The local Adirondack Mountain Club Chapter (Iroquois) scheduled a three day trip up the Oswegatchie River in the Five Ponds Wilderness Area April 27-29. Under the threat of thunderstorms and lightning on Friday we scaled it back to a Sat-Sun trip. Our group of 7 boats (2 kayaks, 3 Hornbeck canoes, and 2 Wenonah canoes) met for departure at 8am from the Oswegatchie River Canoe Access. I was the only single bladed paddler.
We stopped for a snack at Griffin Rapids lean-to. There were parties camping at High Rock and a group of 6 at the Cage Lake Springhole lean-to that paddled up to High Falls ahead of us. The river was blocked by two log jams on the way in that required exiting the canoe and dragging around the obstacle. We suffered one ‘canoe re-entry’ dumping on the way in.
The map below depicts the 9.8 mile route mapped by Greg’s GPS unit on the way in with waypoints indicating designated campsites. Clicking on the map will revel more detail.
We arrived at our campsite (Site #22) where the Wolf Pond Trail crosses over the Oswegatchie River at roughly 2pm. As we unloaded our boats Vinnie declared that he wasn’t going to set up a rain-fly since “it is not going to rain tonight”. Our howls quickly informed him of jinxing us and sure enough just as we completed setting up our tents it began to sprinkle. It continued to lightly rain on and off for the next 24 hours.
Having arisen at 3am in the morning I was bushed that night and turned in early at 8pm and slept through the night until 8am the following morning – better than 2 cups of coffee.
After breakfast we chatted through the morning with most of the party deciding to head back at 11:30am leaving Greg and Bill to hike to High Falls on their own. Our trip downstream only took 3 hours 20 minutes and we only suffered one dumping on the way out.
After loading up and driving home for 30 minutes the sun broke out. The pictures of High Rock below were taken by Greg on his return trip out.