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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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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Lake Kanawauke Paddle

So far, my summer kayaking plan has been working out pretty good. I haven’t done big trips but I’ve gotten in a lot quick paddles on the lakes in Harriman park. Like always, parking has been an issue at Harriman.

Lake Kanawauke map

Making things worse, Lake Welch has been closed due to a toxic algae bloom. Lake Welch has a huge beach and parking lot that would normally absorb a big percentage of the picnickers who show up to grill and swim and hang out with family and friends every weekend. Lake Kanawauke has been a reliable spot. Somehow I’ve always managed to find parking there, even when other areas are full. My first day there this year I spent exploring.

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