One of my favorite places in the world is Great Camp Santanoni. I interned there in the summer of 2005 and have returned many times since. I knew I wanted to try to carry my canoe back to Newcomb Lake and I squeezed in an overnight trip in October 2021. You can learn more about the camp and it’s history at

I went pond-hopping south of Syracuse to Spruce Pond and Labrador Pond on Saturday, each a short drive from each other in Morgan Hill State Forest and the Labrador Hollow Unique Area. Spruce Pond is on the Finger Lakes Trail and North Country National Scenic Trail and has some primitive campsites nearby, but you can also drive right up to it. It’s quite tiny, and seeing your car parked right nearby detracts a little from the “forest” feeling, but it’s still quite picturesque and a nice spot if you just want to putter around. The campsites are free but require

Yesterday morning I volunteered with the Creek Rats during their annual creek cleanup (the 20th anniversary!) and had a fantastic time! I’ve mentioned before that as much as I love an iconic remote Adirondack lake, I also love finding opportunities to paddle close to home and in unexpected places. And the Creek Rats have been working for years to make Onondaga Creek a welcoming place to paddle and enjoy a waterway in the city of Syracuse. Onondaga Creek begins down in the Tully area and winds up through the city of Syracuse to empty into Onondaga Lake. The Creek Rats

I headed out early on Friday morning from our cabin to visit Fawn Lake. It had been raining somewhat steadily the past few days, so it was nice to have a dry, sunny morning to paddle around and drink coffee. Fawn Lake is just outside of Speculator, slightly northwest of Piseco, and just a short drive from where I was staying. And also immediately west of Vly Lake! You drive a little ways off of 8 and just past a snowplow turnaround, there’s a parking area and trailhead. A hummingbird flew right up as I parked, likely disappointed by the