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Old 02-27-2020, 08:40 PM   #1
Edb 46 er
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Limekiln Lake to Squaw Lake

Is it possible to do this route by water only with some portaging?


I have read up on the history of Grumman canoes. In the mid-1940"s when Grumman"s chief tool engineer, William Hoffman decided he would take a canoe trip into the Adirondacks. Hoffman’s personal canoe was a 13-foot Old Town wood-and-canvas that had seen some wear; his trip took him on a portage from Limekiln Lake to Squaw Lake as written in online Gear Junkie.

I would like to see the route on a map if it exists.
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Old 02-27-2020, 10:52 PM   #2
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No boots on the ground confirmation of this, but there is a trail from the south side of Limekiln that goes south, then connects with Rock Dam Rd. which then can connect to another trail which leads to the Moose river. Whether or not it is navigable is questionable, but it then could be followed to Indian Lake, at which point there is another trail to Squaw Lake.

Seems the easiest way would be to load the canoe on your car and drive between the two though...
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Old 02-27-2020, 11:07 PM   #3
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Is it possible to do this route by water only with some portaging?



I would like to see the route on a map if it exists.
Uhmmmm, what would you call "some portaging"?

I suppose a water route exists, sort of...

Limekiln Lake to Limekiln Creek to the Moose, then upstream on the Moose to the Indian, up the Indian to Indian Lake outlet (or nearly so) and then slog through to Squaw Lake.

But, we're talking over 20 miles of travel, and some of that is on private lands. Not just private, but ALC private lands. They're very protective of their lands.

So, I would rate this route as a negative (despite my personal commitment to impractical canoe routes).

Too bad, I would love to see Limekiln Falls.

Alternately, (and all public lands) Limekiln Lake up the inlet to the Red River,
down the Red to the Moose, and up the Moose to the Indian and so on. That's around 14 or 15 miles and much less impractical.
But still a lot of carrying, maybe...
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:04 AM   #4
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While we're on the topic of Limekiln, I've never visited it. Is there any spots for a weekend canoe camping trip. If so, what would it be like in term of quiet and solitude? Thanks
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:13 AM   #5
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While we're on the topic of Limekiln, I've never visited it. Is there any spots for a weekend canoe camping trip. If so, what would it be like in term of quiet and solitude? Thanks
Maybe on the south side of the lake, but there is a state campground there and it's a motorboat lake, so unlikely what you're after.

It's a pretty nice lake though - mostly state land except the east side. I've really only paddled the north shore while staying at the campground.

I'd actually recommend checking out Squaw or Indian Lake (not the one that has a town bearing the same name). Those are much more remote.

Mitchell ponds are quite remote and the trail from the east is an old road and would be easy to cart.

I've honestly not had much luck with interesting paddling in southern MRPWF though...
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Old 02-28-2020, 11:17 AM   #6
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Indian Lake is going to require an approximately 3.5 mile carry or cart now that the road has been cut off, Squaw requires about a mile, half of which is cartable. The other half is a trail, and there are sections that will be challenging with a canoe on your head. We took an aluminum canoe in with two people carrying the ends and had a couple of "pass over the boulder" experiences. It is a beautiful spot, its reputation is that it is one of the best Brook Trout lakes in the western Adirondacks, but you pay dues to get there with the carry and the road condition and 15 mph speed limit ( but I know that red lights, stop signs, double yellow lines, and speed limits are mere suggestions for many anymore )

There is no place I am aware of to legally access Limekiln Lake except from the campground, (or bushwacking way around the private inholdings on the Lake) so you'll be paying the day use fee in season.

I see no hydraulic connection between Limekiln Lake and the Red River, one of the "inlets" comes down from Fawn Lake, a small shallow lake visible through the trees on the Limekiln- Cedar River Road not far in from the Limekiln gate. The stream crossing encountered after the height of lands going in is Governor Brook, which does feed into the Red, but does not rise in Limekiln Lake. The Red is a long maze of beaver flows and tag alder. The Ingersoll McMartin guide for the area shows no trails in either location, although if you watch carefully going by Fawn, there is a gate and an administrative road that descends to that body of water, if you really want to see it up close. That guide suggest a route from the south end of Limekiln lake (where they recommend stashing your canoe for the return trip across Limekiln) to White's Pond, then a second trial from White's to the Rock Dam Road in the Plains, then the Rock dam trail will get you to the junction of the Red and the Moose, almost at the League club Line. Then you are paddling or poling upstream, if you carried the boat the ~6 miles of trial, I mean trail, or do I?

It is interesting to hear of this man's portages. Perhaps he was the model for the Paul Bunyan statue at the Enchanted Forest? I know I never read about or met anyone in the Adirondacks who exaggerated, or even lied, to protect a spot or make themselves more "heroic", or just from boredom or a good sense of humor. All the Shallow Lakes are shallow and all the Muddy Ponds are muddy, too! Oh, and watch out for the mountain lions all over the MRP, and especially be careful of Sasquatch, who lives back at Oil Slick Pond! And lay low at night, when the UFO's come out! If you ask around in Blue Mountain Lake, you might find someone who learned how to make a zucchini canoe from Harvey Carr, it might be lighter if you decide to try this journey!

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Old 02-28-2020, 02:15 PM   #7
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Indian Lake is going to require an approximately 3.5 mile carry or cart now that the road has been cut off, Squaw requires about a mile, half of which is cartable. The other half is a trail, and there are sections that will be challenging with a canoe on your head. We took an aluminum canoe in with two people carrying the ends and had a couple of "pass over the boulder" experiences. It is a beautiful spot, its reputation is that it is one of the best Brook Trout lakes in the western Adirondacks, but you pay dues to get there with the carry and the road condition and 15 mph speed limit ( but I know that red lights, stop signs, double yellow lines, and speed limits are mere suggestions for many anymore )

There is no place I am aware of to legally access Limekiln Lake except from the campground, (or bushwacking way around the private inholdings on the Lake) so you'll be paying the day use fee in season.

I see no hydraulic connection between Limekiln Lake and the Red River, one of the "inlets" comes down from Fawn Lake, a small shallow lake visible through the trees on the Limekiln- Cedar River Road not far in from the Limekiln gate. The stream crossing encountered after the height of lands going in is Governor Brook, which does feed into the Red, but does not rise in Limekiln Lake. The Red is a long maze of beaver flows and tag alder. The Ingersoll McMartin guide for the area shows no trails in either location, although if you watch carefully going by Fawn, there is a gate and an administrative road that descends to that body of water, if you really want to see it up close. That guide suggest a route from the south end of Limekiln lake (where they recommend stashing your canoe for the return trip across Limekiln) to White's Pond, then a second trial from White's to the Rock Dam Road in the Plains, then the Rock dam trail will get you to the junction of the Red and the Moose, almost at the League club Line. Then you are paddling or poling upstream, if you carried the boat the ~6 miles of trial, I mean trail, or do I?

It is interesting to hear of this man's portages. Perhaps he was the model for the Paul Bunyan statue at the Enchanted Forest? I know I never read about or met anyone in the Adirondacks who exaggerated, or even lied, to protect a spot or make themselves more "heroic", or just from boredom or a good sense of humor. All the Shallow Lakes are shallow and all the Muddy Ponds are muddy, too! Oh, and watch out for the mountain lions all over the MRP, and especially be careful of Sasquatch, who lives back at Oil Slick Pond! And lay low at night, when the UFO's come out! If you ask around in Blue Mountain Lake, you might find someone who learned how to make a zucchini canoe from Harvey Carr, it might be lighter if you decide to try this journey!
Only quoted what was published. Didn't say it was the gospel. My point being, "This is why I asked".

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Old 02-28-2020, 02:17 PM   #8
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No boots on the ground confirmation of this, but there is a trail from the south side of Limekiln that goes south, then connects with Rock Dam Rd. which then can connect to another trail which leads to the Moose river. Whether or not it is navigable is questionable, but it then could be followed to Indian Lake, at which point there is another trail to Squaw Lake.

Seems the easiest way would be to load the canoe on your car and drive between the two though...
No adventure in driving there, done that many times myself.

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Old 02-28-2020, 03:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
Uhmmmm, what would you call "some portaging"?

I suppose a water route exists, sort of...

Limekiln Lake to Limekiln Creek to the Moose, then upstream on the Moose to the Indian, up the Indian to Indian Lake outlet (or nearly so) and then slog through to Squaw Lake.

But, we're talking over 20 miles of travel, and some of that is on private lands. Not just private, but ALC private lands. They're very protective of their lands.

So, I would rate this route as a negative (despite my personal commitment to impractical canoe routes).

Too bad, I would love to see Limekiln Falls.

Alternately, (and all public lands) Limekiln Lake up the inlet to the Red River,
down the Red to the Moose, and up the Moose to the Indian and so on. That's around 14 or 15 miles and much less impractical.
But still a lot of carrying, maybe...
I was thinking that the man must of did a lot of carries through shallow stretches and muck, mud and bogs. Sure sounds interesting until private lands are mentioned.
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Old 02-28-2020, 03:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
Uhmmmm, what would you call "some portaging"?

I suppose a water route exists, sort of...

Limekiln Lake to Limekiln Creek to the Moose, then upstream on the Moose to the Indian, up the Indian to Indian Lake outlet (or nearly so) and then slog through to Squaw Lake.

But, we're talking over 20 miles of travel, and some of that is on private lands. Not just private, but ALC private lands. They're very protective of their lands.

So, I would rate this route as a negative (despite my personal commitment to impractical canoe routes).

Too bad, I would love to see Limekiln Falls.

Alternately, (and all public lands) Limekiln Lake up the inlet to the Red River,
down the Red to the Moose, and up the Moose to the Indian and so on. That's around 14 or 15 miles and much less impractical.
But still a lot of carrying, maybe...
I was thinking that the man must of did a lot of carries through shallow stretches and muck, mud and bogs. Sure sounds interesting until private lands are mentioned.
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Old 02-28-2020, 03:35 PM   #11
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Generally when I use the Wink emoji, my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek. It could be done, carrying from the south side of Limekiln, but In don't think it would be fun. I read recently of an individual that built a hunting camp way back in and hauled in the tin roof on one solo trip, and a stove on another, and the carries that the Harvey Dunham crew did up to Salmon Lake before Stillwater was flooded were long and involved hauling copious amounts of food and gear. Another factor in this story is that none of it was public in the 40's, it was still owned by a lumber company, I think Gould. There were leases back there, and maybe his trip involved accessing through one of those and he could use the log roads for part of the carry. The route down Limekiln outlet to the Moose would have crossed League Club land so unless he was a member or knew someone back there who would have him as a guest , that was off limits until the recent past. The person who would likely know about this is William Jay O'Hern, he was working on a history of the MRP that was due out a couple of years ago, but he has been flying under the radar for a while. I hope nothing is wrong, he is great writer and authority on Adirondack history.

If no one has done anything with the road, driving there can be a real adventure!
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Old 02-28-2020, 03:42 PM   #12
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I think there could be a problem with paddling down Limekiln outlet still unless it is navigable, considering the League Club.
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Old 02-28-2020, 04:09 PM   #13
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Generally when I use the Wink emoji, my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek. It could be done, carrying from the south side of Limekiln, but In don't think it would be fun. I read recently of an individual that built a hunting camp way back in and hauled in the tin roof on one solo trip, and a stove on another, and the carries that the Harvey Dunham crew did up to Salmon Lake before Stillwater was flooded were long and involved hauling copious amounts of food and gear. Another factor in this story is that none of it was public in the 40's, it was still owned by a lumber company, I think Gould. There were leases back there, and maybe his trip involved accessing through one of those and he could use the log roads for part of the carry. The route down Limekiln outlet to the Moose would have crossed League Club land so unless he was a member or knew someone back there who would have him as a guest , that was off limits until the recent past. The person who would likely know about this is William Jay O'Hern, he was working on a history of the MRP that was due out a couple of years ago, but he has been flying under the radar for a while. I hope nothing is wrong, he is great writer and authority on Adirondack history.

If no one has done anything with the road, driving there can be a real adventure!
If no one has done anything with the road, driving there can be a real adventure.

For sure.

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Old 02-28-2020, 04:43 PM   #14
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I did it the other way, sort of, a few years ago with a Hornbeck, making my way 185 miles from Boonville to Plattsburgh.

From North Lake, I bushwhacked on a ghost trail toward Horn Lake, then rounded north of Balsam Lake and made my way around Stink Lake on a very old ghost trail to cross the river at Rock Dam. ALC property begins just below Rock Dam, so I believe I was ok. Then hiked along the road and picked up a trail toward White Pond and on a fairly good trail to reach the south side of Limekiln. Thereafter picked up 6th lake and continued on the NFCT to Pburgh. Had I wanted to visit Indian or Squaw Lake, I could have turned right prior to Balsam to cross the Indian River.
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:11 PM   #15
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Maybe on the south side of the lake, but there is a state campground there and it's a motorboat lake, so unlikely what you're after.

It's a pretty nice lake though - mostly state land except the east side. I've really only paddled the north shore while staying at the campground.

I'd actually recommend checking out Squaw or Indian Lake (not the one that has a town bearing the same name). Those are much more remote.

Mitchell ponds are quite remote and the trail from the east is an old road and would be easy to cart.

I've honestly not had much luck with interesting paddling in southern MRPWF though...
Thanks Montcalm. I like trying new spots but have a tendency of ending up at the old favorites. In that area, I often end up at CRF and every time it has been great. Last year I went jthere on Labor Day Weekend expecting a crowd and it was just the opposite. I got a nice site and had a great time. I will investigate your suggestions though, so thanks.
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:27 PM   #16
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Or you could hire PAYNES Air Service to fly you and your canoe to Squaw Lake.
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:27 PM   #17
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Or you could hire PAYNES Air Service to fly you and your canoe to Squaw Lake.
Might better have them fly me and some gear into some remote Canadian ponds and lakes. Years ago I flew with Payne's and they mentioned he could fly into Canada if I chose to.
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:30 PM   #18
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I did it the other way, sort of, a few years ago with a Hornbeck, making my way 185 miles from Boonville to Plattsburgh.

From North Lake, I bushwhacked on a ghost trail toward Horn Lake, then rounded Balsam Lake and made my way around Stink Lake on a very old ghost trail to cross the river at Rock Dam. ALC property begins just below Rock Dam, so I believe I was ok. Then hiked along the road and picked up a trail toward White Pond and on a fairly good trail to reach the south side of Limekiln. Thereafter picked up 6th lake and continued on the NFCT to Pburgh. Had I wanted to visit Indian or Squaw Lake, I could have turned right at Balsam to cross the Indian River.
Wldrns, you have done some serious bushwhacking in your time. I would like to explore Stink Lake and the area myself. A nice Hornbeck would help.
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Old 02-29-2020, 02:17 PM   #19
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Even driving to Squaw might not be possible for quite a while because the Indian lake road was badly washed out below the Brooktrout lake trailhead during the Halloween storm.

Given that section rarely opens before late May on a good year, might be looking at mid June if you're lucky.

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Old 03-01-2020, 02:50 PM   #20
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I did it the other way, sort of, a few years ago with a Hornbeck, making my way 185 miles from Boonville to Plattsburgh.

From North Lake, I bushwhacked on a ghost trail toward Horn Lake, then rounded north of Balsam Lake and made my way around Stink Lake on a very old ghost trail to cross the river at Rock Dam. ALC property begins just below Rock Dam, so I believe I was ok. Then hiked along the road and picked up a trail toward White Pond and on a fairly good trail to reach the south side of Limekiln. Thereafter picked up 6th lake and continued on the NFCT to Pburgh. Had I wanted to visit Indian or Squaw Lake, I could have turned right prior to Balsam to cross the Indian River.
I believe all of ALC property is posted like Nazi Germany. Definitely hard to miss their property markers.

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