Guest blogger Eileen Sheets is a good friend of mine from New York. Although she grew up in The City, she managed to escape many years ago with her husband when they moved north into the Hudson Valley. Eileen shares with us one of the many things that brings her rest, relaxation and joy, kayaking down the rivers of the Adirondacks.
When people think of New York they think of New York City, but there's so much more to the state. The City is like the front door of your house. It makes a statement, but it doesn't tell the whole story. People may pass by the front of your house and never know you have a beautiful back yard full of trees, flowers, a deck or a patio. I prefer backyards.
My husband Bob and I both share a love for the outdoors and the serenity of natural surroundings. The best way for us to enjoy the "backyard" of New York State is by paddling through the lakes and rivers of the Adirondacks. I would like to share with you two paddle routes that we love to take, one is quiet and remote in its beauty and the other is diverse and interactive in its location.
Route #1: Fish Creek - Floodwood Pond Loop, A Paddle Through Serenity
Our favorite Adirondacks paddling route is the Fish Creek/Floodwood Pond loop, a spot near Saranac Lake. Here we go on a circular route through four lakes, two streams and two short carry's, which brings you right back to your starting point. This paddle takes you through 7 miles of a quiet wilderness that feels completely remote.
We can go for hours here without seeing another soul, except for loons, ducks and deer, all of whom never seem to mind when we glide quietly up to them. Looking around, I find myself wondering why millions of people cram together into busy, noisy cities, leaving these wide open spaces empty.
But my busy mind quiets with the gentle rhythm of paddling, the sun and breeze on my face, the crisp smell of pine in the air and the sounds of birds chattering, geese honking and loons with their distinctive calls. The surface of the lakes reflect the mountains that surround me and I lose myself in the peaceful beauty.
Getting There From Albany:
It's 155 miles of beautiful scenery. The drive will take about 2½-3 hours. Take I-87N to Exit 30, take NY-73 west to NY-86 then west to NY-3.Turn right on Route 30. Several miles down will be Fish Creek Campground on the left. Enter the campground and follow signs to Rollins Pond.
Route #2: Raquette River, Paddling Parallel with Society
I love this Adirondack river route because of its diversity. If you leave your vehicle downriver, and put in at remote Axton Landing, you can enjoy an 8 mile paddle. There's a good chance of having this section of the river all to yourself. While paddling with the current, you are surrounded by fields and woods with mountains just a few miles away.
The river snakes around you so the scene is constantly changing. A few miles down river you meet up, and run parallel, with NY-3. Vehicles whiz by with no idea that you're there, and you notice things that you would never see from your own car.
Even further downriver you come across a part of the road where there are houses. As you quietly pass along their backyards you begin to see how the people here really live, and you understand what is important to them.
Perhaps their beautifully landscaped yard is filled with flowers, or it could be terraced and decked - arranged in perfect settings for company and conversation. They could have a boat. Or maybe there is a swing set or toys, telling you that this is a backyard for kids. But regardless of what their yard says about them, everyone here is always friendly as you paddle by.
Getting There From Albany:
Follow the above directions to west NY-3. Continue on NY-3 about 12 miles until you come across Corey's Rd on your left. Follow this bumpy, seasonal road for about 3 miles. Look for a small sign on a tree that points to Axton Landing, which will be down an even bumpier road off to the right. There is parking for several cars and a place to sign in with time and route.
The City is like the Front Door of Your House, I Prefer the Backyard
Kayaking along the quiet waters of the Adirondacks is a very fulfilling experience. It is a gentle workout for your body, while it quiets your mind, pulling you completely into the moment. All your senses are engaged by your surroundings and all your stress melts away. When your kayak rounds that final bend and you see your car at the boat launch, you know that for the rest of the day you will carry the feeling of well-being and peace that came from paddling New York's backyard.
And now we'd like to ask you: Is there a specific place or activity that you turn to whenever you feel the need to erase the stress and worry of everyday life?
Guest Blogger: Eileen Sheets
Eileen is an outdoor enthusiast
who has spent the last 8 years
exploring quiet paddling routes
in New York, Connecticut,
Massachusetts and Florida. She
writes training and marketing
material, as well as trade magazine
and e-zine articles. "But that's
work," she says. "This was fun."
I'm JR. I come from a long line of adventurers, some were nomadic explorers of the sea and others wandering cultivators of the earth. Ultimately, this legacy of drifters has deeply affected my view of travel. Read more...