Adirondack Park: St. Regis Wilderness

Trekking abroad for the first time, my girlfriend Fiona and I decided on a canoe trip in the Adirondack mountains of New York State during the Labor Day weekend of 2001. Specifically, the St. Regis Wilderness Canoe Area, home to over 25 flatwater ponds and channels and several historic routes.

Morning mist on Little Green Pond. Check out more photos here. Our plan was to try a variation of the nine-carries route with a side trip hike up St. Regis mountain – until we realized the Adirondack Canoe Map we were basing our trip on was hopelessly out of scale.

Fortunately we ran into an American couple our first night on Little Green Pond who helped us plan a more realistic route for our three night stay.

Our modified route looped through Hoel, Long, Little Fish and St. Regis Ponds along with a hike up St. Regis mountain on our final day.

It’s cold up in the Adironacks in early September I found out to my chagrin. I really envied Fiona’s fuzzy hat after the first night and bought one for myself before we headed out to Hoel Pond.

Because this was my first trip with Fiona, I didn’t want to subject her to the tortuous pace I’m accustomed to so we lesiurely paddled through Hoel, Turtle, Slang and Long Ponds our first day on the water. After setting up camp, we explored our two options for the route to Fish Pond the next day. Good thing too because we soon found out that the shorter route with the two long portages was far too wet to try. That meant we hopped through Nellie, Kit Fox and Little Long Ponds the following day before camping on a hidden plateau site along the creek that flows from Fish Pond. Day three found us heading back to St. Regis Pond and having our pick of sites as all Labor Day campers had left the area. Despite having the option of two lean-tos with roofs, toilets and a grill, we decided on a more traditional site with a nice rock slab for sunning. After signing out our last morning back at Little Clear Pond, we hiked two hours up St. Regis Mountain. Steep climb. But worth it.

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