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Posts Tagged ‘New York State DEC’

 

Paddling across Paradox Lake in the Adirondack Mountains.

 

What a difference 150 miles can make. We entered the Adirondack Park and the leaves went from green and brown to vivid red, orange and yellow. As we traveled up the northway towards our destination the sights continued to amaze our eyes.

Once we arrived at Paradox Lake, almost 900 acres, we checked out the water and then began to set up camp.  The weather was stellar, sun, light winds and beautiful crystal clear nights. This allowed us to spot numerous falling stars on Saturday night.

On Sunday we paddled around the lake, stopping on one of the island to heat up some soup and down a sandwich. The water was cool and clear. The mountains rose up toward the sky as we paddled west from out campsite.

We sat around our campfire by night and gazed into the dancing flames and glowing coals, thinking how lucky we are to experience such wonderful days.

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One of our friends from the Rhinecliff paddles on the Hudson River during sunset.

We love to  go out and paddle the Hudson River at sunset. It is a quiet, soothing time. Recently we were able to take John and Mary from the Rhinecliff Hotel to see first hand what it’s all about.

Not only did we have a wonderful time watching the sunset, but we were treated to seeing large carp rolling, flipping and twisting there way in a feeder stream and the weeds just north from Rhinecliff. Most seemed to be about 2-3 feet long. Very cool.

We can’t promise performing carp, but we always find something along our way. Join us!

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Two of our guests experience the magic of Tivoli Bays on Sunday.

There is so much beauty to see when you paddle Tivoli Bays, which is made up of two large coves surrounded by wooded bluffs. It is one of our favorite places to introduce people to the water.  From the tidal marsh you get an amazing view of the Catskill Mountains when looking off to the west. Right now all but the highest peaks are covered in spring green.

A turtle rests on a stump in the sun in Tivoli Bays.

As we navigated through the bays we saw narrowleaf cattail (Typha angustifolia), spatterdock (Nuphar advena) and wild rice (Zizania aquatica) interspersed with purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and common reed (Phragmites australis). We also notice larges patches of yellow iris in bloom.

During the tours we spotted great blue herons, a pair of bald eagles, and a green heron.

It is very important to keep the tides in mind when exploring the bays. There is about a four hour window of time around high tide which allows access to the  many wonderful inlets.

As we wound up the tour we drifted up to the north end where the Stony Creek empties into the bay. As we approached the gurgling fresh water, we were greeted by the cool breath of air spilling over the sun-warmed water of the bay. One can only comprehend this magical kiss from the fresh water by experiencing it.

Join us sometime.

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Norrie Point in Staatsburg.

Norrie Point in Staatsburg.

The floating dock with launches at Norrie Point.

The floating dock with launches at Norrie Point.

There are a lot a interesting put-ins for getting into area waterways. Wooden docks, rocks, muck, narrow trails through poison ivy, but by far, the coolest is the floating dock at Norrie Point in Staatsburg.  There are two ways to approach the water. Put your boat in next to the dock, or as I did, put the kayak in the slot and go for it. It is a fun way to get into the water. It has a gentle angle and with a little push at the same time, away you go.

Gull sit on a rock near Norrie.

Gulls sit on a rock near Norrie.

Norrie Point is a busy launch. There are slips for power and sailboats and the ramp usually has a line during the weekends. The kayak ramp keeps you away from the marina’s boat traffic. But be prepared to navigate near waverunners and large boats. Once you make your way out into the Hudson River you will find a beautiful view of the Catskill Mountains to the west. There is an island nearby to explore, but be careful not to get pushed into the rocks by power boat wakes.

Norrie Point is a great place for a picnic, lots of tables and grills and plenty of sights. If you are looking for a quiet getaway, you may want to save it for a early morning mid-week paddle.

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Blooms along Black Creek.

Blooms along Black Creek.

Do yourself a favor. Relax. Take the time for yourself and enjoy a late afternoon paddle at Black Creek. It is worth every minute.

Edie and I dropped our boats in the water at the bridge along Route 299 in Highland. We took the required equipment, ice coffee and bug spray. It turned out the bugs weren’t bad at all, but use care, the poison ivy is growing everywhere.

We started out and headed south. Lily pads and dragon flies lined the banks of the beautifully clear water. Even with depths of 6-8 feet  you could see the bottom.

We slowly made are way along the creek, admiring the abundance of plants and wildlife. Edie spotted a snapping turtle, a very large one at that. I kidded her, it must have been an old tire if it was as big as you say. We laughed then agreed, a very large turtle, honest.

Paddling south on Black Creek.

Paddling south on Black Creek.

Moving along again, we came across two beaver lodges. The first was huge. We stopped, rafted up and broke out the coffee. What a treat on a warm afternoon.  We sat and chatted. Relaxed, leaned back and looked at the hawks flying high above our heads. Soaring with ease.

As we made our way further south the current became increasingly stronger as the water got more shallow. We scrapped the bottoms of our boats on the rocks as when we went under the rail trail overpass. We saw a couple fishing, nibbling bass but no fish caught. We made it only a little further before turning around.

Rafting up for an ice coffee break.

Rafting up for an ice coffee break.

Once we turned around we had both the current and the wind with us. A little stern rudder was all we needed as  we drifted along. Making our way north we spotted what we think was an otter. Unfortunately I was a little slow on the draw with the camera. Maybe next time.

We passed the 299 put-in and continued north for a bit. The water was deeper and wider.  We did not travel too far before seeing a mom paddling with her daughter. They both looked as they were truly enjoying the afternoon. We headed back and pulled out the boats. Total time, about two and a half hours.  What a way to spend a sunny summer afternoon.

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In between the recent thunderstorms we got a chance to get into Tivoli Bays and paddle for a bit. The Tivoli Bays Wildlife Management Area is comprised of 1,722 acres in Red Hook. According to the DEC, which manages the area, it is dominated by two large river coves partially surrounded by wooded clay bluffs. The north bay is predominantly intertidal marsh (386 acres/156 hectares) with a well-developed network of tidal creeks and pools. A similar network of creeks and pools is beginning to form in the south bay’s shallows and mudflats (288 acres/115 hectares). The main tributaries are the Stony Creek and the Saw Kill, which drain a combined watershed of about 48 square miles (124 sq. km).

We found even at high tide the south bay was a very tough launch, so we decided to go up to the north bay. The yellow iris is in full bloom. The tidal creek meandered west as we left the launch. We could clearly make out the top of the Catskill Mountains as we kept an eye on pending afternoon storms.

It has been a wet spring, a great growing season. Not only has the grass and flowers benefited, but as we wandered down the trail it was apparent the poison ivy also benefited. It is everywhere, so use care.

Tivoli Bays is unique area to paddle, from tall grasses to rock cliffs on the islands. There is so much to explore.

Wednesday’s tides: high – 9:12am, low – 4:11pm, high – 9:47pm

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Illustration by Chad Schwimmer

Illustration by Chad Schwimmer

Tivoli Bays is a wonderful area to paddle.  It was designated as a New York State Important Bird Area in 1997.  Tivoli Bays is also designated as a New York Bird Conservation Area in recognition of its unique breeding marsh bird community, its prominence as a staging area for migrating waterfowl including large numbers of black ducks  and its upland forest and shrub areas which provide important migratory stopover habitat for warblers, flycatchers, sparrows, blackbirds, and many other songbird migrants. Often bald eagle and osprey  can be spotted from your kayak. Along with the birds, snapping turtle can be seen stirring up the mud. The bays should be navigated while the tide is high. Another obstacle is the water chestnuts, which become more abundant as the summer season approaches.

If you are interested in paddling Tivoli Bays contact us, we can arrange a tour for you. All equipment is provided, just show up with an adventurous spirit.

Thursday’s tides; low – 12:24pm, high – 6:25pm

Hudson Valley Kayak Tours

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