NYC Trip

Do you love the excitement, history, and culture of New York City? Maybe you’ve never even been there, but would like to check it out? Well, the PSC Outing Program is leading an NYC adventure and overnight. We will be leaving campus on Saturday, November 14th, and returning on Sunday, November 15th!  The two-day tour will include transportation, lodging, new friends , and an exclusive tour of Central Park, with a former Central Park Ranger.  We also plan on visiting the American Museum of  Natural History and Times Square. The night will be spent at a nice hostel. We need a minimum of eight participants (we already have five) but can take up to 22! The cost of the trip is $100 (cheaper than a round trip bus ticket), and that’s due by October 12th in order to reserve a spot. For more information or to get a registration form, email or


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Do I have to join the Outing Program to go on trips?

A: No, you are welcome to come on any number of adventures.

Q: Who can go on trips?

A: Anyone that is part of the Paul Smith’s campus community, both students and employees.

Q: How do I find out about what trips are happening?

A:The best way to find up-to-date trip information is to check out the Paul Smith’s College Outing Program Facebook page.



Adventure Opportunities in the Adirondacks and Beyond

The Name: Let’s put to rest any confusion; The Paul Smith’s College Outing Program is bigger than just the PSC Outing Club! Traditionally, the Outing Club here at PSC (as at most colleges), has been run by a small group of students and faculty interested in getting outside and pursuing outdoor adventures. Trips taken by the Outing Club have included experiences in skiing, rock climbing, canoeing, white-water rafting, backpacking and so forth. Making such outdoor recreation opportunities available to the PSC community remains our primary function in The Outing Program; however, we have now expanded our mission to offer more educational, cultural, and sustainable-tourism experiences, in addition to our purely outdoor endeavors.

The People: Two full-time PSC employees are the general go-to Outing Program people: Kirsten Domas and Andrew McDonald. Our e-mails are the best way to get ahold of us, and are listed below. In addition to faculty, we are very proud to have a group of 12 student leaders as our guides and rides! Erik, Brian, Chris, Izzy, Colleen, Sam, Paige, Cody, Val, Hyla, Tyler, and Todd are experienced expedition leaders who hold WFR (Wilderness First Responder), lifeguard, and van driving certifications. Each of our student leaders brings a unique set of skills to the team. Between our leaders, we have years of education, through the PSC Recreation Major, National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Boy Scouts of America, Outward Bound, and other well renowned adventure-based institutions. In addition to providing first hand “hard skills” advice, it is our leaders’ goal to facilitate safe, fun, and memorable adventures, which are open to all students of all experience levels. Wherever we go, we go as a team!

The Trips: So far, this semester, we have gotten out on some pretty rad trips. In the last five weeks, we have visited Burlington, VT, offering students a chance to shop at the legendary Outdoor Gear Exchange, and explore downtown Burlington; checked out the apple orchards of Peru, NY for some fall-seasonal apple picking fun; led a guided tour of the Adirondack Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC); and we’ve done some epic mountain climbing up the mighty Sawteeth and Ampersand Peaks! Don’t feel bad if you’ve missed out so far. The best is still to come! Our upcoming trips include: horseback riding; a wild and scenic canoeing/camping overnight on Cranberry Lake; more mountain madness in The High Peaks; a trip to New York City, a trip to The Wild Center, and more! There is no obligation to participate in all of the trips. You can join us for one, or for all of them. Note: some trips include costs not covered by PSC, although usually we get a significantly discounted rate.

How do you get involved? Well for one thing, check your e-mail, silly! We have been advertising via e-mail as well as on our state-of-the-art Facebook page: PSC Outing Program, where trip info, leader bios, and sweet pictures from our various trips can be found. Also, our tentative schedule of events can be found hanging throughout the campus, and on little pocket-sized cards that you can trade with your friends. You will also see us representing at campus-wide events, so don’t be shy, we love to talk to new people. Get with the program and join us sometime!

Questions? Contact:

Kirsten Domas:

Andrew McDonald:


PSC Outing Program


Trip Report: Middle Saranac Lake to Lake Flower via Kayak/Canoe

Trip Taken:

Middle Saranac Lake to Lake Flower via Kayak/Canoe


Nate Swain, TJ Johnston, David Haenel, Lizzie Savoie

Dates of Trip:

Saturday, September 5 to Sunday, September 6

Trip Report:

We left from Paul Smith’s at about 2:00 pm on Saturday. We had intended to leave around noon, as we had a lot of miles to cover, but one thing led to another and we left late. We dropped off our gear at the South Creek boat launch on Rt. 3, then delivered a vehicle to Saranac Lake for when we finished. We finally got into the water about 3:30 pm, with Lizzie and I in kayaks and David and TJ in a two-man canoe. They also carried the majority of our gear.

We encountered nothing but blue skies and puffy clouds throughout the first day of paddling. We made it through Middle Saranac Lake with ease, then slowed down significantly after the Upper Locks between Middle and Lower Saranac. We hit Lower Saranac around 5:00, and again took our time getting to the next set of locks. By the time we hit the Lower Locks, it was 7:45 and the attendant had called it a night. TJ operated the locks for us, and just after the sun finally set, we were on our way again. We turned on headlamps and flashlights at this point, to make ourselves more visible to motorboats.

Paddling in the dark was not our intention. It is a somewhat scary experience, one that I have never had before; if we hadn’t been in a group, I probably would have pulled off and camped in the woods ASAP. However, we pushed through the last mile-and-a-half section to Kiwassa Lake, where we had originally planned on camping. We searched the shore for a lean-to that was supposed to be there, but when we couldn’t find it, we gave up and paddled to the island in the middle of the lake. The island is mostly private land, but the tip is on state land and home to a small primitive campsite.

We pulled up on the island around 9:00, got a small fire going in the pit, and cooked some dinner. We were able to camp out under the stars that night, as temperatures remained in the high fifties and there was no hint that precipitation was anywhere nearby. The stars and the night sky were unbelievable.

We woke up around 5:00 am and packed our things quickly, as David needed to get back for class at 8:00. We were back on the water by 5:20, and about halfway through the channel, we realized David and TJ would need to paddle ahead to make it back in time. Lizzie and I continued on our way more leisurely, witnessing a breathtaking dawn over Oseetah Lake, and then over Lake Flower a little later in the morning. Lizzie and I pulled up out of the water at about 7:30 AM. TJ and David had just rolled up in TJ’s car to pick up the canoe.

Great night all around!


This Week’s Winners

I spent my summer on Raspberry Island. a remote island northwest of Kodiak Alaska. The island I lived on for about 70 days had a few modest fishing cabins and no full-time residents. Roosevelt Elk on the island vastly outnumbered the summer fisherman.

I traveled to Alaska with a good friend with hopes of catching record numbers of Alaskan Sockeye Salmon. My goal for the summer was to work hard and enjoy what “the last frontier” had to offer. We were commercial fishing, which was very new to me too. Fishing has been one of my favorite hobbies for many years. I grew up fishing on Lake Erie and the mighty Niagara River in Western New York. My favorite target species include northern pike, muskellunge and smallmouth bass. Spinning and casting rods have been my go-to. Salmon fishing with huge gill nets was new to me, and was certainly an experience I will never forget. I was always the fisherman in my journey, but this summer I had the privilege of changing my perspective.

On August 10th I had the privilege of flying to Katmai National Park in a float plane with the family I was working for. It was my last day in Alaska, and certainly the most unforgettable. We flew to Katmai in search of Kodiak brown bears, which are the largest subspecies of brown bear in the world – the only bear larger is the polar bear. Males can weigh up to 1,500 pounds and stand 10 feet tall when they are on their hind legs. I wondered how close we would get, and how crazy we were.  

A few hours into the trip, I found myself standing in a salmon stream with over 10 bears. This time they were the ones doing the fishing, and I was the one with the camera. Over the next two hours, we watched the bears run up and down the river chasing, and of course eating, salmon. Sometimes they would even stand on their hind legs and challenge a passing bear. It was mostly playful. These bears didn’t need a tackle box, boat, or fishing license from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game; they could eat as many pink salmon as they wanted to, and it was definitely a free for all.  

I will never forget the power and skill they had. Watching these large predators in their natural environment was truly amazing. This experience, along with others, have permanently changed my perspective on fishing. I have learned that taking a camera and a notebook, instead of a rod and reel, can be even more rewarding than landing the “big one.”