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Old 02-13-2019, 10:29 AM   #1
madison
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Indian Lake Campground Reservations

Hey All,

It's that time of year again, when I stare at maps and plan summer paddling/camping adventures while the snow flies and the winds howl outside.

This year I was hoping to camp on Indian Lake, which I've paddled on a couple times while staying at Lewey Lake campground but never camped on. Some members of my extended family are going to meet us and camp at Lewey Lake for a weekend in July, and my wife and I figured we'd spend the week prior doing some primitive canoe camping. I thought mid January would be plenty early enough to reserve a site on Indian; suffice to say I was very wrong. Indian was pretty much all booked up for the whole summer by that time. Our back up plan is to go to Little Tupper, which we've been to multiple times and love, but we'd like to camp and explore someplace new. Also it would be great to already be so close to Lewey Lake, where we have a site reserved for a weekend.

So my question is, is it common for sites to come open at Indian as the season gets closer? I'm thinking when people reserve 9 months out, alot can happen in that time. Also, is there a place online where maybe people sell or trade reservations?
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by madison View Post
Hey All,
So my question is, is it common for sites to come open at Indian as the season gets closer? I'm thinking when people reserve 9 months out, alot can happen in that time. Also, is there a place online where maybe people sell or trade reservations?
I don't think its common for sites to open up as the time gets closer. If they do become available you won't have a shot at them unless you signed up on the Reserve America site to be notified of new availability. Be aware that not all the campsites are offered for reservation. They hold out a few sites, maybe not the best ones, for potential people that just show up at the campground to camp.

It took me a few years to figure out that you had to reserve them at 12:01 am 9 months prior for summer camping otherwise they are gone. Winter is a different story... they are all available!

Good luck.
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:07 PM   #3
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Hey All,
Also it would be great to already be so close to Lewey Lake, where we have a site reserved for a weekend.
While not remote Mason Lake has a couple of campsites on it (first come basis) as well as the Perkins Clearing road... both are close to Lewey Lake.
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:30 PM   #4
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Thanks, Bioguide. Oh well, I guess a few days at Little Tupper won't be so bad.
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:06 PM   #5
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Madison,
If you're looking for a few days of primitive canoe camping, does this mean that you can/will carry in if need be?
If so, there are a handful of spots I would recommend, some more remote than others.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:17 AM   #6
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Stripperguy,

I'll be using a lightweight Kevlar canoe and normally do not object to carries. This is my annual anniversary trip with my wife, however, so for this particular trip I would prefer no carries. The last time I took her on a multi-carry long distance trip, I did not score many points with her.

However, I'll be doing at least one and possibly 2 more trips in the area later in the summer/fall and would appreciate your suggestions.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:52 PM   #7
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So as it turns out, I managed to get a site on Indian Lake for 4 nights the week of July 4th. An island site no less- #40 on the southern tip of Long Island, which seemed like a pretty good site when I visited there a couple summers ago. We'll be on Indian Lake for 4 nights and then at Lewey Lake Campground another 4, so I'm looking for day hikes and paddles in the area.

On Indian, I'm interested in checking out Dug Brook Falls, although it looks like a pretty lengthy round trip paddle down the Jessup arm. Also interested in Watch Hill and the trail to John Mack Pond. Any insights or advice on these, as well as additional suggestions, would be most appreciated. Also, a couple questions about the fishing- I spent a couple days fishing on Indian 2 summers ago with no luck at all. I was targeting smallmouth bass, which my fishing guide claims are numerous. Any others have any luck catching bass here. And anyone know if there are Largemouth as well?

From Lewey I plan on exploring the Miami River, which I've done before but not for over 10 years. Also looking at possibly paddling Mason Lake, which looks small and close to the highway but supposedly has brook trout. I also found a hiking trail near Mason Lake that appears on 1 map but not on others- Callahan Brook Trail, which appears to go from the road near Mason Lake to the Miami River in a couple of miles. Anyone have firsthand knowledge of this route? Suggestions for other dayhikes/paddles? Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-06-2019, 03:51 PM   #8
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I'm a regular Indian Lake visitor. Indian Lake is an oligotrophic lake and the bass fishing is slow compared to a more eutrophic lake like Lower Saranac... I've fished both. I have caught a few small mouths on Indian over the years using the "wacky rig" and plastic worms. Give a cast out and let it float unweighted to the bottom. Often the smallies would pick it up off the bottom and run with it.

Dug Brook Falls would be a nice paddle. There are only a handful of campsites on the eastern shore along the Jessup branch and one nice picnic spot on the western shore about half way down that bodes well for swimming as well as fishing and includes: a fire pit, table and outhouse. There is a private camp along the western shore as well but they seem to be seldom there. You shouldn't run into much traffic. Watch Hill and John Mack Pond are both nice hikes. I wished I had taken my canoe up into John Mack Pond as I hear it has brookies unlike Mason Lake which I suspect doesn't have any brook trout. Mason is a warm water fishery now and its loaded with the invasive "Mystery Snail".
I sent you an e-mail with a suggestion for another day hike you might want to try for brook trout and a couple of video links related to the spots I've mentioned above.

8 nights is a good stretch of time to play around up there... you should have a nice time.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:33 PM   #9
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The site at the tip of Long Island has usually been empty when I've been passing by so I have checked it out a couple of times over the years, it's a nice enough spot in itself but I suspect the reason it is less popular is that the lake is quite narrow there and it is a high traffic point, since any vessel going into or out of the Jessup arm passes by, as well as most people traveling from the campground office area to the John Mack Bay area.

Watch Hill is nice, Baldface Mountain is a lot nicer in my opinion if you don't mind the long paddle. Dug Mountain Brook is nice too, but the Jessup arm always feels infinitely long to me when I'm passing along it and seems to take longer than I expect. There's a nice picnic area on Moose Island and several smaller islands without campsites through the middle stretch of the lake that are really fun, if you like islands. Parson's Point picnic area has a really nice waterfall series, it's hard to show in a picture because it's all subdivided and has trees growing between the branches but it's a very interesting spot. There is also a partially blocked view on Moose Mountain and some others from the hill south of Watch Hill, but they're not as nice as the views with trails to them. I haven't visited Crotched Pond or John Mack pond, I would like to try those trails someday but haven't yet. It's also possible to hike over Watch Hill from the lake and then up Snowy and back, the trails almost meet at Route 30. I hope you'll have fun, Indian Lake is one of my favorite places.
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:00 PM   #10
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As Zach says, Baldface is a nice hike with great views.
I stayed at that same site on Long Island in a particularly cold October...we were windbound for nearly the full day that we planned to leave.
Don't miss Dug Mt Brook falls, both sets of them. If you're planning at all to return to your vehicle, the falls are much easier to reach from the Rt 30 crossing on the Jessup. In fact, you can travel quite a distance upstream from there too, it's surprisingly secluded for such easy access. You're also close to Chimney Mt, well worth the short hike to visit all the caves. And don't miss the views from the true summit. I think Zach had some spectacular photo from that summit, IIRC.

Edit to add:
If you're gonna do any car top traveling, definitely paddle the Cedar to Pashley Falls, a down and back trip is an easy 1/2 day excursion.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:52 PM   #11
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Stripperguy, I was lucky enough to be on the true summit at the right time to see some sunrise undercast and a rainbow last time I visited Chimney in 2016. I don't have real camera skills like you, but the digital camera made it easy. Here's a link to the album, I don't know how to link directly to those pictures.
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/124694...57672758602275
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:51 AM   #12
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Thanks for the info everyone.

Bioguide- I'm not sure what email address you sent your links to but I don't seem to have received it. My email address is stevewag113@yahoo.

Stripperguy- A paddle on the Cedar River to a waterfall sounds appealing, but I can't find any information on that particular paddle. I don't see Pa's Falls on my Nat Geo map (744) but I do see a marked put-in just north of the village of Indian Lake, is this the access
point? I think I would like to do a more out of the way stream paddle on the Saturday that we're staying at Lewey Lake to get away from the crowds and I was thinking about the Jessup per your previous suggestion and Phil Brown's paddling guide, but a paddle on the Cedar to a falls would be great also. The only part of the Cedar I am familiar with is the section that flows into Cedar River Flow, which I've paddled several times up to the Carry Lean-to.

Zach- Who doesn't like islands? We will definitely be checking those out. Besides being great to explore, islands also make great structure for fishing.

Thanks again for the great suggestions!
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Old 03-08-2019, 04:19 PM   #13
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Mr Madison,
Here's a link to a TR on that section of the Cedar River...

http://adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=13990
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:54 PM   #14
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Stripperguy, thanks for the link to your trip report. I visited that falls/gorge on foot in my pre-canoe days, in 2011 or 2013. It was hard to find the unmarked entrance to the snowmobile trail, but once I got going the trail was easy to follow. There were some really nice big erratics on the shore downstream from the gorge that I remember, and I also remember the slippery weed on the underwater rocks that made it feel dangerous as I was crossing the river on foot.
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