Pollywog Pond

How much can the skies change during a kayak trip? A lot. I had to wait before I started this trip as it was raining and thundering nearby. It was getting late in the day and I wanted to get this in before dark.

Pollywog Pond can be accessed from other ponds by canoe carries or your can drive to Floodwood Road off of 30 near Upper Saranac Lake. Floodwood Road turns into a dirt/gravel road when the campsites start. Incidentally this body of water seems to be popular to camp along as most of the sites were taken. I am guessing it has to do with the ability to drive to the sites along Floodwood Road whereas other places you had to canoe/kayak to access them.

Launch

There is not a marked launch site on the map. However, I drove along Floodwood Road until I reached what looked like a good boat launch next to campsite 5 on the map. The road in that are near the launch has a wide shoulder so I felt it was safe to park my car there.

Waiting for the storm to pass

Canoe Carry to Hoel Pond

This entrance to the canoe carry is easy to spot from the pond.

The canoe carry to Hoel Pond is on the northeast corner of the pond. The exit from the lake where you would catch the canoe carry to Hoel Pond is a gradual ascent to land. It is good for kayaks on this end.

Heading south along the east shore of Pollywog.

Canoe Carry to Follensby Clear Pond

This appears to be the canoe carry to Follensby Clear Pond. It has a sign. I found no other marked clear areas that could resemble a canoe carry on this side.

The only place that appeared to be the canoe carry to Follensby Clear Pond is pictured above. It was a no go for me. It was a steep exit from the water and did not look safe.

Continuing South

There is an area on the east side of the pond that looks like a peninsula. It really is an island. There is a water passage break between the island and the land. There is a campsite at this location.

Heading into the West Side of the Pond

It tended to have a little mist/fog off the water after the rain.

Canoe Carry to Middle Pond

This was not marked , but it was the only location I saw that looked like it was meant to be a canoe carry to Middle Pond. It was very steep and muddy. Again a no go for me.

Heading Back

The break again between the island and the land.
Back the where I started.

Wildlife

I missed out on this pond. The day before I met someone at Follensby Clear Pond that said they saw 4 adult loons swimming and playing on Pollywog. So the next day I went to Pollywog. While I was there, I heard loons loudly talking to each other, but the sounds were coming from Follensby Clear Pond. You can’t win them all.

Once again I highly recommend this pond. It seems most bodies of water you cannot go wrong with the in Adirondacks. However, the connections to other ponds via the canoe carries that I came across on the Pollywog side looked dangerous on two out of three that I looked at. So I recommend driving to to access the pond where I did. I did not look at the canoe carry to Little Pollywog on the south western end of the pond.

Get out and enjoy all nature has to offer. I highly recommend experiencing the Adirondack lakes and ponds.

Paddling Fish Creek Ponds to Other Ponds

The Adirondack Mountains in New York has a lot of places to paddle where you do not have to get out of the water to go from one pond of lake to another. Others lakes or ponds may have cary paths between them. Fish Creek Ponds is another body of water you can access multiple bodies of water through without getting out of your canoe or kayak.

I actually launched from Follensby Clear Pond. The launch is near the Spider Creek Passage into Fish Creek Ponds. I launched from there to get two chances to see the loon baby and its mom. Going through Fish Creek Ponds after you go under the Route 30 bridge you see Fish Creek Ponds Campgrounds along the pond. These are paid sites. I could see a playground, beach, and fishing area.

Square Pond
On Fish Creek Ponds heading towards Square Pond
Square Pond Entrance

From there you can access Square Pond . I went in this body of water a short distance then turned and went towards Fish Creek.

Fish Creek

Fish Creek is a fairly wide creek in most areas. It is like a highway for canoeists and kayakers. Along the way you pass a dock to the canoe carry heading towards Follensby Clear Pond. The dock was too short for my 10 foot kayak to park at and the water next to the dock was too deep for me to step into. It was really more for canoes. This would be another way to get to Follensby Clear Pond avoiding a long paddle through Fish Creek Ponds, Spider Creek Passage and into Follensby Clear Pond.

Under this camp ground road leads into Fish Creek.
Once you went up Fish Creek a short ways, only boats with electric motors under 5 horsepower were allowed. This is great for kayakers and canoeists. It is also good for the wildlife.
Instead of paddling all the way back to Follensby Clear Pond from there a canoeist could pull up here and carry through a path to the pond. I tried to get out there ,but even on a sit on top kayak it was a no go. The dock was too short and the water right up to the land was too deep. I think it was actually about 2 1/2 to 3 feet deep or more next to the docks. It was all a very short area. I could not get close going head first or backwards to the dock in my over 10 foot kayak.
Copperas Pond
They actually had a sign up where you turn for this pond.

Next up was Copperas Pond. There are two primitive campsites on this body of water. They are across then pond from each other. Each has an open outhouse or privy. Behind the campsite I tied up at you also got a view of a another pond that had no outlet connecting it to other bodies of water.

Looking towards the opposite end of the pond. I saw an eagle flying towards another pond from here. The eagles in the Adirondacks travel from pond to pond or lake to lake.
This was looking towards the exit of Copperas Pond into Fish Creek.
Passage from Fish Creek into Floodwood Pond

Next I started paddling towards a Fish Creek passage that connects to Floodwood Pond and eventually Rollins Pond. Little Square Pond is beyond the entrance to this passage. It is unnamed on maps, but it may still be considered Fish Creek. At the entrance there was another primitive campsite. Floodwood Pond has several primitive campsites along it.

The water here was shallow.

I turned back before Floodwood as I had already paddled quite a ways from Follensby Clear Pond. I will save Floodwood and Rollins for another trip.

Wildlife
This was a long Fish Creek heading back. This is a beaver lodge. Beavers abound in the Adirondacks, but it appears this one, if still active does not dam the bodies of water.

I did see loons along the way. These ponds and creeks had more boat traffic due to the campgrounds on Fish Creek Ponds and Rollins Pond. Most of Fish Creek was not for power boats. Way back on Fish Creek beyond Copperas Pond I saw a loon who was quite busy fishing. I also saw a loon near the campgrounds at Fish Creek Ponds and a mother loon and her baby on the other side of Fish Creek Ponds near the private houses closer to Follensby Clear Pond.

In the summer there is more traffic on these bodies of water than others. It is due to two large campgrounds on Rollins Pond and Fish Creek Ponds. Both of those campgrounds allow caravans/campers. Despite that fact, it is still a nice place to paddle. I want to return to kayak from Rollins Pond to Floodwood Pond.

Follensby Clear Pond

Looking for a nice spot to canoe or kayak for a few hours in the Adirondacks? Looking for a place that offers free camping? Follensy Clear Pond may fit the bill.

Follensby Clear Pond is actually pretty large in size. Its larger than some lakes in the area. It is said to cover 491.3 acres.

Access
People who arrived at campsites tied up at the dock to load their canoes. They made trips back and forth setting up their camp. What you see in front of the dock is an island. The lake extends a ways off the right side of this photo.

Follensby Clear Pond has two launch points. One is on the south side of the pond off State Route 30. The other is on the north side of the pond off the same road. I used the parking lot and launch on the south side of the pond. They have two launch sites there. One is with a dock and the other is a rough path with roots sticking up close by. The same path takes you to both. The water is shallow at both points. I prefer standing in the water and getting in. Just be careful bringing your boat to the launch site. Small motor boats appear to be allowed on this pond.

Camping
Marker on a tree pointing out campsite access locations.

There are several campsites around the pond. They appear to be accessible via boat. There are markers on trees where you would access these sites. They are primitive campsites and everything is carry in carry out. It is first come first served, no reservations. Most campsites have outhouses and all have stone rock fire rings. Ladies from a local canoeing group told me there are usually at least one or two available. It appears to be accessible to more, they ask you stay for no more than three days. To say 4 days or longer you need to contact a ranger and get a permit. I am not sure how many campsites there are. I see at one point they were discussing closing some of the sites and there was opposition to that.

Wildlife

This pond has a variety of wildlife. I saw one loon pair. I also saw an eagle that was probably about 3-4 years old without white head feathers. Since there are several lakes and ponds in the near vicinity I don’t think he stays there long. There are ducks, and in July I saw many ducklings.

He was hard to get from the kayak. He was high up in a tree next to the pond. It was windy and the boat was rocking a lot. Eagle maybe 3-4 years old? Not an adult yet.
Exercising their wings- or drying them off?
Loon pair-This one had a battle scar. A fight with a turtle or other animal perhaps?
Loons near the boat launch. The island is in back of them. The loons came into the area of the boat launch area, which was calmer than the pond itself. When watching loons keep a distance. I have a powerful zoom lens.

I kayaked two different bodies of water that day. It was very windy and a little hard to paddle in the middle of the pond. I saw other kayakers and canoeists after I arrived. A canoeing group seems to favor this pond for their outings. It is also a pond that you can access more than one body of water through. I saw a group of kayakers come under State Route 30 through Spider Creek Passage from Fish Creek Ponds. Through Fish Creek Ponds you can access Upper Saranac Lake.

Windy or not it was a great body of water to paddle on. I hope to go back to this location in the near future. Whether you are camping or not it is a great pond to spend a few hours at.

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