The sandy shore of Little Tupper Lake is lined with sharp granite boulders, thick groves of white pine, and, if you're lucky enough to visit in the fall, a colorful collage of maple, alder, beach, and birch leaves. The lake itself, formed millions of years ago by a sliding glacier, has a glassy surface, which brilliantly reflects the surrounding Adirondack landscape, giving it a greenish-bluish tint. It is also home to 24 primitive campsites, the majority of which can only be accessed from the water and all of which are most easily accessed this way. This provides the opportunity to break away from your standard camping trip, load up a canoe with a few nights of supplies, and set out on the water in search of a remote lakeside campsite.
Leaving from a boat launch adjacent to the large parking lot on the lake's northeast corner, the trip will take you into the 11,430-acre William C. Whitney Wilderness. This launch and parking lot can be easily accessed by Sabattis Road and will allow you to have a comfortable start. In addition, the lake is located near the communities of Tupper Lake and Long Lake, where you'll be able to rent a canoe or kayak if you don't have one of your own. (Motor boats aren't permitted in wilderness areas.)
Once you're out on the water, you'll quickly realize that the name Little Tupper Lake is quite deceiving. At 2,300 acres it is the largest body of water in the William C. Whitney Wilderness and the search for a campsite will likely leave you sore and, if the weather's right, ready for a swim. From your boat, the sites can be tough to spot, as little more than a yellow "camp here" sign separates them from the surrounding forest. In order to make sure you don't miss a site, you'll want to bring a map, hug the shore, and keep your eyes open.
Even once you're on land, all you'll find is a flat patch of dirt for a tent, but with this comes solitude and an intimate connection with nature that can only be found in the backcountry. After that, whether you choose to fish, get back out on the water, explore the surrounding forest, or just sit and enjoy the view is up to you, but regardless a camping trip to Little Tupper Lake is sure to be a memorable one.
Sites tend not to fill up, but even if they do, the William C. Whitney Wilderness is home to 36 additional lakeside campgrounds that are also easiest accessed by boat, located on other bodies of water. For additional information visit the Department of Environmental Conservation.