Accessing Lower Saranac Lake Through the 2nd Pond Launch

What is one place you can access Lower Saranac Lake? Which boat launch gives you options and access to several bodies of water? It is the 2nd Pond Boat Launch. It is more than three miles south west of the village of Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York.

Boat Launch

This boat launch is a busy spot. It has one of the largest parking areas I have come across in the Adirondacks with spaces for 75 cars and trailers. It also has port-a-potties. During the summer months people are employed to check boats for invasive species when entering and leaving the water.

The state boat launch at First and Second Ponds

The boat launch is on 2nd pond. When you go west you will go under the bridge on Route 3. From there you are on 1st pond.

First Pond
On Second Pond going towards First Pond.

Seeing wildlife is always a bonus for me. The route I took going from the 2nd Pond Launch through First Pond and into Lower Saranac Lake had a variety of wildlife to see. The ducks stayed near shore weaving in and out of plants. They are probably in survival mode due to the eagle’s presence.

A wood duck and its young. I had a hard time getting pictures of this duck as it stayed mostly in the grasses. Eagles are very active around the ponds and the lake.
Merganser Ducks
One of the eagles I saw. Two adults were on this tree. As most eagles do in this area I witnessed it going between Lower Saranac Lake and the ponds. Other lakes are nearby, so I’m sure it travels to them as well.
Lower Saranac Lake

I stayed close to shore paddling the route I took. Motorboats were frequently passing in either direction. There are numerous campsites on the islands and shore around Lower Saranac Lake. The spots are free and you can find them on Adirondack Paddler’s Map North. I also saw a few large groups of canoeists and kayakers. Both groups appeared to be camping at one of these free campsites.

I believe this was heading into Lower Saranac Lake
Lower Saranac Lake

Overall this is a location I would love to return to. I love the scenery, the multiple lake access from this launch and the chance to see a variety of wildlife. Even though it is a busy boat launch there are positive points to more people present. I would recommend staying close to the shore to avoid motor boat traffic.Get out and enjoy the Adirondack scenery and get some exercise while you do!

Moose Pond

Shhhhh! Want to know a secret? There is a pond that only locals seem to know about. It is north of Lake Placid and Saranac Lake but between them. It has loons and free primitive campsites. It also has a couple of beaches. I highly recommend visiting Moose Pond.


Moose Pond is north east of Saranac Lake and northwest of Lake Placid in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. It borders forest preserve and the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness area. If you go on State Route 3 from Saranac Lake, NY you turn onto River Road in Bloomingdale.

From River Road you turn right onto Moose Pond Road. This sign is on River Road at the intersection of Moose Pond Road. You travel down Moose Pond Road a ways. It turns from a paved road into a dirt/stone road. It ends at the parking lot for Moose Pond. Near the parking lot are bathrooms. I did not check them out, so they may be outhouse style.

This is the beach you launch from. I used a carrier to wheel my kayak from the parking lot to the beach. It is a nice little beach to launch from.

I did look to see if Grass Pond Outlet was able to be paddled from Moose Pond. Trees were down near the entrance to the outlet on Moose Pond, so it was a no go. Grass Pond Outlet leads from Grass Pond to Moose Pond.

A beach on the other side of the lake.

Locals were swimming at the boat launch beach and some recommended paddling to this beach for a swim.

As you can see there are some nice mountain views from this pond.
The mountain in the distance appears to have a fire tower or building on it. I am guessing that is Whiteface Mountain. I am not seeing other mountains on the map around it with structures listed on top.

I did see at least one loon on this pond. That is always a good sign. I did not see anything else. I could not get a good shot of the loon because I was facing the light early evening.


This pond has free primitive campsites in different locations accessible by boat and in some cases by trail. There is a trail from State Route 3 that goes to some of the campsites and ends up in the parking lot next to the boat launch. I did not see any motor boats on this pond. I was the only kayaker at the time.

I like this pond. There were people there. Most if not all seemed to be locals. I did not see anyone at the campsites, although the woods was thick and I did not see the actual sites from the lake. I am guessing some were occupied. I would definitely want to return to this spot again in the future.

Bring water and food with you and of course a map. This pond is covered by the Adirondack Paddler’s Map North. This map is waterproof in that you can get it wet with no effect as far as my experience has been. It is available at most local bookshops and outdoor stores. Get out and enjoy nature and stay safe!

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