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Utica, except for a stiff afternoon breeze, is both a novice Godsend and kayakers/Canoe heaven (no powerboats allowed). I don’t think we've ever seen that many canoes and kayaks on any lake at the same time. Utica is small and can be circled by experienced paddlers in a couple of hours or less, but it takes a couple of days to actually explore the seemingly endless hidden passages and landscapes. Having a very secluded campsite made it all worth it.
Special necessities - Drinking water and a way to carry out your sewage (nothing new there), and polarized sun glasses. This little beauty hides countless hazards just below its shining reflective surface. Think massive herds of rockapotomi. Typically, during the summer, this lake is known for its crisscrossing hiking and cattle trails. An unusually wet and mild spring allowed us to paddle Utica in late June.
Don't let this one get by you. Every corner, every slip through hole in the wall country, left you with a new miniature adventure. Babbling brooks, large rock islands rising out of t he water, high cliffs, jungles, straight runs and confusing turns, and lily ponds nearly an acre in size… make this one special. Great for beginners. Great for the curious. But go with your eyes open.
We were told that this was a party lake during the weekends. We never saw anything but families and lovers. Still, I pass this on to you. Also, check water levels before you head out. This lake is shallow in many places, and the granite ridges below the water are unforgiving (polarized sun glasses solved this problem for us). Don't expect a lot of privacy unless you find our hidden oasis. And watch where you step in the woods. Not everybody hikes out their sewage. As we were leaving we were told that there were plans to put in chemical toilets and charge a minimal fee. Don't know if the budget cuts stopped that or not.
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles