30 May Saranac Lake Launches New Paddling Challenge
Saranac Lake, in collaboration with local outfitters, the Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce and the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, announces the creation of the Saranac Lake Paddling Challenge. The challenge will officially launch on June 1, coinciding with other events that take place during Celebrate Paddling month.
The Saranac Lake Paddling Challenge comprises five routes, all located within the Saranac Lake region of the Adirondacks.
- South Creek to Second Pond (7 miles, one-way)
- Second Pond to Lake Flower (6 miles, one-way)
- Saranac River – Pine Street to McCasland Bridge (5 miles, one-way)
- St. Regis Chain of Lakes (5 miles, one-way)
- Follensby Clear Pond Loop (4 miles, total)
Paddling challenge finishers will earn the Saranac Lake Paddle Challenge patch upon completing the five paddles. Those who finish all five paddles within two consecutive days will earn an Ultra patch. Challenge participants must register with the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce ahead of tackling the challenge; and then must report their completion to receive their patch. Additional information can be found on the paddle challenge website.
Challenge Organizer Liz Murray explained about the development of the paddling challenge. Murray, an avid kayaker with a passion for exploration, was inspired by the Tupper Lake Triad Paddling Challenge and its sense of achievement. Determined to bring a similar experience to Saranac Lake, she contacted a number of local outfitters, representatives from the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, the Celebrate Paddling Committee, and the Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce to assist with its creation.
Kenzie Marine, ROOST’s Saranac Lake regional manager, echoed the sense of collaboration. “This has been an educational and shared process, one that has underscored our collective commitment to the importance of paddling in the Saranac Lake region,” she said. “We extend our gratitude to the Saranac Lake Village, NYS Department of Conservation (DEC), and all other parties involved in successfully launching the Saranac Lake Paddling Challenge. This offers another unique opportunity for paddling enthusiasts to explore the beauty of Saranac Lake’s waters and forge unforgettable memories. We are truly grateful for the commitment to promoting outdoor recreation and fostering a deep appreciation for our natural surroundings.”
The Saranac Lake Paddling Challenge aims to celebrate the joy of paddling while educating participants about important preservation, conservation and sustainability efforts within the region’s waterways, including the stunning waters of the Saranac Lake region; paddling challenges support that mandate.
According to Sydney Aveson, communications coordinator at the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), one of the most crucial things people should know before tackling the paddling challenges is the importance of ensuring that their boats are clean and dry between paddles or before moving to a different waterway. “‘Clean. Drain. Dry.’ is a simple three-step process that all boaters can follow to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species, which can threaten a healthy ecosystem,” she said. “Boaters can do their part by finding a decontamination station to wash their boats before entering another body of water. To find a decontamination station, visit the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute website.
A number of organizations and individuals have contributed to the planning and creation of the Saranac Lake Paddling Challenge including: Jason Smith and Rich Harris of Adirondack Lakes and Trails, the Celebrate Paddling committee, Brian McDonnell from MAC’s Canoe Livery, Maeghan Farnham from St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, Chris Morris representing the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Anne Fleck from Raquette River Outfitters, and Rachel Karp from the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, along with the NYSDEC, the Village of Saranac Lake and ROOST.
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism is the destination marketing and management organization for Hamilton and Essex counties, along with the communities of Lake Placid, Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake, all located within the Adirondacks in New York state.
Sydney Aveson, communications coordinator
Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism