ADKs
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Christian Guertin
(cguertin) - F

Locale: New England (& ADKs)
ADKs on 07/07/2009 20:01:48 MDT Print View

Anyone taken a packraft through the Adirondaks? The river / lake systems seem ideal for this mode of travel given all the carries and the lightweight of a packraft.

I am considering a packraft or a 15lb Hornbeck boat (hornbeckboats.com) for a trip. I can probably rent a Hornbeck, but a packraft would require the full investment. At this point I am not sure how much water travel I would do given that I've done one kayak trip and there are few appropriate rivers / wilderness in New England (see White Mtns post).

Thoughts? Comments? Ideas?

Matthew Monson
(alpha60) - F
ADKs on 07/08/2009 12:47:43 MDT Print View

I've done a lot of packrafting in the Adirondacks, mostly in the rivers of the Southern part of the park. There are some great routes when the conditions are right. A Hornbeck would be better suited to the lakes, ponds and flatwater rivers. A packraft is best with moderate whitewater in combination with hiking.

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: ADKs on 07/08/2009 13:54:48 MDT Print View

"Few appropriate rivers in New England"?

The AMC River Guides are chock full of potential runs that would be much more salient in a packraft at low / medium water than in a canoe or kayak.

A bicycle gets around the limited-Wilderness hurdle on the return trip, though it need not be seen as a hurdle at all. What packrafting opens up is an opportunity for adventure, and make no mistake, adventure need not be limited to Wilderness or even semi-Wilderness environments. Especially when so many of our riparian corridors remain largely out of the public consciousness, now more than ever in some cases.

Being a Wilderness prude (you may not be, but I was) is a sure way to unnecessarily limit options, not just in the world of packrafting, but river running in general. Or so I've discovered in my limited (and belated) time with this sport.

Edited by blister-free on 07/08/2009 14:33:54 MDT.

Matthew Monson
(alpha60) - F
ADKs on 07/08/2009 15:29:51 MDT Print View

Regarding low water it seems that a canoe has a smaller draft than a packraft. I've packrafted alongside a canoe in low rivers and struggled to stay close.

I haven't packrafted NH but I can attest that the ADKs and Maine have plenty of wilderness packrafting routes. In the ADKs there's the West Branch Sacandaga, South Branch Moose, Hudson, Oswegatchie, Raquette, most of which connect with wilderness trails. In Maine we did a Katahdin-Wassataqouik Stream-East Branch Penobscot loop last fall that's definitely packraft only (you don't see a lot of canoes on top of Katahdin.) Also in Maine, the West Branch Penobscot and St.Johns seem like good packraft rivers.

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: ADKs on 07/08/2009 15:53:44 MDT Print View

>>Regarding low water it seems that a canoe has a smaller draft than a packraft. I've packrafted alongside a canoe in low rivers and struggled to stay close.<<

That's been my experience as well. But with limited exception, a canoe tends to be relegated to flatwater at this time of year in New England (this wet summer being the exception so far, perhaps).

I don't mean to mix my apples and oranges. The OP is looking for a multi-day route, not a float by the seat of one's pants and be home for dinner type of trip. With the latter at least, the sky seems to be the limit - in a packraft.

Then there's always THIS
.