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Old 09-03-2020, 09:07 PM   #1
gearhead
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Lows lake

I just have a quick question. Does anyone know if campsite 1 at lows lower dam is accessible by land or boat only. I am coming in late and I know I can camp at the lake down the road but I was just wondering about this site.
Thanks guys
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Old 09-04-2020, 05:59 AM   #2
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My memory is a bit hazy but I recall it being right near the boat launch and accessible by foot. I could be wrong on this, though- it's been a while since I was there. I would not expect to definitively be able to rely on it, however- especially if you're looking for the upcoming holiday weekend. Generally speaking, I would not at all be surprised if that site plus all of the Horseshoe Pond sites were occupied quickly this weekend.

You should also be aware that there's been some decent amount of nuisance bear activity at the Horseshoe Pond sites this year. Make sure you're keeping the site clean, storing food out of sight in your car, not leaving food out unattended, etc.

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Old 09-04-2020, 08:13 AM   #3
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Friends of mine introduced back country camping to other friends at that site.
It is easily hiked to and generally not a popular site.
But, but, but, this is not a typical year!
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Old 09-04-2020, 08:47 AM   #4
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Being practically on top of the launch, it is probably the least sought after site on the entire flow. I would be surprised if anyone stops there on first pass through (unless they come in very late).
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Old 09-04-2020, 10:02 AM   #5
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Sounds like I will be able to access it. I'm going up at the end of October so I'm sure I'll probably just see some hunters. This is going to be more of a relaxing hot tent trip and not a real backpacking trip.
Thanks again
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Old 09-04-2020, 10:10 AM   #6
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Ah, ok. I wasn't sure of your timing but figured I'd mention having a backup plan (and a backup plan to the backup plan) (and a backup plan to the backup plan to the backup plan) just in case you were considering the upcoming holiday weekend.

For late October I suspect that your odds of getting that specific site are probably pretty good. There are also a few additional sites between the launch and Hitchins Pond that do require paddling but they don't get a whole lot of use compared to the sites further west- so at the very least, you may need to do a short paddle, but you'll likely find something close to the launch for sure.

The sites at Horseshoe Pond I know do get used for permit hunting camps so even in late October, don't be surprised if you find many (most) of these occupied.
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Old 09-04-2020, 04:43 PM   #7
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Don't know about that site, but I've typically just camped at one of the roadside sites near Horseshoe lake - there are a number of them down the road away from the lake that get almost no use (for good reason - they suck, but fine for a place to camp before heading out).

I've also stayed at Lake Eaton during the regular season - drove in at night, found a site and paid in the morning when I was on my way to Lows.

Last edited by montcalm; 09-04-2020 at 06:39 PM..
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:49 PM   #8
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I have another question. I'm heading to campsite 17&18. I was wondering if the southern route by campsites 14&15 is able to be paddled? I thought I read somewhere that it is not and you have to go up and around. It seems alot shorter to go south past 14&15.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:55 PM   #9
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I have another question. I'm heading to campsite 17&18. I was wondering if the southern route by campsites 14&15 is able to be paddled? I thought I read somewhere that it is not and you have to go up and around. It seems alot shorter to go south past 14&15.
Unless the water level is extremely low (it is most everywhere else now), you should be able to head through the cut on the south side of the flow, paddling carefully into and through the normally shallow stump field heading up to 14 & 15 and eventually come out at 18 on the main lake.
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:09 PM   #10
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Yea, Now I'm wondering if it's too shallow. Do most people take this route or do the go up and around to get to 18? Which way do you think is shorter?
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:12 PM   #11
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Yea, Now I'm wondering if it's too shallow. Do most people take this route or do the go up and around to get to 18? Which way do you think is shorter?
definitely shorter to take the cut, and more protected if it is windy. But I have not been there this season, so don't know about the water level. Anyway it is always a fun challenge to poke your way through the stump field east of site 15.
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Old 10-13-2020, 11:00 PM   #12
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Wldrns is correct about the "back" route. I go that way all the time (even in the summer) when I am heading to 17/18 or the sites on the southern shore. I go the main route when I am heading for sites on the north shore. The only time I had a problem getting through the back route was when they were repairing the upper dam and water level was really low. Are you headed there this coming weekend?
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Old 10-14-2020, 03:20 AM   #13
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I'm going up next weekend for five days. Never been to Lows before so I'm trying to get as much info as I can. My buddy are starting to do less backpacking and more canoe camping. It's nice to be able to bring some non essentials!
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Old 10-14-2020, 12:24 PM   #14
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I'm going up next weekend for five days. Never been to Lows before so I'm trying to get as much info as I can. My buddy are starting to do less backpacking and more canoe camping. It's nice to be able to bring some non essentials!
Agreed, I do more canoe camping than backpacking now as well. If everything works out, I am hoping to get trip in this coming weekend into early next week. I haven't decided on a definite destination yet, but Lows is on the list of possibilities. My profile photo is at Lows (site #21) a couple of years ago.
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Old 10-14-2020, 01:01 PM   #15
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Purely coincidentally, the edge of the compass in my avatar photo is placed approximately on Site #21 of Lows. The photo was taken by a student during a trek leader/guide training class.
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Old 10-14-2020, 09:36 PM   #16
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Purely coincidentally, the edge of the compass in my avatar photo is placed approximately on Site #21 of Lows. The photo was taken by a student during a trek leader/guide training class.
Lows is drawing us there...
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:15 PM   #17
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I'm going up next weekend for five days. Never been to Lows before so I'm trying to get as much info as I can. My buddy are starting to do less backpacking and more canoe camping. It's nice to be able to bring some non essentials!
Be sure to climb Hitchins ridge on the way in...
And do not miss the scramble up Grass Pond Mt, views from both are fantastic!
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:52 PM   #18
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If it is windy when you enter the main lake, as you round the last bit of land sticking out at "lookout Point" (BSA private property only) you can paddle close to the more protected north shore. Stay downwind behind frying Pan Island and the other small island nearby. Remaining hugging the north shore you will come to a landing (looks like a dead end bay) and a carry trail that will put you back in the lake approaching site #23. Beyond this, beyond the shallows near site #25, there is a gravel road crossing that goes to the only other private holding on the lake (other than the BSA camp), a small cabin ("Parker camp") at the southern end of the road. You can easily do a short 15' hop over the road, which will put you into shallows leading to Grass Pond with more campsites.

At the far western end of Lows you will find a trail that will split and take you to some very interesting areas, including several nice ponds, deep kettle holes, and eventually Cowhorn Pond and beyond, as well as the carry to the headwaters of the Oswegatchie River. The adventurous may find it interesting to locate the Tri-County Marker and to stand in three different counties all at the same time.

Finally, if you do decide to climb Grass Pond Mountain (recommended, but there is no designated official trail), use a map and compass: please do not leave plastic flagging or make a trail of any kind as some like to do. I will only have to remove it and fill my pockets the next time I go there.
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