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Canoe/Kayak Trips in the Adirondacks

Short Trips

Garnet Lake

Description: Garnet Lake is surrounded by Crane Mountain and Blue Mountain. It is a good place to search for king birds. The paddle is about 2.5 miles long.     Satellite Image

Directions: Drive south from Johnsburg from Garnet Lake Road. Follow signs to the lake. Follow the east shore of the lake for .5 miles until you reach a patch of state land where you can launch your canoe/kayak.

Mason Lake

Description: Mason Lake is a beautiful small lake. Evergreens enclose the shores and small bays. The lake is only about a half a mile long.     Satellite Image

Directions: The lake is located on the west side of NY 30, 8 miles north of Speculator and south of Louis Lake Campground. There are a number of areas to launch your canoe/kayak along the western shore of the lake.

South Pond

Description: Most of the shoreline of South Pond is owned by the State Forest Preserve. It is a large triangle shaped body of water. The length of the paddle is almost 5 miles if you go and explore every bay.     Satellite Image

Directions: There is a parking lot on the west side of NY 30, 5.9 miles north of Blue Mountain Lake. A trail from the parking lot leads to the shoreline of the lake.

North Lake

Description: North Lake is only 3.5 miles long, but it has many small bays. It is a very thin lake. Length of Paddle: 8 miles     Satellite Image

Directions: From NY 28, follow signs to Forestport Station and continue onto North Lake Road. Turn left at the fork in the road before the dam. The western shore has many places to launch your canoe/kayak.

Francis Lake

Description: Francis Lake is fun to explore. The lake contains a number of bays, islands, and eskers. Length of Paddle: 3 miles     Satellite Image

Directions: Drive east of lowville on Number Four Road and turn right. The trail to the lake is 0.85 miles down the road. A parking area is just beyond the trail.

Horseshoe Lake

Description: Horseshoe Lake is a large lake surrounded by Forest Preserve. The lake is good for fishing. The lake can become very windy so its not the best place for beginners.    Satellite Image

Directions: Drive west on NY 421 from NY 30. Continue to the south shore of the lake. There are number of places to launch a canoe on the south shore.

Black Pond

Description: Black Pond is a tiny pond near Paul Smith College. Jenkins Mountain and St. Regis Mountain can be seen from the pond. The pond is only 0.75 miles long.     Satellite Image

Directions: Drive 2.5 miles west of Paul Smith College on Keese Mill Road. A parking area is just beyond the stream. The pond can be accessed by launching your canoe/kayak at the dock on the outlet stream.

Auger Flats

Description: The Auger Flats is on the main branch of the Sacandaga River. Silver Maples surround the shoreline and provide canopy. The Auger flats is about 4 miles of paddling if done completely.     Satellite Image

Directions: Drive north on NY 30 after the intersection of NY 30 and 8. Turn left on a dirt road in 1.5 miles. Follow the road until you reach the launch site.

West Branch Sacandaga River

Description: The West Branch of the Sacandaga River offers three canoeing trips from only one launch site. Three lakes can be accessed from Sacandaga River, Good Luck Lake, Chub Lake, and Little Trout Lake. The three routes add up to 12 miles of paddling.    Satellite Image

Directions: The best launch site is located at the second bridge north of Pine Lake. You can get to the bridge by driving 6 miles past the intersection of NY 29A and 10.

Schroon River

Description: A majority of Schroon River has rapids. There is one 4 mile stretch below Schroon Lake that has flatwater. Part of the river is has a canopy of Silver Maples. The entire route is 10.5 miles. Currents can be strong on this river, so be cautious when there is high water.     Satellite Image

Directions: The launch site for Schroon River is easy to access. Go to NY 9 just north of Pottersville. Turn east on World of Life Camp Road. Follow the road for a little less than a mile and you will find a DEC launch site.

Ausable Marsh

Description: Ausable Marsh is a great place to bird watch. The marsh is home to many types of waterfowl. Wild flowers and reed beds can also be seen on the shorelines of the marsh.

Directions: Ausable Marsh is 9 miles south of Plattsburgh. The marsh can be accessed from the beach at Ausable Campground.

Longer Trips

Kunjamuk River

Description: The Kunjamuk River runs into International Paper Company's Speculator Tree Farm. Elm Lake can be reached by the River if you continue north. Distance (round trip): 12 miles   Time to Complete: 6 or more hours.     Satellite Image

Directions: Park to the west of NY 30 in the town field south of Speculator. Launch in the site nearby.

Big Moose Lake to Eastern Inlets

Description: Big Moose Lake can be very rough so make sure you go on a calm day. A trail can be accessed from a dock on the northern shore. The trail is about one miles long and goes through beautiful old growth forest. Distance (round trip): 6 miles for both inlets    Time to Complete: 4 hours or more     Satellite Image

Directions: Go 3.9 miles of NY 28 at inlet on Big Moose Road. Turn right onto Higby Road. Follow Higby Road for 1.5 miles. Turn right into the Big Moose Association launch site.

Lake Lila

Description: Lake Lila is the largest lake in the Adirondacks that is surrounded by State Land. The land surrounding the lake used to be the estate of William Seward Webb. William Seward Webb built a railroad that connected the Mohawk River with Malone. No motorboats are allowed on the Lake. The lake can become windy because of its size.    Distance to paddle lake and inlets: 14 miles    Time to Complete: One Day     Satellite Image

Directions: Turn west from NY 30, 7 miles north of Long Lake to County Route 10A. Continue west on Sabattis Road for 4.6 miles. Turn left at the fork in the road on Lila Access Road. The parking area is 5.8 miles down the road.

Bog River to Hitchins Pond

Description: Many different types of wildlife can be found at Hitchins Pond. The pond is not open to motorboats. The first part of Bog River is surrounded by rock walls. The rest of the route is mostly boggy lowlands.    Distance (round trip): 7.3 miles    Time to Complete: 3 hours     Satellite Image

Directions: At the south end of Tupper Lake, turn west on NY 421 from NY 30. Continue on NY 421 for 5.9 miles. Turn west near the corner of Horseshoe Lake. Take a left at the fork in the road. The launch site is just past the lower dam.

Raquette River

Description: Raquette River is a very beautiful river to explore. There are launch sites on both ends of the river. You can choose to paddle from Axton Landing to Simon pond, or vise versa. Alot of motorboats use the river, but canoeing/kayaking the river is still fun.    Distance (round trip): 14 miles    Time to Complete: One day     Satellite Image

Directions: The DEC launch site is 1.6 miles west of the intersection of NY 3 and 30 in Wawbeek.

Chubb River

Description: Chubb River is a very small river near two of the Adirondack High Peaks, Street Mountain and Nye Mountain. It is common to see many species of birds from the river, including herons and osprey.    Distance (round trip): 8.4 miles   Time to Complete: One Day     Satellite Image

Directions: Follow Old Military Road to where NY 86 and NY 73 connect. Take Averyville Road to the bridge over Chubb River. Park in the parking area marked Northville - Placid Trail. Follow the trail across from the parking lot to the launch site.

South Bay of Lake Champlain

Description: The South Bay of Lake Champlain contains many marshes and inlets. Tall mountains shelter the bay.    Distance (round trip): 8 miles    Time to Complete: 4 hours     Satellite Image

Directions: The DEC launch site is on the north side of NY 22.

Hudson River Feeder Canal

Description: The Hudson River Feeder Canal is the only part left of the original Erie Canal System that carries water. The canal goes through Downtown Glens falls. The canal also passes an old limestone company and several residential areas.    Distance: 5 Miles    Time to Complete: 2.5 hours downstream     Satellite Image

Directions: The launch site is at Feeder Dam Park. Feeder Dam Park is off exit 18 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87). Follow the signs off the exit to Feeder Dam Park.

Grass River

Description: Grass River has really fun sections of rapids, flumes, and waterfalls. Make sure you listen for the falls and look for the take out area carefully. The take out area is near the foundations of an old power house.    Distance: 9 miles    Time to Complete: 4.5 hours     Satellite Image

Directions: Go north of Degrasse on County Route 27. The parking area is less than half a mile from the intersection of County Route 27 and Dean road. Follow the marked path to the launch site.


McMartin, Barbara. Fun on Flatwater: A Guide to Adirondack Canoeing. North Country Books, Utica NY. 1995.

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