Many tourists heading for the High Peaks may not realize that much of the Champlain Valley lies within the Adirondack Park and that it offers plenty of outdoor recreation. The next issue of the Explorer will carry an article on hiking trails near Elizabethtown. Kayakers and bicyclists might be interested in a recreational map of northern Lake Champlain published this spring by Huntington Graphics of Vermont.
“Bike and Kayak Map for Northern Lake Champlain,” which is in color, sells for $4.95. It describes seventeen paddling routes (six starting in New York) and thirteen road-bike routes (five in New York).
The map shows only the put-ins for kayak trips. The destinations on the New York side are Point Au Roche, Long Point, Valcour Island, Ausable Point (and the Ausable River delta), Schuyler Island, and Willsboro Bay. My main criticism is that it omits the paddle around Split Rock and past the stunning Palisades, which can be done from Westport or Whallon Bay. However, the Palisades can be seen on one of the Vermont trips.
The bike routes are highlighted in yellow. Those on the New York side range from 12.4 to 38.3 miles. The longest actually is a two-state trip, requiring ferry rides between Port Kent and Burlington and between Essex and Charlotte. I’ve done this, and while it is a great trip, you should be prepared for traffic south of Burlington. The trip I would find most appealing is a 29.5-mile ride through the hills of Essex and Lewis. An easier trip follows the Ausable River west of Keeseville (12.4 miles). The other two New York rides explore the rural countryside near Plattsburgh (23.5 miles) and Peru (19.2 miles).