Keese Mills is the site of a sawmill built in 1851 by Oliver Keese and Thomas Tomlinson. There is a dam north of the put in. The private entrance to the historic Great Camp of Marjorie Merriweather Post and the Rockefeller estate are located nearby. As you paddle up the St. Regis River you will have the opportunity to see white water lilies, steeplebush, and other plants. Commonly sighted birds on this route include loons, wood ducks, black ducks, mergansers, Canadian geese, seagulls, great blue herons, bald eagles, and osprey.
- Total distance: 2.5 miles one way
- Length of time: 1-2 hours one way
- No portage
- Flat water
- Round trip or one way
- Motorboats are allowed on Lower St. Regis Lake from Upper St. Regis Lake boat launch
- Public parking is available on Keese Mill Road at Black Pond, which is part of the Paul Smith’s VIC
- Put in/take out on Keese Mill Road or do this as a one-way trip to Lower St. Regis Lake and position a car at Paul Smith’s College parking lot
Put-in across from Black Pond and paddle down the St. Regis River to Lower St. Regis Lake. The St. Regis River meanders along, widening at various points — it narrows and then widens again as you enter Lower St. Regis Lake. Paddle out to find Peter’s Rock (named after Abenaki Native American – Captain Peter Sabattis, born 1750). Peter’s Rock, which is owned by Paul Smith’s College, is a great place to picnic or swim. From Peter’s Rock, paddle toward the northern shore to reach Paul Smith’s boat launch. The parking lot is a short walk from the take out.
Recommended resource: Adirondack Paddler’s Map: St. Regis Canoe Wilderness