Thursday Evening Tour Trip Reports - click on any picture to view a larger image
July 15, 2021 - Eight paddlers met at the South Colton Reservoir boat launch and were on the water by 6 p.m. Two tandem canoes and four kayaks followed along the mostly undeveloped southern shoreline for about an hour and a half before returning to the launch. Very few wildlife species were observed on this trip, but belted kingfisher seemed to be present in every cove we explored. Two beaver lodges were observed along the route, but we did not see the inhabitants!
July 1, 2021 - This evening we paddled the Oswegatchie River from the Beaver Creek tributary on Rt. 812 south of Heuvelton, upstream towards Rensselaer Falls until it became too shallow to continue. Fifteen paddlers including one solo canoe, four tandem canoes and six kayaks enjoyed a refreshingly warm, light rain and calm winds for the first half of the journey. We paddled for one and three-quarters hours covering five miles and returning to the launch at 7:45 p.m. Wildlife observed or heard included: great blue heron, mourning dove, belted kingfisher, great horned owl and muskrat.
June 24, 2021 - On a beautiful Thursday evening, twelve paddlers met at the Rainbow Falls Reservoir boat launch on the Raquette River. Two tandem canoes, two pack boats and six kayaks paddled along the northern shoreline, heading east, and then returning along the southern shoreline. Most paddlers opted to head counterclockwise around the large island, carefully picking their way through a narrow boulder strewn path. Two kayakers headed clockwise around the island and verified that, indeed, it is an island, and that it is the best channel for passage. The group paddled for two hours and covered six to eight miles. Wildlife observed or heard: beaver, tree swallow, cedar waxwing, American crow, mallard, blue jay and common merganser.
June 17, 2021 - Eleven paddlers met at Ives Park in Potsdam for a four and one-half mile outing on the Raquette River. Four tandem canoers, two pack boaters and one kayaker explored the eastern shoreline while headed upstream to the dam. We turned around and headed downstream following the western shoreline. An otter was spotted and several birds were seen or heard including a great-blue heron, tree swallow, American robin, common grackle, red-winged blackbird, belted kingfisher, mallard and Canada goose.
June 10, 2021 - It was a beautiful evening without a cloud in the sky and no wind when we launched for our evening paddle this week. Six paddlers headed downstream from the Heuvelton boat launch on the Oswegatchie River. After an hour we turned around and headed back upstream to the launch. The trip was 6.6 miles in just under two hours time. Two of the paddlers went a bit farther upstream to the bridge in Heuvelton before returning to the boat launch. Birds observed or heard included tree swallow, barn swallow, purple martin, common grackle, American robin, Baltimore oriole, yellow warbler, belted kingfisher, great blue heron, cedar waxwing, pileated woodpecker and common crow. Mammals observed were white-tailed deer, beaver, muskrat and two river otters.
June 3, 2021 - The morning forecast for our Thursday evening paddle this week was for thunderstorms! By afternoon the forecast had improved to cloudy, with no storms expected. Five paddlers met at the boat launch on Colton Reservoir just before 6 pm. Two solo canoes, one tandem canoe and a sea kayak circumnavigated the reservoir, paddling just over 5 miles. Wildlife observed or heard included Canada goose, red-winged blackbird, tree swallow, barn swallow, mallard, osprey and beaver.
May 27, 2021 - It was a bit breezy this evening when seven paddlers departed from Madrid Municipal Park at 6 pm and headed upstream on the Grasse River. Once on the water we were fairly sheltered from the wind and paddled upstream for an hour (about 3 miles) before turning around to head downstream, and into a headwind, as we made our way back to the Park. The trip was slightly over six miles in total length. Wildlife observed or heard included deer, Canada goose, eastern kingbird, belted kingfisher, tree swallow, barn swallow, veery, mallard, wood duck, great blue heron, bullfrog and trilling American toad. As we loaded boats on cars, a bald eagle was sighted flying directly overhead at low altitude over the Park. It was headed upstream.
May 20, 2021 - It was a warm evening with no wind when six paddlers left the Little River boat launch, headed out to the Grasse River and paddled upstream for an hour before turning around to return to the launch. We covered nearly six miles during the paddle and hurriedly loaded our boats after our return to minimize exposure to mosquitoes! Wildlife observed or heard included trilling American toad, gray treefrog, green frog, rufous-sided towhee, common grackle, spotted sandpiper, belted kingfisher, American robin, tree swallow and veery.
May 13, 2021 - Four paddlers embarked on a 6 mile journey exploring Higley Flow Reservoir in South Colton for our first Thursday evening tour of the season. We had beautiful sunny skies, temperatures in the mid 60's°F, and light winds. Accidently, we entered Dead Man's Cove thinking it was a shortcut through to the main channel, but it was a dead end. We managed to escape unscathed without awakening the zombies. Wildlife observations included an osprey, black ducks, mallards, Canada geese, a raven, and we heard a barred owl calling.
September 17, 2020 - Thursday evening, with calm conditions, partly sunny skies and a temperature of 60°F, eight turned out to paddle the Little and Grasse Rivers from the Little River Boat Launch in Canton. We paddled upstream on the Grasse about 1.35 miles past Taylor Park before turning around and heading back to the launch. We covered approximately 6 miles in just under two hours as daylight was waning. Wildlife observations included numerous great blue herons (okay, I know it was only one, but we flushed it over and over again about every hundred yards!).
September 3, 2020 - On a beautiful September evening, 14 paddlers explored the Raquette River in Potsdam. We launched from Ives Park and headed upstream paddling along the east shoreline and around several islands. Continuing on our way, we followed the west shore of Sugar Island to the orange buoys below the aqueduct before turning around and heading downstream. Paddling for about 1.5 hours we covered 4-4.5 miles. Several Canada geese took flight as the group approached, and an osprey was spotted perched along the route.
August 27, 2020 - Eight paddlers braved cool temperatures, overcast skies and occasional rain showers to explore the Oswegatchie River downstream from the Heuvelton dam. We paddled approximately 6.25 miles in just under two hours returning to the launch at 7:30 p.m. Wildlife observations included a muskrat swimming across the river with a mouthful of green grass, and several birds including an osprey, great blue heron, green-backed heron, several belted kingfishers, one cormorant, and a line of geese that stretched across the river and took flight as we approached.
August 20, 2020 - Sixteen paddlers joined us for a circumnavigation of the South Colton Reservoir. We paddled about 4 miles clockwise around the reservoir from the boat launch. Several paddlers spotted beavers along the way, as well as common mergansers. A wide variety of wetland plants were in bloom along the marshy shoreline, including cardinal flowers. Not far from the boat launch we heard and then found small waterfalls flowing into the reservoir from the old Racquette River bed. Around the next point we encountered some moderate current where the hydropower release flows into the reservoir.
August 13, 2020 - Thirteen paddlers joined us for the second Thursday evening paddle on the Oswegatchie River between Rensselaer Falls and Beaver Creek. We paddled about 2.5 miles upstream until it became too shallow as we approached the Village of Rensselaer Falls, and then enjoyed a leisurely paddle downstream back to the launch.
August 6, 2020 - Ten paddlers joined us for the Thursday Tour to explore Rainbow Falls Reservoir. Three loons, several mallards and common mergansers, as well as a few ring-billed gulls and double-crested cormorants were observed. We paddled about 5.5 miles over two hours, exploring the reservoir and returning to the launch before sunset. Another beautiful summer evening on the water!