I made a world wind trip up to the Adirondacks. I almost brought my kayak. There was one body of water where I could have kayaked safely it appears with where to launch looking okay, but most places around Saranac Lake had snow and/or ice around the launches and ice on the lakes.
The funny thing is on Thursday this lake had ice on it. On Friday morning the ice was gone. When I left on Saturday morning the ice was back. It is crazy how quick the ice forms and disappears at this point in the year.
If you are American, I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday. If you live in the northern hemisphere, enjoy the transition into winter. There is beauty in every season.
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!
What iconic piece of furniture makes many people envision many summer and relaxation? It’s the Adirondack chair. Invented first as the Westport chair in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, it later became known as the Adirondack chair.
The Westport chair had a solid back, as opposed to many of the chairs today which consist of slats in the back.
According to Merriam Webster an Adirondack chair is a wooden lawn chair with a high slatted back, broad arms, and a seat that is lower in the back than the front. So the main difference in design between the Westport chair and the Adirondack chair seems to be slats used instead of solid wood pieces for the area such as the back.
It is popular in the Adirondacks to see the chairs on boathouse docks, boat docks, around fire pits, and on beaches.
The Adirondack Mountains in New York usually has dry summers and cold, snowy winters. These chairs typically were built to hold up well in the weather.
The sloping seat many find comfortable. The position of the back area makes it unnecessary for most people to find the need to use pillows with it.
The size of the arm rests makes it convenient to place a drink on.
These chairs are not just sold in the Adirondacks, although they can be seen all over the area. They can be any colour or painted with scenes on them. Do you have this iconic outdoor furniture in your yard?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Going towards the Bartlett Canoe Carry
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.
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.
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.
Heading East to the Boat Launch
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.