Weekend goals: Camping on waterfront, hiking, kayaking, swimming.
It was a tall order. I gave it some thought last week and came up with Coreys and the Raquette River. Coreys is a hamlet located just south of Route 3, between Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake. It is just south of Upper Saranac Lake. Coreys is well known to locals, and to aspiring 46ers, who use Coreys Road to access the Seward Range. Boaters use Coreys Road as well to launch into Stony Creek Ponds or the Raquette River. We were fortunate to have my son Zack (and dog Lulu) join us after a last minute invitation on my part.
I was hopeful that we would be able to camp at the designated site on Stony Creek Ponds that is accessed from Coreys Road. it is on a point that is surrounded by water on 3 sides. It is a nice level site in the pines and has a nice private sandy beach! It is the first site on the left as you head down Coreys Road. There is a short path to access the site, but it is not marked at the road. You can see the location of the site on the map at the bottom of this post.
We arrived at Coreys at about 10:30 on Saturday morning and the site was available! We quickly set up our tent and left some gear there before continuing south on Coreys Road to the Stony Creek Parking Area. Our hike was going to be the trail to Raquette Falls. This is a designated horse trail and there were 3 trucks in the parking lot with horse trailers.
|Signage at the parking area.|
|I love these old hand pumps. This one is in the parking area.|
Our first stop was the Stony Creek lean-to. This lean-to is only a 5 minute walk from the parking lot and it lies in a beautiful location tucked just above the Raquette River with a wonderful beach at the water's edge. Nobody was there! Simply amazing that it was empty. I guess mid-September is the reason, although I find this weather to be better than summer.
The dogs spent some time on the beach and in the water. Rev won't swim, but Lulu loves the water. Below are a few pictures of the dogs for Zack.
Halfway to Raquette Falls, there is a fork in the trail. The left fork heads away from the river and towards Calkins Brook. We took the right fork to continue to the falls. We passed the Hemlock Hill lean-to and it was occupied so we didn't go over to it.
|The fork in the trail at the 2.2 mile mark.|
|An old tractor that remains near the Interior Outpost.|
Just prior to the DEC Interior Outpost, the trail reaches rapids at a beautiful spot on the river. There are large boulders and a beach to add to the scenery.
The start of the rapids.
After 4.3 miles, we came to the DEC Interior Outpost, a nice ranger facility. Just beyond the outpost are the series of falls. The water is still relatively warm and we saw several guys swimming at the falls.
|The Interior Outpost at Raquette Falls|
At the upstream end of the falls is a large danger sign warning boaters about the falls ahead. There is a nice beach there for boats to land. A nice carry trail is available for boaters to use to bypass the falls.
|Leave the river here!|
|Zack and Lulu at the start of the carry trail.|
We turned around at the start of the carry trail and headed back. We didn't see any hikers (or horses), but there were quite a few boaters on the river.
Just as we got back to the car, it was starting to rain. We said a quick goodbye to Zack, and headed back to our campsite. We had left our gear (including sleeping bags) in the tent without the rainfly on. We managed to get back and get the fly on before anything got wet.
The rain started and stopped several times. It seemed that each time I would try to start a campfire, it would start to rain. We gave up and went in the tent to read. At 8 PM or so the rain stopped and we went out and had our campfire. When our bundle of wood was gone, we turned in for the night.
It was very windy, and just before midnight heavy rains came in. Our tent was located in a good spot and no water seeped into the floor of our tent. The rainfly kept the rain out from above and all was good. The dog even slept!
|Our campsite for the night.|
Hike Distance: 11 miles
Hike Time: 5 hours, including stops
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 800'
|The hike route|
|The route of a short paddle on Stony Creek Pond.|