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Old 08-13-2019, 09:02 AM   #1
Rich Lockwood
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Horseshoe lake?

what's it like to camp there? I always just drive by on my way to Lows lake. Thought it might make an easy car camp spot. Are motorboats allowed there?
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:30 AM   #2
Lucky13
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It has been a long time since I camped there, but here is what I remember. The sites are large, lots of room. I would imagine that it would fill by Thursday afternoon in this day and age. Privies are scattered, and the one I found was on the other side of the road. Fishing from the campsite was a continuous stream of undersized perch. Maybe the tiger muskies have changed that a little, I think they came after we were there. I was camped there so my Brother in law could bring his kids (both adults now) down from Massena to camp with us for a couple of days, and I wanted a place where they could catch fish, we ended up fishing below the lower dam at Lows, which looks trouty, but yielded bullheads. It was NOT a good place to swim as the nearshore water was littered with broken glass, I would even be hesitant with water shoes. This is probably an artifact of the lake's closeness to Tupper Lake and the propensity of older teens to seek out spots like this for "bonfire and beer" parties over the years. It would definitely do as a spot for jumping off to Lows if you got in late, or as a base camp from which to do other things (Big Trout Pond hike, Lower Bog River hike, Bog River Falls, there is a mountain trail just south of the Horseshoe turnoff on RT 3 (name escapes me now), and you can walk around the old RR station site at the west end of Horseshoe.) There are better places to camp in the mountains, but Horseshoe was not bad, just not what a trout addict was seeking, and the old broken glass was a definite downer with kids who wanted to swim.

I think you could use a motor, but I am not sure where you could launch a boat, although a cartopper could be carried down at the sites I saw. Check the DEC website to be sure. The Lake is pretty well protected from the prevailing winds, so oars and paddles are definitely adequate.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:42 AM   #3
stripperguy
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The latest DEC map shows 8 campsites at Horseshoe, there used to be many more...
I know there was an ongoing issue with illegal long term camping at a couple sites, not sure if that's been resolved.

We used to camp there with a pop up when my kids and nieces, nephews were toddlers, and day trip to Lows and Hitchins, or spend the day swimming at Bog River Falls. My BIL even brought a small motorboat one time and the kids went water skiing.
There are a couple private inholdings.
My then 10 year old nephew caught a Muskie that dragged him and his canoe around the lake...
There is a fresh water spring if you know where to look lakeside.
I probably wouldn't camp there again now unless it was an emergency stop over, there are just too many better spots nearby, but that's just MHO.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:09 PM   #4
Lucky13
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When I camped there a lot of the sites were bare ground, and damaged a lot from erosion, and definitely close to the water. Maybe some of these were abandoned to reduce impacts on the lake. There was an active Ranger around at the time, he checked on me on the day my wife and her brother went to Massena for the kids and I endured an all day downpour, and resorted to the car heater to dry out for a while and stave off impending hypothermia. That was the day I realized that bigger can be better when buying a tarp!
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