There are two lakes you can access from the town of Lake Placid in New York. From the main business street in the village you can see Mirror Lake. If go on west towards Saranac Lake on the outskirts of the town the much larger lake is Lake Placid. Lake Placid , the lake, has a few hotels along it, private land with mostly summer residences, and some land that falls under wilderness or forest preserve.
These were all from an end of September trip to the Adirondacks. I took one long trip on the lake, and a couple of short trips. I started out from the Paradox Bay area of the lake on the southern end. This area of the bay has shallow areas and attracts wildlife. Basically most of the wildlife I saw along the lake was in that section.
There is a boat launch with ample parking outside the bay on the lake.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that is Whiteface Mountain in the background. The issue with large lakes in the Adirondacks is many times when you get away from shore it can be quite windy. On my long trip the first day I was there I did fine hugging the island on the way towards Whiteface landing, but on the return when I crossed the lake to the east side is was a struggle to head south hugging the shore. The wind was pretty strong. I did see a few other kayakers out there. I think one whom I talked to briefly ended up getting a ride on a boat. I was too busy trying to paddle to get any decent pictures on the return.
There are a lot of summer homes along the lake. Some are only accessible by boat.
In summer this lake is very busy with a lot of motorboat traffic. I shy away from paddling this lake during the summer months. In September after Labor Day many of the summer people have left and there are more kayakers and canoeists than motor boaters. I highly recommend going before or after summer and staying close to the shore of the lake.
I did hear and briefly see a kingfisher several times. At some lakes they will pause long enough for you to get a snap of them, at this lake they don’t. I saw two adult kingfishers on the bay.
I recommend visiting this lake to canoe or kayak before or after summer. Always be prepared and dress appropriately. Be familiar with the conditions. It is a beautiful lake!
Do animals need bibs when they eat? This eagle looks like he has a fish chunk on his head. Not sure how he got this off.
I came across this eagle on two separate occasions on the same tree that jutted out over a creek in New York. I kayaked within good view of him in a very shady area. Eagles move between bodies of water. There was no nest visible along this creek from one waterfall to another. I will investigate when the leaves fall off to see if I missed something.
How can you tell if a kayaker is truly dedicated? If they kayak in the rain. Many will only go out in sunny weather.
I had a long holiday weekend. It rained 3 out of the 4 days. On the second day of my mini vacation I went to Long Pond in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. I was told it was not predicted to rain until 3 p.m. I think it started after 11 a.m, which was not long after I started.
Long Pond can be accessed by at least two canoe carries that can be accessed from Floodwood Road off of Route 30 north of Upper Saranac Lake. Floodwood Road starts off as a paved road, then switches to a dirt/gravel road. The road itself seems in pretty good shape. There are campsites along it on different ponds where the little driveways in are not in good shape.
The first canoe carry I found was starting from a parking lot across from a remote location of St. Regis Canoe Outfitters. This store was out in the middle of nowhere in a house. I walked part of the canoe carry which went across a wooden path in a marshy area behind a very large beaver dam. Side note: these are some serious beavers. Unfortunately on the other side of the wooden walkway from a steep rooted incline. This is a no go for me. I went into the store and asked if the canoe carry at the other end of Long Pond was any better. They assured me it was shorter and not so steep. Before I left , just in case, I rented a canoe carrier device to put your kayak on underneath the middle of the boat. They charged me $5 dollars.
At the western end of Long Pond maybe 3/4 of a. mile- 1 mile further west was a parking lot for the other canoe carry. I walked all the way down and back to make sure it was doable. Then brought my kayak down.
Passageway to Pink Pond
I was not sure if this was going to turn out as a good passageway or not. It was a little overgrown in spots, but I was able to navigate it to Pink Pond without any issues. The passage starts on the opposite side of the pond from the launch a little east of it.
Pink Pond Passageway to Unnamed Pond
This was blocked pretty well with a beaver dam. I did not want take it apart on this day or try to climb over it so I went back. The beavers won on this day. It looked like there was a canoe carry from the unnamed pond to Ledge Pond on the map.
Passageway from Pink Pond into Long Pond
The campsites along the shore of Long Pond spaced apart. They are all free, first come, first served. As you can see by the sign, some of the campsites were closed to allow for revegetation. While there I saw leaving from camping overnight. I saw one person with a campsite set up who was remaining, and I saw others paddling in with camping gear heading off for their campsites.
Slang Pond Canoe Carry
The canoe carry to Slang Pond is on the north east area of Long Pond. It was a nice gradual incline to a little beach. From Slang Pond you can go to Turtle Pond and by canoe carry over an old railroad tracks/ path you can access Hoel Pond.
Canoe Carry from Long Pond to Floodwood Pond
I saw some people enter the pond from the canoe carry I would not take. It leads back towards the remote location of St. Regis Canoe Outfitters. They had four people in three canoes loaded with camping supplies. I asked if it was okay before I took these photos.
You can’t tell in these photos, but it was raining most of the trip. I did see 5 loons on my return. There were two pairs hanging out together and one by itself. Because of the wet conditions I did not want to have my camera out of the bag for a long time, so no loon photos. I also saw a great blue heron on the lake and heard kingfishers.
I definitely want to return to this pond on a nicer, rain-free day, however, I recommend using the canoe carry on the western end of the pond. If you do not have a kayak /canoe cart, I recommend renting one from St. Regis Canoe Outfitters. Even on the shorter western end of the pond it is a long carry to the water.
How much can the skies change during a kayak trip? A lot. I had to wait before I started this trip as it was raining and thundering nearby. It was getting late in the day and I wanted to get this in before dark.
Pollywog Pond can be accessed from other ponds by canoe carries or your can drive to Floodwood Road off of 30 near Upper Saranac Lake. Floodwood Road turns into a dirt/gravel road when the campsites start. Incidentally this body of water seems to be popular to camp along as most of the sites were taken. I am guessing it has to do with the ability to drive to the sites along Floodwood Road whereas other places you had to canoe/kayak to access them.
There is not a marked launch site on the map. However, I drove along Floodwood Road until I reached what looked like a good boat launch next to campsite 5 on the map. The road in that are near the launch has a wide shoulder so I felt it was safe to park my car there.
Canoe Carry to Hoel Pond
The canoe carry to Hoel Pond is on the northeast corner of the pond. The exit from the lake where you would catch the canoe carry to Hoel Pond is a gradual ascent to land. It is good for kayaks on this end.
Canoe Carry to Follensby Clear Pond
The only place that appeared to be the canoe carry to Follensby Clear Pond is pictured above. It was a no go for me. It was a steep exit from the water and did not look safe.
There is an area on the east side of the pond that looks like a peninsula. It really is an island. There is a water passage break between the island and the land. There is a campsite at this location.
Heading into the West Side of the Pond
Canoe Carry to Middle Pond
This was not marked , but it was the only location I saw that looked like it was meant to be a canoe carry to Middle Pond. It was very steep and muddy. Again a no go for me.
I missed out on this pond. The day before I met someone at Follensby Clear Pond that said they saw 4 adult loons swimming and playing on Pollywog. So the next day I went to Pollywog. While I was there, I heard loons loudly talking to each other, but the sounds were coming from Follensby Clear Pond. You can’t win them all.
Once again I highly recommend this pond. It seems most bodies of water you cannot go wrong with the in Adirondacks. However, the connections to other ponds via the canoe carries that I came across on the Pollywog side looked dangerous on two out of three that I looked at. So I recommend driving to to access the pond where I did. I did not look at the canoe carry to Little Pollywog on the south western end of the pond.
Get out and enjoy all nature has to offer. I highly recommend experiencing the Adirondack lakes and ponds.
It was a dark, windy day. What should I do? Kayak of course. If I waited for sunny days with blue skies I would hardly ever kayak.
I made this trip in August. Stony Creek Ponds is southwest of the village of Saranac Lake. You can go there by taking Route 3 from Saranac Lake or Tupper Lake. You turn onto Corey’s Road. Not far down the road is a wider area along the road next to a badly maintained road/path on the east side of the road. The path was not well marked from the road when I made this trip. You need to park along Corey’s Road and carry your kayak/canoe in on that path. It is a long carry, so use a kayak/ canoe wheels/ cart or go with a buddy. Be careful of the roots and potholes on the path.
Boat Launch and Parking
The boat launch itself is nice. It is a gradual descent into the pond. It is perfect for kayakers.
Although it was a dark day, the scenery was worth the trip. I was followed by a kingfisher who just stayed far enough away that I did not try to photograph it.
According to the Adirondack Paddler’s Map North there are six numbered campsites along these ponds. I saw no sign of anyone camping along these ponds while kayaking, but as I returned to the boat launch there were a few middle aged couples getting ready to head to one of the sites via canoes. It appeared they would have the wilderness section of the ponds to themselves that night.
Indian Carry- Canoe Carry
Heading Back Towards the Boat Launch
The boat launch is in a bay area on the northwestern end of the ponds. Part of the land around the bay is wilderness, and part of it is private land with a few house on it.
I did not see any wildlife along these ponds other than kingfishers. The kingfishers I only saw from a distance. This red flower was growing on the shore of the ponds in many spots. The cloudy day with wind did not lead to good conditions to get pictures of these plants. I believe this is a cardinal flower.
Connection to Other Bodies of Water
By map and by the word of someone else I talked to after this trip, Stony Creek Ponds connects on the south end to the Racquette River. Again, by Indian Carry (Canoe Carry) you can access the southern end of Upper Saranac Lake.
This is another nice area to kayak in the Adirondacks and I highly recommend it. If you want a smaller body of water with places to stop on the northern end, this may be for you. Having ways to kayak/canoe into other bodies of water is always a positive.
How can you access Upper Saranac Lake from the southern end? One way is through Indian Carry access site off of Route 3 southwest of the village of Saranac Lake. Another way is carrying your canoe carry via the Bartlett Carry from Middle Saranac.
This launch seems to be possible because of an easement the state obtained to make the boat launch. Therefore, you need to stick to the road on the way in and stay within the boundaries of the easement that makes up the road and the boat launch. On the west side of the launch is private property and there are houses along the lake going west and then north of this corner of the lake.
There is parking off of route 3. But if you follow Old Dock Road you will come to a parking area right near the launch. It is a very long road and if you want to launch your boat you would probably need to drive your car down there. This launch is for kayaks and canoes.
There is a dock for those canoeing and an area next to it that is good for kayakers to launch from. It is a gradual entry into the water.
This is the view of the dock from the water. To the left next to the dock is where you can launch your kayak from.
Upper Saranac Lake
The weather was threatening on this trip. I think it sprinkled a few times, but thunderstorms did not arrive until later. I mostly kept to the edges, but at one point paddled across.
Going west then north along the shore there were private homes spread apart.
Going into the bay on the east side there were a few homes spread apart.
I saw a few people on my travels. I saw a couple hoverboarding. I also saw a father and two sons canoeing /kayaking separate boats loaded with gear to camp. In addition there were a few motor boaters and a man fishing from his kayak.
One of the elaborate boat houses along the lake. Boats can park inside these in a garage like area inside that you drive your boat into. The top level usually can not have bathrooms or kitchens as it is too close to the water. There would be a main house not far from this boathouse.
Bartlett Carry is a canoe carry route that takes you from Upper Saranac Lake to Middle Saranac Lake. It is on the southeast side of Upper Saranac Lake.
There is a sign pointing to the direction of the boat launch when you get closer. It is hard to see from a distance.
I showed the boat entry/exit from Middle Saranac end of the Bartlett Carry on a previous post. On both ends the canoe carry is shallow leading to the entry/exit which is perfect for kayakers. There was no sign at the actual launch site. As you can see there is a sign in/out box for those camping on the islands and other campsites on the left side of the picture. There are houses close to the boat launch.
Bartlett Carry Road is shown on the map as a private road. It is open to people carrying boats from one end of the canoe carry on Middle Saranac to the canoe carry on Upper Saranac Lake. On the road a sign marks the direction of the other end of the carry.
The canoe carry is along this road. Since it is a private road you can not drive your car on it and there are signs saying you can not park along the road near the launch.
This is the view from the Upper Saranac side of the Bartlett Canoe Carry looking west.
This is the view from the Upper Saranac Bartlett Canoe Carry looking northwest. The carry is in kind of a bay/cove area on the southeast area of the lake.
Seeing wildlife makes the trip even better for me. I was lucky enough to see three adult loons hanging out together. They were talking a lot that morning and I was hoping to get an audio file of the conversation, but there were kids close by screaming and playing in the water.
The great blue heron was just north of the loons a short paddle away. It was hanging out on the property of a house being renovated. A lot of construction noise was going on and it did not seem to phase the heron. The heron was not phased by me either. It was not actively looking for food just chilling by the water.
I highly recommend this lake and boat launch. There were not many motor boats when I went. I saw maybe one or two. As with any large body of water in the Adirondacks, if weather is threatening stick to the edges of the lake or pond.
What times a great for getting wildlife pictures? Early evening and early morning are great times to get wildlife pictures in open areas. If you have the sun behind you and facing the animal it work well lighting wise.
These pictures were taken in early evening. I personally like the lighting best this time of day.
Enjoy the rest of the warmer weather. Get out an enjoy all nature has to offer.
Did you know there were locks and people operating them during the summer in the Adirondack Mountains? As a kayaker if you go towards Oseetah Lake from the Second Pond Boat launch you are able to go through one of the locks.
The Second Pond Boat Launch is southwest of the village of Saranac Lake on Route 3. This boat launch has spots for 75 cars and trailers. It is one of the busier launches in the Adirondacks because motorboats are allowed going in either direction. It also has port-a -potties. During the summer people are employed by the state to check your boat to make sure you are not carrying any invasive species from other lakes.
There are obstructions in the water and the only was to ensure you avoid them is to stay between the buoys. Some areas have more of these than others. Sometimes it is a huge boulder under the water that comes inches from the surface or a down tree that is slightly under the surface or a stump protruding from the water.
On the Paddler’s Map North, one campsite without a lean-to (#62) is on Second Pond close to the boat launch on the opposite side. Another campsite is on the map with a lean-to going through the passageway from Second Pond to Oseetah Lake. The pictures below show the campsite with the lean-to.
It appears the numbered campsites have to be reserved during the summer and early fall through http://www.reserveamerica.com or 1-800-456-camp. These sites are in the Saranac Lake Islands Public Campgrounds. It appears the lean to site in these pictures is not included in that. These it appears fall under the first come first dibs campsites as on other lakes that are free and allow you to stay for three nights without a rangers permission.
Getting To Oseetah Lake
There are two routes you can take to get to the lake from the passageway. One way is to exit near the dam at the canoe carry. Heading north up Oseetah Lake is the direction you can take to paddle to the village of Saranac Lake. The other way to get to the lake is through the locks.
I choose to go through the locks. During the summer and early fall there is a lock master who operates the locks for you. Behind me a group of female kayakers led by a female guide paddled up. I felt lucky as the guide told me how to go through the locks. She also said the canoe carry here was not so easy to do by yourself. The lock master had a few motorboats go through the locks first, then later had all the kayakers in the locks at once.
When inside the lock people on kayaks or canoes pull up to a thick rope or chain and lightly hold on with one hand. As the water goes up or down loosely move your hold on the rope in the direction you are going up or down.
The kayaking tour was a several days long trip. The ladies were camping at different spots along the way. The tour guide told me they are an all female guide company I believe. I wish I would have asked for more info so I could have mentioned them here with specifics.
Most of the land around the lake is private. You will see some cabins on the southern end of the lake near the locks. They are in other spots as well.
This area of rhe lake also had many rocks and stumps just under or above the surface.
Returning Through the Locks
This trip it was 1-2 motor boats and myself in the lock. Motorboats are allowed on all the waterways in this post.
This was a nice trip. I actually went the opposite way from the launch in the morning to Lower Saranac Lake then ate lunch at my car. After lunch, I went the opposite way from the boat launch. I did not see wildlife going in this direction. I did hear kingfishers at the water’s edge, but I did not see them. If you take this route, just beware of the obstructions in the water and stay between the buoys. The scenery is worth the trip.