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Old 01-17-2016, 11:38 AM   #1
madison
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Summer Paddling on Indian Lake

Hey All,

It's that time of year again, when I stare longingly at my maps and dream of warm weather and paddling trips. Usually I go to places like Cranberry Lake or Little Tupper or SRCWA where the sites are 1st come 1st serve and planning months in advance is not required. This year I am considering one of the state campgrounds on Indian or Forked Lake, neither of which I have been to before. I'm wondering if anyone has any advice to offer regarding either of these areas. We will be paddling to our site, and I would like to spend my days paddling and hiking and my evenings fishing for bass. Specifically I am wondering about motor boat pressure, and if the motors are overwhelming. Also, are the sites spaced reasonably and any specific site reccomendations? It looks like many of the sites are already reserved for most of July- one that is consistently open on Indian is site #40 on the southern tip of Long Island. I'm wondering if that means it is not a very good site? Thanks in advance for any advice offered.
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Old 01-17-2016, 12:17 PM   #2
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I have paid two visits to Indian Lake and both times I camped on the western shore outside the campground exclusion area. I am hoping to go back this summer. I think it would be better to reserve a site since the sites are nice and I wouldn't have to worry about the 150' rule, but I never know exactly when I will be able to go so reservations don't work well for me. I visited #40 in 2014 when I was passing by and it was empty. It had a nice little sandy beach but the downside is that there is a quite narrow channel there and anyone going from the boat launch to the Jessup River or John Mack Bay areas is probably going to pass very close to that campsite since that is the most direct route. I would say the sites are well scattered from one another and it looks like some good planning went into the layout. Motorboat pressure when I have been there in August was not overwhelming, though there are motorboats going by with some regularity. The DEC has a motorized scow that they use to keep an eye on things. There are a lot of shoals and rocks so I think that keeps the speed, number and size of motorboats down a bit. Indian Lake is one of my favorite Adirondack places (of the relatively few I have visited so far). The topography is fascinating if you like that sort of thing, and there are lots of cute little uninhabited islands, especially in the middle section between Baldface Mountain and Long Island.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:35 PM   #3
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looking for other places to put our kayaks in other than the state launch at the southern end....any help out there.....thanks
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:41 AM   #4
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Forked is excellent bass fishing, especially in the upper bay. There's some boat traffic and not much hiking, at least from the campsites.
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Old 01-18-2016, 11:39 AM   #5
madison
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Thanks everyone! Buckladd, from the online DEC campground map, the sites on Forked Lake seem pretty close together. Is that the case?
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:48 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone! Buckladd, from the online DEC campground map, the sites on Forked Lake seem pretty close together. Is that the case?
Yes the sites are pretty close together.
Almost as close as at any car camping DEC campgrounds.
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:27 AM   #7
Buckladd
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Yes the sites are pretty close together.
Almost as close as at any car camping DEC campgrounds.
I agree, they are close. There are some real nice ones, however on the islands. My wife and i have a small RV and we camped right near the boat launch last July (during the blue moon). It was Grand Central Station there.

There are a couple of primitive campsites at the west end that you can get to from the launch near the Raquette Lake Portage.
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:34 PM   #8
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I second the vote for the primitive campsites at the west end of Forked Lake - there's only four of them, spaced for much more privacy than the campground sites, and motorboats do not frequent that end of the lake as much. The primitive sites are first come, first served, no reservations and no cost to camp there. They are not well publicized, I've run into many paddlers at Forked that did not know they were there, but the primitive sites would still likely be tough to get in summer (especially weekends)...you could always reserve a campground site as backup, then try your luck!
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Old 01-27-2016, 04:15 PM   #9
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looking for other places to put our kayaks in other than the state launch at the southern end....any help out there.....thanks
There's a private marina near Sabael that may allow you to park.
Jim
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:46 AM   #10
Old Rivers
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Forked Lake has a Lean-to a short paddle towards campground from Raquette lake carry. Boat traffic much lighter than Indian.
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Old 03-17-2016, 03:44 PM   #11
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I think bass fishing is better in Forked Lake (from my experience), but it's hard to beat the campsites in John Mack Bay on Indian Lake. Bass fishing is (unfortunately) also good on Little Tupper Lake (used to be brook trout-only lake), and the sites are free (1st come/served).
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