5 day trip in Adirondacks- Route?

-- Last Updated: Apr-30-04 12:40 PM EST --

I am planning a trip for a scout group in July '05 and am looking for route suggestions for a 5 day trip in the Adirondack Park. All of the boys have been trained. Would likely be 2 cells of 8 each....

Looking for a wilderness feel with a combination of river and lake paddling and an area with good campsites along the way.

Was thinking about Bog River-lows lake-Oswegatchie?

Any comments or other suggestions?



with your first thought;it’s tough to do better than Low’s lower dam to Inlet for the great variety that this classic route makes available.

BSA trip on the Bog
The trip you suggests offers just what you are looking for. However I would be concerned by the carry from the Bog over to the Os. This is a total of 3 miles broken up at .8 by a short paddle and then 2.2miles up and over the esker to the Os. I have lead BSA trips to Algonquin, Killarney, Alleghany, and Adk. but have never considered taking them on this trip because of the carry. We try to keep our portages to no more then 2500 meters, we are able to do these one way in about and hour.

I did do this trip with three of my own boys (18,16,11) and my 65 year old dad, and had a great time. We had U/L kevlar canoes and carried over in one trip(3 hours) We did it over 5 days but, first and last were short days (1.5 hours )because we had to shuttle cars . Two other days were less the 3hours of paddling as we wanted time to fish and swim. If a carry of this length is not a concern then I recommend this trip

Portaging can be an issue
One thing you don’t mention in your post is the size of the Scout Group . A larger group may have a harder time finding sites large enough to fit everyone. I also echo bburns comment about portaging . Having guided scouts in the ADKs many years ago, portages can be a bummer if canoes are not light weight or packed to make portaging efficient . And I found that even though they can do longer portages, Scouts can take a LONG time to do so, throwing off your timetable.

Although it can be busy, the classic putting in at Second Pond/Lower Saranac, paddling through to Upper ( there are several large sites on Buck Island and Green Island ) and then into the Follensby Clear Pond area is fun for everyone. From there you can make a basecamp and do some day trips . Or , if the group is up to it, carry through to Long Pond or even Fish => St. Regis Pond.

…,only the messenger

Low’s - Oswegatchie is a magnificent trip. With 5 days you could really savor the experience. Carry is manageable but flies on Oswegatchie thru mid-July may not be

HOWEVER, believe regs for both these areas limit group size to 9 - “Any group of more than 9 must get a camping permit. Organizations that break up into sub groups less than 9 must still get a permit to camp in same geographic part of park & must camp at least 1/2m. apart”

Contact either Ranger Jos Kennedy, 10 Deer St Tupper Lake 12986 (518-359-7030) or Bernie Siskovich, POB 104 Wanakena 13695 (315-848-3370)for permit or additional details

If you want info on side trips, post or e me

Enjoy !

thanks for the updates, I understand the restrictions on group size which is why we are breaking up into two separate groups, good to know the 1/2 mile rule…

I may head over this summer for a few days and preview the portage to get a better sense of what the scouts might be in for if we go that way.

It has been 25 years since I have been to Lows Lake but not sure it changed much…Is it still motorboat free and what about seaplanes?

Any recommendations on Bog river flow campsites?

Low’s & Scouts
You say you’re leading a Scout trip? There is still a Boy Scout camp on Low’s Lake…and they have exclusive use of a couple islands in June/July/August. I’m sure one of the aforementioned rangers can put you in touch with the proper council to see what hospitality they can offer your group.

What’s changed in 25 years? The biggest change is the carry around the Upper Dam. First, August Low’s home is gone, as well as the outbuildings. The dog graveyard was vandelized when someone stole the brass burial plaques. The dam itself has been re-faced. The large wheel-and-gear assembly on top of the dam is gone…and the state has put in a floating dock which requires an unnecessarily long walk.

The July 1995 Storm hammered the western edge pretty hard. Lots of blowdown damage still very visable.

Float planes are gone, but don’t be surprised if you see an F-16 or two, and maybe a couple A-10’s as well.

Besides loons at Low’s Lake, bald eagles have also set up home.

Bears still raid some campsites, chipmunks are bold and the SW winds still create problems.

You should have a great trip.

Saw plenty of bear sign (scat) on the Oswegatchie side of Deer Pond. No bear activity in camp.

St. Regus
Theres a few good loops in the St Regus wilderness canoe area you might want to check out

Sabattis Scout Camp
the Scout Camp on Hornet Ponds by the north shore of Low’s Lake is run by the Hiawatha Council BSA in Syracuse. You could contact them about staying over at Sabattis during your trip and seeing their camp. Great place to spend a week with a troop, lots of side trips from camp, very friendly staff, and flexible program.

For information on High Adventure Treks in the Adirondacks for your troop you can contact the Trek Program Director at the Otetiana Council BSA in Rochester NY. They administer the Trek Program for the Adirondack Association of Scout Camps. The Address is 474 East Ave, Rochester NY 14607. and the phone number is 585-244-4210.

Doing your trip thru them can simplify your paperwork and shuttles. Doug Turner has run the program for years and knows this trip blindfolded. He can advise you of water conditions and campsite conditions.

Enjoy the trip.