best portage cart for the 90

paddling a c1 stock in the adk classic90, what have been your experiences with portage wheels? thanks!!

Portage carts
I have done this race with and without a cart. In a C1 I will advise against it. There are some places where you can’t use a cart due to the terrain. If you use a cart you must take it with you all three days. That means when you can’t cart, you must carry your canoe and the cart. In a tandem one paddler can take the cart while the other carries the canoe, or you only have to lift one end of the canoe over the obstacle. You will need to lift the whole works over the obstacle.

Better to use a light canoe with a good yoke and practice installing and removing the yoke which you will need to do half a dozen times.

The best carts are the Swedish style with bicycle wheels and no axle between the wheels, they will clear a lot of obstacles that the fat wheeled beach carts will not.The are center mounted and carry all the weight of the canoe and gear. An end mounted kayak style cart is really bad on a canoe, you still are carrying half the weight and its not on your shoulders, but hanging from your arms. Not one of these style carts has wheels of large enough diameter to handle the rough terrain of the Brown’s Tract carry or Raquette falls carry. Some will drag kayaks over these carries with the small wheels on the stern, and for a lot of the carry, the kayak is dragging on the ground.

Two of the carries are so short that you will lose time mounting and dismounting the cart. At the upper lock on the Saranace river, the put in is a narrow walkway and you will not be able to take the cart off on this walkway. The total carrie is about 100 feet so you are better off just carrying everything upright on your hip or shoulder. The last carry at the lower lock is up and over a ridge, a long carry on your hip, but again too short to put on the cart, and with another put in that has no good place to dismount and launch.

In a tandem or C-4 or War Canoe, the pluses outweigh the negatives, but in a C-1 I feel you are better off with a quickly mounted yoke.


I should concur witfh Plaid Paddler,

– Last Updated: Jun-09-08 8:07 PM EST –

since he has done it many times and I have only done it twice (tandem), but I have mixed feelings on it.
What is the weight of your C-1 stock?
If it was me and it was over 40 pounds, I would want wheels, but I am over the hill and if you are a young buck, your situation might be different.
As Bill says, there are a couple of short carries where you wouldn't even need the wheels and they would just get in the way. Also on some of the more difficult carries, you will have to wrestle the boat and cart over large rocks and logs, (think mountain goat path).
I myself would like the wheels just for running through the flat mile long camp ground carry and the fairly long carry through the town of Inlet, and I would probably opt to suck up the time to put it on the wheels for the short ones and I would also do the wrestling over the logs, etc.
Heed what Bill says on the center mount wheels. They make it very easy on the pulling/pushing, since the canoe is balanced, (a lot less work then rear mounted ones).
Also make sure you don't get small wheels. they are useless.
Get a cart with 15 or 16 inch wheels.
For what it is worth: I made ours from a old baby jogger that I paid $12 bucks for at a thrift store.
I stripped it , cut the front small wheel and stuff off and then used a pair of cam-lock buckle straps cut in half and screwed to each side tube.
Except for the axel being lower to the ground then the purchased ones, it works out pretty good and we will probably use it again this year.
Keep in mid if you opt to carry using the yoke instead of the wheels, you'll have to also carry your water and nurishment, (think back pack) and secure your paddle.

Whatever you decide, you C-1 guys are my heros !

See you there,


I’ve done the 90 in a kayak, so perhaps I’m not the best one to respond but I will anyway. I did not have wheels last year. In some areas they would have been useless, like the mountain goat climb first quarter mile of Racquette Falls, but in some areas, like the mile and a half through the campground, they would have been awesome. This year I’m doing the 90 in a C-2, and I’m strongly advocating for wheels with my partner. I did it “ironman” (or woman in this case) shouldering my kayak solo the whole time last year, if I were to do it solo again, I’d definitely have some form of wheels.


I don’t want to take away from the original post, but want to throw this out for your wheels.

Find the exact balance point of your canoe, and then put some marks with indelible ink where the wheels should go.

If you get it balanced correctly and have big wheels, on the flats the thing will just about go by itself and all you need is a light touch on the stern as you run behind it.

We did it tandem for the past two years, and the first time we didn’t know enough to mark it, and it was a constant battle at each portage to jocky it to the balance point.

last year, with the marks we took tons of time off our previous years time getting the canoe on the wheels.

That Growler of special beer in the soluvinir jug was an awesome prize !



C-1 in 90 miler
I’ve done the Adk Canoe Classic both tandem & C-1 in my Grasse River Classic (always w/o wheels)

My advice is to get your registration in as early as possible & forget about the wheels. Bill’s reply is dead on. Unless you’re just doing the 90 for the experience, not racing, & have a real aversion to carrying; wheels are more of disadvantage. No one on C-1 podium uses 'em. Have a great time !

for the great replies!!

the boat is a GRB classsic xl, i think it weighs about 25lbs…

At that weight, don’t use wheels


I did not know what a “growler” of beer was until I won mine at the 90. Sure helps ease the pain, LOL! :slight_smile:


Same here
Not being beer drinkers we gave it to our pit crew; Red Cross Randy and his wife Patty, but we demanded the jug back when they were done, and it now sits proudly with some of our other memorbalia.



Classic XL on the shoulder
A lot of the C-1 paddlers carry the canoe upright on their shoulder. If you are a tall guy with long arms like Glen L. it is quick and relatively easy. If you are shorter with shorter arms like me, its not such an easy reach around the canoe and up to the gunwale. A loop of webbing on the seat frame long enough to drape over the gunwale gives you something to hold onto and keep the canoe positioned on your shoulder.

It something you need to practice beforehand, running around the yard and climbing over the picnic table while carrying your canoe and its race load of hydration gear and paddle. Wearing your PFd on the carries gives your shoulders some padding from the canoe. The picnic table climb is no joke, it will serve you well for the scramble up the wet stone steps at Raquette Falls carry. And note that 3 of the carries are over a mile long. You can stop and set it down, but your stopping places are limited by trail width in many places.

If this is your first attempt at registration don’t be surprised if you get a letter stating that registration is full and you are on a waiting list.

They only take 250 boats, there are some automatic ins if you are a 20 year veteran or a war canoe entry, or a guide boat entry for example. Then they pick from all the entries received by the deadline till they get to 250. After that the picks are put in order on the waiting list. Usually a dozen or so drop out and people move up from the waiting list. It took me 4 tries to get in the first time when it was the first 250 entries returned. Being 3 days from Saranac Lake by mail meant that the locals filled up the slots before the mail got to Rochester or Buffalo. Now with the lottery system, its much better for out of town folk. Some may even get in based on being way far out, like Hawaii or New Zealand. And some years there were only 260 or so entries and everybody got accepted. There were still under 250 on the start line due to dropouts.

Hope to see you up there and welcome you to the 90 Miler Family.

Post any other questions you have and we’ll try to answer them for you.


1 Like

GRB Classic ideas that worked for me
A .5gal gatorade bottle will fit perfectly & securely within the “tissue box style” seat pedestal in the Classic. Ream a hole in lid just lg enough to accommodate your drinking tube. It should ride there fine w/o leaking even over rough carries. If possible on long 1st day arrange to have a friend drop (or lower on string) a 2nd bottle from Raquette Lake village bridge

On longer carries I also slide my paddle, palm grip 1st, back thru the pedastal all way to blade. (Spare’s duct-taped under inwale in tumblehome)

Enjoy the race. XL’s take all the hardware in C-1 stock

permanent wheels. -why $125 per paddler
Did 90 twice and saw golf cart wheels permanently mounted to back of canoe. Same width as golf cart. They must have hauled the boat upside down. Speaking of 90. Why did the price go up to $125?

Some are cheap to enter and some …
cost an arm and a leg.

We did the New River Canoe and kayak races last Saturday which is the oldest canoe race in NC.

They usually have over a hunded entries.

Cost to enter the race is $10 and that includes a T shirt.

They not only give nice plaques to first, second and third places, but they give money awards with them.

At the end of the race there is a drawing and almost every one there goes home with some token prize.

The races are on time and if you want to enter a second or third race, the additional ones are $7.

Also there is a free shuttle running all day which will take you back to the start.