Long Pond

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.

Wooden walkway next to the beaver dam

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.

Launch at the Southwestern end of the pond. It is great for kayakers. It is a gradual descent into the water.

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.

At this point the passageway was viewable.

Pink Pond Passageway to Unnamed Pond

Beaver dame ahead

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

Ahead you can catch glimpse of Long Pond again.

Campsites

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.

This site has a nice lake view.
Heading north

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

The other end of the very long canoe carry I did not take.

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 tell they are dedicated paddlers and campers. It was a dreary, rainy early autumn day and they were quite happy to be out enjoying it all.
Proper rain gear and dry suits make life easier in these circumstances.

Wildlife

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.

Pollywog Pond

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.

Launch

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.

Waiting for the storm to pass

Canoe Carry to Hoel Pond

This entrance to the canoe carry is easy to spot from the 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.

Heading south along the east shore of Pollywog.

Canoe Carry to Follensby Clear Pond

This appears to be the canoe carry to Follensby Clear Pond. It has a sign. I found no other marked clear areas that could resemble a canoe carry on this side.

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.

Continuing South

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

It tended to have a little mist/fog off the water after the rain.

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.

Heading Back

The break again between the island and the land.
Back the where I started.

Wildlife

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.

Upper Saranac Lake via Indian Carry

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.

Boat Launch

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.

Evidently you can catch a boat that will ferry you to the Island Chapel if you wish to attend.
When you arrive at the lower parking lot there is a day use camping area if you cross this bridge. It also has a privy/outhouse. Bring your own toilet paper.
Dock for people canoeing.

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.

A couple passed me twice on hoverboards.

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.

A dock and gazebo on the lake.

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.

Bridge that is part of a walking trail you can access from the parking lot near the boat launch.
Bartlett Carry

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.

Wildlife

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.

Common Loon- There were three adults the morning I was there on the southern end of the lake.
Great Blue Heron hanging out on the shore next to a birch tree.

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.

Accessing Middle Saranac Lake Through South Creek

How do you access Middle Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York? One way is by the boat launch at South Creek. This boat launch is on Route 3 about halfway in between the towns of Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake. There are multiple options on where to paddle from this launch so it is a launch that may interest you.

This sign kind of confused me. There are camping spots accessible by boat along the shore and islands of the lake. I am guessing one would have to park in the parking lot northeast from this one that does not have a boat launch according to the map. Usually these campsites are open to first come first serve for three days. Websites say you have to reserve the campsites. I did not see anyone at the campsites I passed.
Boat launch

It was kind of a rough carry from my car in the parking lot to the launch. The gates were locked and to squeeze the kayak through the rocks along the side was no easy task. I use a kayak wheeled device to move my kayak to launch sites. Where you walk to carry when I went was rough with gulleys. The boat launch itself as you can see has a gradual descent that is great for kayakers while also providing a dock that individuals who canoe may like.

View in the opposite direction from the lake.

The view above is going in the opposite direction from the lake. The view on the bottom is going towards the lake. It looks like a long paddle to reach Middle Saranac Lake on the map, but it is really not that long.

Campsites

They provide a picnic table and fire pit, campfire area at these campsites.

This was the campsite on Shaw Island. As you can see these are primitive sites that are carry-in and carry-out. They are accessible by canoe or kayak.

This campsite had two outhouses.

Going towards the Bartlett Canoe Carry

Entering a narrow body of water on the western part of the lake.

On the southwestern side of the lake you enter a narrow body of water that goes in the direction of Upper Saranac Lake. This is one option for accessing other bodies of water. Another option is to paddle north from South Creeek and go through Hungry Bay and into Weller Pond. Another option is to go east to the Saranac River through the upper locks into the southern end of Lower Saranac Lake.

This sign marks the start of the Bartlett Canoe Carry.

The canoe carry was a gradual descent into the water, ideal for kayakers. You follow the path over land to Upper Saranac Lake. It looks far on the map for one person, so I did not attempt it even with a kayak carry device. I encountered a women’s kayak tour on another lake and the guide said the Canoe Carry on the Upper Saranac side is a good launch for kayakers. I will take her word for it.

Wildlife

Black duck and her young on a rock. They were in the same area as the eagle.

I always enjoy lakes where you can view wildlife. This one was no exception. I saw two groups of black ducks, although I was nervous for them. An eagle was on a tree very close by eyeing them. Eagles in the Adirondack Mountains travel from lake to lake. They do not always stay on one body of water all day long. I arrived in the morning on this lake and a saw some fishermen on kayak and motorboat. One man I talked to said he arrived at 5 a.m. He was pleased with the bass he caught.

I did see one adult eagle along the trip.

Heading East to the Boat Launch

Heading east on Middle Saranac
Some people heading out on the lake.
Heading into South Creek back towards the boat launch.
The Route 3 Bridge over South Creek.

The boat launch is on the other side of Route 3. You kayak under the bridge and the launch is on the left when you are coming back in.

Despite it being a little rough to get into the parking lot from the launch and into the water from the parking lot I would like to come to this access point again. I do hope they make improvements on it though as it could be a hazard. I recommend they remove a rock or two on the side to make is easier to bring your kayak to the water and fill in the gulleys made by erosion. Middle Saranac Lake is another beautiful Adirondack lake.

Accessing Lower Saranac Lake Through Ampersand

What is another place to launch a canoe or kayak that is close to the village of Saranac Lake? Ampersand Bay of Lower Saranac Lake is a short drive from Saranac Lake.

Sign on Edgewood

There are two ways to get to this launch. One way to get there you travel south of the village on route 3. Then you would turn onto Edgewood. Follow the signs from where this road meets Ampersand. You turn left from this direction. Another way to get to this launch is to go south on Ampersand Avenue then follow the signs.

Adirondack Canoe Route

This location is the starting point of the Adirondack Canoe Wilderness Route. Many of the lakes or ponds on this map connect by water routes such as creeks , the lakes running together, or through portages or canoe carries between them.

This sign is in the parking lot.
This map is facing the wrong direction. Saranac Lake Village is northeast of Ampersand Bay. The you are here on the map points to the Ampersand Bay boat launch.

Boat Launch

This is the boat launch. It has several parking spots. It is only for cars putting in canoes or kayaks.

The Department of Environmental Conservation website says this boat launch parking lot has places for 12 cars. The launch was not crowded when I went. This is not a launch for motor boats, so that makes it less busy. I believe there was only one other car when I arrived. Nearby on the bay is a launch/marina for powerboats. I like this launch. It has a gradual descent into the lake and is great for kayakers.


Ampersand Bay

Heading in to the main part of Lower Saranac Lake

This part of Lower Saranac Lake has some houses and docks along it. It also has what appears to be condos near the marina.

Lower Saranac Lake

I am not sure if that is Ampersand Mountain in the background. Someone knowledgeable about the area may be able to fill us in.
It was very windy on this day so I travelled along the shoreline.What you are seeing is an island and the shoreline. This lake is quite large.

Lower Saranac Lake has many campsites along the shore or on islands in the lake. The campsites are free. They are primitive sites with cleared areas for tents, outhouses, and a campfire area/fire-pit.

Wildlife

Kingfisher

Seeing wildlife is always a bonus for me. I got several great pictures of a kingfisher. I think there may have been a nest nearby. Both parents were keeping a close watch on me as I travelled near the shoreline. They were like guard dogs.

I would highly recommend this boat launch. It is great if you would like a short drive from your accommodations in Saranac Lake. Most state boat launches and other ones in the Adirondacks are fine. Enjoy the scenery and enjoy the wildlife!

Brant Lake

What lake in the Adirondacks has the same name as an Mohawk Indian Chief who supported the British in the War for Independence? It is Brant Lake in Warren County. It is another lake worth visiting in the area north of Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains of N.Y.

History of a Name

I cannot say the lake is named after the Indian chief, but so far I have not found information online saying where the name came from. I even emailed a nearby historical group with no response. Joseph Brant was a Mohawk Chief who sided with the British during the Revolutionary War. According to the National Park Service during the French and Indian War “In 1755, at age 13 he accompanied Sir William Johnson to the Battle of Lake George.” Lake George is south of Brant Lake and a short drive by car. Mohawks today have tribal land on both sides of the border with Canada north of the Adirondack Mountains.

Location

Brant Lake is north of Lake George. If coming from the south you take the Adirondack Northway route 87 north of Albany. Get off at exit 25- the exit for NY 8 north. Go approximately 2.6 miles to the boat launch. The address is 6799 NY 8 , Brant Lake, NY.

Boat Ramp
They had a boat ramp and dock.

This boat ramp had multiple people working it on a weekend, and it is no wonder. I likened this to the Grand Central Station of boat ramps in the Adirondack Mountains. There were boats constantly coming in and going of the the lake here. I had to wait to launch and wait to get out. I was able to park without waiting. If I remember correctly, they had port a potty toilets or privy here.

Two islands
Paddling between two islands.
Traffic

This lake is big enough that I was able to avoid motor boats by sticking to paddling along the shore. It is about 5 miles in length.It was a little windy, and I was worried about the possibility of a storm, but things ended up fine.

Regardless of the motorboat traffic it was still a nice ride. There is not a lot of development along the lake. There are a few houses spread out and camps. There is a lot of wide open spaces with nice views in the Adirondack Mountains. Get out and enjoy it.

Paradox Lake

Want a great place to paddle your canoe of kayak for the day in the Adirondack Mountains? Looking for a place to get on the water in the Lake George- Schroon Lake area? Then head to Paradox Lake.

Paradox Lake

Paradox Lake is on Route 74 in Paradox, NY. To get there take the Northway or Route 87 to Exit 28. Take 74 east about 4 miles to the campground. There is a small entrance fee for day use if you are going to kayak or canoe.

Click on this link to see a map of the lake: https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf/pdoxlkmap.pdf

Boat Launch was near the end of the smaller section of the lake on the eastern end.

The boat launch is a short drive from the entrance booth. It has ample parking. I saw more kayaks going in and out then motor boats. Bathrooms are up the road in the campground from the boat launch in the beach area where they rent kayaks and canoes.

This is the entrance to what joins the two sections of the lake together.

The part of the lake the launch is on is much smaller than the other part of the lake. I decided to go through the narrow canal like connection to the larger part of the lake. I heard from fishermen on the way that eagles liked to hang out in the tall pine trees at the end of where this meets the larger part of the lake, but I had no luck that day. I was also told by others that eagles were known to be at this lake. This lake seems to be known for trout and they are trying to introduce inland salmon I read on one of the sites.

Looking into the larger section of the lake.

This is the larger part of the lake. It was windy at times, so I only explored a section of it.

This is the entrance back into the passageway heading towards the smaller section of the lake. I did not see too many boats out on the lake. Sometimes when there is a large state campgrounds on a lake there is a lot of traffic and little wildlife to be seen. Because this lake is pretty big- at least 4 miles in length, there are not as many people as one would think. There are also a few homes along the lake.

Overall I highly recommend this lake. The boat launch, parking situation, and the chance to see wildlife are all benefits in my book.

Lake Colby

Want another lake to paddle just outside the village of Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York? Lake Colby may fit the bill. Lake Colby is on Route 86 just north of the village of Saranac Lake and across the street from the Adirondack Medical Center. It has a swimming beach with a large parking lot at the south end of route 86 and a boat ramp with parking on the north end of Route 86.

You can see the restrictions on this sign on Route 86 north of Saranac Lake. Boats with motors no more than 10 HP are allowed on the lake. I actually took this picture on my way out.

This was the second lake I hit in the same day on a short weekend trip in October. The weather did not cooperate most of the time. It was mostly overcast and dark during this day with short periods with brief views of blue skies.

Boat ramp into Lake Colby
Dockside for one house.
Adirondack chairs next to a fire pit lake side. My vision of heaven. In my dreams I wish to have something like this one day.
Wildlife

Although it has been said there are loons and eagles here I did not see any. Eagles seem to travel between bodies of water in the Adirondacks. I did see multiple great blue herons and Canadian Geese.

Canadian geese on the lake
This lake had a multitude of heron when I visited.
A lake side structure that looked to be in the midst of a remodel.

It seemed like there were only a few houses or camps along this lake. I saw no camping signs, however, other websites say there are two on the lake. These campsites are usually first come first served.

This is another lake I highly recommend. It had nice scenery, it is close to the village of Saranac Lake, and has wildlife to see. Viewing wildlife is always a plus for me. I did not take pictures on the opposite side. It had an old railroad tracks that people were fishing from.

Little Clear Pond

You can not always pick your weather. Sometimes I really wish I could. I went up to the Adirondack Mountains on a three day weekend in October. The day I went to this pond it was dreary in the morning. I will kayak even if it is raining.

How to Access

Little Clear Pond can be accessed off State Route 30 on the Adirondack Fishery Road. The sign above is on the Adirondack Fish Hatchery Road.

The road leading to it is dirt/ gravel. It breaks off at one point. If I remember correctly it also crosses a road that is used for a snowmobile route. It was very muddy there with the rain.

Little Clear was the only one marked on the map with a boat ramp. It appears it is a canoe carry to Little Green Pond. I may have to check that out in the future, but canoe carries I found usually mean a dock. As a kayaker I prefer a boat ramp. I could be wrong though.

Boat launch- It is a gentle slope down to the pond from the parking lot.

It is near the fishery. The fishery uses this pond so fishing is not allowed.

A lot of stumps in this pond.
Wildlife

‘This appeared to be a young loon. It was hanging around waiting for its mother to feed it. The parent appeared to be handing fish off to it underwater. Not too long before they fly south. I hope this young loon has learned to fish on its own so it can follow its parent south. I also saw Merganser ducks here, but they kept quite a distance.

This guy caught up with me on another section of the pond. The motehr was probably around somewhere, but I did not see her at this point.
Scenery
That could possibly be the St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower in the background.
Dos and Don’ts

There are several things not allowed because the Adirondack Fish Hatchery uses this pond. Fishing is not allowed. According to an article written by Spencer Morrissey in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise this pond is used as a breeding ground for landlocked salmon. So loons and eagles are known to be seen here. Camping is not allowed along this pond either for the same reason and motor boats are banned. Canoes and kayaks are welcome.

One of the many stumps with fall foliage in the background.

I highly recommend this pond. They do have a larger parking area than most ponds. I saw one other boat that morning and another came before I left. So it is a quiet place, nice to take a small group. Seeing loons is a bonus as well as having a chance of seeing eagles.

Even in less than ideal conditions go out and enjoy nature. Stay safe and stay healthy!

Lake Flower Fall

Saranac Lake has several lakes nearby. One you can see from the town itself is Lake Flower. Gauthier’s Saranac Lake Inn is a vintage hotel right on Lake Flower with updated rooms. They loan out to guests kayaks, canoes, and bikes. You can launch a kayak or canoe right from the hotel grounds. They are close to a marina, ice cream shop, and a short walk to shops. They have lovely views on Lake Flower from some of the rooms and from their grounds..

If you missed going up to the Adirondacks during peak leaf season this year, you should consider going next year. It is one of the prettiest areas of the state in autumn.

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