Trip Report: Northern Forest Canoe Trail, 50-miler, 2022

We flew to the northeast for our 2022 50-miler: This time in the placid (no pun intended!) lakes of the Adirondack Mountains.

The troop voted almost unanimously for the Northern Forest Canoe Trail in New York as the location for the 50-miler, and after nights of diligent planning, the trip became a reality!

We departed from SJC on Saturday July 16th, and got to the Albany Airport motel later that day. After spending the night at the motel, we headed to the Meadowbrook campground, and received our gear. The outfitters were amazing, and supplied everything from tents to meals and snacks.

Some noteworthy experiences from the trip are mentioned below!:

Games & Concentration

The scouts had great fun playing card games and Ninja at the Meadowbrook campground. Several packs of cards got soaked after that though (because of the rain), but they still had a great time playing other group games like Concentration: The main idea was to go in a circle and name items of a certain category in rapid succession, without hesitating. This was ideal to play when it was raining outside, by a fire, or at meal stops.

Rain & sporadic storming:

On the morning of the 18th, we could see storm clouds rolling towards us. We split into two groups, and after a quick lunch at the canoe launching site, we started canoeing in the rain, on Long Lake. During the first three days, it poured on and off (Group A got especially lucky: They found available lean-to’s when the storms were at their peak, every time!).


The portages were a feat of strength, and it was surely something to solo carry canoes and barrels up muddy slopes! During portages, we had to carry group gear like food barrels, canoes, paddles, and pfds, in addition to personal gear (dry bags). After the first portage, we learned that multiple trips, even if it may take longer, is the most effective way to get that amount of gear from shore to shore.

Green undergrowth & lush campsites:

The surrounding forest was lush, and wildflowers and fungi enveloped the landscape. Narrow passes and shallow areas were dotted water lillies and tall grasses. There were also fire pits at most campsites, which made cooking and camping even more enjoyable! Large amounts of undergrowth caused the ground to be so soft that stakes often didn’t stay in the ground!


After 5 fantastic days of canoeing, we regrouped, returned the gear to the outfitters, and returned to the motel. On the 23rd, we got back to SJC (with a quick stop in Chicago), safe and sound.

A massive thanks to the planners and leadership, who made the trip an extremely special and memorable experience. The learnings, the skills that were improved, and the memories that were created will be treasured by us all.

Click here for the photo album (Group B paddling to shore)

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