Adirondack Pack & Paddle 

 

Photography by well-known Adirondack Photographer, Carl Heilman, Wild Visions Inc., Route 8, Brant Lake, NY - cc

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Blueways and Byways of the Adirondacks

 

Don't want to be cooped up?   Feel the experience of the wildlife in the Adirondacks and surround yourself in nature's pleasures.   Why not get off the beaten path and back to nature.  Our Adirondack streams are largely unchanged since the colonial times.  Pick up your canoe or your kayak and explore our wilderness lakes and ponds with us.  Pack & Paddle it throughout the Park. 

Mother Nature is evident here in the Adirondack Park.  We have hundreds of mountains, lakes, ponds and streams, with spectacular waterfalls hidden among them.  Whether it is hiking, birding, fishing, climbing, Mother Nature is abundant and here for you to explore.  Words by Forgotten Voices of the North Woods, says much about the guide boat (click here for article). Bring you camera and your video and share your experience with us!

Below are attached PDF files of the marked lakes from DEC (not for navigation purposes).  We have posted many for your enjoyment, but there are many more.  The below maps are brought to you from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.  To truly enjoy the beauty of the Adirondack Park, please be sure to visit their web site for complete updates.  Their site is full of resources to the Pack & Paddler, and Naturist.  Also, visit our Guide Directory to find your own Adirondack Guide and outfitters to assist you.  Three thousand lakes and 6,000 mile of rivers and streams is hard to completely cover.  So we've added our Adirondack Waterway's Directory. Both directories are a must to start your water way search. 

                               

 

 

 

Franklin County

Titbits:  Although Warren County has 120 lakes and pond, the favorite is the magnificent Lake George with clear waters, sandy beaches, islands and small bays that are great for the paddler.  Camping is available on 44 state-owned islands (some islands with one camp site!).  There are interesting wetland areas to explore the bird life.  It is a heaven for herons.  Local marinas and outfitters can fit you up with a kayak or canoe for the day if you don't own one.

 

International Scale of River Difficulty

 

Class I

 

Moving water with few riffles and small waves.  Few or no obstructions.

 

Class II

 

 

Easy rapids with waves up to three feet and wide, clear channels that are obvious without scouting.  Some maneuvering is required.

 

Class III

 

 

Rapids with high, irregular waves often capable of swamping an open canoe.  Narrow passages that often require complex maneuvering.  May require scouting from shore.

 

Class IV

 

 

 

Long, difficult rapids with constricted passages that often require precise maneuvering in very turbulent waters.  Scouting from shore is often necessary, and conditions make rescue difficult.  Generally NOT possible for open canoes. Boaters in covered canoes and kayaks should be able to Eskimo roll.

 

Class V

 

 

 

Extremely difficult, long and very violent rapids with high congested routes with nearly always must be scouted from shore.  Rescue conditions are difficult and there is a significant hazard to life in event of a mishap.  Ability to Eskimo roll is essential for kayaks and canoes.

 

Class VI

 

 

Difficulties of Class V carried to the extreme of navigability.  Nearly impossible and very dangerous.  For teams of experts only, after close study and with all precautions taken.

 

Cold water temperatures below 50 degrees and extended trips in remote areas increase normal difficulty by one class level!

 

 

Adirondack Waterways

The Adirondacks has more than 3,000 lakes and ponds, with 6,000 miles of rivers and streams.  Below are the highlights of our Adirondack waterway uncovered by the Adirondack Regional Tourist Council.  Please enjoy and visit their web site for maps and further details.  Please visit the guide service directory.   Experts from: Adirondack Waterways, A guide to paddling routes in the Northeast's last great wilderness" by Adirondack Regional Tourism Council.

Quick Find:  Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Herkimer, St. Lawrence, Warren

 

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Franklin County Region

Deer River

 

 

Above Hill Falls is the 10-mile flatwater called Deer River Meadows.  Below High Falls, the river drops rapidly with a mix of moving flatwater and rapids.  Access is via dirt roads in Deer River State Forest.

 

 

"Silver Staircase"

 

Seven miles of nearly continuous whitewater.  Requires advanced skills to maneuver through long and complex rapids rated up to Class IV.  Scouting is not always possible.

 

 

St. Regis Falls Flow

East Branch

 

 

A flatwater extends upstream for 6 miles above the dam in St. Regis Falls.  Below Everton Falls, a 30-mile section of the East Branch picks up speed with a series of rapids and falls, that may require portaging, alternating with moving flatwater channels.  Medium high water levels are best.

 

 

St. Regis River & Santa Clara Flow

 

 

Launching near an oxbow, you'll enter a section of moving flatwater which can be paddled upstream for several miles.  Two miles down stream from the launch is a half-mile portage which marks the beginning of the Santa Clara Flow - a winding, marsh-lined flatwater.  Take-out is at the state boat launch near the bridge on Route 458.

 

 

Madawaska Flow &

Quebec Brook

 

 

 

Explore the extensive marshes, bogs and waterways of Madawaska Flow - a classic example of a northern Boreal forest.  Quebec Brook flows into and out of the Madawaska Pond and provides an alternative and more challenging access route that starts from Blue Mountain Road and flows Quebec Brook upstream; several portages are required.  The area is part of the Santa Clara Tract and is easily accessed via a five-mile dirt road starting from Route 458, one mile west of Route 30.

 

 

St. Regis River

 

 

 

Paddle up through a scenic 12-mile winding still water on the St. Regis River - part of the Santa Clara Tract.  Access is via a 7-mile carry along an old road starting from Blue Mountain Road.  An optional downstream take out near the bridge is preceded by 1.5 miles of fast water and rapids; look for carry trails on the right bank.

 

 

Everton Falls Preserve - East Branch St. Regis

 

Above Everton Falls, nine-miles of winding flatwater traverses a broad marsh.  Paddle upstream as far as you wish or start from the upstream end via a dirt road accessed from Route 458.  A portage trail leads to the river.

 

 

Deer River Flow

Enjoy mountain views and bird watching on this 2.7 mile marsh-lined waterway.

 

 

Lower Osgood River

 

Starting from Meacham Lake's outlet and its sandy southern shores, paddle upstream and then downstream on the Osgood which meanders through a wide marsh and besides a forested esker. 

 

 

Hatch Brook

 

 

 

 

A swift current propels you through a marsh and varied scenery on a 9-mile flatwater cruise with good water levels all summer.  Take out is above the Chasm Falls dam.  Enroute you can explore upstream on the Salmon River for a half-mile.  Scenic area side trips include Indian Lake and Mountain View Lake.  High Falls is a short hike from the road along the north bank of the Salmon River.

 

 

Lake Kushaqua to

Osgood Pond

 

 

 

 

The 12 mile trip from Lake Kushaqua to Osgood Pond traverses an interesting group of lakes and channels.  There is a .7-mile carry between Rainbow Lake and Jones Pond.  You may need to wade sections of the channel between Jones and Osgood when water levels are low.  Take time to explore the 3-mile stillwater outlet of Osgood Pond.  An old canal connects Osgood to Church Pond. E extend the trip by carrying to Lower St. Regis Lake when myriad lakes and routes.

 

 

St. Regis Canoe Area

at the Saranac River headwaters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The St. Regis Canoe Area and the headwater lakes and ponds of the Saranac River are a pond-hopper's paradise.  Many carries are short and most routes can be done as an unencumbered day trip.  The classic "Seven Carries Route" is 9 miles from Little Clear Pond to Paul Smiths, traversing 10 lakes and ponds.  You may need more time and a lightweight canoe for the "Nine Carries Route" which starts from either Hoel Pond or Long Pond (1.5 miles of carries) or Little Clear Pond (2.5 miles of carries); you  goal is the cluster of ponds near remote Fish Pond.  The area is bisected by a steep esker formation.   Just south of the St. Regis Canoe Area, the Saranac River headwater ponds such as Follensby Clear, Floodwood and Fish Creek, provide the starting point for various short loop trips.  Short carries connect he many small ponds and channels.  Expand these loops by carrying north in Long and Hoel Pond.

 

 

St. Regis Lakes Loop

 

 

 

The St. Regis Lakes - Lower St. Regis Lake, Spitfire Lake and Upper St. Regis Lake are connected by wide channels; a loop tour would include a .6 mile carry from the Upper Lake to the outlet dam on the Lower Lake.  Great Camps can be seen along much of this route.  Be sure to explore beautiful Black Pond.

 

 

Saranac River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Saranac River is a slow-moving flatwater with one section of up to Class III water at Permanent Rapids just before Franklin Falls Pond.  Carry around the falls on the adjacent road.  A .4 mile carry leads from the dam on Franklin Falls Pond to Union Falls Pond.

 

From Union Falls Pond, the Saranac River drops rapidly.  Class I-II rapids in the first 4 miles and followed by a Class V drop at Tefft Pond Falls.  The carry is adjacent to private property.  The next five miles include a complex serious of Class II-III ledges, drops and hydraulics which demand advance skills and ample water.  It is rocky and there is a wide fluctuation in the water level to do dame releases.

 

 

Saranac Lake Chain

 

 

 

 

From the north end of Upper Saranac Lake to the eastern end of Lower Saranac is a 17.5 miles of continuous waterway with only one half-mile carry.  Leantos and campsites are found along the shore and on islands.  There a is fee for campsites on Lower & Middle Saranac Lakes.  This popular route continues through Oseetah Lake into the Village of Saranac Lake, where the Saranac River begins.

 

 

Chubb River

 

Take a wilderness cruise upstream through a winding channel into a remote mountain-ringed marsh.  The nine-mile trip has one short carry midway.

 

 

West Branch

Ausable River

Cruise through eight miles of mostly tranquil water with some Class I riffles and one carry.  Spring water levels are best.

 

 

East Branch

Ausable River

 

The East Branch has some great spring paddling with Class II water and a tricky Class III bolder patch.  You'll pass quickly through a scenic valley lined with high peaks and meadows in the summer when the water is too shallow for paddling.

 

 

 

 

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Clinton/Upper Essex County

   

Upper &

Lower Chateaugay Lake

 

A wide channel connects these two lakes creating a 10.5 mile waterway.  Check out Blue Point with its adjacent shallow reef or paddle three miles up South Inlet.  Below the outlet dam, the Chateaugay River drops rapidly with several falls including the spectacular 120 foot High Falls.

   

Chazy Lake

 

 

This four-mile lake is nestled at the foot of Lyon, Johnson and Ellenburg Mountains.  Access the lake from the beach and park near the lake's dam on Route 374.  The lake can get rough on windy days.  The nearby 3.5 mile hiking trail leads to the open summit of 3830 Lyon Mountain.

   

Saranac River

 

 

 

 

 

 

From its confluence with the North Branch at Clayberg, the Saranac River becomes a big river, 100 feet wide, up to Class II rapids.  It is a rocky passable at all but the highest water levels in the early spring.  At Redford there are some difficult rapids and ledges, Class II-IV, which require a carry.  Take out is at High Falls Dam.  NYSEG regulates water levels below High Falls Dam.  The 9 miles from Moffitsville to Cadyville is initially shallow and rocky with some Class I rapids, but it quickly becomes deep moving flatwater to take-out at the beach in Cadyville.

   

Lake Champlain (North)

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Champlain a a large lake and paddlers should avoid the wind by traveling early or late in the day.  Roads parallel the lake and boat launch sites are numerous along Lake Champlain's northern shores.  Beautiful, state-owned Valcour Island is a popular stop-over on the lake - explore its many bays and 11.9 miles of trails.  It is a one-mile crossing to the island from Peru state boat launch site.  The sheltered waters near Point Au Roche State Park may also be an interesting area to explore.

   

Ausable Point Wildlife Management Area

An interesting five mile circuit tours extensive marsh areas amid the wide meanders of the Ausable Delta and at the mouth of the Little Ausable River.  The marsh is home to many species of waterfowl.

   

Great Chazy River

 

The last 20 mile section of the 46 mile river is good for paddling.  A downstream floats starts at Mooers and extends to King Bay.  Expect some motorized traffic from Lake Champlain.

   

Silver Lake & Taylor Pond

 

These secluded lakes are great places to camp, fish or just paddle around.  Dense woods and mountains surround the lakes.  For some great views, take a hike to the top of Silver Lake Mountain or Catamount.

   

Lake Champlain (Mid)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small vessels of any kind should avoid this large lake on all but the calmest days.  Getting caught on the water is a small kayak or canoe on rough windy days is life-threatening.  Watch the weather carefully.  Remain close to the shore and in sheltered bays of the western shore.  Take advantage of the morning and evening calms, and paddle from south to north with the prevailing winds. 

 

One of the more scenic cruises is from Westport around Split Rock Point to the historic village of Essex, or to the sandbars and beach areas near the mouth of the Boquet River.  The route offers dramatic views of the sheer palisades that rise from the water at Split Rock Mountain; state land borders the water here and several trails leaves from bays long the section of the shore.  However, the rocky shoreline provides little space for emergency landings.  Start from Essex for a shorter route-trip cruise to Split Rock Point and views its historic lighthouse.  The lake's maximum dept is 400 feet  in is found just off this point.  Explore the waters in sheltered Willsboro Bay, or paddle out to state-owned Schyler Island (about 1 mile).  Several campsites can be found along the island's rocky shore but there is also poison ivy.

   

Boquet River

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canoeable at higher water levels in the spring, this river offers trips of varying lengths and difficulty.  From starting points below Split Rock Falls, a fast current winds through a narrow channel with mild Class II rapids and one short carry.  There are few boulders in the 11 mile stretch to Elizabethtown.  The next 6.5 mile section to the Northway overpass becomes a more difficult with a tricky Class III drop and rapids.  The next 25 mile stretch to Lake Champlain is done best as a series of short day trips due to the waterfalls and dams at Wadhams, Boquet, Whallonsburg and Willsboro which would require long carries.

 

 

 

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St. Lawrence Region

   

 

Black Lake

 

Black Lake's irregular shoreline, mid lakes shoals, rock points, expansive weed beds and many island contribute to the area's scenery and provide a favorable habitat for thriving populations of pass and panfish.

   

Lampson Falls Areas

 

 

 

 

This spectacular stretch of the Grass accommodates a range of paddling skills.  The first 4.5 miles is a winding flatwater, then, at the 40-foot Lampson Falls, the river abruptly changes.  Over the next 7 miles the river drops 220 feet over nine dramatic cascades and flumes rated up to Class V.  A speedy 4.3 miles of almost continuous Class II rapids follows.  ONLY experts should attempt paddling the lower section.

   

Lower Oswegatchie

River

 

 

 

A gentle section of the Oswegatchie starts near Gouverneur and flows 65 miles to Ogdensburg where it flows into the St. Lawrence River.  The river is wide and slow moving here as it passes beside low-rolling hills, rock ledges, marshes and pasture land.  Scenic cliffs line the shore near Oxbow.  There are carries at the dams and most of the rapids can be portage or run by experienced paddlers.  Numerous access points permit trips of varying lengths.

   

Mid Branch

Oswegatchie River

 

 

 

The Middle Branch plunges over waterfalls and through a rocky gorge.  A drop of 90 feet in the first two miles gets the adrenalin going with an exciting mix of waterfalls and Class III rapids.  Scout for possible runs or carries around impassable sections, such as the narrow Sluice Falls.  The second half o this 12-mile run is a calm Class I flatwater that winds through marsh and woodlands.

   

Oswegatchie River

 

 

From Newton Falls to Hallesboro , the river drops over 970 feet.  Some areas are hard to access there are many Class II-VI rapids and impassable ledges and dams.  Water levels may fluctuate due to dam releases.

   

Little River

 

The lower six miles of the Little River includes some technical Class III rapids; the upper 12 miles is a quiet Class I, with some rifles and two short carries.

   

Cranberry Lake Outlet

 

Starting 1.8 miles downstream from the Route 3 bridge, the gradient of the river changes into a winding flatwater which culminates at the Newton Falls reservoir.

   

Cranberry Lake

 

 

Cranberry Lake's flows and bays extend in every direction; great for exploration and refuge on windy days.  Hiking trails originate from the lakeshore leading to remote ponds and overlooks.  There are 46 designated campsites.

   

Lower Grass River

The Lower Grass River from Canton to Massena (36 miles) can be paddled with several short portages along the way.

   

North Branch Grass River

 

 

Enjoy a mix of rapids and flatwater on this 16.5 mile paddle.  What starts as a meandering river in a marsh quick changes to Class Ii rapids.  Class IV rapids and a moderate-size double hydraulic are met before reaching the 50 foot Harper Falls where a carry is required.

   

South Branch Grass River

 

 

 

 

The Tooley Pond Tract includes a long section of the South Branch Grass River.  The upper section to Rainbow Falls is good for canoeing with carry trails around waterfalls.  Access is via Spruce Mountain Road.  A carry trail above Rainbow Falls leads to parking on Tooley Pond Road.  Below Rainbow Falls, the river and its many waterfalls are more suitable for expert kayakers and shoreline users.

   

Massawepie Area

 

Pond-hop around the many small lakes near Massawepie Lake or paddle 8.5 miles thorugh the Massawepie Mire and Gross River Flow (closed to the public from June 15 to August 31).

   

Raquette River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17 miles of exciting white-water starts below the dam at Piercefield, winding north through a series of rapids and over two waterfalls.  State land borders most of the area and carry trails skirt some of the harder sections.  Water level is critical and it can fluctuate due to dam releases.

From Long Lake to Tupper Lake (30 miles) the Raquette meanders between sandy wooded banks with just one carry at Raquette Falls.  Traveling with the current, you can easily enjoy some fishing and bird watching.  Campsites and leantos are found along the way.  Stony Creek Ponds outlet and Indian Carry provides access north to the Saranac Lakes Chain.  Learn more about our Blueways and Byway efforts on Raquette River and view the Racquette River Blueway Corridor Trail Plan (click here).

   

Raquette River Reservoirs

 

27 miles of the Raquette is now a series of reservoirs.  Orion Power New York maintains carry routes, picnic areas, boat rams, beaches and campgrounds

   

Oswegatchie River

 

 

 

 

Starting at Inlet, you must first paddle upstream on this scenic winding river.  Stopping at a campsite along the way may be more enjoyable than staying in the High Falls area, which is often filled to capacity.  Above the falls, you will leave the crowds behind as you lift over beaver dams, paddling deeper into the remote wilderness.  The 40-mile route-trip paddle takes a minimum of three days - two days up and one day down.  Several hiking trails are accessible from points along the river.

   

Lows Lake &

Bog River Flow

 

 

 

 

 

Starting from the lower dam, this 11-mile paddle, with one shore carry at the upper dam, traverses a beautiful narrow waterway.  The wide expanse of the Lows Lake opens up at journey's end with marshes to the south and a backdrop of rugged mountains to the north.  Islands and bays provide refuge on windy days.  3 designated campsites are found on Los Lake and along the access channel.  For the ambitious, a three-mile carry at the west end of the lake leads to the Upper Oswegatchie River.  Your efforts are rewarded with a good dose of wilderness and at 18-mile downstream cruise to your take at Inlet,

   

Lake Lila

 

 

Lake Lila has 17 campsites, 7 islands, sandy beaches and tall white pines.  A .3 mile carry leads from the parking area to the sandy launch site.  Climb Federica Mountain for a panoramic overview of the area.  Explore the winding route of Shingle Shanty Brook.

   

Forked Lake

 

State land borders the southeast shore and the east and west end of this 7 mile lake; the rest is privately owned and undeveloped.  The downstream route to Long Lake is a mix of flat and fast water and carries.

   

Raquette Lake

 

 

 

The many bans and this large lake will provide hours of exploration; keep your eye out for some of the historic Great Camps.  Explore the two-mile channel of South Inlet and Browns Track Inlet where a one-mile carry connects to Eighth Lake on the Fulton Chain.  To the north, an easy half-mile carry leads to Forked Lake.

   

Bog River

 

The lower Bog has 7 miles of te3chnical Class III water which includes unrunnable drops at 6' Split Rock Falls and the 30' Pa's Falls.  High water levels and expert level skills are required.

   

Tupper Lake

 

A shallow marsh connects Tupper Lake, Simon and Raquette ponds.  State land on Tupper Lake's western shores has a leanto and campsites.  Above Bog River Falls you'll find a 2-mile stillwater paddle.

   

Tupper Lake &

Round Lake

 

 

 

 

 

The William C. Whitney Wilderness includes little Tupper Lake, Round Lake and Rock Pond which are all connected via channels and have designated campsites.  Explore the islands and old dam on Route Lake.  Little Tupper is six miles long and also has several islands.  Moderate winds can create rough water on these lakes.  Anglers will enjoy catch-and-release fishing for native brook trout.  A canoe carry route from Rock Pond to Lake Lila links a series of small ponds and carries to Shingle Shanty Brook.

   

Long Lake

 

The prevailing winds are usually to your back on this 14 mile 'long' lake. Campsites and leantos are found on state land along the eastern shores, north of Long Lake Village.

   

Blue Mountain Lake

 

 

 

 

10 islands on this mountain-ringed lake are part of the forest preserve.  Explore the islands before heading west to the outlet, under a bridge and into narrow Eagle and Utowana lakes.  A half-mile carry to the west end of the lakes leads to the Marion River which flows gentle through meadow and marsh to Raquette Lake and routes to the north and south.

 

 

 

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Central Adirondacks/Essex County

 

Newcomb Lake

 

 

Hitch a ride for you and your canoe (fee) on a horse drawn wagon down a 4.5 mile dirt access road (closed to vehicles) to Newcomb Lake where you can explore both the lake and the partially restored structures of the Great Camp Santanoni.

   

Rich Lake & Harris Lake

 

 

Start on the public beach at either lake for a scenic 7.5 mile roundtrip cruise.  The flatwater channel between the lakes has some riffles and carry.  DO NOT proceed beyond the Route  28N bridge or you will be committed to running the turbulent Hudson River Gorge.

   

Upper Hudson River & Hudson River Gorge

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 12 miles from Newcomb to the Indian River is a beautiful remote stretch of the Hudson River (bordered by private land) with some fast sections and a steep chute rated Class III at Ord Falls.  This otherwise inviting section of river leads directly into the turbulent Hudson River Gorge which packs in a series of difficult Class V rapids with powerful hydraulics, souse holes and high standing waves.  These 13 miles are for expert paddlers ONLY.  Several outfitters offer rafting trips through the Gorge.  Water releases from Indian Lake maintain high water levels through June, and in September and October.  Open canoes should NOT be used here except by experts at mid-summer water levels.

   

Upper Hudson River

 

 

 

 

Three-mile long Sanford Lake is a long narrow lake flanked by tailings from an old mind.  From there the river meanders through a marsh for the next six miles to a bridge.  After passing beneath the bridge, the river begins to drop more rapidly for several miles for some Class III rapids in a narrow channel.  Below this point the river resumes its quiet meanderings to the outlet of Harris Lake.

   

The Hudson River

"FACTS"

 

 

 

 

 

High on the shoulder of New York's highest peak, Mt. Marcy, is the highest pond source of the might Hudson River, Lake Tear of the Clouds.  From this humble beginning, the Hudson flows 275 miles to New York City and the Atlantic Ocean.  In stages, the Hudson progresses from a small stream to one of the infest whitewater runs in the East to the wide shipping lanes of the Hudson Valley.  An avenue for commerce and trade as well a recreation, the Hudson River is New York State's premier river and it starts in the Adirondacks!

   

Henderson Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Privately owed since 1826, the public now has paddling and fishing access on Henderson Lake and Lake Jimmy.  Surrounded by tall mountains, Henderson Lake is very scenic with steep, rocky shorelines and many secluded cloves to explore.  The water is very deep and clear.  There is a quarter-mile carry to the put-in from the Upper Works hiker's parking area.  Paddlers looking for a challenge and even more solitude may want to attempt the adventurous trip up to Preston Ponds and Duck Hole  The two-mile carry from the northwest Henderson Lake to Upper Preston Pond is steep and difficult but the rewards in scenic beauty and colatitudes are great.  Once on Upper Preston Pond, continue to the outlet and access Lower Preston Pond from a short carry.  From Lower Preston Pond, it is a short bushwack to Duck Hole.  All together this trip totals about five miles from beginning to end.

   

Upper Schroon River

 

 

 

 

The 15-mile stretch of the Schroon River from North Hudson to Schroon Lake is an easy Class I flatwater cruise with one carry, six miles into the trip, at four foot Schroon Falls.  Wildlife sightings are frequent as you travel along the is slowly meandering river.  Take out just below Route 74 bridge or continue further downstream and enjoy mountain views from the open waters of beautiful Schroon Lake.

   
   

 

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Southern Adirondacks (Warren/Hamilton County)

   

 

Cedar River Flow

Moose River Plains

 

Cedar River Flow is tucked in the mountains far from the main road.  Explore the wilderness shoreline and remote narrow inlet channel.  A variety of lakes and ponds are accessible via 40 miles of dirt road in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest

   

Indian Lake

 

 

 

Snowy Mountain's rugged cliffs and fire tower stand out above the western shore.  Take in the view from Baldface, a short 1.25 mile trail starts from Norman's Cove.  This is just one of the many Adirondack lakes where you can enjoy island camping.  Reservations are required during peak season.

   

Jessup River

 

 

This is an interesting four-mile cruise which may involve lifting over log jams or beaver dams.  It is best canoed at higher water levels in the spring.  Look for the short trail that leads to a waterfall just prior to entering Indian Lake.

   

Kunjamuk Creek

 

The 7-mile round trip paddle to Elm Lake may include lifting other over several beaver dams.  Explore the four-mile stillwater channel of the Sacandaga.

   

Sacandaga Lake Area

These two large headwater lakes are connected by a short channel.  From Sacandaga Lake, paddle up to Mud Lake, or carry to beautiful fawn Lake. Class II and III waters for rafters.

   

Piseco Lake

 

Piseco Lake offers some interesting side trips, such as paddling up Fall Stream to Fall Lake.  Only two miles further upstream and several beaver dams later is Vly Lake.

   

Lower West Branch

An exciting eight-mile run with up to Class III rapids.  Spring is the best time to attempt the steep 55 feet per mile gradient.

   

Upper West Branch Sacandaga River

 

This Class I flatwater can be paddled in either direction.  Both Chub and Trout Lake have navigable outlets and are worth a side trip.  Below, the river drops rapidly through a remove gorge with two impassible waterfalls.

   

East Branch

Sacandaga River

 

This eight-mile section of the East Branch has a gentle drop with some fun Class II water; it is often too shallow to paddle during the summer.  Take out at the unrunnable Griffin Falls, a drop of 20 feet.

   

Sacandaga River

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 miles of almost continuous whitewater with up to Class III rapids is briefly interrupted by Lake Algonquin four miles into the run.  Below the outlet dam, the race continues with a drop of 47 feet in the next 2.5 miles and some Class II water.  A final Class II-III section follows to take out at Hope.  High water levels are best.  Below the Stewart Bridge Dam on Great Sacandaga Lake is three miles of guaranteed Class II and III whitewater.  Play here all summer long thanks to the daily water releases.

   

Hudson River

 

 

From North River to North Creek (five miles) the Hudson flows gentle with some Class II rapids.  Over the next 18 miles to its junction with the Schroon River, the Hudson resumes some of its former gusto with some Class III rapids and drops over ledges. 

 

From Indian Lake to North Creek, brings Class II, IV and IV waters exploding through the gorges.  

   

Lower Hudson River

 

 

 

The lower Hudson River is broad and shallow. The current is a swift Class I but obstacles are few except at low water levels when sandbars may impeded progress down this 17 mile stretch of river.  Take out is one mile above the Hadley Luzerne Falls which are dangerous and should NOT be approached.

   

Lower Schroon River

 

 

The lower Schroon River from Schroon Lake to the Hudson River (27 miles) is a mixture of long flatwater sections and some exciting Class II-IV white water, such as "The Big Drop" which you may want to scout before running.  Adjacent roads provide easy access.

   

Lake George

 

 

 

 

 

Mountains surround Lake George and its crystal clear water is mostly spread fed.  A wealth of islands and small bays invite exploration by canoe or kayak but the lake is large, 32-miles long, and one of the best ways to explore it may be by sea kayak, over the course of several days.  Resorts and services of all kinds line the shore.  Camp on 50 state-owned island or at several state campgrounds along the shore; reservations are required and dogs are not allowed on islands.

   

 

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Western Adirondacks (Herkimer County)

   

Beaver River

Canoe Route

 

 

Enjoy a 14-mile paddle through a series of reservoirs and channels which begins just below the Moshier Powerhouse and continues to the High Falls Pond take-out.  Maintained by Orion Power New York, the route requires six portages totaling slightly more than two miles.  There are designated campsites on the Soft Maple Reservoir.

   

Black River

 

From Lyons Falls to the Carthage dam are 44 miles of uninterrupted flatwater winding gracefully between the Adirondacks and the Tug Hill Plateau.  There are a variety of access points and services long the way.

   

Francis Lake

 

Stillwater Road provides easy access to this beautiful lake.  You'll find campsites near the put-in and on the southern shore.  There is a universally accessible trail to the lake and small dock for water access.

   

Sand Pond

Mud Pond Area

 

 

 

 

 

 

Access to Sand Pond, part of the Croghan Tract, is via logging roads and a new .2 mile universally accessible trail and carry from the parking area.  Its marshy shores support an abundance of waterfowl and wildlife. Long Pond, Rock Pond and Mud Pond are connected by narrow corridors of stream which are best paddled at high water levels.  On the east end of Mud Pond is a handicapped accessible dock, outhouse and parking area.  Below Mud Pond there are two waterfalls, a carry trail leads to the base of the first waterfall.  Then there's a .7 mile paddle to takeout at a footbridge above the second waterfall.

   

Stillwater Reservoir

 

 

 

The nine-mile long reservoir is surrounded by state land and 46 designated campsites are situated on scenic points and bays.  Caution is advised on windy days as the water can get very rough.  The area is known for its large loon population and great fishing.  Summer weekends can be buzy with motorized traffic.

   

Big Moose Lake

 

 

Several interesting bays, marsh areas and trails.  The trails start from the lake and lead into the Pigeon Lake Wilderness where there are campsites and lean-tos on Russian and Gull Lake (half-mile carry) and the remote Sister Lakes (3 miles).  Public access from Dunn's Marina for a fee.

   

North Branch

Moose River

 

Along this slow-moving, meandering stretch of river way you'll travel 11 miles in complete wilderness isolation.  Wildlife and birds are abundant along this branch of the Moose.

   

Middle Branch

Moose River

 

As you float down through this beautiful woodland valley the Moose gradually picks up tempo with some exciting Class III rapids.  There is a carry at a lower dam and at Nelson Falls, a Class IV drop.

   

Lower Moose River

 

In Spring and Fall, expert whitewater skills are required for running these 17 miles of demanding Class V+ rapids with colorful names like Frotch Hole, Mixmaster and Elevator Shaft.   Considered some of the toughest stretches in the US. 

   

Fulton Chain of Lakes

 

 

 

The famous 16-mile Fulton Chain is a busy boating route.  From First Lake to Fifth Lake, the waterway is continuous and lined with summer cottages.  Two carries connect the remaining lakes which are less-developed and have several campsites and leantos.  From Eighth Lake, a one-mile carry connects to Raquette Lake and northern routes.

 

Outfitters & Guide Services

Visit our local guide services and outfitters before heading out to the Wilds of the Adirondacks

 

Tidbit

The Adirondacks form the headwaters for most, or part of the five major drain basis in NY State!  Lake Champlain and the Hudson River, Black, St. Lawrence and the Mohawk Rivers.

 

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