Lake Lila | Paddling

Lake Lila | Paddling

Lake Lila is located in the William C. Whitney Wilderness Area in Hamilton County. It is a remote, motor-less lake with 24 first-come, first-serve camping sites along its shores. It remains a popular wilderness destination for paddlers.

How to Get There

From the intersection of Routes 30 and 28 in Long Lake, proceed 7.1 miles northwest on Route 30 to a left turn onto Sabattis Road (CR 10). (This is a half-circle road, with two access points on Route 30.) Travel 2.9 miles to a left turn. There are a number of signs at this intersection, including a sign for Lake Lila and Little Tupper Lake Headquarters. The sign directs you to the Lake Lila Road (reached in 4.5 miles). After driving 4.5 miles, take a left onto the Lake Lila access road. Travel for 5.6 miles to reach the Lake Lila parking area. The speed limit is 15 mph. A high clearance vehicle is helpful on this rough dirt road, but a low clearance vehicle can make it with great care.

Paddling and Portage Description

The canoe carry is three-tenths of a mile from the parking area to the lake.

Paddlers can spend the day or camp at one of the 24 designated sites along the lake and on several of the islands. There is no permit system, and the camp sites are first-come, first-serve. Privies are the new, wall-less kind. Lake Lila can be rough in windy conditions, so monitor the weather forecast before any planned outings.

Paddlers can also explore Shingle Shanty Brook. It is a scenic, winding brook in boreal habitat. There are several beaver dams across the brook and it requires getting out and pulling your canoe or kayak over.

The trail to Mount Frederica can be accessed from the western side of Lake Lila. For paddlers, the hike is 3 miles round trip. (From the parking area, the hike is 9 miles round trip on a trail.) It is best to canoe to an open area near camp sites 8-9 to pick up the trail. There is a sign at this location for the trail.

Additional Information

Bicycles are allowed on the Lake Lila Road, but not beyond the parking area on the trail to Mount Frederica.


Visitors can snowshoe or cross country ski on the Lake Lila Road in winter. It is a seasonal use road that is not snow plowed or groomed.

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