Hudson River/Champlain Canal

Kayak Touring Through the Locks

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  • Town of Saratoga, Village of Schuylerville, Saratoga County
  • Activities: Kayak Touring, Walking Trails
  • Length: Unlimited
  • Current: South
  • Scenery: Wooded shoreline, farms

Trip tip: Lock 5

This launch will give the flatwater paddler access to a diverse waterway. This section of the Hudson River, which flows through Schuylerville, is part of the Champlain Canal, a component of the New York State Canal System. The Champlain Canal has a total of 12 locks, which start in Troy and connect to Lake Champlain in Whitehall, NY. One mile upstream of the Schuylerville put-in is Lock 5. Paddling through the lock is always an exciting adventure. It’s free for non-motorized crafts. To access the lock, paddle up to the lock and get the Lock Keeper’s attention. The Lock Keeper controls the lock and when he knows you’re there he’ll open the doors. Paddle into the lock and hold onto one of the ropes hanging down along the walls. The doors will close and this lock will lift you 19 feet up to the next section of the canal. The mouth of the Battenkill is also just upstream from the put-in, which is a beautiful wooded section of river to paddle. Paddling south from the put-in will give you beautiful views of farmland and Saratoga National Battlefield off in the distance. The current flows south. When the water levels are high, the strength of the current increases. I suggest paddling north first and letting the current help you on the way back south to the put-in.

Directions: Route 29
Drive east out of town on Lake Ave (Rte 29) toward Schuylerville. Take a right at the light in Schuylerville staying on Rte 29. Continue through town and make a left at the next light staying on Rte 29. The access at Fort Hardy Park is on the left just before the bridge.

Fish Creek

FISH CREEK

  • Town of Saratoga, Saratoga County
  • Activities: Kayak Touring, Swimming, Powerboats
  • Length: 13 miles from Saratoga Lake to Hudson River
  • Scenery: Bayou
  • Trip Tip: Kayak rentals at the Kayak Shak

Fish Creek flows east out of Saratoga Lake for 13 miles to Schuylerville, where it empties into the Hudson River. There is a small dam east of Bryant’s Bridge Rd that controls the level of the lake and creek. Motorboat traffic is heavy on the weekends, but is mostly concentrated on Saratoga Lake. The best put in for kayakers and canoeists is off of Stafford’s Bridge Rd at the Kayak Shak, which is part of Saratoga Outdoor Center. As you paddle around the thick lily pads along the shoreline you often will see large carp surfacing and splashing. Some common birds sighted along the waterway include the red winged blackbirds and swamp sparrow.

Directions: Stafford’s Bridge Road, Kayak Shak

From Saratoga Springs drive east on Rte 29 toward Schuylerville until you come to the traffic light at Stafford’s Bridge Rd. Make a right and continue over the bridge. The Kayak Shak is immediately on the right.