Adks - Blue Mtn Lake to Raquette River/Axton Landing

USNortheastern regionNew York
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Trip Date : 
mid July 2023
Route Author: 
Scott Erdman
Additional Route Information
80 km
4 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
0 m
Longest Portage: 
0 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Access to Put-In Information: 

Put in is at the DEC public boat launch area in the town of Blue Mtn. Lake. There is street parking (half on the sidewalk) directly adjacent to the put in. You can leave your vehicle there for multiple days. There are public pit toilet style bathrooms across the street from the put-in. There is a gazebo with picnic table at the put in that makes for a good spot for lunch or a snack before heading off. 

Technical Guide: 

This trip was an abbreviation of the trip found here -

The route of our trip follows this route until the Raquette River section below Raquette Falls - the full route above heads off through two ponds (Stony Creek Ponds) to reach a 1.1 mile carry that continues the route in Upper Saranac Lake into the Fish Creek area and ultimately to Floodwood Pond take out. 

Because we previously paddled the final part of this on a different trip, we opted for a different take out on the Raquette River - Axton Landing. There is parking available at Axton Landing and there is cell service there. 


Trip Journal/Log/Report/Diary: 

Blue Mtn Lake – Raquette River/Axton Landing

Paddled with my friend Matt - tandem fiberglass canoe

Day 1 - 4 pm push off from put in at Blue Mt. Lake – paddled BML into Eagle Lake and into Utowana Lake where we stayed at the Lean-to

Day 2 – wasted some time finding the carry to Marion River/Raquette Lake as the marking on our map is odd and shows the start before where we found it. Did the carry, paddled Marion River into Raquette Lake, Raquette Lake to the Raquette – Forked Carry, did the Forked Carry and paddled to the Lean-to on Forked Lake. Both these carries are not tremendously long and can be readily wheeled with a cart if desired.

Day 3 – short paddle to take out for the long carry from Forked to Raquette River above Buttermilk Falls. Did the long carry, paddled the section to Buttermilk Falls, portaged the short carry around the falls, back in for a short paddle to the take out above the next carry. Did that carry to one of the two Deerland Lean-tos with our gear and left the boat at the beginning of the carry for first thing in the morning. The long carry is mostly along a dirt road and then trail for the final section - it can be wheeled. The Buttermilk Falls carry is short and cannot be wheeled. The final carry to Deerland Lean-tos is moderate length, can't recall how rough but I think this was done by carrying and not wheeling. 

Day 4 – completed carry with our boat and then paddled Long Lake: Deerland to Long Lake town beach, lunch at the Adirondack Hotel, long paddle up the lake into the mouth of the river outlet – stayed the night at the Lost Channel Lean-to. We were lucky several ways - first, winds and traffic on Long Lake were unusually slack, making for easier progress than might be the case if there were a sustained head wind (we did have a bit of one kick up for the last half hour or so of our paddle of the lake). Other lucky break was finding the Lost Channel Lean-to - water was high plus this lean-to is tucked up the bank and back in the trees. We almost paddled past.

Day 5 – 2-3 miles down the river to the Raquette Falls carry. Did the carry and then 2-3 more miles or so to the take out at Axton landing. Portions of this carry might be wheelable but others are not - we just carried the whole thing. 


Raquette River Canoe and Kayak Outfitters did our shuttle for us for a very reasonable price. They were a wealth of information and I highly recommend them for help with route choice and information (as are St. Regis Outfitters as well). Water level was 2 ft higher than normal levels everywhere so lots of flow in the river sections – our trip would take longer in normal levels, although our carries were pretty inefficient as we brought too much along. None of the lean-tos were particularly amazing spots – the first one on Utowana has an issue – there is a pool of rain runoff that forms about two to three feet in front of the privy – and runs down the trail to the lean to and into the lake. Not ideal but not a huge problem. Forked Lake had very nice paddling with few people. The NYS DEC campground there is, for the most part, paddle in only sites but the paddles are relatively short to the sites from the put in which is also the start of the carry going along the road to the Raquette River.

Special Comments: 

We used Raquette River Outfitters for the shuttle on this linear trip.