Where is the Adirondack North Country? Well, like we said earlier, it's a state of mind as much as it is a place on a map. Still, we paddlers can't ignore geography, can we? So here goes.
Start at Peeble's Island, in the Hudson River north of Albany, and head west on the Mohawk River-Erie Canal until you reach Three Rivers, just beyond the western end of Oneida Lake. Now point your bow north and head down the Oswego River. When Lake Ontario opens before you, hang a right and hug the eastern shore until you reach the head of the St. Lawrence River at Cape Vincent.
Now go east with the big river along the international border. Canada is on your left. The United States is on your right. When your reach Akwesasne (the St. Regis Indian Reservation), pull your boat out of the water and catch a ride with someone driving east to Rouses Point, on Lake Champlain. Once there, launch your boat and paddle south along the hundred-mile length of the lake. The morning sun will light the summits of the Adirondack High Peaks to your west. Evening will bring a touch of fire to the tops of the Green Mountains of Vermont in the east.
After you pass the Drowned Lands, leave the outlet of South Bay on your right and enter the Champlain Canal. It will take you back to the Hudson River at Fort Edward, just below Rogers Island. Go with the flow on the Hudson. Forty miles downriver, you'll see Peeble's Island on your right. And you'll have circumnavigated the Adirondack North Country. It's an inland island of forest and peak, of river, bog and lakeand it's located right on the doorstep of North America's largest city.
It's also home to the Adirondack Park, a six-million-acre patchwork
quilt of public and private land that was created by an act of the
state legislature in 1892. Taken as a whole, the 2.6 million acres of
state-owned land in the Park is the largest forest preserve in the
United States east of the Mississippi. It's also a paradise for
paddlers. Nineteenth-century writer E.R. Wallace christened it the
"Venice of America," and he wasn't too far wrong. Looking for big
lakes? There's Lake Ontario in the west and Lake Champlain in the
east, not to mention Lake George, the largest body of water entirely
within the Adirondack Park. Do you prefer more intimate environments?
A glance at a map will show you hundreds of smaller lakes, ponds, and
bogsand the beavers are always making more! Or would your rather
paddle moving water? No problem. Whether you prefer the placid oxbows
of the Raquette above Tupper Lake or the white-knuckle thrills of the
Class V drops on the Black River below Watertown, you're sure to find
what your looking for.
|And what happens when you're tired of paddling? Take a hike! The Adirondack Mountains are a cross-border salient of the Canadian Shield. Some of the oldest rock in the world can be seen here. The Adirondack High PeaksNew York's loftiest mountainsrise to a climax at the summit of 5,340-foot-high Mount Marcy, and there are forty-five more peaks over 4,000 feet. On the water or off, the Adirondack North Country has something for everyone.|