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Adirondack Explorer

June, 2017

Don’t Be Fooled: Big Brook Is Not Flatwater

I took this photo of Big Brook early Friday evening while driving between Tupper Lake and Long Lake on Route 30. If you’ve driven that highway, you’ve probably admired this scene. And if you’re a canoeist, you’ve probably wondered if the brook can be paddled. It certainly looks inviting. Several years ago, I succumbed to curiosity. At the time, I was researching my guidebook Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures. I thought Big Brook might make the cut. It turned out to be a dumb idea. Big Brook starts as the outlet of Stony Pond in the William C. Whitney >>More


May, 2017

Sneak Paddle Can Be Useful On Adirondack Streams

As mentioned in a prior post, I encountered hellacious alder thickets on Negro Brook near Onchiota this month. However I maneuvered my double-bladed paddle, it got tangled up. I ended up grabbing branches to pull myself through. At the time, I wished I had a short paddle to get through the jungle. A few days later, I learned, quite by accident (literally), about something called the sneak paddle. I had been paddling a Hornbeck Blackjack, a carbon-fiber boat that weighs just twelve pounds. It’s great for small streams like Negro Brook, but it’s not built for rapids. And it turns >>More


May, 2017

Negro Brook Has It All: Thickets, Blowdown, Rapids

The Bloomingdale Bog Trail starts near Saranac Lake and ends eight miles later near Onchiota. Following an old railroad bed, it is ideal for jogging or mountain biking. I recently went to the trail with a different purpose in mind: canoeing. This is an idea I had for a while. Negro Brook flows under the Bloomingdale Bog Trail in several places. I had never heard of anyone canoeing this part of Negro Brook, but the stretches visible from the trail looked navigable. Nevertheless, I figured I should do the trip when the water levels were high. The water was plenty >>More


July, 2014

2 New Maps From St. Regis Canoe Outfitters

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. >>More


March, 2013

Coverage of the Shingle Shanty case

After State Supreme Court Justice Richard Aulisi handed down his decision on navigation rights a few weeks ago, several media outlets wrote about the case. As the defendant in the lawsuit, I tracked the news coverage closely. Given the public interest in the case, I thought I’d share the articles that I found. The news about Aulisi’s decision was first reported by the Associated Press and the Adirondack Almanack (which is owned by the Explorer). The AP must have put the story on its national wire, since the first link is to a version that appeared on the Washington Post >>More


November, 2010

Online auction benefits canoe trail

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is holding its annual online auction through December 3 to raise money for maintaining the 740-mile paddling route. You can bid on 477 items donated by sponsors, including outdoor gear and clothing, paddling lessons,  GPS equipment, and a guidebook to the canoe trail. The Adirondack Explorer donated six year-round subscriptions and six copies of Wild Times, our anthology of paddling and hiking trips. Click here to view all the items for sale. The Northern Forest Canoe Trail starts in Old Forge and ends in northern Maine. The Adirondack leg includes the Fulton Chain of Lakes, >>More


October, 2010

Revisiting the Beaver River

Our latest story about Shingle Shanty Brook has attracted some attention in the blogosphere and elsewhere. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has determined that the disputed stretch through private land is open to the public under the common law right of navigation. Click here to read the online version. The print version in our November/October issue will have a few more details. There’s a chance the dispute will wind up in court. If DEC prevails, it could be a big win for paddlers. Presumably, a ruling in DEC’s favor would affirm that waterways suitable for recreational paddling are subject >>More


July, 2010

Paddling 740 miles in a day

You’re invited to help celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail this weekend. Although the party will take place in Rangley, Maine, you can take part in the celebration right here in the Adirondacks. The NFCT is asking canoeists and kayakers to paddle any portion of the water trail on Saturday, July 24, and report their mileage (and upload photos, if possible) by 5 p.m. The 740-mile trail begins in Old Forge and ends in Fort Kent, Maine. The Adirondack leg includes the Fulton Chain of Lakes, Raquette Lake and part of the Raquette River, the Saranac >>More


May, 2010

A beautiful surprise

I went missing for five days recently. I was out canoeing on various waterways in the western Adirondacks. One day I took two trips on the West Branch of the Oswegatchie. On the second of those trips, I paddled through several ponds owned, largely or entirely, by the Oswegatchie Educational Center, a nonprofit institution in the middle of the woods run by the Future Farmers of America. This was on Day 4 of my mini-vacation. By then I was pretty much sated with scenery. I was thinking to myself that I really needed to see something spectacular to rouse me >>More


May, 2010

Paddling the Middle Moose

In the March/April issue of the Explorer, Mal Provost wrote about a long whitewater trip on the Middle Branch of the Moose River. Not being much of a whitewater paddler, I opted for a long flatwater trip on the same river earlier this week. From Thendara, outside Old Forge, you can paddle down the Middle Moose for more than six miles. The catch is that you have to paddle back upriver. Although the current is slow, even a slow current can be tiring at the end of the day. You’ll need to judge for yourself how far you should venture >>More


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