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Backpacker Magazine – September 2005

Paddling's Greatest Getaways

16 wild ways to find backcountry solitude and big-time scenery. All this, and you can bring the ice chest, too.

by: Larry Rice


©Charles Gurche
Fish Creek Pond, Adirondacks
{New York}

Canoe Classic
Old-school wilderness paddling meets weekend convenience in the Adirondacks.

To state the obvious, canoes are not made for walking. But some of the country's best wilderness paddling requires portaging. The Adirondacks' 6 million acres are a crazy-quilt of lakes, bogs, rivers, beaver meadows, and forests, serving up scores of legendary portage trails. The payoff? A bonanza of secluded waterways and crowd-free campsites set amid stunning hardwoods and teeming with wildlife. The classic Seven Carries Route in the St. Regis Canoe Wilderness Area lets you practice hike-paddling while traversing 10 quiet ponds and lakes, but it's short enough to do in a long day or an easy overnight (wilderness campsites are located on St. Regis Pond and Little Long Pond). The historic 9-mile route once connected two Adirondack resorts, and requires-you guessed it-seven portages a few hundred yards long or less.

Get there Put in at Little Green Pond, off of NY 30; take out at Lower St. Regis Lake, near the junction of NY 30 and NY 86. To shorten by one carry, start at Little Clear Pond (for route details see www.adirondacklakes.com/canoeguide/stregisinfo.htm). Rentals and shuttles: www.canoeoutfitters.com; www.adirondackoutfitters.com

Season June through October. Go during fall for riotous colors and fewer bugs.

Difficulty Easy

Contact Adirondack Regional Tourism Council, (800) 487-6867; http://adk.com/recreation/z-canoe.ht




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READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
Pennyyork
Feb 02, 2013

was wondering if anyone knew my father kenneth York he guided the Allagash for years.I would be interested thank you

Markus Harrild
Apr 02, 2012

Although you've listed some great waterways, and have limited space for your article, you know, your readers are going to chide you about not listing their favorites. So, to add to that list of incredulousness, when was the last time you paddled down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, in Central Idaho. For raw jaw-dropping beauty, aqueous power, a wicked challenge, and a great trip, you've got to list this gnarled ribbon of water that slices through the River of No Return Wilderness. I could understand leaving other waterways off your list, but not this beauty!

Anonymous
Mar 30, 2012

Wow, I can't believe the (insert favorite) river wasn't included. This is the best! Some of the most beautiful scenery is found on the (insert favorite) river....

Peter Swiderski
Mar 29, 2012

Wait a minute. Just wait a minute. You left out the Green River in Utah? Whether its Desolation Valley or Labyrnth Canyon or Stillwater, we are talking the most spectacular rafting and canoeing in the country, bar none, nothing even close. Please. Just my humble opinion, but seriously. Green River, for like 200 miles. THAT'S amazing.

Peter Swiderski
Mar 29, 2012

Wait a minute. Just wait a minute. You left out the Green River in Utah? Whether its Desolation Valley or Labyrnth Canyon or Stillwater, we are talking the most spectacular rafting and canoeing in the country, bar none, nothing even close. Please. Just my humble opinion, but seriously. Green River, for like 200 miles. THAT'S amazing.

Richard M McFadden
Mar 29, 2012

WOW! Do not depend on Larry Rice on this one. First off. The Glory Hole pictured is not even in the Buffalo watershed. Second, the LOWER section will be low in the Fall. The upper half of the river will be virtually dry. The Buffalo is rain dependent, not spring fed. Summer is hot and humid with low algae filled water. The Buffalo is my river. It is by far my favorite river and I spend a lot of time there. Obviously Larry Rice does not. I will be joining Kenneth L Smith tomorrow for a week of trailbuilding on the Buffalo. Ken will be trailbuilding in the fall. If you love trails it is a chance to be in a wonderful place extending the Buffalo River Trail.
rmmcfadden@yahoo.com.

DblKnt
Mar 29, 2012

The Allagash is indeed beautiful in Sept / Oct
but the river sections are very shallow and rocky.
You will likely be limited to the lakes.

Summer months usually have the best river flow.
Bring 100% DEET and a head net!

David Scarborough
Mar 29, 2012

I cant believe yall left out the Alabama Scenic River Trail, a trail that spans from NE Alabama to the Gulf of Mexico and includes the Bartram Canoe Trail, a trail that meanders through the beautiful Mobile/Tensaw River Delta.
http://www.alabamascenicrivertrail.com/
http://www.outdooralabama.com/outdoor-adventures/bartram/index.htm

Anonymous
Mar 29, 2012

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