September had beautiful extended summer temperatures that enabled us to adventure across Lake Champlain again this year. A rare occurrence for the day to be just right to attempt a crossing to the New York side. 80 degrees and flat calm waters with almost no wind allowed us to go discover the Palasades just north of Westport.
We had a great bike ride to Kingsland Bay State Park in Ferrisburg first, a beautiful historic park that has a huge stone house and waterfront land and hikes on the lake.
We put our kayaks in at a launch named Fort Cassin (1814) in Ferriburg at the mouth of the Otter Creek. It’s a short paddle of about 1/2 mile out to the big lake and we made the Champlain crossing of about 2 miles in less than 1/2 an hour.
From there we paddled south another couple of miles to view ‘the Palasades’, a big cliff band 2-300 ft tall. We had seen it by boat a long time ago, but had never ventured across to view it close up. It was spectacular! Really worth the paddle , IF you have a long boat over 14 ft minimum. We paddle 17′ and 18′ ft boats and were glad we did. There can be some big motor boat wakes!
The water depth is 180 ft and ‘a warning’ that there a only a couple of places south of the cliff to get out of your boat on this whole paddle, so , hardly any rest stops. The water is crystal clear and wild on the NY side, and choked with weeds and camps on the VT side.
From the Palasades we paddled south to a point just north of Westport , NY to the site of a shipwreck of the steamboat ‘Champlain II’ which sank there in July 1875. It’s a dive spot marked by a giant yellow bouy. Straight across on the Vermont side
is the Basin Harbor Club just north of Button Bay State Park. We paddled back north to the Otter Creek on the VT side, a total of 6-8 miles. It was a great adventure!