From the Field: NFCT Project Coordinator in Saranac Lake

By Sam Brakeley

Work has progressed smoothly on the NFCT’s two paddler access projects in Saranac Lake these past several weeks. The NFCT’s 740 miles pass through Lake Flower, on whose banks the town of Saranac Lake rests. A vibrant paddling community, the town of Saranac Lake has come together with the NFCT to sponsor these projects to improve paddler access on the lake. For the past several weeks I’ve been on the ground coordinating project efforts.

Ground was broken on September 17th at Baldwin Park where a two-tier timber crib filled with gravel and with a ramp running through the center nears completion. Several volunteers joined me on Sunday 9/23 to put in a strong day’s work setting the timbers in place, pounding re-bar, and grading the ramp. We had a great time and accomplished a significant amount of work. A few details remain but the project is all but done, thanks to a lot of sweat and effort!


Volunteers work to install timber at Baldwin Park

The following week, work focused on the second project: building a stone staircase on Lake Flower for the portage around the Lake Flower dam. Volunteers have again been a huge boon and we’re moving along there as well. In addition to local resident help, a crew of six students and one professor from Paul Smith’s College joined me on Tuesday 9/25 to move a Herculean amount of rocks. A big thank you to Paul Smith’s!

The first rocks set in place for the staircase on Lake Flower