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head9959 05-30-2020 01:35 PM

Cedar river - paddle to flow?
Hi all, heading up to ADK's the week of June 6 coming up. Looking for an easy kayak paddle to a primitive camp area. Where Cedar River rd's pavement ends, it looks like there's a small parking lot about 2/3 of a mile down the dirt road. Is it possible to park there, paddle the ~4 miles UP river to Cedar Flow?

I'm thinking of doing that, spending a night or two at a primitive site around the flow, doing some day paddles/hikes, then doing the 4 miles down river back to the car. I think the river flows North if i'm not mistaken.

I know you can drive the ~5 miles on the dirt road to the Flow itself, but my 3-series bmw does not really enjoy dirt roads in the ADK's haha.

Any other "easy kayak paddle to primitive site" suggestions for this time of year? I have a couple ADK paddle maps, but the selection is overwhelming!

many thanks!

stripperguy 05-30-2020 08:51 PM

Do you have access to a topo map? If so, look at the gradient on that section of the Cedar.
In spring runoff, it's a class III or class IV run.
Upstream is not possible, and in early June all you'll be doing is walking upstream over boulders and ledges.
FWIW, last fall I saw plenty of small cars and even a class C motorhome at the flow. I would think your Beemer would be OK. BTW, most of last year there was a resident moose at the Flow...

For easy access, you can't beat Little Tupper Lake and connected Round Lake, plenty of wilderness sites (Cedar River Flow allows motors) and if the winds kick up you should have no problems in your kayak.

groundhog 05-30-2020 10:33 PM

The road in to the Flow is not that bad at all. You can paddle up the flow to the inlet, negotiate a beaver dam, and continue upstream to a lean-to near the head of navigation. The tricky part is finding the inlet, as it get quite marshy. Follow the current and you should be o.k.

TrailBlaser 05-30-2020 11:04 PM

I have driven my Ford Fusion to the Flow on the Cedar River Road (via the entrance near Indian Lake), through the Moose River Plains and on to Otter Brook. Last year I was unable to go beyond the Otter Brook trail head (on Indian River Road).

head9959 06-01-2020 11:39 AM

This is great, folks, thanks for the info! I think i'll skip the Class 3/4 segment haha, I'd probably end up in a body bag. Also, little tupper and Round look pretty easy as well. I'm also looking at the Bog River down into Low's lake. Hopefull the weather holds up a bit. Thanks!

nutmeg creeker 06-01-2020 05:58 PM

On Low's and Little Tupper, the winds are very strong starting in mid-afternoon. Try to be off the water early enough. Otherwise, this is prime paddling.

TCD 06-01-2020 06:45 PM

Look up the recent ADK Explorer article about the challenge of finding the inlet that leads up the flow (cannot find a link right now). Plan time for that.

tenderfoot 06-05-2020 10:03 AM

So I did the Cedar River Flow last year with my Toyota minivan, not exactly an off road beast. Nice paddling. I was able to watch the seagrass under the water to check for current to find the flow. Got pretty far back over a couple of beaver dams (in a sail/oar boat!)

Little Tupper and Rock Pond was great as well - but there is a short carry/portage.

tenderfoot 06-05-2020 10:23 AM

Deleted duplicate post

Bark Eater Too 06-06-2020 03:49 PM

Haha, class III/IV? There's actually a beautiful 20-foot waterfall leading into a gorge in that section, so at least one pitch is class VI. I was up there last week. The road to the flow is in good shape. You will have no trouble driving in.

head9959 06-21-2020 03:20 PM

Hi all, thanks again for the insider info here.. i posted a (lengthy) report in the Trip Reports section. Thanks!

TrailBlaser 07-04-2020 10:00 AM

Anyone going to the CRF this weekend? A trip report would be appreciated. Happy paddling!

TrailBlaser 07-17-2020 01:35 PM

Trip to the Cedar River Flow
Recently I took a 4-day trip to the Cedar River Flow in the central Adirondacks. Access was by the Cedar River Road (Indian Lake, NY) to the put-in at Wakely Dam. It was a short paddle to campsite #4 where I camped for 3 nights. My days were spent paddling, fishing, swimming, taking photos, shooting video and making field (sound) recordings. The highlight was a paddle up the Cedar River as far as the Carry leanto. The weather was fantastic the entire time - days were warm and sunny in the upper 80's and nights were comfortable in the upper 60's. Here are some links to photos:

Cedar River Flow

Cedar River Paddle

Cedar River Campsite

IndLk_Brett 07-19-2020 01:10 PM


Originally Posted by Bark Eater Too (Post 281815)
There's actually a beautiful 20-foot waterfall leading into a gorge in that section...

Could you possibly be a little more specific about where I could find this? I'd like to take a gander.

Is it about 1 or 2 tenths of a mile downstream from where the road crosses the little bridge next to Wakely Pond, sort of opposite Water Barrel Mountain?

Bark Eater Too 07-19-2020 03:33 PM


Originally Posted by IndLk_Brett (Post 282338)
Could you possibly be a little more specific about where I could find this? I'd like to take a gander.

Hi Brett. It's close to two miles below the dam at the flow. Easiest to find driving away from the flow. Going downstream, look for a small, grassy pullout on the right side of the road. Big enough to park a car or two max. It looks like the start of an old road but just stops. There is a blazed DEC trail from that spot down to the river. It's probably only a tenth of a mile to the river, but drops a bit in elevation. It's a beautiful spot!

IndLk_Brett 07-19-2020 04:59 PM

Thanks! I know the exact place that you're talking about. Just never made it down to the river in that spot. Will definitely be checking it out.

EastOfMidnight 09-10-2020 03:13 PM

Cedar River Flow
I like to do a week or so solo trip each October or early Nov. But I have a dilemma. I'm 74 and can choose between my PBW Spitfire and light gear and portage and traverse beaver dams, or row my beloved guide boat with plenty of space for gear (sleeping pad, larger tent, bottle of Scotch, better food, coffee pot, etc.) I'm leaning toward the latter because, let's face it, I ain't getting any younger. I've done Cranberry, most of the Whitney, etc.
Cedar River looks interesting, as does Stillwater. Would CRF be a more isolated trip in mid October? Open to other secluded options as well. Thx.

DSettahr 09-13-2020 07:01 PM

For paddling, I'd pick the Cedar River Flow over Stillwater. Stillwater has a reputation for getting really windy in the afternoons, so much so that it's not uncommon for rangers to have to go out with a motor boat to pick up paddlers stranded on the east end of the lake.

The Cedar River Flow does allow motors but I think there is a HP limit. In any case it also doesn't typically get crazy with motorboat traffic, not like Stillwater Reservoir can.

Wldrns 09-13-2020 08:13 PM

I have never really hesitated to explore Stillwater Reservoir. The bad windy reputation is not always the case. Granted it can and does get windy, but not every day and if you have decent paddling skills and have the option of waiting out the worst windy days, it has a lot to offer. A guideboat should be able to handle all but the worst, and you can stick close to shore, unlike where motorboats must go in the deeper central channel. You don't have to end up on the far windblown eastern end. But if you dare, a visit to the state's most isolated remote village of Beaver River is worth a stop. I practically grew up and learned many of my canoe handling skills on Stillwater.

Years ago, my wife and I would paddle a 17' grumman canoe, with two small kids, a dog, and all of our gear to camp for a week. We never had any particularly difficult time with wind or padding in either direction. Other times, by myself Yes, I have spent an extra night a time or two on the eastern end, but my wife and rangers I know, both knew enough not to panic when I waited an extra day. Ironically, it was often easy to go east from the launch point with a slight tail wind, but a day or two later, enjoyment at a bright clear sunny day sometimes brought unwelcome wind from the west. You get what you get.

Off reservoir hiking with visits to little visited remote ponds to the north are in abundance. The "kettle Hole" to the north past the dam is well worth a visit to campsite #1. From there you can easily access the old logging road and side trails traveling north to Raven, Lyon, and Bear Lakes, as well as further east into the Pepperbox. Site #3 (Evergreen) offers a nice trail to Evergreen Lake, which has been experimentally limed to neutralize acid rain, and has turned out to be a good producing trout fishery now. If you are up to it, the Red Horse Trail will take you deep into the five Ponds Wilderness interior with its own array of practically never visited lakes. Paddle the southern Stillwater arm, toward Melody Island and you will find many protected bays and designated campsites with no more windy days than any other lake of any size.

RichieC 03-23-2021 12:45 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Well the main part of Stillwater and any large expanse of water you plan on paddling... is about timing IMHO. Wldrns is about as experienced a paddler and back-country navigator as you will ever meet, his credentials are unassailable, so i am not contradicting his experiences.. . But I am betting he isn't starting out at 1:00 in the afternoon- I'll bet its closer to 5 am... coming or going LOL.

SO i offer my experience learned over many years, and it is the trick to ANY lake in the Adirondacks is arrive very early, do your main part of lake traveling well before noon, or wait and do it in the evening- though morning is better. Basically, before the sun comes up and starts up the gods wind motor, especially in lakes that lie in the prevailing wind direction like any of the larger lakes in the Adirondacks with a southwest/west to northeast/east orientation, wind can get up a head of steam the direction of travel.

Small lakes and ponds don't concern me much. But lakes like the north end of Raquette and Stillwater, and heck i got caught bad at Essex Chain alone in a guideboat. (See images) Right after they opened it up i scouted it out, I had gone to first and camped down the outlet- where it has always been state land. Then the next day, i toured them all, It was a lovely fall day, I thought i was safe. But then the wind kicked up! White caps were nipping at the gunnels. Guideboats can swamp in a split second and the front was getting caught in gusts and swinging without a steering partner in the back . But i had an option with the road right there- so I turned around 1/4 of the way up third, and returned to the road. Had to roll out all the way from the culvert between 4th and 5th. Glad i brought my wheels with me! ( Last image is on the road out!) So no matter what... sometimes indeed you have to make a responsible decision to wait and NOT fight it.

So this is my strategy- and it has held true for me. If a storm or front is moving in, all bets are off, pick somewhere else... but starting early is ALWAYS your best bet. And it optimizes your time on the water! I don't think anyone will disagree with it.

Wldrns 03-23-2021 06:43 PM

Richie is correct about the timing thing. I happen to live fairly close to Stillwater and can easily time my arrival according to the weather of the day. I have a couple of times been windbound on the far end for an extra day long before the age of SPOT or Inreach devices. Fortunately, my wife knows that I know better than to attempt paddling out when it is dangerously windy.

Regarding Raquette.... The 90 mile race at one time traversed the length of Raquette then on to Forked Lake. Timing of the 8-9:00 morning start would put most paddlers there late morning/early/mid afternoon. I can recall on my way seeing and bypassing a number of pro C1 and C2 canoes, neither noted for being particularly stable, overturned in the waves. None were in any real danger as there are always several safety boats in the area, and they we were generally on a route close to shore anyway. That problem necessitated changing the first day's route to more safely paddle up the Marion River and finishing day-1 at Blue Mountain Lake.

When I have often paddled the Cannonball-90 (completing the entire tradiitonal route in a single day), we always start at the stroke of midnight from Old Forge, whch puts us through 1-8th lakes in the calm of the night, arriving at Raquette at ~5:00 AM when it has most always been calm all the way to Forked.

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