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Old 08-23-2008, 10:50 PM   #1
stripperguy
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Indian and Squaw Lakes

The family is out of town for a few days, so I went to the Moose River Recreation Area to hit a few spots on my own. Did I mention that it is 22 miles in on the dirt roads to get to the Indian Lake trailhead? And that's from Wakely dam! Oh, and the speed limit is 15 mph, do the math, it took a while...
From the trailhead, it's maybe 0.1 miles to Indian Lake. Someone had already taken the best (only?) site on the lake and left their hornbeck at the site. I paddled the entire perimeter, not much room for campsites, what isn't blowdown is thick, thick, thick. Went to the foot of the lake where there is a wide, old, beaver dam leading to a series of rock ledges and flumes. Very pretty, except fot the empty soda bottle in the brush. eventually, the lake outlet heads into the Indian River and further yet the south branch of the Moose. Heard and saw a pair of loons, but no little ones. Also paddled up the Muskrat Creek past the 1st 2 beaver dams.
Next was Squaw Lake, just 0.45 miles from the road and 150 ft down. Again the best site on the lake was already taken. That site had a rusting hulk of an old motor boat as a decoration. Squaw has a rocky shoreline with quite a few rock ledges, one of them on the SE shore was nearly 25 ft tall!
Next up was a quick drive back to Wakely Dam, did I mention it's 22 miles of dirt?, and a quick paddle on the Cedar river flow. I only went up as far as Beull brook, prettty windy with 1 ft rollers. The DY didn't seem to mind, even if I took the rollers from the side, it slipped the waves nicely and was still pretty darn fast. Some photos below and more here:
http://good-times.webshots.com/album/565583300Ggqoka
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:03 PM   #2
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Great pics, stripperguy..Man, I think of all the trips that I've been on the past 35 years a didgital setup sure would have been the ticket...I either had some cheesy pocket deal or a nice 35 mil. rig that just was too cumbersome & too many accessories for canoeing (but I brought it anyway) My son's entire outdoor life for the past three years, step by step, blow by blow is recorded on didgital. my experiences with the Ceader River Flow, Moose River Plains area is I'm always amazed how many people drive down that long lonesome dirt road. I did the Flow & river back in early July & there were more people camped out by the dam than at the moedown music fest. That Indian Lake you're talking about, is that a pond up there with the same name? I did a trip on Fall Stream inti Vly Lake yesterday...Didn't see anyone all day till I got to the Lake...Same deal the only good campsight was taken..Shoulda left a tent & a Hornbeck there last week, huh?
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:59 PM   #3
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pw,
thanks...I've been using a Nikon D80 for the last couple of years, before that it was strictly transparency film with a fully manual, fully mechanical Nikon FM...very reliable in any weather. Both of them are bulky, especially the D80, but I rarely travel without a camera, in any season. Someday, I'll get a high resolution scanner and convert those thousands of slides to digital, you just can't beat the convenience of modern digital photography and the images produced are now pretty good.
Yeah, the area around wakely Dam looked like a tent city, hard to believe that many people are legally camped...there was a ranger's vehicle running at the put in, but I never saw the ranger. I would assume they keep the place policed, but it was a zoo. Suprisingly, only me, a rowboat ferrying supplies and two folks in Hornbecks were on the water...it was breezy.
Indian Lake is the last stop on the Indian River rd, which is off of the Otter Brook rd off of the Moose River rd., about a mile past the trail for Squaw Lake.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:42 AM   #4
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Actually there are two sites on Indian Lake. One where you put in with the full outhouse and another down the lake. Beautiful lake though. I haven't made it into Squaw or Beaver. So much water, so little time...

Edited to say: maybe you were only counting paddle to sites? Then yes there is only one. Did you notice the two fire rings at the outlet under water? Good lesson to be learned there.
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:10 AM   #5
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Was the road to Indian Lake still flooded? I tried to return there a few years ago but an inlet to Indian Lake had the road under two feet of water. I had to back my car up the hill and do an "18-point turn" on that narrow road.

Indian, Squaw, and Beaver lakes are all very beautiful spots. But then I've yet to find an ugly pond in that region!
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:50 AM   #6
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hey stripperguy ...

i wondered if that might be you at Wakely Dam ... we had just finished loading our canoes on the car when you arrived with your stripper ... next time I will take you up on your offer to try it out!!

nice photos!!
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:07 PM   #7
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Mr. Keith, I saw some sort of fire remnants at the end there by the beaver dams, along with some trash that I packed out, but it didn't look like you could put a tent there, maybe if the water level was down...

Bill,
No, there was no flooding or even wet spots. The road was in suprisingly good shape. I'm considering a trip from Indian Lake to the Rock Dam on the south branch via the outlet and the Indian River...feasible? I know there's quite a drop from Indain to Indian (lake to river, that is) but maybe most of the remainder is flat.

Mr. kwc,
If that was you, then, yes, that was me. You and your lady had those pretty Wenonahs right? You should've taken my boat out, I'm always looking for unbiased opinions to help me for the next boats...
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:52 PM   #8
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Bill,
No, there was no flooding or even wet spots. The road was in suprisingly good shape. I'm considering a trip from Indian Lake to the Rock Dam on the south branch via the outlet and the Indian River...feasible? I know there's quite a drop from Indain to Indian (lake to river, that is) but maybe most of the remainder is flat.
I don't know how feasible it is, but it would certainly be interesting to find out someday. Wldrns has carried a canoe through that general vicinity before...

By the way, it's like half the ADK Forum membership was at Wakely Dam this weekend and didn't even know it. Colden46 and I were camping above the flow Sat-Sun on the river. If anyone spotted three people and a dog in two Hornbecks, that was us.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:57 PM   #9
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Just signed up for a Picasa account. So, if anyone was yearning for more,
all photos (even the bad ones) from this trip are here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/tomaszew...nAndSquawLakes
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:09 PM   #10
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I don't know how feasible it is, but it would certainly be interesting to find out someday. Wldrns has carried a canoe through that general vicinity before...
Anything is feasible with enough gumption to carry where you need to go. From the First Stillwater flat water on the Indian River downstream there is a little but not much flat water that would be paddleable into the Moose River without continuously banging on boulders. The lower section is especially rocky. Even after the confluence with the Moose there are surprising shallows of gravel for a short distance until Rock Dam causes the river to deepen. Though probably this summer that wouldn't be the case. I've also paddled nearby Balasm Lake and its channel connected ponds - interesting varied shoreline, lots of lilypads that can be paddled through on the western side to a grassy rise near the dam on the NW segment side heading toward Stink Lake.
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:43 PM   #11
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Great photos on your Picasa page!

And just in time for me. I have MSRP's Indian Lake penciled in for the weekend after Labor Day. What'r the odds of the paddle-to campsite being open?

I'd also like to stop at Squaw Lake - not to paddle though. Are there trails around that lake?
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:58 AM   #12
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Crash,
Thanks, I get lucky sometimes with the camera...
That paddle to site on Indian, hmmm, it didn't appear to me that you could actually fit in there. But then, I didn't stray too far from the falls. Adk Keith would be better able to talk about the sites on Indain. If you looked at my picasa photos, you must have noticed the one showing the area around the falls, tons of blowdown...most of the shores were the same, I circumnavigated the entire lake specifically looking for camping opportunities. I didn't see any obvious sites from my seat in the canoe. So the odds of finding a paddle to site open-pretty good. Odds of finding paddle to a site at all-not so sure.
Squaw Lake trails? I don't think so. It's the same story as Indian, shores are heavily grown in with lots of blowdown, same as you would have found 200 years ago. But here's an oddity...way back in one of the W bays on Squaw, no trails or old roads anywhere near, I found a stashed aluminum canoe. Ignoring the legal or moral issues, why would anyone stash a boat in a location that could only be reached by boat??? The logic escapes me.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the remoteness and lack of man's intrusion at these lakes, I'm sure you'll have a good time there.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
But here's an oddity...way back in one of the W bays on Squaw, no trails or old roads anywhere near, I found a stashed aluminum canoe. Ignoring the legal or moral issues, why would anyone stash a boat in a location that could only be reached by boat??? The logic escapes me.
My guess is that a canoe hidden there is far less likely to be discovered by just anyone... and therefore more likely to still be there when the owner returns.

Although far from the access trail, the west end of Squaw Lake is still pretty close to the road.
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:17 AM   #14
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But here's an oddity...way back in one of the W bays on Squaw, no trails or old roads anywhere near, I found a stashed aluminum canoe. Ignoring the legal or moral issues, why would anyone stash a boat in a location that could only be reached by boat??? The logic escapes me.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the remoteness and lack of man's intrusion at these lakes, I'm sure you'll have a good time there.[/QUOTE]

There is a logical explanation: Seaplanes fly in sportsmen during the spring before the plains road opens and also during hunting season. The seaplane operators leave boats for their clients to use, usually adjacent to campsites. I've also seen canoes stashed on the little islands on Squaw back in the day, no idea if they're still there.
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:18 PM   #15
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I spent last night on Indian Lake – I had the entire lake to myself Friday afternoon and all night. I have a few more photos to complement Stripperguy’s.

The lake level was down several inches from Stripperguy’s photos. You can see this by comparing the rocks on my photo of the tree-island –versus- Stripperguy’s photo on his Picasa page. On my trip, the falls at the outlet was much closer to being a trickle. I took a picture of the beaver dam on the outlet – it raises the lake level about a foot or so above its otherwise “normal” level.

It was a hot afternoon – I took a dip off a low rocky ledge (another photo) not too far from the outlet. This low rocky ledge is on a small island (which may actually be a peninsula under “normal” water levels) that was likely underwater during Stripperguy’s visit. This ledge is probably the best place to swim from on the lake – its about 7 feet deep off that ledge. (There is another ledge right at the outlet, but there the water is much shallower.)

I camped on the only obvious paddle-in campsite – it’s on the west shore, two-thirds of the way to the outlet. It’s a nice open campsite, but the swimming isn’t too good. It looked like there may be another one or two paddle-in campsites on the east shore, but I never got out to investigate.

This morning at 7AM, it started to drizzle as I was strapping my kayak onto the car. Instead of doing more paddling (Cedar River Flow was the tentative plan), I did a few nearby hikes in the on-and-off again drizzle that continued throughout the morning. I hiked about six or seven miles total - to Muskrat Pond (photo), Beaver Lake, Icehouse Pond and a bushwhack on an overgrown road between a campsite and the Moose River South Branch.

On the way out at 1PM, at the Limekiln gate, I signed out and got into a dry set of clothes. As I was getting back into the car, it started to pour. Next week I have reservations on the other Indian Lake. As for Cedar River Flow – I’ll save that for a later trip.
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:31 PM   #16
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Mr Crash,
Interesting...When I've only been to a place once, I forget that what I see is really only a single snapshot of an ever changing environ. I guess the water level was high when I was there. The wife and I once carried, paddled, and hiked to Cascade Lake Falls (Big Moose area) only to find a water stain where the falls are when the rainfall is more plentiful. She was livid!! But some falls are like that.
How was Beaver Lake? I was thinking about a trip that could include Beaver Lake and the Indian River and the S. branch of Moose River, but only at the right water levels.
BTW, I never noticed the site that you stayed at, I should have looked more closely.
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:11 PM   #17
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On Indian Lake I almost didn’t notice the campsite, even though it was wide open. It wasn’t on a point of land – I just happened to notice what appeared to be a take-out – and then I noticed the site itself. The site has a high canopy, a pine needle floor, and a fairly nice view. However the swimming was not too good.

As I explored the lake, on the east shore, I did see two points where I thought might be a take-out for campsites – but I never did check them out.

I heard that there is an effort by some to close Indian River Road to motor vehicles. I strongly object to that as it would keep people like me from being able to visit Indian Lake, Muskrat Pond and Squaw Lake. These places would then be left for the use of privileged members of the exclusive club.

Regarding Beaver Lake, it’s a pretty lake, but judging from the surface vegetation, appears to be quite shallow. There is a nice campsite at the end of the trail, (nice view, but the swimming is not very good). The trail to Beaver Lake is a wide open trail (probably used by bicyclists) with gentle slopes – only the final 100 yards down to the lake is steep and rocky. The trail appears to be well maintained - I only had to climb over a single tree. It would be very easy (except for the 2.3 mile distance) to bring in a wheel portage cart.
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Old 09-14-2008, 07:35 PM   #18
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I heard that there is an effort by some to close Indian River Road to motor vehicles. I strongly object to that as it would keep people like me from being able to visit Indian Lake, Muskrat Pond and Squaw Lake. These places would then be left for the use of privileged members of the exclusive club.
What I heard is: K. Rivers submitted a revamped UMP a bit ago & word on the "DEC Street" is that- most likely the gate @ Otter Br. bridge will be closed permanently...if not by next year...then the following at the latest. Yet, there will prob, be a new thru-hike trail in the area. Go figure.

Maybe, someone could speak up w/better details

There is no club, which has a right-of-way via this particular road.
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:12 PM   #19
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What I heard is: K. Rivers submitted a revamped UMP a bit ago & word on the "DEC Street" is that- most likely the gate @ Otter Br. bridge will be closed permanently...if not by next year...then the following at the latest. Yet, there will prob, be a new thru-hike trail in the area. Go figure.

Maybe, someone could speak up w/better details

There is no club, which has a right-of-way via this particular road.
Yes, there has been some discussion at DEC about the future of the road. No proposals have been publicized yet. When the Moose River Plains Draft UMP was issued a couple years ago, it mentioned that Indian Lake Road would be considered a "special management area" but deferred all details to the West Canada Lake UMP. (Indian Lake Road is the boundary between the Moose River Plains Wild Forest and the West Canada Lake Wilderness.)

Now, two years later, the Moose River UMP still has not been finalized and there has been no West Canada UMP submitted for public review. I did talk with a forester this past winter and he did confirm that various options are being considered for the future of the road, up to and including closure to motor vehicles.

But no formal proposal has been released to the public, and until that happens it's hard to react when none of the details are known.

What I don't know is what prompted DEC to take this action--there is nothing in the SLMP compelling them to close it, unlike other roads elsewhere in the Adirondacks. DEC seems to be doing this on their own initiative. If I had to guess, I'd say the Galusha settlement was behind this. The Moose River Draft UMP considered a number of proposals to open certain trails to motor vehicle use for the disabled, including places like Squaw and Indian that turned out not to be feasible. Maybe the road will be closed to the general public, but left open for disabled permit holders? I honestly don't know.

Or maybe it's just a cost-saving measure.

For what it's worth, I would wholeheartedly support the closure of the road at Otter Brook. I do use that area frequently, and as a result I would have to walk an extra mile one-way to Brooktrout and West lakes. But that would also mean that those lakes would be a mile more secluded than they are now, and that places like Squaw and Indian would instantly be converted from roadside curiosities to backcountry destinations. As far as this selfish, elitist hiker is concerned any expansion of a wilderness area is a step in the right direction.

I'm just genuinely surprised this proposal has even been mentioned at DEC, considering the wide popularity of the MRP roads.
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Old 09-15-2008, 03:15 AM   #20
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^^^ Thanks for the very detailed information & clearing up some 2cd hand stuff I heard. Can't say my minds made up one way, or the other concerning the gate relocation....not that important to me- just relaying some info/talk/rumor & gaining a little more knowledge out of the deal .
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