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Old 06-25-2018, 03:40 PM   #1
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The least used ponds / lakes area in early July?

Me and my partner are planning a 2-3 day paddle in early July, probably the weekend after the 4th. We canoe and paddle often, but generally do so from state campsites like Indian Lake or Saranac.

This time we want to head out a bit farther afield (apond?), but are also concerned that the more popular areas - like St. Regis - it might be hard to find a first-come first-serve campsite.

Is this a real concern? If it is, would any of you more veteran ADK recommend a less used area of water to put in and look for a site? We are coming from downstate so its a long drive regardless, we'll go a bit farther if you can recommend a trip.
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:27 PM   #2
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I hesitate to broadcast specific little used waters in an open forum.
Feel free to PM me with your wish list and your druthers, I'm sure I can recommend something quite suitable, depending on your aspirations and your abilities.
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Old 06-26-2018, 07:18 PM   #3
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Seems like the Essex Chain of Lakes doesn’t get much use...
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:10 AM   #4
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I'm never around on the weekends so I never see much crowding, as in I just fished 2 ponds the last 2 days, one drive up, and didn't see another person. I did see loons, osprey and an eagle.
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Old 06-27-2018, 12:14 PM   #5
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Depending on your ability, skill and desire to get into the backcountry with long carries of canoe and gear, you options are limitless for remoteness and solitude. Continue your research with Dave Ciley's Paddler's Guide and Phil Brown's Adirondack Flatwater paddling book.
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:03 AM   #6
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Speaking from many weekend trips to the Saint Regis Canoe Area, there's always a spot available.

We arrived at St Regis Canoe Outfitters on Floodwood Rd at noon two days ago. Last Saturday in June, and the Canadians have a holiday Monday, today. Never saw the parking lot so full. Put in at Long, and while the best sites were taken, there were still three spots free. The one we got had a muddy shore rather than a sandy beach and the tent was up the hillside a bit; so no breeze, plenty of bugs, and that much farther to schlep our gear. But it had a flat spot to sleep on.

As usual put a portage or two between you and the put-in lake and it gets much better.

Follensby Clear is another busy pond; you can practically car camp there. But there's a lot of spots and you can do a tiny portage to get off it. Be aware that on the Highway 30 there's a lot of Harley-Davidson weekend warrior traffic.
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post
Seems like the Essex Chain of Lakes doesn’t get much use...
The Deer Pond access to the Essex Chain will be inaccessible for much of the summer due to bridge repair work. Which of course means that if you're willing to put the effort into getting back there anyways, the Essex Chain will be even quieter than usual.
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:31 PM   #8
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For someone not scared of carting and/or carrying, is there an alternative entry point to the Essex Chain Lakes Complex? The DEC website doesn't seem to give any hints I can find.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:28 AM   #9
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There's rarely a soul at Negro lake (or any number of others in the area) in the summer, plenty of deer flies though... (you might look like a bad case of chickenpox by the time you get there)
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:31 AM   #10
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There's rarely a soul at Negro lake (or any number of others in the area) in the summer, plenty of deer flies though... (you might look like a bad case of chickenpox by the time you get there)
Not the easiest place to get to without intruding on private lands, but it is doable. While in the area, the Pepperbox and other ponds to its east are similarly remote, bushwhack required (fortunately).
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:59 PM   #11
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For someone not scared of carting and/or carrying, is there an alternative entry point to the Essex Chain Lakes Complex? The DEC website doesn't seem to give any hints I can find.
How serious are you about carrying?
There are several ways to access the Chain lakes depending on water levels and your level of commitment.
Start with a carry to Rock Lake, paddle as much of the Rock River as possible, bushwhack from there to the Rock River trail, thence down the Rock River to the Chain Drain, up the chain Drain to First Lake and the rest of the Chain lakes.

Or...

Put in on the Cedar River from Benton Rd, paddle downstream on the Cedar to the confluence with the Rock River, upstream on the Rock to the Chain Drain and up, up, up to the Chain lakes.

Nothing to it!!
Keep in mind much of the route involves class II and/or class III whitewater or carrying around rapids and there are NO trails. But there are some nice campsites along the way along the Cedar and Rock rivers. And plenty of solitude!
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