Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail Long Lake to Village of Saranac

Fellow Outdoor Adventurers,

Paddling Film Festival World Tour will soon hold a film festival. I selected this particular film company because we have attended prior shows by them, and they had no NFCT films. Given our many Northern Forest Canoe Trail accomplishments, I have decided to submit a movie of our NFCT Section 2 experience for the canoeing documentary category.

I suggest you sit your friends and family down, make some popcorn, gather your favorite drink, and together watch this draft of the Paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail Long Lake to Village of Saranac.

Please send me your comments on the video.

Here is the 50-second Trailer I developed to promote the 50-minute "Paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail Long Lake to Village of Saranac."

50-Minute Film

--Below is the Description I will include along with the video--
Welcome to the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. The NFCT is a living reminder of when rivers were highways and communication routes. The Trail is 740-miles of historic waterway traveled by Native Americans. Its west to east direction begins in Old Forge, New York, and travels through Vermont, Quebec, New Hampshire, and ends in Fort Kent, Maine.

The NFCT is divided into 13 sections and has detailed maps for each section. Our journey was Section 2 in the Adirondack and Saranac region of northern New York. We began at the Long Lake bridge paddling in a north-east direction and ended 42-miles and 3 ½ days later at the Village of Saranac. Our trip included transfers through two hand-operated locks to convey paddlers between waterways and three very demanding portages totaling 11.5 plus miles.

Our 3 ½ day itinerary:
  • Day 1: A 15-mile paddle on Long Lake, then a 1.6-mile portage around Raquette falls – which took three trips for a hike of 4.8-miles - with our day ending at the Palmer Brook lean-to on the Raquette River.
  • Day 2: Raquette River to Stony Creek Ponds, a 1.1-mile Indian Carry portage - which took five trips for 5.5-miles - and the .4-mile, Bartlett Carry, into Middle Saranac Lake for a paddle to our campsite on Norway Island. We paddled twelve-miles on Day 2.
  • Day 3: We paddled through the Upper Locks into Lower Saranac Lake to our campsite on Partridge Island. About an 8-mile paddling day.
  • Day 4: Lower Saranac Lake to First Pond into Second Pond and through the Lower Locks of the Saranac River into Oseetah Lake, and then into Lake Flower for our take-out at the Village of Saranac Lake. An 8-mile paddling day.
This Section 2 water highway has no fresh drinking water sources. Dehydration can be a major issue. We restocked our drinking water at night, boiling lake water with our Jet Boil.

On day 3 we paddled from our Norway Island campsite on Middle Saranac Lake to Partridge Island campsite in Lower Saranac Lake. We started day 3 with another great breakfast by Chef John. We appreciate John's menu planning, food acquisition, and indeed, his meals are fit for royalty.

We paddled through the self-operated Uppers Lock from Middle Saranac Lake to Lower Saranac. Enjoy our video of our lock transition as we thoroughly appreciated the experience of going from a higher lake to a lower lake – bypassing a strict set of rapids.

On our last day on Section 2 of the NFCT we paddled from our Partridge Island campsite through another hand-operated lock to Oseetah Lake. Experience the transitory and unique Lower Lock feeling of our canoes and gear being transported via water from Lower Saranac Lake to Oseetah Lake.

The paddling was easy and we soaked in the wilderness and beauty of the Adirondacks.  We saw deer, huge rock formations, swam in the lakes each evening, and watched sunsets from our island campsites.  

After we did our final take-out  at the Village, we went to the NFCT Kiosk and signed the NFCT log book.

Never say, "I wish I had paddled the Northern Forest Canoe Trail Section 2 in the Adirondack and Saranac wilderness."

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