Someday soon, we’re going to polish up our French/Algonquin dialects and explore Lake Champlain, the sixth largest body of fresh water in the U.S. (the Great Lakes are Numbers 1 through 5.) Champlain is 120 miles long, contains 70+ impossible-to-pronounce islands, and lies in a valley with Vermont’s Green Mountains to the east and New York’s Adirondacks to the west.
A big thank you to Michael and Julie—our paddling friends in Albany and today’s guest bloggers—for the suggestion. TBD = To Be Done!
Toward the end of 2013 paddle season, weary of beautiful Lake George’s almost unrelenting upscale tenement architecture and rude powerboat operators, we looked for better water to the north and found it.
We were not strangers to Lake Champlain, (we were introduced to Valcour Island by the Lake Champlain Sea Kayak Institute in 2011), but we’d explored very little of its expanse until September 2013. The best part starts about two hours from Albany, an easy drive up the Northway once Saratoga County is left behind. Highlights were a launch from Port Douglas and 450 million-year-old fossils in Bulwagga Bay (an endless refrain of “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles”).
Last year, we stayed for a week just after Labor Day, planning to explore the Otter Creek marshes, circumnavigate Carleton Prize (a small rock with an extraordinary history), lead a club paddle at Valcour Island, and penetrate the Inland Sea via The Gut from Point Au Roche. Unusually obliging weather allowed us to accomplish everything, barely getting a taste of what this lake has to offer.
This lake is bigger than the rest of my paddling life!