While our perfect weather pattern was continuing on for the second straight week, I took Friday to paddle the Narrows of Lake George before tourist season brings the motor boats back in force.
I launched from Shelving Rock, having parked at the end of Shelving Rock Road ( lot #6) and carrying the boat 400' to the water.
I spent the better part of five hours paddling around, stopping at islands to explore. I think I landed on ten islands, and passed by probably ten others. My map at the end of this post shows where I went.
The islands are closed to camping until May 16, so I was free to roam. There was very little breeze, but the black flies weren't overwhelming. I went from island to island making mental notes of which islands and campsites I liked the best. I should have brought a pen and paper. There are so many islands and campsites, it's hard to remember them all.
|Case in point. I've already forgotten where this is...|
|My favorite site (It takes up this whole peninsula)|
After a while of island hopping, I started to get picky about the sites. Most of them are nice. They are good size and most have sufficient privacy. Here are some things to think about that are unique to island camping:
Does the site have a dock?
Is it a private dock or a shared dock?
Is there a tent platform?
Is there easy access for swimming (kid friendly)?
Is the water access sandy or rocky?
Is there a location for diving?
Is the site near a boat channel that gets lots of traffic?
Does the site have protection from the wind of the open water?
Is the island a single-site island, or multi-site island?
How far is the island from shore or the ranger headquarters?
Is the outhouse a small old style privy or one of the larger solar powered composting toilets?
|A nice mix of sun and trees|
All of the sites have a picnic table and a fire ring. One thing to keep in mind is that no dogs are allowed on any of the islands, even the day-use picnic islands. Dogs are also not allowed on boats when boats are tied up to the docks. All sites are reserved through reserveamerica.com. Day use permits can be obtained from the ranger stations. I'm not sure if they can be purchased on-line.
In general terms, the quieter islands are the ones further to the north. I've now seen quite a few of the islands and sites. I've got my favorites. How about you?
I was psyched to see a pair of loons out on the lake. I'm always amazed at how long they can stay underwater. I bet I've seen them duck under for 3 or 4 minutes at a time.
|Back to open water|
It's great to be out on the lake early in the season. If you are out in a canoe or kayak, be sure to watch for boat traffic if you are out on the open water. Especially during the summer. Get out there now! You'll be glad you did.