Around Fish Creek Pond

Lisa Sciacca

Beautiful fall day

The last couple of days it had rained; on this day it was 68 degrees and it was supposed to become even nicer by late afternoon. I was anxious to get on my bike to enjoy the fall weather and get some exercise. I wanted to pack a lunch and bike on a paved road not too far from home. I thought, "Why not head to Fish Creek Campgrounds!" It is only 15 minutes north of Tupper Lake on Route 30.

Route planned

Biking at Fish Creek in the summer when the campgrounds are in full swing can be a challenge due to parked cars, RVs, campers, kids playing ball, kids on bikes, pedestrians, and campers backing out of their campsites and maneuvering into their parking areas. You see a lot of interesting campsites and fantastic gear, but you do have to pay attention to all the commotion.

Starting out location. In season you can purchase camping gear, food, and more.
Starting out location. In season you can purchase camping gear, food, and more.

I unloaded my bike near the Trading Post, placed my hydration pack on my back, turned on my Map My Ride app, and accessed the bike path across the road. As I crossed the bridge and looked at the foliage across the water, I thought of how lucky I am to live here. Just look at what we have right out of our backdoors!

Soon after crossing the bridge on Route 30, I was on a leaf-covered path. The path splits, and I stayed to the right and pedaled past the main ticket booth. There were only a few occupied campsites and most people had campers, but there were some tents — the hardy campers for sure! I learned later from a camper that many people left on Columbus Day during the downpour.

Other bikers!
Other bikers!

Things to do at Fish Creek in the fall

As I rode my bike I wondered what people do while camping this time of year, and I soon found out. Some were just relaxing near the water reading a book, some were biking, some were walking their dogs, and some were kayaking. I then thought about how quiet it was compared to August, when I would drive through to get to my tent site on Rollins Pond, a more secluded campground behind Fish Creek. I thought about how I would love to have a camper, but then I thought I had better stick to my tent, as I am horrible at backing up and I would probably be considered dangerous when towing. I had also planned to check my time, but I couldn't help but stop for photos. Everything looked so beautiful! I was totally engrossed in the moment and checking the time became irrelevant.

As I neared the exit on this loop, I met a couple of ladies from Wilmington, New York, who were walking their dog. They were enjoying camping and the foliage during this quiet season. An advantage of biking around the grounds instead of on a highway, you are more apt to find people to chat with. The campgrounds are relatively flat, too — there's only one small hill near the bridge that is on the grounds.

Campers from Wilmington, New York, walking their furbie!
Campers from Wilmington, New York, walking their furbie!

The leaves

No matter where I looked the foliage was beautiful. Leaves were falling gently from the trees, they floated down like snowflakes, and I giggled when one landed on my face. As the day progressed the sky got bluer and the colors more brilliant. I loved this autumn day, and had no desire to go home. Loop three was on my mind as well as lunch and a bathroom!

The first bathroom was locked but the second one was available for use. I learned later that the campgrounds were not totally open, which makes sense — that means less work for the maintenance crew. Having a bathroom available while biking is another perk of spending time here. At campsite number 151, I stopped for my lunch: spicy tuna in a pouch! As I neared the picnic table, I found another perk. I saw a few Mallards; of course I took a few pics!

More bikers

Bikers from East Glenville!
Bikers from East Glenville!

On loop four I took the path to the left, which leads to the beach area and playground. As I was taking photos a woman asked if I would take one of her and her husband. She and her husband were from East Glenville and have biked in the Adirondacks for a number of years. They inquired about other biking areas, so I informed them about Floodwood Road and Keese Mills Road, both of which they had biked. They asked if I had been on the Otter Loop Trial near the campground boat launch. I had not, but I would like to hike it first to ascertain if I could do it with my hybrid bike.

Divers. Perhaps they are practicing?
Divers. Perhaps they are practicing?

More action on Fish Creek

Still not wanting to go home and wanting to do at least a 20-mile ride enticed me to do another loop. Another perk is you can do as many loops as you want! There was always something new to see with each loop, so I was never bored. On this loop I spotted a boat near the shoreline and little black dots in the water. It appeared to be a DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) team doing practice dives. There were several divers, two kayaks, and a large DEC boat. There is always something interesting in these waters.

Time for dinner

My hunger got the best of me, and I had a craving for Little Italy! They have so many excellent choices! Speaking of choices, there are a lot of options for cycling and dining Tupper Lake.