QUEBEC BROOK paddling, Adirondack Park

Aug 29 & 30, 2010 - MADAWASKA FLOW, QUEBEC BROOK, ONION RIVER.  ~6 mile drive on rough dirt roads  - several turns, pay attention to directions in guidebook by Cilley Adirondack Paddler's Guide.  Easy 0.42 mile portage to the flow.  Paddled to roomy campsite near the dam.  Short carry past dam & old road, rough put-in on Quebec Brook.  Soon take a R on Onion River, stays fairly wide for over a mile then gets narrower - a couple of beaver dams to go over.  Eventually too little water to continue.  Jennings Mtn to the N.  Back to QB & further downstream to rapids which I ran solo in the Royalex Prospector then carried back up along a path.  Stopped at a designated campsite which looked like it has never been used - has my vote for worst backcountry campsite in the Adirondacks.  After a quiet night & misty morning we drop off our overnight gear & continue upstream on QB.  The main channel has multiple "S" turns but shortcuts can be taken if you are willing to push thru the lilypads.  After exploring a spur to the SE we paddle SSW on QB which soon narrows.  Views of Jenkins & St Regis Mtns.  We go over 3 beaver dams before entering Quebec Pond which is ringed with red & white pines.  A private leanto is seen.  Headwind on the return.  In general black spruce & tamarack seen on the lowest land, pines on drier land, harwoods up on the hills.  3 or 4 camps seen en route, otherwise very nice wilderness feel.  4-6 hours of actual paddling each day.  Loon on the flow. 

Sep 29, 2008 - QUEBEC BROOK.  From Blue Mountain Rd.  Some beaver dams & obstructions.  Portages fairly flat & easy (used to be railroad over 80 years ago).  After 2nd portage there is short rapid that was very difficult to line, then a longer rapid.  On return we took out at top of rapids (class 2 if more water) & portaged along a path with some blowdown within sight of the stream for ~5 mins - much easier than lining.  Personally, I don't see why this is not the official portage.  Moose tracks.  Above the rapids the stream is wider but shallower, grassy in parts.  Views open up - hills aflame with color.  Able to go under old railroad bridge; Onion River enters.  Lunch near dam with view of Madawaska Pond.  6+ hours.  Not paddled often judging by entries in register.  Tough trip but worth it.  Feet in water a lot - Chota Mukluks invaluable.  Bell Merlin II turns well especially when heeled.


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