Creation of the Schroon Paddle Challenge –


Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act and Adirondacks Water Week in early August, the Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce, the town of Schroon, the Schroon Lake Association and the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism have teamed up to create the Schroon Paddle Challenge.

This challenge encourages residents and visitors to take trips on three local waterways that make up the Schroon Lake watershed: Schroon Lake, Schroon River to Schroon Lake, and Paradox Lake. Participants can use any type of human-powered watercraft such as kayaks, canoes or stand-up paddleboards.

Upon completion of all three paddles, finishers will earn the Schroon Paddle Challenge patch. Those who are able to complete all three paddles in a single weekend (Friday-Sunday) will earn an “Ultra” patch, signifying their accomplishment.

Challenge participants must register to receive their crest. Additional information can be found on the paddle challenge Web page. A link to register will be active at the beginning of August.

According to Scott Ireland, president of the Schroon Lake Association and executive director of the Adirondack Lakes Alliance, the challenge was created to encourage people to explore our region’s waterways and, perhaps, try a sport they have never practiced before. “We know that when people participate in outdoor activities, they tend to develop a love for the natural resources around them,” he said. “Encouraging these excursions will highlight the importance of waterways. We hope to involve the community to help preserve the watershed so that future generations can continue to enjoy this beautiful area.

Watersheds are essential to the health of a region’s ecosystem; as well as its social and economic well-being – ensuring that residents and visitors can continue to use lakes and rivers. A healthy watershed cleans and filters groundwater allowing it to be absorbed by the ground. This process improves water quality, reduces the risk of flooding, reduces the risk of establishment of invasive species and increases resilience to climate change.

Ireland explains that one of the most important things people can learn from this paddling challenge is the importance of ensuring their boats are clean and dry between paddles or before moving to another lane. navigable. “‘Clean. Drain. Dry.’ is a simple three-step process that all boaters can follow to stop the spread of invasive species that can upset the delicate balance of lakes, rivers and streams in our area,” he said. boat washes are posted on many area lakes this summer – they are a great source of information and I encourage paddlers to have conversations with them whenever possible.

According to Jane Hooper, communications manager at the Regional Sustainable Tourism Office, the paddle challenge is a fun way to bring attention to the region’s watersheds and encourage paddlers to do their part to keep our healthy waterways. “The Regional Sustainable Tourism Office supports controlling the impacts of outdoor recreation on the region through education and the promotion of educational information to residents and visitors. Ensuring people understand the importance of our waterways helps monitor the health of the lakes, rivers and lands in our region; all things that contribute to our quality of life in the Adirondacks,” she said. “The more people who take care of the waterways, the better.”

The three paddles that make up the Schroon Paddle Challenge include:

Schroon River (South River)

This paddle begins at the Horicon boat launch on Glendale Road and ends at Starbuckville Dam, just over four miles away. Paddlers can enjoy a slow, winding journey downstream. Those who complete this paddle for the challenge are only required to paddle one way. Participants should consider spotting a car at the Starbuckville Dam or plan to take the paddle back to the Horicon boat launch. Do not attempt to paddle beyond the bridge marked with warning signs.

Riverside Pines Campground, near Starbuckville Dam, allows one-way paddlers to get out to the beach for a brief rest on the campground beach before leaving the area or paddling back.

Schroon River to Schroon Lake (North River)

This paddle starts on the Schroon River on Alder Meadow Road. Enjoy a slow and winding 4.5 mile paddle downriver through an area more like a backcountry paddle. It features beautiful landscapes, wildlife, and borders on state lands. The paddle ends at the Schroon Lake boat launch on the west side of the lake.

Those who complete this paddle for the challenge are only required to paddle one way. Participants should consider placing a car at the Schroon Lake boat launch or plan to take the paddle back to Alder Meadow Road.

Paradox Lake

The Paradox Lake Paddle encourages participants to take an outing on the lake. There is no minimum distance or time required, so paddlers can feel free to enjoy a leisurely outing or a full-day adventure.


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