Lows Lake paddlers’ map

The folks at Raquette River Outfitters know Lows Lake well, having guided trips there for years, and now they’ve put their knowledge down on paper—water-resistant paper.

In 2011, the Tupper Lake shop published a marvelously detailed color map that includes just about all you need to know for day trips and longer excursions in the Lows Lake region. It sells for $12.95.

The topographical map encompasses the entire length of the Bog River, from its headwaters near Clear Pond and Bog Lake, through Lows Lake and Hitchins Pond, and on to its mouth on Tupper Lake. State land is shaded green, while private land is white. Carry trails are red, and hiking trails are black. Other things shown include rapids, waterfalls, campsites, and dirt roads.


Flip the map over, and you find a wealth of information about campsites, hikes, put-ins, state regulations, and the region’s history—in essence, a miniature guidebook.

Paddlers who plan to camp at Lows Lake will appreciate the detailed descriptions of the campsites. Here’s what the map says about campsite 18: “Low, dry, beautiful open site with mature white pines. Popular site has a small grassy field to the east, a privy, a peninsula beach and windy westerly exposure. Can fit several large tents. Looks west.”

Obviously, Robbie Frenette and Ann Fleck, the owners of Raquette River Outfitters, are intimately acquainted with this gorgeous lake. But there is another paddlers’ map already on the market: the Adirondack Paddler’s Map, published by St. Regis Canoe Outfitters in Saranac Lake. Why do we need another?

In a word, convenience. the Adirondack Paddler’s Map covers a much larger region and consequently is four times the size of the Lows Lake map. Frenette says many paddlers who are just visiting Lows Lake find the bigger map unwieldy. Another advantage is that the Lows Lake map is larger scale and thus able to show a bit more detail.

One interesting note: if you compare the two maps, you will see significant differences in the shape of Lows Lake. Frenette says this is because his map-maker—Cushman Design Group in Vermont—used satellite imagery in drawing water bodies. “The shoreline is real accurate,” he said. “It’s not just taken off old maps.”

For example, the Adirondack Paddler’s Map shows Tomar Pond as a bay on the south side of Lows Lake, with a wide entrance. Frenette’s map shows it as more of a separate pond with a narrow outlet. A satellite photo on Google Maps suggests that the new map is more accurate.

Frenette plans to collaborate with Cushman on at least three other maps of similar design, including one that shows Little Tupper Lake and Lake Lila. This could be used in tandem with the Lows Lake map by paddlers making a forty-five-mile loop that includes Little Tupper, Lila, Lows, the Bog River, and Round Lake. Another map will show the Oswegatchie River and Cranberry Lake. This map, too, could be used with the Lows Lake map by paddlers traveling in a long loop. The other map will cover Long Lake and the Raquette River.

About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

Reader Interactions


  1. Ginny Alfano says

    Thank you for writing about this fantastic map! I wouldn’t have known it even existed if you hadn’t had it on your site. It will make a wonderful gift for my husband for Christmas:) Hopefully, you will let us all know when the Little Tupper Lake/Lake Lila map becomes available. That will also be a great addition to our map library!

    • Mary Lou Hardwich Leavitt says

      How far in from the put in can you paddle, distance? Where is the put in? Are there places to stop and rest…beachy spots?

  2. Phil Brown says

    To Mary Lou: From the Bog River put-in at the Lower Dam, you paddle 2-3 miles to Hitchens Ponds and then carry a short distance to Lows Lake, which is about nine miles long. There are beachy spots on Lows.

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