What is Copperas?
Copperas is a green, hydrated ferrous sulfate, used in making commercial grades of inks and pigments, but to me Copperas is a pond in the Fish Creek Pond area. I don't know where it got its name, but I do know that there is more than one Copperas, so if you are looking for this particular pond remember it is located between the Tupper & Saranac Lake regions.
Where do we begin?
We will put in at Follensby Clear Pond. The access is only 20 minutes from Tupper Lake, heading north on Route 30. We don't have to portage at the put in and we don't have portages on our route. We could also access Copperas via Floodwood Pond, Rollins Pond, Fish Creek Pond and even Upper Saranac, all without a carry. We are accessing it at Follensby Clear Pond, as I think you will enjoy paddling Spider Creek. Spider Creek is on our right near our access point, under a culvert. Be sure to do a yodel in the culvert and hear your echo and watch for ducks, turtles, frogs, flowers and Blue Herons once we pass through the tunnel.
Spider Creek, a shallow and narrow body of water, will take us into Fish Creek Pond. We will continue south west on Fish Creek Pond, passing Hickok's Boat Livery on our right. Hickok's is a family owned business which rents kayaks, canoes and row boats. They also carry a variety of camping supplies and clothing. A great place to visit! Heading toward the Route 30 bridge, we spot a loon. I grab my camera and take a few shots, before it dives under. We paddle a bit farther and we see a Blue Heron on the right side of bridge. I think it is a female as it appears to be gray, the males are bluer. Again, I grab my camera and manage to get a few shots prior to it flying a very short distance to the left side of the underpass. They never seem to fly far from me, but just enough so that I can't get another shot!
Fish Creek Campsites and Square Pond
We are now on the NYS Fish Creek Campgrounds and can see their beautiful sandy beach on the right and the large beach house. As we pass the beach we see the picnic and playground area on the right. I notice Square Pond is off to our left, so I suggest that we take a detour and check it out. Square Pond, which is part of the Fish Creek campgrounds, appears to be square on the Adirondack Paddler's Map. It is a popular campground and if you drive through it you also access Rollins Campground, where the sites are more isolated and also very popular. We notice most of the campsites are occupied. It's so much fun being a little nosey and seeing the various types of campers, RVs, tents, screen tents, boats, and camp setups. We paddle the shoreline and get a closer look, well out of the way of the motorized watercraft. Both of us like the dock at one particular site, it has the American and Canadian Flag proudly displayed as well as a hanging chair for relaxing, it certainly looks inviting!
We see another culvert, the stone work is nice so we decide to check it out! Oh well, not all exploring is worth it. It is a bit mucky and shallow under the culvert, we paddle in reverse to get out and continue to Copperas.
Back on Fish Creek we continue north and pass under another bridge. As we pass under the bridge the Fish Creek Campground Boat Launch is on our right. We pass a few campsites on our left and right and we enjoy the aroma of their lunch cooking. The area is now more remote and beautiful, all shades of green and browns on the shoreline and in the water there is an abundance of White Water Lilies. A sign on our right states only electric motors up to 5 mph can go beyond this point, no gasoline engines are allowed, we no longer stick to a shoreline.
"Look, there is another sign on the right, let's see what it says!" It is a portage sign for Follensby Clear Pond. Looking at the Adirondack Paddler's Map, it appears to be a quarter-mile carry. This portage side has a dock made out of planks, as I paddle closer to portage I see some eyes in the water! Only a frog! But, he is deserving of a photo shoot. The creek widens and narrows, and widens and narrows, making it an interesting paddle, as you never know what you might see around the next corner!
There are ducks everywhere just swimming and ducking, showing us their bottoms. I wonder why they were not called Bottom Ups! They are fun to watch and not bothered by our presence, and pretty when they are right side up!
On the left we see a sign for Copperas Pond. This is the only pond that I know of in the wilderness that has a sign - and it is right in the pond! The pond is dark and does not look inviting for a swim, but it looks like a great fishing spot! There are ducks at the entrance and along the shoreline. We paddle around the shoreline and see what we can find. On the west side of Copperas there are two portage signs at a single location; one sign shows the direction to Whey Pond (a.k.a. jumping fish pond, that is another story!) and other to Black Pond (one I have not paddled, yet!).
Do you know what a Snapper looks like?
As we paddle around Copperas, heading back toward the entrance, I spot something on a rock. We paddle for a closer look. It is a small Snapper! We both agree that it is ugly - yet cute!
How about you?
What a great paddle with culverts, bridges, nice campground sites, a loon, ducks, a frog, and a Snapping Turtle! I opt to paddle back and not do a carry, maybe we will see an eagle or Osprey!