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Old 12-29-2015, 03:58 PM   #24
Wldrns's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Western Adirondacks
Posts: 4,399
Tyler, sounds like you had a great time and wrote a very positive trip report for what is a very positive area of the Adirondacks. I will add a couple of caveats however. I have tripped on Lows more than 35 times over the years, including several traverses to the Oswegatchie paddling down to Inlet.

Black fly season can be rather variable from year to year, and from day to day in season. You were fortunate to not have them swarming all over you the second week of June. That is often BF peak. It would not be any surprise to be completely swarmed by the little critters at that time. Not that I would alter my trip, but just a caution to be prepared. If not prepared with headnets and the ability to keep moving (as my best defense), a newcomer might get a very bad experience. The most bothersome time of BF season can be anywhere from Mother's Day in May until well after the 4th of July.

You've given plenty of time to make your way down the lake. That's good, to enjoy the area fully. Lows is aligned with the prevailing wind, and being shallow, waves can kick up large without much wind. During those times, unless you are comfortable fighting whitecap waves, the best choice is to pick one of the many available campsites and wait it out. Second best is to stay behind islands along the north shore. There is a short 300 foot carry across a peninsula, rather than heading out into the main lake on windy days (check the map). There is in fact a private cabin on the next peninsula, easily visible from the western end of the main lake body. The shortest carry ever is a 12 foot hop over the cabin's dirt access road to continue the safest windy day water route along the north shore to Grass Pond.

The carry on the Oswegatchie traverse is a good one. However, I wouldn't normally call it smooth or wheel cart friendly. Many people get very frustrated with wheels if they try to travel too quickly. How long can it take to hike 3.5 miles towing a boat? A lot longer than you may think. Don't expect a boat on wheels on this trail to be like walking on a road or a smooth trail.

I think you must have made the trip down the Oswegatchie during a high water period. You do lose count of the numerous beaver dams, but normally several will require getting out of your boat to cross over. All part of the experience.

Seek out Dawn if you see her, the DEC Assistant Ranger. She lives year round nearby, up a non-descript short trail just off the flow. Easily recognizable in her green kayak with bright yellow paddle blades, she's a treasure to talk to. Be sure you have a fishing license if you intend to bring a fishing rod.

Lastly, you forgot to mention bringing a compass along with a good map, and knowing how to use them together. Kind of a pet peeve with me... knowledge and use of a GPS is great, but please don't venture into the wild without a good compass and knowledge of how to us it. Use the GPS as much as you want, but think of it as a backup to the compass. Thanks.
"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

Last edited by Wldrns; 12-29-2015 at 08:43 PM..
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