Saturday, September 7, 2019

NORTH COUNTY TROOPERS ASSISTING TROOPS

Update 9/21/2019: The 7th Annual North Country Troopers Assisting Troops Fishing Day


The 7th Annual North Country Troopers Assisting Troops (NCTAT) fishing day took place on Saturday, September 21st at 1:00 PM at the main dock in Clayton. Over 70 Fort Drum soldiers, disabled Vets, and even a WWII Veteran were treated to some awesome river fishing that was provided by several of the local fishing guides.


Several Gold Star families were also honored at the event and treated to a fun day on the river.  At the end of their day, they were greeted by the Alex Bay and Clayton Fire Departments, local police and EMS workers, and of course the NNY Troopers with salutes, cheers, a color guard and a beautiful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner by one of the Troopers.  


The crowds on shore cheered and waved flags to honor our military heroes and their families.


They were then treated to a shore dinner and entertainment at the Harbor Hotel.



A special thanks to the event planner, Officer Michael C. Pastuf who made it all possible along with all of the volunteers, officers, and private citizens who showed up to show their support. 


A few more photos from this epic event...

















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The 7th Annual North Country Troopers Assisting Troops Fishing Day
Update 9/14/2019

Have you ever wondered what you can do to help support our troops?  If so, we have a wonderful opportunity for you!  If you haven’t had the privilege of participating in this incredibly inspiring event in the past, we would like to invite each of you to come and take part in the 7th Annual North Country Troopers Assisting Troops (NCTAT) military recognition event on Saturday, September 21st at 1:00 PM at the town docks in Clayton. You can help be a part of this very special salute.  


 On September 21st, approximately 80 active duty Fort Drum Soldiers, Veterans, Purple Heart recipients, Gold Star and Surviving Family Members will become the honored guests of NCTAT and will partake in a day of fishing on the St. Lawrence River.  Twenty-five Professional Fishing Guides from Cape Vincent, Clayton, and Alexandria Bay have volunteered their services to take these heroes on a chartered fishing trip. The Fishing Captains will depart their home town docks with their guests at 9AM in the morning.  After a great day of river fishing, the heroes will be taken by fishing charter boat to the Clayton Town Dock at Frink Park (Riverside Drive by the Train Depot) at about 1:00PM. Local police, firemen, and other emergency responders will be waiting for them at the docks to make this a special day to honor our Service members.  The soldiers will then be escorted to the lawns of the beautiful Harbor Hotel where the local fishing guides will prepare a good ol’ fashioned Shore Dinner for them.

So, here’s where your part comes in.  The hopes of all of the troopers who have worked so hard in arranging this wonderful event is that there will be hundreds of appreciative civilians (that would be us!) joining them at the dock to cheer and applaud the troops as they arrive and walk through the crowds on the way to the special reception that awaits them.  The troopers are inviting and encouraging the public to assist them with this event, by showing their support for our military members when they arrive at the dock at 1:00PM.


If you wish to learn more about North Country Troopers Assisting Troops, you can visit their web site at www.nnytroopers.com.  NCTAT encourages anyone to contact them for more information, or to offer financial support for our soldiers. All money raised by NCTAT stays local to support our Service members.  

My husband and I are thrilled to be able to take part in this beautiful tribute to our military.  We are so thankful for the troopers who, themselves, are public servants yet choose to honor the service of our troops.  They are using their freedom to honor those who use their freedom to ensure our freedom.  Come help us celebrate freedom and its defenders on September 21st.  Hope to see you there!


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NORTH COUNTY TROOPERS ASSISTING TROOPS ANNOUNCES MILITARY RECOGNITION DAY

PUBLIC INVITED TO CLAYTON TOWN DOCKS ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2019, 1:00PM, TO SHOW APPRECIATION TO OUR SOLDIERS, VETERANS

North Country Troopers Assisting Troops will host approximately 80 active duty Soldiers, Veterans, Purple Heart recipients, and Gold Star and Surviving Family Members, to a day of recreational fishing on the St. Lawrence River. Guide boats captained by Clayton, Alexandria Bay, and Cape Vincent fishing guides will depart their respective ports in the morning.   

In addition, North Country Troopers Assisting Troops, with a gracious donation from the Uncle Sam Boat Tours, with further offer a scenic tour of the 1000 Islands, to approximately 100 of our honored guests.

All of our fishing and Uncle Sam Boat Tour guests will then join together in front of the Clayton shoreline at 1:00PM, at which time a “Hero’s Welcome” boat parade will commence, with the assistance of local law enforcement, fire vessels, and fire departments. As our guests come to shore, they will be greeted with a “Flag Ceremony”, with assistance from the Clayton, Alexandria Bay, and Wellesley Island Fire Departments. All our guests will then be taken to the Harbor Hotel for a “Shore Dinner”, provided by our friends at the 1000 Island Harbor Hotel.  

North Country Troopers Assisting Troops is requesting the public to come to the “Train Depot” on Riverside Drive, Clayton, on Saturday, September 21, 2019, at 1:00PM, to welcome to shore our Military and Veteran guests, and our Gold Star and Surviving Family Members. It promises to be an event that will move you as we all show respect for our Heroes!!!

In April 2013, the North Country Troopers Assisting Troops (NCTAT) was formed by a group of local New York State Troopers in collaboration with U.S. military members. The mission of this group is to raise local and regional awareness, as well as to provide local recreational activities and events for Fort Drum service members, and other Armed Forces Members (active or retired), that were wounded, injured, or became ill while protecting our freedom and country. We have further been able to help the families of these service members, often during times of personal tragedy.  We are a not for profit organization, and all monies raised stay local to support our heroes!!  NCTAT have made sizable donations to Disabled American Veterans (DAV), and we have purchased for them two large transport vans to take Veterans to their medical appointments. You will often see these vehicles on our local roads. NCTAT has further purchased tracked wheel chairs, in conjunction with a group called Operation 2nd Chance, to assist disabled Veterans pursue their dreams to enjoying remote locations for hunting and fishing, in spite of personal limitations.

We strive every day to support and provide for those that fought for this Country, and our freedoms that we all enjoy

We are inviting and encouraging the public to assist us with this event, by showing their support for our Armed Forces Service members and extended families when they arrive at the Clayton Town Dock at 1:00PM on September, 21, 2019.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Hiking Rock Ridge Trail



Hiking the Rock Ridge Trail
#1000islands #Thousandislands


We heard about the Rock Ridge Trail in Thousand Island Park thanks to some pictures published in the Thousand Islands Sun by Erin Greene.  We finally got to experience this amazing little gem for ourselves. It was definitely worth the visit!  It is a beautiful well marked trail that takes you through a variety of terrains. There is a sign (with some interesting history of the trail and its original creator, Minna Anthony Common) and a kiosk where hikers can sign in.  


The trailhead is located near the beginning of Bay Shore Rd (off of Park Ave). There is no formal parking so residents recommend parking up at the Guzzle and walking to the trail from there.   We would estimate that the trail loop is a little less than two miles. It is hilly and might be a bit of a challenge for some, but nothing too difficult for most hikers.  Plus, there are benches all along the way placed in strategically lovely spots. 


In the forested area, yellow trail markers are on the trees. Up on the rocky ridge, yellow arrows are painted on the stones.


A special treat of the trail is that it passes by the original reservoir used by the islanders prior to the days of pumps and electricity.  It is located just below the water tower, is well marked, and includes more interesting history about the reservoir and Ms. Common. The residents of Thousand Island Park do a wonderful job maintaining the trail and have future plans yet to be seen for this lovely and historic trail.  We can’t wait to go back!


Be sure to see...
Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Abbé Picquet Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Carnegie Bay Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Cerow Recreation Park Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chaumont Barrens Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chippewa Bay Preserve Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Coyote Flats State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Downybrook Nature Reserve 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Foster Blake Woods Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...French Creek WMA 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grand Lake Reserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grass Point State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Jacques Cartier State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Kanik Nature Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Keewaydin State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Lonesome Bay State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Macsherry Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Maple City Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morgan Island

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morristown Red Barn Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Pulpit Rock State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Red Lake Indian River Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Redwood Hill Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Rock Ridge Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Wellesley Island State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Zenda Farms Preserve

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Hiking French Creek WMA


Hiking the French Creek Wildlife Management Area. 
#1000islands #ThousandIslands



Wow, we have been meaning to explore the 2,300 acre French Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Clayton and now wish we had done so sooner! What an undiscovered treasure we found! While there are no official trails, there are multiple seasonal access roads with parking spots that allow one to explore numerous different parts of the preserve.  The scenery ranges from open meadows to hardwood forest areas to wetlands and cattail marshes that border French Creek.



The DEC notes that though there are no designated trails hiking is allowed through the property.  You can find access roads from both the north and south of the property. All are listed on the DEC website at https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40678.html which also includes a link to a fairly detailed map of the property.

We visited the boat launch road/trail which is right on Route 12E. We then accessed the area from Bevin and French Creek Roads. There are several pull off spots for cars on Bevin Road which is a nice road to hike on since it includes several scenic bridges over French Creek and its tributaries.  




We plan to go back and explore further especially since we heard there is a hidden waterfall near the southern end of Bevin Road. There was no place to pull off the road so one would need to hike in from one of the designated parking spots. But what we saw today was enough to guarantee we'll be back to this natural gem so close to town!



Hiking French Creek… Update 8/10/2019

We went back to the FCWMA to try entering through one of the other access roads.  We parked at the (open) gate on Commode Road.  The road is not marked but can be found on Google maps and is located on Deferno Road which is on the south side of the area and located off of Route 12S.


The road cuts through a beautiful wooded area and then through open meadows to another bridge built over a tributary of French Creek. 


There are numerous side trails though none are maintained.  There was so much to see and experience even on the half-mile hike to the bridge.  


We really hope we can encourage other hikers to come and check the French Creek Wildlife Management Area out. We’d love to hear from you if you do.


Hiking French Creek… Update 2 – 8/24/2019


Just a quick update to say we found the waterfall today!  It is just off Bevins Road just after the Bevins/Deferno intersection.  For those who can use them, the coordinates are at N 44 11.027 W 76 07.832. There was almost no water flowing over the falls today. We’ll come back in the spring. But please note this is a massive drop off and extreme care needs to be taken if you plan to visit the falls. 

Since the creek bed above the falls was nearly dry, we got a picture from the creek bed looking upstream.  Just beautiful!



Be sure to see...
Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Abbé Picquet Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Carnegie Bay Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Cerow Recreation Park Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chaumont Barrens Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chippewa Bay Preserve Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Coyote Flats State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Downybrook Nature Reserve 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Foster Blake Woods Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...French Creek WMA 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grand Lake Reserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grass Point State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Jacques Cartier State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Kanik Nature Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Keewaydin State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Lonesome Bay State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Macsherry Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Maple City Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morgan Island

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morristown Red Barn Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Pulpit Rock State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Red Lake Indian River Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Redwood Hill Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Rock Ridge Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Wellesley Island State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Zenda Farms Preserve