LAKE LILA canoeing & camping

Sat Sep 25. 2021 - Half-hour drive on the bumpy 5.6-mile dirt road.  ~20 vehicles in the parking area.  0.3-mile carry to the lake is mostly downhill, lots of roots so not cart friendly, nice sandy beach at the end of the carry.  All my favorite campsites were taken so we settled into #7, the E-facing lean-to, has a thunderbox.  A vehicle drove by - landowners in the Partlow area have access but not the general public.  Hiked 1.7 miles to the lookout on Mt Frederica - half the time on dirt road, half on trail.  Views were lovely - maples were close to peak color.  Clouded over for sunset, then cleared revealing the starry sky.              Sun Sep 26 - took a walk & found the spring across the road from campsite #9.  Packed up then paddled around the W side of the lake over to Shingle Shanty Brook, wind picking up.  First beaver dam came quickly.  Shores of grasses & alders, very twisty.  Beyond, red maples contrasted with green white pines & black spruce.  Not far to 2nd beaver dam.  Smartweed flowering in many spots streamside, a little asters too.  3rd beaver dam - all beaver dams were in the 1st mile, not too high since the water level was high from recent rain.  The current became more noticeable but no real obstructions to private land & carry trail, 2.6 miles fro the lake.  Back downstream, wind was blowing on the lake making waves over 1 foot.  Stopped at nearby beach for late lunch.  Grassy areas in the shallow water kept the waves down a bit & we made it around the point.  Tailwind w/waves back the put-in.  Quick swim in the lukewarm water - not bad for this time of year.  10+ miles of paddling for the day.  Did not see any loons, heard one in the early morning.  10 cars in the parking area.


June 19 & 20, 2016 - LAKE LILA canoe camping. William C Whitney Wilderness. Last 2 days of spring. 5.6 mile drive in on decent dirt road, just have to keep an eye out for some raised rocks. Doubled the 0.3 mile carry to a nice sand beach (great spot for a swim). Paddled 2 miles & got a nice campsite with a sandy beach & rocks out front. After setting up camp, paddled up Shingle Shanty Brook for 2.7 miles until we reached the carry to Lilypad Pond - had to get out for 1 beaver dam, slid over at least 3 others + a log; upstream of this spot the stream passes thru private land. Lots of dragonflies, damselflies & butterflies flitting about; a snake swam across in front of me. Short evening paddle to view the rising of the full moon & the setting of the sun. In the morning, paddled across the lake to campsite #5, hiked a path behind the campsite, soon crossed a dirt road then bushwhacked NE up unnamed hill gaining over 400' in ~0.6 miles - there are great views from open rock (at least as good as the views from Mt Frederica & a shorter hike). Wind was really picking up with gusts to 30mph. Paddled clockwise around shore of the lake stopping to take a look at the old lodge site. Saw a doe & 2 small fawns frolicking along a beach. Went downstream on the tree-lined Beaver River (much wider than Shingle Shanty) for about a mile to rocky rapids & private land. Where there was a good fetch over the lake the waves rose to close to 2'. Broke camp & paddled out in the waves. Bad bugs not too prevalent - mostly deer flies & mosquitoes. Osprey, bitterns, bald eagle, hawks, loon (not very loony overall). ~23 miles paddling/hiking over the 2 days.

May 12 & 13, 2013 - LAKE LILA canoe camping. Winds gusting to 30mph both days, waves up to 2', snow coating the ground in the morning, ice pellet showers by day (had some sun too). Managed to get to Canada Island then hiked up unnamed nubble to the NE with a great view. Toured the W end of the lake (pair of loons) then went up Shingle Shanty Brook (whitetail deer) & Mud Pond Outlet to the foot of rapids (4.5 miles from the lake). We saw no-one else for the 2 days. High temp in 50s Sunday (3 miles paddling), 40s on Monday (14 miles). Hobblebush, dogwood & painted trillium flowering. No bugs. A memorable trip & what a difference from a week ago! Swift Keewaydin 15 solo canoe.

Nov 15&16, 2009 - LAKE LILA canoe camping. No cars in parking lot when we arrived Sunday morning - we had Lila to ourselves for both days (did see/hear couple of vehicles on private road N of lake). 0.3 mile carry to the lake. Paddled to lean-to & set up camp then across lake & up Shingle Shanty Brook (fun - lots of turns) to the carry at edge of private land. Several beaver dams. Temp stayed above freezing overnight; mice in lean-to. Paddled over to campsite #5 & hiked up (no trail) unnamed rocky peak - gain 350' in 22 mins. Great views across Lila (more expansive than views from Mt Frederica); could also make out Cat Mtn (near Cranberry Lake) to the NW. Paddled down the Beaver River ~1 mile to rapids & private land; no obstructions, shallow in spots. Very mellow; no gunshots. Bell Northstar, a 16.5' tandem canoe.

Lake Lila article.

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