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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.

©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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