The end of my 2013 fishing season has arrived as quick as it started. I have had the chance to reflect back on plenty of my accomplishments, failures and memories throughout the year. Looking back, I regret nothing and would-not have done anything different. I am thankful for everything that took place the good and bad, and I have slowly evolved to realize these life lessons only make me stronger and better each time I am hit with obstacles. I chose now to highlight the North Country and what St. Lawrence County has accomplished this year. The Bassmaster Elite Series in Waddington with no doubt topped my area of interest. A huge successful event that plenty of people feared it would be a bust. We proved that we have the fishing, the accommodations and hospitality to host an event of that caliber.
So moving forward, what can we expect for 2014? I can say because of my wife who is my biggest motivational coach, fan and supporter I am going to push the boundaries to excel more than ever. I also have the drive to make sure our towns, villages and communities survive and prosper to prove that St. Lawrence County is one of the most beautiful, safest areas someone could live or vacation in. I have written plenty of articles of my fishing adventures and I am sure many people may be aware of who I am. One thing people may not know is, I am a Police Officer in the Village of Canton and have been for the past 15 years. Until recently I have never talked about my position publicly. There is no specific reason why but it does have a strong position in my background for taking care of our county and being involved in FISHCAP to support all of our communities and make our county the best it can be.
So as my water slowly hardens and freezes over I am sure there are plenty of cold weather North Country anglers who are excited to walk on the hard water to catch fish. I admit I have grown to dislike the cold and winter and will use this time to prepare for the 2014 season. This means part of my free time will be devoted to writing, exploring, preparing and relaxing a little bit. As the season ends I reflected on and came to the conclusion that I want to make sure St. Lawrence County could keep its tourism momentum going from the Bassmaster Elite Series. I plan to explore, highlight and experience all that St. Lawrence County has to offer. As I do this I will highlight my experiences through articles, photos and videos which I will promote in an attempt to show off some of St. Lawrence County’s highlights. I am excited to show off all our great area has to offer. I plan to document everything our area has to offer, not only for local residents who may not be aware of what we have here but to the world though the multimedia outlets that I have learned by networking during my past two years fishing professionally.
My first highlight is Stone Valley recreational area in Colton, NY. One of the most well known areas but probably an area one can enjoy all to themselves is an absolute hidden gem nestled in the town of Colton. This area free to access, offers hiking, beautiful views for photographers, waterfalls, fisherman and kayaking. There are several registrations kiosks at the start of trail heads which will provide a map of the trails. The overall trail system covers approximately 10 miles of winding slopes, drop offs, wooden trail bridges and dramatic rock and waterfall features.
My adventure started at the trail-head located off the Browns Bridge road on a warm and wind day. Actually this day we had to be a bit careful as the wind was blowing gusts of 60 mph and during our hike we had heard several trees come crashing down in the woods. My wife Jen and dog Gemma joined me on our first hike of the fall season. We left the parking lot and headed to the woods for an easily marked trail that turned and started running along the Raquette river. The fall foliage transition was pretty much over but the this did not mean the scenery lacked in beauty. The moderate ledges and sprawling rocks backed up against what was left of the drab orange leaves and bright green pines were still enough to make you stop and just admire the beauty. We continued to walk at a slow to moderate pace as the trail-head turned back away from the river we shifted into more of the woodland look still following the trail markers we were brought to a small pond with a unique backdrop of pines and large maple trees. Continuing on across several small wooden bridges, twists and turns the hiker will see several small streams with small waterfalls which cut right through the middle of the forest. This hike is a great place to walk with your K9 companion as there are plenty of spots to stop along the way and let your four legged partner cool off in the water and get a drink. As the trail gets closer to Colton it will swing back towards the Raquette river and will offer the hiker spectacular cascade of rushing waterfalls and rock outcrops, this area is a photographers dream come true. As the trail ends and you approach the town of Colton there are plenty of old foundations and artifacts which can be seen as you approach the dam and the end of your wooded hike. As you exit the the wooded trail you turn to make your hike back to the starting point in Hannawa, This hike follows a dirt access road which runs along the large water pipeline running from Colton Dam to the Power station in Hannawa. The rest of this hike is simple and easy going as you walk a gravel road. The view is still spectacular as you trek back large rolling hills offer birds eye views of the wooded area you have just hiked.
Overall this trail systems offers many shortcuts or turnarounds where someone could shorten the trip. The system offers visible trail markers and the hike is easy going and a great trail for beginning hikers. To see a sideshow of the Stone Valley Trail from our hike go to my website http:\\chrisflintfishing.com
So with hard water arriving I will continue to explore and investigate the beauty, nature, restaurants or anything else I can find to highlight what St. Lawrence County. So if you know of or have something that you would like to share with the residents and visitors of St. Lawrence County email me your info at [email protected] and maybe I can share your idea with the world!
Don't chase your dreams....catch them!!!