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Old 01-12-2020, 11:07 PM   #1
Todd H
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 1
Camping, rafting, fishing trip planning help please!

Hello all,

Every summer my soon to be 12 year old son and I go on some kind of summer camping/adventure experience. After spending the last few summers in the White Mountain area (Lost River Campground last year, which we liked very much), I think I would like to venture into the Adirondacks, but, after hours and hours of research, I am completely confused by all the options and outfitters.

So, I turn to you for help, and hope you can provide some guidance. Our trip this year will likely be in mid-late August, and our ideal trip will include:

- campground, public or private, that offers fairly private tent sites, preferably along some kind of river or waterway, that has bathrooms/showers and preferably laundry, as I expect to be traveling for awhile. Bonus points for running water at the sites, camp store, game room, etc. Want to feel like we are in nature, and not hear highway noise or Betty and Josh knocking boots in a neighboring site.

- A location that, while still relatively remote, still has things like gas stations and sources of food within a few miles -- I'm not really planning on cooking at the campsite and we need to eat.

- an intermediate white water rafting trip that is adventurous enough for my inexperienced son, and won't kill us! So many rafting options, that I need some help identifying the right trip and company. Thinking class II-III, or maybe the occasional gentle class IV, but I really do not want any of us flying out of the raft...been there, done that, almost died, and now I have a healthy fear.

- A location that has activities, other than rafting, such as fly-fishing (would love to hire a guide to teach us and be able to eat our catch), golfing, downhill mountain biking, etc. Willing to drive significant distance from campsite for these activities (like 2 hours max).

Any leads or direction you can provide me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:30 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2018
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NYS Campgrounds are generally near roads, because cars bring people to them. All campgrounds I have seen in the Adirondacks maximize use of all the space available so distance between sites is not usually large. Private Campgrounds (I've been to the ones along the West Branch of the Ausable) are tighter than public, but separation distances even in the NYS campgrounds are not what you will find in primitive areas. However, primitive areas generally do not have bathrooms (outhouses or thunderboxes) or running water (surface sources or springs and filtration or treatment or haul your own water). With those kind of limitations in mind, Limekiln Lake and Browns Tract are more off the beaten path, but close enough to Inlet, Eagle Bay and Old Forge, where you can get your creature comforts fix, go to restaurants, shop, do laundry, go to a movie, play golf, rent a canoe, etc, and still be back in camp in less than an hour. Late August is NOT the time of year for whitewater rafting unless they are doing releases on the Hudson, about an hour and a half to 2 hours away. And it is not the best time of year for flyfishing as water temperatures are at their seasonal max, the fish are logey, and DEC often advises that you not stream fish to avoid undue stress to the fish, if you are C+R fishing. But it will be less buggy than earlier times of year.

Instead of Outfitters, try looking at local Chamber of Commerce or Business Association Websites. Also, remember that 20 miles in the ADK takes longer than elsewhere because the roads are not as good, lots of curves and hills, and there is always some Pokey Joe enjoying the scenery (Guilty as charged!)
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:46 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Saranac Lake, NY
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Todd H,

Welcome to the forum.
Lake Eaton campground in Long Lake is a good base for getting to know the ADKs.
Nice lakeside sites, and private tent sites set back from the road. Bathrooms, showers, potable water, trail to Owl's Head fire tower.
A short path leads from LE campground to the Outpost - a local store with camping provisions, sandwiches and other stuff. There's a laundromat there too.
The Village of Long Lake is 2 miles away. Restaurants, pubs, groceries, gas, shops, boats rentals, float plane rides. The swim dock at the town beach has trampolines and rope swings.
Rafting - outfitters are based in Indian Lake. About 30 minutes away.
Golf - Hike Peaks Golf Course in Newcomb is 20 minutes east of LL. Cedar River Golf Course in Indian Lake is 30 minutes south of LL.
Mt. Biking - Lift served mountain biking at Gore Mountain is 45 minutes south of LL. Another nice ride is Santanoni preserve in Newcomb. 10 mile round trip ride to a NYS historic site.
Flyfishing - Casting with Bass poppers can be a lot of fun, and it's an easy way to learn to cast.
A few other camping options that are close to Long Lake include:
John Dillon Park
Forked Lake
Lake Durant

Have a great trip!
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:02 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2018
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"Rafting - outfitters are based in Indian Lake. About 30 minutes away."

The speed limit on 28 is 55 mph. It's 22 miles from Long Lake Village to Indian Lake, further from Lake Eaton, and you have speed zones in Long Lake, Deerland, Blue Mountain Lake, and Indian Lake. I would say a much more reasonable (and safer) estimate of travel time would be closer to an hour.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:44 PM   #5
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Additional very interesting and worthwhile downtime activities might involve visiting the Adirondack Experience (formerly the Adirondack Museum) for Adirondack lore and history, just across the road from the Blue Mountain trailhead. Or the Wild Center (more youth oriented) in Tupper Lake.
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:32 PM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 104
While this won't be the best way to address your needs, consider "The Adirondack Book" by Elizabeth Folwell. When I first moved to NY and began playing in the ADK's it was a resource I kept in the car - you never know where you are going to end up and wherever that is this book will have some info about the area.

Also, I am a regular visitor of - with the exception of the solitude this campground in Wilmington will cover your needs. Book now and get the site on the river. They also have 2 pools and a nice store. They were vigilant in keeping things quite.
It's been a few years since I had the kids up there but they liked it - you can also go to the public beach a couple of miles down the road.

Good luck and have fun - plenty to do up there.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:46 PM   #7
Join Date: May 2018
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We booked a "riverview" site at one of those "file cabinet" private campgrounds in Wilmington back about 25 years ago. We could see about 3 feet of the river between the camper trailers all lined up in a long row between us and the river. And it was quiet after 10 PM, or whenever everyone went inside to watch TV. The only saving grace was that they had electric hookups, so we were not listening to multiple generators as often ends up being the case in the popular NYS campgrounds.

A bonus at Lake Eaton is that if you get out early in the AM in a canoe or boat, there are landlocked salmon and even in August they can be enticed to the surface for a fly, if you beat the motor boaters.
Some of the landlocks are breeder stock, and a 7 or 8 lb fish is always a possibility.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:03 PM   #8
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Pack Basket Outfitters, Wanakena NY
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:37 PM   #9
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: NJ
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Moffitt Beach Campground in Speculator is always a solid option. Majority of campsites are on the lake, drive to town is roughly 7-10 minutes with plenty of restaurants to chose from. There are plenty of hiking trails, ponds, lakes and rivers along route 30 to keep you busy for awhile.

You'll also find a few more state campgrounds as you travel north on 30 such as Lewey Lake and Indian Lake.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:07 PM   #10
Dave Bourque
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The Adirondak Loj offers much of what you are looking for. They have numerous tent sites and also offer lean-to's, yurts and bunkrooms. Trailheads to the High Peaks begin right at the Loj. The Loj is located on Heart Lake offering the option of a swim. If you don't want to cook there are meal options available. The Adirondak Loj is relatively remote but does provide showers and laundry facilities. Lake Placid is near-by with many things to do with your son including all of the Olympic facilities. There are many near-by white water rafting companies. Rafting the Hudson River comes highly recommended. A few minutes away is the Ausable River with its trophy trout waters. Good luck and have fun.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:01 PM   #11
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WILDWATERS outdoor center where RT28 crosses the Hudson River in the Glen. They offer overnight rafting trips on the Hudson River Gorge and in August, without a torrential rain, will be a mellow class III trip. Camp on the river, with a guide. Also Gore mountain has downhill mountain biking and newer MTB cross country trails from the ski bowl.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:26 PM   #12
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 146

I'm going to guess that you are coming in from the east. If so, I would also recommend that you consider Putnam Pond Campground.

Very few of these campsites are on the water. But there are a few boat access-only campsites on Putnam Pond itself - reserveable as part of the campground. A few of these boat access sites can also be reached by trail from the campground. The campground rents canoes - in case you don't have one - call ahead though to confirm if you plan to rely on this.

Also, Putnam Pond campground is a great base to explore the surrounding Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. If you car camp at the campground, I'd consider, for one of your nights, backpack, with tent, to one of the nearby ponds (Rock Pond is a fun pond to explore) and camp back there. There is reasonable civilization within 10 miles of the campground (fast food, groceries, etc). But you'd have to travel quite a bit further to find a whitewater outfitter.

Last edited by Crash; 01-16-2020 at 09:27 PM.. Reason: Add detail
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