Kayaking Northeast US & Canada

Apr 21, 2013, at 2:22 PM
From: Steven Leslie <>

I’ve begun to research where to take a multi-day kayak camping trip this summer. I’d appreciate any suggestions and trip reports about good spots in the Northeast US/Canada.  This outing will have to be on fresh and generally gentle water since we’ll taking small kids. Natural beauty, easily available camping and few, or no, portages are also part of the equation.  Last summer we went to Lake George, which was great until the powerboats showed up for the weekend. The lower Delaware downriver from Port Jervis is nice too, but too short and lacking in camping for this 5-6 day trip. Saranac Lakes is probably my top pick at the moment, since I ventured out there a few years ago. I’m looking at trip reports on the Adirondacks and upper Connecticut River. Please share any enjoyable experiences you’ve had.



Lee Riser:

Try Assateague Island on the Delmarva Peninsula. See the wild Ponies which your kids will love, but Book NOW to get a permit. FYI State Park has HOT showers, Federal – Cold only, but both  well maintained.  I like Island Pond also, but there’s a separate fee & key over & above for that.

Harriman & Pass Availability

Hi All,

Paddled Lake Tiorati in Harriman State Park Yesterday. Sunny with a few clouds scudding by. Very windy, 15-20 knots with 25 knot gusts. Water temperature taken with my trusty pool thermometer was 49 degrees! Glad I had the drysuit with underneath layers on! Went out alone so I stayed close to the shoreline all around the perimeter of the lake and made sure I had all my self rescue safety gear handy.

Saw 3-4 active Beaver lodges and many Canada Geese nests with a male or female hunkered down incubating their eggs. Didn’t see the giant female Snapping Turtle in her usual place yet. Perhaps it was too cold for her.

I buy a pass and gate key ($45) from the Palsades Interstate Park System every year which allows me to paddle Lakes Welch, Sebago, Kanawaukee, Skannitati, Askoti, Stahahi, Silvermine, Turkey Lake etc., as well as the subject lake. Also lets me paddle at Lake Minnewaska (small but gorgeous) near New Paltz and to launch and paddle at Nyack Beach State Park, Upper Nyack NY, where one can paddle along the cliffs or walk (pass not needed) along the Riverside Trail all the way to Haverstraw and back.  If you are interested in purchasing this pass, bring each boat ($30/each) along with a paddle and a PFD. You must have these and show them to a Park Ranger to get a key($15). Boat inspections and passes issued at Tiorati Circle Ranger Station, Seven Lakes Parkway which can be accessed off of Rte 17 N. Sloatsburg, NY.

Be safe out there especially now,




Harrimans a great place to paddle and hike . Ya forgot to mention Island Pond which is My favorite .

Yes but well worth it , you also need a fishing permit even if you don’t fish . Appalachian trail crosses right over the entrance rd ,take a short hike along it to the Lemon squeezer you won’t be disappointed .

Steve you must take your family to the Bog river Flow / Low’s lake area. I’ve paddled the Adirondacks from stem to stern since i’m a Teen and this is the place I return to over and over again . You’ll hardly notice current going in and will slightly help coming out . This photo is from top of Low’s ridge with the Bog river down below ,it’s an easy with kids in tow 1/2 mile hike up .‘s_Ridge,_St_Lawrence_County,_NY.jpg  . It’s located between Long lake and Tupper lake . If ya want to just drive up without boats and rent contact Anne Fleck at Raquette River Outfitters in Tupper lake , Annes a sweetheart and top notch outfitters . They will drop off Canoes/kayaks at put in and ya just leave em on beach at take out . Area has 2-3  pairs of Bald eagles. I was up there last Oct and one pair nesting on southern end of frying pan island had a chick just taking to the air . I  also spotted 3-4 pairs of Loons . This is a non-motorized area so no worries about that . Truly a magical place . Lake Lila close second : )


<  wrote:
Another great area is the thousand islands in Canada-it’s really beautiful with fresh water and basically no tides so you don’t have to plan anything. There are tons of really cute little islands and it’s alot of fun. There’s also an ACA island there where you can stay if you’re an ACA member-it’s Sugar Island.

Laurie Bleich


elizabeth green

Lets not forget the mosquitoes. The last and only time I was there, I got bitten up (in my tent) so badly I did not sleep at all and could not wait for morning so I could leave my campsite! But I do agree it can be a beautiful place to kayak as long as you take precautions.



Steve McAllister

< wrote:

I agree with Laurie, but be aware that strong winds can be an issue at the Thousand Islands. Then again, winds can be an issue at many great paddling locations. I have camped on most of the Islands that allow camping. I recommend sticking to the Canadian side to avoid any border issues. Also, I recommend parking and a launching from Misty Islands Lodge:

It is near Sugar Island. Allow for inexpensive parking and other services.

I always go to the Thousand Islands near the end of August or early September to avoid flying insects and also the crowds.



Gordon, Peter”
Hi Steven,
We spend summers on Moosehead Lake in Northern Maine. It’s about 30-40 miles across with many other smaller lakes to explore as well.  Generally uncrowded, often you’ll only see a few other boats, and it’s big enough to get away from others. It’s also near Mount Katahdin and Baxter State Park, which is the northern most end of the Appalachian trail.  Lots of mountains to climb and beautiful lake scenery, and Moose of course!  Camping is plentiful and generally available.  No reservations needed, just pitch your
tent and pay the ranger when they come by. Thoreau wrote about the area in his travels in the Northern Maine. Let me know if you want more info, I can help you with the locals if needed.  It’s about a 9 hour drive from NYC.  Here’s a useful website:


Jean Kostelich

Cooperstown gets our vote. Excellent camping, no-motors-allowed 9-mile Lake Otsego (“Glimmerglass”), lots of good food, art, history, and of course, music (The Glimmerglass Festival). See blog post below — links can help you plan your trip.