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Old 02-17-2021, 03:42 PM   #21
Edb 46 er
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Great write-up, is the route published, or did you wing it? I would like to try this at some point.
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Old 02-17-2021, 06:57 PM   #22
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Great write-up, is the route published, or did you wing it? I would like to try this at some point.
It's fairly well known. There are a number of canoe trips in that area and this is (one of) the longest trips possible. And the longest "wilderness" trip.

It's the combination of these 3:

https://www.canoeoutfitters.com/trip...-lila-traverse

https://www.canoeoutfitters.com/trip...-and-lower-dam

https://www.canoeoutfitters.com/trip...river-traverse

Of course without the Bog River section... but there's nothing from stopping you from adding that in too.

Some have went even farther and carried this trip into Cranberry lake and looped back around through 5 ponds WA with the long carry between Grass Pond and Cranberry. You could also add in Round Pond and other parts of the Bog River.
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Old 02-17-2021, 08:00 PM   #23
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Thank you,

for sharing your trip report
and the routes.

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Old 02-18-2021, 07:51 AM   #24
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Yeah, it's a somewhat well known route. If you get the paddler's map, the full route is shown on that. It's also described in detail in the paddler's guide (albeit in different sections).

Smaller stretches of it can easily be completed in 2-3 days and are moderately popular.

And of course, the big lakes (Little Tupper, Lila, and Lows) can be very popular, since these can be enjoyed with minimal (or no) portaging.
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Old 02-18-2021, 08:03 AM   #25
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Thank you for taking the time to post the report and pictures. It's nice to think of summer trips in the winter. I made my first visit to Low's in 2019 and made a day trip down to Lila and back. I'm very much looking forward to getting back there, and also to exploring Lila and Little Tupper. On my return trip from Lila I paddled under the RR track and took the canoe out on the upstream side, where there was a channel that ran parallel to the embankment. It was a bit less steep than going in on the downstream side, but not much.
Yeah, I checked out both sides of the railroad tracks before getting out. Neither was great for an easy boat exit.

There's also some sunken wooden pylons directly under the bridge that are good to keep an eye out for if/when paddling under the bridge.
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:26 AM   #26
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D,
Nice, thorough TR, love the pics.
There’s also a take out directly from Harrington Pond to the tracks but in lower water conditions it might not be the best.
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Old 02-18-2021, 03:41 PM   #27
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Another thing I've wondered about before is what effect the refurbishment of the rail corridor will have on the part of the carry from Clear to Hardigan that goes along the tracks. Are people allowed to carry canoes on an active railway? Around here the CSX tracks are all marked with no trespassing signs where they cross roads, but it may be different for a scenic railroad, for all I know.
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Old 02-18-2021, 03:58 PM   #28
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That rail corridor is owned by the state, I believe, rather than a private entity. Also, it is used as an active snowmobile trail in the winter. And furthermore, it's not really "active" with regards to train traffic. It was getting very little use when the scenic railway was operating- the train would traverse once up to Lake Placid in the spring, then once back down to Remsen in the winter. There was also some infrequent use by maintenance trains- to cut vegetation, make minor repairs, etc. But even then, all rail traffic was limited to a pretty slow speed, due to the poor condition of the tracks.

On top of that, a decent stretch of the Jackrabbit Trail follows the same railroad, so it's not without precedent that is open to multiple uses.

And now that the scenic railroad has ceased operations in Lake Placid, I don't think the corridor has gotten much- if any- of even the limited train use it was getting before. The northern end has already started to get brushy in spots in just a few years.

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Old 02-18-2021, 07:24 PM   #29
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That's a good point about the ownership. I should have been clearer when I wrote before, I know the line is not in use currently, but I was thinking that now that the state is having the section of the line from Big Moose to Tupper rebuilt that it would be becoming more active and that the paddling season and the scenic train season will overlap pretty completely, I imagine.

I don't know how the contractor that is rebuilding the tracks will feel about heavily loaded pedestrians wandering through when they're working on that stretch. I would think that when they're replacing ties and the like it would not be convenient. On my day trip to Lake Lila in August 2019 I climbed Mt Federica, and as I recall where the trail crossed the rails were covered with a few inches of sand and gravel that had washed down onto them, so it looked like nothing had been through there on the rails for a while.
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:03 PM   #30
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Yeah, it's a somewhat well known route. If you get the paddler's map, the full route is shown on that. It's also described in detail in the paddler's guide (albeit in different sections).

Smaller stretches of it can easily be completed in 2-3 days and are moderately popular.

And of course, the big lakes (Little Tupper, Lila, and Lows) can be very popular, since these can be enjoyed with minimal (or no) portaging.
I think part of the issue for a lot of people not gravitating toward the long route are the portages, and the amount of gear (food) you need to carry to complete.

I'd probably try this in 5 days, and I think that'd be reasonable from what I know of doing this piecewise. But even so, that's a fair deal of food to carry and have to deal with the long carries. With a tandem it's downright brutal.

You look at the numbers and you're like... 2 miles isn't that far... until you have your canoe and your pack on your back and 1/2 mile later you're thinking "this is the worst freakin' thing in the world, get it off me!" And you take a break and realize you're only a 1/4 of the way there. Then you finally reach the end of your carry and think, "I'm absolutely NEVER doing that again...", but on this trip... you realize that's just the start...

This is definitely the kind of trip I'd want to do in a solo canoe and carry as little gear as possible.
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Old 02-19-2021, 08:00 AM   #31
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That's a good point about the ownership. I should have been clearer when I wrote before, I know the line is not in use currently, but I was thinking that now that the state is having the section of the line from Big Moose to Tupper rebuilt that it would be becoming more active and that the paddling season and the scenic train season will overlap pretty completely, I imagine.
Ah, yeah, I misread your post.

My assumption would be that since the line would presumably still only be used for scenic sight-seeing trips, that train traffic would probably still be infrequent and relatively slow moving. Not sure if that would be enough to necessitate the use of an alternate route from Lila to Lows.
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Old 02-19-2021, 08:02 AM   #32
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D,
Nice, thorough TR, love the pics.
There’s also a take out directly from Harrington Pond to the tracks but in lower water conditions it might not be the best.
Yeah, I knew about the Harrington Pond takeout from advice solicited here prior to my trip, but based on info about it not being worthwhile except at higher water levels I elected to skip it.

A day or two later and I imagine it would've been doable with no problem.
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Old 02-19-2021, 08:10 AM   #33
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I think part of the issue for a lot of people not gravitating toward the long route are the portages, and the amount of gear (food) you need to carry to complete.
I was definitely feeling it by the end of the two longer portages (Rock Pond to Hardigan Pond and the Headwaters Carry).

I would agree that the route is easily doable in 5-6 days by someone with a lightweight solo canoe. Little Tupper to Lila in a day was a long day (although I did also spend more time poking around than necessary). But I did also take my time along other portions of the trip- including only traversing from Grass Pond to Big Deer Pond on one day, and spending 4 days/3 nights on the Oswegatchie River. My pace overall was definitely a "leisurely" one.
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Old 02-22-2021, 02:11 PM   #34
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Any of the routes possible with a Grumman canoe. 15ft?
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Old 02-22-2021, 02:45 PM   #35
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Any of the routes possible with a Grumman canoe. 15ft?
Of course it is possilble, what kind of shape are you in, do you have wheels, and can you portage the Grumman without wheels? I showed pics in an earlier post of a trip I guided with Boy scouts and three older adults on the Portage from Lows and down the Oswegatchie shortly after the derecho damage. They had 17' grummans (no wheels), I had a wood strip. I can't imagine a tougher trip than that one was at the time with any canoe.
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Old 02-22-2021, 02:53 PM   #36
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Of course it is possilble, what kind of shape are you in, do you have wheels, and can you portage the Grumman without wheels? I showed pics in an earlier post of a trip I guided with Boy scouts and three older adults on the Portage from Lows and down the Oswegatchie shortly after the derecho damage. They had grummans (no wheels), I had a wood strip. I can't imagine a tougher trip than that one was at the time with any canoe.
Yes, I am in good shape, but the canoe is circa late 1960s when they
had (two) versions of the same length.

One is a lighter 55lb and the second a 79 lb version.

The second is what I have.

I have wheels but no yoke, anyone have a yoke for a Grumman?
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:23 PM   #37
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I understand that at one time, 1960's and 1970's anyway, Grumman manufactured 17' canoes in 3 different weights, "lightweight", "standard", and "Camp" weights. Hull metal thickness of 0.040, 0.050, and 0.060 inch. I don't think they offer canoes in those choices any more. In 1973 I bought a lightweight model that I used with family (wife, 2 kids and a dog) quite a bit and even went on more than a few solo trips with it in the Adirondacks. I learned a lot about canoeing in that metal craft. Being extra lightweight, it came manufactured with extra ribs for better structural integrity. I still have it and it is still in excellent shape, though I don't really use it anymore. I believe camp weight went mostly to youth camps (including BSA) where they were better suited to survive beginner's abuse. Anyway, those 17 footers are the canoes that BSA had and I guided on more than a couple of trips from Lows to the Oswegatchie and elsewhere with both boys and their older scoutmasters surviving the portages. Oh, and in addition to the many blowdown log jams as the pics show, we lost count after some 70 beaver dams to cross over.
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:40 PM   #38
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I understand that at one time, 1960's and 1970's anyway, Grumman manufactured 17' canoes in 3 different weights, "lightweight", "standard", and "Camp" weights. Hull metal thickness of 0.040, 0.050, and 0.060 inch. I don't think they offer canoes in those choices any more. In 1973 I bought a lightweight model that I used with family (wife, 2 kids and a dog) quite a bit and even went on more than a few solo trips with it in the Adirondacks. I learned a lot about canoeing in that metal craft. Being extra lightweight, it came manufactured with extra ribs for better structural integrity. I still have it and it is still in excellent shape, though I don't really use it anymore. I believe camp weight went mostly to youth camps (including BSA) where they were better suited to survive beginner's abuse. Anyway, those 17 footers are the canoes that BSA had and I guided on more than a couple of trips from Lows to the Oswegatchie and elsewhere with both boys and their older scoutmasters surviving the portages. Oh, and in addition to the many blowdown log jams as the pics show, we lost count after some 70 beaver dams to cross over.
My Grumman is definitely the.060'' model. It is indestructible. The family I purchased it from was selling because they sold their camp on 4th lake and didn't need it anymore. They told me a story of how the canoe came untied from their vehicle while driving and blew off the top of the vehicle damaging the stern, crinkling it some. But it tracks fine and no holes or cracks. So, $399.00 later down the road I drove in my van with it.

I read about the blowdown in Montcalm's blessed high water that took him over most of the dams, good for him. I might just rent a lighter canoe from Mt. Man over in Oldforge to save myself the task.

it sounds like you miss the days of guiding the scouts, it must have been great to be able to be part of so many young lives and creating life-long memories. I personally never had the opportunity to join the scouts and enjoy group camping and wilderness excursions but I did enjoy certain things in my youth others may not have been able to do.

Thinking of buying a reflector oven from a small company called Old Scout and bake some rolls and maybe a small pie to boot. They remind me of the old Boy Scout videos you can find on Youtube, they as well used the old Grumman canoes, mostly out of The Boundary Waters Canoe area though.
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:00 PM   #39
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I read about the blowdown in Montcalm's blessed high water that took him over most of the dams, good for him.
Twasn't I.

I've never had that good fortune and have had to haul over those buggers

If I were you Ed, I'd just paddle as far you like up the Oswegatchie, then turn around, drive over to Lows Lower dam, and put in and paddle over to Grass Pond.

That'll give you every aspect of the Lows/Oswegatchie traverse without having to carry you boat for 2+ miles.
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:04 PM   #40
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Twasn't I.

I've never had that good fortune and have had to haul over those buggers

If I were you Ed, I'd just paddle as far you like up the Oswegatchie, then turn around, drive over to Lows Lower dam, and put in and paddle over to Grass Pond.

That'll give you every aspect of the Lows/Oswegatchie traverse without having to carry you boat for 2+ miles.
Oops, I meant Dsettahr. I apologize.
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