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Lake ClearPaul SmithsSanta ClaraSaranac Lake
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Paddling
 

DISTANCE: 6 miles one way

SHUTTLE: Yes — 7 miles one way

ROUTE: Paddle seven bodies of water while carrying your boat across six carries (yes, six, you don’t have to do the traditional last one). Start at Upper St. Regis Lake and hug the left shoreline without going into the marsh. Then follow the little white signs to Bog Pond, Bear Pond, Little Long Pond, Green Pond, St. Regis Pond and finally Little Clear Pond. The last two ponds are the biggest. This route has been used for more than 100 years and the carries are well worn and marked.

CARRIES: Six of them. Many are a few hundred feet or less. The longest is a half-mile between St. Regis Pond and Little Clear.

PERKS: This trip has just about everything. The shoreline of Upper St. Regis is filled with magnificent great camps. The rest of the trip is in a wilderness setting. Expect to see loons on just about any of the ponds. Great swimming spots along the way. Great fishing. Plenty of places to picnic. Bring a tent and spend the night.

OBSTACLES: There are a lot of carries so you’ll want to have a lightweight boat or at the very least some wheels for your canoe or kayak.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Little Clear Pond is located 10 miles from Saranac Lake via Forest Home Road, which is off Ampersand Avenue (located at the northern end of Broadway). At the end of Forest Home Road, cross Route 30 and drive .5 miles down Fish Hatchery Road until you see a little brown sign for Little Clear Pond. Take a right and drive a quarter-mile to the Little Clear parking lot. Drop off one car here, then drive to the start of the trip by taking Fish Hatchery Road back to Route 30, turn left and drive 3.5 miles until Route 30 heads left just after the Lake Clear Post Office. Drive another three miles and take a left at St. Regis Carry Road, which leads to Upper St. Regis Lake.

MAPS: Adirondack Canoe Map, Adirondack Paddler’s Map