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.
My wife, our pooch Crosby and I were in the great Adirondack North Country for a weekend. With lakes surrounded by mountains practically wherever you look, it was the perfect venue for a nice, relaxing weekend filled with some great hiking.
We bagged Cascade and Porter on Saturday afternoon once the light mist subsided. The day turned out quite nice. The weather improved dramatically from the morning and while it stayed cool, the clouds broke and the views from the top were outstanding.
They say Cascade is the easiest of the 46ers. But it’s not an easy hike compared to most mountains I have hiked in the Catskills or the Greens. The terrain is more rugged, and at times, the trail is little more than a path of boulders through the forest.
Every spring when the season is over, I head to the cabin to turn off the heat, stack the wood for next winter and get the trails in shape for summer. I’m productive enough, but really it’s just another reason to return to my favorite place in the world.
Traditionally the spring work weekend was in early May, before the black flies had their game on. But over the last ten years the bugs are emerging earlier and we’ve moved spring weekend into April. Even this year it hardly feels like the ski season is over.
I arrived Friday afternoon and took a quick walk of the yellow trail. It was dry and I was surprised to find little deadfall; small consolation for the thinnest winter in memory.