Both of these ponds reside in the 18,400 acre Saint Regis Canoe Area. This is the only designated canoe area in the Adirondack Park and with its numerous bodies of water it offers an amazing and very unique and special wilderness experience. The St. Regis Canoe Area includes St. Regis Mountain, St. Regis Pond, Long Pond, sections of the east and west branches of the St. Regis River, and 56 other water bodies, many of which can only be reached via other ponds and carries.
Another unique fact about the entire Saint Regis Canoe Area is that no motor boats are allowed, no exceptions. Little Clear Pond is unique in the Adirondacks, in that, no fishing is allowed at all. The NYSDEC uses this pond to breed landlocked salmon for the fish hatchery. In order to do this adequately they don’t allow fishing. Little Clear pond has two small islands on the western shore and a very large peninsula on the upper western shore. These are excellent nesting area for loons, and due to the fishing regulations on the pond, loons are very common. Please do not disrupt the loons or their nests. If you see a nest, don’t disturb it and move away.
The carry for Grass Pond is located on the north east shore and is a bit difficult to locate. There used to be a DEC sign marking the carry but it has since been displaced, mysteriously along with the trail markers that lay out the route. Keep a keen eye for it and once you see it, you’ll know it and it is very easy to follow. You can practically see Grass Pond from the take out.
The carry is well hardened from years of use and is wide enough to carry any type watercraft. The put-in is on a sandy shore in the shallows. The paddle across is very quick as this is a small pond. Plan to see local fisherman here on a regular basis. A nice campsite is located on the northern shore atop a small rise.
Pond Sizes: Little Clear Pond: 1.7 miles from south to north shore: 0.8 miles at its widest point, Grass Pond: 0.3 miles from east to west shore: 0.15 miles at its widest point
Distances: Little Clear Pond to Grass Pond Carry–approx. 1.1 miles, Grass Pond Carry-less than 0.2 miles, To amp on Grass Pond-0.25 miles
How to get there: From the intersection of Route 3 and Route 86 in Saranac Lake follow Route 86 toward Paul Smiths. Continue for 5 miles to Route 186 on the left. Follow Route 186 for 4 miles to its end at Route 30. Follow Route 30 toward Tupper Lake for just under 3 miles to Fish Hatchery Road on the right. Follow Fish Hatchery Road for 0.5 miles to the entrance to boat launch area. Follow this dirt road over the railroad tracks and straight to a Y-intersection. Take a right at the Y-intersection to the boat launch site.
Type of launch: State boat launch site, less than 100 yards
Portage/Carry Details: From Little Clear Pond to Grass Pond-less than 0.2 miles, Well packed terrain with a well-developed route and wide enough for a comfortable portage.
Type of water: Little Clear Pond: This lake can be a bit choppy at time, typically flat calm conditions and well sheltered. No motorboats allowed. Grass Pond: Well sheltered, calm and flat.