In July I am planning on doing the loop from Lows Lake-Oswegatchie River-Cranberry-Lows Lake. Do you have any information on the portage from Oswegatchie to Wanakena? I have been told there is a hike-able trail. Have you seen or used it?
Inlet -Wanakena trail
If you mean the carry, portage, trail between Inlet & Wanakena, it’s very straightforward. Known as Moore trail it travels 2.2m along the N shore of Oswegatchie R from just below the private wood suspension bridge @ Inlet to paved rd in Wanakena imm N of it’s crossing the “O” on metal decked bridge. You’ll need to carry a few yds farther to reach flatwater below boney raps.
The river’s flat for approx .7m below Inlet. After a ledge drop you can paddle approx another .25m. If you look you’ll see the yellow marked trail along the N (left)shore in this area. Get out when current quickens, as close as you feel comfortable to the class 3+ drop. You’ll only need to carry the scenic remaining 1.25 m +/- to Wanakena as this section is way too shallow to paddle @ all but highest water levels. I’ve paddled/carried this section on numerous day trips & it takes me about 50 min from Inlet to reach Wanakena. Enjoy ! It’s a great loop. Assume you have info on Chair Rock - Grass Pond trail ?
Jim, stop by my office… Bldg 3, E5. You’ll find my name there. We can talk about your route.
Tips for the Lowes, Oswegatchie, Cranberry loop
1) Leave a cache of beer at the big island near Grass Pond Bay. You will be returning that way and the reward of a beer at the end of the Fishpole Pond carry may help.
2) After the Big Blow of 95 vegetation (Raspberries) has crowded much of the trail to the Oswegatchie. Wear long paints; and know that you will get wet if there has been a morning dew.
3) Great sources of water (springs) at sites #4 and #22.
4) Don’t rush through the headwaters! The Oswegatchie above High Falls is unique, it has changed dramatically since the micro burst but there are still fine examples of virgin White Pines to behold. I have seen Red and White-Winged Crossbills, Boreal Chickadee, Gray Jay and both Northern and Black-Backed Three-Toed Woodpeckers in this stretch of wilderness all northern treats for me.
5) Somewhere around 40 beaver dams most of them above High Falls. I hope you’re in a canoe.
6) Be sure to walk across the wooden suspension bridge in Wanakena, grab a coffee at the general store and chat with the locals in the village gazebo.
7) There is a bar at Chair Rock Point.
8) The beginning of the carry back to Lowes is the yellow marked trail in Chair Rock Flow. Don’t miss the right hand fork (blue trail) to Fishpole Pond.
9) Don’t forget to grab the beer you left on the big island.
This is my favorite Adirondack adventure since I got my 33# canoe.
Thanks for the advice. I got to check out the trail a little on last weekend’s trip to the Oswegatchie River.
The tip on leaving a food/beverage cache is a good idea.
big island brew
I'm in there quite often. Now with with Conk's tip I'll have to plan an additional stop at the island for some hidden refreshment. :-)
(miles and days) is the trip? Is it going to beat my wooden guide boat to pieces?
Beating up your long boat
While the trip has been done in a single day (to the awe of others) we are planning it as a 3 day trip. Day 1 across Lows Lake, portage to Oswegatchie and spend night 1 on the upper Oswegatchie.
Day 2 down the Oswegatchie, portage to Cranberry Lake and spend night 2 on Cranberry.
Day 3 Portage to Lows Lake and paddle out.
I wouldn’t want to carry a long boat over the ~11 miles of portages and I imagine rowing down the twisty Oswegatchie would be a challenge.
Low’s loop carries
I think 8m is closer estimate to total distance of carries.
Low’s-Osw =3, Moore trail< 1.75, Chair Rock -Grassy Pond 3.25+/- (despite DEC signs) & 50 yds each @ Upper dam & High Falls.