ADK Canoeing - Let me try this again....

First… to all who replied to my first message regarding canoeing in the ADKS - -THANKS! Every reply offered great, fabulous info.

I see now that the problem was me. I did not give enough information, and I also gave misleading information. Let me try again.

Here goes:

Myself and three friends are looking to take a canoe trip, preferably the ADKS. We were thinking of the Allagash in Maine, but it’s a bit far coming from Maryland and only having 4 days off.

We would like to canoe for two nights, three days.

We are in our mid-forties, not that that is old, but we don’t want to start carrying canoes up mountains or anything. We don’t mind short portages, but nothing too much. I don’t think we want to have to carry the canoes and the gear over a mile, preferably no more than a half mile.

We don’t want to canoe for more than 4-6 hours per day (would like to get some fishing in, maybe some reading under a hemlock, and possibly some swimming).

Our family has vacationed in Blue Mountain Lake for eight years now so I am familiar with Blue, Utowana, Eagle, Raquette, etc.

I hope this is better information. Let me know what other info you need to give me the best advice. Sorry about my vagueness, and conflicting statements.

3 other suggestions that are great are Lake Lila (1 short carry), Little Tupper Lake (no carries) and the bog river flow( 1 short carry). All 3 are gorgeous and varied-streams, lake, etc

St. Regis Canoe Area
There are quite a few three-day, two night options in this area. Good variety of ponds. You could do a circuit starting and ending in the same place, or just pick an area and explore it. No motorized craft are permitted in the area. Most of the carries are pretty short, depending on what section you do.

Have fun wherever you go.

Have you looked through Places2Paddle? There are numerous trip descriptions there that meet your specifications. Some yahoo named Chip Walsh put one out there on Bog River or Lowes Lake that would work, and there are others written by more respectable paddlers. Check em out.

Adk choices
As you want to spend 2 nights out & have time for other activities consider spending both nights in same campsite. Of course, in that event you’ll want to make sure it’s a good one. Luckily there are an almost infinite # of such sites & they’re all 1st come, 1st served. If you see an open one you like just stake your claim - no permits, fees, assigned sites, or reservations required. This is much better treatment than you’ll receive @ most other places, inc. Nat Parks & comes w/ only minimal regulation.

W/ a base camp you’ll save time repacking & setting up camp in another location. Also lugging overnight gear between two.

You didn’t mention a shuttle so will assume a one way river trip is out.

A number of great suggestions have been mentioned. Others can be found on this site or link I provided in your other thread but if you chose between Low’s, Lila, Little Tupper, or SRCA(& adjacent ponds S of RR) you can’t go wrong. All are essentially motorless & undeveloped. They offer the essence of Adk paddling & thus you’ll share the experience w/ other paddlers.

Each offers much more paddling than you can pack into time you have available & has it’s advantages

Am sure many will provide more details on each if you’re interested. Enjoy !

Base Camp is a good idea
For an easy to reach base camp, you can go to Follensby Clear Pond. There are two put-ins right off Rt. 30 just a short ways past Fish Creek State Campground. There are numerous site around this pond right on the shore and accessible by canoe. Some are an easy walk from the northern parking lot.

The Floodwood Road has many nice sites on a number of ponds, but they see a lot of long term RV campers, and getting one in season is pure luck.

From Follensby Clear Pond you can paddle out Spider Creek into Fish Creek and then either up the creek or out into Upper Saranac Lake. Up the creek will take you thru the Fish Creek Ponds and continuing upstream you can wind thru a number of ponds and return to Follensby Clear via a short portage from Fish Creek. There are other loops you can do right from Follensby Clear, or taking a short drive you can do a loop from Upper St. Regis Lake and see some big classic Adirondak Great Camps.

You could start at Tupper Lake on the Raquette River, paddle upstream to Raquette Falls and return. Lots of good fishing on this river, Smallmouth behind every rock, big yellow perch, walleye and lunker northern pike. Easy upstream paddling, lots of good campsites. You woln’t be alone though, lots of canoe traffic.

Lake Lila, Little Tupper, and Lows Lake have been discussed many times on this board and you can find trip reports in the archives and on the Places to Paddle section.

Enjoy it, but don’t tell all your friends, just the ones you wouldn’t mind camping next to.

Plaidpaddler really knows his stuff
and Follensby Clear Pond is a magnificently scenic body of water. I’d definitely include it on the tour if you chose that area. FCP also has many beautiful campsites (over a dozen inc some on scenic islands)& a leanto not shown on some maps.

However, on both of the occasions when I’ve camped there the otherwise great experience was much degraded by traffic noise (especially @ night when the sound really travels) It’s just too close to SR30. By all means don’t miss FCP & Spider Creek passage but unless you bring earplugs (or can Zen out the rd noise) consider a campsite farther off SR30 (like Floodwood or Little Square. You can even get to St Regis Pond w/ only 1 carry) Enjoy !

Didn’t think about the road

Living right on a 4 lane stretch of Rt 18 just a quarter mile off I-390 there is so much traffic noise that i don’t notice it much anymore. Each time i’ve gone to Follensby Clear i was so tired from the drive up that i could have slept in an airport. It is a pretty place and the closeness to the road is a blessing when arriving late on a Friday night.

Would be bad for someone used to a quiet home.


I’m just too sensitive, perhaps ?

– Last Updated: Jan-13-07 8:35 AM EST –

Maybe it's me but w/ so many excellent waterfront campsites, I've become quite picky, a connoisseur of campsites, if you will. It's not noticeable during day (too many other distractions occupying the senses ?) but @ night, sitting around a campfire w/ something pleasant to sip, listening to Loons, re-living another great day on water & anticipating another ahead; those "blank"ing motors bug me!!!
The semi's engine braking around the twists & turn of SR30 really detract from the experience.It's hard to imagine you're back in the wilds as your other senses tell you, when your ears say otherwise.
No matter how nice a campsite is visually, it's rating always plummets if I can hear traffic noise @ night.
(Same problem w/ those otherwise great campsites on Middle Saranac - one needs to camp on Weller Pond to have a "silent night")

Road noises
Yes it spoils the ‘isolation’ when you can hear the semi’s climbing a hill or the jakebrake blasting on a steep descent. You know how far the Raquette River is from Rt. 3 below Axtons when you hear the trucks and Harleys at night.

Same thing at Massawepie, dead quiet, then a lone truck or motorcycle reminds you that Rt. 3 is only a mile away.

The noises of nearby campsites never seem as intrusive as the motor noises of traffic or boats. Perhaps they are more a reminder of the noisey urban setting that we go to the Adirondacks to escape. I guess when i am up there, the traffic i hear is an intrusion, but one i must accept, if i expect to have roads in the mountains.

You suggestion two years ago about the site on Low’s was great, quietest campsite I’ve ever used.


ADK noise
Motor noise, camp bugles (on Racquette, what a racket),motor boats and jet skis are pretty much unavoidable. The end of Long Lake is pretty quiet.

In Maine you hear log trucks and sometimes 4 wheelers.

For complete silence you need to head for Quebec or North Ontario.

ADK Paddlin
There are many good suggestions in the post so far. I like the Bog Rver Lowes Lake idea thatis going to be my next destination. Lowes has esay access and still off the beaten tract. I highly recomend a broucher from the Adirondack Regional Tourism Council - Adirondack Waterways, A guide to paddleing routes in the Notheast’s last great wilderness 800-487-6867 / The broucher is a great overview of all the places to paddle. Also for the more information try stopping by

Hi y’all.

First post here. Found this discussion from a Google search on Follensby Clear Pond.

I’ll try to be brief, tho I could go on for a couple volumes if provoked. I can talk about FCP because I literelly grew up there. Back in the day, it, as well as several other surrounding lakes (Polliwog comes to mind) was occupied, seasonally, by good folk who took part in a special NYS program that allowed people to set up tent platforms, and then build light structures on them. My parents built ours the year I was born, 1959, adding to two others pre-existing on the large island at the north end. The other two were occupied by my cousins’ family and my grandparents. We dubbed it Drake Island. Since my dad was a school teacher, we had summers off and that’s where we’d spend them.

We were held to very strict criteria in terms of construction and appearence. No electricity, no running water, colors of all structures (cabin, docks, etc.) was to be dark green/brown so as not to be obtrusive from the water. And the state provided three or four rectagular plans we could choose from, no additions. And the state checked regularly and left notice if they felt anything out of place. Most cabins had a kitchen with a hand pump at the sink, and lamps, stove and a fridge run off LP gas, Some, like ours, even had a decent kerosene heater for cooler nights.

Around 1973 NY decided they wanted to reclaim the area and we were all ‘evicted’. This hurt as many had had their platforms much longer than ours, but in hindsight, I’d hate to see what the area might have become. So we all received letters informing us and a couple years later, my understanding is, another program had state convicts come in and tear all hundred or so structures out.

So to the point: I wanted to address the comments about noise from Rt. 30 first. Yes, we could occassionally hear traffic, and since this was before Rt. 30 got it’s facelift, it was often the rattling and banging of trucks as they lurched over the frost heaves and potholes. But as noted, we’re talking about a road a mile or so away thru the woods. It was only on windless nights we occasionally heard them. Barely enough to break the sense of isloation. Certainly there are sites much closer to the road than ours, I think anywhere along the western shore is going to be pretty quiet to all but the purist.

Also, fishing: if you find your way to the northern end, and you like to fish the big game, you’ll find one of the prime northern pike beds in NYS directly east of the large island. Just look for some of the seaweed reaching the surface of the lake from depths you can’t fathom (actually 14 -16 feet). As well, the bays along the NE sections are notorious for bass, and perch can be found anywhere.

Then there’s the loons…