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August, 2017

Outfitter Publishes 2 New Maps For Paddlers

St. Regis Canoe Outfitters recently published two full-color, waterproof maps for paddlers: “The Whitney Wilderness” and “The Raquette River.” Both are a convenient size—24 inches by 18 inches—and fold up like a brochure. The scale for both is 1:50,000. Though less detailed than U.S. Geographical Survey topo maps, they are more than adequate for paddlers. The maps show roads, parking areas, put-ins, campsites, lean-tos, and carry and hiking trails as well as natural features such as summits, wetlands, and, of course, waterways. Forest Preserve tracts are shaded green, whereas private lands are shown in white. The first map shows the >>More

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

Lots Of Adventure In ‘Explorer’ Outings Guide

Have you ever taken in the vista from Iroquois Peak? Paddled up the Opalescent? Skied across frozen ponds near Fish Creek? Followed Don Mellor on an ice climb above Chapel Pond? You can read about all those adventures and more in the forthcoming Adirondack Explorer’s Annual Outings Guide, an anthology of recreational stories from past issues of the magazine. The regular Explorer comes out every two months, but in between the May/June and July/August issues, we publish the outings guide. Each guide describes a variety of recreational outings—hikes, paddles, ski tours, rock climbs, raft trips. Subscribers who collect the guides >>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

April, 2017

Paddling (And Spelling) An Adirondack River

With the arrival of spring, the Adirondack Explorer is shifting its recreational focus from skiing and snowshoeing to paddling and hiking. The May/June issue, which we are finishing this week, includes my account of a canoe trip on the Grass River that Carol MacKinnon Fox and I did last year. Or were we on the Grasse River? Both spellings are in common use. National Geographic’s “Trails Illustrated” map for the region uses the Grass spelling. The Adirondack Park Agency, however, spells it Grasse in the State Land Master Plan. The U.S. Board on Geographic Names decreed in 1905 that the >>More

November, 2016

‘Explorer’ Publishes Multisport Guide To Finch, Pruyn Lands

The Adirondack Explorer has published a multisport guidebook to the former Finch, Pruyn lands to let people know of the many recreational opportunities on tracts that had been off limits to the public for more than a century. 12 Adventures on New State Lands: Exploring the Finch, Pruyn Tracts has something for everyone: the hiker, the paddler, the mountain biker, the cross-country skier, even the rock climber. The book is a celebration of the state’s acquisition of 65,000 acres of the former Finch lands from the Adirondack chapter of the Nature Conservancy. The last parcel, the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract, was purchased by >>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

July, 2013

Wooden Canoes Gather At Paul Smith’s College

Some 250 new and vintage canoes will be on display at the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association’s annual assembly at Paul Smith’s College on Lower St. Regis Lake this week. More than four hundred wooden-canoe aficionados are expected to attend the assembly, which began today and will last through Sunday. The general public is welcome to visit. One event of note: on Friday evening, starting at 6:45, there will be a parade of wooden boats on Lower St. Regis. Those who pay a registration fee ($15 a day or $60 for the whole event) will be able to take part in >>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

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