Spy Lake

Twenty years ago we used to frequent Spy Lake for quick overnight canoe camping. Spy Lake is close, has 5 designated campsites and it has a remote feeling. Then the private landowners installed a gate and although Spy Lake is ¾ surrounded by NYS land there was no easy access.

When Ed was a little boy (-20 years) Ed, Kathryn, myself and our friend Rich put in on the Piseco Lake outlet off Route 10 and paddled into Spy Lake using the Spy Lake outlet. I remember it as small, twisty and having a half dozen beaver dams that required lift-overs, but largely navigable.

On Friday evening Skip and I revisited Spy Lake via the Spy Lake outlet. It was small, twisty and extremely shallow. The dry summer left Spy Lake water levels down and subsequently the outlet has very little water. Our short trip in took about 90 minutes. We counted 6 lift-overs , 8 ‘scoot-overs’ and one “involved maneuver”. An inch or two of additional water would make this a much more pleasant trip. The outlet is so narrow that it would cause issues for double bladed paddlers.  Below is a view looking “upstream on the Spy Lake outlet.

Spy Lake Outlet Meander

One of the ‘wade-though’ / carry-over sections.

We had a good view of an osprey checking the water bodies for fish.

Low water levels expanded the beach at campsite #5 on Spy Lake.

Looking north towards Irondequoit Mountain.

A Bald eagle cruising over Spy Lake.

The shallow beach at campsite #5.

We arrived at Spy Lake around 7:30pm, set up camp on Campsite #5 and sans a fire we enjoyed an evening sitting on the beach watching the sun set and the stars pop out. At night we were serenaded by an active loon population. Saturday morning we toured the lake and inspected the other campsites.

Loons on Spy Lake.

After exiting Spy Lake outlet we proceeded up Mud Lake outlet where we saw a brood of ducks riding on their mother’s back and we believe we saw two otters. Although shallow we only had one lift over navigating the Mud Lake outlet.