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Cedar river - paddle to flow?

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  • #16
    Thanks! I know the exact place that you're talking about. Just never made it down to the river in that spot. Will definitely be checking it out.


    • #17
      Cedar River Flow

      I like to do a week or so solo trip each October or early Nov. But I have a dilemma. I'm 74 and can choose between my PBW Spitfire and light gear and portage and traverse beaver dams, or row my beloved guide boat with plenty of space for gear (sleeping pad, larger tent, bottle of Scotch, better food, coffee pot, etc.) I'm leaning toward the latter because, let's face it, I ain't getting any younger. I've done Cranberry, most of the Whitney, etc.
      Cedar River looks interesting, as does Stillwater. Would CRF be a more isolated trip in mid October? Open to other secluded options as well. Thx.


      • #18
        For paddling, I'd pick the Cedar River Flow over Stillwater. Stillwater has a reputation for getting really windy in the afternoons, so much so that it's not uncommon for rangers to have to go out with a motor boat to pick up paddlers stranded on the east end of the lake.

        The Cedar River Flow does allow motors but I think there is a HP limit. In any case it also doesn't typically get crazy with motorboat traffic, not like Stillwater Reservoir can.


        • #19
          I have never really hesitated to explore Stillwater Reservoir. The bad windy reputation is not always the case. Granted it can and does get windy, but not every day and if you have decent paddling skills and have the option of waiting out the worst windy days, it has a lot to offer. A guideboat should be able to handle all but the worst, and you can stick close to shore, unlike where motorboats must go in the deeper central channel. You don't have to end up on the far windblown eastern end. But if you dare, a visit to the state's most isolated remote village of Beaver River is worth a stop. I practically grew up and learned many of my canoe handling skills on Stillwater.

          Years ago, my wife and I would paddle a 17' grumman canoe, with two small kids, a dog, and all of our gear to camp for a week. We never had any particularly difficult time with wind or padding in either direction. Other times, by myself Yes, I have spent an extra night a time or two on the eastern end, but my wife and rangers I know, both knew enough not to panic when I waited an extra day. Ironically, it was often easy to go east from the launch point with a slight tail wind, but a day or two later, enjoyment at a bright clear sunny day sometimes brought unwelcome wind from the west. You get what you get.

          Off reservoir hiking with visits to little visited remote ponds to the north are in abundance. The "kettle Hole" to the north past the dam is well worth a visit to campsite #1. From there you can easily access the old logging road and side trails traveling north to Raven, Lyon, and Bear Lakes, as well as further east into the Pepperbox. Site #3 (Evergreen) offers a nice trail to Evergreen Lake, which has been experimentally limed to neutralize acid rain, and has turned out to be a good producing trout fishery now. If you are up to it, the Red Horse Trail will take you deep into the five Ponds Wilderness interior with its own array of practically never visited lakes. Paddle the southern Stillwater arm, toward Melody Island and you will find many protected bays and designated campsites with no more windy days than any other lake of any size.
          Last edited by Wldrns; 09-13-2020, 08:33 PM.
          "Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman


          • #20
            Well the main part of Stillwater and any large expanse of water you plan on paddling... is about timing IMHO. Wldrns is about as experienced a paddler and back-country navigator as you will ever meet, his credentials are unassailable, so i am not contradicting his experiences.. . But I am betting he isn't starting out at 1:00 in the afternoon- I'll bet its closer to 5 am... coming or going LOL.

            SO i offer my experience learned over many years, and it is the trick to ANY lake in the Adirondacks is arrive very early, do your main part of lake traveling well before noon, or wait and do it in the evening- though morning is better. Basically, before the sun comes up and starts up the gods wind motor, especially in lakes that lie in the prevailing wind direction like any of the larger lakes in the Adirondacks with a southwest/west to northeast/east orientation, wind can get up a head of steam the direction of travel.

            Small lakes and ponds don't concern me much. But lakes like the north end of Raquette and Stillwater, and heck i got caught bad at Essex Chain alone in a guideboat. (See images) Right after they opened it up i scouted it out, I had gone to first and camped down the outlet- where it has always been state land. Then the next day, i toured them all, It was a lovely fall day, I thought i was safe. But then the wind kicked up! White caps were nipping at the gunnels. Guideboats can swamp in a split second and the front was getting caught in gusts and swinging without a steering partner in the back . But i had an option with the road right there- so I turned around 1/4 of the way up third, and returned to the road. Had to roll out all the way from the culvert between 4th and 5th. Glad i brought my wheels with me! ( Last image is on the road out!) So no matter what... sometimes indeed you have to make a responsible decision to wait and NOT fight it.

            So this is my strategy- and it has held true for me. If a storm or front is moving in, all bets are off, pick somewhere else... but starting early is ALWAYS your best bet. And it optimizes your time on the water! I don't think anyone will disagree with it.
            Attached Files


            • #21
              Richie is correct about the timing thing. I happen to live fairly close to Stillwater and can easily time my arrival according to the weather of the day. I have a couple of times been windbound on the far end for an extra day long before the age of SPOT or Inreach devices. Fortunately, my wife knows that I know better than to attempt paddling out when it is dangerously windy.

              Regarding Raquette.... The 90 mile race at one time traversed the length of Raquette then on to Forked Lake. Timing of the 8-9:00 morning start would put most paddlers there late morning/early/mid afternoon. I can recall on my way seeing and bypassing a number of pro C1 and C2 canoes, neither noted for being particularly stable, overturned in the waves. None were in any real danger as there are always several safety boats in the area, and they we were generally on a route close to shore anyway. That problem necessitated changing the first day's route to more safely paddle up the Marion River and finishing day-1 at Blue Mountain Lake.

              When I have often paddled the Cannonball-90 (completing the entire tradiitonal route in a single day), we always start at the stroke of midnight from Old Forge, whch puts us through 1-8th lakes in the calm of the night, arriving at Raquette at ~5:00 AM when it has most always been calm all the way to Forked.
              "Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman