Adirondack Trip

I am planning a 5 day canoe trip for myself and dog in mid-June, with limited carries. I have a 14’ foot kevler canoe and would rate my skills as intermediate.

My initial idea is to put in at Saranac Lake village and paddle through either Raquette River or Upper Saranac lake and back again.

This is my first such trip and would appreciate any advice and route suggestion.

Thank You.

First things first

– Last Updated: Jan-23-10 11:49 PM EST –

I suggest that you go over to

and review the posts there about a trip from Saranac Lake Village.

Starting from SLV leads into Flower and Ossetah both cottage lakes. Then to Lower Middle and Upper Saranac. Bartlett Carry from Middle to Upper Saranac. Then Indian carry over to the Raquette River which flows to Tupper Lake (not Saranac)

You could probably benefit from the Adirondack Paddlers Map .

Out and back its a good two day trip to reach Upper Saranac and two more back.

You may be thinking about the many loop trips offered off of Upper Saranac Lake but they are not near the Village..nor the Raquette River.

Personally I would just arrange for a shuttle from St Regis Outfitters and start from Long Lake Village and paddle up Long the carry from Axton to Upper Saranac, over Bartlett Carry to Middle and exit Lower Saranac at Saranac Lake Islands ranger station on Rt 3. You miss most of the cottage gig and its a lovely leisurely five day trip.

If you do wind up camping on Middle or Lower Saranac be advised you need to register with the Saranac Lake Islands office as its an official DEC campground.

Your dog will require a certificate of rabies vaccination also. Tags only are not sufficient.

I’d suggest an overnighter with the dog
and gear to see how it goes. Is your dog small? It might find a 14’ boat full of gear to be confining. And you should know how your dog will act when embarking and landing.

Raquette Falls Carry
Don’t forget to mention the Raquette Falls carry at the northern end of Long Lake. It is noteworthy.


– Last Updated: Jan-24-10 1:03 PM EST – can contact the kayak shop in Saranac Lake for local info. Also , I recommend you buy map #2 of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail series. It 's the Long Lake to Saranac River map.. it's on waterproof paper and has valuable info on it. The book "Adirondacks Paddler's Guide" is money well spent, and goes hand in hand with the maps. I highly recommend you buy this book. Links to these are as follows:
The ALTO kayak shop is near the Best Western hotel on Flower Ave. ( aka Route 86 ) in Saranac Lake.
There's also a shop on Route 30, just outside of Tupper Lake, on the south side of town, near the boat launch, that may be of help, I know they carry the canoe trail maps/ Paddlers map/Paddlers Guide book there, thats where i bought mine.
(PS: the RRO shop is closed till ice out)
If You fish there's a good tackle shop in Saranac:

paddling on Upper Saranac
Paddling on Upper Saranac is wonderful. The lake is about 9 miles long. The State of NY owns about half the land along the lake so there are many excellent campsites (especially at the northern end of the lake). There are also beautiful camps to check out while you are paddling (many from the late 1800s and early 1900s). There is some motor boat traffic, but usually not too much. During the week in June there should be very little. The wind almost always blows up the lake towards the north so the trip back up the lake should be a breeze. There is a public boat launch with plenty of parking at the north end of the lake. There may still be bugs in mid June so bring the bug spray. Upper St Regis is nearby and is a nice lake to spend one day if you like to check out old camps (I don’t think you can park overnight at the boat launch at Upper St Regis). Middle Saranac is also nice if you are looking for more of a wilderness experience.

Wrong direction right idea
If you organize your trip to end in Saranac Lake Village you will be going with the current and most likely with the wind. There are many good places to start. One would be Floodwood. Safe place to park and lots of camping locations from there to SL village. Only one portage at Bartlet Carry from Upper Saranac to Middle Saranac. Also calling a taxi in Saranac while someone watches your car/boat is way cheaper than a shuttle. My last trip I had a cab from SL Village to South Creek access on Middle Saranac for about $12.

Have fun,but
Enjoy your trip,the ADKs is a beautiful place. Please be aware that your dog may act unpredictablly towards others in the wilderness. I have had numerous unpleasant encounters with dogs up there.


I did it that carry 3 times
I reccomend high top shoes for ankle support and to prevent them being sucked off by stepping into deep mud. www.Macs canoe livery are great people.