Exploring Henderson Lake

Originally I was supposed to be hiking Mt. Washington today. I had to cancel my plans as Max was marching in the Maine Endwell homecoming parade on Saturday and I did not want to miss it. I love watching and listening to him play in the high school band.

Recently I had been reading that Henderson lake in Newcomb, NY was spectacular to paddle offering breathtaking views of the Adirondack high peaks. Henderson lake is also the headwaters of the 315 mile Hudson river. I contacted friends Gary Sharp and Chad Smith and made alternate plans. After the homecoming parade that afternoon I packed up and headed north to the Adirondacks stopping in Lake George for a couple of hours to catch up with friends. Afterwards I would continue my northward trek making it to Schroon Lake, NY for dinner at a bar called Flanagan’s. After dinner I drove to my new favorite place to car camp along Blue Ridge road in North Hudson. I threw on an extra layer of clothing knowing it was going to be a cold night in the mountains. All settled in it was time to get some rest.

I woke early Sunday morning 0430 and peered out the window to see the night sky littered with stars. Falling back asleep I would find myself wide awake by 0600 and the fog had rolled in, it was a chilly 33 degrees. Once the sun began to shed some light on the day I packed up and drove to meet Gary and Chad in Newcomb. Cell service in these parts is very sparse and I never saw Chad’s message that he had to cancel. Gary and I would make our way to the parking area, load our gear for the short half mile carry to the put-in on Henderson lake. As we arrived the last of the fog was pretty much all burnt off and the sun was warming things quite nicely. A good 5-6 MPH wind had reared its ugly head adding some small whitecaps to our adventure.

Gary and I were off exploring the shoreline and taking in some of the views. My favorite had to be the view of Indian Pass and the huge cliffs on Wallface. At the northwest end of the lake Gary and I would take out for a little exploration and coffee at a lean-to. This is a great place to camp and carry the 1.7 miles to the Preston Ponds. But we will leave that to another time. We spent about an hour enjoying our coffee, conversation and a small brook and waterfall. Back in our boats we zig-zagged along the lake back to where our adventure started. The color is almost nonexistent and what is there is very muted. The birch trees have been stripped bare of their leaves as well.

Great day spent paddling, see you all in Vermont!

Gary and I getting ready to set out on Henderson lake in Newcomb, NY October 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Poking around one of the bays on Henderson lake in Newcomb, NY October 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo

View of Indian Pass and the cliffs on Wallface from Henderson lake in Newcomb, NY October 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Gary and I enjoying some hot coffee at the lean-to on Henderson lake in Newcomb, NY October 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo

A small waterfall along a brook that empties into Henderson lake in Newcomb, NY October 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Gary and I exploring Henderson lake in Newcomb, NY October 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Gary signing us out at the DEC register Upper Works trailhead in Newcomb, NY October 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo


13 thoughts on “Exploring Henderson Lake

  1. Much appreciated Joe, heading up there this weekend. Probably will try and snag a primitive site as I imagine the lean-to gets busy with its proximity to the trail systems.


      • Successfully made it back from my adventure on Henderson Lake. We stayed at the southern most primitive site, but mainly hung out on the beach area with a small little fire for ambiance. It was spectacular to watch the Perseid meteor shower from there, especially considering the moon didnt rise until well after we passed out for the evening. Did minimal fishing due to a delay in putting in, only small perch were caught. Loon songs echoed through the valleys throughout the night. Hiked to summit rock on saturday, encountered a porcupine on the trail between wallface and henderson lean to. Had the lake to ourselves saturday afternoon through sunday, incredible.


      • Jesse,

        That sounds like a wonderful adventure. I’m in Florida right now waiting to fly back to NY. I had wanted to check the meteor shower out but honestly I totally forgot about it. I’m pretty bummed. My wife and I are headed to Lake Placid on Friday to spend the weekend and celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary.

        End of August I’ll be paddling camping around Hoel pond outside of Tupper Lake.

        Glad you had an amazing trip and thank you for sharing it with me and other readers. Perch has to be one of my favorite fresh water fish.




      • I hope you enjoy your time in the adks. you should paddle from hoel up through turtle and slang. Great campsite in the far cove on slang, great spot for a lunch and a swim. Floodwood mountain is easy to paddle to with great views of the st. Regis canoe area. Then again the possibilities to explore are great up there. Hoel is nice but dont limit yourself.


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