May 4, 07: Near the entrance to Schoharie Islands State Park is a place to park and a lawn to walk across (be sure to ask the friendly owners) and a nice little put-in on Schodack Creek, or the Muitzekill, whichever it is at that point.
It turns out that there is a put-in from the State Park on the Schodack Creek side of the island. They only open at 8am which is late for me, but parking is free on weekdays till Memorial Day. There would be a bit of a carry to get across to this dock.
Spotted this pair of adult baldies with a juvenile nearby.
The creek parallels the railroad for quite a ways.
On the way back upstream, the Alfred H. Smith railroad bridge (1924) and the NYS Thruway Berkshire spur bridge just beyond.
This was a nice little 7 mile tour, I didn't have time to go further south. The tide was going out so I knew I was crossing shallows where I wouldn't be able to cross on the way back. One log especially, but because I had my Goretex suit on I was able to wade in and put the boat across.
I want to explore the area where Lower Schodack Island joins Houghtaling Island, so I'll be back here soon, probably put in at the park dock shown in the picture.
"Hell Gate" was the channel between Upper and Lower Schodack Islands. That channel has been filled in by dredging spoil, but the intriguing name still exists on some maps. Don't know why it was called that.
In the 80s the Corps of Engineers wanted to use the area between Little Schodack Island and the eastern shore for dredging fill but sanity must have prevailed thank god.