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Old 10-06-2013, 10:44 PM   #1
riverain
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Question scenic river sections with class I-II and overnight camping spots?

Hi all,

My bf and I enjoyed our first canoe-camping visit to the Adirondacks in July so much that we are planning to go back next July. On our first trip, we canoe camped on Indian Lake and on Lower Saranac Lake. The experience was amazing but we discovered on Indian Lake that we don't want to be around power boats, our dog was terrified by the speed/noise. Also, I am lazy and like moving water so I can do less work.

So, after we returned to Maryland, my bf exchanged our canoe for one with more rocker and we have been paddling the class I-II sections of the Potomac River. Next July, we would really love to return to the Adirondacks and canoe camp along some scenic rivers with class I-II sections. I'd love to hear what sections people enjoy (and are still running at the end of July). Less populated sections would be a bonus! We are friendly, but not really sociable.

Thanks!
Michelle

Last edited by riverain; 10-06-2013 at 10:47 PM.. Reason: typos
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:56 AM   #2
madmike
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I cant think of anything. Look at the Upper Delaware River National Park. Most camping is private/expensive, and loud. There is one area where free primitive camping is allowed by permit. PM me if you need more info.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:56 AM   #3
yellowcanoe
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I haven't paddled the Saranac River below Saranac Lake. That might get too boney after July. Also there are numerous portages.

In Maine I can think of several. West Branch of the Penobscot and the Allagash.

However those are not in the Adirondacks. Is it a requirement that the dog must go canoeing? Often I don't take mine as she is not crazy about it and she is not especially savvy re large animals that don't like her as much as she does them.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:55 AM   #4
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Michelle,
There is the recently acquired section of the upper Hudson that fits your list of criteria.
But, there is some carrying involved, maybe, and the logistical nightmare of starting in Newcomb and finishing in Indian Lake.
That trip is but 13 miles long, but has good views, a great sense of wilderness, and primitive camping along the way.
If you are willing to pond hop, there are many, many more opportunities for a great paddling adventure.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:58 PM   #5
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In Maine the the Saint Croix is a better a fit than the Allagash or the Penobscott (unless you go during low levels and scrape every inch of the way).

In "The Park" (see how that's done, there are no "Daks" unless you are from outside of "the Blue Line") the Racquette from Piercefield down is really super and seen by very few. There are some sections to avoid though. Do not run it early in the spring. It kicks up.
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:21 PM   #6
yellowcanoe
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I mentioned the W Branch because there is nothing above class 1 between Sebomook Roll dam to Rip Dam. Below is entirely another horse. No one is going to take a canoe trip through the Cribworks.

Allagash's Chase Rapids can entirely be avoided or your gear only taken around.

The Allagash can have low water but lately that has not been the case. The Pen is unaffected unless it is a extreme drought year.
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:37 PM   #7
riverain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowcanoe View Post
I haven't paddled the Saranac River below Saranac Lake. That might get too boney after July. Also there are numerous portages.

In Maine I can think of several. West Branch of the Penobscot and the Allagash.

However those are not in the Adirondacks. Is it a requirement that the dog must go canoeing? Often I don't take mine as she is not crazy about it and she is not especially savvy re large animals that don't like her as much as she does them.
Oooh, Maine sounds great, and those are definitely going on my list for when I can finally take a longer vacation to head up there.

Yeah, being able to bring the dog along is the reason we expanded into canoes (and the reason I want to stay below class III)... She has shown some sensibility regarding animals larger than herself (it's the small ones that drive her nutty), but it turns out she enjoys being in the canoe a lot more than being in the water! She barked her displeasure at us the one time we did flip.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:12 PM   #8
riverain
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Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
Michelle,
There is the recently acquired section of the upper Hudson that fits your list of criteria.
But, there is some carrying involved, maybe, and the logistical nightmare of starting in Newcomb and finishing in Indian Lake.
That trip is but 13 miles long, but has good views, a great sense of wilderness, and primitive camping along the way.
If you are willing to pond hop, there are many, many more opportunities for a great paddling adventure.
Thanks, I will definitely look into this section more! It does sound like what we are looking for from what I have read so far (except for possible issues w/shuttle you mentioned). If anyone knows an outfitter/shuttle service in that area, would love a recommendation.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:24 PM   #9
riverain
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In Maine the the Saint Croix is a better a fit than the Allagash or the Penobscott (unless you go during low levels and scrape every inch of the way).

In "The Park" (see how that's done, there are no "Daks" unless you are from outside of "the Blue Line") the Racquette from Piercefield down is really super and seen by very few. There are some sections to avoid though. Do not run it early in the spring. It kicks up.
Racquette sounds fun, if it is possible to put in and take out to avoid the bigger rapids. I don't mind short portages on flat terrain, and might consider doing some pondhopping as stripperguy suggests, but never found walking around rapids to be easy!
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:39 PM   #10
riverain
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I cant think of anything. Look at the Upper Delaware River National Park. Most camping is private/expensive, and loud. There is one area where free primitive camping is allowed by permit. PM me if you need more info.
Have you camped at the NPS sites on the Delaware River? I have looked into that area before but most people said what you have, that the private camps tend to be loud, so I wasn't sure if the NPS river sites would have problems as well. Plus, NJ state parks don't like dogs and PA state parks in that area are like overcrowded refugee camps.
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:24 PM   #11
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The campsites through the Delaware Water Gap are free primitive type campsites.
There are easy class 1's (mid to late summer) but that's about it.
There is the Susquehanna river. I did a 4 day float trip (started near NY border) there about 8 years ago. It's very similar to the Delaware (water gap area) but less crowded.

There are outfitters along both rivers that run shuttles. There is a free shuttle service that serves the Delaware Water Gap on the weekends during the summer, it's called the Pocono Pony.

Delaware river, small island just north of the route 80 bridge.





Susquehanna river, somewhere within 40 miles south of NY/PA border.







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Old 11-22-2013, 12:13 PM   #12
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If you want Class I and II and wilderness with short flat portages I think northern Maine is your only option. If you are willing to settle for scenic instead of "wilderness" you could look at the Upper Connecticut River. http://www.connecticutriverpaddlerstrail.org/
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:26 PM   #13
dchris7833
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Some rivers that are NOT in the adirondacks, but ARE closer to your home state of Maryland that I have paddled recently are:
1) The Clarion River in western PA. While not wilderness, really, there are some pretty stretches that are flanked by national forest and have a wild feel to them. Mostly class 1, a bit of 2 thrown in. This river is one of PA's "water trail" rivers, and this link should get you started: http://fishandboat.com/watertrails/trailindex.htm

2) The James River in Virginia is also very scenic, and has a remote feel to it. You have to be a bit careful on picking your season, though. July it might feel like a bit of a beer-float. I did this one in April, and while a bit brisk at night, we had the river to ourselves (if you don't count the nesting Canada geese about 25 yards from our island campsite).

3) One that I have not done yet, but which is on my summer list is the West Branch of the Susquehanna. This could be quite a long trip, and the satellite images show a very forested bank for almost all of it. Not sure about acid mine runoff, but the reports I have read sound enticing for this trip. Also one of PA's river trails.

Of course, there are many fine trips to be done in the Adirondacks as well. It is just that most of the rivers there are a bit too steep to qualify as class 1 and 2, and tend to be too boney in the warm months. A better approach to the Adirondacks is to go pond-to-pond in the st regis canoe area, or look at the cedar river flow, lows lake, lila, little tupper, or perhaps the raquette.

Best of luck

Dave
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:02 PM   #14
jmitch
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Clarion River is beautiful and the section from Ridgway to Hallton is first class with great camping, isolation and fine scenery.

Pine Creek in PA is another good choice.

West Branch of the Susquehanna is scenic, isolated, and has some riffles and rapids.
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