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Old 08-10-2020, 09:02 AM   #1
madison
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Hiking/Paddling around Piseco Lake

Hey All,

I'll be at Little Sand Point Campground on Piseco Lake in a couple weeks, and am looking for some information to plan day trips. After years of wanting to, I'm finally going to paddle Fall Stream, although I'm thinking that with the water so low it might be difficult to make it all the way to Vly Lake. Based on what I've read and heard, though, it seems reasonable to expect to make it at least as far as Fall Lake, even with current water levels. Would others who have paddled there agree with that assessment?

I had originally wanted to do some more river/stream paddling (East Canada Creek, West Branch Sacandaga) but with current water levels it seems like a good idea to have a backup plan. Has anyone paddled Big Bay on the SE corner of Piseco Lake? From the Nat Geo map, it looks like there might be access right off Rt.10. It also appears that the entire northern shore is private land, but there don't appear to be any roads there, so I'm wondering what to expect in the way of development.

I'm also wondering if it's possible to paddle to Evergreen Lake from the Southwestern Bay of Piseco. It looks like it's all private land until you reach Evergreen, so I guess it depends if the stream is passable all the way to the lake.

Lastly, a hiking question. On the Nat Geo map (744) it shows 2 hiking trails originating near the put-in for Fall Stream, ending at different points on the NW shore of Oxbow Lake. They are not numbered, and I can't find reference to them anywhere else. Both appear to originate from private land. Anyone know anything about them?

Thanks in advance for any knowledge shared.
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Old 08-10-2020, 09:50 AM   #2
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Not sure about the trails questions, and water levels are really low, so Vly Lake may take some walking. Worht the trip- it is a very pretty spot.

Another nice paddle is Fawn Lake, up Rt. 8 off Fish Mt Rd. A short walk in (easy with light boat or cart) and a really pretty lake to explore. Nice beach and picnic spot on N end.

Panther Mt/ Echo Cliffs is nice short hike with views.

Further afield, putting in at Speculator ballfield and going downstream to Kunjamuck Bay is nice flatwater. Paddling up Kunjamuck R is also nice but often littered with beaver dams. Also possible to put in Kunjamuck further upstream off Elm Lake/ Cave Rds. Again, beaver dams are the greatest challenge, but have made it to Elm Lake and upstream from there in the past.

Have fun! Looks like a great week, weather-wise.
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:57 PM   #3
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I've enjoyed paddling all around Piseco to explore the shore and bays. I've made it quite a ways on Fall Stream, and despite many beaver dams I was able to get to Vly Lake. My recollection was there was a real issue about the lake water levels being low then but I don't remember if the stream was or not.
The trails have access along Old Pisceco Rd. and a local club has been improving them, some go to Oxbow as you say, a couple go on either side of Fall Stream to some nice spots but I've never been far so can't say how far they go. A bike ride around the lake with lots of stops for short hikes is usually what I've ended up doing.
The trail up Panther Mtn. has been improved recently as well, definitely worth going up for the view. T-Lake is pretty and there's a lean-to.
Not an abundance of trees, but Pine Orchard near Wells is a nice hike to see some old growth.
There has long been an eagle nest on the island in Piseco but I heard a branch supporting it broke off this year and the nest is listing badly. I hope the adults or juvenile are still around when we stop to visit friends this weekend or next.
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:03 PM   #4
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I paddled to vly lake two weeks ago, no problems with water levels then, and we had a hurricane since then to raise the water levels. There were only 3 or 4 dams to get over, to get all the way to vly, Including the one 100 yds from the put in.

The west branch sacandaga is high as well this past weekend after the rain, putting in at shaker place and going upstream is a nice paddle.

Panther mountain (echo cliff) is a short little hike that starts right from little sand point, great views of the lake for little effort. Really nice if some sea planes are taking off or landing while you are there.I
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Old 08-10-2020, 07:57 PM   #5
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Fall, Kunjamuk, W Br Sacandaga are the big 3. I found Big Bay sort of dull.
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Old 08-10-2020, 08:57 PM   #6
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You're gonna be close to Powley-Piseco Rd...a 0.5 mile carry gets you to Sand Lake. The inlet is worth a day of exploring. Then there's a hike to Clockmill Pond, very interesting shoreline there. Farther down Powley-Piseco the w branch of E Canada Creek crosses under, there's a few hours of diddling there both upstream and downstream.
And you're not that far from the Jessup, upstream or down from the Rt 30 crossing it's surprisingly quiet, downstream you can paddle/hike to Dug Mt Brook falls.
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Old 08-11-2020, 04:08 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Your input is much appreciated.

A question regarding the West Branch Sacandaga- How strong is the current? I'll be solo so doing a point to point from the put-in near Good Luck Lake to Shaker Place won't be possible- can I do this as an out and back trip? And is it possible to paddle into Good Luck Lake from the river?
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Old 08-11-2020, 04:26 PM   #8
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We paddled both directions no problem on the West Branch, put in by the bridge by the Good Luck Lake trailheads (2 trailheads, one to lake, one to the cliffs). A fun hike! Yes, easy paddle from the river (bridge) to the lake as well, like half mile max I recall.
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Old 08-11-2020, 04:27 PM   #9
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An up and back on the Sacandaga west branch is easy easy easy
Current is slack
A few years back, there were some tricky bank to bank deadfalls otherwise nothing to it
Side trip up good luck lake outlet has beaver dams that vary from year to year but again, easy paddling.
How about a carry from good luck lake to Spectacle Lake? Or at least do the good luck lake cliffs
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Old 08-12-2020, 09:09 AM   #10
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I'll have my kayak with me for this trip- an Old Town Loon 15 double seater, (the front seat is for the dog) so I probably will not be doing anything with much of a portage. I thought about bringing my Royalex canoe, as it is easier to portage, but it's a 16ft tandem, and I prefer the kayak for paddling solo. Also the kayak is a bit more stable, which will come into into play if I catch a fish with the dog in the boat. She tends to get a bit excited when that happens.

I think my tentative plans are this- A paddle up Fall Stream one day, at least as far as Fall Lake and hopefully farther, A paddle on the West Branch of the Sacandaga on another day with a side trip into Good Luck Lake, with hikes up to Echo Cliffs and over to Oxbow Lake mixed in. I'll probably drive down Powley-Piseco road to check out those sites at some point also, and hike in to Sand Lake and Clockmill Pond. I like using state campgrounds as a base camp, but I never spend much time there. Thanks again everyone.
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Old 08-12-2020, 12:53 PM   #11
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If you do the Piseco Big Bay off Rt 10 its great fun and can hang on the penisula for a while in the camping sites. Almost always see Loons and Bald Eagles (eagles are by the turnaround, where you can see the Rt 8 bridge by Piseco proper

Be sure to park in the correct area off Rt 10. I have been warned by others there that the landowner is, well, excessive regarding cars parked on "his side" even though its town owned rightaway. No issues in the proper parking lot. Just dont even unload on the other side. Person on a bike told me folks had their cars keyed by parking on "his side"
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Old 08-13-2020, 09:56 AM   #12
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So there's a guy who harasses people even though they are parked not on his property but on town-owned property and then keys cars that are left there while people are paddling? Sounds like a great guy.

Campsites on Big Bay? Are these legal, 1st come 1 serve sites? How many are there?
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Old 08-13-2020, 11:33 AM   #13
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Yes, adding that no issues for those properly parked in the marked lot (the dam side of the bridge) At least 2 sites, yes legal, and yes first come first served.
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