From: August 19 to August 25, 2018

Destination: Adirondacks State Park, NY

  • Kayaking the Adirondacks

    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 part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail that stretches from Old Forge all the way to Fort Kent, ME. We, however, will only kayak a short part through the Saranac Lakes. Following the route of early loggers and hunters, our trail winds along rivers, crossing a half mile carry (aka a portage), and across open lakes, where century-old, hand-operated locks still carry paddlers between waterways. While this is not remote wilderness, 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. We'll be taking our time on this trip, with many options for additional paddling, swimming, or just relaxing into the peace of wilderness. Maximum group size: 8
  • Sunday, August 19
    Our trip begins today at the Albany, NY airport where we'll pick you up at 12:00. After loading our 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 Lake Saranac Village. 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 Adirondack sunset over the lake. Overnight Saranac Lake D

    Monday, August 20
    We start the day with a shuttle from Saranac Lake Village to our put in spot on Upper Saranac Lake. After getting our gear loaded and reviewing some basic principles for kayaking efficiently, we'll set off for a fairly short paddle to a designated campsite. "Wild" camping isn't allowed here, which is a good thing because the beauty of the area would result in it being overrun with paddlers.

    After setting up our camp, we'll have time to explore the lake further. The sixth largest lake in the Adirondacks, there are many bays and inlets to explore. It is also the home of several "Great Camps" that are visible from the lake. After having our fill of paddling, we'll return to our campsite for the first delicious camp dinner. Tonight we'll be lulled to sleep by the sound of waves lapping the shore.

    Tuesday, August 21
    Waking up to the haunting call of the loon and the mist slowly rising off the lake, the beauty of the area seeps into our bones. After a hearty breakfast, we start paddling for Middle Saranac Lake. About five miles into the paddle, we'll experience our first (and only) portage, traditionally called a "carry" in the Adirondacks because we need to carry our boats and gear from one lake to the next. The half mile carry is along a forest road and our kayak carts make it easier. The carry ends in Middle Saranac Lake, the smallest of the Saranac Lakes, and tonight and tomorrow night we'll camp at a campsite that is accessible only by water.

    Wednesday, August 22
    Layover days are a marvelous thing in the wilderness - no packing up, no destination, just a chance to do as you please and really soak in the wilderness. After the last two days we will be delighted to have one and a more relaxing start to the morning. There are many choices for how to spend the day, from paddling through Hungry Bay to Weller Pond, swimming at one of the many pristine beaches, to practicing safety techniques. There is even a nearby hiking trail that leads to Ampersand Mountain, climbing over 1500 feet in 3 miles. We'll let the weather and our energy dictate our final choices.

    Thursday, August 23
    We'll pack up this morning and continue our paddle, down the Saranac River to Lower Saranac Lake. In contrast to the open lakes we've been paddling, the Saranac River twists and winds through a wide and marshy channel to the Upper Locks. Yes, locks! Not too many wilderness areas have the convenience of being assisted through a 3 foot drop and this one is definitely a holdover from an earlier time. Once through the lock, we continue through the channel that gradually opens onto Lower Saranac Lake. We won't actually be paddling through most of the lake tomorrow so we'll camp overnight and have some time to explore further. This will be our last night of camping and we'll take time to savor the beauty and quiet of the area.

    Friday, August 24
    Our last day of paddling is an excellent sampler of river, lake and mountains. We'll paddle through First Pond, Second Pond, Oseetah Lake and into Lake Flower, arriving back at the same place we started five days ago. Really, could it only be 5 days since we were here. But this time we'll suffer the inevitable re-entry shock that occurs after a week of quiet without cars. At the same time we'll also deeply appreciate the hot showers and soft beds. After cleaning up we'll head into town for a final farewell dinner, celebrating our accomplishments and our camaraderie.

    Saturday, August 25
    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.
  • $1595 (see this page for travel discounts).  Limited single rooms are available for an additional $300. We will try to provide a single tent but limited space at campsites could limit possibilities. You can check our cancellation policies here. 

    Trip Includes

    • 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)
    Not included: Travel to and from Albany, alcoholic beverages, personal camping equipment (sleeping bags and pads can be rented), guide gratuities, items of a personal nature 
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  • Common Questions

    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.

Trip highlights

  • Kayaking through the Saranac Lakes on te Northern Forest Canoe Trail
  • Swimming in clear water as often as we choose
  • Camping in the crisp air of late August
  • Listening to the haunting call of the loon as we sit around the campfire
  • Learning about the unique private/public partnership that keeps this area "Forever Wild"

Register for this trip today

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