Adirondacks State Park

High Peaks - Saranac Lake & Vicinity

Saranac River
The Saranac River starts put as slow moving flatwater with one section of up to Class III water at Permanent Rapids just before Franklin Falls Pond. The adjacent road provides access to the river before these rapids. A 0.4 mile carry connects you to larger Union Falls Pond.

Don't overlook hiking around Saranac.

(Saranac Area Map)

Lake Kushaqua to Osgood Pond
A 12 mile trip from Lake Kushaqua to Osgood Pond traverses an interesting group of lakes, channels and one 0.75 mile carry. Take time to explore the remote three mile stillwater outlet of Osgood. A unique canal connects Osgood to Church Pond at Paul Smiths. Some of the channels are shallow and wading may be necessary at lower water levels. You can extend this trip by carrying to Lower St. Regis Lake. From here myriad lakes and routes await the adventurous paddler.

East Branch Ausable River
The not so tranquil East Branch has some great spring paddling with Class II water and a tricky Class III boulder patch. You'll pass quickly through a scenic valley lined with high peaks and meadows. In the summer, when the water is too shallow for paddling, you'll see mostly angers on a deceptively quiet river.

West Branch Ausable River
These eight miles of tranquil water flowing amidst densely wooded banks have some Class I riffles and one carry. Spring water levels are best. Don't miss your take out just prior to Monument Falls. An unrunnable boulder-filled gorge follows which is better viewed from Route 86.

Chubb River
This little river may surprise you with a memorable wilderness cruise through a winding channel into a remote mountain-ringed marsh. The nine mile round trip has one short carry midway. Numerous beaver dams slow travel at tower water levels.

Saranac Lakes Chain
From the top of Upper Saranac to the east end of Lower Saranac is a 17.5 mile waterway with only one half mile carry. There are several lean-tos and many campsites along the shore and on islands. A fee is charged for campsites on Lower and Middle Saranac Lakes. This popular route continues through Oseetah Lake into the Village of Saranac Lake where the Saranac River begins. (More on the Saranac Section)

Lower Osgood River
This small river meanders beside a forested esker and through a wide marsh on its 8.5 mile journey to Meacham Lake. Four small ponds, hidden by the esker, are worth a side trip. Two of the ponds have navigable outlet channels.

St. Regis Wilderness Area
This is a pond-hopper's paradise. Many of the carries are short and most routes can be done as an unencumbered day trip. The classic is the "Seven Carries Route," a nine mile trek from Little Clear Pond to Paul Smiths, traversing ten lakes and ponds. Various loop-trips start from Follensby Clear, Floodwood and Fish Creek ponds. Short carries connect this popular series of small ponds and channels. You can expand these loops by including the traverse between Long and Hoel ponds. A loop around the St. Regis Lakes which requires a .6 mile carry, offers the opportunity to view several Great Camps and take a side trip into Black Pond.

You may need more time and a lightweight canoe for the Nine Carries Route. A cluster of ponds and a unique esker awaits you at Fish Pond after a demanding 1.5 mile carry.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication



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