Posts Taged northern-forest-canoe-trail

5 Days on the Saranacs

5 Days on the Saranacs with the Northern Forest Explorers – including kids from Long Lake! 

I am writing this on a Saturday in July, chilling in my pjs with the best dog in the world,  Dwight, pumped and feeling good from a week on the water. It is my 3rdyear leading the Northern Forest Canoe Explorers, and each year just brings more camaraderie and fun.
On our first trip (of two) this summer, we started at Upper Saranac Lake and finished 5 days later on Lake Flower. Knowing that all of the Saranacs can kick up a serious headwind, I was happy to see flat water in front of us.  This good weather and good fortune followed us through almost the entire trip, which allowed us to concentrate on the good stuff…side trips, challenges and camp tasks.

Kids gathered on a rock next to a lake

Because several of our participants were repeat paddlers, Amy and I are always looking for new challenges to build on what they have done in the past. Camp cooking was one of the things we practiced a few new ways.  Knowing there would only be one carry, we added a Dutch oven to our gear and tried a few “from scratch” meals, including calzones, peach cobbler, and the old camp standby, chocolate pancakes.  Participation, participation!
In every group, the personalities combine to make each trip unique.   Well known routes become new, the Adirondack wilderness works it magic, new friendships are formed and old friendships strengthened. Though I’ve seen this again and again, I can’t say enough about how well this group worked and played together. People came from as close as Long Lake and from as far as Oklahoma.  Every night we had a good fire, started with a magnesium strip and usually supervised by Casey, who was really good at it and helped several others improve their skills.

We stayed one night at Saginaw Bay on Upper Saranac Lake, where the paddlers discovered a loon on the nest at a small island just outside of our campsite. Though we immediately vacated the island, I wonder how that one will fair, this is a spot where every passing canoeist will be wanting to stop and play.  If nothing else it presented a good lesson about respecting wildlife.
On day three we paddled across Middle Saranac and left the boats to climb Ampersand Mt, one of the “Saranac 6”.   Dwight, our 12(ish) old yellow lab, a veteran of many paddle trips, many peaks, and many adventures, is showing his age…such to the point that I wrestled with whether to take him on the Ampersand adventure.  As we approached the steep final mile, I was proud and touched to see Palin and Landen stay back with him and help him find his footing, helping here and there when his older hips made the jump a little tough.   I have no doubt now that it was a good decision to bring him, he’s looking this week like he’s 5 years younger and clearly is ready to go on next week’s strip with us on the Raquette River. And he’s great with kids…loves them. As an added treat we enjoyed ½ hour on the mountain all to ourselves, something that happens much less frequently these days in our well-travelled mountains.

Though I am well familiar with this route, I found new things every day with our troop. We stayed for two days on Weller pond, which I have never camped on. Ruby, a veteran paddler of 4 previous years told us all about Martha Reben, who cured at a camp on this pond a century past. Although I’m quite sure it is the marshmellows, campfires and swim rocks that keep kids coming back year after year, I’m very aware of how much the history of this wonderful area seeps into you….I see it happening to this gang and I am glad to be keep being a part of it.
This group was especially good at making organized fun, From a two minute choreographed music video painstakingly rehearsed for and performed at the top of Ampersand to a pancake breakfast in bed for Cale for his unflagging firewood duty. Even when feet, knees and hands got blistered and scraped, everyone kept the sunny side up; attentive to chores, respectful to each other, living in the present.  I thought of this watching Carerra dig some shrapnel out of her feet with tweezers and a safety pin.  We’re really proud of this group.

Other notable notes:
Twizzlers can be put into pancakes
Amy should not be allowed unchaperoned into stores with whoopie cushions and fake poop
Nobody in our group knows what “debonair” means , and without phones, they can’t google it
Cameryn always wants to be the judge for the best chef contest (or really any contest), but don’t let her, she’s corrupt!
Cale can cut firewood forever. Fitting, as he will be playing sports for Tupper Lake as a Woodsman
Galen is a good sport, a stellar paddling companion, and a worthy chess player. (sidenote…I wonder how many Adirondack guides throughout history got to explain the “en passant” rule)
Pancake batter baked in hollowed out oranges is disgusting (right Tallie?)
Oh no, I lost the game…
Matt Burnett, July 2019

Dumpster Canoe Stops in Raquette and Long Lake on their way to Maine

This fine Tuesday morning, while indulging in my coffee and the the last of my half and half and taking a moment to look out over the dewy grass and still bare trees, while multi-tasking and keeping up with the news of the day, I happened upon a Facebook post on the Raquette Lake Group page by Deb Evans.  

Photo of the Dumpster Canoe in Raquette Lake, NY by Deb Evans.  

On Monday, May 7th, Deb had met up with the couple traveling to Fort Kent, Maine  in a recycled, dumpster rescued canoe.  The mission was to travel the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.  This afternoon while making the rounds to check on water levels of the lake and see what activities were going on in and around the town, I  happened upon Andrew and Kristen resting and regrouping on the Town Beach.  They had embedded themselves in the sand to catch some rays, get some rest and to post images from their their challenging portage around Buttermilk Falls on Facebook.  They were pleased to find the Long Lake Public Restroom and to have access to  the complimentary WIFI at the Long Lake Town Beach.

Andrew and Kristen with their “Dumpster Canoe” on the Long Lake Town Beach. A glorious Blue Sky Day on Tuesday, May 8th and the Black Flies have yet to appear.  So Kristen and Andrew are having a great time!  

Andrew, Kristen and Alexandra Roalsvig, Long Lake, Parks, Recreation & Tourist Director.  Photo by Andrew …. (I’ll have to get his last name!)  

Andrew and Kristen are paddling the 740 miles of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail in their “Dumpster Canoe,”  with a goal of paddling 20 miles a day. Andrew found it in a dumpster and rescued it from it’s debilitated condtion.  The aluminum Sears and Roebuck canoe was bent, had holes and needed some serious TLC to get it river worthy.  Andrew was able to unbend it, and weld a few holes to ensure the boat would navigate the journey.  He finished it up by knocking out some dents and added the final touch, a unique paint job.  Andrew explained he painted Shark Mouths on either end of the canoe, but realized a. he had painted the canoe upside down, and b. he realized when you look at it, the canoe looks like it’s going in the opposite directions. 

For the timetable, Andrew and Kristen had discussed leaving two weeks prior to when they actually set out. With a change in plans and keeping an eye on ice out they started out on Sunday, May 6th and avoided the terrible storms of Friday night.  As far as having navigable waters to paddle, up until the wild storms of Friday night, most lakes still had ice on them. Had they left two weeks ago as originally planned, they wouldn’t have gotten very far.

Kristen gets crackers and cheese

Kristen picks up her cheese and crackers

After a quick chat, they mentioned they wanted to get some snacks.  Andrew was dreaming of sopressata, cheese and crackers, but Northern Borne isn’t open for the season yet, so I happily volunteered and drove Kristen “uptown” to the business district where both Hoss’s and Stewart’s Shops were a bustling.  Kristen was able to pick up cheese, crackers and sausage and enjoy banter with the Stewart’s Shops construction crew, while it undergoes a remodel.

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail Register in Long Lake is across from the Adirondack Hotel.  The register can be found in Raquette Lake right near the Town Dock

On the return to the beach we stopped off at the Northern Forest Canoe Trail register, located across from the Adirondack Hotel. 

Andrew has planned this trip for 12 years and when he met Kristen, now his fiancé, she admitted prior to leaving on this ambitious trip, she had only paddled two times before they set out.  Andrew and Kristen will post updates on their Facebook Page when they have access to wifi or cell service.  

A great pleasure to meet them and we wish them well on this epic adventure! 

Spring Flings and Ideas

It’s Spring in the Adirondacks. There are things to do in the Raquette Lake/Long Lake region even before it’s warm enough to swim.

The Adirondack Lean-To Challenge is New for 2016

The Adirondack Lean-To Challenge is New for 2016

The Adirondack Lean-To Challenge
New for 2016 is the Adirondack Lean-To Challenge This challenge was established to encourage people to get out into the wilderness and enjoy the Adirondacks for more than just a day hike. Through this challenge you will hopefully get a chance to experience it’s true wonders. Spending an evening in an Adirondack Lean-to can be an exhilarating and rewarding experience.This unique challenge requires the participants to try all recreation in the Adirondacks. You’ll hike, paddle and camp in order to complete the challenge. There are three levels of this challenge, but the Regular Challenge requires a total of camping out in 5 lean-tos, do three hikes, two paddles, five nights and five wilderness areas. Got it? Well not to worry, check out the website for details on this new and exciting Adirondack camping challenge.
Hike or Paddle into a lean-to in five of the wilderness or canoe areas and spend the night.

Hiking Just for Hiking Sakes
Not quite up for the committment that the Adirondack Lean-To Challenge beholds, that’s ok. Hikers of all levels can take advantage of some great spring vistas a short distance from Raquette Lake/Long Lake during our bugless, leafless season. Popular favorites (and there are many) inlude, Death Brook Falls, Coney Mountain, Castle Rock and Sargents Ponds. All family friendly hikes a short distance from Long Lake or Raquette Lake depending on your home base. For more info check out hiking descriptions, and gear list check out our hiking page. We also have a list of upcoming Summer hiking expeditions that Joan Collins and Spencer Morrissey will be leading in 2016.
Hiking around Long Lake

You can even get a group of Adirondack Tourism Directors to raft down the river!

You can even get a group of Adirondack Tourism Directors to raft down the river!

Spring Rafting
Here’s a trick! Go rafting in the Spring when the water is high and the rapids are real. The rafting capital of the world launches from Indian Lake NY. There’s a variety of places to choose from. Make your reservation for your weekend and stay in Long Lake or Raquette Lake, both equidistant from the rafting launch. Check out Adirondac Rafting Adventure Sports Rafting Company
Or sign up with Square Eddy and have a unique experience at OK Slip Falls Square Eddy Rafting

Paddling Long Lake part of the Raquette River and the Northern Forest Canoe Trail

Paddling Long Lake part of the Raquette River and the Northern Forest Canoe Trail

Northern Forest Canoe Trail Kiosk has a registration book in Raquette Lake

Northern Forest Canoe Trail Kiosk has a registration book in Raquette Lake

Paddling. Don’t forget your passport!
The ice is out and its an early season to start enjoying the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. The 740 mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) links the waterways of New York, Vermont, Québec, New Hampshire and Maine. Both Long Lake and Raquette Lake offer up kiosks to register and read up on legs of the trip. Long Lake/Raquette Lake is also along the 140 mile Raquette River Blueway Corridor, so checking out the northern portions of the Raquette including Colton all the way north to Potsdam is another way to approach the journey.

Winding Down after the Spring Recreation.

Ok, not everyone is suited for the scrappy lifestyle of the forest floor or a lean-to. And we know sometimes you just want to kick back with your friends after an outing and have a bite to eat, a beer and a soft place to rest your head.

Check out the portraits at the Tap Room.  Look up!

Check out the portraits at the Tap Room. Look up!

Try Monday Night Pastabilities at the Raquette Lake Tap Room. Always warm, filling and a taste of homemade yummyness. Not to mention the right price and massive portions. Call 315-354-4581 for the specials. The Tap Room is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It’s small, quaint, great service and hearty food at a reasonable price. You can’t miss out on this true Adirondack icon.

Grab a growler to go at the new Adirondack Growl and Grub located behind Hoss's in Long Lake

Grab a growler to go at the new Adirondack Growl and Grub located behind Hoss’s in Long Lake

Hungry after your hiking and rafting adventure? Long Lake offers unique spots. Stop into the latest addition to Long Lake’s eateries where a bite into the fresh, baked deli roll by Joe and a build-your-own sammy (well Joe will build it for you) while you indulge in a selection of delectable craft beers and cider. Joe and Ally know their beers, makers and the history. Don’t miss out on this cool, new bistro in Long Lake. Order a growler to-go as a memento of your awesome experience and share with your friends. Adirondack Growl and Grub Located behind Hoss’s Country Corner.

Panini couple with soup at the Post. Comforting post-adventure

Panini couple with soup at the Post. Comforting post-adventure

Don’t forget to check out the panini’s and soups up at the ADK Trading Post. You can get some fishing lures and worms while you’re at it! Panini selection is original and honors iconic Adirondack locations all while pleasing the palate. Panini’s are named for spots from the Pinnacle, Little Tupper, Lake Lila, Sagamore to Coney Mountain – yes, these are all sandwich names. Come down and try one for yourself and don’t forget the soup!

Dina Kennedy Reiki is a great way to heal, refresh your spirit and re-energize for your next spring adventure

Dina Kennedy Reiki is a great way to heal, refresh your spirit and re-energize for your next spring adventure

Healing in the Adirondacks
Let’s just say your are sore, tired, anxious and willing to try new way of experiencing relaxation. Not a massage, not accupuncture, but a virtual combo of different energy techniques are availbale at Dina Kennedy’s Reiki Studio. Dina is a healer, a teacher and a mentor and serves the community in and around the Long Lake area. Her clients love the healing of the Adirondacks region and it’s definitley worth the experience.
Located near Lake Eaton your one stop shopping mall in Long Lake offers Ali Babas Liquor Store, Dina Kennedy Reiki and the Laundramat too at 1601 Tupper Road.

Plenty of activities in the Spring. It’s a great way to come up and explore everything before the season begins. Take a scenic drive with your canoe tied down on top. Plan your own adventure and make sure you let us know how it is! Message us at or to the Facebook Page with stories and pictures of your springtime explorations!

Raquette Lake Tap Room in downtown Raquette Lake.  Friendly conversation and good eats.

Raquette Lake Tap Room in downtown Raquette Lake. Friendly conversation and good eats.

The Raquette Lake Tap Room is a do not miss experience.  Well worth a stop in for scrumptious delights

The Raquette Lake Tap Room is a do not miss experience. Well worth a stop in for scrumptious delights

2011 Year in Review Long Lake Style

What do you remember about 2011? Well already a day has gone by and I’m sure I missed something. So maybe you got to spend a lot of time in Long Lake this year, or maybe you kept in touch via updates and twitter and your friends and relatives. Maybe you drove down Route 30/28N and decided to spontaneously stay for the night and found a Barber Shop Quartet singing on the beach or Martin Sexton signing autographs. Long Lake is small, but makes the most of the seasons and even though we’re off the beaten path and not right off the railroad tracks or the Northway, we still have our fingers on the pulse (from a quiet distance)

The video is a timeline with both events in and around Long Lake and Raquette Lake interspersed with some images of notable news figures of the past year. Trivia is so popular an event, one of the upcoming questions may revolve around some of the images in this piece – so watch carefully.

What did we miss? I know you’ll be sure to tell me.

See you in 2012. Enjoy the show. Moonlighter’s Snowmobile Club Winter Carnival is coming up on January 14, 2012.. THINK SNOW!

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