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Indian Lake may host governor’s whitewater challenge

Event tentatively set for July

Rafting with Beaver Brook Outfitters, based in Wevertown, which specializes in whitewater rafting trips on the Hudson River

Rafting with Beaver Brook Outfitters, based in Wevertown, which specializes in whitewater rafting trips on the Hudson River

— With the Adirondack whitewater rafting season gaining momentum and the 56th Annual Hudson River Whitewater Derby on tap for May 4-5, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo may soon be making a long-awaited announcement about the Adirondack Challenge.

And it looks as though the governor is considering the town of Indian Lake as the headquarters for the Challenge, according to a tentative schedule acquired by the News Enterprise.

Cuomo proposed the Adirondack Challenge, a national whitewater competition, on Jan. 9 during his annual State of the State address. However, since the speech, no details have been made publicly available, even though state employees have been meeting with local town and tourism officials and whitewater outfitters as late as last week.

It had been anticipated by officials in North Creek and Indian Lake that the governor may choose to hold his marquee event on or near the Hudson River. The idea came from a multiple-day rafting trip he and some friends took on the Indian and Hudson rivers in September 2012 with guides at Beaver Brook Outfitters, based in Wevertown.

In order to take the Hudson River trip, groups embark on the Indian River and take it to the Hudson River, then travel through the Hudson River Gorge and end at North River.

Along the way, rafters pass by land that will soon be acquired by the state of New York from the Nature Conservancy as part of the Finch, Pruyn land deal — a 940-acre parcel at the confluence of the Indian and Hudson rivers and the 2,800-acre OK Slip Falls Tract. The governor announced April 23 that these tracts would be purchased within the next several weeks.

“The most exciting and popular whitewater rafting experience in the Adirondacks starts on the Indian River and continues for nearly 15 miles down the Hudson River Gorge,” stated the governor’s prepared release. “The parcel is critical to preserving the rafting experience that draws 25,000 people annually.”

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