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Old 06-01-2016, 05:24 PM   #1
jb13
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Hudson River Canoe Voyage

Hello,

I'm planning to canoe the entire length of the Hudson River in the middle of October, from Lake Tear of the Clouds to New York Harbor. Over the past few months I have been researching different canoes and am looking for some suggestions from people with experience canoeing on the Hudson River, especially the Hudson River Gorge.

I really liked the Hemlock Eaglet for my needs, but at over $3,000 this canoe is outside of my budget. It would be great to find something for around $2,000 new or possibly less than that if I can find something used.

I'm a 40 year old male in pretty good shape from doing a lot of hiking and mountain biking. I'm 6'2" and weigh 200 lbs. My plan is to canoe through the gorge solo and then have my 70 lb. dog join me at some point after the gorge. So total weight inside of the canoe will vary from 300 to 400 lbs.

My canoeing experience is limited, but I'm dedicating the next four months to preparing for this trip, including running the gorge with a guide 2 or 3 times over the next few months.

Any advice about canoes, gear, camping, and finding a guide/instructor would be greatly appreciated.

I live in NYC.

Thanks!

Joshua
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:47 PM   #2
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You might want to attend the Northern Canoe Trail "Paddle Freshet Fest" in Saranac Lake on June 10-11. There are several paddle clinics and more than a few experienced canoists who will be available to give you what could be some very important tips for your trip.
http://www.northernforestcanoetrail....shet-Fest--136

You do know that there is a video available of a guy who did this same trip a few years ago. It could also give you some good ideas.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:55 PM   #3
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Be sure you carry the canoe all the way up to the Tear first.
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:43 PM   #4
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Joshua,
Welcome to the forum!!
Hopefully, you'll contribute trip reports and describe your experiences for the arm chair paddlers and enthusiasts alike.
You may want to consider swapping boats for some of the trip...if you're timing your gorge paddling to line up with the Abanakee dam release bubble (do the dam releases continue into October?), an open canoe might not work so well. Maybe a dedicated solo, whitewater canoe with a full set of flotation bags, but that would limit the amount of gear you could carry and honestly, paddling a dedicated whitewater boat on the flat sections would be a drag. An inflatable kayak or "duckie" would serve you well through the gorge. Unless you have sufficient experience in a kayak (including self rescue and a reliable roll), I hesitate to recommend that type of boat.
Conceivably, you could rent the duckie from a nearby outfitter, then continue your trip in a canoe better suited for your weight, load and the river conditions.

As far as paddling all of the Hudson from Lake Tear in the Clouds, you must know that sections of the upper Hudson are simply not navigable, even in spring runoff, let alone mid October. So will you carry your canoe up the slopes of Marcy, only to dip the bow in and claim a check in your box? Or perhaps you haven't yet defined the details of the trip?
It does sound like an exciting goal...I hope your trip is all that you dream it will be!
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:03 PM   #5
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Peter Lourie's paddle down the Hudson using only one canoe:
http://peterlourie.com/journeys/hudson/

"I was the only person ever to canoe the entire Hudson River from its source at Lake Tear of the Clouds on the edge of Mount Marcy to the sea. I made this three-week journey in June through the whitewater at the beginning of the river in the Adirondacks and all the way down past power dams, locks, and then into the big tides of the lower river, ending up in the wild New York Harbor. My daughter was only one when I made the trip, and I missed her a lot. She missed me, too.

Here's a book on the trip"


River of Mountains: A Canoe Journey Down the Hudson

"Lourie completed his trip. It took him three weeks and marked the first time anyone has traveled from the source of the Hudson to the mouth in a single vessel. The Hudson proved to be a very changeable river. It includes seven locks and nine power dams. The northern half is a true river with strong current, but the lower half is tidal, a sunken river from the days of glaciers. In its first 165 miles, it drops more than 4,000 feet to Albany. The second half falls no more than a foot. Lourie's account of his trip is a fresh look at one of America's great and complex waterways, one of the few, in fact, that still contains its historical and biological species of fish. It is also the longest inland estuary in the world. Henry Hudson called it the "great river of the mountains." Nowadays, too often the Hudson is stereotyped as a ruined, polluted industrial river. its glorious past is compared to its present neglect. In River of Mountains, Peter Lourie combines the Hudson's rich history and descriptions of some of the region's most impressive landscape with the residents of its mill towns, the loggers, commercial fishermen, and barge pilots - all of whom are proof that the river is still a thriving, vital waterway."
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:21 AM   #6
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Thanks for your replies!

Wldrns:Thanks for letting me know about the clinic. I had planned a six day trip up that way starting on the 10th to raft the gorge and hike to Lake Tear of the Clouds and Mt. Marcy, but I had cancelled because my dog broke his paw last week. Maybe I'll see if I can find someone to take care of him so I can go to the clinic.

I am aware of Peter Lourie's trip. However, I didn't look too closely because I didn't want it to spoil my mine. I just remember the 12 mile portage and the fact that he used a guide for the beginning of the trip. I will probably have to do the same. There is apparently a documentary coming out made by an Englishman who spent two weeks collecting garbage from NYC streets, built a raft out of it, and then sailed the whole river just last fall. I'm doing this as part of a story that I'm working on. This was initially a small part of it, but now it's become the spine. Now, I need to make the journey myself.

All down hill from here: That would be a tough uphill paddle! haha

Stripperguy: My initial plan was to portage the canoe up to Lake Tear of the Clouds. I haven't figured out all of the details quite, yet. I chose October for the foliage, temperature, and easier rapids in the gorge. I also need to get more information on the Abanakee dam release. I will be making three trips up that way before my final trip in October and gratefully collecting all of the information I can from helpful people like yourself.

Thanks!
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:36 AM   #7
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Sounds like an excellent adventure!

You said "My canoeing experience is limited,"

I knew a guy who wanted to play on our senior hockey team. He bought all the stuff, talked our team "owner" into letting him join. He had all the right equipment and the enthusiasm... Only... he didn't know how to skate much- let alone backwards. ( we were not happy with the "owner/captain"- it was a competitive league) I spent two years skating two or three times a week at open skates, and playing Tues & Sunday night pick up games just to get back into shape before i would even want to join a team...

IMHO, you should rent some boats, or get something cheap, and put many miles of strokes in until your paddle becomes an extension of your shoulders, and the muscles in your shoulders are in shape... and you develop the clever little nuances of working a paddle that paddling is really about... Like when you need to circle into a critical eddy, or dash into a current without thinking about it... you have only a split second to react just right, or you can get into trouble. Renting a few types, you will come to know what you need in a boat, which ones feel better to you, etc. etc. Not discouraging you AT ALL, but The Hudson from Henderson lake is a long rock garden that you can't even long line through, that can damage a light boat in a second ... and the Hudson George ( cliffs on either side- no walking out), from the confluence with the Indian can be a perilous place that experts respect, with help or rescue a very delayed long ways away... then there is the second part, which is none of these things.. ie; a boat designed to travel flat water will not be something you'd prefer to carry up to the top of Marcy, and a boat that carries and turns well will not be something you prefer to paddle several hundred miles of flat water with. (though I would choose the latter). Let alone the multi night solo camp set up and cooking etc.. what that entails in stoves, and tents, and food, water.

It can and has been done, and YOU CAN DO IT... And you should do it... but you do need to prepare- and the best part- preparing will be downright fun. You can paddle in with your dog much more often without coming all the way up here to practice. Overnighters to figure out your gear & food. I've been paddling for over 40 years, camp often, and I'd approach this trip... well read the hockey part above

I am afraid if you don't, then it will quickly turn into something not fun at all.

Last edited by RichieC; 06-02-2016 at 10:02 AM..
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jb13 View Post
I'm planning to canoe the entire length of the Hudson River in the middle of October, from Lake Tear of the Clouds to New York Harbor.

Any advice about canoes, gear, camping, and finding a guide/instructor would be greatly appreciated.
Lots of good info in this previous thread after a similar inquiry last year:

http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=21842


And in case you're wondering about the navigability of the headwaters section below Lake Tear....

http://www.redbull.com/us/en/adventu...ng-spear-video
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:43 PM   #9
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I'm surprised your not interested in studying Peter Lourie's trip, yet willing to take several trips nortn, hire guides, paddle different sections of the river etc.

You've got to be an accomplished white water paddler to handle not just the gorge but rapids both above and below the gorge, especially if paddling solo. And October could entail a fair amount of carries, lining and/or scraping in lower water.

I've actually considered the same trip myself at least down to tidewater, basically Albany. Albany to NY doesn't excite me to much. Though it sounds like you have a different incentive which sounds like a good thing.

I paddled the CT river 2 summers ago, but hiked along the first 14 miles or so (no boat). Like the Hudson , it's just a little brook originating in a beaver pond about 75 yards from the Canadian border. Even then it was just a small stream with lots of walking the boat in shallows. Then several portages up to 2 miles (through a city), then the tidal water near the sound, about the widest change of water you can get on a single trip. The mouth of the Hudson would be even more extreme.I used a wood strip boat I designed and built specifically for tripping, fast, but with some rocker , depth and flair to handle class 2 WW, I've actually used it in some class 3 but without gear.

It looks like your starting your planning early and understand some of the challenges involved, one boat for the entire trip will be a compromise one way or another.

Good Luck, and keep us informed, ask questions here, we will try to help , and remember safety first.

John M.
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:23 AM   #10
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For reference, here is a link to the Abanakee dam release schedule for 2016:
http://www.npmb.com/3/scheduled-releases/
Note that the last scheduled release for 2016 is on Columbus Day, Oct. 10th.
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:48 AM   #11
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Hello,

Thanks for the new responses! And thanks to Wildrns for bringing to my attention the Paddlers Freshet Fest taking place on the 10th and 11th at Saranac Lake. I'll be there?

RichieC: I'm putting the majority of my time between now and October into preparing for this trip. Tomorrow I'm taking a sailing class with a guy who has sailed, canoed, and kayaked up and down the Hudson his whole life. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm going to be doing exactly what you recommended. There is a kayaking company near me that offers unlimited use of kayaks and canoes for $275 for the season. I'm gonna look at their selection and see if it's a good deal. However, I really feel the most important thing is to find a good canoe as quickly as possible and master that canoe. If a guy can do the river in a raft made of trash from the NYC streets, I can do it in a proper canoe! haha Looking forward to learning all I can.

adkh20: Thanks so much for the links! looked it over briefly and will read in full this weekend. I should try and contact the guys from the article for advice.

ConneticutYankee: I'm definitely interested in Peter Lourie's journey, but I remember his writing not necessarily being about the technical aspects of the journey. I'm interested in the logistics, but I don't want his impressions on the beauty of the river to color my own. I'm gonna pick the book up and see what technical information is in there and read the whole thing after my trip. I will also try to contact him for advice.

stripperguy: Thanks for the schedule. What exactly does this mean? Is this just an extra portage if I miss that date?
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:32 AM   #12
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...There is apparently a documentary coming out made by an Englishman who spent two weeks collecting garbage from NYC streets, built a raft out of it, and then sailed the whole river just last fall....
I met that guy and his 2 friends in the Ausable Inn! I had to explain the game of (American) football to him and his 2 crazy friends. Glad to hear he made it.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:39 AM   #13
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Hello,


stripperguy: Thanks for the schedule. What exactly does this mean? Is this just an extra portage if I miss that date?
This photo was taken on 9-28-13 just above the confluence of the Hudson and the Indian rivers. Here is a link to the USGS river gage at Newcomb for a few days around the date of the photo.

http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/n...ate=2013-09-30

You can browse around the USGS database to see typical flows during the Abanakee dam release and correlate the flows to my photo and the Newcomb gage. You will want to see the gage at North Creek to better see the effect of the dam releases. Here is a link to the current North Creek gage data:

http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ny/nwis/uv?site_no=01315500



Also, here is a link to some video of a kayaker in the gorge, it labels the major sets of rapids.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2Q8Igmm1KI
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jb13 View Post
Hello,

I'm planning to canoe the entire length of the Hudson River in the middle of October, from Lake Tear of the Clouds to New York Harbor. Over the past few months I have been researching different canoes and am looking for some suggestions from people with experience canoeing on the Hudson River, especially the Hudson River Gorge.

I really liked the Hemlock Eaglet for my needs, but at over $3,000 this canoe is outside of my budget. It would be great to find something for around $2,000 new or possibly less than that if I can find something used.

I'm a 40 year old male in pretty good shape from doing a lot of hiking and mountain biking. I'm 6'2" and weigh 200 lbs. My plan is to canoe through the gorge solo and then have my 70 lb. dog join me at some point after the gorge. So total weight inside of the canoe will vary from 300 to 400 lbs.

My canoeing experience is limited, but I'm dedicating the next four months to preparing for this trip, including running the gorge with a guide 2 or 3 times over the next few months.

Any advice about canoes, gear, camping, and finding a guide/instructor would be greatly appreciated.

I live in NYC.

Thanks!

Joshua
Josh,
A commendable idea.
But in mid October, the water courses will be at a seasonable low before the fall rains.
I've canoed the upper Hudson in June and there are some boney stretches from Newcomb to the confluence of the Indian River.
Below that is the Gorge, something that I would not attempt in high water in an open canoe. I leave that to the experts.
Jim

Last edited by Hard Scrabble; 06-06-2016 at 03:07 PM..
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Old 06-06-2016, 03:25 PM   #15
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Burmeister book for sure

Hi Josh,

totally get why you'd rather read my book later; i do have a lot of subjective impressions in there. I'd probably do the same and wait. But not sure anyone has mentioned Walter F. Burmeister yet. His wonderful book:
Appalachian Waters 2: The Hudson River and Its Tributaries!! Talk about a detailed guide for each section, each set of rapids, distances, and loads of wonderful specifics. It's a must. I used it every day. And if you haven't already, maybe talk to my paddling partner Ernie LaPrairie in Blue Mountain Lake or other experienced Hudson river guides? I'm in Middlebury, VT, if you wanna chat, but it was a long time ago for me.

All the best,

Pete

Here's the link to Burmeister's book at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Appalachian-Wa.../dp/0912660201

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Old 06-06-2016, 03:44 PM   #16
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This photo was taken on 9-28-13 just above the confluence of the Hudson and the Indian rivers. Here is a link to the USGS river gage at Newcomb for a few days around the date of the photo.

http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/n...ate=2013-09-30

You can browse around the USGS database to see typical flows during the Abanakee dam release and correlate the flows to my photo and the Newcomb gage. You will want to see the gage at North Creek to better see the effect of the dam releases. Here is a link to the current North Creek gage data:

http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ny/nwis/uv?site_no=01315500



Also, here is a link to some video of a kayaker in the gorge, it labels the major sets of rapids.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2Q8Igmm1KI
I remember seeing an aluminum canoe wrapped around that big boulder just above the Cedar River.
Jim

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Old 06-07-2016, 12:57 AM   #17
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Hello,

All Down Hill From Here: You really met those guys? I ran across the news searching for some articles on Indian Point. It seems he's done quite a few interesting adventures. I'm looking forward to seeing the documentary at some point.

Stripperguy: Thanks for letting me know about the water data site. The river is barely existent in that photo. Maybe I will have to enter the river further down after Lake Tear?

Hard Scrabble: Do you suggest I start mid/late October? I'm afraid to start too late because then I'll need a drysuit.

Smashed up aluminium canoe? I won't be deterred! haha

pkl: Thanks so much for reaching out! I was originally considering sailing the river from as far north as possible, and then I read about your journey nearly two years ago. I'm excited about this trip and all of the further preparation ahead. I would very much appreciate any advice you could give me. This weekend, I'm participating in the canoe clinic at Saranac Lake, rafting the gorge, and hiking to Lake Tear and Mount Marcy. I was going to try and contact you after this weekend when I have a better idea of what I'm getting into.

Thanks, Everyone!
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:57 AM   #18
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I did, there were 3 of them, they had just come down from Tear/Loj to stay at the Inn. They had packed all or part of the boat, and some camera equipment up to the lake to start. While they had no idea how American Football was played, they appreciated the ruckus in the bar as it was a NYGiants/NEPatriots game, if memory serves.
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Old 06-07-2016, 04:39 PM   #19
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Hello,

All Down Hill From Here: You really met those guys? I ran across the news searching for some articles on Indian Point. It seems he's done quite a few interesting adventures. I'm looking forward to seeing the documentary at some point.

Stripperguy: Thanks for letting me know about the water data site. The river is barely existent in that photo. Maybe I will have to enter the river further down after Lake Tear?

Hard Scrabble: Do you suggest I start mid/late October? I'm afraid to start too late because then I'll need a drysuit.

Smashed up aluminium canoe? I won't be deterred! haha

pkl: Thanks so much for reaching out! I was originally considering sailing the river from as far north as possible, and then I read about your journey nearly two years ago. I'm excited about this trip and all of the further preparation ahead. I would very much appreciate any advice you could give me. This weekend, I'm participating in the canoe clinic at Saranac Lake, rafting the gorge, and hiking to Lake Tear and Mount Marcy. I was going to try and contact you after this weekend when I have a better idea of what I'm getting into.

Thanks, Everyone!
Ha Ha,
You would not be laughing if you lost your means of travel and all your gear.
Jim
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Old 06-08-2016, 04:16 PM   #20
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In all seriousness, the upper Hudson is not to be taken lightly.
Do not to depend on others to help you when your canoe is wrapped around boulder.
This is not a "Ha Ha" situation
Jim

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