TICONDEROGA - Cartop boat enthusiasts now have a new way to access the Queen of American Lakes thanks to a new hand launch opened adjacent to Black Point Beach.
The launch was the brainchild of David Pahl - a summer resident of The Portage and avid kayaker who brought the idea last summer to the Ti Parks and Recreation Department.
"This type of access is really a win for everyone involved," Pahl said last week from his home in Schenectady.
"It's low impact, carries no liability issues and broadens the appeal of the facility," he said.
Similar to other hand launch sites, such as the one offered on Lake George at the Washington County Park at Hulett's Landing, Pahl said residents can now unload their cartop boat, such as a canoe, kayak or small rowboat, and launch next to Black Point Beach.
There is a 10-foot strip of land on the east side of the beach for cartoppers to use. The only rules are no motors, no trailers or vehicles on the beach, and no parking in the launching area.
Pahl said he brought the idea forth last summer to coordinate it with the revitalization of the beach and said it was unanimously approved by the Ti town board last fall.
"The board was just great to deal with," Pahl said. "They were very receptive to the idea and after a little research approved it unanimously."
Ticonderoga Supervisor Bob Dedrick said the board saw the idea for the launch as a great service to both residents and visitors with no impact on beachgoers.
"We were totally in favor of granting these people access," Dedrick said. "Otherwise they would have to travel down to the Mossy Point Launch to get on the lake."
Now the launch is open, Pahl said he'd like to get the word out it is there and available for public use.
"Although only a few people know about this so far, I think it offers a great alternative for public access to this beautiful part of the lake," Pahl said. "The newly-revitalized beach is a beautiful asset to the town and this launch area makes it even more appealing."
Next, Pahl said he will turn his attention toward getting a similar launch opened in nearby Bolton Landing.
"To my knowledge, they currently have no sort of access like this, so I'd like to see something opened there as well," Pahl said.