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Old 09-10-2018, 10:19 PM   #1
Ana
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Back-country camping sites for adult and young son, October

Hello
I have yet to explore the Adirondacks, and am interested in doing some wilderness camping for 2 nights the first weekend of October. I'll be with my 7 year old, who is a good hiker and he and I have gone backpacking together before. But, he is just 7 so I'm not looking for anything too technical, and prefer to stay on-trail with him for the most part.
Can anyone recommend something beautiful, preferably in the western side of the park, as we're traveling from Kingston?
Also, I noticed that the wilderness campsites are first come first serve, so I wonder how concerned I should be that we won't find any unoccupied sites?
Thank you, and happy hiking!
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Old 09-11-2018, 06:48 AM   #2
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How aggressive will your hiking be? I'm not sure if the focus should necessarily be on the Western High Peaks as you're coming from Kingston, right off the Thruway and you'll get on the Northway for either Keene Valley(Exit 30) or the Western High Peaks going through Tupper Lake. I've found going up 28 N to be a longer trip with windy roads and try to make my trips whether around Keene Valley or the Western High Peaks to stay as long as possible on the Northway. You could reserve a lean to or tent site around Heart Lake at the Adirondack Loj for a fee and be guaranteed a spot and do your hiking around there. There is a lot of camping at Marcy dam and Colden Dam with Lean tos as well, but as you said, it's first come first served. In early October, you'll see others out there, but if you get to these sites early in the day, you should be able to secure a spot.
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Old 09-11-2018, 08:03 AM   #3
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Kingston NY or Kingston ON?
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Old 09-11-2018, 02:00 PM   #4
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Oct 8th is Columbus Day holiday for us in the States. I have hiked and camped the ADK's this weekend - perfect blend of crisp air and leaves. But it is extremely crowded. Parking may be an issue, open sites may be an issue, etc. The ADK Loj suggestion is a good one if they still have vacancy.

Also, etiquette dictates lean-to's are shared up to 8 people (I think) and tent sites can be shared as well. But this lack of vacancy is what prompted us to move into hammock camping.

It will be a great weekend but just be prepared for crowds
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Old 09-11-2018, 02:03 PM   #5
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Its also Thanksgiving up here in Canada. But know what you mean about that tang to the crisp air. I have been in the Adks for the last 5 or 6 years just to avoid all the cooked turkey up here
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Old 09-11-2018, 07:05 PM   #6
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ADK rents three lean-tos on their property near Johns Brook Lodge. That way you are assured of a good and reserved site.


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Old 09-12-2018, 07:51 AM   #7
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Johns Brook Lodge = Eastern ADK's.

Columbus Day weekend = second week in October

IF Kingston, Ontario (I think), what about somewhere around Cranberry Lake, take 3 east from above Watertown. Or Old Forge area, there are some relatively easy ( 1-2 mile) hikes in HahDeRonDah Wilderness, or Pigeon Lakes Wilderness. Or, if you want to be fairly close to amenities, Moss Lake has some nice sites that are not too far from the car, but maybe less crowded then. Bubb and Sis Lakes are also not too far in, but pretty spots, at least a couple of designated sites. Black River Wild Forest or Moose River Plains would allow you to camp VERY close to the road, and then day hike. 7 is pretty young for big long hikes,with lots of elevation change, trooper or not.
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:02 PM   #8
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Thanks so much all, I appreciate the suggestions and have been looking into some of them. I wrote a more extensive message yesterday but it doesn't seem to have posted.
I imagine both Cranberry Lake and Ha-De-Ron-Da would be quite busy, but both look quite beautiful (as well as not too daunting for my young companion).
Yes, Kingston Ontario Canada is where we'd be coming from- good to know that it's a holiday in the US that weekend as well!
And I'm curious how the mosquitos are at night these days... they're still around this region... I haven't slept in a lean-to in many years and it's tempting (but will be bringing a tent just in case)
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:51 PM   #9
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Mosquitoes should be no problem in October (hopefully).
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:29 AM   #10
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As a fellow Canadian, my advice would be to drive into the Adirondacks a little further than Cranberry Lake. The major attraction for the Adirondacks over camping in Ontario is the mountains. Cranberry Lake is still in the foothills.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:20 AM   #11
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If you don't mind primitive camping, you might look at entering from the area of Lowville to Croghan in Lewis County. Take the Long Pond Road past Belfort, then the gravel Bear Pond Road to the Middle Branch of the Oswegatchie River. There are trails from there, very little traveled. You would have to primitive camp as there are few to no designated camping spots. Wolf Pond has a nice remote camping spot not far in from the BP road.
Caltopo.com is your friend.
https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=44.0...11179&z=15&b=t

Alterantively, look toward the Chase Lake area east of Lowville. Lots of designated horseback riding trails, but also a number of remote hiking trails, not likely to be overly populated. Again, you would be primitive camping with no facilities nearby.
https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=43.7...28373&z=14&b=t

Search the NYSDEC web site for more information on these areas and for the camping rules (primarily following LNT).
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:07 PM   #12
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Great tip, thanks Ontario Ski Bum!
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:08 PM   #13
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Wow, those are great resources, and good info too. Thanks very much Wldrns
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Old 09-15-2018, 08:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OntarioSkiBum View Post
As a fellow Canadian, my advice would be to drive into the Adirondacks a little further than Cranberry Lake. The major attraction for the Adirondacks over camping in Ontario is the mountains. Cranberry Lake is still in the foothills.
And, do you suggest anywhere good that's a bit further in? Thanks again!
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OntarioSkiBum View Post
As a fellow Canadian, my advice would be to drive into the Adirondacks a little further than Cranberry Lake. The major attraction for the Adirondacks over camping in Ontario is the mountains. Cranberry Lake is still in the foothills.
Conversely, on Columbus Day weekend, the Cranberry Lake area will likely be moderately busy but in relative terms it will likely be a lot quieter than the High Peaks. Something to consider.

Also, Cranberry Lake may not have the rugged elevation of the High Peaks but there's nevertheless plenty of beautiful terrain there to explore. Lots of backcountry ponds and lakes that can make for solid camping destinations.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:19 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
Conversely, on Columbus Day weekend, the Cranberry Lake area will likely be moderately busy but in relative terms it will likely be a lot quieter than the High Peaks. Something to consider.

Also, Cranberry Lake may not have the rugged elevation of the High Peaks but there's nevertheless plenty of beautiful terrain there to explore. Lots of backcountry ponds and lakes that can make for solid camping destinations.
The point I was trying to make is that there's countless ponds and lakes to explore in the OP's general area that would feel no different that the western ADK's. There's no sense driving a couple hours to experience what they can get close to home. It's the mountains that set the Adirondacks apart from the Ontario Canadian Shield areas.

As far as good destinations, it's hard for me to say as i tend to do more exploring in the Southern Adirondacks which are closer to Niagara where I'm from. I'd defer to others with more experience in the Northern areas. South / Central wise, Tirrell Pond could be a good destination with a side trip to Blue Mountain (though Blue Mountain will be busy). A seven year old would enjoy the Camp Santanoni area, though the hike in is not that interesting, and you won't have solitude if that's what you're looking for.

The best suggestion I would have is to look at the State Lands Interactive Mapper. http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/45415.html
Turn the map into topographic mode so you can see where the mountains are. If you see a spot that looks good, you can search this site for more info.
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:05 AM   #17
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As a smaller loop, would the Copperas and Owen Pond work for the OP?
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:51 AM   #18
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Stay on Route 3 east to Corey's Rd just past Tupper Lake. Many options. Park at Stoney Creek and do the four miles to Raquette Falls LT. Drive to the summer parking lot do an out/back to Duck Hole.
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:56 PM   #19
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Thanks for both your points DSettahr and ski bum. And for the link, I'm having fun exploring that!
Thanks WBB- Raquette Falls looks pretty sweet
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