Schuyler Island in Lake Champlain has fascinated me for years. I’ve taken my kids camping nearby many times and canoed around the Ausable marsh and river area. So when I decided I needed a little solo adventure time, island camping on Schuyler was an easy call.
Both Schuyler and Valcour Islands are part of the Adirondack preserve and open to camping. Unlike the Lake George Island campsites and many others in the area, no permits or reservations are required.
Port Douglas was my starting point. I loaded up for a night of camping and paddled north along the western shore of Lake Champlain. When I was about even with Schuyler Island’s closest point I steered my kayak east and headed out into the lake.
I’ve wanted to paddle around Bannerman Island ever since I learned about it’s quirky history during a protracted Wikipedia spiral. When I resolved to expand my paddling universe, it was on my list.
It was only when I got to the nitty gritty of planning that I connected it with the notorious “kayak murder” case. Turns out when Angelika Graswald allegedly sent her lover to the great beyond, they had left from the same spot I’d selected.
I got to Plum Point in Cornwall-on-Hudson and launched around 9:30 AM. Bannerman Castle is located on Pollepel Island, on the opposite side of the Hudson from Cornwall so my paddle started with a crossing.
I first heard Peekamoose Blue Hole was in trouble last year. I’d recommended the spot to a buddy of mine, and upon his return he called me with a tragic tale.
Things were grim: hundreds of people with grills playing loud music surrounded by broken glass and garbage. He told me there were so many cars parked along the road that it was difficult to drive past it.
Peekamoose Blue Hole, as I knew it, was not supposed to be that way. While it hasn’t exactly been a secret since the dawn of the internet age, it’s location, lack of services, and deep, ice cold water had always limited crowds.