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New York Canoe waterways

The most popular Adirondack canoe route


Adirondacks, New York, Resource Guides
Saranac Section
Main Route

To view or print a map of the following section, please Click Here

Saranac Lake Canoeing Those traveling to the Saranacs should leave Raquette River and canoe up the Stony Creek outlet. In times of low water it is often necessary to drag the canoe for short distances through shallow water. After entering this outlet, one passes under the Coreys Road bridge. A campsite with a fireplace is found on the south side at a steel bridge. About a mile from the bridge, Ampersand Brook which looks like a long straight ditch comes in on the right. Avoid this and swing sharply left to keep on the course to Stony Creek Ponds. When entering the first pond, keep to the right shore, go to the outlet of the second pond and pass under a bridge. Several campsites are found on Second Pond to the east of the carry landing. If you wish to continue to Upper Saranac Lake, proceed northeast on Second Pond. Keeping to the left of a small island, paddle to the northwest corner of Second Pond where the new section of the Indian Carry starts. Follow the Indian Carry generally northerly to and across Rt. 3 until you reach Upper Saranac Lake,(1 mile).

On reaching Upper Saranac Lake, if you are going to Saranac Inn and Paul Smith's proceed northerly up the lake for 7.5 miles to the extreme north end. Camping on Upper Saranac Lake is allowed only on numbered sites. Write the DEC office in Raybrook for a brochure. There is a lean to on the north shore of Saginaw Bay about .75 mile east of Buck Islands southeast tip.

To reach Saranac Lake Village, proceed about 1 mile up the lake. Then turn to the east, following the outlet to Bartlett Carry, which is two miles from the end of Indian Carry . Bartlett Carry is about .4 mile long and from its lower end, the route runs easterly through Middle Saranac Lake. There are lean to's on Rice Point on the east shore of the bay leading to Weller Pond and on the north shore of Weller Pond. There is another lean to on the far east shore of Middle Saranac Lake just north of the outlet where the canoeist enters the Saranac River. Paddle down river through a set of locks (Upper Locks) into Lower Saranac Lake, and proceed northeast through the narrows.

Middle Saranac Lake, along with Lower Saranac Lake and Weller Pond comprise the Saranac Lakes Camping Area. All rules and regulations pertaining to Public Campgrounds apply to state-owned islands and the shoreline ( to a point 1000 feet back from the high water mark). Normal camping service charges found at public campgrounds also apply. Any camping including use of the lean to's, requires purchasing a camping permit. These are available from the caretaker at the State Bridge on Rt. 3 or on a camping site from an attendant on patrol.

On Lower Saranac Lake, two lean to's are located on the north shore of what is known as Norway Point. Keep to the south shore, passing the large bay on the right and using the bold rocky headland of Bluff Island as a landmark. Opposite Bluff Island, to the south is the inlet to First and Second Ponds and the Saranac River. The caretaker is located where the route passes under the Rt. 3 State bridge. The Saranac River lean to is just beyond Second Pond opposite the mouth of Cold Brook. A second set of locks (Lower Locks) is found between Lower Saranac and Oseetah Lake. Canoe northerly across Oseetah Lake to the boat Launch at Lake Flower in the Village of Saranac Lake.

Or, to continue northwest through Lower Saranac Lake, pass Lonesome Bay on the right with a glimpse of the highway embankment at its extreme end. Passing to the left of Sable Island the canoeist comes to the Tom's Rock lean to on the south shore near the west end of Eagle Island, the largest in the lake.

Leaving Eagle Island proceed east to Crescent Bay, where boat liveries and auto transportation are available. Another option is to go to Ampersand Dock at the extreme northeast end of the lake where similar facilities are available. This dock is about 9.5 miles from the lower end of Barlett Carry, and 1.5 miles by road from Saranac Lake Village.

Fish Creek Bay to Copperas Pond
A popular trip starts from Fish Creek Bay on the west side of Upper Saranac Lake about 3 miles south of Saranac Inn. Entering this bay, you sill follow a stream into Fish Creek Ponds, thence northward through a small stream ()Fish Creek) for about a mile. Then pass the outlet of Copperas Pond and enter Little Square Pond. From here, the route continues up Fish Creek northwest into floodwood Pond, thence southwest into Rollins Pond and Square Pond. Or you can carry from Whey into Copperas, returning by way of the stream described above. This trip from Fish Creek Bay top Rollins Pond and return is about 10 miles long. There is a short carry of less than .25 mile between Floodwood and Rollins Ponds, another short carry of about .25 mile between Rollins and Whey Ponds, and a carry of about .25 mile between Whey and Copperas.

Fish Creek Pond to Floodwood Pond
Another delightful trip starts from the first Fish Creek Pond. Paddle up Spider Creek to the north end of Follensby Clear Pond and carry about .1 mile to Polliwog Pond. Carry about .33 mile to Middle Pond and then about .33 mile into Floodwood Pond. The return would be over the reverse route described in the preceding paragraph to Little Square Pond, passing Copperas Pond about .75 mile to a carry of about .25 mile into Follensby Clear Pond. This trip is also about 10 miles long.

Hoel Pond through Fish Creek Pond
A third trip is to launch at Hoel Pond. From Hoel Pond the route lies through Turtle and Slang Ponds, with a carry of about .2 mile into Long Pond. Canoe through Long Pond to a point on the south shore about a mile from the west end. the start of a carry of about .75 mile into Floodwood Pond. Cross Floodwood Pond to the southeast, canoe down Fish Creek as previously described to the carry at Follensby Clear Pond and then north to the carry to Polliwog Pond. From Polliwog, return to Hoel Pond by the .5 mile carry that begins at the northeast shore. If desired, access to the St. Regis Canoe Area can be gained here as well as from Long and Little Clear Ponds and Upper St. Regis Lake.

To continue onto the next leg of this journey, please Click Here

Back To the Canoeing

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Adirondacks, New York, Resource Guides

adirondacks new york resource guide
43 Broadway
Saranac Lake, New York 12983
Phone: 518-891-3745    Fax: 518-891-3768

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