Tupper Lake

Andy, in one of his posts on the Discussion forum, noted that to him, packing is half the fun. Well, for me planning comes close.

I’m thinking of spending five days or so in the Adirondacks, probably in the vicinity of Tupper Lake, late next June. The purpose of this trip is to combine some paddling with some birding (looking for boreal chickadee, bicknells thrush, gray jay, and other boreal species) so the thought is that Tupper Lake would be a good home base.

Do any of you have experience with the lodging in the area? I’m looking for something not too expensive, a little cabin or room with a fridge and microwave. Doesn’t have to be fancy. I also should know if reservations are needed far in advance.

Suggested day paddles would be welcome - not into portaging, though, as I’ll be using a kayak.

Thanks for any and all input!


There is an ADK forum
and if you search the archives and or ask questions you will find some great help. There are many locals on


There is a lodging section and a paddling section.

You wont want to miss Lows Lake. Its got a small carry (100) yards . It wont kill you. Its a destination lake for overnighters but with a kayak you can make a day trip.

Also Little Tupper Lake is a gem along with Round Pond and Rock Pond that adjoin it.

Tupper itself tends to be on the weedy side though there are coves that are worth exploring.

Dont miss Lower Saranac…or lauch at South Creek on Rt 3 and go through Middle Saranac, through the locks and into Lower Saranac with its many islands and return. You can also launch at the end of Indian Carry road into Upper Saranac.

THe lakes in the area tend to be big and there are ways around the portages for day trips.

About 45 minutes west is Cranberry Lake (huge) and the Oswegatchie River, though the latter is a twisty beast that might be frustrating in a long kayak.

How many months did you say you have?

"Crossroads of Adks"
is how TL (village)bills itself. & its’ true as you’ll be smack dab in middle of some best paddling in Adks.

Can’t offer much re nearby birding (nor front country accommodations) but you can likely find that @ other sources.

Although scenic, TL itself (wet part) is moderately developed along E shore & also along S shore of Simmond pond, a bay/portion of TL as are Raquette Pond

& Piercefield Flow.

I’ve had Gray Jays eat from my hand numerous times on Oswegatchie trips & read of numerous Spruce Grouse in Carry falls res vicinity

If you visit Low’s (highly recommended) you’ll pass thru Hitchins Pond. The entire N end of same is surrounded by bogs & fulla birds. BTW you can reduce that 100yd “portage” to 30 by paddling up the upper dam’s tailrace (not hard nor dangerous) & taking out on left

If you’re there before 6-15 you can visit the Massawepie mire which is as boreal as it gets.

Likewise, Madawaska flow & Osgood river N of TL are nice paddles & very boreal

Expect numerous Loons & bugs. Enjoy !

black flies?
They are huge and really bite. Not sure when they are out but you find out when so as not to ruin your trip

Lodging, etc.
Look up Sunday Pond B&B on Rt. 30 near Saranac Inn, our favorite. The Lyon’s are great hosts, and the prices are very reasonable. You can stay in a room, or in their gorgeous new lean-to (screened, with queen-sized beds.

Nearby paddles are too numerous to list, but favorites of ours are the ponds along Floodwood Road, Upper St. Regis Lake (to see the grand camps and Idem class sailboats), Osgood Pond and Osgood River (Gray Jay).

For car camping and paddling, it’s hard to beat Rollins Pond State Campground, right in that same area.

Get Dave Cilley’s Adirondack Paddler’s Map and Adirondack Paddler’s Guide. His St. Regis Outfitters shops are in Saranac Lake and at the far end of Floodwood Road. Other paddle shops in the region will have these also.

Enjoy - you could paddle there for years without trying all the good waters!


Thanks for the suggestions. I’m aware of the possibility of black flies, but am hoping to dodge them. They were nonexistant when I was in the Old Forge area for a couple of days last June - was that an abberation?

Little Tupper and Lows
I agree with Kayamedic, be sure to check out Little Tupper and Rock Pond (a short carry around a dam to Rock Pond) and/or Lows Lake. Lows Lake is great for birding. Saw a few bald eagles there.

3 months black flies,
9 months snow flies (supposedly an old Adirondack saying). Generally these little black blood-suckers are the worst in late may through the end of June, but they vary a lot from year to year and from place to place. They will be found in some places throughout the summer. They are joined by mosquitoes, deer flies and stable flies until the cooler weather pretty much puts an end to biting bugs starting in late August.

Ah, September - the best month to be in the Adirondacks!



– Last Updated: Oct-16-10 9:51 PM EST –

Last year was a very early hatch and IIRC June was really dry.

Not at all typical. Come prepared for bugs and enjoy anyway. I live in blackfly country anyhow and would rather be canoeing than working in the yard...

Alan doesnt have it quite right. There are five hatches of blackflies. Found them in Square Pond in September. Usually the latter hatches are sterile and dont hence bite but this year was for sure odd and the September ones did bite.

At any rate the ADK blackflies are no big deal..try the Newfie ones if you think the ADK one need numbers on the tail.

lodging in Tupper
Anne and Robbie at Raquette River Outfitters can give you some recommendations.

I stayed one night at the Park motel. Competent, basic room for $65 a night, with a very basic breakfast. That was in one of the buildings up front. My friends rejected a room in the back row because of unspecified funkiness in the bed.

I have been through and around Tupper many times, and frankly, I would camp. The town doesn’t have a lot to offer. My usual practice is to camp mostly, and to spend a night in a motel or state campground at the end of my trip, to make my transition back to civilization.


Have been through and around NY City

– Last Updated: Oct-17-10 6:33 PM EST –

thankfully only a few times; and frankly, I prefer to live and work at least 300+ miles to the North of New York City.

Tupper Lake is what it is - and that's New York City NOT!

Basic accomodations
My wife and I spent 3 nights in Sept. at Northwood Cabins located 3 miles east of Tupper Lake on rt 30. These are 1950s style cabins. They are basic but livable. She has two layouts, the first is just a cabin with a bed and the other has a kitchen and a sitting room. The rates were $58 and $72/nite. 800-727-5756. or 610-644-0535.

I recommend Stoney Creek and the Raquette River. Take out at Axton Landing for the Stoney Creek run and then go back and put in there for the raquette River.

Birding book
If you’re interested in birding, get a copy of “Birding in the Adirondacks,” by John M.C. Peterson and Gary N. Lee, distributed by Adirondack Mountain Club. It includes many places where you can paddle and bird, including several in the Tupper region.

You can view the table of contents on Amazon.


Got it!
And have ordered Cilley’s book and map.

Yes, September is awesome; fall is my favorite time of year. We used to go hiking there in late September/early October, and I loved it, but the Bicknell’s thrush and some other birds I’m looking for are gone by then, so June it is. (Maybe next time…)

Thanks everyone for the input and information!