West Branch of the Sacandaga River gets improved access for paddlers

There’s a new paddlers’ take-out site along the West Branch of the Sacandaga River in the Shaker Place Conservation Easement Tract in Hamilton County, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced recently.

DEC completed rehabilitating the road and parking area for the Shaker Place take-out along State Route 10 prior to the Columbus Day holiday weekend. The take-out previously involved climbing a steep bank to get back to State Route 10.  In 2017, the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Corps (SCA) trail crew constructed a short path between the parking area and the river.

A point-to-point paddle down the West Branch Sacandaga River begins in the Silver Lake Wilderness at the State Route 10 bridge near the Good Luck Trailhead, approximately 14 miles north of Caroga Lake. A location for parking vehicles is available at the put-in site.

The new takeout site is 6.5 miles north. The paddle is approximately 7.8 miles and will take the average intermediate paddler 3 to 4 hours. Paddlers need to take out at the designated site. There are no other take-outs farther downstream.

The take-out site is located on private lands owned by Lyme Adirondack Forestry Company.

DEC’s right to build the site and the public’s right to use it was purchased as part of the 2004 conservation easement acquisition of lands owned by International Paper. There are no public access rights beyond the Shaker Place take-out. There is also no public access on the adjacent lands. Paddlers must stay on the roadway, in the parking area, and on the path to the river.

Other paddling in the area includes access to Good Luck Lake, Chub Lake, and Trout Lake. Access for these lakes begins at the same put-in as the West Branch Sacandaga paddle. Fishing opportunities exist within these waterbodies as well. The West Branch Sacandaga River is currently stocked with brown and brook trout.

About Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch is a multimedia reporter for the Adirondack Explorer. He can be reached at mike@adirondackexplorer.org. Sign up for Mike’s newsletter

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