Northwest Bay

The view of mountain-lined Northwest Bay on Lake George earlier this summer.

My wife and I have done more camping the past few summers, and one of the things that i have been struck by is how many kayaks we see on the lakes that we visit.

We were on Lake Eaton last weekend, and campers at every site around us had kayaks. Ditto Lincoln Pond earlier this summer.

They have almost become a standard part of living around here for anyone who likes to go out on the water, and for good reason.

You can get a decent entry-level Kayak for $150 or so if you watch for sales, and with another $50 or so in accessories (paddles and PFD are the bare necessities) you are ready to go. Yes, you need a way to move them from water to water if you don't have a spot on a lake or river, but rooftop mounting kits can allow you to put them on top of virtually any vehicle.

They are stable and easy to use, even for kids. Our teenage daughter picked it up first time out. With a few accessories you can fish from them, and stow some gear if needed.

Our region has more public boat launches than I can count for kayakers to see some varied waters. A couple of close, easy ones for those of us in the Glens Falls region include:

* the Glen Lake launch on Glen Lake Road, maintained by the town of Queensbury.

* any of the myriad launches on the Hudson River, such as the one at the end of Big Boom Road in Queensbury, East River Drive in Lake George or the state launch off West River Road in Moreau.

* one of my personal favorites is the state launch to Northwest Bay on Lake George, a beautiful paddle through a wetland to the lake. (Lake George is a tough lake for kayakers, especially beginners, so be aware that you can get bounced around when getting into the main lake.)

* If you want to get a little farther afield, Lake Champlain, Schroon Lake, Cossayuna Lake and Carter's Pond have launches that are easy to get to an use. The DEC has an exhaustive list of public launches on its website, which can be found here.

With a little vehicle coordination, river paddles of the Batten Kill or other faster rivers are good options for more experienced boaters.

Another great resource for local paddlers is the latest book by former Adirondack Explorer editor Phil Brown, titled "Adirondack Paddling."

The second edition was just released, and it chronicles 65 different flatwater trips around the park, with photos and maps. The first edition can be found on Amazon or shops with local book sections, such as Adirondack Mountain Club's headquarters in Lake George, and the expanded second edition was scheduled for release this summer.

Get out and enjoy summer on the water, as it is flying by once again.

-- Don Lehman

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reporter - crimes & courts, public safety and Warren County government

Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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