Adirondacks trip.........

We’re planning on going to the Adirondacks this summer for camping/canoeing. Never been there before. Any good ideas for the different areas? We will be using our pop up. I would like to canoe as much as possible, however, my daughters may not want to do that every day, all day. Any info would be appreciated.


Old Forge is the best place to go. It has a water park, McDonald’s and you can rent Jet Ski’s which is more fun than a canoe or kayak. The park itself is not much. Just lots of trees, thousands of lakes and ponds, and rivers. I guess it’s OK if you like nature. Lots of bugs too and it gets very dark at night. It’s best to stay home and watch the Discovery Channel.

St. Regis Canoe Area

I would recommened the St. Regis Canoe Area as a place that would give you and your family many options as to camping and paddling.

I’ve included some resources that might prove useful to your trip planning. If you don’t have one already, pick up a copy of the 2007 2nd Edition of Quiet Water New York.

The “Adirondack Paddlers Map for Canoe and Kayak Travel” 2nd Edition has proven to be useful as it has the shoreline campsite numbers on the map. For exploring, I also take along a set of 7.5 minute series of USGS Quadrangles of a particular area.

Adirondack Canoe Waters: North Flow, 3rd edition (1988, revised 1994), by Paul Jamieson and Donald Morris. Probably more useful to flat-water paddlers, Quiet Water New York, 2nd edition (2007) by John Hayes and Alex Wilson.

For trip planning and equipment rentals, I’ve includedname of some outfitters. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list and there are many other good outfitters in the area.

Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters ( is located in Saranac Lake.

Raquette River Outfitters ( has locations in Long Lake and Tupper Lake.

St. Regis Canoe Outfitters ( has locations in Lake Clear and Saranac Lake.

Also you might try a pnet search of the archieves; you’ll get a wealth of information and lively opinion.

Hope that wherever you end up paddling in the Adirondacks, you and your family have a great time.

See you on the water.


Adirondack Forums

You might also try posting your question on the “Paddling in the Adirondacks” Forum of the Adirondack Forums (

Good luck


Thanks everyone…
that should get me started.

Rollins Pond Campground
Access to all sorts of water, including St. Regis Canoe area, as well as a moderate drive to the village of Tupper Lake. Great museum there. If you don’t need a real quiet campground and want a shorter drive through the camp to your site, go for Fish Creek Campground, which shares its entrance with Rollins Pond (you have to drive past the masses of trailers and jet skis in Fish Creek to get to the Rollins Pond Section.


old forge
i would 2nd old forge as a great intro to the adirondacks for a family just starting to get into the outdoors. first of all, there’s old forge camping resort, a well maintained and totally sanitized campground with all your creature comforts. perfect for those just getting into the outdoors.

in the town of old forge, there is enchanted forest, a respectable water park; many shops for window shopping; restaurants for days you want someone else to cook; and the middle (or is that the upper? always get them mixed up) branch of the moose river runs right thru town. it’s a slow, meandering, and very scenic stretch of the river.

old forge is at the head of the fulton chain of lakes so there’s plenty of lake paddling. if you want a sense of wilderness, paddle 7th lake. there’s a public parking right along rt. 28.

there’s too much paddling opportunities to mention. best bet is to pick up adirondack paddler’s map.

within 6 miles of town, there’s bald mountain. a very short (1 mile each way, i think) and easy climb with a nice view of the fulton chain, and a fire tower at the top that’s open to the public!

about 1/2 hr. from town there’s great camp sagamore, the former wilderness resort of the vanderbilts. it’s one of the few adirondack “great camps” that’s open to the public. if you saw the movie “the good shepherd,” the skulls and bones retreat was shot there (i think.)

within a 2 hr. drive, there’s lake placid, site of 2 winter olympics, and 2 decent museums: the natural history museum of the adirondacks and the adirondack museum.

as i said, old forge is great if you want a taste of what the adirondacks has to offer, but still like to feel somewhat attached to civilization.

Thanks again
for all the help. We’ve been camping for a long time so creature comforts are too big of a deal. The place we usually go doesn’t have water or electric. I was looking at the DEC Buck Pond camping area but it’s fairly far north of Old Forge. So most likely we’ll stay in the Old Forge area to start with. We may break it up for the week and hit 2 campgrounds. Thanks again.

Buck Pond is a great terminus
for a day trip from Church Pond through Osgood Jones and Rainbow and Kushqua (spelling is off there). Its a long day perhaps six hours of paddling and one short portage.

Also look at the Whitney Tract and Lows Lake…both good for multiday trips.

When you get to Old Forge stop at Mountainman or the hardware store to get a paddling map…there are several ADK ones out there.

Buck Pond
Although it’s out of the way Buck Pond DEC campsite is very quiet for a drive in campground and is rarly full.You can take day canoe trips from there also.definatly not a “water park” type of experience.Many sites on Buck Pond itself as opposed to Lake Kushiqua are right on the water and quite far apart with trees in between.Buck pond is off limits to Motor boats.


dack paddle
The Old Forge Lakes are the worst ADK experience possible. Every Jet Ski and Motor Boat registered in New Jersey will run circles around you while you try to paddle.

Head for St Regis or Rollins or any one of the other areas to enjoy your first paddle inthe dacks.

I always suggest Blue Mountain Lake to wherever as a good first trip. Pick you Racquette Lake crossing carefully as it can be a bit windy there. But there are bail out options. Or try a trip on the Saranac’s. Start on Upper at Indian Carry and carry (short!)to Middle and head to Saranac. All very nice. Or start at the Deer Lands and paddle Long to the Racquette to Tupper or Saranac Lake.

These are all much better than the Old Forge circus.

Anyone Know Nicks Lake?
that seems, at least on paper to be a good one- motorless lake, close to old forge.


Nicks Lake
Nice campground, no motors on the lake, just a few minutes into Old Forge. Will be there 4 or 5 days the middle of May (ADK paddlefest)

ADK canoeing/camping

– Last Updated: May-04-08 2:59 PM EST –

hi...consider the Old Forge area , lots of water, camping areas, day/overniter/weekend/week-long paddles. Reserve fast and early though. Limekiln lake/Nick's lake are short day trips. Limekiln has a state park there.pretty lake/sandy beach Adm. $$ required.( beware of stream directly across from sandy beach leads to waterfall) O.F. also has Water Safari water park/go carts. plenty of short day hike options in area. plenty of water to paddle up and down Rt. 28 from OF to long lake,ny. beware of the deer though ..they will walk out in front of you, they're fairly tame.
PS: ditto the warning about the Fulton chain of lakes.they can get very busy with jetski's/pontoon boats( rented))and other power boat traffic. Nicks lake , btw, is a state park.Adm.$$ req.

yah its a model McDonalds
a model of a deserted gone to seed abandoned McDonalds.

Note that NESSMUK was kidding about going to Old Forge - it’s pure tourism. The paddling is among a bunch of power boats, and the hiking opportunities are varied, but not particularly challenging or interesting.

If you want to stay in a city (large town), try Saranac Lake. Enough to do in town, and plenty of good paddling there, or not too far away (St. Regis Canoe Area, Fish Creek Ponds, etc.) - and Lake Placid is just down the road. Rollins Pond/Fish Creek campground is also nearby.

Last summer
my wife and I spent 3 or 4 days at Nick’s Lake. Not bad, but too developed and heavily populated for our liking. While there, we drove into the Moose River Rec Area, just past Limekiln Lake. That was a fantastic area with beautiful drive-up primitive campsites. Not a great paddling destination, but definitely a great place to camp. But I imagine the suggestions that you stay to the North and East of Old Forge is probably good advice. Old Forge is tourist hell.