Outdoor Ramblings September 2020
Prime Pike Paddling
By Bill Deaton
Lots of things are in high demand this year because of the pandemic. At one point or another there has been a run on toilet paper, hand sanitizer, gardening and canning supplies, and yes…kayaks! Whether box store boats or specialty shop pirogue, personally powered watercraft are the hot topic.
No doubt that the Delaware and Lackawaxen Rivers are excellent attractions but paddling them takes some logistical preparation. If you just want to hit the water without a lot of planning, Pike County’s lakes offer a superb alternative. In addition to the mighty Wallenpaupack, ten other bodies of water afford amicable launching via either DCNR or PA Fish and Boat launches while a handful of others require a little effort to reach.
All of the following have vehicle accessible launches and restrict boats to electric motors only making them ideal for paddlers:
- White Deer Lake: 48 acres
- Greeley Lake: 60 acres
- Shohola Lake: 1137 acres
- Lower Lake: 173 acres
- Promised Land Lake: 422 acres
- Lily Pond: 12 acres
- Lake Minisink: 35 acres
- Little Mud Pond: 21 acres
Fairview Lake is 192 acres and has a good launch but does allow for bigger motorboats, still though it is a good place to paddle. After a long reconstruction project, the water at Pecks Pond is back too. While all 315 acres might not be accessible, its launch is open.
Adventure seekers can also try their hand at these remote lakes, some easier to reach than others. Paddling only and launch areas are not provided:
- Bruce Lake: 56 acres, 2.5 mile portage over open woods road. Suggest a cart.
- Egypt Meadow Lake: 48 acres, 0.5 mile portage. Can use to access Bruce Lake or Balsam Swamp.
- Painter Swamp: 5 acres, 0.5 miles portage
- Stairway Lake: 13 acres: 2.6 mile uphill portage over difficult trail. Consider an inflatable raft.
Information on all the above can be found on the PA Fish and Boat, Delaware State Forest, and Pike Outdoors websites. With good padding weather usually through mid-October, Pike County has a lot to offer everyone from novices to experts. Enjoy the last days of summer and the early autumn as well on the water!