The Northern Forest Canoe Trail
Through-Paddler's Companion

A guidebook to paddling the 740-mile water trail from its western terminus in Old Forge, New York to the eastern terminus in Fort Kent, Maine.

260 pages. By Katina Daanen

3) Long Lake, NY to Stoney Creek

Sample Segment Description

Wind conditions on Long Lake may affect your ability to put on miles, but there are many lean-tos and beautiful campsite options along the east and north shores for breaks. The Raquette River picks up again as a gentle, meandering river from the north end of Long Lake for the first five miles before your only portage within this section. If the wind is to your back and with the river's current, you should be able to easily paddle all 22 miles, and possible more, in one day.

Keep to the left of the long narrow island as you enter the river through the deepest channel near the northeast shore of Long Lake. The first 1.5 miles includes two lean-tos on river left and the confluence of the Cold River on river right, discernable by its upstream current from the Raquette River's downstream flow. Smallmouth bass can be found lurking in the mingling waters.

A broken canoe and warning sign mark the mandatory portage trail around the falls and rapids. The Raquette Falls lean-tos and campsites under towering pine trees near the old Mother Johnson's homestead is a popular stopping point for some groups as is the put-in for swimming after the long carry. The river continues on for another 6.5 miles passing several more lean-tos before the marked turn-off to Stoney Creek.

Plan on camping within this section.

Portage Details

#1) Raquette Falls: Not Easily Wheeled
1.3 miles. The canoe landing take-out can be a tight fit for a large number of canoes and gear, and depending on the day or time of summer, could be a busy area. Wheels are not going to be useful, at least for the first half of what is essentially a hiking trail. The initial incline is steep and stepped. Rocks and roots just upset the wheels. As you near the end, particularly around the camping and lean-to areas, the trail is level and wheeling is more viable.

The put-in is past the lean-to and Mother Hubbard's house beyond the lower falls. A nice beach makes this an appealing swimming hole after a sweaty portage.

NFCT Map: 2
Total Miles: 22.5
Milepost: 65.5
Portages: 1
Type of Watercourse(s): 1 lake and
1 downstream river

Points of Interest

  • Fishing hole at the confluence of the Cold River
  • Photo Op by the broken canoe carry sign
  • Enjoying some down time in the Raquette Falls area after the portage


Long Lake, NY:
General Store, Restaurants, Lodging, Library,
Post Office

Overnight Options and Distances From Long Lake, NY

Long Lake < 9.5 Miles
Lean-tos and campsites are located at regular intervals all along the east shore and north end of Long Lake
Raquette River 11 Miles
Deep Hole lean-to
Raquette River 15.5 Miles
Lower Falls/Mother Johnson's lean-tos and camping area
Raquette River 16 Miles
Raquette River lean-tos
Raquette River 22 Miles
Stoney Creek lean-to and campsite

Two additional lean-tos are located between the Raquette River lean-tos and Stoney Creek on river right.

The information contained within this publication is the result of the best efforts of the author using information obtained from personal experience, interviews, paddler blogs, trail data and facts available at the time of publication. Changes in environment and economics are constantly occurring and therefore, information cannot be guaranteed to be precisely accurate. This book is not a substitute for outdoor skills or good personal judgment. Any outdoor recreational activity is potentially hazardous. Each user of the information presented on this website or in this book must accept personal responsibility for his or her own safety and orientation. Always wear a pfd.

All rights reserved. No portions of the content of this website or the guidebook may be reproduced without the express written consent of the author or publisher. Illustrations and photography remain the rights of Katina Daanen or any other credited contributors.

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