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Old 07-13-2017, 02:26 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 8
St.Regis Ponds loop ~VS~ Floodwood Loop

I think I have narrowed it down to one of these two trips this summer. The St. Regis Canoe Outfitters site describes the St. Regis loop as "strenuous" (5-6 days), while they mention the Floodwood Ponds loop can be done in 1-2 days. Seems like these two trips are very different. Can anyone compare/contrast based on experience? I feel like I am looking for a trip that falls in the middle in regards to rigor. Thanks in advance..

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Old 07-13-2017, 03:01 PM   #2
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I wouldn't necessarily characterize the St Regis loop as a 5-6 day trip, it can be done in much less. The thing is you carry the boat a fair deal, so it's nice to stretch those out.

The only real strenuous part of the St Regis loop are the carries to and from Fish Pond. They aren't that bad, but might be too much for some people. I also wouldn't do them both on one day and just blow through Fish Pond. The area out there is the best environment on the whole trip IMO. It's fairly remote, the eskers and kettle ponds are quite spectacular and there's a few really nice places to camp. I could spend a few days out there and not be bored.

The Floodwood loop is much easier. The portage trails are wide and well worn and the portages are fairly easy. The northern portion of that trip has some really nice campsites and the trip can be as long as short as you want. It could be done overnight or as a day trip by a fast paddler, or extended quite a long while if you take your time and take advantage of multiple side trips.

I'd say if you are in doubt of the area start with the Floodwood loop, and explore around a bit from there. There are lots of campsites in the area, so you shouldn't have any issues.

Good luck and have fun.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:04 PM   #3
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Without even knowing the exact itinerary of those two loops, I would choose the St Regis trip over the Floodwood one.
In April, my gang paddled and carried to St Regis in a total of 1 hr 20 min...and we didn't rush at all. The carry between Little Clear and St Regis has little elevation gain or loss and is barely more than .5 miles. All of the St Regis ponds are designated wilderness, not so on the other loop.
I've personally seen a group of 20 boats launching at Floodwood Pond.

As far as "strenuous", you can always establish a base camp on St Regis, and day trip with an empty boat from there. There's also a great bushwhack up the back of St Regis Mt, or you can paddle all the way around to the trailhead. Either way will be plenty for a day.
If the waters levels allow it, you can paddle from St Regis to Ochre and back, only needing to breach a few beaver dams, it's a much nicer trip than any of the Floodwood ponds, IMHO.

Here is a link to some photos of the St Regis area, to further grab your attention.
Stripperguy's Photos (sort of)
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:49 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2016
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Sounds like you want to do a loop. I did look at their site to see what each loop entails - both start by going down Fish Creek, the Floodwood Loop goes thru Hoel Pond & the St Regis Loop goes thru Upper Saranac Lake:

If you are the type of person that goes the shortest route thru each pond then the Floodwood Loop is not too long. Myself, I often go the long way around each pond & explore. The trip could look like this: Floodwood Pond to Fish Creek, paddle around Little Square Pond, down Fish Creek, explore Copperas Pond, back to Fish Creek, (skip going thru busy Square & Fish Creek Ponds), carry to Follensby Clear, carry to Horseshoe, carry to Little Polliwog, carry to Polliwog, carry to Hoel, carry to Turtle, slide into Slang, carry to Long, paddle most of perimeter of Long, climb Long Pond Mtn, explore Pink & Little Pink Ponds, carry back to Floodwood.
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:19 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2017
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Thanks guys. I'm actually looking to stretch the trip to four days, three nights...
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Pmo View Post
Thanks guys. I'm actually looking to stretch the trip to four days, three nights...
Easy to do with St Regis loop. Well assuming you are fairly competent at canoe tripping.

1st Day - Long Pond and portage to Nellie, then to Fish Pond.

1st night - Fish Pond.

2nd Day - Fish to Mud to Ochre to St Regis Pond.

2nd night - St Regis Pond

3rd Day - St Regis to Little Clear to Upper Saranac to Follensby.

3rd night - Follensby Clear Pond

4th Day - Follensby, Fish Creek, Floodwood and walk back to Long Pond parking area to retrieve your vehicle.

You could go the other way, but it puts the big carries at the end of the trip. Best to do those when you are fresh.

These nights give you the best camping options and split up the trip to reduce the amount of stress with carrying.

I recommend paddling mud pond rather than carrying past it (you can do either way) but I've done both and it was much easier paddling that little bit.

OTOH, the trail along the esker above mud pond is really cool. Giant hemlock and white pine and really rugged terrain - lots of short, steep ups and downs although the trail stays mainly along one spine. It may be worth taking at break at the intersection after Mud and taking a walk back that way without your gear. Besides there is a not-so-fun hill coming up from Mud and continuing a bit on to Ochre that warrants a breather when carrying the boat and your packs.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:26 PM   #7
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Yesterday, I did the Follensby/ Polliwog/ Middle/ Floodwood/Fish Creek/ Follensby in 5 hours. You might be able to stretch that out to 2 days with plenty of exploring, camping and fishing.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:56 AM   #8
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The entire area is worth exploring, but be aware that the St. Regis Canoe Area is more remote and gets less use overall than the ponds in the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest. (The division between to the two areas is essentially Floodwood Road, with the areas north comprising the SRCA and the areas south comprising the SLWF.) Once you get 1 or 2 portages in to the SRCA, the use typically drops off. Motors are also prohibited in the SRCA while many of the lakes/ponds in the SLWF allow them.

I'm not suggesting that the lakes and ponds of the SLWF aren't worth paddling, nor do I mean to imply that those water bodies are a packed madhouse every weekend, but it is something to be aware of as you plan your trip and set your expectations.
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