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BOY SCOUT TROOP 33
First Lutheran Church - DeKalb, Illinois


2003 NORTHEAST
USA/CANADA TOUR

Letchwood State Park, New York

Troop 33 Scouts chose to do a multi adventure tour of the Northweast United States and Canada. It included two backpacking trips and so much more.

We were exploring and experiencing what an upstate New York troop might do over the course of a year. The tour was based on 11 adventures, representing a one-year program of activities which we concentrated into a single high adventure tour..

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Northeast USA/Canada
Adventures
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        1 - New York Waterfall Hikes
        2 - Fort Drum 10th Division
        3 - Adirondack Backpacking
        4 - Lake Champlain Ferry
        5 - Killington Mountain Biking
        6 - Green Mountain Backpacking
        7 - Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream
        8 - Montreal, Canada
        9 - RCMP Stables tour
        10 - Ottawa, Canada
        11 - Rondeau Park

Our Activities during
2003 Northeast USA/Canada

    + BACKPACKING TRIPS
    + FERRY RIDE
    + HIKING
    + INDUSTRIAL TOUR
    + INTERNATIONAL
    + KAYAKING
    + MOUNTAIN BIKING
    + MILITARY
    + MOUNTAIN BIKING
    + MUSEUMS, MONUMENTS
    + STABLE
    + WATERFALLS
















2003 Northeast
USA/Canada Adventure

1. Waterfall Adventure Hikes - - 2. Fort Drum - 10th Division - - 3. Adirondack Backpacking
4. Lake Champlain - - 5. Killington Mountain Biking - - 6. Green Mountain Backpacking
7. Ben & Jerry's Tour - - 8. Montreal, Canada - - 9. Ottawa, Canada
10. RMNP Stables Tour - - 11. Rondeau Park



Niagara Falls in New York.

1. Waterfall Adventures
A. NIAGARA FALLS - Niagara Falls, New York
WATERFALL
Our first program stop of the trip was to see the famous Niagara Falls. The American portion of the falls averages 85 feet, roughly 10 feet taller than the Horseshoe Falls in Canada. It's width is 830 feet straight across or if measured along the zigzag is 949 feet. We spent time watching the fall and enjoyed dinner nearby. We left without spending any money on tourist activities.

B. LETCHWORTH STATE PARK - Castile, New York
CAMPING - HIKING - WATERFALLS
This was the location of our first night of camping. The park is known as home to the "Grand Canyon on the East". It has a deep gorge where you can hike past 3 waterfalls along the Genesee River. The photo at the top of the page is from Letchworth State Park.

C. WATKINS GLEN STATE PARK - Watkins Glen, New York
HIKING - WATERFALLS
This was a fantastic place to hike with 19 waterfalls to see mostly along the Gorge Trail.

D. BUTTERMILK FALLS STATE PARK - Ithaca, New York
HIKING - WATERFALLS
At this park, just outside Ithaca, hike along a series of small falls along a river trail through a rock canyon. The waterfalls are extremely beautiful seeming white with milk as they tumble down the rocks.

E. ITHACA FALLS - Ithaca, New York
WATERFALL
West of the Cornell University campus sits the majestic 150 ft tall Ithaca Falls. The weather became quite severe with toerrential rains, flash flooding, and powerful winds. The microburst of sorts came out of nowhere.

F. TAUGHANNOCK FALLS STATE PARK - Trumansburg, New York
WATERFALL
Our last park of the day was home to Taughannock Falls. At 215-feet, it was the highest of them all. Our original plan was to camp at the park, but after the sudden massive storm encountered in Ithaca, we chose to find a hotel for safety reasons. The weather seemed too unstable.





2. Fort Drum
FORT DRUM MILITARY BASE - Fort Drum, New York
This is a large U.S. Army military reservation located in Jefferson County New York. It is home to the 10th Mountain Division. It is manned and trained to deploy rapidly by air, sea, and land anywhere in the world. Over one billions dollars was invested in Fort Drum in the late 1980's.
10th MOUNTAIN DIVISION & FORT DRUM MUSEUM - Fort Drum, New York
The museum serves as an educational tool housing a collection of Army history, and serves as a source of pride very meaningful to Soldiers and Families for the preservation of 10th Mountain Division history.

Artifacts come from a variety of different places. Some come straight from the military. Some are battlefield capture items such as a rocket-propelled grenade launcher from Iraq, which our Scouts were allowed to examine and dry fire. That was a unique experience our Scouts will remember.


Fort Drum 10th Mountain Museum, New York.



Backpacking in the Adirondacks, New York.

3. Adirondack Mountains Backpacking
ADIRONDACK BACKPACKING TRIP, New York
BACKPACKING - KAYAKING - SWIMMING

The Adirondack mountains form a roughly circular area about 160 miles in diameter with some peaks topping over 5,000 feet high. Backpacking in the Adirondacks offered a great way to experience the great northern hardwood forests of upstate New York. In the Mohawk language, the word Adirondack means porcupine.

A highlight of our backpacking included camping atop Mt Arab which is popular for it's fire tower at the top. Looking out from atop the tower provides a spectacular panorama of the area. You can view Tupper Lake and Mount Morris to the southeast, the Adirondack High Peaks to the east, The Raquette River valley to the north, Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest to the southwest, and Mt Arab Lake and Eagle Crag Lake to the west. We also spent a night along Tupper Lake. Some boys enjoyed swimming and kayaking in the icy cold water.






4. Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain Ferry Crossing, New York/Vermont
FERRY CROSSING - HIKING

Lake Champlain is a natural lake that occupies a basin between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondack Mountains of New York separating a border portion of the two states. It drains northward through a 106-mile long river into the St. Lawrence River in the Quebec Province of Canada. As we experienced the adventures of the mountains in the area we also experienced this giant lakes as well.

We did some fun hiking in AuSable Chasm before starting our ferry trip. We boarded the ferry in Port Kent, New York and crossed the widest part of the lake to Burlington, Vermont. Our crossing offered beautiful views of the mountains and the lake itself. It was good to feel the wind. The crossing distance was about 10-miles and took about one hour. It added to our northeast USA experience.


Taking a ferry on Lake Champlain.





Mountain biking on Killington Mountain, Vermont.


5. Killington Mountain Biking
KILLINGTON MOUNTAIN BIKING, Vermont
MOUNTAIN BIKING - CAMPING

Killington Mountain is the second highest peak in Vermont. The Killington Resort & Ski Area is the largest ski area in the eastern U.S. with the largest vertical drop in New England at 3,050 feet. In the summer it offers lift accessed mountain biking and 30 miles of challenging terrain. We camped nearby at Gifford Woods State Park.

Mountain biking became our fantastic challenge activity for a day. Lifts took us and our mountain bikes to high altitudes quickly. Coming down included a mix of dirt jumping, downhill and free-ride terrain on the trails. Renting the full-suspension mountain bikes and purchasing ticket packages made this the most expensive activity of the entire trip. It was also the most exciting and the most potentially dangerous. Speed control was a major part of the ride especially on the turns. No serious injuries occurred, but a couple of us left with bandaged areas resulting from minor road rash incidents. Everyone thought it was an awesome experience.






6. Green Mountain Backpacking
GREEN MOUNTAIN BACKPACKING TRIP, Vermont
BACKPACKING - LONG TRAIL - APPALACHIAN TRAIL

Vermont is home to beautiful mountain country and a great place for hiking and backpacking. America's first extended trail system is the Long Trail, runs north/south 277 miles, the entire length of the state. It was started in 1910 by the Green Mountain Club. The Long Trail became the inspiration for creating the Appalachian Trail, which also goes through Vermont.

We chose to use both the Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail as parts of our Vermont backpacking trip. The Long Trail provides three sided Adirondack shelters, which saves weight from carrying tents. A tent was brought along anyway for adult use. We began the backpack trip on a section of the trail which commingles the Appalachian Trail and Long Trail together. As the Long Trail split off going north we followed it to our conclusion. We had to do a reverse hike the trail to our point of origin.


Backpacking in Vermont.




Touring the factory for Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Vermont.

7. Ben & Jerry's Tour
BEN & JERRY'S ICE CREAM FACTORY, Waterbury, Vermont
INDUSTRIAL TOUR - SCENIC DIVE

We visited the Ben & Jerry's Waterbury Factory and took the 30-minute guided factory tour. We learned how they made ice cream and all the many different steps in the process. It was a fantastic activity especially with the free sample at the end. Beyond the free sample, we took the opportunity to enjoy our favorite flavor, or try a new one, at their full-service Scoop Shop. We also took a walk through the Flavor Graveyard and paid our respect to the flavors of the past. For some reason our lunch that day was extremely rich in sugar, calcium and vitamin D, typically found in certain dairy products.

Ben & Jerry's is located on state highway route 100. It is nationally known as a very scenic route. We enjoyed driving it as part of our Vermont experience. Route 100 grew from old winding roads dating all the way back to the 1700's. The Green mountains rise above it on both sides as it took us along rivers, mountain valleys, and through small towns with tall steeple churches and historic buildings. It was a beautiful route to enjoy until we finally had to abandon it to make way toward an interstate taking us north to Canada.






8. Montreal, Quebec Canada
Montréal is the largest city in the Québec province and the second largest city in Canada. It’s set on an island in the Saint Lawrence River. French is the city's official language. We stayed overnight in a Montreal hotel.

Getting into Canada was an experience in itself. The border crossing is educational and the border agents seemed to enjoy our visit with them. Different money and some language heightened the sense of international adventure. We visited old Montreal, the historic part of town, highlighted with gothic Notre-Dame Basilica, also the Notre Dame de Bonsecours (Sailors' Church) and just walking around exploring the area of the old city and using mass transit. We visited the Parc du Mount-Royal, which gave a panoramic view of the city. St. Joseph's Oratory sits next to Mont-Royal and is the highest point in Montreal. We visited the Olympic Park and a few other sites. We splurged on a dinner at a magnificent Montreal steak house. It was all amazing.



The interior of the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal.



The national capitol of Canada in Ottawa.

9. Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Ottawa is Canada’s national capital, in the east of southern Ontario. At the center of the city is Parliament Hill, with grand Victorian architecture and museums. It's an impressive looking city.

We visited Parliament buildings. The main Centre Block building, included the Peace Tower. Notre Dame Basisica was free to enter and there are tours in English and French. We walked along the historic Rideau Canal. We walked past the U.S. Embassy but didn't stop. Rain was intermittent during the day we visited. We didn't see as much as planned.






10. Royal Canadian Mounted Police
We visited the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Ride center. They have stable tours and have a museum. You can see carriages used for royalty. They have a riding school. They have a show called the Musical Ride, but the riders were on tour and no shows that day.


The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Stables.




The beach at Rondeau Provincial Park in Ontario Canada.

11. Rondeau Provincial Park, Canada
RONDEAU PROVINCIAL PARK, Ontario Canada
CAMPING - SAND BEACH - BIRD WATCHING

Rondeau Provincial Park, located in Ontario, Canada is a sand spit extending into Lake Erie. There are only two sand spits like this in North America. The park is an important stopover for birds during migration. It has a long sand beach, a large marsh, on a Bay, with a campground. It was a nice place to camp and enjoy the long sand beach on Lake Erie. It was also a great place for bird watching.


 

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Our activity locations
for the tour


2003 NORTHEAST USA/CANADA
ACTIVITY LOCATIONS


BACKPACKING
        - Adirondaack Mountains, New York
        - Green Mountains, Vermont

BEACH
        - Rondeau Provincial Park, Canada

CAMPING
        - Adirondack Mountains, New York
        - Gifford Woods State Park, Vermont
        - Green Mountains, Vermont
        - Letchwood State Park, New York
        - Rondeau Provincial Park, Canada
        - Tupper Lake, New York

FERRY RIDE
        - Lake Champlain, New York/Vermont
HIKING
        - AuSable Chasm, New York
        - Buttermilk Falls State Park, New York
        - Letchwood State Park, New York
        - Watkins Glen State Park, New York

INDUSTRIAL TOUR
        - Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, Vermont

KAYAKING
        - Tupper Lake, New York

METRO TOURS
        - MONTREAL, Quebec Canada
              + Historic Old City
              + Mount Royal
              + Notre-Dame Basilica
              + Notre Dame de Bonsecours (Sailors' Church)
              + Olympic Park
              + St. Joseph's Oratory
        - OTTAWA, Ontario Canada
              + Notre Dame Basisica
              + Parliament Hill
                    ++ Centre Block Building
                    ++ Peace Tower
              + Rideau Canal
              + U.S. Embassy
              + RCMP Stables

MILITARY VISIT
        - Fort Drum Military Base, New York

MOUNTAIN BIKING
        - Killington Mountain, Vermont

WATERFALLS
        - Buttermilk Falls State Park, New York
        - Ithaca Falls, New York
        - Letchwood State Park, New York
        - Niagara Falls, New York
        - Taughannock Falls State Park, New York
        - Watkins Glen State Park, New York




 

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Troop 33 Scoutmaster
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