A beautiful fall afternoon brought together paddle pals and their favorite paddle pup for canoe camping! After a short portage from Lake Lila Access Rd, paddlers shoved off into the setting sun in search of the best campsite on the water. Luckily, fall weekdays offer the best campsite selection!
Setting up camp was swift with beautiful views of sunset – soon all gathered ‘round the campfire as the temps dived into the 30s. Morning brought an equally gorgeous sunrise, sufficiently admired with a hot cup of coffee. A hearty oatmeal breakfast called for a day of exploring – bushwhacking to see the nearby campsites, it became abundantly clear the best campsite was indeed their’s. Back in the boats, exploring the nearby islands and down the Beaver River all the while sharing knowledge of Lake Lila’s previous residents, surrounding mountains, and nearby waterbodies until a treacherous beaver dam stopped them in their tracks. Still being a bit chilly out, paddlers decided dam jumping would be a little too intense, but vowed to return in warmer months when chances of hypothermia lessen.
The next day arrived with more sunrise appreciation and impromptu breakfast burritos – farm fresh eggs, turkey bacon, and of course the works. Camp was slowly dismantled with plenty of sighing and complaints of not wanting to leave. Eventually, with plenty of backwards glances, they hopped in the boats bound for a hike to Mt. Frederica. The clear day allowed for expansive views, even Saranac Lake’s Mt. McKenzie could be perfectly identified! The way back offered viewing of the old Vanderbilt Forest Lodge site, followed by an intense paddle back to the boat launch thanks to prevailing winds from the NE.
With everything hoofed back and loaded into the cars, a trip to Raquette River Brewing brought this incredible journey to a close.
Submitted by Mary Noack