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Old 07-11-2012, 06:08 PM   #1
peakadventures
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Bog River Flow

I'm planning on getting up to the BRF next week for 3 to 4 days to solo canoe and am wondering, for planning purposes, if it's been excessively crowded during the week days lately. In particular, if heavy use has resulted in most camp sites being occupied. I figure that access on Tuesday mid-morning should be a great time to put-in at Lows Lower Dam and hopefully obtain a camp site between site's 14 through to 21. If over crowding is expected, then I'll put-in a little later in the day and paddle harder/further. If anyone has observed heavy mid-week use lately, please let me know. Thank You!!
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:32 PM   #2
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I'm planning on getting up to the BRF next week for 3 to 4 days to solo canoe and am wondering, for planning purposes, if it's been excessively crowded during the week days lately. In particular, if heavy use has resulted in most camp sites being occupied. I figure that access on Tuesday mid-morning should be a great time to put-in at Lows Lower Dam and hopefully obtain a camp site between site's 14 through to 21. If over crowding is expected, then I'll put-in a little later in the day and paddle harder/further. If anyone has observed heavy mid-week use lately, please let me know. Thank You!!
You will likely not have a large problem mid-week. There could be many cars at the small parking lot at the lower dam. Don't let it discourage you, especially if you are prepared to paddle past site 21. Once you get that far there are many sites not far beyond.

Be sure to say hello to Dawn, the svelt assistant ranger. Easy to spot, as she paddles a green kayak with yellow paddle blades. She can give you tips out there.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:17 PM   #3
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I can't comment much on mid week but I was there this past weekend. All sites were taken on the north shore and islands except for 19. IMO the sites on Grass Pond are the some of the best and all were open. It's a little bit longer but worth the extra hour of paddling.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:51 PM   #4
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IMO the sites on Grass Pond are the some of the best and all were open. It's a little bit longer but worth the extra hour of paddling.
Came here to say this- Grass Pond is one of my favorite backcountry spots in the Adirondacks to camp out at. I've been there twice, once by boat via Lows Lake, and once on foot backpacking from Cranberry Lake. Well worth the extra distance to get back in there.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:18 PM   #5
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Bog River Flow

Thank you everyone! It sounds like it's a little crowded out there these days, no surprise. I'll probably put-in around 10 AM and travel slow, and on out to at least site #21. BTW, I've found that sites 14 and 18 are really nice too. They are hard to get, especially 14. I'm planning on getting to Grassy Pond on my second day out. Site #31 is my favorite. I could never get #32; sites 29, 30 and 33 do not appear to be as nice as 31 and 32. I've run into Dawn in her kayak a few times, and its nice to talk with her about current events, including declines in bear sightings due to population control through hunting. She's always been helpful. During my visit to site 31 about 3/4 years ago, a huge snag existed right in the "sweet spot" of the site. I reported it to Dawn for take-down and had not had a chance to return yet. The snag was high enough to attract lightning and close enough to fall on my tent. I'm hoping it's been cut down. I'll soon find out!
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:20 AM   #6
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we stayed at #31 last August (met another Asst. Ranger there, I forgot his name); there was a good-sized broken tree cut in half laying along the path to the left of the site, so maybe that was the snag to which you are referring.

we did have a mama bear sighting (with two cubs) near #32. 32 has the best swimming beach but 31 has better evening light and view of the sunset.

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Old 07-12-2012, 06:33 AM   #7
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That may be the tree; it had a diameter of about 15 to 18 inches. The view brings back great memories! I hope get #31 when I'm out there!! Thank you for the information and picture!
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:48 AM   #8
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That may be the tree; it had a diameter of about 15 to 18 inches. The view brings back great memories! I hope get #31 when I'm out there!! Thank you for the information and picture!
You blew it! Now everyone on the entire internet will beat you getting there...
Luckily for me, I have other favorite places to visit on and near Lows.
(Since you have already let the cat out of the bag, 31 really is a great site. The float planes had an attitude they "owned" #32 when they flew in, but that's a different very long story)
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:30 AM   #9
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A good report on a canoe trip to Grass Pond can be found in an issue of HURLEY'S JOURNAL, which eventually was renamed PADDLE & PORTAGE. The publication is now defunct, as far as I know. Link below:

http://hurleysjournal.files.wordpres...ummer-1997.pdf
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:30 PM   #10
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It is amazing to see in one's lifetime how places get so popular. Fifteen years ago I paddled in frequently into just Hitchins Pond, even on weekends, and was often alone. Now Hitchins is an incredible bottleneck, resting spot, or terminus for those who overstuffed canoe with coolers, lawn chairs, and gas grills can't go any further. I agree that paddling as fas as you can down Lowes gives you a nicer experience. I am just wary of the Adirondack's best campsites by number being listed in forums.
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:33 PM   #11
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I would expect you to find most campsites available on a weekday. There could be a group of people out for the day, as was the case on one of my trips there, so a full parking lot isn't necessarily tied to how many campers are on the river or lake.
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:57 PM   #12
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It is amazing to see in one's lifetime how places get so popular. Fifteen years ago I paddled in frequently into just Hitchins Pond, even on weekends, and was often alone. Now Hitchins is an incredible bottleneck, resting spot, or terminus for those who overstuffed canoe with coolers, lawn chairs, and gas grills can't go any further. I agree that paddling as fas as you can down Lowes gives you a nicer experience. I am just wary of the Adirondack's best campsites by number being listed in forums.

I think the area has been well described before by ADK Explorer, Dave Cilley's paddlers map/ guide and recently a very detailed map with campsite descriptions put out by Raquette River Outfitters. There are no secrets at Lows.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:19 PM   #13
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guess it depends what appeals to you; all the sites we saw on Lows/Bog looked pretty nice! for example #29 at the entry to Grass Pond is quite large and open in the middle, but still secluded in the trees; would make a great site for a group except the shallow water in front is not so good for swimming. the description of #31 on the new Lows map is unremarkable, and I think some would pass it up due to its rooty/rocky and unlevel ground, perfect for hammocking though. there are a couple flatter tent spots in the back but it was buggier back there.

#33 looked like it got very little use, yet it had a brand-new open-air thunderbox. the stream next to it is soothing and fun to explore.

we actually would have gone for #32 but an older couple in a canoe who were headed in at the same time said they had come to Grass Pond for their anniversary for many years, so we let them take their pick

when we came out of Lows on a Friday, many of the sites on the river section and on Hitchins were empty -- go figure.
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:39 PM   #14
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Great picture! Thanks!
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:36 AM   #15
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"It is amazing to see in one's lifetime how places get so popular. Fifteen years ago I paddled in frequently into just Hitchins Pond, even on weekends, and was often alone. Now Hitchins is an incredible bottleneck, resting spot, or terminus for those who overstuffed canoe with coolers, lawn chairs, and gas grills can't go any further. I agree that paddling as fas as you can down Lowes gives you a nicer experience. I am just wary of the Adirondack's best campsites by number being listed in forums."

I agree with you.
Pick any destination, head out and accept the unfamiliarity of not knowing where you'll wind up. If you don't get the"best" campsite, it'll be there next time you visit.
Favoring some sites over others creates a weird tension that shouldn't be part of being in this beautiful place, besides the fact that just about every site
is more than adequate for its purpose.
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