Grindstone Bay

Lisa Sciacca

Unfortunately, I had gotten up late, (love being retired) and had a few errands to run prior to getting on the water. While readying, I contemplated where to paddle. Passing Tupper Lake, I couldn't help but notice how flat and beautiful it looked, which is not always the case, so I thought, why not there? With my late departure and only a little wind it was the perfect location. 

Tupper Lake is huge, so I made Grindstone Bay my destination!

Grindstone Bay

The essentials

My launch site was the State Boat Launch on Route 30 at 2 p.m. This site is right off the highway with ample parking and it is only a few steps to the put-in, which is shallow. I began to cross the lake towards campsite number 4 on the North Side of the lake. Besides my PFD, paddle, drinking water, map and mandatory whistle (NYS Law), my camera is always packed. I clip it to the cording on my kayak when entering and exiting the kayak, but while paddling it's in my cock-pit ready to use.

I was only about 10 minutes into the paddle when I spotted a Bald Eagle. I was able to get a few shots of him in flight. He then landed in a tall pine tree, so naturally I got off course to go in his direction, but he didn't linger long in the tree. He flew towards Raquette Pond, so I turned and returned to my course.

About Tupper Lake

At campsite 4, I headed south along the shoreline. The shoreline is mostly private property until the other side of Grindstone Bay. If you need to take a break, the first and only place to get out is state campsite number 5 - complete with lean-to. Although I have paddled Tupper Lake in the past from different locations, I have not been to this particular lean-to. It was on my agenda today as it would be the only place to stop until my return to the launch site.  

In a cove

There are several small islands with trees and rocks that are not indicated on the Adirondack Paddler's Map, but the larger Islands off in the distance - Burnt, Birch and Bluff - are indicated. You can easily figure out which one is Bluff, it has the very high cliffs. I paddled fairly close to the shoreline, well out of the way of motor boats, even though there were only a few. Paddling the shoreline is more fun anyway, and this shoreline consists of mostly rock, the formations are beautiful. However, there are rocks just below the surface that I had to watch out for. I was paddling my 14' Kevlar, which doesn't fair well with rocks. There are numerous coves, which I had to investigate. In the coves, nature's art pops out at me; it includes rocks and stumps along the shoreline and in the water, so I spend some time taking some shots.

Campsite 5

Campsite 5 entrance

On the map it appears that campsite 5 is on private property, so after passing Watch Island I kept an eye out for the lean-to or a clearing. The lean-to was marked with two DEC signs, however the front entrance was a bit rocky so I paddled into the cove to see if the takeout was better. There was a little shallow sandy area with rocks on each side, but good enough for one kayak and I was able to avoid the rocks. The view from this area is breathtaking; there is a picturesque island to the left and Mt. Morris, formerly Big Tupper, currently under development as the Adirondack Club and Resort. 

View of Mt. Morris (a/k/a Big Tupper)

Loon sightings

Upon leaving the lean-to, I spotted three loons hanging out together, they seemed to be swimming around in a little circle. I have heard that if one loses his/her mate it will bond with a pair of loons, something else I will have to investigate - Google is a wonderful thing! Remember having to look up everything up in the encyclopedia?

I busied myself for a considerable amount of time watching and taking shots of the loons. They would dive, swim away from each other, and then re-join with a beak to beak greeting, circle around as if playing Ring-Around the Rosie, and do it all over again. Not too long ago a friend asked me if I would ever have enough loon shots or tire of taking them.  My reply to her was, "never."  I am always trying to capture the perfect loon shot, and as you can imagine, they aren't always cooperating - reminds me of my twin boys when it comes to taking their picture.

Ring around the rosie

After the loon photo shoot, which took a considerable amount of my time, I headed to Grindstone Bay. Grindstone Bay was absolutely beautiful, peaceful, with shallow clear water and a small water fall. I paddled and floated around and took more shots.

At 6:15 p.m. I returned to the launch site. Don't let that scare you! This was not a long trip - it only took me an hour to return, which included paddling into some of the coves again and taking more shots. It's always difficult for me to take out, I always feel like I am leaving a little piece of paradise, even when I am hungry!

Luckily, there are plenty of places to pick up a good bite to eat after an awesome day paddling around Tupper Lake. Ready to hit the water? I am!


Grindstone Bay

Thoroughly enjoyed the pictures and commentary Lisa. Nothing beats Tupper In September. Good day to end summer with.

Born to Blog ~~~

You've found your niche, Lisa...submit it to Adirondack Life for some supplemental retirement

Lisa Sciacca's Blog

Lisa -- your photographs are wonderful and your blog is inspirational. I love to paddle, and your blog makes me smile. Thank you for sharing.

Lisa's Blog

Lisa loved it, photo's were a great addition. Makes me want to paddle these areas ASAP.
Can't wait for the next one.

ADK Paddles

Love your commentaries. I feel like I'm right there with you as I have been many times! I agree with Ed "Adirondack Life" here you come,

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