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Old 08-04-2011, 04:18 PM   #1
ndru
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next week's solo trip (SRCA+)

going on my first extended ADK canoe trip in a long time.

most of the paddling will be done in the st. regis canoe area, starting with the most remote locations and heading back towards "civilization" later in the week. weather permitting, my route looks like this:

LONG POND
(BESSIE POND)
NELLIE POND
KIT FOX POND
LITTLE LONG POND [WEST]
(LYDIA POND)
LITTLE FISH POND
FISH POND
(MUD POND)
OCHRE POND
ST. REGIS POND
LITTLE CLEAR POND
(LITTLE GREEN POND)
HATCHERY BROOK
UPPER SARANAC LAKE
FISH CREEK PONDS
FOLLENSBY CLEAR POND
HORSESHOE POND
LITTLE POLLIWOG POND
POLLIWOG POND
MIDDLE POND
FLOODWOOD POND

optional ponds are in parenthesis.

if anybody has been to or through these areas this year and has any insight to offer as to current conditions, it would be most appreciated!
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:13 PM   #2
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I went into Fish Pond with a friend last week by way of St Regis, Ochre, and Mud Ponds. There were some spots at the take outs/put ins at Ochre and Mud Ponds in which we sunk to our knees in muck if we missed the rocks. Also, there are three blows downs right next to each other on the carry between Ochre and Mud Ponds that were a bit of a challenge. I hope you have a great trip!!
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:20 AM   #3
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I went into Fish Pond with a friend last week by way of St Regis, Ochre, and Mud Ponds. There were some spots at the take outs/put ins at Ochre and Mud Ponds in which we sunk to our knees in muck if we missed the rocks. Also, there are three blows downs right next to each other on the carry between Ochre and Mud Ponds that were a bit of a challenge. I hope you have a great trip!!
yep. that's the part of the trip that concerns me the most.

not concerns me in a "omg, the world will end" kind of way, just a "oh man, that might suck" kind of way! =P

i've heard of people traveling between st. regis and ochre by way of water (branch of st. regis river maybe? it's not labels on my map.) did that look possible? how were water levels?

also, how were the sites on fish pond? clean? crowded? any other traffic up that way at all?
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:54 PM   #4
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Sorry I can't answer your question about the stream between St Regis and Ochre.

We stayed at the lean-to on the north shore of Fish Pond and found it clean (with an outhouse). The view from the south shore was better, but we had paddled right to the north shore lean-to upon arriving at Fish Pond. We didn't locate the south shore lean-to. We saw only one other party of 2 that were camped at a site on the south-east shore. We saw no one else on the section between St Regis and Fish Ponds. We made the trek in on Tuesday and came back out on Wednesday. IMO, it was too much for one over-night. Of course, that may be due in part to my being a 50+ year old guy carrying a 60 lb canoe! Had we been able to stay longer, I would have explored the other ponds in the area as well.
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:28 PM   #5
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St. Regis river

It's been a few years but my wife and I always paddled through from St. Regis pond to Ochre. It used to be passable starting a little downstream from the fish dam (have to line the first stretch) but the last time we went through there (3 years?) the course had changed due to blow-down and we had to get out and drag the canoe through a couple of tight spots. I've never carried from St. Regis to Ochre except for a walk-through once for curiosity. Paddled the connecting river (barely a creek actually) maybe a dozen times or more with weekend camping gear to stay on Fish pond. I wonder what the course is like today. Maybe somebody who's been through there recently can update.
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:42 PM   #6
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Sorry I can't answer your question about the stream between St Regis and Ochre.

We stayed at the lean-to on the north shore of Fish Pond and found it clean (with an outhouse). The view from the south shore was better, but we had paddled right to the north shore lean-to upon arriving at Fish Pond. We didn't locate the south shore lean-to. We saw only one other party of 2 that were camped at a site on the south-east shore. We saw no one else on the section between St Regis and Fish Ponds. We made the trek in on Tuesday and came back out on Wednesday. IMO, it was too much for one over-night. Of course, that may be due in part to my being a 50+ year old guy carrying a 60 lb canoe! Had we been able to stay longer, I would have explored the other ponds in the area as well.
thanks for the info! i'm not sure there even IS a south shore lean-to anymore.

the canoe i'll be renting for this trip is only 25lbs and i'm still a few years short of 50, but we'll see. sometimes experience trumps youth, right?
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:44 PM   #7
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It's been a few years but my wife and I always paddled through from St. Regis pond to Ochre. It used to be passable starting a little downstream from the fish dam (have to line the first stretch) but the last time we went through there (3 years?) the course had changed due to blow-down and we had to get out and drag the canoe through a couple of tight spots. I've never carried from St. Regis to Ochre except for a walk-through once for curiosity.
does the stream between ochre & st. regis run towards st. regis or ochre? i can't remember. i'd assume it runs south towards st. regis, but you know what they say about assumptions.

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Paddled the connecting river (barely a creek actually) maybe a dozen times or more with weekend camping gear to stay on Fish pond. I wonder what the course is like today. Maybe somebody who's been through there recently can update.
by connecting river, do you mean between ochre & fish pond?

i've never heard of anyone attempting that, but now i wonder...
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:55 PM   #8
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i've never heard of anyone attempting that, but now i wonder...
Some things are simply best left to wonderment and discovery to explore upon arrival. I am of the opinion that too much spoon-fed advance information is overload and at some point distracts from the actual adventure.
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:00 PM   #9
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Some things are simply best left to wonderment and discovery to explore upon arrival. I am of the opinion that too much spoon-fed advance information is overload and at some point distracts from the actual adventure.
i definitely agree with that.

the internet makes it almost too easy to know too much ahead of time now!
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:46 PM   #10
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does the stream between ochre & st. regis run towards st. regis or ochre? i can't remember. i'd assume it runs south towards st. regis, but you know what they say about assumptions.
The stream runs towards Ochre. If the water level is low, it could be brushy. It is usually better in the late spring early summer.

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Old 08-05-2011, 09:50 PM   #11
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I paddled that last August, and it was brushy and there were some beaver dams, but in my opinion, easier than carrying from St. Regis to Ochre. Lots of deer flies though!

Maybe consider skipping the Mud Pond (aptly named!) route and just continue to Fish Pond from Ochre. The put ins on Fish are not so great, but lots better than sinking up to your neck in mud on the way to Mud Pond. The carry from Mud to Fish is quite nice though.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:49 AM   #12
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trip report (finally) up now!

"short" version:
http://adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=16275

long version w/ pics:
http://ndruoutdoors.wordpress.com
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:12 PM   #13
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Re srca tr

What an absolutely amazing trip report!!! I can't imagine having or taking the time to record such detail, but it is much appreciated!

The little details of portage and camp life are wonderful additions to the basic descriptions of the routes.

I did pretty much the same loop several years ago but mostly in the opposite direction. I remember the hell of the Fish to Long portage, and the minor hell of the St Regis to Fish mud pits.

I remember once my foot slipping off a rock and sinking past my knee into the muck and reflexively tossing my canoe off to the side to keep it from landing in the muck.

I remember the steepness of the esker between, which were they?, Fish and Little Fish, or Little Long?...having to grab onto trees both on the way up and down, while single portaging, which was the only way I did things...kind of dumb when I think of it.

I so much felt your frustration in trying to race to find open and unoccupied sites but finding only those signs with the lines crossed through them. I've had that experience the past two summers.

Despite all the frustration, you didn't sound like you were the least bit hesitant about doing it again. No surprise there...
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:31 PM   #14
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What an absolutely amazing trip report!!! I can't imagine having or taking the time to record such detail, but it is much appreciated!
it wasn't intended to grow to be that long, but it often turns out that way. i started college as an english/journalism major and even though i switched out of it, could never really escape the writer in me. admittedly, my skills have diminish over years of neglect, but i'm trying to put them to use here.

it was time-consuming, thus the 6 week delay, and trying to post all those photos in the blog was a real pain in the butt. however, wordpress seemed to be the best option for what i was trying to do.


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I did pretty much the same loop several years ago but mostly in the opposite direction. I remember the hell of the Fish to Long portage, and the minor hell of the St Regis to Fish mud pits.

I remember once my foot slipping off a rock and sinking past my knee into the muck and reflexively tossing my canoe off to the side to keep it from landing in the muck.
seems like most people do this loop in the opposite direction that i did. i never really encounted much mud between fish pond and ochre/st.regis pond, but i also skipped mud pond entirely. probably for the better. it looked just fine from the trail!


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I remember the steepness of the esker between, which were they?, Fish and Little Fish, or Little Long?...having to grab onto trees both on the way up and down, while single portaging, which was the only way I did things...kind of dumb when I think of it.
esker divides fish & little fish (north) from little long & lydia (south). my particular crossing point was from little long to little fish. it may have been the shortest carry of the trip, but it was easily the most difficult per step taken!


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I so much felt your frustration in trying to race to find open and unoccupied sites but finding only those signs with the lines crossed through them. I've had that experience the past two summers.
i guess that's just how it is in the summer up there. i should have expected it.

i like the idea of spring/fall trips much better, but since this was my first solo trip i wanted to go at the safest possible time of year and maximize daylight as well.


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Despite all the frustration, you didn't sound like you were the least bit hesitant about doing it again. No surprise there...
the trials and tribulations are all part of the journey. i knew it would be a learning experience and i fully expected to be faced with the unexpected. it wouldn't be as fun if there were no challenges. at least not to me anyway.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:36 PM   #15
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also, i gave up any notions about "single portaging" very early in the trip. most of these trails are just too narrow, winding, and hilly to do that safely. especially alone. besides, i move pretty fast and sort of enjoy the trip back on foot, not carrying anything. it gives you the opportunity to look around... and take photos!
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