CANOE TREKS

Here you'll find information on:

Things to Consider

Permits                          

Sample Treks

Saranac Lakes

Lake Flower

Tupper Lake

Long Lake

Paul Smith?s

Blue Mountain Lake

Buck Pond

 

 

 

Floodwood offers various types of canoe treks. There are virtually limitless possibilities! Not only are popular treks listed in the Leader's Guide but there are also many options available for "personalized" treks. Take a look at an Adirondack Canoe Map to help in your voyage planning.  Give it some thought and then review your trek choice at one of our two mandatory Pre-Camp Leaders Meetings; itineraries must be turned in prior to camp

Things to consider:

 

?         Goals - An ambitious troop will want to consider a harder trek over a simple one.

?         Ability - New Scouts should opt for an easier trek. They will have more fun doing something less strenuous and enjoy their stay more fully at Floodwood.

?         Experience - Returning troops might want to consider choosing a very different trek in terms of location to experience all the different aspects of the Adirondacks.

?         Swapping Canoes - If your troop plans to bring up more than one trek and happens to be passing each other during the week, plan for swapping canoes at a canoe carry to make life a bit easier. Note: this will not work for all treks.

?         Canoe Carries - If your trek involves canoe carries be sure to bring frame packs instead of those water-proof backpacks. It will make canoe carries a breeze!!!

?         Mileage - Inexperienced treks should consider sticking to 5 - 10 miles per day and experienced should stick to 10 - 20 miles per day.

?         Location - For a quite secluded Adirondack experience, consider a trek through the Paul Smiths Area. This pristine area is more secluded than other parts of the Adirondack lakes and coming across people is a rare occurrence.

 

Permits

 

?       Camping Permits - All campsites in the Adirondacks are first come-first-serve except sites on Middle and Lower Saranac which must be reserved by Permit. To reserve sites on Middle or Lower Saranac go through www.reserveamerica.com (sample screen shown). All campsites that you can book thru www.reserve america.com hold 6 people. Be prepared to split your crew if you are larger than 6 people! There are a two (2) Group Campsites on Middle Saranac Lake that can accommodate up to 12 people; they are campsite numbers 65 and 71 (Shaw Island). They cost $18 per night with a $2.75 registration fee (one time). As interest exists, they are reserved by lottery on the first work day of April, but there are usually openings during the weekday. Contact Gary Levesque of the NYSDEC Department of Operations, Summer Recreation, at 518-897-1308 (direct line), or the office at 518-897-1310 to check availability for a given date(s); then e-mail gplevesq@gw.dec.state.ny.us to reserve the site you want on the given date(s). Payment is made after reservations are made.

 Fishing Permits

   

SOME SAMPLE TREKS IN OUR LEADERS GUIDE:

 

Challenging ♦

A challenging itinerary allows considerable time to enjoy the program features at base camps, while still undertak­ing a trek of three to four days. Can be made more challenging by adding day trips.

Rugged ♦♦

A rugged itinerary is somewhat more strenuous than a challenging one, involving longer portages or longer hiking distances on steeper inclines. There is still ample time to participate in camp programs.

Strenuous ♦♦♦

A strenuous itinerary should be attempted only by an older crew that enjoys lots of portages or rugged mountain hiking and is in good physical condition. Smaller crews of chartered units are recommended for these treks. Pro­gram time in camp is limited since much of the trek is spent paddling or backpacking.

Super Strenuous ♦♦♦♦

The super strenuous itineraries are the most difficult. These itineraries include paddling or hiking great distances and traversing many of the Adirondack?s most remote waterways or highest peaks. Super strenuous itineraries are designed for experienced crews?seasoned paddlers or backpackers who are at least 15 years of age, all in top physical condition.

 

 

Saranac Lakes ( 40  miles - 4 Days )

 

This trek takes you through many small ponds and creaks which eventually turns into Fish Creek Pond, which receives a considerable amount of motor boat traffic. However, you quickly escape the traffic as you head into Follensby Clear, a beautiful pond with many great campsites. Arrive early for an island campsite!!!

Next day, exit Follensby via they way you entered the day before and head into Fish Creek Bay, which will take you out into Upper Saranac, a much larger lake. Head south towards Chapel Island. Be prepared for potential wind as it normally blows north. Establish camp on Indian Point for two nights, a wonderful campground, which is located just south of Chapel Island. Leave early this day to avoid any wind and to ensure a campsite on Indian Point.

Next Day, paddle north into Huckleberry Bay and carry canoes through Bartlett Cary. This is a moderate carry, about a half-mile, but is a great first canoe carry for inexperienced scouts. Keep a lookout for a bald eagle nest after entering the main body of Middle Saranac on the left shore!!! Paddle across Middle Saranac towards the beach at the South East end. Beach your canoes and hike up Ampersand Mt. At the top you will see impressive 360-degree views of the high peaks and all the surrounding lakes. Hike down and return to your campsite.  

Last Day, Paddle back North up Upper Saranac Lake and continue into Follensby Clear. Portage to Horseshoe and paddle to carry into Little Polliwog Pond and then into Polliwog Pond. Next, carry into Middle pond and paddle to the canoe carry to Floodwood Pond and carry once again. You can then continue back to the Rollins Pond base. You can avoid these portages by going back the way you originally came on day one. However, it's recommended that you take the carries since its a wonderful route and people are rarely found there.

 

 

Lake Flower ( 27 miles - 5 Days ) ♦♦ 

Depart Rollins Pond Canoe Base. Canoe to Floodwood Pond, into Little Square Pond, through
Fish Creek, and into Fish Creek Pond. Continue on through Fish Creek Ponds, and either head out into Fish Creek Bay in Upper Saranac Lake, or head north into Follensby Clear Pond. Recommended campsites for the first night are in Follensby Clear, in Saginaw Bay or on Buck Island, in Upper Saranac Lake.


Depart Follensby Clear or Upper Saranac, head south through the narrows of Upper Saranac Lake and head into Huckleberry Bay on the east side of the Lake. Proceed to the end of Huckleberry Bay, and take the Bartlett carry into Middle Saranac. (Alternatives) Instead of the Bartlett carry, take the Weller Pond Carry. The Weller Pond carry leaves from Ampersand Bay on Upper Saranac Lake, and ends at Weller Pond. The trail is long, rugged, hilly and can be very muddy. This carry, although a nice alternative, should only be tried by experienced treks.From Weller Pond, head south into Middle Saranac Lake. Camping on Middle Saranac Lake is by reservation only. Refer to the Leader's Guide for information on how to make reservations. Remember these sites are for 6 people max. The Forest Rangers check these sites every night. The third day is typically a layover day; so try to reserve a site for two days in a row. Paddle south, with just daypacks to the beach and Ampersand Mountain trailhead. Beach canoes out of the way and hike up Ampersand Mountain. The hike, on average, can take between one and a half to two and a half hours up. Lunch atop Ampersand Mountain with views of the High Peaks, and the Adirondack canoe area is a great reward for the difficult climb up.

Push off and head for the Upper State Locks between Middle and Lower Saranac Lakes. These locks are self-operated. Camping is good on Fern Island or Picnic Island on Lower Saranac Lake with reservations, or you can continue on to Kiawasa Lake without reservations.Continue onto Lake Flower for a pick-up in the town of Saranac Lake at the boat launch. (Alternatives) This trek can be easily reversed to start with a drop off and paddle back into camp. Alternate drop offs and pick ups to either shorten or extend the trek are the Lower State Bridge between Lower Saranac and Oseetah Lake, the boat access on Colby Lake, Ampersand Bay on Lower Saranac, and Fish Creek off Forest Home Road off the north east shore of Lower Saranac Lake.

 

 

Tupper Lake ( 44 Miles - 5 Days ) ♦♦♦ 

This trek offers a nice compromise for canoeists of moderate or varying skills. This trek can also easily be made into a 50 Miler by going down to the end of Tupper and back up. Some of the advantages of this trek include wildlife viewing opportunities on the Raquette River and a bald eagle?s nest at Indian Point on Tupper Lake.

Depart Rollins Pond Canoe Base. Canoe to Floodwood Pond, into Little Square Pond, through Fish Creek, and into Fish Creek Pond. Continue on through Fish Creek Ponds, and either head out into Fish Creek Bay in Upper Saranac Lake, or head north into Follensby Clear Pond. Recommended campsites for the first night are in Saginaw Bay or on Buck Island, in Upper Saranac Lake or in Follensby Clear Pond.


Depart Follensby Clear or Upper Saranac, head south through the narrows of Upper Saranac Lake and continue to the south end of the lake. Take the Indian Carry into the Stoney Creek Pond. The first half of this carry is hilly, muddy, narrow, and crosses Highway 3, so be careful and stay together. Possible destination sites for the second night are Trombley or Axton Landing on the Raquette River, however, these sites have been notoriously bad for mosquitoes, so be prepared. An alternative camping spot could be in the Stoney Creek Ponds or at Indian Point at the southern end of Upper Saranac Lake. 

Hit the Raquette River and head west towards Tupper Lake. As you head near Tupper Lake, you will begin to encounter motorboats and go through the Oxbow, a marshy area of the Raquette that can be a bit confusing. Make sure to stay left and follow the main current. As you approach Tupper Lake, you can opt to take the Simon Pond cutoff or continue on the Raquette to Tupper Lake. Good camping spots could be Trombley Landing (depending on where you camped the night before), on Indian Point on Tupper, or at the south end of Tupper. Indian Point is a popular destination, as it is close to the Village of Tupper Lake and the boat launch. 

This is a good day for some day paddles, either to add some miles in order to achieve the 50 Miler award, or to enjoy the nice scenery that Tupper (especially the south end) has to offer. Pick-ups can be done at three locations on Tupper Lake. There are two boat launches, one downtown, and one a mile or two south of town. You can also get picked up in South Bay
in the southern end of Tupper Lake.

 

Long Lake ( 50 Miles - 5 Days ) ♦♦♦ 

This trek follows both secluded and the well-traveled routes of the Raquette River and tends to be more difficult, mostly due to a couple of challenging carries. This is a 50 Miler if you get dropped off at Buttermilk Falls. Note: This trip is best suited as a drop off rather than leaving from camp, due to the slight current on the Raquette River.


Get dropped off at the state boat launch, just north of the town of Long Lake, or at the southern end of Long Lake at Buttermilk Falls. Head north, staying to the eastern or western edge to avoid traffic. Camp at the northern end of the lake at Plumbley?s Landing, Rodney Pt., or just into the Raquette River at Lost Channel.


Head down the Raquette (north) towards Raquette Falls. Take the carry around the falls on the eastern bank. The carry is a mostly downhill, pretty wide and well worn. Continue north on the Raquette, heading for your second night at the campsites north of the falls, or even up into Stoney Creek Ponds.

Push off and head for the Indian Carry from the Stoney Creek Ponds into Upper Saranac. The first half of this carry is hilly, muddy, narrow, and crosses Highway 3. Head north on Upper Saranac Lake, watching for motorboats. Some good campsites for the night are on Buck Island, Green Island, in Saginaw Bay on Upper Saranac Lake, or on to Follensby Clear Pond.


Head back towards camp through Fish Creek Ponds. Continue into Little Square Pond and then into Floodwood Pond. The numerous trails in the area also provide opportunities for hiking.


Paddle back into Rollins Pond and prepare for a day of in-camp activities. Alternatives: As already noted, this trek can be done in reverse, but you would be paddling against the slight Raquette River current. Other than the two spots on Long Lake, there are no other drop offs or pick up spots.

 

Paul Smiths ( 32 Miles - 5 Days ) ♦♦♦

If it?s wilderness you are looking for, the Saint Regis Canoe Area is the place for you and your trek. You will encounter only a few other canoers as you paddle and carry your way through quiet lakes and small ponds. Enjoy remote, shore-side campsites -- test your hand at brook trout fishing in this mellow but challenging wilderness adventure. Make the most of the trek by taking time for bog exploring, fishing, aquatics and bushwhacking Saint Regis Mountain. Trek itineraries may be configured for a variety of lengths, terrain and scenery.

Your crew will be dropped off at the Paul Smiths College boat launch at the northeast corner of Lower Saint Regis Lake. You will begin the Seven Carries Route by canoeing southwest into Spitfire Lake through the Slew, continuing on to the south end of Spitfire and the channel into Upper Saint Regis Lake. Swing to the northwest to the trailhead for the climb up Saint Regis Mountain at the north end of Upper Saint Regis Lake (see below for alternate route). There are campsites in North Bay.


The next morning retrace your route keeping to the southwest shore of Upper Saint Regis Lake, round the point and head south to the short carry to Bog Pond. After paddling Bog carry to Bear Pond and paddle on to the carry to Little Long Pond. Continuing to follow the Seven Carries Route, paddle and carry into Saint Regis Pond. Canoe west around the point and then southeast. There are a number of campsites along the east shore.
 

Start you morning by paddling to the carry to Little Clear Pond. Paddle south and west to the public landing for the longish carry across Route 30 to Hatchery Brook (there is no camping on Little Clear). Hatchery Brook empties into Lake Clear Outlet that in turn takes you to Upper Saranac Lake and a temporary return to the world of motorboats. Paddle down Upper Saranac Lake to Fish Creek Bay. Continue on west entering Fish Creek Ponds and heading north to Spider Creek Passage into Follensby Clear Pond where there are many excellent campsites.
 

Canoe to the northwest corner of Follensby Clear to the carry into Polliwog Pond. Canoe west through the narrow passage into the western arm of Pollywog and the carry into Middle Pond. Head for the carry to Floodwood Pond along the southwest shore of Middle Pond. Carry into Floodwood where you will find a number of good campsites.

 

Blue Mountain Lake ( 60 miles - 5 Days ) ♦♦♦♦


Note: This trip is ONLY offered as a drop off from Floodwood.


Get dropped off at Blue Mountain Lake boat launch on Route 28. Paddle across Blue Mountain Lake (max. depth of 102 ft.) and proceed west towards Eagle Lake. Continue into Utowana Lake. Carry into the Maron River around shallow rapids and along the route of the formery Carry Railroad, once the world?s shortests guage railway. Enter the scenic Marion River and wind through marsh and swamp until entering St. Hubert Lake. Paddle north through Raquette Lake, the fourth largest body of water in the Adirondacks, until you reach Bluff Point. Continue west past Beecher Island into Outlet Bay. Camp the first night along the northeastern shores of Raquette Lake.


Begin your second day by making towards the passage that marks the beginning of the Raquette River and enter Forked Lake. Take the nearly 1.6 mile portage to bypass a damn and dangerous waters. Continue along the Raquette River, carrying over Buttermilk Falls, and camp at one of the shelters farther up the river.


Paddle the Raquette River until you enter Long Lake. Head north, staying to the eastern or western edge to avoid traffic. Enter the Raquette River and head down the Raquette (north) towards Raquette Falls. Take the carry around the falls on the eastern bank. The carry is mostly downhill, pretty wide and well worn. Continue north on the Raquette, heading for your third night at the campsites north of the falls, or even up into Stoney Creek Ponds. 

Push off and head for the Indian Carry from the Stoney Creek Ponds into Upper Saranac. The first half of this carry is hilly, muddy, narrow, and crosses Highway 3. Head north on Upper Saranac Lake. Some good campsites for the night are on Buck Island, Green Island, in Saginaw Bay on Upper Saranac Lake, or on to Follensby Clear Pond.

Head back towards camp through Fish Creek Ponds. Continue into Little Square Pond and then into Floodwood Pond. Paddle back into Rollins Pond and prepare for an afternoon of in-camp activities.

 

 

 

Buck Pond ( 50 Miles - 5 Days ) ♦♦♦♦

 This trek is characterized by its secluded route and hence relatively undisturbed wildlife. It travels through some of the most pristine wilderness of the Adirondacks where you will be challenged by several long and difficult carries that will require the crew to demonstrate disciplined cooperation and stamina. Crews that cannot complete a carry in a single crossing should not attempt this trek (there are 16!).
 

You will be dropped at the Buck Pond State Campground boat launch, northeast of Rainbow Lake and the Saint Regis Canoe Area. Head southwest into Rainbow Lake, paddle the length of the lake and portage into Jones Pond. Suggested campsites are the four on Jones Pond, or one of the two lean-tos on Osgood Pond. 

After paddling across Jones Pond and Osgood Pond carry into Lower Saint Regis Lake through the Paul Smiths campus. You will begin the Seven Carries Route by canoeing southwest into Spitfire Lake through the Slew, continuing on to the south end of Spitfire and the channel into Upper Saint Regis Lake. Head south to the short carry to Bog Pond. After paddling Bog carry to Bear Pond and paddle on to the carry to Little Long Pond. Continuing to follow the Seven Carries Route, paddle and carry into Saint Regis Pond. Canoe toward the west end of the pond to one of a number of campsites.
 

Head for the Ochre Pond carry at the west end of Saint Regis Pond and the start of the Nine Carries Route Paddle across Ochre Pond to the carry to Mud and Fish Ponds. You have the option of carrying around Mud Pond to Fish Pond (1.5 miles) or paddling across Mud and then carrying to Fish Pond. Paddle across Fish Pond, carry into Little Long Pond and paddle to the carry to Kit Fox Pond (as an alternate carry directly from Fish Pond to Kit Fox Pond). From Kit Fox carry to Nellie Pond. The carry from Nellie to Long Pond is a difficult 1.5 miles (usually muddy with a beaver pond requiring paddling across to resume the trail on the other side). There are a number of very fine campsites on Long Pond.
 

Paddle to the eastern shore of Long Pond and carry into Slang Pond. Paddle across Slang and Turtle Ponds and through the culvert under the railroad track into Hoel Pond. Paddle to the south shore of Hoel for the carry to Polliwog Pond. It is a short paddle along the eastern shore of Polliwog to the carry to Follensby Clear Pond. From Follensby Clear paddle through Spider Creek Passage into Fish Creek Ponds under the bridge then along the eastern shore to Fish Creek (there is a carry from Follensby to Fish Creek saving paddling through Fish Creek Ponds). Proceed up Fish Creek as it passes through Little Square Pond and on into Floodwood Pond. Follow the south shore of Floodwood Pond to the passage to Rollins Pond and back to the Rollins Pond Canoe Base on the west shore of Rollins. Day four can be split into two days by camping on either Follensby Clear Pond or Floodwood.

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