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Home » Adventures » Adirondacks » St. Regis Canoe Wilderness: To Fish Pond

July 26 — Exploring the North Side of SRCW

Route I paddled this day

Route I paddled this day

I slept in, but finally headed into the heart of the St. Regis Canoe Wilderness. My expedition began with a couple brief portages, followed by similar short paddles through bogs, a beaver pond, and eventually onto St. Regis Pond. I passed a trail crew’s gypsy camp, which despite the good work they were accomplishing, did not set a good example, as they camped at the portage and blocked part of it with their gear.

Being on the comparatively larger water of St. Regis Pond and using my paddle was nice a nice change from the very small lakes I crossed getting there. There were also a few other boaters on this lake. At least this time I learned my lesson, and instead of a canoe paddle I used a kayak paddle, which made controlling my boat a lot easier.

Bog Pond

Bog Pond

My paddle use was still short lived as I head towards Fish Pond. The first carry to Ochre Pond was very brutal. The trail had a couple large, downfalls that I threw my boat over, along with many of uphills, roots, and mud. Also a lesson I did not remember was to rent a boat meant for portaging. My canoe was heavier than need be and did not have any serviceable yolk. There was no good way to carry it, but between several bad ways and lots of rest I spread around the pain and made slow progress.

Eventually I got to Ochre Pond and was tired. Between the exhaustion and approaching thunderstorm I stopped at that pond’s campsite to cook lunch. After eating I still did not have much motivation and laid under some trees. Rain still fell on me, but my Gortex kept me mostly dry.

Sunset over Fish Pond

After my relaxing break I recovered enough to attempt the carry to Mud Pond, followed by the portage to Fish Pond. The former was another long, hard carry that left me tired and in pain. Some where in the back of my head I reminded myself I was on vacation and was here to have a good time. The excruciating carry leading to Mud Pond ended with a steep descent. I could not rest there, but had to quickly board my canoe to escape the onshore bug swarms. So far this day I had spent more time (and almost distance) carrying my boat than floating in it.

The hop across Mud Pond led to a (relatively) short portage to finally reach Fish Pond. I originally wanted to get further, but with the portages taking a long time, the couple hour hiatus for a siesta at Ochre Lake, and several more portages between me and the next lake with campsites, I call Fish Pond home for the night. After setting up camp I went for an evening paddle, hoping to catch a good sunset. I did not receive that reward but did enjoy a twilight paddle on a clam sheet of glass.