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Old 07-18-2015, 12:42 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1
West Canada Lake loop ok for beginners?


My husband and I are going to spend some time in the backcountry ADK in a few weeks and are trying to find a neat 1 - 2 night loop to take. The West Canada Lake loop has caught our eye so I wanted to see if I could get any first hand advice on it.

We are experienced hikers and campers but this will be our first true experience combining the two, which is why I'm asking if this is good for "beginners". We are solid with gear and our basic skills, and will be traveling with our pup.

Any suggestions on loops or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!

Last edited by Maximus; 07-18-2015 at 12:57 PM..
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:42 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 47
The West Canada Loop is a great choice. My wife and I did it a few years ago and really enjoyed it. We hiked counter clockwise and camped at South lake for the night. If there is a lot of rain use caution crossing the West Lake outlet as there can be a swift current. The trail does get a bit thick around West Lake if I recall correctly but its not bad...enjoy
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:33 PM   #3
Brookie hunter
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by jaymann View Post
The trail does get a bit thick around West Lake if I recall correctly but its not bad...enjoy
A couple weekends ago I was at brooktrout lake for the day and talked to a young state employee who said he was trimming trail and had to go back over the section near west lake as it was thick. So this is most likely cleaned out alot better now.
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:11 AM   #4
Moving along
Join Date: May 2006
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Welcome Maximus,
The West Canada loop (aka the French Louie loop) is a great hike with lots to see! The loop is around 21 miles from the Pillsbury Mountain/Cedar Lakes trailhead, and is best done in 3-4 days to allow some extra time to explore. Most of the hills are in the first 1.5 miles of the hike as you climb up into the West Canada plateau from the parking area. Tent sites are somewhat scarce on the loop, but there are several lean-tos to choose from. Great sunsets from South Lake and West Lake #1! The trail around West Lake to Brooktrout Lake mentioned above is not part of the loop, but would indeed make for a fun day trip. The deer flies can be a bit brutal in the West Canadas during the summer months, so you may wish to plan accordingly.
Good luck, have fun, and please keep it clean.
- Justin
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:48 AM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2005
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The WCLW is a great area. If you need a suggestion for an easier hike, try the Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness south of Old forge. There are two lean-to's on lakes and some nice, underused trails. Terrain and distances are easier than WCL.
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