About Tom French

Tom French splits his time between the Adirondacks and the Thousand Islands from his home in Potsdam. More information about his writing can be found at Tom-French.net.

Reader Interactions


  1. Phil Brown says

    Thanks for this account. Seems like a trip for whitewater paddlers in the right conditions. By the way, the official spelling is “Grass.”

    • Tom French says

      Hello Phil — Thanks for reading and commenting on the article. I’m honored. I hope the ruggedness of the paddle was clear in the article. Yes, “whitewater paddlers in the right conditions,” or fools like me that don’t mind floating down. But what can I do when my daughter wants to go on an adventure?

      As for the spelling of Grasse, LOL, certainly you jest! Everyone in St. Lawrence County knows it’s spelled with an e, and some people feel quite strongly about it! We’ll not let some 1905 bureaucrat from Washington misspell the name of our river!

      Even the state agrees — hence the spelling of some signs when you cross the river. I’m sure there are many who would volunteer to write an “It’s Debatable,” even if it’s not.

      FYI — I’ve been enjoying your articles as well. I’ve added the Bloomingdale Bog – Jackrabbit – Rail Trail Loop to my bucket list.

  2. william c hill says

    Yep, it’s Grasse w/ an E. And that E is silent. Occasionally some miscreant gives away his non-local roots by calling it the “Grassy” river. Those folks get the look…

  3. Laurent C says

    Another heritage of French heroism in the region…Tom, you should go visit Grasse, The Perfume Capital of the World, and come back sharing another wonderful travel story!

    • Tom French says

      Hello Laurent!!

      Thanks for reading and commenting. As you may have discerned from the comments, there is a minor contention in the way we spell Grasse in St. Lawrence County vs. the US Government. I suspect someone’s auto-correct was on when the US Board of Geographic Names was making a map back in 1905.

      And as you no doubt realize, given your own French heritage, the river was indeed named after one of your French countrymen. I’ve read it was Francois Jose Paul, Comte de Grasse, a French admiral and hero of the Revolutionary War.

      Next time we have a beer together, you’ll have to educate me on the name nomenclature and any connection to perfume.

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