Canoeing from Bear to Bog to Little Long

We thought we could use a bit of practice for the 9-Miler canoe race so when a friend asks to meet us at Lower St. Regis we quickly agree. We take the canoe and drive to the Lower St. Regis canoe launch, arming each child with a paddle.

A Paul Smith’s College Watershed Steward greets us. He diligently checks the canoe for any invasive plant life, specifically Eurasian Water-milfoil. The Watershed Stewardship Program, among other duties, is responsible for helping to educate the public with ways to avoid the spreading and introduction of invasive species into the lakes.

The canoe passes the test. My daughter and I sit in the center while my son practices his stroke in preparation of the big race. We head west about 1/4 –mile, looking out for the first carry. We have a contest on our boat to see who will view the DEC sign first. My son is the winner. The portage is about 200 yards, a quick jaunt.

Bog Pond is aptly named. We traverse through a channel with grasses reaching over our heads. We listen to the sounds of frogs and loons in the distance. At some point my daughter decides she needs every stick, twig or log that she can grab, to reside in the canoe. I explain that we want to lighten the load and practice for the race. She doesn’t care if she upsets the balance as she stretches for each small branch. The next carry to Bear Pond is another 100 yards. The kids are getting used to getting in and out of the canoe, but we are nowhere near race shape.

After skirting the edge of Bear Pond our companions ask if we want to go one more carry to make Little Long Pond. We are up for it. This one is slightly longer (1/4-mile) but a little island awaits us when we arrive on the other side. We finish our lunch; rest under the heat of the sun while the kids spray each other with water.

Though the Round The Mountain Canoe and Kayak Race is a family event we choose to wait one more year, until my daughter will sit in the canoe without filling it with tree fall or pelting her brother with raisins.

Round the Mountain Canoe and Kayak Races

Saturday, May 18 at 11 a.m. 

Saranac Lake, 10.5 Miles

This flat water race starts at Ampersand Bay Resort on Lower Saranac Lake. Paddlers go southwest to Bluff Island, where they turn south into the Saranac River. Competitors then follow the river to the Lower Locks, where there is a short carry to Oseetah Lake. Paddlers then cross the lake to the islands in the northwest. The course ends on Lake Flower in Village of Saranac Lake. Paddlers are encouraged to bring their own shuttle from the start to finish. Entry fee is $25 per paddler. ($20 for AWA members)  Day of Race registration from 9 A.M. - 10:30 A.M. at Ampersand Bay Resort.
For more information please call Mac Canoe at 891-1176 or


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