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Old 07-17-2006, 04:48 PM   #1
canoe_junkie
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Little Tupper to Lake Lila Traverse

I just did this route this past weekend...very rugged indeed and very little used, not to mention somewhat overgrown. I thought I'd post some helpful tips as to finding the portage trails which are not so obvious while they're still fresh in my mind. I was using the waterproof Adk Paddlers map and it was not correct as to their location in some instances.
1st portage around bridge: This must be done as the bridge has now collapsed. Finding this trail is not a problem.
2nd portage from Rock Pond to Hardigan Pond: Difficult to find the trail at first. Look up for the deer hunters tree stand, the trail is right under this marked in blue(?) ribbon. Watch for large sink hole, this collapsed even more when I stepped to the side of it.
3rd portage from Hardigan Pond to Salmon lake outlet: Very difficult to find. The Adk Paddlers map is way off. The trail is just to the left of the outlet of the pond marked in orange ribbon. Watch for invisible mud hole. When you get to Salmon Lake outlet, upstream there is a nice refreshing waterfall/cascade to wash away your pain if you can carefully make your way up to it.
4th portage from Little Salmon Lake to Lily Pad Pond: The portage is easy enough to find at the outlet, but I chose to try and run the outlet. A mistake since I basically had to line it all the way through the rocks and through a tunnel with swift water.
5th Portage from Lily Pad Pond to Shingle Shanty Brook: Located where the Adk Paddlers map says, just look for the orange ribbon.
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Old 07-18-2006, 08:39 AM   #2
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Hey C_J,

I'm thinking of doing it this weekend.

Couple of questions-
Did you do this route in two days?

Did you hit any ponds besides the ones on the route, ie. Louie or Frank Ponds?

Keith
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Old 07-18-2006, 03:40 PM   #3
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Yes

Two days is right. On Friday, we had gotten a late start and were underway by around 1 pm. We camped at Rock Pond and on Saturday we made our way to Lake Lila where we camped at one of the sites next to the take out. We didn't go to any of the other ponds due to time constraints and Sunday morning we departed. If you plan on staying overnight at Lila, get there as early as possible, as the sites fill-up quick. We were lucky in this respect and only found a site because we stayed at a one that was hard to find and didn't have one of those nice sandy beaches that Lila is famous for.

This is a nice little trip with a really remote feeling. I do not recommend this to anyone that has doubts about being able to portage or is troubled by a few mosquito bites. I can't wait to do it again!
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Old 07-18-2006, 04:01 PM   #4
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Great! Thanks for the info.

I ain't skeerd of no skeeters.
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Old 07-28-2006, 04:03 PM   #5
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So Keith did you complete the trip? I'd like to hear your trip report and opinion as well.
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Old 07-29-2006, 08:38 AM   #6
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route

I intend to do this route starting Monday am. Thanx to all, I will post when I get back.
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canoe_junkie
So Keith did you complete the trip? I'd like to hear your trip report and opinion as well.
I did indeed. What an great little adventure. I started on Saturday 7/22. My GF accompanied me better than half way across Little Tupper and turned back just as it started to sprinkle. By the time I'd hit the other end and started up the brook to Rock Pond the rain was steady. I made it to the campsite nearest the carry (site #26?) and set up in the rain wet to the skin. I could have sworn I'd seam sealed this tent but, apparently not, so I spent a little time being creative with a garbage bag and before long I was snug in my tent. It was evident from the maple seedlings growing in the fire ring that no one had used this site much this year. The rain let up long enough for me to fix and eat supper before it came back in a vengeance.
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:50 AM   #8
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It had stopped raining by the next morning so I packed up and headed toward the first big carry. Thanks to Canoe Junky for all the info on finding the carries and thanks for not giving to much away on the adventure.

Here's a pic of the beginning of the carry:
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adk Keith
Thanks to Canoe Junky for all the info on finding the carries and thanks for not giving to much away on the adventure.
No worries Keith. You did all the heavy "lifting".
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:15 AM   #10
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And so it went. The carry between Rock Pond and Hardigan Pond is the longest and full of adventure. The sink hole claimed another victim but I managed to extricate myself successfully, none the worse for wear. The area is an interesting mix of nature healing. It is criss crossed by gravel logging roads and even old railroads that now are used for trails, although mostly unmarked. The forest was obviously hammered by logging prior to the state's acquisition. The brochure says it was the result of the blow down of '95 but I have my doubts. Anyway it really doesn't take away much from the beauty of the waterways.

Here's a pair of carnivorous plants sharing an island.
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:21 AM   #11
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I spent the next night at Little Salmon Lake. What a peaceful location. The Campsite before, on and after Little Salmon Lake are all nice locations. The site on the lake is small, really only suitable for a couple of small tents side by side, but the others are larger. A healthy ant population at the site on the lake managed to spread their breatheren all the way back home with me.

Here's a panorama from that site:
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:25 AM   #12
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The next day went well after a bit of a problem at the beginning of the carry from Little Salmon Lake where I had to relaunch the boat to get back to clear water to wash off the loverly black muck of the Adirondacks from above my knees to my feet. That and the small back track made necessary when I left my paddle at the beginning of the carry.

But never mind, soon I was at Lilly Pad Pond
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:32 AM   #13
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At Lily Pad Pond I chose to go via Mud Pond as opposed to the carry to Shingle Shanty Brook. I'm pretty sure it didn't save me any time and probably not much energy because the vegitation in Mud Pond was tough to navigate and there was still a short carry (unmarked and visibly unused) around the outlet of Mud Pond. Plus, once on Shingle Shanty Brook there were an incredible number of oxbows created by beaver dams. But most of it was very pleasant and quiet.
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:39 AM   #14
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Around mid morning I heard voices and knew my trip was pretty much over. A couple of fishermen on Shingle Shanty Brook that later let me in on a secret, They would be leaving Spruce Island on Lake Lila later in the day. This allowed me to move onto my own island. The next day I met my GF who stayed Tues. night with me bringing celebratory steaks and scones for my last supper and breakfast of the trip. All in all it was a wonderful trek. Based on my GPS info, about 20 miles total with about 4 miles of carry.

Oh did I mention that I ate blue berries all the way? mmmm
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:30 PM   #15
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Nice write-up. Did you notice how many of these little guys there were everywhere you stepped? Look closely at the picture.
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Old 07-31-2006, 03:22 PM   #16
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Every one except one looked like they'd been squashed about a week before....

No, actually I didn't notice an overabundance of them. Maybe I should have been more careful watching were I stepped!
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Old 08-01-2006, 10:33 PM   #17
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Nice story and pics ADK. Did this same trip a few years back with a few buddies. Made it from Rock Pond to Lila in one long day and pretty much stayed wet all the way from Hardigan.
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Old 08-02-2006, 12:39 AM   #18
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Keith......I enjoyed your pics and your write-up.....I was at campsite #19 on Little Tupper with my son and daughter......I watched as you paddled by in the pouring rain....Congratulations on completing your trip with such adverse conditions to start with.
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Old 08-02-2006, 01:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fridster
......I watched as you paddled by in the pouring rain.....
And you thought to your self, "Look at that idiot" right?

It wasn't that bad because I knew it wouldn't last over 24 hours and besides, it was a warm rain

Welcome to the Forum!
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:07 PM   #20
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Nice photos !!!

AK
Excellent pix ! Really enjoyed seeing them
You did well to navigate Mud Pond's outlet into Shingle Shanty brook. It's typically clogged w/ vegatation by this time of Summer. Hardigan's outlet is also navigable into Salmon L outlet @ higher water levels
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