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Old 09-12-2016, 04:38 PM   #1
sugarpond
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Question FIRST TIMER!!!! Indian Lake site 32

hi everyone! I'm in my 40's and paddle around a little (little little) lake on the weekends but haven't been on a real paddle since I was a kid. Still! I'm hoping to paddle out to site 32 (private island!!!!) on Indian Lake at the end of September but having never set out from a boat launch or any such thing, I have a few questions.
1. It says you can rent a kayak or canoe from Indian Lake Islands Campground but I can't tell.... Can you reserve one? Or at the end of the season will that not be necessary?
2. It is 4 miles from the boat launch to the site I'm thinking of, what is the lake like? Will the site be easy to find? What if it is too choppy for me?
3. Has anyone been to that site? Is it nice? Is there enough firewood to cook or should I bring a camp stove? I'd like an island because I'm bringing my dog. Are their other non-island sites I should look at that are still isolated?
Thank you, fellow travelers.
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Old 09-12-2016, 05:51 PM   #2
richard p
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Indian Lake

Hi. It has been a long time since I was at Indian Lake (this is where I started canoeing in the Adirondacks). 1) Hard to say if you can rent canoes in the off season. You had better call to confirm. At other campgrounds you cannot reserve from the vendors that are on site. You may also need to pay in cash. There is also a marina that rents - Indian Lake Marina. 2. The sites are easy to find (they will give you a map) but the lake can get very choppy if there is wind. 3. The sites are pretty well used in the summer (especially the island sites)so I would not expect to find much usable wood at your site. You will need to go out and and get some - not a problem. It is always good to bring a stove. The lake is very nice but there can be a lot of motor boat traffic in the summer. I have many fond memories of the many summers spent there. Have a great time.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:32 PM   #3
Golddragon214
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I stayed at site 23 from the 31st Of August through the 3rd of September. Its right across from the boat launch and they had tons of canoes and Kayaks over there but I dont know when they stop renting them out. While I was there the Lake was calm and there was lots of paddlers and boaters out and about. This time of year you might be one of few. I did see a lot of people loading up with tons of gear and launching so Im sure they were going to one of the island sites. Im sure they are picked clean of anything useful.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:41 AM   #4
sugarpond
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@richard p and @Golddragon214 thanks for the info! I'm going to try to call the camp ground today and check on renting boats and site availability.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:24 PM   #5
Buckladd
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Lewey Lake, which is across from the Indian Lake boat launch, rents kayaks and is open through Columbus Day. Most of the kayaks DEC rents at campgrounds are plastic rec boats and may not be ideal for touring, camping, etc. There's a few things to consider before you just rent a "kayak" without knowing the specs and how they match up to your size and intended use, including your gear. Ask DEC about the model of their boats, research the specs yourself and determine if it will work for you.

I don't mean to sound negative, but I see too many newbies in kayaks they have no biz being in. Especially when the wind kicks up on Indian Lake. Safety first.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:24 PM   #6
electbc
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Originally Posted by Buckladd View Post
Lewey Lake, which is across from the Indian Lake boat launch, rents kayaks and is open through Columbus Day. Most of the kayaks DEC rents at campgrounds are plastic rec boats and may not be ideal for touring, camping, etc. There's a few things to consider before you just rent a "kayak" without knowing the specs and how they match up to your size and intended use, including your gear. Ask DEC about the model of their boats, research the specs yourself and determine if it will work for you.

I don't mean to sound negative, but I see too many newbies in kayaks they have no biz being in. Especially when the wind kicks up on Indian Lake. Safety first.
Good Advice!
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:20 PM   #7
sugarpond
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Good Advice!
Thank you! I appreciate the advice!

FYI I called the campground today and they said they had plenty of canoes and there was no worry about reserving this late in the season.
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:00 PM   #8
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FYI I called the campground today and they said they had plenty of canoes and there was no worry about reserving this late in the season.
So it sounds like you're all set...
You didn't say if you're paddling solo or not, I expect the dog would make a poor bow paddler. Be sure to trim the canoe fore-aft by adjusting your seating position, the dog's position, and the location of your gear.
If it is rough, move your ballast (dog, gear, you) around to make the boat slightly heavier at the end that faces the wind.
Slightly.
Bow heavy for a headwind, stern heavy for a tailwind. That will help the hull to weathervane, rather than pivot out from under you.
You'll need to gather firewood from somewhere other than the designated campsites.
And be sure to wear your PFD and dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature.
You are bringing some sort of camera, right? Well, share a trip report here with plenty of photos when you're done.

Oh, and have fun!!
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:40 AM   #9
Bob K
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Indian Lake camping

I have camped at site #32 (all off season) and you'll like it. It is obvious on N tip of island. Assume no firewood on the island. While heavy, the $7 bundle from Stewarts shop is hard to beat if committed to a fire. Scouring the shore from the boat with a saw often produces.

Per DEC website, the campground officially closes on Oct 10 so rentals thru then should be plentiful - but a reservation may be necessary (for the campsite). Lake, launch & sites can be used after that, or before opening in spring (no reservations or fee) but I believe no rentals available.

Heed cautions of others about possible wind on the lake. Solo paddling a loaded rental canoe will take some energy. You might be best with a long kayak paddle with the boat turned around, sitting in the rear seat (actually front backwards). Both will make it easier to paddle straight ahead, particularly in wind. I use a 230cm with a 12" or 18" extension when paddling a tandem.

The sites on John Mack bay nice too and that area often less windy, plus offers some hiking. The narrow southern arm a great paddle if wind not parallel.

Last edited by Bob K; 09-15-2016 at 10:58 AM.. Reason: Clarify
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:04 AM   #10
JerseyHighlander
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I'm not familiar with Indian Lake specifically & you've gotten good info from others on specifics so I'll just add from my canoe camping experience.

Try to set out from the boat dock near as possible to first light, when the wind is most often calm and powerboaters are still sleeping. Four miles against a head wind or just in bad chop will be a really long paddle. If possible, use the geography to hide from the wind.
Get yourself a drybag or two or a barrel made for paddling excursions. If you spill, take water over the gunwales or get caught in the rain, you will want some clothes at the ready that aren't wet. Especially at the end of September, you could have a problem with hypothermia real fast and don't want to be dependent on drying your clothes/sleeping bag before you can get warm, especially if you have to search for firewood first. They're great for anything you don't want wet. camera's phone, food... Some examples just to look at here https://www.wildernesssupply.ca/waterproof-containers Don't know what direction you're coming from, but Raquette River Outfitters in Tupper Lake would be a worthwhile stop. Their shop is like every paddler's xmas morning fantasy.
Also, make sure to bring an extra paddle. See Justin's recent trip report...
Stove, definitely. Cooking everything on a fire is a lot of work and uses a lot of wood.

Like Stripperguy said. Post a trip report after, lots of pictures. When we can't get out, we live off other's trip reports.
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