Low's Loop

Ever since discovering the new trail connecting Cranberry L w/ Grass Pond bay of Low’s L, I’ve been anxious to carry a canoe across it. Trail allows for the possibility of a great loop & opportunity to avoid the long shuttle from Inlet back to Lower dam (trade off is 8m. of carrying)

Having completed the Low’s - Oswegatchie rte as a day trip numerous times, thought w/ sufficient daylight & motivation, the entire loop could also be done in a day (although a very long one)

Confirmed that on a great solo trip yesterday w/ my 23lb Grasse River Classic. Here’s the stats :

Launch @ Lower dam in pre-dawn light of 4:13 AM

Paddle 2:35 to takeout

Carry to Osw. inc paddle across Big Deer in 1:31

Descend Osw. to Inlet - 4:25

Paddle & carry Inlet-Wanakena - 54 min

Cross Cranberry L to takeout in Chair Rock flow in 1:50

Carry from Cranberry L to Grass Pond - 1:57

Paddle back to Lower dam in 2:42 finishing in a total of 15:55 at 8:08 PM

Obviously this type of trip left no time for smelling the numerous roses on route but it sure maxed out my fun-meter !

Glen, you are the MAN! That trip sounds like it would be an incredibly fun 3-4 day trip for someone like me. Just spent last weekend up at Low’s and the only thing that prevented us from doing the Lows-Oz-Inlet trip was the expensive outfitter car shuttle we would need. This actually sounds do-able. What is the Inlet-Wanakena section like? Good carries around the impassable sections or bushwacks? Now that you’re retired I expect we’ll see more reports like these from you pushing the envelope a little. Keep it up!


Oswegatchie, Inlet -Wanakena
Very doable

Beyond Inlet there’s .7m of flatwater, then a bit more after a short ledge drop you can easily line down. A trail follows the river’s left (N) bank 2.2m all way from Inlet to S shore rd bridge in Wanakena. You can see yellow markers from water @ numerous pts as trail is right on bank. Get out imm above continuous raps for very scenic 1.3m carry. If you get thirsty stop in Wanakena Gen store across from put-in for an amazing selection of adult beverages from old walk-in cooler.

.25m past Ranger School on opposite (S) bank is a dock. Tie up & hike 15 min to largest White Pine you’ve ever seen.(Price of adult bev refunded by me if you’ve seen larger!)

BTW Great Low’s shots !

I am 36 years old and in good shape. I could not do that. I want to be you, when I am your age, or right now.

Double or single ???
Glen …do you double blade your Grasse river classic?..or…bent shaft even in the raps…enquiring minds want to know…keep up the good work…inspiration to all us mortals!

Paddle choice
Use a single blade bent shaft Zav most of time. 2 of these was all I brought on this trip as Osw has no real raps above Inlet & carried those boney ones below

If I’m doing a trip where I plan to paddle some raps will use a different boat & take straight shaft wooden paddle in addition to Zav

What do you use ?

Eight miles

– Last Updated: Jun-18-04 9:38 PM EST –

of carry while staying light weight would make footware selection intresting, what was your choice?
Maxed your fun meter;would have broken mine,but i'm happy for you, congratulations!

Carry from Low’s to Cranberry

Two years ago i attempted to follow the trail you described from Cranberry to Low’s. Found the Darning Needle Pond trail and followed it for about a mile, but never saw the branch to Low’s. We will be on Low’s the end of July and want to try the carry again. Is it well marked on the Grass Pond Bay end?

Boy am i glad you don’t race in the c-2 rec class.

And many thanks for all your great detailed posts on these great Adirondack spots, and the Tamagami report.


DITTO pladpaddler

Low’s-Cranberry trail

Best way to find trail from Low’s is to start @ campsite #32. (The landing/trail’s end is unsigned & not used enough to be obvious). From camsite follow old log rd that circles Grass pond E. In 2 min you’ll pass where final 50 yds of trail diverges right (S) to shoreline. Continue another 2 min E on log rd & turn left (N) on continuing blue trail (dbl blue marker on tree @ jct)approx 3.25 m to unsigned jct w/ yellow marked Darning Needle pond trail. (You’ll wonder how you missed it before

Enjoy !

Madmike - if you are in good shape and are a decent paddler, don’t doubt yourself . Without sounding like a gear geek, the right boat abd paddle can make a world of difference in terms of efficiency and speed. While I have not done anything quite as ambitious as this, I have logged many 20 mile plus days with additional portages in a fully loaded Wenonah on backwoods trips. Glen’s post has piqued my curiousity about the Grasse River boats; looking at their site I may see if I can test paddle one next time I am in the ADKs in a couple weeks. Not that I NEED a 3rd solo, but …:slight_smile:

As far as footwear, without seeing Glen’s answer I bet he only had one pair . Maybe a pair of running shoes :)? While many worry about stubbed toes, I have used higher end Tevas ( with Neoprene socks in cooler weather ) for years and not had problems, even on rugged 2 mile portages. The new Keen sandals look interesting and may be worth a look.

I will feel like a fool
When i do get over that trail to the junction with the Darning Needle Pond trail. Cause either we went right past the junction and turned around and missed it on the way back or we didn’t go far enough. Won’t be the first time i missed something and it was right under my nose. Usually its a tool i sat down and then can’t find while i am in the middle of a job and need it.

Glen, the more of your posts i read and the more races i know you have been in, somewhere in the past several years our paths have crossed. I will be up in the mountains the last week of July camping at Low’s with a delegation from the Phila. Canoe Club (PA not NY). Then later in that week we will be going up to Paul Smith’s for the Wooden Canoe Heritage Assoc. gathering. Then in August i will be up to paddle the 30 mile race from Upper Saranac to Tupper Lake. And if i get in this year, i will paddle the 90 Miler for the 9th time. Going C-2 mixed tandem with Gearwoman in an attempt to beat the Canadian Gill’s and any other over 40 couples crazy enough to paddle the Adirondack Classic in a rec boat.


I did the Grasse with a “mildly” bent wooden paddle ( 7 degrees I think) in my 13’ royalex Wenonah Sandpiper. I was unhappy with the performance in the small amount of ( fairly boney) rapids on the Grasse. Even with a small amount of bend it seems to inhibit sculling prys draws and sideslips. I am considering doing your loop, with this same boat - and since it is heavier and slower than the Grasse River classic, and I am slower ( land and sea ) than you…I will probably take a double blade for the lake and maybe my bent shaft Zav for the Oswagatchie. I expect to add 8 - 12 hours to Your transit time…with maybe an evening spent at the Wanakena lean-to…or on Joe Indian Island. Know where I can get some of those cool paddle clips for hands free portaging online??..Thanks

paddle choice
I don’t know that I would want to do the Oswegatchie with a Zav . Even though a good cross bow draw can be used on the numerous hairpin turns, I find myself liking something beefier for powering downstream through the many beaver dams . Especially in a Royalex boat, one can get a good head of steam up and clear most dams ; the larger dams sometimes need a good push from the paddle wedged in the sticks to free oneself when stuck partways down. Even the double blade might be better, as you can use it’s extra length on sweeps/C strokes. A paddle that I use a lot that is no longer made is a Werner bent shaft canoe paddle . Fibreglass blade and shaft . Not too heavy, but just the thing for bony conditiions.