...canoe & kayak races...
The Adirondack Canoe Classic, “The 90-Miler,” was conceived in 1983 by a small group of people in Saranac Lake looking for an event that would celebrate the historical mode of transportation in the region: human-powered boats. The inaugural planning meeting emphasized the concept of “community” – the paddlers, volunteers and followers, the people in the towns and villages connected by the waterways, and the businesses supported by the people coming to explore the waterways.
The original organizer, Sue Dyer, was looking for “something physically challenging, naturally gorgeous and positively memorable after the pain went away.” Bill Hulshoff, who had paddled the Adirondack waterways as a camper, suggested following the route from Old Forge to Saranac Lake. The idea turned into reality when Sue pitched it to the Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce Board. According to Dick Lyon, the president of the chamber at the time – “We had a great group of people with a “we can do anything we put our minds to” attitude. Sue came up with the crazy ideas and we figured out how to make them happen!”
In the second year, Terry Healey and Bill White of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation got involved to check out the 90-Miler as a possible New York Forest Preserve Centennial event. The DEC has played an integral safety and communications role ever since.
The 90-Miler experience has featured beautiful sunny days, occasional rain, gale force winds, and even snow and hale in its 25-year history. The course has been adapted several times to accommodate the growing field and the mood swings of Mother Nature.
Long time paddlers will remember accommodations at The Raquette Lake Boys Camp, the Long Lake Arts and Crafts Camp, the Wawbeek, and Young Life. The DEC has offered camping at Fish Creek for most of the 25 years, and at either Forked Lake or Lake Eaton near Long Lake on Friday night. We’ve paddled in the washing machine waves on Raquette Lake; started day two on a two mile carry heading out of Forked Lake, slogged up Stoney Creek and pulled out at Axton landing.
It has been an exhilarating journey. The community that has developed around the event has inspired its own song. Millions of photos, magazine articles, radio pieces and even a 2-hour video have attempted to capture the essence of what has been described by many as the highlight of their paddling year. Evidenced by the fact that for the past three years the members of The New York Marathon Canoe Racing Association has voted the 90 – Miler its race of the year.
Adirondack Watershed Alliance
PO Box 66 Lake Clear, NY 12945
0 days until:
General ClintonCanoe Regatta (05.24.13)