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For Release: Thursday, April 6, 2023

DEC Reminds Visitors of Lows Lower Dam Access Road Closure

Lows Lower Dam/Bog River Dam Access Road in Town of Piercefield, St. Lawrence County, Remains Closed as Dam Rehabilitation Continues

Campers and Paddlers Encouraged to Find Alternative Water Access

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today reminded the public that the gate on the access road leading to the Bog River Dam, also known as Lows Lower Dam, is closed to allow for dam maintenance. The road will remain closed to public use throughout the 2023 field season. The project is necessary to bring the dam into compliance with New York State dam safety regulations.

The river access and parking area at Lows Lower Dam, located near the end of State Highway 421, is closed, and the road will remain closed for the duration of the construction project. Construction activities may take place seven days per week and are expected to last at least through the 2023 field season. The work will affect recreational users of the Bog River, Horseshoe Lake, Hitchins Pond, and Lows Lake areas, including the canoe carry, cartop boat launch, and parking area at the lower dam.

The public is encouraged to seek alternative paddling destinations during the construction project. Alternative destinations for wilderness paddling and camping include Round Lake, Little Tupper Lake, Lake Lila, the St. Regis Canoe Area, and the Essex Chain of Lakes. There are additional destinations throughout the Adirondacks for paddling associated with day use and non-wilderness camping. DEC's paddling and places to go webpages feature information for those seeking alternative destinations.

Opportunities are limited for recreational users to access Hitchens Pond and/or Lows Lake during the construction period include:

  • The Horseshoe Lake Outlet is located off the Otter Brook Road, approximately 0.4 miles past the Lower Dam Road. This channel is very narrow, flows through dense alders, and contains many beaver dams. This route is not recommended during low water conditions. Two campsites located at Horseshoe Lake will be temporarily closed to allow users of this route a place to park. There is no roadside parking available near the launch site along the Otter Brook Road. The Horseshoe Lake Outlet enters the Bog River between the Lows Lower Dam launch site and Hitchens Pond.
  • The Upper Dam Road is located on the left through a closed gate, off the Otter Brook Road, approximately 0.9-miles past the Remsen-Lake Placid Railroad crossing by Horseshoe Lake. Boats can be carried for approximately 2.5-miles on the relatively flat road to reach Lows Upper Dam. There is room for about 10 vehicles to park at nearby campsites or by the gate near the Otter Brook Road. Otherwise, users can park at Horseshoe Lake. Access to the gate must not be blocked.
  • Other portages that provide access to Lows Lake are very difficult and not recommended except for highly experienced wilderness paddlers with a lengthy time commitment -- the 3.5-mile Oswegatchie River Canoe Carry from the Oswegatchie River above High Falls, and the 4.4-mile Cranberry Lake Grass Pond Trail from Chair Rock Flow in Cranberry Lake.

For any questions or concerns, contact Henry Dedrick, Supervising Forester at the DEC's Potsdam sub-office, at (315)-265-3090.

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