The Upper Hudson

Clare and I attended a wedding in the Adirondacks last weekend. A beautiful remote camp near Minerva with beautiful panoramic mountain views, and a bunch of ponds to fish and swim in. We were offered a guided hike to the Hudson River which we were told would take about 50 minutes each way. I have to admit, I was rather surprised that we were that close to the Hudson, but then again, I have never really given much thought to the path the river takes from its source, Lake Tear of the Clouds, to the Troy Dam.

We hiked down a primitive trail, maintained just enough to provide the occasional emergency evacuation of a rafter or kayaker. I never imagined that rafting was an activity anywhere on the Hudson. The trail came to parallel a rocky stream, Mink Outlet, with a 10’ waterfall a few dozen meters from the river bank.

We arrived at a small pebbly beach where a few rafters were having lunch. The water was flat and fast-moving… yes I went for a swim. I waded out to my waist and dove upstream, swimming in place careful not to drift out into the heavy flow. The water was crystal clear and sweet. I started to grill our guide, Peter, about the nature of the river ad rating of the rapids that were beyond our view. As with all rivers, the answer is not so simple and conditions vary with the flow… which is somewhat regulated by scheduled releases upstream.

Rafters seem to schedule their trips accordingly… or maybe it is the rafting schedule that prompts the releases? You can see I’ve got a bit more research to do. I think it would be prudent to take a trip with one of the river guides first to determine whether it might be navigable in a speedo, then…. who knows?