long lake to tupper lake

anyone have suggestions on the trip down raquette river in early to mid july? anything i should be aware of during the trip? can it be done in 3 days in a leisurely pace? the only carry is at raquette falls? how much will i be donating to the adk blood drive? i have the adk canoe map and read a couple of the trip reports but wanted to get more 1st hand info. thanks.

its Day II…
…of the Adk classic 90. the carry breaks it up, but its doable in one day, so you should have plenty of time for a leisurely pace!!

DAY 2: Start at Bissell’s on Long Lake; paddle down Long Lake and into the Raquette River; carry around Raquette Falls; continue on the Raquette River to a finish at the NYS Raquette River Boat Launch (“The Crusher”) on Rt. 3 & 30 (approx 5 miles east of Tupper Lake village. Distance: 30 miles with 1 carry of 1.25 miles.

Long Lake can be home to hordes of motorboats whose users hog the lean tos.

A couple of times we have had to paddle in one day as far as the river because of that. For cruising its a nice route for a two day paddle.

It would be a very nice leisurely trip before Memorial Day or after Labor Day but otherwise dont plan on a guaranteed lean to.

Take a Tent
Lean To’s are quaint and nice in the fall and early spring, but are not the place to be in bug season. After Memorial Day weekend and 4th of July, the lean-to’s have seen much usage and are usually surrounded by toilet paper and food scraps, which both draw undesireable elements into your camp.

There are other campsites up both sides of Long Lake without lean-to’s and are shown on the canoe route map. Between the end of Long Lake and Raquette Falls there are few sites once you pass the Cold River confluence. Below the falls are many campsites. The tent sites get much less traffic and most have an outhouse somewhere back from the site. All the lean-to sites do also, but too many are too scared or too lazy to make the walk to the outhouse during the night and just squat where they want to.

As for time, it takes about 7 hours of fast paddling to make it from the beach at Long Lake to the Tupper Lake Rod and Gun Club on Simon Pond. From the lean-tos below Buttermilk Falls to the State boat launch on Tupper Lake, not the “Crusher” boat launch on Rt.3 north of Tupper Lake village, its an honest 50 miles and Boy Scout trips allow 5 days.

A good leasurely trip would be Long Lake village to the end of the lake on Day 1, down the river and around the Falls on Day 2, down the river to somewhere below Axton’s landing on Day 3, and on to Tupper Lake on Day 4. This would allow plenty of time to fish or swim on each day, and enough time for a rain delay day. Stopping earlier on each day might make finding a campsite easier.

Lots of good fishing along the way, every rock in the Raquette River has a smallmouth bass hiding downstream. And the sunken logs harbor some very big Pike. Good yellow perch fishing near the outlet from Follensby Pond, and scattered walleye throughout the lower river.

On Long Lake do your paddling early before the wind and powerboats start up. And watch for the float planes; near the village stay on either side of the lake and give the planes the middle.

I’ve done this section 15 times and its always a joy to paddle. In July you will meet lots of people, its a very popular route, even foreign travelers do this stretch.

First saturday after Labor Day you will meet 250 canoes, kayaks, guideboats, and war canoes on this stretch.


thanks for the tip on the tent and needing to start early to beat the wind on long lake. however, as i understand it, the wind in the adirondack is generally west to east? so the wind should be roughly to my left rear?

what’s the wind like on raquette river? will the trees and land features block it for the most part or will they funnel the wind?

i’ve read the river is all flatwater, except the falls, but is there a slight current to indicate the flow? how easy is it to find your way once past the falls? i noticed there are lots of oxbows to potentially get lost in.

thanks again

Hard to get lost
The oxbows are only confusing in the spring when theyflood. By midJuly the will be isolated backwaters easily identified from the main river.

The wind will be in your face on the lower river no matter what direction it comes from. It will also be at your back and on your left and on your right. The river turns and twists so much you will have it in you face on some stretches, no matter what. It will feel good on a hot day. The river is protected from the wind by the trees, so there is never a wave problem, but you will feel the wind if its blowing.

Coming up Long Lake the predominant wind will be at your back. But as you go farther up the lake the waves get higher and higher. As you approach the end of the lake and the shallows at the start of the river, the waves can get troublesome. Sloppy, muddy whitecaps over a very shallow bottom. Tends to turn boats into the wave troughs and then they have to worry. Can be a thrill ride for those with directional control problems. Taken carefully its no problem and can be a fast ride into the river.

Earlier is better. I have never seen it smooth at the upper end, even starting at Long Lake Village on fog shrouded, glass smooth water.