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What is your local day paddle?

Feb 29, 2012
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Schenectady, NY
Let’s see…I’m 10 minutes from the Mohawk River, which is OK for training or boat shake down.
I’m 20 minutes from the lower Hudson, below the federal locks, so it’s tidal, don’t go there too much.
I’m 40 minutes from the closest edge of the Blue Line (ADK Park).
MDB and I have done Lake Lila as a day trip, as well as Indian Lake, the upper Hudson, Henderson Lake…the list is endless.
I don’t have a favorite, all waters have their allure depending on season, water levels and fellow paddlers.
I consider myself quite lucky to be so near the ADK’s
Jul 31, 2011
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Aberdeen, MD
I live between Baltimore and Philly, and it takes longer to get the canoe on the car than it does to get it from the driveway into the water... My favorite local paddle is on a stretch called Gray's Run, with a little feeder called Cranberry Run. Both open out into the Bush River, which then flows into the Chesapeake Bay.

May 13, 2015
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Had my first paddle of the season Sunday. Nearly dumped it getting in for the first time in months (an annual tradition it seems) but all went well. This was my standard after work paddle, but I stopped and took pics of all the landmarks.

Heading downstream towards the river. Water is way high, which is nice.

A memorial to my mil. She was a big fish in this small pond town.

Out on the river. This is the end of the Dartmouth Crew rowing course. Ledyard bridge up the way.

Picnic spot No. 1. Nice sandy beach.

Secret spot for when the others are taken. I leave the driftwood (pulled out from the landing) in the sittable area to make it look less inviting from the water, and move it when we arrive.

Gilman Island campsite on the Connecticut River Paddler's Trail. Big site.

The picnic spot everyone covets. Note the rope swing. If you want this one on a long weekend you better arrive early.

Heading home and then a bit upstream. Don't usually get to go too far thataway.

The put in/take out. The rack is new. During covid a bunch of folks started leaving their boats here, on what is conserved land. The Conservancy built this rack just a few weeks ago, and requires a $100 donation if you want to use it for the season. Only two boats in this pic, but by later in the day it was already full, I think all with boats from the neighborhood. Hope they don't "improve" the landing so it is kayak friendly. Right now canoes only. Keeps out the riffraff.

Not pictured, the water treatment plant I have to paddle by.

PS--Do we need a "Day Paddles" section in the Tripping section or elsewhere? I'd hardly call this an "American Trip Report", but that is the only other logical place to put it if this thread didn't already exist.
Apr 18, 2020
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TC, Michigan
Two spots I like to paddle that are within a few minutes from my house. The Boardman, all sections above Boardman lk. And when there’s not a ton of jet skis/speed boats out, East bay. The bay is only 2.5 miles across, but you can usually escape the noise and rush the tourists bring. And there’s decent fishing
Sep 17, 2018
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If you just want a day paddle, what's your local water body? Descriptions and pictures are always appreciated.

Here's a thread about my local paddle on the Housatonic River in Connecticut, which south of my town is dammed up into a series of lakes, the first one being Lake Lillinonah.

I'm in Milford, CT. Lower section of the Housatonic and the Wheeler Marsh are just on the other side of town. East River in Guilford is one of the best day trip paddles around - salt marsh, fresh water marsh and forest in 4-1/2 miles. Lake Lillinonah, I especially like the Shephaug side...few houses and lots of protected forest land. And of course, the lower Connecticut River has a bunch of day trip paddles. photo of Mill Brook, which feeds into the Lieutenant River. East Lyme, CTaIMG_1223x.jpg
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Jun 3, 2015
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Anchorage Alaska / Pocono Mts.
Bradys lake in Monroe county Pa. is another of my favorite day trips. It is located 3 miles in on a dirt road in state gamelands. It’s a very pretty 223 acres and has a navigable stream coming into it. My goal on this trip was to take the stream as far as possible.

The drive in. 124091D3-336D-4918-A55B-F0397D94702E.jpeg77B1EB76-4136-4642-8754-3A5ADB6EB016.jpegThe lake is a good paddle on its own and the fishing is supposed to be good. 74C779F0-47CC-45F8-9D28-645D2BC4126B.jpegI came to the first beaver dam in 2.25 miles. 26E1E9FE-7160-4074-A3A0-70E55D863C0B.jpegAA61D65A-68D0-429F-A9DA-6978C09F0561.jpeg5C1DB88D-76CD-43C2-983B-3DE86AE4FCA2.jpeg42D79E26-57CC-453E-B9F6-18A9329613BB.jpegI made it upstream a little over a mile and a half and crossed 13 dams. It got pretty tight in spots and there was a muck floating on the surface in places that stuck to the hull and slowed things down. 5B9583A7-7C57-4281-B03B-861C32479224.jpegThe muck, kinda looked like moose intestines. A1762325-2026-4899-A6C5-B0010A915BA2.jpegI was hoping to come to a pond where I could try for some native rookies. There were only some small pools left from what at one time had been ponds. Unfortunately there were some large dams that had washed out that had held nice ponds. I did manage to put my fly in places that I would have expected a strike but other than one rise that might have been a salamander I got nothing.

I got up far enough to leave the beaver meadow and get into the forest. It got shallow and rocky so I walked upstream to have a look. After a hundred yards or so there was a pond and I could have kept going, but besides a large blowdown to deal with I was out of time and headed back.

It was a great trip in a scenic spot and good practice at crossing beaver dams and poling. I poled the three miles of stream.
Oct 29, 2019
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southeast PA
Wow Al... what a beautiful canoe! Nice watery exploration there, but I couldn't hardly look past the canoe. Is she an E M White or a Northwoods canoe? Do you know the color name for her paint job? I just ordered some Kirby's Blind Green for an upcoming project and your green looks outstanding.

Thanks, Pat
Aug 29, 2017
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Gaithersburg, MD
A day paddle for me is one of two trips on the Potomac River, usually with the local canoe/kayak club -- Canoe Cruisers Association.

The Potomac runs right through DC and some populous Maryland/Virginia suburbs. There's a large whitewater paddling community here, so these spots get a lot of use. So there is not as much solitude as most here aim for. On the other hand, I consider myself fortunate to have a resource like the Potomac, which almost always is runnable (unless flooded), effectively in my backyard. And on these sections of the Potomac there's almost no visible development. I regularly see heron, osprey, hawks, eagles, and tons of turtles -- so there's a quasi-wilderness feel to it.

My usually Sunday paddle is a loop known locally as the George Washington (GW) Canal / C&O (Cheapeake & Ohio) Canal loop. You can read about George Washington's Canal aka the Patowmack Canal, which is the older of the canals and runs on the Virginia side here:

The C&O Canal, which runs on the Maryland side can be read about here.

The loop starts at the parking lot at Violette's Lock (aka Lock 23) on the old C&O Canal on the Maryland side of the Potomac. From there it is a short portage along the C&O Canal tow path to the put in just above Seneca Falls. From there, ferry across the river and enter the remains of the GW Canal on the Virginia side. This section of the GW Canal is entirely natural (being a smart guy, Washington only dug where he needed to dig) and is is a Class I-II run with a couple of small ledge drops and friendly surfing waves. About 1.5 miles down, exit the GW canal and ferry back across the Potomac to the Maryland side, where you make a short carry over the C&O Canal tow path and put back into the (re-watered) C&O canal and paddle back up to the parking lot Viollettes' Lock. Easy peasy.

Here's an overview of the GW Canal / C&O Canal loop route which I tracked on my iPhone using Gaia GPS.


And here's my MR Explorer that Mike McCreas helped me outfit (YAER) at the put in. The start of Seneca Falls is visible. The Trump Golf Course is in the upper right. The entrance of the GW Canal is just below the golf course (and for a while the Secret Service wouldn't let paddlers anywhere near it until the paddlers sued and won the right to continue using the river).


Here's a typical shot inside the GW Canal of one of the friendly surfing waves. (Sorry about all the kayakers, Glenn.)


And here I am heading back on the C&O canal after obliging some club member who wanted a picture of me in front of the irises. (At least she didn't ask me to tiptoe through the tulips). The tow path runs just on top of the bank in front of the tree line so there are usually walkers, joggers and cyclists wizzing by. Always a lot of turtles seen here. Also a couple of beaver lodges are in this canal (shockingly, beaver are now common throughout Maryland -- although I've never seen a beaver in the canal as opposed to their lodges).


The other day trip which I do is actually a Wednesday evening paddle on another section of the Potomac River that requires a shuttle. It is known locally as Angler's Inn to Lock 10. Three Class II rapids, including the easy one seen here. (Again, apologies for showing kayakers; usually there are other canoeists on these trips but sometimes I'm the only open boater.).


Both these trips are about a 25-30 minute drive from my home and both trips last 3.5-4 hours door-to-door.

Jun 3, 2015
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Anchorage Alaska / Pocono Mts.
My wife and I had a fantastic day on the middle Delaware river yesterday. We put in at the Bushkill access and paddled, poled, and waded 5.5 miles upstream before turning back.

It was scenic, the water was nice and clear and we saw a lot of fish. It wasn’t too crowded and had a remote feel.

We were out for a little over five hours and our moving time was four hours. Our average speed was 2.7 mph. We can’t wait to go back and explore more of the river. F3BEE642-3AA6-4151-B3AE-D1D8B2B37C83.jpeg613CABAD-72FA-4C12-A6C6-148E84985249.jpeg613CABAD-72FA-4C12-A6C6-148E84985249.jpeg


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