Trip Log: Saranac River, May 2010

By Kate Williams

Member Ralph Ferrusi has done a wonderful job over the years of staying in touch with us as he, his wife Kathy, and his buddy Tim Lewis  have chipped away at sections of the Trail.   They have now completed all of New York, and sent in this pithy summary of their recent trip to complete Section 3, from Saranac Lake to Plattsburgh:

From Ralph:

Four days on the water, with unloaded (day-trip gear only) boats, leapfrogging vehicles towards Plattsburg.

Dave Cilley and Brian at Saint Regis Outfitters in Saranac were very generous with their time and valuable pre-trip information.

Two nights in Saranac motels (Adirondack Motel Highly Recommended).

Two nights in Baker’s Acres Campground, Pickett’s Corners (Highly Recommended).

Two dinners at Nonna Fina, Saranac, two dinners at Rustique, Pickett’s Corners. Both Highly Recommended.

Tim ran Permanent Rapids, otherwise we all did all the carries.

We all bypassed Union Falls to Clayburg. Tim will go back and do it some day, probably with a playboat. I’m satisfied with our “Subaru Portage”.

Water level was good, but could have used a bit more water over the ”wide cobble bars” below Clayburg, and the Class I stretch below Kent Falls. We left behind a little more Royalex than I would have liked.

Weather was good, black flies were an occasional nuisance.

Worth Their Weight in Gold:


12” X 15” Seal Line clear plastic map holder.

A good pair of water/walking shoes.

All in all, another great NFCT trip. We are all already jaw-jabbering about Section 4, and Champlain…

From Tim:

I have to say, I did feel some sadness in crossing the “blue line” when leaving the Adirondacks. It has been wonderful paddling the NFCT there. It’s a true canoe area, and the reception, hospitality, and assistance that you get from the locals has been heartfelt. I plan to return to the Dacks to paddle some of the routes suggested in Dave Cilley’s book, “Paddler’s Guide To The Adirondacks.” By the way, I did get to meet Dave at St. Regis Outfitters in Saranac Lake. He was very helpful in giving me information about the river.

Right now, I have to get back to work. It’s tough. My body is in CT, but my mind is still on the Saranac River.

Ralph putting his portage wheels to good use along the Saranac River.

Kathy enjoys some yoga along the way.


There are 2 comments

  1. For a week at the end of July/beginning of August, 2010, four of us of us will be paddling from Long Lake to the Village of Saranac Lake, 42 miles. I am concerned about getting good potable water along the way. Even though we will have filters, I prefer not to take river or lake water for drinking. Can you provide information or give suggestions for getting information. Thanks.

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