Silvermine Lake Paddle

Long time readers might remember that I spend a lot of time recreating around Silvermine Lake in Harriman State Park. In the past I’ve written about taking my kids to explore the ruins of the defunct ski area, using the still-skiable trails to fool around with touring gear in the winter and as a spot for an easy loop hike around the lake, utilizing a portion of the Appalachian Trail and the CCC era Silvermine Ski Road. What first drew me to the spot though was the lake.

Lewis Brook

It’s not a big lake and doesn’t offer anything challenging but it’s still a cool spot to paddle a canoe or kayak. What sets it apart from most of the other lakes in Harriman is that there are no camps or picnic areas directly on its shores.

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The Only Game in Town

It’s the middle of summer but if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re spending at least a little bit of time every day thinking about skiing. Maybe not every day but often enough. It seems the hotter it gets, the more I miss the feeling of sliding on snow.

When I was younger, I thought that by this point in my life, I’d be spending at least two or three weeks of every summer down in Chile or Argentina, skiing my ass off. Maybe New Zealand. I still haven’t pulled that off.

Luckily for me, I have an alternative forty minutes from home; indoor skiing at Big Snow American Dream in New Jersey. I mean, it’s not a perfect substitute.

Big SNOW Trail Map
Big SNOW Trail Map

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Paddling Lake Sebago NY

Lake Sebago, at 310 acres, is the biggest lake in Harriman State Park. It’s name supposedly means “big water” in Algonquin, though Wikipedia didn’t indicate which Algonquin language that was. My guide books don’t include that information either. Hopefully it’s from the Lenape language since they lived in the area prior to the Europeans arriving.

Paddling Lake Sebago

On the other hand, Lake Sebago didn’t exist in precolonial times. It was created in 1925 by damming a section of Stony Brook, flooding the former logging community of Johnsontown, which had been condemned by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission and torn down a few years earlier. Maybe they should have named it Lake Eminent Domain.

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