Pet Mural

How do you make you business eye catching? One way is by painting a mural related to your business on your building. I found this on the way to meet someone. This is a pet dare care/ hotel. Most of the images are dogs, so I am guessing that is what most of their clients are. This is in Connecticut.

Look around you as you are travelling through life. You never know what you may spot.

Coxsackie Owls

A town in Connecticut has dogs, Saugerties, N.Y. has butterflies, but what do they have in Coxsackie, NY? Owls! Owls are on display in town and will be auctioned off in late September to benefit local charities.

It goes to reason that Coxsackie would choose owls for a fund raiser. The town name originates with Native Americans. The area was originally inhabited by the Mohicans(Mahicans), part of the Algonquin nation. Original meaning of the town name was said to relate to owls. Two possible translations of Coxsackie in its previous spellings were “Hoot of the Owl” and “Place of the Owls.”

I like the way they had signs for each of the owls with the name, artist, and sponsor on it.
Location

Where can you find these owls? There appears to be someone 9W and I found some along different parts of Mansion Street and on other streets in the waterfront area. Mansion Street in Coxsackie along with 9W appear to be the main business streets. Although I would try to pick up a map locally to try to locate them all. There are many more than the ones I pictured.

If you are traveling along the NYS Thruway and want to break to stretch your legs and get a bite, pull off on Exit 21B. Punch in under intersections Mansion Street and 9W on your GPS. That should get you there. There are many owls around Coxsackie. Go out and have a peek. If you like one, bid on it. It supports local causes. Get out and enjoy your surroundings!

For more information:

http://www.coxsackieowls.com

Or their Facebook page: What a Hoot by search or:

https://www.facebook.com/HootoftheOwl

Moose Pond

Shhhhh! Want to know a secret? There is a pond that only locals seem to know about. It is north of Lake Placid and Saranac Lake but between them. It has loons and free primitive campsites. It also has a couple of beaches. I highly recommend visiting Moose Pond.

Location

Moose Pond is north east of Saranac Lake and northwest of Lake Placid in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. It borders forest preserve and the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness area. If you go on State Route 3 from Saranac Lake, NY you turn onto River Road in Bloomingdale.

From River Road you turn right onto Moose Pond Road. This sign is on River Road at the intersection of Moose Pond Road. You travel down Moose Pond Road a ways. It turns from a paved road into a dirt/stone road. It ends at the parking lot for Moose Pond. Near the parking lot are bathrooms. I did not check them out, so they may be outhouse style.

This is the beach you launch from. I used a carrier to wheel my kayak from the parking lot to the beach. It is a nice little beach to launch from.

I did look to see if Grass Pond Outlet was able to be paddled from Moose Pond. Trees were down near the entrance to the outlet on Moose Pond, so it was a no go. Grass Pond Outlet leads from Grass Pond to Moose Pond.

A beach on the other side of the lake.

Locals were swimming at the boat launch beach and some recommended paddling to this beach for a swim.

As you can see there are some nice mountain views from this pond.
The mountain in the distance appears to have a fire tower or building on it. I am guessing that is Whiteface Mountain. I am not seeing other mountains on the map around it with structures listed on top.
Wildlife

I did see at least one loon on this pond. That is always a good sign. I did not see anything else. I could not get a good shot of the loon because I was facing the light early evening.

Camping

This pond has free primitive campsites in different locations accessible by boat and in some cases by trail. There is a trail from State Route 3 that goes to some of the campsites and ends up in the parking lot next to the boat launch. I did not see any motor boats on this pond. I was the only kayaker at the time.

I like this pond. There were people there. Most if not all seemed to be locals. I did not see anyone at the campsites, although the woods was thick and I did not see the actual sites from the lake. I am guessing some were occupied. I would definitely want to return to this spot again in the future.

Bring water and food with you and of course a map. This pond is covered by the Adirondack Paddler’s Map North. This map is waterproof in that you can get it wet with no effect as far as my experience has been. It is available at most local bookshops and outdoor stores. Get out and enjoy nature and stay safe!

Hoel Pond

Another pond with access to other bodies of water and free primitive campsites along it is Hoel Pond. Hoel Pond is another large pond with some nice views of neighbouring mountains. This is one pond I recommend you travel to with a friend.

Location

Hoel Pond is in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. It is north of Follensby Clear Pond and southwest of Lake Clear and Upper St. Regis Lake.

This sign is small and back from the road a little. It is easy to miss.
How to Get There

From State Route 30 you take Floodwood Road west until you reach Hoel Pond Road. Turn onto Hoel Pond Road and right after you pass the golf course, on the left side of the road turn left. There is a dirt road there that looks like it is part of the gold course, but it is not. It has the little sign pictured above, but it is easy to miss. If you miss the road on the left and continue on Hoel Road it then becomes a private road. You will know you went too far as you are in an area with houses and it is passed the golf course and into a wooded area. The dirt road winds down to an area near the pond that has parking spots and some primitive campsites.

Boat Launch
I recommend you go with another person because of the steepness of the steps leading to the boat launch and the canoe carry to Turtle Pond.

This was a tough launch for me by myself. I think it would be much easier for two people to carry a canoe or kayak down these steep steps. This was the reason I recommend going with another person. There is a small sandy beach area below these steps to launch your kayak from. Motor boats owners can not launch from the state boat launch.

It was a very windy day and once I kayaked across to the point then hugged the land is was a much smoother paddle.

Turtle Pond

This sign at the other end of the Hoel pond marks the canoe carry to Turtle Pond. It is a narrow path up to the site of an old train tracks and back down to the other pond.

Because the carry down to Turtle Pond was steep I did not feel comfortable carrying the kayak down this hill.

When you cross over the hill to Turtle Pond you enter the St. Regis Canoe Wilderness.

Turtle Pond. From here you can paddle to Slang Pond. From Slang Pond there is a canoe carry to Long Pond. Again from this point you are in the St. Regis Canoe Wilderness.
Looking at Hoel Pond from the Turtle Pond side.

There is a culvert pipe under the railroad tracks leading to Turtle Pond. It appears to go slightly downhill. It is a small pipe and the water level is low in the pipe. You should not try to kayak through it. On the Turtle Pond side the water level is about a one foot drop from the pipe. Some kayakers say they were able to send their boats through the pipe on their own to Turtle Pond. I think you should have two people for this with one waiting on the Turtle Pond side to catch it. Otherwise you run the risk of it drifting into the pond or being damaged from the drop off.

Picnic

I always recommend bringing plenty of water and food with you on long trips. I stopped to eat lunch on the other side of the pond where the canoe carry was. I bring an insulated lunch bag with ice packs inside tied to my kayak but accessible. On that day I ate a veggie wrap from Nori’s on Church Street in Saranac Lake. I took it along with me to enjoy. This was my second kayak trip of the day. I started with Mirror Lake earlier in the morning.

Veggie Wrap from Nori’s in Saranac Lake.
That may be St. Regis Mountain with the fire tower on top.
The weather improved a bit on the return trip.
Looking towards the east side of the pond with privately owned land. I did not see a motor boat on this body of water, but I understand only those who own private properties can have a motor boat. It is not possible to launch a motor boat from the state boat launch.
Camping
This was a group of young women from Gordon College in Massachusetts. They were doing an orientation/ experience for their college that involved two weeks of canoeing and camping in the Adirondacks. They were staying that night at one of the free wilderness primitive campsites.

There are free primitive campsites along most of the lake on land that is forest preserve. Many sites are only accessible by walking or by boat. There are additional free campsites along Turtle, Slang and Long Pond. These campsites are first come first served. Usually you can only stay three days and after that you would have to get a ranger’s permission to stay longer.

This was a nice pond with nice views of the neighbouring mountains. However, because of the boat launch and canoe carry conditions, I recommend you do not do this alone, but with another person. Safety first. Get out and enjoy nature!

Lake Flower

What lake can you access right in the town of Saranac Lake? This lake is connected to other bodies of water and has some really scenic views of the neighbouring mountains? It is Lake Flower. I highly recommend a paddle trip on this lake.

Solo kayaker
Some parts of the lake are narrower than other parts.

This lake allows motor boats. It has a marina or two near the start of this trip. However, this lake is so big I think I only saw one or two other motor boats on this 80 degree day. I saw maybe 3-4 kayakers on this trip.

There were a lot of markers on this section. I am assuming it was a shallow area with rocks sticking up. I did not paddle as far as I wanted to on this lake as another afternoon storm was approaching. I had hiked a mountain in the morning before it got hot. It seems there is less a chance of thunderstorms in the morning.

I made it as far as Oseetah Lake but I stopped taking pictures due to thunder. From Oseetah Lake you can paddle into Kiwasssa Lake I am told. I also was told you get get to Lower Saranac also by starting at Lake Flower. That is something for me to explore on another trip.

There did not appear to be a good area to stop to eat on this trip. I suggest taking food and drink with you in the section of the kayak you sit in and not a hatch for that reason. I took a lunch bag with ice packs in it to the kayak for easy accessibility. A lot of land up to Oseetah Lake is privately owned or not very accessible to pull over to take a break..

There appear to be no public campsites on Lake Flower, however there is one lean-to on Kiwassa Lake.

Dockside Ice Cream Stand

Mountain Mist Ice Cream can be visited by either pulling up and parking at their dock behind the ice cream stand or by pulling into the parking lot on Route .. They also have a boat ramp next to the dock and a covered area to sit under. This is close to the start. It is a good stop by water or land on the return.

Boat Launch

This is the boat launch you start off at. It is a two bay boat launch. They have a parking area to the right of this photo and bathrooms in the building directly behind the boat launch. There is someone on duty to check your boat to make sure you do not bring invasive plants from one body of water to another.

I really enjoyed the scenery. I would do this paddle again. I did see one loon where Lake Flower meets Oseetah Lake. That is always a plus in my mind. If you want a long trip or a short one with the possibility of an ice cream reward at the end, go to Lake Flower. It is stunning.

Loon Lake

There is more than one Loon Lake in New York. One is north of the Saranac Lake/ Lake Placid area, but does not have public access. The second Loon Lake, which I visited, is in Warren County northwest of Lake George and it has public access.

How to Get There

You can get to Loon Lake by taking 87, the Adirondack Northway north from Lake George. Take the exit for Chestertown/Highway 8. Travel west past Chestertown. There are two access points on the southern end of the lake. The first one charges a fee, but it also has a free boat wash you can use without paying to put your kayak in. The second location is very closeby. This location is a town recreation area with a beach and parking right along highway 8.

This is the boat launch that charges a fee.

Loon Lake is 525 acres in size. The length of the shoreline is just under 12 miles. It has many houses on the southern end. I was told many of these are summer homes or rentals. The majority of houses have dock and motorboats.

There was more activity on this lake than I am used to, but I will say the boaters kept a safe distance from this kayaker. People were very friendly on and off the lake.

I could hear thunder the entire time I was on the lake, so I may have done less than half the lake. The thunder was in the distance, but always think of safety first.
The dogs seemed to enjoy riding on a stand up paddleboard.
This man zoned back and forth on the lake on a hoverboard.
Arriving back at the beach. The beach is next to highway 8. The parking is right next to the road.

Overall I would say this is a nice place to paddle. It is not as busy as Lake George, but you are not totally isolated. There are also several other lakes within a short drive of this lake. If you want to paddle a lake in an areas with a friendly, small town feel go to Loon Lake in Warren County, New York. It is another great Adirondack paddle.

Bina’s Cafe

Are you heading to Hits on the Hudson, the Garlic Festival, the Saugerties Lighthouse, or just want to pull off the New York State Thruway to walk around and grab some good food? Saugerties is at Exit 20 of the New York State Thruway and besides these attractions it has many antique shops and many fine little restaurants. One I am particularly fond of is Bina’s Cafe.

Bina’s Cafe is at 78 Partition Street in the village of Saugerties. This is in the heart of the business area with many nice little shops and eateries. Bina’s serves some American style dishes as well as a few Indian/Pakistani choices. If you are adventurous but your travel mate is not, you could satisfy both people at this restaurant.

I have been to this spot a few times. Once I tried Indian Style scrambled eggs from the breakfast menu. . They make it with scallions, onions, ginger, red bell peppers and traditional spices. As with anything on the menu, if a certain ingredient does to fancy you, they can leave it out of the dish when they prepare it for you. It was a delicious take on scrambled eggs. Other breakfast choices on their menu include American style breakfast sandwiches, omelets, French toast, Indian Style Tofu, and breakfast burritos. They have a variety of bread choices including gluten free.

On another trip I ordered the Mango Lassi. This is a smoothie that the owner makes with homemade yogurt and mango. It was Devine.

My favourite item to order is the vegan sandwich, It includes grilled zucchini, squash, red bell peppers, and pesto on ciabatta bread. It is a very health choice. You can get your sandwiches with fries or a salad. Other choices on the lunch menu include burger, wings buffalo chicken wrap, salad, falafel, gyro, chicken tikka sandwich, and for kids chicken tenders and grilled cheese.

If you are planning to see the Butterfly Street Art or explore the other things that draw people to Saugerties stop by Bina’s Cafe. You won’t be disappointed.

Butterflies of Saugerties

,A street art event the doubles as a fund raiser is running from Memorial Day to Labor Day in Saugerties, NY. Artists decorated fibreglass butterfly bodies with plywood wings. The Chamber of Commerce puts on this event. There are thirty -five pieces of art on Main Street and a few other streets in town. They will hold an auction later. One third will go to the artist and 1/3 will go to a charity of the Chamber of Commerce’s choosing. If you are in the Saugerties area, enjoy finding these around the village. Saugerties also has some antique shops and some nice family run restaurants. Stay safe !

Irish themed
Rather bookish

I think the scene on the butterfly ‘s wing is local Opus 40.
Click on the link below to see a map of where to find the butterflies in town.

Lake Clear

Another beautiful Adirondack lake to paddle which has an outlet connecting it to other bodies of water is Lake Clear. They do not have an official boat launch. However, I found a public parking lot with a path that leads to the beach. It is easy to launch from the beach. The parking lot is accessible from 30 going north.If you are coming from 186 turn north on 30 (it is a right hand turn).

There Beach

The beach on the left I launched from.

I saw three adult loons on this lake. They were all sticking together. The other one was swimming underwater at this point.
Lake Clear
This is the opening to the outlet. It is on the other side of the lake from the beach I set off from.
It is shallow at the opening, however no beaver dams were there to try to cross. This opening was smooth sailing.
The first bridge was an easy duck to get under. Be forewarned the second one I was chest on my legs to paddle under. It is low.
The widest outlet I have come across. At least this section of it was wide. Other sections are like a stream.
I saw three fishermen on kayaks, but they were leaving before the heavier rains arrived.
I turned around near this location near where the outlet turns into a stream in width. It was starting to rain steady and it sounded like waterfalls were at the entrance to the stream section of the outlet. Some other time I need to explore that section.
This heron was fishing along the outlet. This one flew alongside me as I paddled back towards where I started. It was a cool experience to have a great blue heron flying beside me.
On my way back the opening from the outlet back into Lake Clear.

I wish I had nicer weather for this trip. I was lucky to have one nice day. I don’t think these pictures do this lake justice. On this Memorial Day weekend this lake was a nice paddle even in the rain.

Always be safe. I took along a map – the Adirondack Paddler’s Map North. It is published by Paddlesports Press in Saranac Lake. They can be found at sporting goods stores and book stores in the region. Their website is: www.paddlesportspress.com. I also carry food to munch on and water. In addition, I wore a dry suit as it was snowing in the area up to a couple of weeks prior and the water temps were still quite cold.

Get out and enjoy nature! Be safe!

Kayaking Blue Mountain Lake

Are you looking for a lake in the Adirondacks to kayak or canoe? Do you want one with free campsites? Are you looking for one with access to other bodies of water? Blue Mountain Lake will fit the bill.

The boat launch is located on State Route 28. It is a public beach and boat launch. Route 28 has parking spots on both sides of the street. This May weekend I was the only one launching from the beach. I did not see another kayak or canoe on the lake. This site has a pavilion with changing rooms that were locked. Maybe they open when it is warmer or they are still following a COVID protocol.

No one was on the beach, so I launched from there.
Appears to be docks on the other side of this park.
I believe that is Blue Mountain in the background.

Blue Mountain Lake is accessible to other bodies of water. It connects to Eagle Lake and from there you can paddle to Utowana Lake. For those who want a very long journey you can access Raquette Lake from the Marion River at the end of Utowana Lake.

A little cabin or boathouse near the shore of the lake.
I stuck the the edges. When I decided to go towards the middle I was surprised by how strong the wind was. It gave me a real workout. A local told me it is common to be very windy in the middle of the lake.

This lake has some free campsites. It is first come first served. There are 4 primitive sites on Long Island and 1 on Osprey Island. Bring your gear on your kayak or canoe. As with most Adirondack free sites there is a three day limit unless you get permission from a ranger to stay longer.

The beach I took off from.

This lake gives you some nice views of the neighbouring mountains. It is close to other lakes, so you could even hit Long Lake , Indian Lake etc. by car in the same day after kayaking. I highly recommend this lake if kayaking or canoeing. You may want to stick the the edges to avoid the wind.

Nearby Attraction

The Adirondack Experience is very close-by and worth stopping at. They also have marvellous views of Blue Mountain Lake from their cafe patio. The Adirondack Experience is a museum with several buildings including cabins, cottages, and camps of the past brought to the museum. You get a feel for what life and pleasure was like in the Adirondacks in yesteryear.

Go their their page here: https://www.theadkx.org. Click on exhibits.