A Loon's-eye View

Whether it's kayaking, hiking, or photography, my love for the Adirondacks grows with every trip I take. I dream of one day getting paid to explore and take pictures. I feel like this journey for me is just in its infancy and cannot wait to see what the future brings.

Jeremy Ackerman

It's 4pm. I clock out of work. The kayak is already loaded on top of my VW. I hop in and go.

Windows down, radio up, I cruise up Route 12 toward the Blue Line. I'm heading to a lake I've been to many times before. It's one of my favorites because it's off the beaten path and just close enough to drive to after work.

I cross the Black River and eventually come to a dirt road. Only 12 miles to go. Halfway down the road I lose cell phone reception. Now I am feeling good. No phone calls. No emails. No stress. Just me and the woods.

Coming up to the intersection of Reeds Pond, I stop to take a look. It's very calm with nice reflections of the surrounding landscape. I snap a couple of pictures enjoy the scenery for a minute, hop in the car and keep moving.

Soon, a large painted rock looms close on the left side of the road. I have arrived. Here I am. Mountains in the distance, still water, amazing reflections. I couldn't ask for a more beautiful day.

Today, I have a little more time than usual, so I decide to explore farther up the lake. I grab my camera and take some shots of the reflections of the islands, rocks and clouds. I keep paddling up the lake and eventually find a campsite with a lean-to. I knew it was here, but always wondered where it was located. There are two kayaks on shore – I'm not the only one who was trying to find it I guess.

Paddling Little Long Lake in the Adironacks | photo: Jeremy Ackerman @acktomic
Paddling Little Long Lake in the Adironacks | photo: Jeremy Ackerman @acktomic

It's unreal how perfectly calm and flat the water is, like a shimmering mirror. My photography has progressed drastically ever since I bought a DSLR camera, and I'm able to capture incredible details like multi-hued sunsets and star trails.

I explore various coves and small waterway that drain into the lake. Eventually, the sun begins to set, and I paddle as hard as I can for about two miles across the lake. The sky is a dazzling shade of pink and the reflection on the water is breathtaking. I snap a few more pictures, and then enjoy the rest of the sunset until I can barely see the shore, where I know my car is parked even if I can't see it. Time to pack up and head home.

The night is gorgeous and clear – and I think to myself that the conditions are perfect for taking pictures of the stars. But someone has to work in the morning, so I head home instead.

Driving back down the dirt road I see a doe and her fawn standing not far from my car, just looking at me. They're so innocent. 'Enjoy the woods' I whisper, I'll be back again soon.

It's 4pm. I clock out of work. The kayak is already loaded on top of my VW

My Passion for the Adirondacks
I grew up close to Oneida Lake, and my family had a camp right on the water, plus another on the Three Rivers in Phoenix, NY. I always loved the water and fished like crazy. In every photo of me as a child, I have a fishing pole in my hands, my latest prized catch on display.

Even though we had a couple boats over the years, I never really canoed or kayaked. In 2011, my parents brought me to the Adirondacks for my birthday where we participated in the One Square Mile of Hope, and I got to be one of the 1,902 canoes and kayaks that broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the "Largest Raft of Canoes and Kayaks."

Paddling North Lake Black River Wild Forest  in the Adironacks | photo: Jeremy Ackerman @acktomic
Paddling North Lake Black River Wild Forest in the Adironacks | photo: Jeremy Ackerman @acktomic

After that, I was hooked. Now, I'm passionate about kayaking in the Adirondacks and have gone on lots of kayak trips. Slowly, I got into hiking as well. I hiked my first firetower, Mount Arab, in August of 2012, and just completed my fifth firetower hike. Eventually, I want to complete the Firetower Challenge.

Just recently I actually accomplished the single thing I've wanted to capture since getting a DSLR: I captured a photo of the Milky Way over Owls Head Mountain after a day of kayaking Lake Eaton. Does it get more perfect than that?


@acktomic on instagram

About the Author …
Jeremy Ackerman
It started with kayaking and now has bled into a full-on Adirondack obsession for Jeremy. Find more of his adventures https://www.facebook.com/jeremyackermanphotography or on Instagram @acktomic.
About Area ADK …
Real Adirondack Stories, Epic Adirondack Adventures
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For thousands of miles, the Adirondacks waterways offer endless opportunity for adventure.
About the Region …
Tug Hill Region
Your adventures in the Adirondack Tug Hill Region of Lewis County are sure to be fun-filled and full of life-long memories. Return to your favorite lake, take in some new sites and be sure to make time for shopping and dining along the way.
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