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Old 12-13-2019, 09:15 PM   #1
Bagadeez04
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Kings Flow Winter Camp?

A couple friends and I are planning our annual winter ADK trip, and Kings Flow in the SPW came up as a potential spot.

We do a typical 3 day, 2 night trip on which we try to incorporate some ice fishing. Would like to try to pull a sled if possible to bring some gear.

Are there decent spots to set up camp along the Flow? I don't see any listed on DEC website. How heavily used is this area? Any other advice for possibilities on this area would be great, thanks!

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Old 12-13-2019, 09:46 PM   #2
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I believe KF to be private property.
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Old 12-13-2019, 09:54 PM   #3
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You have to be careful with ice fishing in the backcountry- a lot of more remote lakes are managed for trout, and do not allow ice fishing. That being said, according to the DEC website, Kings Flow has no special regulations and ice fishing is permitted in accordance with the general statewide regulations.

I don't think there's any officially designated tent sites on Kings Flow- so in order to be legal, any camping would need to be at least 150 feet off the trail, and 150 feet away from the shore of the lake. Honestly, Kings Flow is not exactly a spot that comes up frequently as a nice overnight destination. FWIW, I was only there once and it was a long time ago, and my memory is hazy- but I recall that while it was a nice enough spot, it also wasn't a spot that I found myself desperate to return to on an overnight trip.

Some possible alternate options:

I believe that Crane Pond in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness allows ice fishing (with artificial lures only). There's 10 designated tent sites on the pond, and the pond is a 2 mile flat hike in from the end of the maintained portion of the road. This pond can get pretty crazy in the summer- but by going in winter you'll avoid the crowds.

Jones Pond in Brighton (near Paul Smiths) also allows ice fishing. There's 4 or 5 designated tent sites here that are a short, easy walk from the parking area/boat launch (the parking area is usually plowed).

The Paul Smith's easement boasts a number of lean-tos available for public use (regulations are the same as on state lands), many of which are near water bodies that allow ice fishing: Upper and Lower St. Regis Lake, Church Pond, Osgood Pond. Some of these lean-tos are a short and easy walk from where you can park, others are accessible by more involved treks (including hiking across the ice).

Middle and Lower Saranac Lake also allow ice fishing- and I believe that the tent sites that are part of the campground here revert to backcountry regulations in the off season (double check with the DEC on this before you go). The sites are all boat access only normally, so you'd be trekking across the ice to get to any campsite. This would give you a ton of camping options as there's quite a few campsites on both bodies of water.

I hope this helps. Good luck!
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Old 12-13-2019, 09:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dundee View Post
I believe KF to be private property.
Is the whole lake privately owned? I think the trailhead is on private property (and there's a fee to park there), and part of the north shore is privately owned also- but most of the shoreline of the lake is owned by the state. This is what the maps indicate, anyways.
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Old 12-14-2019, 06:15 AM   #5
Bagadeez04
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You have to be careful with ice fishing in the backcountry- a lot of more remote lakes are managed for trout, and do not allow ice fishing. That being said, according to the DEC website, Kings Flow has no special regulations and ice fishing is permitted in accordance with the general statewide regulations.

I don't think there's any officially designated tent sites on Kings Flow- so in order to be legal, any camping would need to be at least 150 feet off the trail, and 150 feet away from the shore of the lake. Honestly, Kings Flow is not exactly a spot that comes up frequently as a nice overnight destination. FWIW, I was only there once and it was a long time ago, and my memory is hazy- but I recall that while it was a nice enough spot, it also wasn't a spot that I found myself desperate to return to on an overnight trip.

Some possible alternate options:

I believe that Crane Pond in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness allows ice fishing (with artificial lures only). There's 10 designated tent sites on the pond, and the pond is a 2 mile flat hike in from the end of the maintained portion of the road. This pond can get pretty crazy in the summer- but by going in winter you'll avoid the crowds.

Jones Pond in Brighton (near Paul Smiths) also allows ice fishing. There's 4 or 5 designated tent sites here that are a short, easy walk from the parking area/boat launch (the parking area is usually plowed).

The Paul Smith's easement boasts a number of lean-tos available for public use (regulations are the same as on state lands), many of which are near water bodies that allow ice fishing: Upper and Lower St. Regis Lake, Church Pond, Osgood Pond. Some of these lean-tos are a short and easy walk from where you can park, others are accessible by more involved treks (including hiking across the ice).

Middle and Lower Saranac Lake also allow ice fishing- and I believe that the tent sites that are part of the campground here revert to backcountry regulations in the off season (double check with the DEC on this before you go). The sites are all boat access only normally, so you'd be trekking across the ice to get to any campsite. This would give you a ton of camping options as there's quite a few campsites on both bodies of water.

I hope this helps. Good luck!
Ok thanks D. I will look into some of the other options you suggest!

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Old 12-14-2019, 09:23 AM   #6
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Is the whole lake privately owned? I think the trailhead is on private property (and there's a fee to park there), and part of the north shore is privately owned also- but most of the shoreline of the lake is owned by the state. This is what the maps indicate, anyways.
You may be right. I know the TH is private.
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Old 12-14-2019, 09:40 AM   #7
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Yeah the area around the parking area and trailheads at Kings Flow is privately owned by the “Cabins at Chimney Mounatin” folks, and technically you need to be a guest at one of the cabins or ask permission to access the water from their property. I’ve always wanted to rent a cabin there and do some icefishing... https://www.cabinsatchimneymountain.com/
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Old 12-14-2019, 04:01 PM   #8
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After consulting a Nat Geo map, only the TH at KF is private. The map does not show any designated sites along the shores, so you'd have to do the 150' rule.
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:00 PM   #9
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After consulting a Nat Geo map, only the TH at KF is private. The map does not show any designated sites along the shores, so you'd have to do the 150' rule.
Just to clarify. Only the trails to Chimney Mountain and the Puffer Pond/John Pond trail are open for public use. To access the trails across the dam & along the eastern shore of Kings Flow requires permission from the Cabins at Chimney Mountain property owners.
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:33 PM   #10
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Just to clarify. Only the trails to Chimney Mountain and the Puffer Pond/John Pond trail are open for public use. To access the trails across the dam & along the eastern shore of Kings Flow requires permission from the Cabins at Chimney Mountain property owners.
Thanks for that clarification. When I went into Puffer Pond that way a few years back, I looked around at the trailhead for some sort of payment box or anything indicating who I was supposed to pay and how- without success. The National Geographic Map indicated that a fee was required- and I was half convinced that I was going to come out to find my car towed for not paying. But based on what you're saying, I did not need to pay for access to the direct trail to Puffer Pond.
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:48 PM   #11
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Thanks for that clarification. When I went into Puffer Pond that way a few years back, I looked around at the trailhead for some sort of payment box or anything indicating who I was supposed to pay and how- without success. The National Geographic Map indicated that a fee was required- and I was half convinced that I was going to come out to find my car towed for not paying. But based on what you're saying, I did not need to pay for access to the direct trail to Puffer Pond.
Every time that I’ve been there over the past several years there is a small honor system type payment box with a small sign board near one of the first cabins as you first pull into the parking area. It’s easy to miss as you are kinda funneled left near the cabin closest to shore & into the parking area more towards Chimney Mountain. The sign board & box is on your right near the first cabin. But it’s been a couple years since I’ve been there.
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post
Just to clarify. Only the trails to Chimney Mountain and the Puffer Pond/John Pond trail are open for public use. To access the trails across the dam & along the eastern shore of Kings Flow requires permission from the Cabins at Chimney Mountain property owners.
I seem to recall a split with a sign directing one to King's Flow from the John Pond trail, but I have not taken it.

IIRC, John pond TH did not have a parking area either, it was just a snowplow turnaround. Might not be the best idea to park there overnight in the winter.
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:52 PM   #13
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Also, not sure if fishing is legal in John Pond, but it has a nice little lean-to and it's a scenic location. The trail is popular for skiing and is definitely pulk-able.
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:59 PM   #14
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I seem to recall a split with a sign directing one to King's Flow from the John Pond trail, but I have not taken it.

IIRC, John pond TH did not have a parking area either, it was just a snowplow turnaround. Might not be the best idea to park there overnight in the winter.
Yes. Wilderness Lodge Road branches east from Big Brook Road (which leads to the Clear Pond/John Pond trailhead) long before you reach King’s Flow, but you can intersect the “John Pond Crossover Trail” along the Puffer Pond trail from King’s Flow. I think it’s like 4 miles to John Pond from the Puffer Pond trail...


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Old 12-15-2019, 09:13 PM   #15
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Every time that Iíve been there over the past several years there is a small honor system type payment box with a small sign board near one of the first cabins as you first pull into the parking area. Itís easy to miss as you are kinda funneled left near the cabin closest to shore & into the parking area more towards Chimney Mountain. The sign board & box is on your right near the first cabin. But itís been a couple years since Iíve been there.
I must've missed that then. To be fair... it was after dark in the dead of winter.
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Old 12-16-2019, 08:19 AM   #16
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Yes. Wilderness Lodge Road branches east from Big Brook Road (which leads to the Clear Pond/John Pond trailhead) long before you reach Kingís Flow, but you can intersect the ďJohn Pond Crossover TrailĒ along the Puffer Pond trail from Kingís Flow. I think itís like 4 miles to John Pond from the Puffer Pond trail...
John Pond Crossover junction from out hike in October.

3.0 to Puffer trail and 3.8 to Puffer Pond from this spot.

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Old 12-16-2019, 09:23 AM   #17
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I was close lol.
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Old 12-16-2019, 02:53 PM   #18
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I was close lol.
I figure a craftsman of your stature would be obsessed with accurate measurements.
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Old 12-16-2019, 05:27 PM   #19
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I figure a craftsman of your stature would be obsessed with accurate measurements.
Haha.. It’s been a while since I’ve been there but it sure felt more like 4 miles.
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Old 12-17-2019, 07:08 PM   #20
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What about Gull Lake in the Black River WF area, it's in an easement I believe. That was another option we were looking at.

Anyone with info on camping possibilities there? Fishing?

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