A group of about 5 canoes each with a father and son is looking to do a 3-4 day canoe trip in May of 2006 in New England or New York. We would like to do a river and obviously need camp sites. Originally considered the Allagash, but our limited skill sets probably preclude this river. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much!
2 Adk suggestions
If you’re looking to stick w/ flatwater, I’d recommend either the Low’s lake-Oswegatchie R traverse (36m)or Long Lake-Raquette R.(24m or more depending on takeout) The former includes a 3m carry which can be avoided by doing river only but I heartily recommend the thru trip. The Raquette has a 1.25m carry.
Believe max group size on Osw. is 9 (12 on Raquette) Both choices traverse wilderness areas & offer numerous campsites & water accessible hiking trails.
The West Branch of the Penobscot in Maine from Lobster Lake - North makes a nice 3-day trip.
Also the water warms up a fair amount by the end of May so other rivers may be doable for your group. We were swimming by then. Maybe move the trip up some. You risk some blackflies, but sometimes you nail the timing right and are bug free.
Moose River Bow Trip near Jackman is a nice 2 or 3 Day loop with some portaging and rips to spice things up.
Raquette River Trip
I’ll second Glen L. on the Raquette River trip. The Bog River-Low’s Lake-Oswegatchie is a a terrific tripa,BUT, without knowing the ages of the boys involved and your experience and gear, I will suggest the Long Lake-Raquette River trip.
Long Lake is just that, long; but there are numerous campsites along the shore. The Raquette River is easy paddling and has many sites scattered along the river. The upper river above the falls has fewer sites, but it is only about an hour to 90 minutes to the carry at the falls. Figure a couple hours for the carry with camping gear. Lots of sites below the falls, every 1/4 mile or so from the falls to the boat launch outside Tupper Lake. We paddle this section in one day during the 90 mile canoe race, but it makes a nice 3-4 day trip. Good fishing, always good water in the spring, not too crowded till after July 4th.
My best advice for the Raquette Falls carry is to do it in short sections. Carry your canoe till your shoulders start to feel it, leave your canoe off the trail and go back for gear. The short trips back and forth are much easier on the boys, and you can keep everyone closer together.