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Old 08-04-2021, 06:58 PM   #1
sleverest
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Question Lake Lila - first time

You were all so helpful in last year's successful Round Lake trip I'm hoping for more sound advice for Lake Lila this year.

Unfortunately due to the way things are scheduled with work, I'll have to come in on a Saturday in August; at least it won't be Labor Day weekend when I visit. So, while I know my site choices will likely be limited by availability, I still want to know the best and worst things about any of the sites from those who have experience.

I'm kayaking (an old Perception America 11.0, so nothing great) with my gear largely in a pack in my lap, so, I'm tempted to just camp on the East end (heck maybe even site 1 or 24?) to save a lot of exertion paddling with my gear, however, I am not opposed to paddling to the West end or anywhere else for a desirable site. I'm trying to convince some folks with a canoe to come and then they can paddle my gear

I likely won't even bother with the islands as I don't want to pack in that much wood, although I like the appeal of not worrying about bears. How far from shore is Canada Island (site 6)? That perhaps would be close enough to paddle over and collect wood? I like that it's pretty well away from other sites too.

What's the best time to come in, aka, when do most people who are leaving head out?

I also want to hike Frederica and paddle up Beaver River as far as allowable. How much time is Single Shanty Brook worth devoting to a paddle?

My trip could be from 1-3 nights depending on weather and who, if anyone, comes with me.

I've been to check it out without a boat and walked the carry so I know what I'm in for there and I'll probably try to use my wheels to avoid carrying in my stuff separately.

I also have the Adirondack Paddlers Map for The Whitney Wilderness.

Last thing to note is I have a soft warm bed available on Lake Eaton if weather turns or something else arises so it's easy for me to bail on plans if needed.

With that I thank you in advance and am open to anything I need to know to make the trip a great one.
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Old 08-04-2021, 07:06 PM   #2
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What's the best time to come in, aka, when do most people who are leaving head out?
Sunday afternoon on a normal year/schedule can be quite good for snapping up prime sites. But usually any day but Friday and Saturday are best, given conventional wisdom.

Sites 1 and 24 are almost always open though.

Quote:
I also want to hike Frederica and paddle up Beaver River as far as allowable. How much time is Single Shanty Brook worth devoting to a paddle?
Half day for each.



Not much else to know. Just go and paddle around, or plop at those close sites and paddle out to the other stuff you want to do. It takes over an hour to get from the carry trail to the trail to Frederica. It's a pretty big lake.
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Old 08-04-2021, 07:58 PM   #3
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I likely won't even bother with the islands as I don't want to pack in that much wood, although I like the appeal of not worrying about bears.
It seems to be a common misconception that island campsites are free from bears. This is not at all true. A few year ago on Lows (not far from Lila), there was a then famous swimming bear, that for two years during camping seaon, would nightly swim a half mile between several islands and the mainland to visit and if possible raid campsites on the islands, then make the shoreline campsite circuit back to the starting point. I know he was successful with at least one Boy Scout troop who I knew, where he grabbed a food bag.
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Old 08-04-2021, 08:31 PM   #4
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Same for moose.

I had one swim out to the island on Rock Pond a few years back and walk right up to the campsite. Didn't scare me and the missus at all but my dog still talks about it.
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Old 08-04-2021, 08:42 PM   #5
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I have only visited Mt. Federica once so far, but I enjoyed the down trip off the trail much more than the up trip on the trail, and it was much shorter. The old dirt road part of the trail was loaded with deer flies in mid-late August, I remember it was never more than 5 seconds between swatting one on the back of my head and when the next one would land. I exited to the left from the viewing area at the top and had a mostly bug free and quite pleasant descent back to the lake.
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Old 08-04-2021, 09:07 PM   #6
sleverest
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It seems to be a common misconception that island campsites are free from bears. This is not at all true. A few year ago on Lows (not far from Lila), there was a then famous swimming bear, that for two years during camping seaon, would nightly swim a half mile between several islands and the mainland to visit and if possible raid campsites on the islands, then make the shoreline campsite circuit back to the starting point. I know he was successful with at least one Boy Scout troop who I knew, where he grabbed a food bag.
It's not so much that I thought the bears couldn't swim out there, but I am surprised to hear they bother. I've never in 35 years of coming to the Long Lake/Tupper area seen a bear outside of the dump (back when that was an attraction), but, I don't particularly want to start at my campsite on this trip either. To be safe I always use a bear canister, and appropriately. I also have an air horn and bear spray I hope to never use.
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Old 08-04-2021, 09:12 PM   #7
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I've been visiting Lila on and off since 1984...never saw anyone on site #1.
You should also consider paddling Harrington Brook and Rainer Brook, the carry is rough, but both of the brooks are a delight.
As Wldrns said, don't expect a little water to keep a bear from any islands, they are good swimmers. Just hang your food properly and keep a clean camp, you'll have no issues.

Besides all that you've mentioned, you should also visit the old train station before there's nothing left to it. And there's a bushwhack to open rock outcrop to the N of Lila, 1/2 mile E of Harrington Brook that affords some unique views, and plenty of solitude.
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Old 08-05-2021, 06:33 AM   #8
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Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever camped at that site on the Beaver River? Overflow site for sure. Really can't say it's on the river almost being is a different time zone and all.

Paddled up a few times over the years and checked out the site and there was so much wood on the ground and weeds in fire ring it doesn't get much use.

I placed pieces of wood in a distinct pattern the fire ring so when I went back I could see if anyone had a fire. Of course that was years ago and I just never got around to it.
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Old 08-05-2021, 02:21 PM   #9
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I've been visiting Lila on and off since 1984...
Any favorite sites? Any sites you never want to go to again?

I walked up in early July and there was a boat on site 1, I didn't check further if they were actually set up to stay.

I tried to find 24 on foot from the put in but turned back due to the flies before I found the site. I'll bring extra spray for my trip.

Luckily those who are considering going with me are good natured and flexible, and if they can't go, I'll be flexible by myself too.
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Old 08-05-2021, 07:44 PM   #10
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The last time I was there with my grandson there was a canoe at site 1 but it turned out to belong to the Ranger; as we found out later. That said, 24 was wide open with no signs of anyone.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

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Old 08-05-2021, 08:11 PM   #11
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Any favorite sites? Any sites you never want to go to again?

I walked up in early July and there was a boat on site 1, I didn't check further if they were actually set up to stay.

I tried to find 24 on foot from the put in but turned back due to the flies before I found the site. I'll bring extra spray for my trip.

Luckily those who are considering going with me are good natured and flexible, and if they can't go, I'll be flexible by myself too.

I often end up on the tennis courts, never really cared for that spot, but I eventually came to like the central location. I also like any of the sites with a beach...I don't particularly like any of the island sites due to the lack of firewood.

Here's the tennis courts in 2018



Same spot, slightly different view, in 1984


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Old 08-06-2021, 07:32 AM   #12
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I have camped on Spruce Island a couple of times. I find the site to be quite comfortable and the island is large enough that you can find firewood even late in the year. Each time there was bear scat, however I never saw the beasts.

I was very surprised that the island was open on both occasions. There were folks out paddling - maybe the campers had just recently left.

I don't personally care for the leanto. Great views and a bright moon kept me in my chair late in the evening, but it just doesn't give me the vibe I'm looking for.
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Old 08-06-2021, 10:35 AM   #13
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Stripperguy: No need to date the 1984 tennis court pic. Cut off Levis and Keds will say it all!!!
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Old 08-06-2021, 02:10 PM   #14
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The #12 site on Beaver River was inundated with deer flies the two times I visited it while out exploring - that might be good for a mid-August and later trip as I doubt many even know it is there. I've always been partial to #3. #5 is has a nice beach, but the campsite is pretty thick & swampy and #4 is pretty tough too. I've stayed at #6 before as well and had no issues with collecting firewood on the opposite bank, which was loaded with deadfall and trees cleared from the road. Those are the only ones I've stayed at since my wife had no interest in paddling the entire lake checking out every site when #3 was perfectly acceptable.

The other thing to know about Lila is that it gets a fair amount of day-trippers who fill up the parking lot and then leave before dinner. But I haven't been there in probably going on four years.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:22 PM   #15
sleverest
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Stopping back to update on my trip.

First, I learned a valuable lesson about checking the weight rating of my wheels before embarking. After an adventurous, but successful, carry to the put in, I talked to some folks who were leaving to figure out which sites were open. Site #5's occupants were leaving and told me they really enjoyed it and it had a sandy beach. As I got paddling out #2 was also packing up. I had a choice to make, Island with a close paddle to put in with all my gear or a further paddle to a site with a beach and likely more firewood. Ultimately based on how the wind was blowing and how site #2 was set up, I passed and went for further paddling. I believe site 3 and 4 were also open, but I didn't stop to investigate them. Upon entering the cove where site 5 is situated I knew I had made a good choice.

The beach was beautiful and the area I set up my tent was also great. Unfortunately the fire pit was overflowing with ashes and a bit of unburnt garbage from previous occupants. Cigarette butts, cartons, and crab shells. There were also corn shuckings thrown in the woods and shriveled mushrooms on the beach. At least the privy was in good shape. On checkout I noticed a note that site #6 had garbage bags filling the privy on that site.

With camp set up I set about collecting wood. I didn't find any downed wood bigger than my wrist which was a bit disappointing but luckily I had brought a bit of wood with me. There was plenty of the smaller diameter stuff though to continuously feed the fire.

Unfortunately, I let weather cut my trip short. The forecast was calling for rain most of my trip, and once the reality of running to the privy in the rain and the fear of being alone in a potential lightning storm (per the forecast) hit me, I chose to head in while there was a break in the weather. 1 night was still an enjoyable experience, though I didn't get to hike Frederica this time.

I then spent 2 lovely nights in a very dry nearby family camp curled up in a warm blanket drinking tea and reading while looking out over a lake.

Although not the trip I had planned, I had a lovely few days away from civilization, and that is a wonderful thing.
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Old 09-14-2021, 01:09 PM   #16
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Midnite privy trip = golf umbrella found at garage sales. Bring one once on a trip and if it rains, you'll be a convert for life!
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Old 09-14-2021, 01:56 PM   #17
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I'm a big fan of blunt umbrellas for backcountry trips. They are pretty durably built and they come in a wide range of sizes: https://bluntumbrellas.com/

I bought a Metro XS about 4 years ago and have used it a bunch and it's held up great. It's a bit small at 37 inches diameter, but not so small that I'm pining for a larger one. If/when I end up replacing it, I'll probably go for the regular Metro (39 inches) or the Coupe (42 inches).

Although if I were base camping in the same spot for a bit, I'd probably also consider bringing a tarp to pitch over the box toilet. I'm also a big fan of tarps in general- it's nice to have the extra dry space whether you're solo or with friends.
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