Do you live in an urban environment and long to go boating? You can head out of town…but you’ll find many local, urban boating opportunities if you look around a bit.
Wilderness a few hours north of NYC
Head due north out of New York City and in just a few hours you’ve traded The Big Apple’s sizzling hot concrete canyons (and eight million New Yorkers) for the cool, green, silent splendor of deep wilderness punctuated with countless brooks, streams, rivers, and over 3,000 clear mountain lakes.
That’s what New Yorker, Joe Guimento, does. Joe works at a community garden in The Bronx but takes time out in the summer for a week of boating, camping, and relaxing in New York State’s Adirondack Park.
The Adirondack Region is the biggest natural wilderness area east of the Mississippi. With over six million acres, it’s larger than the entire state of Vermont, its neighbor to the east. And it’s a boater’s paradise.
Primitive camping accessible only by boat
The Adirondacks Region has many conventional campgrounds for tents and RV’s. But Joe favors primitive camping in state-sanctioned sites with no stores, services, electricity, or much of anything besides the natural setting. His camping and boating area-of-choice is Forked Lake just southwest of Long Lake.
“I camp at primitive campsites that are accessible only by boat,” says Joe. That means he has to bring in everything he’ll need during his stay. “I just check in, pile all the supplies in the Sea Eagle SE9, boat to the site, and set up camp,” says Joe.
A boat on the subway
It’s a long stretch between Adirondack boating vacations but Joe and his partner, Mike Pagan, have found a way to get back to nature by boating right in their own urban neighborhood.
Joe says, “We go boating on Long Island Sound where there are a bunch of uninhabited islands.” They boat down from Yonkers, explore a bit, land, pack up the boat, and take the subway home. “The Sea Eagle deflates and packs in a small bag,” says Joe, “so it’s easy to carry it on the subway.”
On other local outings, Joe and Mike boat across the Hudson River to explore the Palisades in New Jersey. “It’s crowded in New York, even the beaches,” says Joe. “It’s great to go boating and get away from it all. It’s very relaxing.”
Kayak on the shelf, outboard in the kitchen
How do you store a full-size boat in a one-bedroom NYC apartment? Joe stores two in his — a 22-lb. Sea Eagle 330 sport kayak, and a larger Sea Eagle SE9 motor mount boat. They deflate and pack in small bags. “I have a shelf above the doorway where I store the boats,” says Joe.
He has a small outboard motor for the SE9 and keeps it in a corner of the kitchen — after draining the gasoline, of course.
So next time you’re in The Big Apple, keep an eye open for Joe. He’s the guy on the subway with a boat in a bag.