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Floodwood Loop - slow trip planning?

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  • #16
    Stay at Rollins Campground for three nights. You can do the Fish/Follensby/ Polliwog/ Middle/ Floodwood loop in one day from the campground.

    2nd day, Hoel to Long can be done in half a day (full day if you want to walk to Long Pond Mt). Arrange a shuttle with St Regis Outfitters (in advance) or do a self shuttle using a bike.

    3rd day stay in camp and explore Rollins Pond. This is a nice destination on it's own.

    It WILL be crowded and campsites hard to find, possibly made more difficult with the size of your tent. If it were me with two little ones in tow, I would want a guaranteed campsite.

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    • #17
      If there's no risk of disaster, is it really an adventure?

      We'll be overnighting at Rollins the night before we set out because we're driving from downstate and want to start in the morning. Maybe I'll reserve a couple sites for the weekend in case we get shut out, but I would hate to block a site for convenience and prevent someone else from camping.

      The tent isn't really that big - from the primitive sites I've been on in the adirondacks, I think it should be ok.

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      • #18
        The one thing no one has mentioned, if you're fairly new, is that Hoel can get surprisingly rough for a medium sized pond, if it's windy. My first loop was similar to yours, and that happened. I crept around the east end of the pond, instead of straight across, but I managed. Last time I was there, with 10 years more experience, the waves were bigger than that first time and I just went straight across the pond....
        But as others said, you have all kinds of options.

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        • #19
          Long Pond can also kick it up. I think bluequill gave you sage advice considering you've never been there and are bringing the little ones

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          • #20
            Honestly... all things considered, especially the kid factor, it seems like your plans might be a bit ambitious. The combination of portaging (with a family's worth of less than lightweight gear), potentially pushing for longer days, competing with other groups for campsite options, having a larger tent that may limit your campsite selection some, etc., all does not really lend itself well to an enjoyable trip with younger group members (especially a 2 year old).

            And what if the weather doesn't cooperate? I wouldn't expect that the 2 and 5 year old are going to be all giggles and grins after several hours sitting in cold, pouring rain.

            There's nothing wrong with having the desire for a trip like this as a family but with the kids especially, I think you'd be wise to work up to it through trips of intermediate difficulty (combined with a few more years of growth and development on the kid's part). I'll ditto the recommendations to consider other options- the Rollins Pond campground suggestion is a good one. That campground is very family friendly (and much less rambunctious of an atmosphere than the nearby Fish Creek campground), and you've got a ton of paddling in the vicinity. Plus you could take a day trip to the Wild Center in Tupper Lake to entertain the kids, and Saranac Lake and even Lake Placid aren't that far either.

            If you're determined to stick to a backcountry trip, then my suggestion would be to make it a base camp trip- set up camp in one spot and stay there for the duration. Get in as early as possible on a Thursday so that you have a decent selection of sites still available for the weekend, snag one that works for you, and just do day trips from there. (If you do decide to expand the length of your trip beyond 3 nights, remember that a permit is needed to stay in any backcountry site for 4 or more consecutive nights. Permits are free and can be obtained from the DEC in advance of your trip.)

            The firewood mention is a good idea- but if you do this make sure that you understand the firewood regulations. If you get firewood from a gas station, make sure it is treated. The label on the bag will indicate if it is treated (kiln-dried or similar); make sure you keep the label as proof in case a ranger happens to come by your campsite and asks.

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            • #21
              Oh geez - I'm sorry. Somehow I thought you said the kids were 5 and 8

              With a 2 year old I'd definitely recommend the campground.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by DSettahr View Post
                The firewood mention is a good idea- but if you do this make sure that you understand the firewood regulations. If you get firewood from a gas station, make sure it is treated. The label on the bag will indicate if it is treated (kiln-dried or similar); make sure you keep the label as proof in case a ranger happens to come by your campsite and asks.
                Correct. I mentioned a bag but this is more precise.

                Perhaps a moot point now, but you can buy local, which is good as long as it dry. The bags are treated and kiln dried, so they burn real well and the bag is good for carrying garbage.

                I also thought the OP mentioned taking two boats... but then mentioned a big barge... so I'm totally confused. (Edit: it was two families... so I assume the OP is going with someone else?)

                Now that I realize a two-year-old is in play, I'd also not recommend Long Pond Mountain. It might be too tough (I have no direct experience, but 2 is pretty young for something like that unless you're carrying them on your back).

                You might try Floodwood mountain if you come and stay at the campground. It only has one small scramble, if you could even call it that. More a big step. I could easily carry a kid up and over that. The summit is fairly safe, but I'd keep a close hand on both kids. It's big and wooded mostly with overlooks in certain areas. The views are meh, but it's a good start.
                Last edited by montcalm; 04-13-2021, 09:34 AM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by montcalm View Post
                  Oh geez - I'm sorry. Somehow I thought you said the kids were 5 and 8

                  With a 2 year old I'd definitely recommend the campground.
                  You all are trying to talk me out of it!

                  Sure, it's ambitious, but the way I see it, we can bug out from almost any point. The kids are pretty used to being on the water, and a few hours of paddling doesn't seem like a lot to ask to me - of course all kids are different.

                  My thinking is we'll know a lot about how we're feeling by the time we hit Follensby clear - either we'll be feeling great, or we'll find a campsite and stay put for a couple days, and then paddle out either back up fish creek or back via Polliwog + Middle if we want to see some new ponds. If we're feeling amazing, then we can go into the St. Regis area. We've car camped a whole bunch and are really looking for something a bit more challenging

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by montcalm View Post
                    Now that I realize a two-year-old is in play, I'd also not recommend Long Pond Mountain. It might be too tough (I have no direct experience, but 2 is pretty young for something like that unless you're carrying them on your back).
                    Should have clarified - you're correct, two families. The hike would probably be just some parents and maybe the older kids - a benefit of a bigger group is that some folks can stay back at the camp while other people go on an excursion. We do a ton of hiking both with kids on our backs or walking (slowly) so that is the least worrisome part of the logistics of this trip

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                    • #25
                      Well it sounds like you know what the kids are capable of.

                      And yes, compared to Lows, this area is not especially remote. Floodwood road and Rte 30 are never far away. I'd assume if you really got in a pickle you could get the wife and kids to the road, hike back to your car and pick them up.

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                      • #26
                        Also I bet you'd have just as much fun carrying into the west side of Long Pond on Thursday and staying out there for the whole weekend.

                        This would mitigate some of your worries about finding a site. This is kind of the best part of the trip (Long Pond feels a lot more remote than it is). And you can access all the other areas as day trips.

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                        • #27
                          There is a prominent white sign with green lettering at the landing for the trail to LP Mountain Pond. I haven't been there for a few years, but it has always been an easy to follow trail. Summit views have been becoming more limited due to advanced tree growth. The trail goes first to Mountain pond, with a pretty view overwater, whch by the way has a couple of campsites nearby (but too far to haul a heavy family size tent with gear), then the trail gets slightly rougher and steeper beyond on up to LP Mountain summit. Nothing terrible, but watch the kids.

                          If the adults are in for a little more adventure and are comfortable with map and compass navigation, there are a couple of interesting ponds and impressive large very deep glacial kettle holes south of Mountain Pond and east of Ledge Pond to investigate. If you have never seen deep kettle holes, these are worth the effort. The ponds are depicted on the map, the kettle hole countours should be there but are not. Be sure you are comfortable bushwhack navigating before you attempt this, as there is no trail.

                          Nellie and Bessie to the north are worth an easy ttrail hike if you have the time.
                          [I]"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[/I]

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by montcalm View Post
                            Also I bet you'd have just as much fun carrying into the west side of Long Pond on Thursday and staying out there for the whole weekend.

                            This would mitigate some of your worries about finding a site. This is kind of the best part of the trip (Long Pond feels a lot more remote than it is). And you can access all the other areas as day trips.
                            Interesting! One of the downsides of the shorter loop in my mind was never getting north of Floodwood road and into the SRCA. We could even do ambitious day trips without having to carry the whole campsite with us the whole way. It only took us two pages of messages to hit on this, but it's feeling right I really appreciate the time you're taking here
                            Last edited by spiffae; 04-13-2021, 09:07 AM. Reason: added quote

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Wldrns View Post
                              If the adults are in for a little more adventure and are comfortable with map and compass navigation, there are a couple of interesting ponds and impressive large very deep glacial kettle holes south of Mountain Pond and east of Ledge Pond to investigate. If you have never seen deep kettle holes, these are worth the effort. The ponds are depicted on the map, the kettle hole countours should be there but are not. Be sure you are comfortable bushwhack navigating before you attempt this, as there is no trail.

                              Nellie and Bessie to the north are worth an easy ttrail hike if you have the time.
                              I'm assuming you mean these?
                              Attached Files

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                              • #30
                                Bessie and Nellie are to the northeast of Long Pond Mountain.

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