WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER paddling near Rt.10 in the Adirondacks

Finally! DEC has completed construction of a new paddlers' take-out site along the West Branch Sacandaga River on the Shaker Place Conservation Easement along State Route 10 (our usual downstream take-out spot after a one-way trip from the 1st or 2nd bridges). The new access provides a safer and more user-friendly experience.

June 6, 2016 - WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER from 1st bridge on Rt.10 to just before Shaker Place. One of the Adirondacks' most scenic streams. Soon had to duck under a tree then carry around another; the only obstruction after that was a beaver dam going into Chub Lake. Brief visits to Good Luck & Trout Lakes. Recent rains had brought water level up - the current was going from the river into Good Luck Lake - usually in summer it is flowing out of the lake toward the river. Beaver, merganser, wood ducklings. Gusty wind - blackflies not an issue during the paddle but got a few bites at the car. 11.8 miles, 5.7 hours. 7.5 mile drive between put-in & take-out.

July 22 - WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER from 1st bridge (upstream, eastern) on Rt. 10 to just before Shaker Place.  Water fairly low.  Tree across the stream about a mile from start - muddy 20' portage/drag on river R.  Not far below 2nd bridge there is a logjam of floating logs that we just pushed thru (a great blue heron reluctantly gave up its spot on one of the logs) & a large beaver dam that was easily hopped over.  Side-trips into Good Luck Lake & more...

Oct 27, 2010 - WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER.  Recent rains produced high water level.  Upstream to Good Luck Lake (the current was actually going up the lake's outlet) - lots of ripe cranberries in the marsh to the W.  Checked out a campsite - easy access brings bad campers sometimes (very quiet today).  Downstream & into Chub Lake.  

Jul 18, 2010 - WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER upstream from 1st (easternmost) Rt.10 bridge.  As one paddles upstream one goes deeper into the Silver Lake Wilderness.  Saw no-one, great wilderness feel.  0.2 mile carry at the start on unmarked path near N shore, put in above rapids, several beaver dams, lift over downed tree, some lining thru rocky shallows.  The river winds thru grassy banks topped with spruce & alder, some sandy & rocky banks.  Break on rock.  Skied to around here on 2/25/09.  Eventually gets rocky & shallow, walked upstream a ways to check things out.  Moose tracks.  Avoided the carry on return by lining & paddling short distances, very rough & rocky - next time will do the carry.  5.5 hours.  Prospector canoe (Bell & Swift versions are the same design).

Jul 19, 2009 - WEST BRANCH SACANDAGA RIVER from  1st (eastern/upstream) Rt.10 bridge to Shaker Place.  The further adventures of Bowzilla & Frankenstern in the Bell Chestnut Prospector canoe.  No beaver dams that needed lift-overs - just a tree down just below water level  a bit below 2nd bridge & we were able to pull/push everybody over.  Side-trips E up a stream over 2 beaver dams (mentioned in Discover the Southern Adirondacks) for quarter mile to boggy vly & into Trout Lake for lunch stop (where we watched a loon feeding).  Ravens.  Wished Rt. 10 was a little farther away but still a very nice scenic trip with mostly wild shores.   Saw more kayaks & canoes than I have ever seen here before - perhaps due to recent article in Adirondack Explorer - note they skipped the section between bridges & missed very pleasant paddling thru more intimate wooded shores different than rest of trip, shallower but plenty deep today.  Steep take-out on Rt.10 - Shaker Place still gated.  Breezy, so bad bugs minimal.  11+ miles, 6 hours.


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