St. Regis Canoe Area, Adirondacks

Looking for some info on this area. I’m planning on paddling the so-called “Nine Carries” route from Little Clear Pond to Long Pond in August.

1st question: How suitable are the carry trails for a boat cart (Swiss type with the bicycle wheels)?

2nd question: Are there any problems with nuisance bears I need to be aware of? I’d not be surprised to see them, and will be prepared to prevent them from getting stuff, but do I have to worry so much about educated bears such as those around the BWCA?

Any advice from those who’ve been there is appreciated.


9 carries
The carries are not well suited for wheels. If you have two people that may help but I really think that you would be better off sucking it up and doing the carries the old fashioned way. If the water is high enough you can paddle from St Regis to Ocre. Once you leave St. Regis Pond the carries are quite rocky and heavily rooted with the occasional downed tree. The carries can also be quite muddy in the early season and after rain. This can also lead to bad bugs. There are several short steep hill to go up and down. (eskers) the caries are hard work but the trip is worth it.

Take the usual precausions and you won’t have bear problems. Cook away from your tent and hang your food. If you stay in the shelters the mice will eat thier way into everything if you leave food around.

Watch out for leeches.

take a DEET
based spray and use them not only for skeeters but leeches get ticked off to…spray and they are off.

You will inevitably get some.

Try Cooler Pond while you are there. Its a leech breeding ground

I have wheeled into fish pond on several occations . There are a couple short portages between fisn and nellie you have to carry . the trail between little clear and st, regis is about 90% cartable . I have never been on the trail between nellie and long pond . The trails on the seven carries , are 90 % cartable . jon

I’ve done the seven carries
And yup, about 90% of those are cartable. I’m sure the cart will handle most of the Little Clear to St. Regis pond. I’ve had the cart over some pretty rough territory, and I’ll have Mrs. Riverstrider to help, so I may try it out. I’d hate to have to carry most of the Long Pond to Nellie, but it wouldn’t be the first time to do that distance. I hear that there are quire a few blowdowns on that trail, but perhaps they’ll be cleared by August.

What worries me is that Mrs. Riverstrider likes to be comfortable, which can get rather gear intensive.

Thanks all for the warning on the leeches. The ponds may not be the best to swim around in, eh?


they are gorgeous to swim in!
Just expect a leech or two and do not panic.

After all a good high bred medicinal leech is worth twenty bucks or so! Blood letting used to be the “cure” for everything.

Leeches are so beautiful like ribbons when swimming.

Cart: this area is more cartable than most ADK areas but there are ADK packboats for a reason…

Also check on ADK Forum

Hey Chuck,

I would forget the cart but I guess it really depends on you choice of boat and size of load. I view a cart as more of a burden myself. The trail approaching Fish Pond from Ochre is quite lovely.

Avoiding Lean-tos or heavily used camps is the best ways to avoid bears. I’m not aware of any bothersome bruins but a query to

Might better answer that question.

I was studying the map of this area just yesterday and decided I must go back to better explore Fish Pond and it’s environs.


August vs October
August will be busy, so I went in October two years ago. Had one of the scariest moments of my life when I was carrying the canoe to Bessie Pond.

The ground was covered with fresh-fallen leaves and I could not see any tree roots. While walking accross a small sloppe, I stepped on a large root. Well the leaves made it slicker than oil and my feet flew out from under me. I was falling while carrying the canoe!

Somehow I was able to get the boat off my sholders and lay it uphill as I was going down. A little bang but nothing broken. Scared the willies out of me and reinforced my old mantra: “When bad things happen, they happen very, very fast.”

Bears may be present…“usual precautions.”

There’s some pretty good bass fishing in Slange Pond.

Thanks, Conk
I’ll be paddling tandem, and I don’t have a tandem kevlar boat (but, now that I think about it, I may be able to borrow one from somebody…that possibility didn’t occur to me until this moment), only a royalex MR Explorer, which I don’t mind carrying but can be heavy. Also, with Mrs. Riverstrider along, I’ll be taking the large tent, a two-burner coleman, and a couple chairs, and maybe even a cooler that I might not otherwise take along. I’d prefer to wear the “big hat” too, but with the gear, it would be easier if I could cart it all. Looking at the picture of the trail, though, I can just picture the cart bumping up on one of those roots and the whole mess tipping sideways and rolling down the side of the esker.

Hey Paul, you’re more than welcome to join us if you’d like or, if you know you’ll be in the area then (August 12-15) I’ll keep an eye out.


Crowds in St. Regis in August
Joe … you mention crowds in August … I was hoping to go in August with a couple of friends … can you tell me what kind of crowds we might expect? Will we have any problem finding a halfway decent campsite for 6 people??

Two-burner Coleman!!!

– Last Updated: Jun-25-08 8:01 AM EST –

Thanks for the invite, can’t say what I’ll be up to in August. I’ve been working on plans to rebuild a backyard shed (need more boat storage capacity). I recently joined the ranks of a select group of discerning, well-informed and intelligent folks by taking possession of a Hemlock SRT. I needed another river solo because Mrs. Conk doesn’t care for the kayak anymore and we battle over who gets the Yellowstone.

I fully understand the cooler (we must have cold beer) but I think I would forget the two-burner stove and chairs for the carries to Fish and Long Ponds. If she really loves you she would sit on a rock and eat a Cliff Bar.


Forecast calls for pain
But based on the lean to journals, I would expect to see a lot of traffic at the beginning and end of the trip described, as Long Pond and St. Regis Pond are both easy to access by the masses . Fish Pond is a bit of a haul but there are only about 5 decent camp sites - the two lean tos, one between Fish and Little Fish, one on the SW point, and one on the western shore .

Cart or not, there is no way in hell I would lug a Royalex boat, chairs , and a two burner stove back to Fish Pond from either direction .

As far as carts go, if approaching Fish from Little Clear, others are right in that it is more or less cart friendly . However, from Fish to Long - no way . First you have the esker between Fish and Little Long, with the option to carry directly to Kit Fox . You’re talking about a STEEP ( like 30 degrees or more ) trail . If you go down into Little Long, it is even steeper and tends to be quite eroded and prone to slipping .

Kit Fox to Nellie / Bessie have sections that would require lifting over roots, small steps . . And then the long 1.5 miler from Nellie to Long Pond is interrupted by a beaver pond towards the Long Pond end ; in between the trail is not that wide, root prone, and somewhat hilly . You’d be cursing that two burner stove and burning the chairs. On top of that, a recent post here :

indicated blowdowns in the area. I would contact St. Regis Canoe Outfitters to find out more, as they have a base between Long Pond and Floodwood Pond.

I have done the same trip in Sept/October and that is a perfect time of year . No bugs, less people . Never had a bear problem. Good fall foliage .

Do not underestimate how popular this area is in summer. This is the only signifcant motorless paddling area (excluding Little Tupper/Lila) in the Park and also a prime fishing area. Having several outfitters in the area also adds people.

Good advice Monty
You too Conk. I have a buddy that is going to loan me a kevlar Prospector, so that will ease the carries. Before y’all go thinking that Mrs. Riverstrider is some liking-the-easy-life-wimp, I was just trying to make the trip more comfortable for her. But she has an extensive backpacking background and can forego the two burner stove and chairs. So we’ll definitely looking to be gearing down based on what I’m reading here. I’ll also check in on the adkforum, especially closer to the date. Thanks all for the info! As for crowds, yeah, I’m a bit worried, but August is the time for better or worse. Other paddling plans are already in place for the fall. Hopefully since we are avoiding the weekend, going on week days, and trying to grab a camp early each day this will be less of an issue.


I have carted all the way to fish pond
The trail from clear to St Regis is heavely used and cartable but rough in spots

Insted of following the trail at the other end of St Regis, go to the left a bit, theres an old servace road. follow that in a ways and turn right. Its about 2 miles of easy carting and it takes you right to fish pond. We went in with a 17 ft, cargo canoe fully loaded with a weeks supply

Our cart was homemade with 26" bike wheeles, very easy for to people to pull

if you have a map of the area, the servace road should be on it

$.01…to try when you have time…

Check out the available yokes…(ie…modified Spring Creek’s(I love the pads part…I’m constantly improvising on the fastening-to-gunwales part)). If/When you do find a good yoke that you can balance well on your shoulders…the ascents & descents, with the usual associated rocks, mud, and blowdowns, aren’t a problem at all.


Thanks, Big Spencer
I’ve actually got a decent yoke set-up and have carried that boat over some rough stuff, but I’m a pretty small guy and the weight can still be uncomfortable. I think I’ll opt for the 46 lb tandem I can borrow rather than the 70-sumthin lb. Rx beast. I may also experiment with a tump-line aid similar to what Fluke has set up.


I would like to pass this on - after going up to the SRCA for almost 15 years i just discovered that the week before Labor Day is a great time to camp. New York schools start that week so the crowds are much much less. Last summer even the Lean To on St regis pond was empty. Just make sure you get the heck out of the area on Thursday.


– Last Updated: Jan-08-09 6:20 PM EST –

Shoot an email to rblturtle ("Turtle"), as he's an Adirondacks regular and has probably paddled there.