The Adirondack State Park in northern New York is one of the premiere spots for kayak tripping on the East Coast, with countless lakes and streams of all sizes. We'll be kayaking the first part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail that stretches from Old Forge all the way to Kent, ME. We, however, will only kayak about 25 miles as we travel from Old Forge to Raquette Lake, paddling up the Fulton Chain of Lakes. While this is not remote wilderness - summer cabins are common as are motor boats on the bigger lakes - much of it has a wilderness feel. We're likely to see beavers, martins, and deer, and moose sightings have become increasingly common. For sure we'll hear the wild and haunting call of the loon. Maximum group size: 8
THIS TRIP IS FULL. To get on a waitlist, register for the trip (no deposit required).
Below is our planned itinerary. As is always true on any adventure trip, we may follow it exactly or we may alter it based on weather, new opportunities, or unforeseen circumstances.
Sunday, August 20: Our trip begins
today at the Albany, NY airport where we'll pick you up at 12:00. After
gear into the vans we'll drive 2.5 hours to the west central part of the
Adirondack State Park. This State Park is unique: bigger than Yellowstone and Yosemite combined, it is a mix
of publicly and privately owned land which means that state owned access and campgrounds co-exist with towns, summer cottages, and motor boats.
We'll only see a small section on our way to the town of Old Forge, NY. First Lake in Old Forge is the jumping off point of the
Fulton Chain, a string of eight lakes between Old Forge and Raquette
Lake that we'll be paddling. We'll spend the afternoon sorting our gear and getting packed up for an early start tomorrow. After finishing up we will go out to
dinner and watch our first sunset over the lake. Overnight Old Forge D
Monday, August 21: After a hearty breakfast at one of the local restaurants that are used to fueling Adirondack paddlers, we set off on our adventure. We'll start with a shorter day in terms of mileage, so that we have plenty of time to learn how to get all our gear into those kayaks. We'll then spend some time on instruction so that everyone feels comfortable on the water. Setting off we'll kayak 5 miles from Old Forge to Fourth Lake, starting at Old Forge Pond and going through First, Second, and (you guessed it!) Third Lakes to Fourth Lake, the largest of the Fulton Chain. We'll camp here on Alger Island, right in the middle of the lake, at primitive campsites with privies. We'll have time this afternoon for swimming, relaxing, and absorbing the beauty of our surroundings. Tonight we'll go to bed lulled by the sound of waves lapping the shore. B, L, D
Tuesday, August 22: We'll wake up to mists rising off the lake and perhaps the haunting sounds of loons. After breakfast we'll load up again and set off. This morning we'll experience our first portage, traditionally called a
"carry" in the Adirondacks because you need to carry your boats and
gear from one lake to the next. The carry is along a road and our kayak
carts make it easier. It's definitely a challenge but, working together as a team, it's totally doable. We continue through Fifth and Sixth
Lakes to our destination tonight, Seventh Lake, which some
would argue is the most beautiful lake of the Fulton Chain. The campsite
has both lean-tos and tent sites, as well as a privy and picnic tables. Our paddling mileage is 7.5 miles. B, L, D
Wednesday, August 23: After a hearty breakfast, we start paddling for Raquette Lake. Today's mileage is 11.5 miles, and the day is more
challenging as we have two carries. The first carry is a mile through the campground on a road. The
second carry is along a beautiful trail through the woods with a
boardwalk at the end. To make these carries easier, we'll have our gear transported ahead to Raquette Lake. We then paddle through Raquette Lake, famous for
having 99 miles of shoreline with all its bays. We'll camp tonight at Tioga Point in a campground that is accessible only
by water. Originally the site of a Civilian Conservation Corp Camp it
offers unparalleled views of the lake and surrounding mountains. B, L, D
Thursday, August 24: After the last few days we will be delighted to have a layover day
and a more relaxing start to the morning. There are many choices for a
day paddle: down Sucker Brook over beaver dams, following the old
steamship path down the Marion River to Lake Utowana, or perhaps over to Golden beach for a walk there. We'll let the weather and our energy
dictate our final choices. This will be our last night of camping and we'll take time to savor the beauty and quiet of the area. B, L, D
Friday, August 25: After eating breakfast and packing up our kayaks, we'll have time for further exploration of Raquette Lake and a final picnic lunch. We’ll then return to the small town of Raquette Lake where we can enjoy ice cream! It’s also where our shuttle will pick us up and after loading up all our gear, we’ll return to Old Forge. Of course we'll suffer the inevitable re-entry shock that occurs after a week of quiet without cars but we'll also appreciate hot showers and soft beds, and a dinner we didn’t cook or clean up. B, L, D
Saturday, August 26: The Adirondack State Park really is a unique area and we hope you have gained an appreciation of it. But unfortunately it's time to leave, and after breakfast
we'll pack up for the three hour drive back to Albany. We'll have you back by noon and you can plan to fly out anytime after
1 pm. B
$1595 (see this page for travel discounts). You can check our cancellation policies here.
Not included: travel to Albany, alcoholic beverages, personal camping equipment (sleeping bags and pads can be rented), guide gratuities, items of a personal nature
- Experienced guides
- Two nights lodging in double occupancy rooms and four nights camping
- All kayaking and group camping equipment
- All meals from dinner Sunday to breakfast the following Saturday
- Transportation once you arrive in the Albany, NY airport (ALB)
If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.
How do I pay for my trip?
You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.
What if I’m coming alone?
The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.
Can you accommodate special diets?
It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle.
If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.
What if I have to cancel my trip?
The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.
Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?
Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.
What other information will you send me?
When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.
Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?
For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.
How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?
If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.
What is the role of the guide(s)?
On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.
What if I have more questions?
Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.
What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?
You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.