Schodack Island State Park Camping/Kayaking Weekend June 22-24 2018


Schodack Island State Park south of Albany was a new location for the club.  The campgrounds were laid out well.  Sites were a good size, all flat, separated and shaded by tall thin trees (which did not provide much relief from the stifling heat on Thursday).  Facilities were the best with large showers, hot water and soap (no mold anywhere).  Ice (2 dollars) and wood (5 dollars) were delivered to your site, if you gave them a call.  Yes, there was cell service and internet.  It was not our average Adirondack adventure.  Fire pits were double ringed and high. I guess it is safer, but it would have been better to see the fire from the side, not the top.  Michelle did have a cutout in hers.  We had the first fire at her site.


There was wildlife – deer, loads of birds, coyote, eagles, geese, snapping turtles, grey heron, and bunnies everywhere. The fireflies were plentiful at night.  A skunk gave Dave a hard time.  He just wanted to be a bunkmate.  The neighbors did not approve of the direction that skunk traveled after being evicted and let Dave know.   There were no loons. The sweet peaceful sound of the loons was replaced by trains, planes, cars and helicopter noises.  Driving under 2 huge bridges on the road to the campground was your first clue to the dominant sounds.  Amtrak was quiet, but the very long freight train that drove over that rusty bridge a lot was not.  Welcome to city camping. It was nice not having to worry about bears visiting Deb though.


We found some decent paddling routes.  The Hudson River was pleasant to paddle on.  The big barges provided nice rolling waves and were fairly few and far between.  There was much less boat traffic than expected.  We followed some offshoots for Adirondack-y views.  One creek let to a waterfall and herd of goats and a few turkeys. Another estuary gave us limbo practice under a bridge at high tide.   Schodack Creek on the other side of the camp ground was quite murky.  You had to pay attention to tides there or get stuck in muck.  You could not save yourself, because you would be stuck deep in that muck if you stepped out.  Two ladies experienced it first-hand.  As Shirley, Kathy and I paddled around the peninsula, we noticed them dillydallying.  The Fire Rescue crew had to pull them out. Kayakers back at camp were wondering if it was us, because the trip took longer than expected.  Nope, we got out of the creek before low tide.


Throughout the weekend we paddled the Hudson in two directions, hiked the trails around the campgrounds, and visited sites and breweries in Albany.  My Place and Company was a good choice for the Friday night dinner on the patio. It was surprisingly inexpensive and good that night. Drizzle and a quick downpour near Bethlehem Park lunch break area accompanied us on the paddle Saturday. Tarp covered Kathy and Kims breakfast and supper campsite, but the light rains did not spoil our low-cal (ha), tasty meals or campfire.  Who new Nic and Sue could be such an interesting topic of conversation. Dream a little sexy dream with me – or smoke. Your choice.  


Campers/Kayakers/Hikers/Albany tourists were Sue and Dan, Cindy MP (who slept in a nearby family bed), Amy, Alice and Kevin, Steve, Dave L, Deb, Bob, Hugh, Mike and Barb (newbies), Michelle, Kim, Kathy, Rick and Cindy, and Shirley (my Troy friend who helped with planning and paddled Friday).  Mileages varied from approx. 19.5, 13.8, 11.8, 11.5, 6, and 4 (Sunday before heading home).


For future reference Burden Lake did not have a good launch.  Kinderhook Lake looked okay, but they were having a water chestnut pull on the weekend, so we did not try it out. They unfortunately have to treat it every two weeks with copper sulfate to keep the blue-green algae in check.  Another FYI - Tea Tree oil is good for the itch and ooze created by insect bites – ask test subjects Michelle and Barb. And - there are hungry tics at the campground and they will find you even if you always wear pants – ask Dan.