For this adventure you will have a short carry of only about 100 feet to the sandy shore at Lows Lower dam on Bog River. The launch itself is a scenic destination and a popular area for boating and fishing. The paddle starts out from the dam in a wide area with rocky shores and calm waters. As you proceed to the west the passage gets a bit narrower and the scenery becomes even more inspiring. These narrows have shallow waters, and submerged boulders might not clear the hull of a boat under lower water conditions.
Moving along, the course widens and you can explore the edges a bit more easily as you head into a pond-like section of river, where all types of birds can be seen. The river swings north through another narrow area, then quickly widens before heading west and under the railroad tracks.
As you feed through the final narrows on this trip, you will arrive the north-south shaped Hitchins Pond at the 2.5 mile mark. There is about 4 miles of shoreline at this pond. Heading north ends at Hitchins Bog, heading south will bring you to Lows Upper Dam. Look for a grassy area near a state sign, you can get out here and continue up the inlet to the dam and get out there.
There is an excellent hike up Lows Ridge from here.
How to get there:
From Saranac Lake, follow Route 3 west into Tupper Lake, then head south on Route 30 and turn right on Route 421 after about 9 miles. Follow this for 6 miles to the road for Lows Dam on the left — look for the DEC sign. Drive this to the end for the launch.
Type of launch:
There is a portage of about 100 feet.
There is a sandy gravel trail from the parking lot to Lows Lower Dam.
Type of water:
Hitchins Pond is calm and well sheltered, but it can get wavy in windy situations. The Bog River has a slight current and is well sheltered, with a mix of shallow and narrow sections.
Read our blog post about Lows Lower Dam.