More than a dozen members of the New York State Outdoor Writers’ Association (NYSOWA) attended the organization’s annual Spring Safari held this year in southern Washington County in upstate New York. Enjoying near-perfect weather, NYSOWA members were able to sample the many outdoor recreational activities the region has to offer and relax in the hills and farm country located between the Adirondack mountains to the north, and Vermont’s Green Mountains to the east.
While northern Washington County lies within the Adirondack Park and boasts thousands of acres of public land, there is also plenty of public access scattered throughout the remainder of the county. NYSOWA members capitalized on this multitude of access in a number of ways.
The main attraction in this region remains the Battenkill River, a classic trout stream that also features three covered bridges with historical significance. Anglers have plenty of options for fishing the Batten Kill, which is stocked liberally with brown trout and also features a no-kill, artificial lure only section from the Eagleville Bridge east to the Vermont boarder. This section is also available to anglers year-round.
Nearby lakes such as Lake Lauderdale, Cossayuna Lake, Carter Pond, and Dead Lake were also available to the scribes - all having public access. Dead Lake, a small but popular fishery, yielded plenty of action including a number of brook trout that are also stocked annually by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
Turkey hunting is always on the minds of outdoor writers at NYSOWA Spring Safaris and Washington County public lands offered plenty of gobbler action. Members hunted the Battenkill, Eldridge Swamp, and Goose Egg State Forests. While several encounters with toms were had one 20-pound gobbler was brought to the game pouch.
Meanwhile members enjoyed a number of other outdoor activities often enjoyed in the region including bicycling and hiking up the 2.5-mile trail to Peaked Rock. They also took a tour of a nearby QDMA co-op offered by the Upper Hudson River Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association and enjoyed a presentation of area reptiles and amphibians by the New York State Museum’s Howard Romack, a naturalist and resident of Cambridge, NY.
The rest of the time was spent relaxing at the accommodations which included two canoe and kayak outfitters in the region: Battenkill Valley Outdoors and Battenkill Riversports Campground.