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Old 03-13-2019, 05:28 PM   #1
richard p
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey, near Princeton
Posts: 201
Paradox Lake Area?

We usually vacation in the Saranac Lake / Tupper
Lake area. This year we may be in a cabin near Paradox Lake (exit 28). Any good wilderness canoeing in that area? Never visited east of 87 or that far south in the Adirondacks. Looking to do daytrips - no camping. Thanks.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:37 PM   #2
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That's a gorgeous area; you are going to love it.

I don't know from what you said whether you have pack boats that you can carry in to backcountry, or whether you will paddle frontcountry waters. But tons of both are available. Front Country: Paradox Lake, Eagle Lake, Putnam Pond, Brant Lake, Loon Lake, Johnson Pond. Backcountry: Hammond Pond, Challis Pond, Trout Pond, Bass Lake, Pharaoh Lake, Crane Pond.

The list is endless. And I'm not even a paddler.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:07 AM   #3
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Do yourself a favor and spend a day on Putnam Pond. It's a beautiful spot- surprisingly uncrowded for having a state campground on it. Other than the campground, it's totally undeveloped. The fishing is excellent and there are a few access points on the pond to the Pharoah Lake Wilderness trail network. Treadway Mountain, Grizzle Ocean, and Clear Pond are moderate hikes to beautiful destinations and can be accessed by a paddle-to trailhead near Remote Site #7 on the pond.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:14 AM   #4
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I'll second the Putnam Pond recommendation. Paddle across/around the pond, and hike to Rock Pond or Clear Pond. If you've got lightweight boats, you can even portage to Rock or Clear Ponds to paddle on either of them also. If you want a longer hike, climb Treadway Mountain for spectacular views (bushwhack a few hundred feet south of the summit for the best views of Pharaoh Lake).

Eagle Lake has a nice day use area on the east end of the lake that is boat access only. In addition to a picnicking area, there's also 2 or 3 designated tent sites set back away from the water, plus a lean-to set back in a nice stand of red pine. (It's also the lowest lean-to in elevation in the Adirondack Park.)

The Schroon River can be a nice paddle also- lots of meandering oxbows to explore. The current can be strong if the water is up, so pay attention to the water level. If you can spot a car, you could put in at Schroon Falls and paddle one way downstream. Schroon Falls itself is also a nice spot for a stop- if it is unoccupied, there is a designated tent site on the east shore here that can be a good spot for lunch or a quick break.

You may notice Peaked Hill on the map- the only way to climb it by trail is to paddle across Paradox Lake. IMO, the climb isn't worth it, any decent views that were once to be had from the summit grew in long ago. Peaked Hill Pond is kind of a nice spot, through- quiet and serene.

If you have a high clearance vehicle, you could drive to Crane Pond and paddle there (note that the road is unmaintained and "drive at your own risk"). If you have a moderate clearance vehicle, you could drive to the Goose Pond trailhead and put in on Alder Pond, and paddle from there to Crane Pond (accessible via a short carry from Alder Pond- technically there's no portage trail here but it's doable with not too much effort).

There's also Jabe Pond and Lily Pond in the Lake George Wild Forest to the south. The roads accessing each are a bit rough in spots- you definitely wouldn't want to drive your Ferrari on them- but aren't nearly as bad as the road to Crane Pond.
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by richard p View Post
Any good wilderness canoeing in that area?
Cheney Pond & Lester Flow is a fun wilderness type trip. There’s a short portage from Cheney down its outlet to the Boreas, and the river can be a little shallow in spots during times of low water, but it definitely makes for a fun day trip down to the old Lester Dam site and back. A couple sections have some swifter moving paddling back upstream, and there’s a couple small beaver dams to negotiate, but by no means anything too difficult. There are some nice swimming spots along the way, and some great views north towards the High Peaks on the paddle back.

I made a video a couple years back:
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:26 AM   #6
richard p
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey, near Princeton
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Thanks for all the great info. We will have an exchange student from Spain and I wanted to make sure she got a good feel for canoeing in the Adirondacks. We will have 2 pack boats and a 42lb tandem so portaging is not an issue (hope she finds it fun too).
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:05 AM   #7
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Depending on when you go, Boreas Ponds could be open. A nice float trip is the Schroon River Rt. 74 down to the village. Stop on the sandbars at the mouth of the river for a swim.
Life's short, hunt hard!
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