ALBANY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo has chosen the Town of Indian Lake for the national whitewater competition he promised the Adirondacks in this year's State of the State speech.
Cuomo's intention in having the State of New York sponsor the July 21 Adirondack Challenge is to bring worldwide attention to the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park and the recreational opportunities it offers, including whitewater rafting, canoeing and kayaking on its thousands of lakes and ponds and 30,000 miles of rivers and streams.
The First Annual Adirondack Challenge will feature both an invitational whitewater race and an "internationally competitive" flatwater race on Indian Lake, according to a flyer issued yesterday by I Love New York, which has been charged with promoting the event.
"This will have a huge impact on Hamilton County, but it will also help brand the entire Adirondacks," said Ann Melious, director of Hamilton County Economic Development and Tourism.
The whitewater race will start in Indian Lake. Cuomo, other state officials and guests will launch on the Indian River with local whitewater guides.
The Indian merges with the Hudson River 2.5 miles below the put-in. The trip is 15 to 17 miles, depending on which take-out site is used, and includes the Hudson River Gorge and its towering Blue Ledges, possibly the most spectacular -- and certainly the most wild -- stretch of the Hudson River.
The week prior to the festival will be called Adirondack Challenge Festival Week. Cuomo hopes there will be celebratory events throughout the park, Melious says, but "Indian Lake will be the epicenter of the festival celebration Sunday, July 21."
There will be music, food, demonstrations, vendors, watercraft artisans and children's activities at Byron Park.
The Web site at iloveny.com/adkchallenge will have details.