie Canal and onto Lake George. Here is complete how-to and where-to information for over 100 destinations— more than a third of them in the Adirondacks. New York state is indeed a rollicking paddler’s fantasy, “one of the most watery corners of the continent,” says writer Bill McKibben. One of the lesser-known destinations in Quiet Water Canoe Guide is South >>More

March, 2002

Fun on Flatwater: An Introduction to Adirondack Canoeing
Author: Barbara McMartin


If you are not in to risking your neck, the perfect paddling guide is Barbara McMartin’s Fun on Flatwater: An Introduction to Adirondack Canoeing. This is my favorite sort of adventuring, for contrary to what seems to be the vogue these days, true adventure does not require a near-death experience. Pity those compelled to trek up Everest, hang from cliff faces or kayak down Peru’s Colca River, plunging down 20-foot waterfalls. Such activities are more about proving oneself than discovering and relating to the out-of- doors. Fun on Flatwater is a good, usable guide delineating the many miles of pristine >>More


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