September Kayaking/Camping Trip Ideas

I’m trying to plan a 5-7 day kayaking/camping trip in PA, NY or another state in the Mid-Atlantic Area for September. We’re what I would consider Advanced Beginner/Intermediate kayakers with previous camping/kayaking experience (including necessary safety experience). We previously took our 15+ ft touring kayaks on a 5 day trip at Indian Lake Islands in the Adirondacks,NY in June and had an absolutely wonderful time. We’ve had experience on flatwater rivers and open water.

We’re looking for a trip where we can “get away from it all”, see some wildlife and enjoy some primitive camping, although we would consider a stop at a B&B for a change of pace. We definitely enjoy private campsites vs. campgrounds. If we do a river trip, we’d also be looking for a local outfitter willing to shuttle us.

Any suggestions on where we should plan a trip in September?

You Might Consider
Cranberry Lake:


If it were me…
the Adirondacks would be quite sufficient.

But the Allagash waterway in Maine is wonderful stuff, and the Allegheny in PA/NY would be on the list.

I love my southern swamps, springs, and coasts, but damn, I miss the cool blue north sometimes.


Adks offer uncountable opportunities for a paddling getaway & many feel the area’s @ it’s best in Sept. You can find hundreds of dispersed, free, 1st come 1st served, waterfront campsites on lakes ponds & rivers. No permit required unless you spend 4 or more consecutive nights in same campsite.

This site can give you a few ideas

Great site, previously unknown to me.

Now added to “Favorites”.



RE: September Camping/Paddling
Thanks, Mike. We’ve decided to go w/ your suggestion. Cranberry Lake looks perfect. Have you been before?

Any favortie wilderness campsites or spots that are “must see” on the lake?

Great canoe trips for Sept.
The Allagash in Maine may not have enough water in September, you may want to check the water tables for that river. Another great Maine Canoe trip would be the West Branch of the Penobscot River, also in Maine. I will be going on that trip the first week of October. Also, in the Adirondacks there are many trips. I canoed from Old Forge to Blue Mountain Lake. It took about four days, but you can canoe Raquette Lake to Saranac too. The Penobscot has not portages while the ADK would have portages. If you do the ADK trip, get thesmall wheeled rack for the portages. Old Forge to Blue Mtn. Lake there are a couple of heavy duty portages (about 3 miles worth). If you do that one, you should stop at Bald Mountain to hike, and when you get to Blue Mountain Lake, take some dives off of Rock Island! And hike Castlerock which overlooks Blue Mtn. Lake

You can do the Allagash

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in a proper sized kayak. (Recent flap was for a lady soloing the NFCT in a rec kayak..she was required to get another boat for the AWW). Yours are OK

You can easily spend five days on Telos, Chamberlain Eagle and to Churchill Dam and back. It will be about 75 miles. While it seems like retracing your route would be boring the lakes are huge..Chamberlain more than a mile across and sometimes more. One shore is different than the other shore.

One issue is because the lakes are huge the seas can be too. Color ought to be out at the end of Sept.

The Allagash is 50 50 lakes and river. The section I speak of is all lakes.

Umbagog Richardson and Mooselemeguntic are possibilities.

A lake I find far prettier than Cranberry is Flagstaff Lake in Maine. It too is more than a mile or two wide and about 25 miles long. Add another six miles down the Dead River (which really IS quiet and flat) to Grand Falls. Very very nice with the Bigelows 4000 feet above you.

Powerboaters dislike Flagstaff with its rocks. Most likely you will see a handful of paddlers at most. And bring your moose call..they will be in rut..beware on the Dead. They are rampant there.

Paddle On Cranberry Most Every

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weekend from April (ice out) till November/December (freeze up).

The link in my OP describes some aspects of of my paddling experiences on Cranberry:

Been messing around in paddle craft on Cranberry for 30+ years; and will be paddling there again tomorrow.

When do plan to be in the area?


w branch penobscot
I just retruned from a trip on the West Branch of the Penobscot and the water was low but paddlable. Chesuncook Lake is down 12 feet and they are lowering it 5 more feet to work on Rippogenus Dam. It looks like low tide on the coast. I’m not sure when the water will be up again.

I would also recomend the Rangely to Richardson trip in western Maine. Flagstaff would be great with a stay at the Flagstaff hut.

September camping trip
Have you tried VA and NC rivers? The Dan River has a couple of hundred mile of river that feels like wilderness. I use Three Rivers Outfitters in Eden, NC.

delaware river
The delaware river is perfect for that kind of trip. along the ny/pa border there is a couple of places to camp, but between pa/nj you enter the delaware water gap, national park service. its 40 miles of river with class 1 rapids and plenty of primitive campsites, i think over 100. my friends and i do that every september.