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Old 09-13-2020, 08:13 PM   #19
Wldrns's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Western Adirondacks
Posts: 4,384
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.
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman

Last edited by Wldrns; 09-13-2020 at 08:33 PM..
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