Canoe Camping Opportunities in the Adirondack Mountains

by PennPaddler

adirondacks_canoeingThe Adirondacks
Located in northern New York State, the Adirondack Mountain Region is the Northeast’s last great wilderness. The six million acre park offers 2000 lakes and ponds, over 1200 miles of rivers. The abundance of water in the midst of mountains is what makes the Adirondack Region so unique. The Adirondacks have long been recognized as an outdoorsman’s paradise. Many of the lakes, ponds, and rivers connect to form a watery highway through the woods, inviting the boater to explore.

The Mountains
The mountain peaks are usually rounded and easily scaled. There used to be many railroads in the region but most are no longer functioning. The surface of most of the lakes lies at an elevation above 1500 ft; their shores are usually rocky and irregular, and the wild scenery within their vicinity has made them very attractive to tourists. Cabins, hunting lodges, villas and hotels are numerous.

adirondacksbirdTourism and Recreation
Because of strict regulations, the Adirondack lakes and rivers provide great trout and bass fishing opportunities. And with over 2000 lakes and ponds, and 1200 miles of rivers, the Adirondacks offer an array of paddling opportunity ranging from class 3-4 whitewater to smooth surface lake paddling and bog exploration. And with a total of approximately 6 million acres, the camping opportunities range from convenient commercial campgrounds to primitive lean-to camping for those seeking a true primitive camping experience.

St. Regis Canoe Area
The St. Regis Canoe Area offers some of the best paddling in New York, and is the only designated canoeing area in New York. The area contains 58 bodies of water and is an area in which a canoeist can escape to serenity and seclusion rarely experienced in today’s bustling civilization. Perhaps one negative aspect to canoeing in the St. Regis Canoe Area is the numerous portages. But experience the call of the loons, the serenity and pristine beauty, the unparalleded wildlife viewing, and the portages will only be a minor inconvenience. Find out more about the St. Regis Canoe Area.

Lake Lila
The 7,000 acre Lake Lila provides excellent canoe camping opportunity in excellent wilderness surroundings and wildlife habitat. The shorelines are lined with giant white pines and natural white sand beaches. There are seven islands in the lake and camping is permitted on the four of those islands. The lake has 17 designated campsites and is surrounded by state owned property. Fishing opportunity includes lake trout, brook trout, salmon, perch and smallmouth bass.

Raquette Lake
There are a number of campsites in the Raquette Lake area ranging from commercial campsites to primitive lean-tos which are provided on a first come-first served basis for up to three nights in a row. This lake and its bays and marshes will provide hours of exploration for canoeists. This lake also provides excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.

Raquette River
The Raquette River begins at Raquette Lake and slowly winds its way through the largest wetland areas in the Adirondacks. During peak waterfowl migration periods (spring and fall) this river offers supreme bird watching and wildlife viewing. Lean-tos campsites are available. There is a 1.3-mile portage at Raquette Falls.

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