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Old 12-29-2015, 02:55 PM   #23
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 2


In an attempt to bring back the original question of places to paddle in the Adirondacks, I will suggest my favorite route...

Lows Lake to Oswegatchie... Ahhhhh.... GREAT place. You said you didn't want a portage of more than 300 yards but trust me when I say, it is worth it. My girlfriend and I did it summer '15 at the end of black fly season (2nd week of June) and it was perfect.

The trip total according to my GPS was 35.5 miles. We did it in 2 nights 3 days not killing ourselves, but not really relaxing either.

First, an overview of the trip... Put in at Lows Lower Dam and paddle up the "river" (i used "" because there is basically no current) to Lows Upper Dam. Short portage around upper dam (probably 1/8-1/4 mile). Then comes the lake. Beautiful lake. To get from put in to the other side of the lake is about 11 miles of paddling. Then there is a 3.5 mile hike with a pond (that takes about .5 miles out of hiking). After the hike you arrive at the river where it is flat moving water all the way down. Maybe a lessthan class I rapid here and there. The river is narrow and winds like the dickens. My girlfriend and I counted over 40 beaver dams we crossed although we only had to get out of our boats ONCE to get over one. About half way down the river is High Falls which is beautiful. Then you get back in your boat and finish the river. Doing the math, the river is about 21 miles.

My girlfriend and I dropped off the truck at inlet and had St. Regis Canoe Outfitters come pick up the truck and drive it to our take out spot (called "inlet" because on Inlet Rd.). It cost around $200 if I remember correctly.

So, just like your short boat, I used my 10' Old Town and my girlfriend her 11.5' Old Town. We started at 8am in the morning and got to the other side of the lake by 5pm. That is with stopping multiple times for food, bathroom, and stretch breaks. The next morning we paddled the last 3/4 mile to the hiking trail and did the portage. We have kayak rolling carts and the trail was certainly tame enough for us to use them. KEEP IN MIND, that hike takes a long time with a girlfriend (HAHA just kidding...) and with a full boat in your arms. So after we got to the river, we found the first campsite and crashed for the night (it was still daylight but we were that tired). The next day was easy because all you have to do is steer going down stream. We spent most of the day on the river and stopped for about an hour at High Falls. We made it to our car around 4pm and headed to the campground.

Just to touch on the water subject... We each filled our 32oz Nalgene bottle with tap water before we left (which didn't last very long) and then the rest of the trip we used the MSR water filter. The water tasted great and no problems as usual. So do not be too afraid of the water!

I would suggest, if you do this route, to have a GPS, a map of the campsites as not all are very visible from the river, and a fishing rod because fishing on Lows Lake is some of the best in the ADKs! Next time I would spend another 2 or three days enjoying the trip. Maybe split the lake into 2 days and the hike in 1 and then the river into 2 more. Good luck! Let me know if you have any more questions about this trip or others...

Oh and one more thing, to give you an idea of the remoteness, there are ZERO buildings or roads between inlet and outlet. People wise, we saw the ranger on the lake in her kayak and at the very beginning of our trip there was a dad and son fishing for the day. At High Falls, there were two tents but nobody there (maybe hiking?) and that was it! It is a great trip beautiful and easy/relaxing. Good luck!

twh4 is offline   Reply With Quote