Looking for Adirondack Canoeing Trip Ideas, Locations

Discussion in 'Paddling' started by tabasco_joe, May 18, 2017.

  1. tabasco_joe

    tabasco_joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I'm starting my planning for what I hope for is a 5 - 7 day canoe trip in the Adirondacks in 2018.
    I'm looking for suggestions. Goal is to traverse a couple lakes, primarily spending time exploring and fishing. I'm not trying to put a lot of miles on. Also prefer to minimize portages as some minor but annoying medical conditions don't allow me to become as over exerted as in my younger days. So portages would be double trips between boat and gear.

    I'm also interested in locations with wither easy car access for put in or wheeled access. And prefer lakes with minimal motor traffic. Obviously lake and stream side camp site availability is required.

    I'd be taking a solo canoe that weighs 30#.

    Online information seems plentiful at first glance but I haven't found it to be as helpful as I'd like.

    My plan is to do my research this summer and then take a fall weekend trip with the wife to the area to investigate further.

    So any ideas would be welcome. Also I'm completely flexible as to time of year. My thoughts are towards June but I'd plan for best time if otherwise convinced.
     
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  2. snapper

    snapper Guide

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    Not sure if this will work for you since you mentioned traveling on lakes but you might want to consider paddling the Oswegatchie River. You'll begin and end in the same location so you won't need to worry about shuttling your vehicle. The parking area is also one of the few in the Adirondacks where you can legally camp so if you want, you can stay there the night before your trip and get an early start in the morning.

    You'll begin paddling upstream but the current is easy enough that you shouldn't have any issues. You can paddle all the way up to High Falls (about 12 miles if I remember correctly) and even go above that if you don't mind pulling over a bunch of beaver dams; which you'll already have some experience with if you've made it that far. Along the way you'll find lots of campsites and even a couple of lean-tos.

    For the "exploring" portion of your trip you can leave your canoe and hike into the Five Ponds Wilderness Area directly from the Oswegatchie. You can hike into Big Shallow, Little Shallow, Sand Lake and other small bodies of water. There are a lot of eskers (glacial formations) to explore so the area has a lot to offer. I don't know how the fishing is any more but bring your pack rod and give it a whirl.

    If this doesn't meet your needs you could try the Bog River Flow to Lows Lake. That trip is a blend of lakes and some river paddling. Again, lots of campsites along the way and the opportunities for fishing are endless. At Hitchins Pond, where the carry goes around the upper dam and back into the Bog River, there is a trail that leads to a nice ledge that gives you a 360 degree view of the paddle in and surrounding countryside. The trail is fairly short but steep in places. It shouldn't be a problem though so I would encourage you to check it out.

    At the very end of Lows Lake you can ditch your canoe and hike over to Big Deer Pond, Cowhorn Pond or even go as far as High Falls (the same falls that are on the Oswegatchie) but coming in from the other direction. There's also a nice hike up Cat. Mt; which had a fire tower on it many years ago but still has a wonderful view from a ledge.

    Another bonus for the Bog River/Lows Lake trip is you also will begin and end the trip in the same location. Not having to shuttle your vehicle will save you a lot of time. And, if you want to camp close by the night before, there are public fee sites on Horseshoe Lake which is on the road into the parking area for the Bog River.

    Hopefully this gives you a couple of ideas of what's out there. If there's anything I can do to answer any of your questions, just let me know.

    Take care and until next time...be well.

    snapper
     
  3. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Supporter Supporter

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    Will be following as I still need to plan my annual weeklong canoe trip for this summer and could use some suggestions.

    We did a loop around the Floodwood area the last two years as we enjoyed it so much the first time that we redid it the following year.

    Here's the trip reports from it to give you an idea of our route and pics of the sites/area.

    https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/adirondack-paddle-floodwood-ponds-loop.157237/

    https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/canoeing-the-floodwood-area-adks-2016.179897/

    Is a nice, relaxing route that you can easily do in your timeframe and has some flexibility if you want to add a section or two to extend it or shorten it. Portages were very manageable.

    Though we loved it both times we want to change it up this year for some new scenery. May try one of @snapper 's suggestions.

    Enjoy it wherever you end up. I never tire of the ADK's.
     
  4. ATsawyer

    ATsawyer Scout

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  5. tabasco_joe

    tabasco_joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I'll have to check that out. I did a search on YouTube for videos on Adirondack canoe trips. Lots of hits and almost every one was simply video of people paddling with background music dubbed in and virtually no info on which water, time of year, etc.
     
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  6. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    If you want to minimize blackflies and deerflies, go in August or later... August is a very popular month, so it will be more crowded. After Labor Day, NYS schools are back in session, and it's quieter until leaf season... however, most leaf-peepers drive, and if you go on something like a Wed to Wed trip, avoiding the roads/parking lots on the weekend, you won't see many of them either. My favorite time of all is late September, after the rush, before the leaf-peepers and hunters. Few bugs, warm days, cool nights, and the water is still warm enough to bathe in (by which I mean it wasn't much warmer in August, doesn't get any warmer hereafter, but also that it is most definitely not warm! Just not so icey you can't stand to bathe.)

    Any route that involves a single portage will cut the crowd exponentially. Low's and the Oswegatchie were covered pretty well above... If you bring a cart at Low's/Bog River, the portage is painless, but still there, mentally, and people tend to not like them, even in thought.

    Another favorite area is Lake Lila... parking is limited, and overflow is ticketed, so it limits how many can be on the lake. The kicker is the 400 yard (or so) carry to the lake... it's not hard, just long... downhill on the way in, uphill on the way back. Some of it is "boardwalked"... a cart helps, but not so much on the stairs... but it does weed out a lot of lazy folks, and there are nice campsites all around, decent bass fishing, a mountain to climb, the foundation/ruins of a 'great camp', and you can explore up 3 creeks feeding into or out of the lake. If you find a pair of old hiking shoes and a pair of wool socks at the camp landing, they're mine...

    Another option might be the lower part of the St Regis Canoe Wilderness. I don't mean the portage-heavy 9 Carries area... I guess it's still technically the St Regis, but I'm talking about the area south of Floodwood Road, or even the area around Hoel, Slang, Turtle, and Long Ponds. There is a rail embankment to portage over between Hoel and Slang, but the water is often high enough to just line your canoe through to Turtle... I think the portage to Long is only a few hundred yards. My daughter made it... she's 5'-2", 100lbs, and didn't like it... but she made it. Twice.

    You can also put in a Floodwood and go for awhile... Someone's up there right now doing a trip, meeting other members at Follensby Clear Pond, I think... someone can maybe post the link... It's a bunch of nice little ponds, not really wilderness, connected by eskers with short, easy lift-over style portages of a couple yards. Only problem is the public campgrounds, and I think the main lake and stream allow power boats in some areas.

    The actual SRCWA, Low's/Bog River and Lila are all "motor free" lakes.

    Hope that helps.
     
  7. GreenFrog

    GreenFrog Hardwoodsman #8 Supporter Bushclass III

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    Great info so far.. but start with buying the adk paddlers maps. You can buy them direct from St. Regis Outfitters. They also have routes shown on their website.

    I'd begin with St. Regis area because of all the possibilities...just do more or less as you wish. Launch into long pond off floodwood rd parking lot.

    Next paddle into bog river flow and back.

    Or Lake Lila or Little Tupper or Cedar River Flow.. all great trips.

    Oswagatchie is on my list this summer (starting at bog river flow) and so is Long Lake to Crusher up the Raquette River.

    Next meetup ill be sure to bring my maps n trip notes.
     
  8. snapper

    snapper Guide

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    Greenfrog - I've done the trip from the Bog River over to the Oswegatchie and then down to Inlet. You should have a wonderful time. The only recommendation I'd make is pace yourself on the carry between Big Deer Pond and the upper Oswegatchie. The lighter your canoe and gear, the more you'll be able to "enjoy" it. It's been a while since I was on that carry trail but it was more long than difficult in my estimation; although there was one section where the trail was actually a beaver dam. Have a great trip when you get there.

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

    snapper
     
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  9. tabasco_joe

    tabasco_joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I now have a good set of maps and several books on the area. I am zeroing in on St. Regis or the Saranac Lakes. Finally got the new canoe out (Northstar Solo) and the thing sure flies with kayak paddle. Truck racks are worked out. Got a nice yoke. Just need to tune a few more things on the canoe plus add a back rest and I'd be ready to go. Might get up there this fall.
     
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  10. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    Kayak camped lake Lila two years ago this October. Great place. Portage not too bad if you don't pack crazy or have a partner. The parking lot is small as detailed above but it was warm in the day and frosty at night. Good times. I would've went last year but I went back to school and classes are on the weekends. We had a group of 5, 3 kayaks and one canoe. Fishing was poor, or we were poor fishermen.
     
  11. TheOneCanoe

    TheOneCanoe Tracker

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    Hey Tabasco Joe, My son and I paddled the William C. Whitney Wilderness area in Adirondack Park a few years back. We dis this route in 4 days, 3 nights, but you could easily stretch that out to 5 or 6 days. Here is a link to the video we shot (there is a map in the video to show the whole route we took )if you want to check it out:
    Cheers
    -Wayne
     
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  12. mugsy

    mugsy Scout

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    check out long lake, lean-tos on east side and boat accessible only lean-tos north end west side.
    long lake is actually the raquette river. you can explore the cold river area which is absolutely beautiful country and remote , the cold river feeds into the raquette just north of the lake. there is a portage around the falls on the raquette just beyond the mouth of the cold river. the river fows north, there are leantos along river beyond falls.
    almost the entire east side of lake is forest preserve, several options for takeout. lemme know if you want more info.
     
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