ADIRONDACK CANOE CLASSIC CELEBRATES 30TH YEAR
Join us as we speak with Brian McDonnell from the Adirondack Watershed Alliance!
The Adirondack Canoe Classic, better know as “The 90 Miler,” starts in Old Forge every September… In 2012 we spoke with Organizer Brian McDonnell about the 30th annual event. Paddlers gather on Thursday evening to register and make final preparations prior to launching at 8 AM Friday. The event is limited to 275 vessels including Guideboats, voyageur canoes, kayaks and solo, tandem and 4 person canoes, and the Age range of the participants is 10 to 79 plus! The 90 Miler follows the original “highways of the Adirondacks,” the lakes, rivers and ponds travelled by early settlers and guides.
On Day One – The 90 Miler starts in Old Forge and follows the Fulton Chain of lakes up through Eighth Lake, to the Brown’s Tract, across Raquette Lake to St. Huberts Bay, up the Marion River across the Railroad grade to Lakes Utowana and Eagle to the finish line at Blue Mountain Lake. It’s about 35 miles including paddling and carries.
On Day Two paddlers begin at Endion onLongLakeand go off in waves on a thirty mile treck toward the North end of the lake, following theRaquetteRiverdown to the DEC Fishing access east ofTupperLake. There is one carry aroundRaquetteFalls.
On Day Three, The Fish Creek Campground is where competitors get started. Paddlers will cross Square Pond, go down Fish Creek to Upper Saranac Lake, across Middle Saranac, through Lower Saranac Lake, down the Saranac River, across Oseetah Lake to the Finish line on Lake Flower in the Village of Saranac Lake. The final day of Paddling.. About 20 miles.
Stories in the Numbers – Each team is assigned a boat number to allow race organizers, the DEC and safety personnel to keep track of participants while out on the water.
Boat #20 will be paddled by Rodger Dempster ofSaranacLake, who will join the “Gold Canoe Club” this year. The Gold Canoe is earned by finishing twenty 90 Milers. There are currently 35 members of the “Golden Canoe Club.”
Boat# 29 will be paddled by Holly Crouch of Sherburne and her friends dubbed “the first ladies.” Holly has only missed one 90 Miler while serving her country as an Army nurse inAfghanistan. Boat # 30 will be paddled by Ray Morris ofGlens Falls. Ray has found his way from Old Forge toSaranacLakein September for the past 30 years!
Boat #60 will be rowed by Bob Pierson and his friend Bob Davis. The Pierson’s will be celebrating their 60 th wedding anniversary during the event.
Boat # 100 will be paddled by Glen Van de Winckel who is celebrating his 75th birthday and his 25th 90 Miler. Glen will paddle a solo canoe surrounded by friends in solo boats. Every boat has a story woven into the fabric of the 90 Miler community.
Brian and Grace McDonnell of the Adirondack Watershed Alliance organize the event. Sponsor organizations include The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Byrne Dairy, The Central Adirondack Association, Long Lake Recreation, Franklin County Tourism, Wenonah Canoes, Campmor, Placid Boatworks, Adirondack Lakes and Trails, Forge Racing, Hyde Fuel’s Nice n Easy Shoppe’s, Old Forge Camping Resort, Campmor, MAC’S Canoe Livery and a host of businesses supporting the paddlers along the 90 Mile route.
The Adirondack Watershed Alliance was organized to assure the continued promotion and organization of paddle sport activities; develop a stewardship network to enhance recreational opportunities; and provide outdoor employment opportunities. For more information contact the AWA at (518) 891 – 2744.