The Fourth of July weekend marked the first Northern Forest Canoe Trail Waterway Work Trip of the year. Interns and a group of dedicated volunteers gathered on the Saranac River in West Plattsburgh, New York to work on a new campsite and reroute a portage trail.
The campsite along the Saranac River showed some signs of previous use: an old grill, a grown over fire ring and pieces of trash here and there. Over the course of the weekend, the campsite was transformed and the crew helped to establish a designated tenting area by clearing brush and leveling ground.
Noah and his partner Bess built a picnic table. Brian, an NFCT Trail Maintainer from the heart of the Adirondacks, and intern Matt built a box privy. Brian’s wife Kathy, also an NFCT Trail Maintainer, and intern Evan built a canoe lock station, ensuring a safe place for paddlers to store canoes overnight.
The carry around Treadwell Mill Dam and Fredenburgh Falls was also rerouted during the work trip, creating a shorter, safer transit for paddlers.
After the workday under stormy skies, the interns cooked a delicious, celebratory Fourth of July meal featuring “Gerj Burgers” (made by intern Matt Gerjol), potato salad and corn on the cob.
We were joined by a young French couple who were through paddling the NFCT with their toddler. Interns, volunteers and through paddlers all sat down to dinner on the newly built picnic table and listened to fiddle and guitar music by Noah and Bess, the falling rain, the distant fireworks and the rushing Saranac.