Racers line up to paddle, paddle, paddle at the start of last year’s Adirondack Canoe Classic.
By M. Lisa Monroe
The 35th annual Adirondack Canoe Classic, the three day, 90-mile paddling event from Old Forge to Saranac Lake, will take place Sept. 8 – 10. Hosted by the Adirondack Watershed Alliance, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Central Adirondack Association, the 90 miler will again attract a full contingent of solo, tandem, four-person and eight-person Voyageur canoes, solo and tandem kayaks and one and two-person guide boats. More than 600 people, from 22 different states, will enjoy the scenic splendor of the fall foliage from the seats of their vessels.
The AWA works with local municipalities, tourism agencies, volunteer groups and local businesses to host paddlers for this iconic North Country event. Civic organizations working with the AWA generate more than $10,000 dollars for local projects during the 90 Miler. The towns of Webb, Long Lake, Inlet, Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake house, feed and gas up paddlers and their support crews not only the weekend of the 90, many teams visit the area several times over the course of the summer for paddle training and vacation. More paddlers are deciding to move to the region because of the multitude of recreational opportunities.
The 90 Miler community is represented by a large contingent of local participants and paddlers from as far away as Texas, California, Michigan, Canada and Hong Kong. More than 50 people are members of the Gold Canoe Club: people who have finished the 90 Miler at least 20 times in their paddling career. Paddlers range in age from 10 to 84 years. There will be over 50 college students representing several regional schools paddling, and more than 150 first-time 90 Miler paddlers in the event this year.
Best spectator spots for the three day event include on day one, the start in the Old Forge Pond from 8-9:30 a.m.; several locations along Route 28 and the finish line in Blue Mountain Lake. On day two, the start at Bissell’s Field in Long Lake from 8:30 – 10 a.m., a hike into Stoney Creek on the Raquette River, and the finish line at the Route 3/30 DEC Fishing access east of Tupper Lake. Day three starts at Fish Creek Campground, a hike into Bartlett Carry and the finish line festivities on Lake Flower in Saranac Lake are all good viewing opportunities.
For more information including a list of participants, the various boat classifications, frequently asked questions, and links to the various supporters and sponsors who make the 90 Miler happen, visit macscanoe.com or call the canoe race hot line (518) 891-2744.