Backpacking: West Canada Lake Wilderness


This past weekend, I went with my Evil Sister and Klinutus to backpack around the West Canada Lake Wilderness in the Adirondacks.

We left immediately after work on Thursday night, as it’s a 9 hour drive from Harrisburg. We finally got to the trailhead at 3:00AM Friday morning. There was a clear sky and no light pollution there, so I flopped my bivy down right next to the car, and stared off into space and time until I fell asleep.

After a few hours, but before the sun came up, I had an intestinal emergency. I fumbled through my pack for my flashlight and poop shovel and ran off into the forest to dig a hole and unburden myself.

A few hours later, I awoke to the morning sun, which revealed a perfectly good outhouse right across the parking lot. Doh!

As a public service, I have included this outhouse on the map, so that others needn’t poop into holes in the ground.

At first light, we hiked down the French Louis trail, where we encountered a filthy looking backpacker who informed us that we were the first people he’d seen in 3 days.

We were not very far into the woods, when we came upon this little fellow. I nearly sewered him with my trekking pole before my sister alerted me to his presence. It was still pretty cold outside, and he was a little slow trying to hop off into the woods. This is how I was able to get my camera right up close for a picture.

There are these little Adirondack lean-to shelters all over the place. Many of them are built right on a lake, so you have unbelievable views in them. A couple of them had cooking implements hanging from them, so you don’t have to bring your own, if you don’t mind cooking with unclean pots of indeterminate origin.

We found one of these shelters unoccupied Friday afternoon and claimed it for ourselves. It had quite a view.

Beaver HouseSaturday morning, we futzed around in camp until quite late making breakfast and coffee and looking at the view. When we finally did get underway, we found that beavers had constructed a dam, which caused a detour of the trail, forcing us to hike around the beaver pond.

Klinutus dances the monkey dance
The extra walking did not dampen Klinutus’ spirits, as evidenced by his insane butt-monkey dance on the bridge over a stream crossing.

We had perfect weather for the whole endeavor. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, day or night.


Extreme Pano

Saturday night, all the lean-tos were full, so we found another spot with a nice view of the lake. Klinutus built a fire, we had dinner, watched the sun go down, and slept out under the stars.

Klinutus Builds a Fire

Sunset from Saturday Night's campsite

Sunday morning we had a fairly easy 5 mile walk back to the car, where we saw (but did not photograph) a beaver and two grouse.

It was a wondrous trip, even though my legs are so sore I can barely walk a day and half after I got off the trail.

There’s a few more pictures in my Gallery, in case all these pictures didn’t do it for you.

6 thoughts on “Backpacking: West Canada Lake Wilderness

  1. Nice pictures. I miss camping so much. I think next summer I’m going to have to get a zipcar account and escape the urban jungle so that I can wander around East Coast mountains.

  2. Buck

    I can relate, I’ve had my fair share of intestinal emergencies at odd times. If Orvis had gone along you would have had grouse for dinner.

  3. NICE!!! I did a multi-day canoe trip in the canada lakes wilderness a few years back. That are is beautiful, and much less crowded than some other parts of the adirondacks. Thanks for the trip report.

  4. Eric

    Nice and beautiful pics!! I never did camping that much but yes did mountain tracking manier times with all the equipments in my bag and that was really a wonderful one!!!


Comments are closed.