07/02/22 – Paddle – Cassadaga Lakes

The weather could not have been better for an outing! Eleven paddlers gathered at the DEC boat launch in Cassadaga Lakes. First, we were introduced to Andrew, a water steward from the Chautauqua Lake Association. He looked at our boats and stressed the importance of preventing the hitchhiking of aquatic invasive species from one waterway to another. At around 10AM we started a leisurely circuit of the three lakes which took approximately 2-½ hours to complete.

The lakes are spring fed, although there are both an outflow at the south end and an inflow at the northeast end, both of which were explored. We were stopped at the north by an old beaver dam. Our boats consisted of canoes, kayaks, and even a two-piece sit upon craft (easily fitting in the back of a car!).

Each of the lakes is different. The Middle Lake is narrow, with lots of vegetation on both sides. The South Lake has many cottages, and some motor boats later in the day, as well as an undeveloped section to the NE. Going back north through the Middle Lake and under the bridge next to the launch site, one is met with another larger lake with much less development than the South Lake. The Lily Dale Assembly of Spiritualists is on the right.

After the paddle, most of us gathered at the Stockton Hotel for well deserved food and refreshments. For many this was the first paddle of the year – way too late. Thanks to all who came out, and to my wife Linda for sweep duty. Our only setback was the lake swallowing an unfortunate paddler’s set of car keys – made a little better with AAA Premium.

Submitted by Frank Meyer (first time as an outing leader)