Northern NY Canoe Trip Suggestions?

New to the msg board. Came here searching for a suggestion. Looking for a good canoe trip route in Northern NY (should this be in wilderness board?).


Paddlers live in Watertown/Syracuse. I’ve paddled much of the beaver river and fish creek (feeds Oneida Lake), and some of the black river. I’d say we’re intermediate skill - in our 30s, in good physical condition, well practiced on the basics but no whitewater knowledge or experience to speak of.


We’re looking for a weekend trip. We’ll arrive Friday night, and hopefully camp at the start (in our trucks or my trailer). We do have two vehicles, in case there’s a portage where it’d be useful (like through Camden on Fish Creek).

Enough current to keep the canoe moving would be nice but nothing too hairy. I have a 2hp motor that’s great for crossing lakes. I’m thinking we should be aiming for a 10 to 15 mile route in order to finish mid sunday afternoon. We’d like to avoid portaging…at least long ones…

I’m an avid fisherman, others are not so that’s not a primary concern.

Thanks so much for reading all this, and for any suggestions you might have! And if anybody’s interested in coming along we may have an open seat in one of two canoes:)

10-15 miles?
Thats all? Thats an afternoon paddle without the motor.

On a river that would take three hours max. On a lake maybe four to five.

Even so that distance is likely to involove a portage unless you are willing to forego the wilderness. Motors are prohibited in the St Regis Canoe area( portages anyway) and in the Whitney area (Little Tupper).

Middle to Lower Saranac is in that mileage range but reservations required to camp.

Long Lake to Axton is a day and a half paddle but way out of your mileage range plus there is a mile and a quarter portage.

Personally I would come do the West Branch of the Penobscot and Chesuncook Lake. Its 45 mile… a nice overnight trip (yes we paddle this one overnight). The motor can come handy if the wind comes up.

But its a wicked drive.

Go to a local EMS store, or online website and buy the following book and map …well worth the price …

web site…
U might want to look at ADK forum web site for ideas.

the Cedar river Flow area might be a good option too. Kinda remote but accessible, their are a few camp sites along the shores.

black cr or west canada cr
Black Cr runs into Hinkley lake - its a nice easy paddle - you could do one day on the creek and camp at Hinkley, and do the next day on the lake. Most likely, you’ll never see another boat on Black Cr.

or better yet, next day do a section of West Canada Cr. There is one CII-ish section at Poland - you can avoid that by taking out upstream of that rapid a half mile or so, at a roadside fishing/parking lot.

We’ve often put in just below the dam at Trenton Falls and paddled down to that roadside take out - about 15 miles or so of nice moving water if I remember right - otherwise, you can do a longer day by running that rapid (scout and/or portage river right on the abandoned train tracks)and running down to Newport (portage the dam at Newport - River Left) or continue on to Middleville if the water is at a good level, but if its low, don’t do that extra bit. Seems to me I’ve seen some comments somewhere (on here ?) about a kayak shop in that area that does shuttles - google for that, and maybe they can give you up to date info (careful where you park if you put in belwo Trentan Falls) Anyway - West Canada Cr is a blue ribbon trout stream, and if fishing is “high” on your agenda, its hard to beat.

Black Cr may hold trout too - its a quieter trip, with no rapids, but usually a decent current. West canada is more like Fish Creek (we usually put in at Brewer Road, downstream of Camden) Sometimes the DEC closes Fish Cr in May - they don’t really want you to catch any Walleye when they are running up the cr.

neither of these is an overnight trip, but both are nice paddles if you are looking for something new.

look here