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Old 09-26-2015, 09:28 PM   #1
Bagadeez04
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Lost Pond in West Canada Lakes Wilderness

Hello. I'm considering possible hikes for a two night trip in a couple of weeks and was looking at hiking from Cedar Lakes Trailhead along the Miami River, heading north of Beaver Pond and taking the side trail to Lost Pond. Seems this section doesn't get much use...was wondering how the trail north of Beaver Pond is, and if Lost Pond is a decent camp location. Thanks!
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:39 AM   #2
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Lost Pond is not a good campsite. The trail north of Cedar is ok, not well used, but it will get you to Lost Pond if you want to go there.
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:57 AM   #3
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Ok maybe i will consider somewhere else. Any ideas of good camp spots in the area (looking for areas in western Adirondacks) as I'm coming in from around Rochester. Looking for some seclusion...maybe a decent peak though i knows that will be tough in this area.
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Old 10-06-2015, 05:10 PM   #4
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Yeah, the Lost Pond trail has a reputation for being poorly maintained. It's one of those trails that gets so little use that the undergrowth grows faster than the DEC can keep it cut.

If you're going after Columbus Day, you'll likely have any of the (relatively) more popular destinations in the WCLWA to yourself- Spruce Lake, Cedar Lakes, West Lake, South Lake, etc. Your typical backpacker doesn't really have the gear or experience to stay warm and comfortable on overnights in the late Autumn, and the backcountry tends to be pretty quiet in most places as a result.
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:08 PM   #5
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Your typical backpacker doesn't really have the gear or experience to stay warm and comfortable on overnights in the late Autumn, and the backcountry tends to be pretty quiet in most places as a result.
Wait, I am a typical backpacker, I think. I was thinking of hiking the west Canada lakes loop for the first time after Columbus Day. bad idea? Can you elaborate? Am I underestimating that hike?
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:13 AM   #6
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Have you ever done a post-Columbus Day overnight before?

Late-Autumn hikes can be more challenging for a few reasons. Shortness of day, and substantially cold nights are two of the big ones. More ambitious itineraries may have you setting up and breaking camp in the dark, while cold nights meant that you'll probably want to hang up the summer bag and break out an appropriately-rated spring/fall bag (I personally use a 15 or a 5 degree for my late-Autumn overnights). Remember too that backcountry areas are usually higher than the towns that forecasted temperatures are given for, meaning that you'll likely encounter temperatures anywhere from 5 to 10 degrees (or more) below the highs and lows listed in the forecast.

Cold rain can also be a substantial issue in late Autumn if you're not prepared for it. Remember that cold rain can actually chill you faster than snow, as water conducts heat much better than snow does.

These aren't (usually) huge issues, but they are things to be prepared for nonetheless. If it is your first post-Columbus Day overnight, and you're sure you've got the gear for it, then by all means head into the woods... although I would be sure to pick an itinerary that isn't too overly ambitious.
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Old 10-07-2015, 05:54 PM   #7
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I've canoe camped as late as mid November, however I've never backpacked 25 miles over a course of three to four days before, and it's my first time in that area. Generally my backpacking has been to a destination, where I hung out for a few days, then hiked back.

What I have, gear wise, is what I think are adequate clothes (non-cotton, quick dry pants, smartwool long underwear, some fleece pants for extra degrees in my sleeping bag (a 25 degree down that I've been comfortable in down to about that), fleece shirts, down vest, marmot precip rain gear, gaiters, a pack cover and the standard issue hats and gloves. I also have a gps, Gaia software on my iphone with the area maps loaded, an actual waterproof map of the area and some rusty compass skills to go along with it.

I know it's a wet trail, (french louie to mud lake and back around the cedar lakes) and cold rain that may turn into snow is the major thing that worried me. That, and whether we can do it in 2 nights and 3 days. For food and drink I was planning on pretty much just dried mountain house stuff and some misc protein bars and trail mix and what not, and an MSR gravity filter for additional water. I've got a pocket rocket MSR canister stove and was going to bring two 4oz cans. I wasn't going to use a bear canister to save weight, unless you guys think it's necessary. I figured a scentlock bag and a nylon hanging bag would cover it. I'll be going with someone slightly less equipped, but he's generally pretty good in the woods.

We were planning on doing about 6-8 miles a day, assuming that we can make relatively the same speed on all areas around the loop. I didn't know if one section took longer than the others or not. Thanks for any advice you might have about the loop! I've heard some bridges may be out as well, but wasn't sure of the current situation.

Now that I've completely hijacked this thread... if I should move this somewhere else, let me know.

Last edited by JohnnyVirgil; 08-05-2016 at 11:06 PM..
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:43 PM   #8
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It sounds like you're generally well prepared. There's a few things that I would consider changing:

I would be wary about a 25 degree bag post-Columbus Day. At the very least, I would suggest investing in a lightweight liner. There are some decent ones available that can lower the rating of your sleeping setup anywhere from 5 to 15 degrees.

Canister stoves begin to lose efficiency in colder temperatures (such as those that are common post-Columbus Day). There are some tricks that can be used to extend the season which canister stoves can be used (such as sleeping with the canister) but they will only go so far. A white gas stove is going to be much more reliable in late Autumn.

You have to be careful about water filters in cold temperatures. If they freeze, it can crack the filter, rendering it useless. Putting the filter into a ziplock bag and sleeping with it is essential if the weather is expected to drop below freezing at night.

It also really depends on the exact timing of your trip. If you're going 1 or 2 weeks after Columbus Day, the above issues are likely to only be minor inconveniences for you at best. By about early to mid-November, though, you'd be well advised to rectify each these issues before setting out into the woods.
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Old 10-08-2015, 01:12 PM   #9
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Thank you much for the tips. I could swap out the iso canister stove for a svea 123 and a tube of fire ribbon. I forgot about that issue because I generally just use that stove during the early fall. I already planned on sleeping with the water filter, although I have an old MSR mini waterworks I could take instead. Both heavier, but at least I could guarantee that they'll work.
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Old 10-08-2015, 04:19 PM   #10
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If you've gone canoe camping until mid-Nov, you're probably all set for hiking at that time of year; the two can be quite similar.

You don't need fire ribbon for you Svea 123. Just take a small plastic eye dropper and put a little gas in the priming cut (the depression at the top of the fuel tank where the stem goes in) and light that. That will burn forming heat and pressure to get the stove going. Fire ribbon is fine, but heavy.
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Old 10-08-2015, 04:33 PM   #11
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If you've gone canoe camping until mid-Nov, you're probably all set for hiking at that time of year; the two can be quite similar.

You don't need fire ribbon for you Svea 123. Just take a small plastic eye dropper and put a little gas in the priming cut (the depression at the top of the fuel tank where the stem goes in) and light that. That will burn forming heat and pressure to get the stove going. Fire ribbon is fine, but heavy.
That's usually where I blob the fire ribbon, but you're right a dropper is lighter by far...thanks.
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Old 08-05-2016, 10:47 PM   #12
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West Lake and Canada Lake are very nice. I did the loop with my Hornbeck. It was a challenge, but I really enjoyed paddling the lakes. Wish that the Dam at cedar lake was repaired though.
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Old 08-05-2016, 11:03 PM   #13
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It was a great hike. Any suggestions on a similar loop? Distance and difficulty? I'd love to try somewhere else this year. Failing that, I'm going to do the same hike but counter clockwise instead. I can't imagine doing it hauling a boat though, no matter how light it is! I'm impressed. Unless you're 25 years old or something. Then I'm just jealous. From what I read, they're just going to let it disintegrate and go back to whatever it was before the dam was there. Some of those bridges must have been pretty interesting carrying your hornbeck.
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Old 08-06-2016, 05:59 PM   #14
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West Lake and Canada Lake are very nice.
Canada Lake?
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Old 08-06-2016, 06:19 PM   #15
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Canada Lake?
Shhh. It's a secret.
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Old 08-06-2016, 07:27 PM   #16
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Wasn't it Benjamin Franklin who said "Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead"?
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Old 08-07-2016, 12:06 PM   #17
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There is a "West Lake" and a "Canada Lake" just north of the town of Caroga, NY, but there is no "Canada Lake" in the West Canada Lakes Wilderness that I'm aware of, hence my confusion.
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:53 PM   #18
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It was a great hike. Any suggestions on a similar loop? Distance and difficulty? I'd love to try somewhere else this year. Failing that, I'm going to do the same hike but counter clockwise instead. I can't imagine doing it hauling a boat though, no matter how light it is! I'm impressed. Unless you're 25 years old or something. Then I'm just jealous. From what I read, they're just going to let it disintegrate and go back to whatever it was before the dam was there. Some of those bridges must have been pretty interesting carrying your hornbeck.
The trail was in pretty good condition when I was there. I think I was 40 at the time, and a smoker to boot! I don't smoke anymore, but I bet that hike would be a lot more challenging! There was one spot though where the trees were tight nd the ground swampy. That spot was rough with the boat!
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:55 PM   #19
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There is a "West Lake" and a "Canada Lake" just north of the town of Caroga, NY, but there is no "Canada Lake" in the West Canada Lakes Wilderness that I'm aware of, hence my confusion.
My mistake, I was actually referring to South Lake.
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Old 08-30-2017, 06:40 PM   #20
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Anyone do the loop from Indian Lake Road: Otter Brook Trail>Lost Pond Trail>N'Ville-Placid Trail> Brooktrout Lean-To lately? Wondering in what shape the trail is in.

Thinking about doing a two night/three clockwise loop in mid-October. I've done the Pillsbury Lake>Sampson Lake>South Lake> Cedar Lakes loop before. One of my favorites.

Also love a Scarlet>Fire. Had to throw that in.
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