An itinerary centered around the Raquette River
A river, a brewery, and an Adirondack outfitter. What do they all have in common? Well, aside from having Raquette in their names, they’re all cornerstones of the Tupper Lake community. Raquette River Outfitters, Raquette River Brewery, and the Raquette River itself, can be incorporated into a doable day trip that’ll let you connect and discover Tupper Lake.
Raquette River Outfitters
The start to a perfect day of paddling wouldn’t be complete without swinging by Raquette River Outfitters. Its prime perch at the center of Tupper Lake, Raquette Pond, and Simon Pond places it at the middle of the Adirondack Park’s premier paddling waters. The Outfitters’ physical space is special, becoming apparent when you spot the spruce ribs and pine planks used for building storied Adirondack guideboats, which are built by co-owner Rob Frenette. In its 40th year, Raquette’s commitment to offering visitors and community members quality boats and paddling gear for rent and purchase has helped create lasting memories for generations of paddlers. You can use their quant, wood-framed shop as a jumping off point for paddling trips, whether you’re a beginner looking to rent gear, or a seasoned paddler wanting to test something out. A natural next step after stopping in at Raquette is to experience a day out on its namesake.
Paddling the Raquette River
Running nearly 150 miles from Raquette Lake to the St. Lawrence River, the Raquette River snakes through the outskirts of the Western High Peaks, flowing calmly for longer durations than most Adirondack rivers. It’s family and beginner friendly, and can be accessed from dozens of different put-ins, making the possible itineraries endless. One of those adventures, suggested by Raquette River Outfitters, and a stretch of calm water beloved by locals, is Axton Landing to the Crusher. I know, the name is intimidating, but the Crusher’s name comes from a former stone crushing operation nearby. After visiting Raquette River Outfitters, a quick 20 minute drive through Tupper Lake and down Coreys Road will get you to Axton Landing, and then it’s all downstream from here. The trip is quiet, with the current taking you 11 miles from the start of the trip, along stands of silver maple and alder, to the Crusher. If you plan ahead and pick up lunch in Tupper Lake, there are frequent campsites along the shoreline to take a break, and even a swim. After never-ending oxbows and smoothly-angled turns, reaching the Crusher is bittersweet. The trip is rewarding, but it’s popular for a reason, leaving you with the urge to keep going. If that’s a feeling you can anticipate, then extending the trip and starting at Stony Creek Ponds will add a little over three miles, and bring even more variety to the day. As an added bonus, this little section is part of the Tupper Lake Paddling Challenge, and the senses of solitude and view of Stony Creek Mountain off to the east are worth it.
Raquette River Brewery
Sore shoulders and sun-kissed skin from a long day of paddling means some relaxation is in order. Rounding out this unofficial Raquette trifecta, hop on over to Raquette River Brewery. During the summer months, the seasonal patio space is the spot for reminiscing about your time on the Brewery’s namesake, while sipping on one of their brews or guest ciders. Their legendary mango wheat ale is a must-have summer refresher, and paired with a sunset on their patio, there’s no better way to round out a day of adventure. Before you go, check out the Brewery’s active events calendar. With live music playing just about every Friday and Saturday night, there’s all the more reason to hang out with your paddling partners for a couple extra hours.
This Tupper Lake itinerary is only scratching the surface of what the community has to offer recreationally. Cozy up by the fire at a local camping area, and explore more of the areas paddling, hiking, and attractions.