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Old 04-17-2021, 12:19 PM   #1
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Suggestions for Hornbeck trip

Planning on visiting the Peter Hornbeck art exhibit in Tupper this summer and want to take our boats to a suitable pond to paddle in his honor. Any suggestions for quick trip relatively near Tupper Lake area? Would be coming up from Speculator area and are unfamiliar with north of Long Lake. Have paddled St Regis chain and have explored Henderson and Avalalanche Lake/Lake Colden with the boats. Ideal would be a short carry in (have only one pack rig; the other would be over the shoulder) and pond(s) suitable for an afternoon of paddling.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-17-2021, 12:39 PM   #2
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Maybe Bog River/Hitchens Pond? A short trip won't get you anywhere near Lows but it's still a nice enough area to spend a few hours. Plus it's a motor-free body of water.

Little Tupper Lake also isn't too far from Low's but IMO if you only have an hour or two available it's probably not the best spot since it's a larger body of water (and the interesting parts are all down on the west end).

There's some easier loops that can be done (with short portages) in the Fish Creek Campground/Saranac Inn vicinity- lots of kettle ponds and lakes here to poke around in an explore. Motors are allowed on some bodies of water but not all (and even many that do allow them have HP restrictions).

There's also the Raquette River- you could put in at the Crusher, at Axton Landing, or at Stony Creek. Explore upstream slowly against the current, then take a quick trip back to the put in with the current. Motorboats are allowed on the river but from my experience it tends not to be too crazy with motorized traffic.
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Old 04-17-2021, 01:17 PM   #3
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Thanks! Great suggestions...I will check them out and see what fits when we go. Have not been on Raquette in decades- did an epic Long Lake to Tupper overnight trip with my dad in an aluminum canoe. And whatever we don't visit, we will find an excuse to see eventually!

Where would you put in for the Bog River/ HP paddle?

I also want to get the Hornbeck up to it's namesake pond, Lost Pond, but I think that's a bigger adventure for another date!

Thanks again!
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Old 04-17-2021, 01:23 PM   #4
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Hitchens is nice for a short trip - I'd second that. Took my mother-in-law out there on a day trip and was lucky enough to spot a bald eagle eating lunch. It's a nice enough day paddle but parking can be challenging.

Of course, Lila - many people go for the camping but it's a great day paddle and you can probably get around most of the lake in half a day.

Typically if I'm in the area I'll do the Rollins Pond loop, or some variant (basically echoing the DS is saying here). Most of those can be done in 4 hours or so.

Blue Mountain Lake is really nice - nice scenery, beautiful water. You also have Durant as an option.

Any of the Big Saranac lakes are great. Of course motor boats. Lower is particularly cool with the islands. Upper has great views.
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Old 04-17-2021, 02:08 PM   #5
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Hitchens is nice for a short trip - I'd second that. Took my mother-in-law out there on a day trip and was lucky enough to spot a bald eagle eating lunch. It's a nice enough day paddle but parking can be challenging.

Of course, Lila - many people go for the camping but it's a great day paddle and you can probably get around most of the lake in half a day.

Typically if I'm in the area I'll do the Rollins Pond loop, or some variant (basically echoing the DS is saying here). Most of those can be done in 4 hours or so.

Blue Mountain Lake is really nice - nice scenery, beautiful water. You also have Durant as an option.

Any of the Big Saranac lakes are great. Of course motor boats. Lower is particularly cool with the islands. Upper has great views.
Thanks as well! Looking at GE, is the parking for the BR/HP trip at the dam on the Bog? Lila is on my list, and I have been on Blue several times- it is very cool. We did the "diorama" tour of the Blue/Eagle/Utowana to the Marion River RR once, and I would love to camp on one of the islands.
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Old 04-17-2021, 02:20 PM   #6
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Thanks as well! Looking at GE, is the parking for the BR/HP trip at the dam on the Bog? Lila is on my list, and I have been on Blue several times- it is very cool. We did the "diorama" tour of the Blue/Eagle/Utowana to the Marion River RR once, and I would love to camp on one of the islands.
Yup. There a short dirt road on your left past horseshoe lake that goes down to the lower dam. Small parking area so many park along the dirt road.

Basically paddle from lower to upper dam on that trip. The hike up lows ridge is well worth it if you have time. It’s short and not steep.

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Old 04-17-2021, 05:27 PM   #7
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Which Lost Pond is the Lost Pond named for?

I thought about mentioning Lila, but it's a longer drive out of the way down a dirt road to get there. And then there's a 0.3 mile (one way) carry between the parking area and the lake itself. Don't get me wrong, still an area worth visiting but probably better saved for when you have more time.

Yeah, the put in for the Bog River is at the Lows Lower Dam, which is due south of Horseshoe Lake. Basically, drive into Horseshoe Lake and turn left. You can park at the end of the road and from there it's a carry of 100-200 feet at most down to the water.

There's no public motor vehicle access to the Lows Upper Dam, which is not apparent on most maps (and tends to cause some confusion among first-time visitors to the area).

Also, on your way in/out, be sure to stop and check out Bog River Falls on the south end of Tupper Lake, where the Bog River flows into that lake.
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Old 04-17-2021, 06:18 PM   #8
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Yup - you went LTL so I had to ante up and go Lila. But agree, the access road isn't a quick drive.

Here's all the suggestions so far plus more.

https://www.tupperlake.com/recreation/paddling
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Old 04-17-2021, 09:16 PM   #9
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South Pond near the turn off for Forked Lake
Once you get a ways away from Rt30, the noise is less and the views are better.
Rock Lake also has nice views but a 1/2 mile carry.
And there’s a section of the Cedar that’s particularly enjoyable from Pelon Rd ( or is it Benton Rd) to Pashley Falls and back. All easily a half day trip or dawdle to make them longer.
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Old 04-18-2021, 07:09 AM   #10
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Which Lost Pond is the Lost Pond named for?

I thought about mentioning Lila, but it's a longer drive out of the way down a dirt road to get there. And then there's a 0.3 mile (one way) carry between the parking area and the lake itself. Don't get me wrong, still an area worth visiting but probably better saved for when you have more time.

Yeah, the put in for the Bog River is at the Lows Lower Dam, which is due south of Horseshoe Lake. Basically, drive into Horseshoe Lake and turn left. You can park at the end of the road and from there it's a carry of 100-200 feet at most down to the water.

There's no public motor vehicle access to the Lows Upper Dam, which is not apparent on most maps (and tends to cause some confusion among first-time visitors to the area).

Also, on your way in/out, be sure to stop and check out Bog River Falls on the south end of Tupper Lake, where the Bog River flows into that lake.

I always thought it was the one near Street in the HP, but I know that Lost Pond is up there with Mud Pond/Lake in popularity, so it could be another one. Sadly I never asked Pete the times I was at his shop.

If anyone knows exactly, please post.
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Old 04-18-2021, 07:49 AM   #11
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I've been up Lost Pond Peak but have yet to make it to the pond itself. From the ridge line that curves around the east side of the pond, we attempted to descend to the pond itself but the vegetation was just too thick and we gave up.

I would guess that the easier approach is probably up the outlet from the west, but even still... getting a Hornbeck up there would be no easy task. Is it not possible that the boat was not named for a specific "Lost Pond" but for all of them, generally?

If you do ever get a boat in there, be sure to post a trip report and photos.
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Old 04-18-2021, 08:07 AM   #12
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I always assumed the boat was named for the lost pond that's right up on the mountain behind his shop.
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Old 04-18-2021, 08:56 AM   #13
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I always assumed the boat was named for the lost pond that's right up on the mountain behind his shop.
That's probably the case as I assumed when I bought my Hornbeck. i have a sleeping bag by Big Agnes called the "lost dog". I'm still looking for that pooch. Another I have is called the "horse thief", and I don't expect to get shot for carrying it.
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Old 04-18-2021, 09:30 AM   #14
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So this one:



Has it been paddled with a Hornbeck? One would assume so- you can't name a boat for a certain specific pond and then not paddle that pond with the boat.

Looks like the approach would be tricky in any case. Private property around the base of the mountain to the south and west. Steep ascent from the east. Probably the easiest way would be to cut south from Hoffman Road to the north.
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Old 04-18-2021, 02:19 PM   #15
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Which Lost Pond is the Lost Pond named for?

I thought about mentioning Lila, but it's a longer drive out of the way down a dirt road to get there. And then there's a 0.3 mile (one way) carry between the parking area and the lake itself. Don't get me wrong, still an area worth visiting but probably better saved for when you have more time.

Yeah, the put in for the Bog River is at the Lows Lower Dam, which is due south of Horseshoe Lake. Basically, drive into Horseshoe Lake and turn left. You can park at the end of the road and from there it's a carry of 100-200 feet at most down to the water.

There's no public motor vehicle access to the Lows Upper Dam, which is not apparent on most maps (and tends to cause some confusion among first-time visitors to the area).

Also, on your way in/out, be sure to stop and check out Bog River Falls on the south end of Tupper Lake, where the Bog River flows into that lake.
Make note of the DEC notice of decreased water levels between the lower dam and Hitchins due to lower dam repairs.
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Old 04-18-2021, 02:30 PM   #16
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Make note of the DEC notice of decreased water levels between the lower dam and Hitchins due to lower dam repairs.
Yea, those first narrows between the rocks will be tricky, as will the mucky stump field a half mile later before the RR tracks, and another almost unseen shallow boulder field in between campsites #5 and #6.
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Old 04-18-2021, 03:12 PM   #17
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Good to know about the repair work- looks like that leak was just noticed and the water levels drawn down recently?

FWIW, the DEC website is stating that even with the lower water levels, passage by canoe/kayak should still be possible.
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Old 04-18-2021, 04:37 PM   #18
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FWIW, the DEC website is stating that even with the lower water levels, passage by canoe/kayak should still be possible.
The DEC optimistically says (who says?) it will be possible, but there will be those more difficult places that are shallow even in normal water levels. Who hasn't scraped on or struck that rock on the bottom between two other rocks while negotiating that strainer in the narrows not far from the dam? There's a mucky lilly bed just beyond that is around the bend as you go past campsite #3. I wouldn't count on easy or obstacle free paddling passage through that or other places. One campsite you can probably completely forget about is #4, on the backside of a point of land where it is always shallow (and is the buggiest site of all)
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Old 04-18-2021, 07:37 PM   #19
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Good intel TB.

Yeah maybe avoid that one and come back in normal conditions. Definitely a great paddle not to be missed and definitely worth going all the way to Lows and least staying overnight. One of my favorite places in the park.
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:33 PM   #20
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The DEC optimistically says (who says?) it will be possible, but there will be those more difficult places that are shallow even in normal water levels. Who hasn't scraped on or struck that rock on the bottom between two other rocks while negotiating that strainer in the narrows not far from the dam? There's a mucky lilly bed just beyond that is around the bend as you go past campsite #3. I wouldn't count on easy or obstacle free paddling passage through that or other places. One campsite you can probably completely forget about is #4, on the backside of a point of land where it is always shallow (and is the buggiest site of all)
I camped at site #4 last November- really nice except for the chipmunks. Great hammock site.
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