Urban Kayaking: Liberty Island

I’m a creature of habit. When it comes to kayaking, I go back to the same couple of areas over and over again. This year I made a resolution to spread my wings and explore some new areas.


On July 4th weekend, Liberty Island seemed like a good place to start. I checked the tides. High tide at 7:56 AM, combined with light traffic in the morning, would be my best bet for calmer waters. I aimed for an early start and set two alarms.

I got on the road around 6:40 am, not too bad really. I headed south on the Palisades Parkway. I put in on the New Jersey side at Liberty State Park, paddling solo. I was on the water by 7:40.

Continue reading

Paddling Thirteenth Lake

I put in another work weekend at our camp in North River.  It’s not really work to me — stacking firewood and improving our trails — it’s exactly what I want to do with my free time in summer.


I actually daydream about cabin projects from my desk at work. Six million acres of opportunity for adventure all around, and I’m completely content on just a handful of hectares.

But Thirteenth Lake is practically in our backyard. Big and beautiful and right there, the lake is hard for us to ignore. After working on the Red Trail for the better part of the day we drove to the boat launch and put in. Even on a gray day the lake is a special place.

Continue reading

Rock Pond, NY

Rock Pond NY is one of the easiest and most satisfying places to go, or take a family. It’s right there at the end of a long drive, just a paddle and a portage to a heavenly spot.


For us it started at Putnam Pond, 40 miles from our camp in North River. Through Olmsteadville and Pottersville, out Route 74 towards Ticonderoga, down the Chilson Road to the DEC campground.

We set out on Putts Pond, headed to North Pond and points beyond. Invariably someone, usually me, is hiking around via the trail. Transporting boats over rocky hills is a special skill, and for your sake, I hope you never perfect it.

Continue reading