Photo: Lynda Norton
Trip Number: 12214A
Adult Price: $895
Child Price: $795
Adult Deposit: $100
Child Deposit : $100
Staff: Jeanne Blauner
Minimum Age: 8
- Explore the best of the Adirondacks with your family
- Raft the Hudson and glide across crystal-clear mountain lakes
- Bask in upstate New York's rural charm
- All meals
- All rafting and boating equipment
- Expert instruction from naturalists and paddling guides
Photo: Lynda Norton
Families of beginning and experienced paddlers alike will enjoy this trip's
variety. We'll spend four glorious days and three nights on a wilderness canoe
trip paddling the waterways the Adirondacks are famous for. Then, for our final day, we'll enjoy an exciting adventure whitewater rafting the Class II-IV Upper Hudson River Gorge, rated top ten in North American River trips. The minimum age for this trip is eight.
At 6 million acres, Adirondack Park is the largest park in the Lower 48. The area contains a unique mixture of state-owned wilderness, private lands, and several towns and villages. We will be surrounded by quiet lakes, outstanding whitewater, 46 peaks over 4,000 feet tall, and the upper reaches of the mighty Hudson River.
Lows Lake, where we will be for our wilderness canoe trip, supports a wide
variety of wildlife, including one of the largest loon nesting populations in
New York. We will be especially careful not to disturb their nesting sites.
We may also spot osprey, raven, or even a bald eagle. While this is not a fishing
trip, you are welcome to get a New York State fishing license and bring a rod
if you wish. Large mouth bass ranging from 1-5 lbs are found in Lows Lake.
The trip price includes all river and boating equipment, shuttles, meals, tents, sleeping pads, camp kitchen, cookware and the services of licensed New York guides.
Days 1-4: During our wilderness canoe trip, we will enjoy
three quiet nights and four days deep in the Adirondacks with a chance to see
the stars where they shine the brightest.
We will meet Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. at Lows Lower Dam, accessible by a
short gravel road off State Route 421. The nearest airport is in Albany, NY,
about two hours and 40 minutes by car. New York City (with its three airports)
and Boston are each about five hours and 45 minutes by car. Participants are
expected to provide their own transportation to and from our departure point,
though we do encourage carpooling. We will provide detailed directions to confirmed
participants as well as suggested places to stay in the area on Saturday evening,
should you desire. For detailed directions, research Bog River, Childwold, NY
12986 as your destination.
Photo: Pat Fleming
After packing canoes, some brief paddling instruction, and lunch, we will head
off 3-4 miles up the scenic Bog River for Hitchins Pond, where we will spend
On Monday morning we will do the short carry over Lows Upper Dam and into Lows
Lake, where we will camp for the night and spend Tuesday exploring the area.
In addition to exploring by canoe, there are also some opportunities for short
scenic hikes, including the Hitchens Pond Overlook Trail.
On Wednesday we will canoe back and then drive down to Lake Durant Campground
in Blue Mountain Lake, NY on the east shore of Lake Durant, where we will spend
Our trip is accompanied by experienced New York-licensed guides/naturalists, who provide a running commentary on the history, geology, and wildlife of the area, including the local varieties of birds, plants, and other wildlife such as beaver, otter, and the local equivalent of Sasquatch.
River guides are trained and licensed by the state of New York. All guides know first aid and CPR, and many have advanced wilderness rescue and advanced first-aid training. Some may have EMT or wilderness-EMT training as well. Our Sierra Club trip leader is also certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR.
We will pack light, using our River Guide's tents and commissary/cooking/kitchen
gear. Our guides will provide scrumptious fireside meals, most of the "one
pot" variety. Examples would be black bean chili, Dutch oven lasagna, etc.
For lunches you can expect items such as; peanut butter wraps, hummus, trial
mix, Cup O' Soup, etc. Breakfasts might include oatmeal, pancakes, or breakfast
Day 5: Our final day, Thursday, is spent on an all-day rafting
trip of the Class II-III Upper Hudson River Gorge. The Upper Hudson is considered
by most to be in the top ten of U.S. river trips. We will travel in 6- to 8-person
guided rafts, for a total of 17 river miles. The Hudson is the perfect blend
of long rapids (some up to one mile) and calm pools that are great for a swim.
Our river guides will provide a "river" lunch and an early raft dinner
back at the rafting base camp, after which we will say our good-byes and depart.
Accommodations and Food
Our first three nights, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights, we are on our wilderness
canoe trip camping in remote locations. Our guides will provide lightweight
tents and commissary/cooking/kitchen gear appropriate for packing and carrying
in our canoes.
Photo: Nina Ruckes
Our final night, Wednesday night, we are in the relative comfort of Lake Durant Campground on the east shore of 327-acre Lake Durant, north of the Village of Indian Lake with breathtaking views of Blue Mountain. While the campground does have trailer sites with its share of RVs, the sites are large, beautiful, generally quiet, and many are lakefront. Campground amenities include a picnic area with tables and fireplaces, potable water, flush toilets, hot showers, recycling center, handicapped accessibility, and a sand beach.
Our first group meal is lunch on day one and the last is our early rafting
dinner (roughly 4 p.m.) on Thursday, our final day. Participants will share
commissary duties on a rotating basis with help from our guides and the trip
leader. We can accommodate vegetarian and medically required special diets within
reason as well as some preferences, but not all -- please let us know well in
advance. We do offer some organic foods, but the trip is not predominantly organic
so if this is your preference you may wish to bring some supply of your own
It should be understood that the week involves group meals, and the commissary equipment, refrigeration, and variety of meals are necessarily limited.
This is a moderately strenuous trip. No canoeing or rafting experience is necessary, but participants should know how to swim. Our guides will teach us the paddling techniques we need to know for canoeing and rafting. River rafting involves alternating between bursts of energetic activity and periods of calm relaxation.
Persons with special health conditions -- such as diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, or anything else -- that might become acute from the exercise or excitement of rafting should make them known when they apply for the trip. Rafting involves inherent dangers, and rescue or more advanced medical care may be several hours away due to the remoteness of the area. Participants will be required to sign a standard waiver before participating. We are advised that the area has a low population of deer ticks, but abundant Giardia bacteria. We recommend not drinking water from streams or lakes.
Equipment and Clothing
Photo: Nina Ruckes
Participants will be expected to have standard equipment for a week of camping. The leader will furnish a detailed clothing and equipment list to confirmed participants. Tents, sleeping pads, and camp cooking equipment (stoves, cookware, etc) and food are provided. You will need to bring your your own personal dishes and flatware. Participants may bring their personal paddle for comfort if they like -- and personal flotation device, if it meets standards. Of course, if you have any questions about your gear before making a reservation, please contact the leader.
For comfort and safety, participants are strongly advised not to wear any cotton garments on the rivers, as wet cotton becomes cold, does not wick moisture, and can cause hypothermia. Polypropylene or other synthetic fabrics are a better choice. While daytime temperatures may reach the 90s, at night they can dip into the 30s. Participants are advised to have at least one warm change of clothes available, or several layers of clothing for cold evenings and mornings.
- Maps of Adirondack Park and adjacent areas where we will visit can be found
on the following New York State USGS quadrangles:
- Hudson River: "Bad Luck Mountain" and "Dutton Mountain."
- Blue Mountain Lake: Sargent Ponds & Blue Mountain
- See also DeLorme Mapping Co.'s New York State Atlas and Gazetteer, which
contain topographic maps of the entire state.
- The Adirondack Mountain Club can provide a useful list of books and
materials. They can be reached at www.adk.org
or by telephone at (800) 395-8080 or (518) 668-4447. The Adirondack
Mountain Club also has an online store where you can purchase gear, maps,
- Adirondack Park Interpretative Centers, Newcomb NY (518-582-2000) and
Paul Smiths, NY (518-327-3000). Centers are operated by the Adirondack
Park Agency. The Interpretative Centers' website is www.northnet.org/adirondackvic.
- The Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake NY (518-352-7311), www.adkmuseum.org.
A private non-profit educational institution.
Photo: Laurinda Marshall
We will use the principles of responsible Leave No Trace minimal impact
camping and use of the great outdoors. Our rafting and Sierra Club leaders
will also encourage discussion of preservation and environmental issues
of the Adirondacks.
See the How to Apply for an Outing section for more details on registering for this trip and details
about our Reservation and Cancellation Policy.
The payment of a deposit does not confirm you as a member on the trip. Participants must be approved by the trip leader. After signing up for this trip, you will be sent a confirmation packet containing approval materials (Participant Approval Questionnaire, Medical Form, Liability Release Form). Each applicant (including those on the waitlist) must fill out these forms and promptly mail them to the trip leader. The leader will review the approval materials and notify you of your acceptance in a timely manner.
Jeanne Blauner has led more than 30 Sierra Club trips since 1981, including hiking, cross-country skiing, backpacking, sailing, and family trips. During the past eight summers, Jeanne led family trips to Cape Cod, the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire, Acadia National Park in Maine, and rivers trips in the Adirondacks and Maine. Jeanne and her 18-year-old daughter, Allie, look forward to sharing their love of the outdoors with you. In her "other" life, Jeanne works in business and new product development, and recently renovated an old mansion. Jeanne now lives in Massachusetts, but spent many of her childhood summers in Maine and has enjoyed many happy hiking, backpacking, cross country skiing, canoeing, kayaking, and rafting trips in Maine since.
Annika Michaels is a Wilderness First Aid-certified leader who enjoys spending every free minute in the outdoors. She has been backpacking since she could first carry an internal frame pack and loves exploring new terrain every chance she gets. She recently moved back to the great state of Maine from Chicago, Illinois. She has extensive backpacking experience throughout the northeastern United States, including a stint as a wilderness instructor for a private school in mid-coast Maine. When she is not on the trail, she can be found biking around Portland or playing a game of ultimate frisbee with friends.
General Notes About Sierra Club Trips