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Old 02-06-2016, 10:42 AM   #1
MainePaddler
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Camping on Long Pond?

Hi. Every year, a group of seven of us pick a remote Maine River or lake to paddle and camp on for 5 days (Wednesday through Sunday). Our group is all from Maine.

This year we are leaving Maine for the first time to paddle in the Adirondacks ( though I actually did a St. Regis trip in the early 1980s). I have chosen Long Pond, because there are a couple in our group over 70 and would not be up for constant portaging. I thought we can camp on Long Pond and those of us who want to can portage and do day trips to some of the other ponds.

Anyhow, my question is what would be good campsites on Long Pond for a group of seven (room for three tents, scenic, good beach)?

Anything else you might tell me about Long Pond and the area would also be much appreciated. And if anyone has alternative suggestions to Long Pond, that would be welcome, too -- though again, we are trying to avoid portaging (which I know is difficult to do in the Adirondacks).

Thanks!
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Old 02-06-2016, 12:38 PM   #2
Rich Lockwood
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Are you aware that it is app a 1/4 mi carry to the launch from the parking area?
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Old 02-06-2016, 01:43 PM   #3
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yes, I saw that. Figured they could handle that at outset.
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Old 02-06-2016, 01:53 PM   #4
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The closest access to Long Pond involves a portage of .33 mile, although it is wheelable and not difficult. A few of the sites with the best beaches have been closed by the DEC, who for some strange reason seems to be much more worried about the impact of canoe campers than that of motor boats. Anyway, there are still 15 sites on Long Pond and many of them have good water access.

Some of the ponds to the south in the Saranac Lake Wild Forest may be to your liking- Follensby Clear and Floodwood ponds have many good waterside sites with no portage required. You may have to deal with the occasional motorboat but on my visits there the motor boat activity has been minimal and just small fishing craft. There are also numerous opportunities for day trips with short portages.
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Old 02-06-2016, 02:12 PM   #5
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Are you planning a 5 day/4 night trip again this year? If so, you may need to get a permit. Permits are required in the Adirondacks if you plan to camp in the same location for more than 3 consecutive nights. They are free and easy to obtain; all you need to do is contact the ranger whose area you'll be camped in a couple of weeks in advance of your trip. You give the ranger your itinerary and they'll mail you the permit. The rangers do have final say over when and where they'll issue the permit for, but usually this isn't a problem. Also remember that the permits are not reservations- they are issued for approximate locations and the sites are still first-come, first-serve.

The DEC Website has a roster of rangers for Region 5, the region that Long Pond is included within.

The other option is to just relocate your camp after 3 nights, which may or may not be worth the effort to you.
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Old 02-06-2016, 03:15 PM   #6
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Thanks for these quick replies. All helpful. Follensby Clear Pond sounds like it may be a good alternative, thoughs till eager to hear more about Long Pond, too.
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Old 02-06-2016, 04:00 PM   #7
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You can hike and/or portage (long portage) to Nellie and Bessie to the north. A couple of pretty little ponds with definite wilderness character. Beware of a beaver flooded area covering the trail on the way - it was pretty extensive the last time I was there, but that was a few years ago.

The trail hike up to Long Pond Mountain summit is something you should do. There is a view from the top if the trees haven't grown up too much. Known as the "paddler's mountain", since it is almost exclusively accessed by canoeing. On the way up, Mountain Pond is a beauty. There are a couple of campsites there.

From Mtn Pond, if you have good off-trail compass skills, those two unnamed small ponds to the SSW of Mtn Pond are worth a trip. There are some pretty unique very interesting large landforms nearby that do not show up on the topo map, although they should.

Depending on water level and beaver activity you can paddle into Pink Pond for a change of scenery and vegetation. Find the trail into Ledge Pond from there for yet different views.
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Old 02-06-2016, 04:36 PM   #8
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Long Pond will be much more rewarding and tranquil than Follensby Clear and Floodwood, both of those will have more activity, and maybe motors.

Long Pond Mt is a must see.
And a paddle/carry and/or paddle/hike to Ledge Pond will be well worth the effort. A small, unnamed pond off of Pink had otters living there, but they do move around, so no guarantees of seeing them.
The nearby Slang and Turtle Ponds are definitely worth a visit, the carries are very short.
Though I don't fish, everyone I've been there with has caught plenty.
If you want to avoid needing a permit, just pick up and move to an alternate site after the first few days...you may even prefer the change in perspective.

Here's a peek at a Long Pond sunset



And here's what the paddle to the Ledge Pond carry looks like

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Old 02-06-2016, 05:37 PM   #9
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Is there a maintained portage trail to Ledge Pond?
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:18 PM   #10
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Is there a maintained portage trail to Ledge Pond?
From Pink? There was a rough and wet "trail" several years ago that led to a non-compliant campsite on the point, but certainly not a maintained trail at the time.
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:49 PM   #11
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Yes, maintained by someone, don't recall it being 'wet" except for crossing the outlet right off the bat. Bends awaya up a steep part through some thick younger pine grove, then back down, and then again follows the outlet up top. A sign reads "do not molest bridge" really kinda threw us off, as that was what we climbed up there specifically to do… being known bridge molesters. We probably could have gotten away with it… but maybe they were watching and it was a sting operation- who knows. The bridge goes over, or is near a barrier dam.
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:09 PM   #12
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All great info. Long Pond is a gem and there is much to do. When you do switch sites, do it early Friday since it gets very crowded on weekends in the summer. Sites were changed a few years ago so make sure you get a recent map or check the DEC site.
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:27 AM   #13
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Thanks again, everyone for all the info.
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:37 PM   #14
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I patrolled that area over the summer. And my two recommended sites would be #5 and #10. Both are very large sites. (#10 was occupied every time I went out-which was every week). Should be plenty of room.
You will need a permit though like others have said. You can call the ranger-Tom Edmunds and ask for a permit in advance and he can mail it to your house or leave them in the register boxes for you to pick up.
As far as the canoe carries this one isnt bad. Once you go past the St Regis Canoe Outfitters there is a parking lot for Long Pond on your right. The portage is about a forth of a mile Not bad but once to reach almost the water it descends down and is a little tricky getting back up.
This pond is by far a very popular fishing area. There is also a canoe carry across from the St Regis Canoe Outfitters which is VERY LONG! I wouldnt recommend it. Definatley go to the parking lot. Its a large parking lot but is usually full by Saturday Morning. If you have any other questions-just ask. Like I said i know the st regis canoe area well.
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:37 PM   #15
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I patrolled that area over the summer. And my two recommended sites would be #5 and #10. Both are very large sites. (#10 was occupied every time I went out-which was every week). Should be plenty of room.
You will need a permit though like others have said. You can call the ranger-Tom Edmunds and ask for a permit in advance and he can mail it to your house or leave them in the register boxes for you to pick up.
As far as the canoe carries this one isnt bad. Once you go past the St Regis Canoe Outfitters there is a parking lot for Long Pond on your right. The portage is about a forth of a mile Not bad but once to reach almost the water it descends down and is a little tricky getting back up.
This pond is by far a very popular fishing area. There is also a canoe carry across from the St Regis Canoe Outfitters which is VERY LONG! I wouldnt recommend it. Definatley go to the parking lot. Its a large parking lot but is usually full by Saturday Morning. If you have any other questions-just ask. Like I said i know the st regis canoe area well.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:26 PM   #16
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All summer

There are folks who buy a cheap Walmart tent, put it up and leave it there all summer on Long Pond: A unique reservation system. Not too kind...to have a vacant site weekdays..to guarantee your wknd
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:11 PM   #17
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There are folks who buy a cheap Walmart tent, put it up and leave it there all summer on Long Pond: A unique reservation system. Not too kind...to have a vacant site weekdays..to guarantee your wknd
Needs to be reported to the Ranger. Its not legal without a permit
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:45 PM   #18
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Trail to ledge had two large blow downs last year about halfway up one of the hills. Trail was very easy to follow other than that.
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:19 PM   #19
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We spent three nights at this campsite on Long Pond last July. It is the nearest site to the carry to Slang Pond. Most of the spots on Long Pond were taken when we arrived one weekday afternoon via the short carry, meaning we did have to paddle to the far end before spotting any available sites. But this one and all of those around the left-hand bend in Long Pond that takes you toward the Long Pond Mountain Trail were wide open despite the peak season and lovely weather. The short carry was quite doable, with no need for wheels and no need to weigh yourself down too much. Just make two trips back and forth if needed. The longer carry was more of an adventure: mud, a swampy section, and ups and downs. It's not too much of a chore if you're ditching your canoe in the woods to make an ice-cream run to St. Regis Canoe Outfitters on Floodwood Road, but I was glad we weren't making that slog with a canoe over our heads.
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