Re: May section 1 trip
I paddled Map 1 May 14th-17th, 2009 with a ten-year-old and another adult. We slept on Fourth Lake the first night after driving over from Vermont, setting our own shuttle, and probably eating lunch in Old Forge. Our second night was on Raquette Lake, and the third on Forked Lake. There was some snow and ice still along the portage to Brown’s Tract in the woods as i recall, and the first few black flies were out, but not many. This was the same week as the Adirondack Paddlefest which made it hard to find an un-booked shuttle driver. We had rain on the first and third days and were glad to hole up in camp and not make long miles those days. The birding was pretty good and the trillium and goldthread and shadbush were blooming. We encountered only two other overnight paddler groups. Since it was before Memorial Day the campsites and leantos were all but empty. If you are comfortable with the cold water and prepared for the weather those weeks between ice-out and bug season are a really nice time of year for an Adirondack trip.