Paddling

Paddling

Birding By BoatOur birding trip had already been successful when the group I was leading turned its attention to the La Chute River for a canoe trip into Ti Marsh. In fact, we had done so well that we were running late and we had difficulty pulling ourselves away from the birds we were enjoying — although that is the usual state of affairs for such adventures. We even debated skipping the paddle altogether to keep birding from the road instead....
Annually on a weekend in early August, this year on the 12th and 13th, the Crown Point State Historic Site hosts the French and Indian War Encampment. It’s an exciting weekend for the site, as hundreds of participants and close to a thousand spectators gather to commemorate the significant history of this location. Authentically clad French, British, and Native American regiments and groups camp amongst the ruins of two 18th ...
First Paddle of the Season!While we are firmly paddling through warm weather now, it wasn't so long ago that we loaded our canoe for the first ride of the year. Here's a little recap of another great day on the Adirondack Coast.Wren and I met up with a friend, and after enjoying some birding on dry land, we set out on Scomotion (Dead) Creek just south of Cumberland Head. The put-in is accessed from a small parking lot for a doctor’s office and...
A warm startIt was warm and approaching mid-day when Wren and I took to the La Chute River in Ticonderoga to paddle into Ti Marsh the other day. That’s out of the ordinary for me, as I don’t usually paddle during the heat of the day, but that’s how plans sometimes go. I let Wren take a quick dip so she was cool and wet before we pushed off.Birding along the La ChuteThe river offered shade on our way out which was a nice plus, and I hugged any...
Welcome to a huge water playground. Lake Champlain has over 435 square miles of surface — that’s 271,000 acres of fun for any water sports enthusiast. There is a multitude of options to get you on the water along the Adirondack Coast, so pick your pleasure.On the WaterEveryone should have an “on the water” experience on Lake Champlain. The sights, smells, and sensations are unsurpassed. The surrounding landscape takes on an entirely different...
Let’s talk about a different type of training. Were you aware that National Geographic Traveler magazine rated Amtrak’s Adirondack Line as “one of the 10 most beautiful train trips in the world?" Yes, I am talking about a rail line, and the shout-out was in the year 2000, but no worries, the scenery hasn’t changed. I have ridden the Adirondack Line from one end to the other, and I can also tell you the most beautiful section of that trip is...
An overcast day on the waterThe day was gray and overcast as five birding friends and I set off from Willsboro Marina to visit the Four Brothers Islands in Lake Champlain. I had never been to the islands before, but my friend had set up a trip with a local charter company (which usually takes fishermen) and it seemed like a good opportunity to check the islands out. After all, the Four Brothers are well known in the local birding world for the...
A season filled with events is upon us, and so are activities and gatherings of all varieties including weddings, graduation celebrations, and class and family reunions.Anyone organizing a celebration should do some advanced planning. A primary concern is location. The setting needs to be easily accessible for all attendees and should provide shelter if the weather decides not to cooperate. The location also needs to have adequate space for the...
A Chance to ExploreWren and I were exploring the Adirondack Coast and Ticonderoga Area this past week and as part of our adventure we paddled Ticonderoga Marsh. Our trip started off well as a Merlin raced above us as we put-in at the Town of Ticonderoga Recreation Park. We nosed our bow quietly down the La Chute River waving to a few fishermen, who, if we can believe their fish stories, told us they were having good success.Birding as I...
A couple of short weeks from now we will be reflecting on where the summer went. Not that summer will officially be over, but once students head back to school options for even mini-vacations and family outings get restricted. An opportunity for a final bash of summer fun is waiting for you and your family in the Town of Moriah over Labor Day Weekend. The Village of Port Henry and Town of Moriah have been celebrating Labor Day for 126 years!...
Time for a Trip to ChazyWith August in full swing, it was time for me to take a trip to the Chazy Riverlands to check what shorebirds may be migrating through the area along Lake Champlain. I had a bit of a late start, but I like the afternoon and evening at Chazy anyway. I brought my boat since access to Chazy comes by paddling down along the marshes from the Great Chazy River boat launch, but I ended up deciding to walk into the marshes where...
The Lake Champlain Region is vast, extending approximately 75 miles north to south and 30 miles east to west. Obviously first time visitors, or even repeat visitors, never see it all. I don’t think I have. It’s easy to get caught up in the scenic beauty or focus on one unique feature and pass right by many other opportunities without knowing. Therefore, though not exactly “secrets,” here are a handful of tips regarding some lesser-known facts,...
Sunday is often “family day.” The entire family wants time together, but what to do. Where and how to find one destination that will appeal to family members with diverse ages and interests can be difficult. The historic community of Ticonderoga is prepared to cater to a wide variety of family-friendly interests, particularly on August 2nd.  On that Sunday consider making Bicentennial Park the central family hub. Car Show!Antique and...
Paddle the Adirondack Waters with the Right GearFlatwater paddling, sure it’s relaxing, calming, and great exercise, but it should not be taken lightly. The Adirondacks, and especially the big waters in the Lake Champlain Region, have fast-changing weather patterns and sometimes ice cold water. When unforeseen mishaps occur, you can quickly go from a fun day in the sun to a very cold swim in deep waters. Hopefully this will never happen to you,...
When it comes to buying gear for your paddling adventure you shouldn’t make the wrong decision on what paddle to use. There are also special steps that should be taken to get the appropriate paddle for your time on the water. Below I would like to share with you a few important tips to help with purchasing the right paddle and, more importantly, sizing yourself for a paddle.Local rental programs      First, start...
How to decide which boat to buyPicking the right boat doesn’t need to be as daunting and overwhelming as you might think it’s going to be. Sure there are a ton of boats out there to choose from, and many questions you need answered to narrow down the field, but if you are prepared and start your shopping early, I know you can do it and be happy with the results. Go into this experience with an open mind, and you'll come out with a great ride....
Abundance of Recreation and NatureSituated directly on the Adirondack Coast, on Lake Shore Road about half way between the hamlets of Westport and Essex, is an unusual site - a remarkable playground for any outdoor enthusiast. There is a plethora of outdoor experiences and recreational opportunities to be had all in one place, rather a one-stop “shopping mall” for nature lovers. This site has everything: history, water, views, cliffs, forest,...
Putting in on the LaChute RiverWren and I completed a camping trip this past October with a paddle into Ticonderoga Marsh, a beautiful stretch of cattails and mucky edges formed where the LaChute River flows into Lake Champlain. There are two chief ways to access the marsh. The first is to put in at the boat launch near the Ticonderoga Ferry and head south. The second is to use the small boat launch at the Town of Ticonderoga Recreational Park...
Never the Same TwiceEvery time I enter the grounds of Fort Ticonderoga, I feel like I have stepped onto a sacred place. I am somewhat aware of all the hardships, struggles, and sacrifices made on these 2000 acres when our country was just beginning; although I learn and appreciate more with every visit. Thanks to the Fort Ticonderoga Association, the stories here are preserved, explained in intricate detail and become vividly alive. No matter...
Growing Up on Lake ChamplainI grew up in a house right on Lake Champlain’s Adirondack Coast in Westport, NY., where we had a pretty extensive lake shore, complete with a dock, a swim beach and a boat house with an antique winch system to easily launch boats right into the lake and pull them back in to store for winter. We could see the big lake, and Vermont on the other side, from our house. When my sister and I were young kids, we watched...
            Over the past few weeks, local birders have been heading to Chazy Landing to an area where the Great and Little Chazy Rivers empty into Lake Champlain.  The rivers create a small set of mudflats and wet meadows, and since shorebird habitat is difficult to come by in the region, the small area attracts a wide variety of species.  And while the location is on private land...
            I was again birding with friends this past weekend in the Champlain Valley, and one of the places we stopped was at Noblewood Park in Willsboro.  Noblewood has a nice forest of mixed deciduous trees and eastern hemlock and we found a few woodland birds such as tufted titmouse and red-eyed vireo on our walk there.  But we weren’t particularly interested in woodland birds...
The trail up to the top of Treadway Mountain passes through several habitats but my favorite sections are the sloping, rocky, ledges with shallow pockets of soil that have a beautiful array of mosses.  Around the edges there are flowering shrubs and pine trees that give the scenery the feeling of Japanese rock gardens. The quickest way to the trailhead of Treadway is paddling across Putnam Pond from the boat launch. The sky began to drip...
I vividly remember my canoe excursion down the La Chute River in Ticonderoga although it was many months ago. That day was the kind of hot summer day that compels you to be on, in, or near the water. I had heard from others what a terrific (think "easy") paddle it was for someone with my skill level, practically nil. I knew the trip wasn't very far; a couple of miles from the launch at Bicentennial Park to the mouth of the river where it...
I wondered why the parking lot at the boat launch was empty.All day, I knew that it was predicted to rain late that afternoon, and all day I planned to get out on Lake Champlain for a short paddle. Yet I didn't pack up a boat and gear until around 4pm; the time after which there was an increased chance of rain.No matter. There wasn't a hint of a breeze at our house, only a few miles away from the boat launch in Port Henry where I planned to put...