Paddling Lake Clear
Paddling Lake Clear
The most obvious place to start paddling a canoe or kayak is right here in front of us – Lake Clear itself. About half the shoreline is owned either by the state or the Girl Scouts and, as such, is undeveloped. Even where there are camps along the shoreline they are not packed together shoulder to shoulder. There is no public boat launch on Lake Clear so even on a beautiful, warm summer weekend day you may see two motorboats out on the lake. All of this makes for a rather enjoyable paddling experience. There is certainly a multitude of more wilderness trips very nearby but for an easy, convenient option throw the boat into the water right next to the Lodge and poke around the shoreline. You'll routinely see loons and occasionally a bald eagle sitting at the top of a tree. For the last several years late in the season we've seen a huge number of loons seemingly gathering on Lake Clear before leaving for warmer climates. Last year in October we counted 52 of them. Pretty darn cool!
A nice variation is to paddle down the Lake Clear outlet. You can paddle just as far on the outlet as you do on the lake to get to it. Find the beginning by heading down the shore to the left as you look out from the Lodge beach and go to the far left end of the lake. Look for an area of low vegetation far from any camp and a very narrow opening. There is a little sandy beach to the left of the outlet right next to an impossibly horizontally growing tree – nice for a break and a swim. (There is a car accessible public beach at the opposite end of the lake to the right.) Just don't spend much time directly under the tree! The outlet starts out a bit narrow, goes under the railroad and highway bridges, and eventually opens up into a fairly wide body of water. Look for turtles soaking up the rays on a log in the middle of the water. Last year someone spotted a moose in the marshy water along the outlet shore. I paddled down there the same day and, of course, it was gone. You can paddle down to the dam. Pull out to the left if you want to check it out and stretch your legs. Time it right and you can paddle back while enjoying one of our beautiful sunsets just to the left of St Regis Mountain. (Having trouble falling asleep? I can show you a slideshow of our approximately 1000 Lake Clear sunset photos.)