Northern Forest Canoe Trail Partners with Enel Green Power North America to Make Carry Safer

This past summer, the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) and Enel Green Power North America (EGP-NA) created a campsite and re-routed a canoe carry along the Saranac River in Plattsburgh, New York. The new portage provides a safer way for paddlers to bypass Treadwell Mills Dam and Fredenburgh Falls.

The previous portage was a 1.1 mile walk on the public roads of Church Street and Carbide Road. The new portage is a ¼ mile shorter and now almost entirely on private property owned by EGP-NA the owner and operator of the Lower Saranac hydro plant, a 10.05MW project in Plattsburgh, New York.  This new portage allows canoe- and kayak-bearing pedestrians to avoid walking alongside car and truck traffic.

“We are always happy to have the opportunity to work with local communities, especially on projects such as this that encourage and attract more local residents to enjoy all of the recreational activities that the Saranac River has to offer,” said Dan Jones, EGP-NA’s Operations Supervisor for the Lower Saranac hydro facility. “Safety is such a critical part of our daily operations on site and we are thrilled to be able to bring that same philosophy to the local community by providing a safer walkway for pedestrians.”

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail also created a primitive campsite on the EGP-NA property with a picnic table, fire ring and privy. Work was performed by NFCT interns and volunteers during one of the organization’s eight weekend waterway work trips.

Located seven miles from Lake Champlain, the overnight site helps fulfill the nonprofit’s goal to facilitate multi-day paddling trips along the 740-mile water trail that follows Native American canoe routes from the Adirondacks to northern Maine. The lower Saranac River in particular had been identified as a river section seeing increased recreational tourism, and prime for better infrastructure to handle its use.

“Thanks to the generosity of EGP-NA, we are able to enhance the paddling experience for local canoeists and kayakers as well as paddlers visiting the region,” said Walter Opuszynski, trail director of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. “We ask visitors to respect the private landowner’s property by carrying out what they carry in, and heeding signage.”

The campsite and re-route were made possible in thanks to a grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership funded by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission and managed by the Lake Champlain Basin Program.


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