Best time to visit Adirondacks?

Hello, folks. In appreciation of the good leads y’all gave me on my last question, I have another (G)… When is the best time to visit the Adirondacks? Given that the kids will be out of school the first week or so of June, and back in by Sept. 01, when is the best time to visit, to avoid the worst of the bugs but still have good water levels, etc.? I thought this had already been addressed here, but the search feature turned up nothing. Thanks for all your help! Happy paddling, Regan

tough question
"best time to visit" for what purpose? Each month has its good points and bad points. The wife and I paddle & camp in the Adirondacks from the first of May till the end of October. We take 3-4 day long weekend trips about every other week or so, mainly in wildereness areas but almost exclusively on motorless waterways. I personally like mid-June the best, just before school lets out, the fisher folk are mostly fished out by then, vacationer season not started yet, black flies usually gone, no mosquitoes yet, warm temps, no humidity yet. September falls in as a close second: humidity gone along with most vacationers and kids, bugs mostly gone, foliage starting to turn. May is cool but nice before black fly hatch but there’s a lot of competition from fisher folk. Early July can be nice up until vacation season peaks in August.

“Best” for daytripping and canoe camping
…as well as general sightseeing. I guess I thought that since I posted on the Tripping board I had implied my purposes, but obviously not well enough (G!). Bugs are a big concern, and I had expected spring and early summer to be a bad time for them. Mid-June would work for us, schedule-wise; I did not expect August to be a popular month. I have to turn in my vacation requests for the entire upcoming year by Dec. 01, so we’re trying to sort things out now.

As I posted on an earlier request, we’re coming from Virginia, never been in the area before, so a lot of our planning has to be done long-range and somewhat blindly. Thanks a lot! Regan

Be aware that the black fly cycles are very prone to variations from year to year. I have yet to see any significant (noticeable) presence of black flies in mid-June but after listening to other posters it is certainly possible that they could still be around, and it may depend on where you’re going. Best to be prepared with Deet, headnets, proper clothing, etc. Like everything else in the Adirondacks there are no hard and fast rule and always be prepared for the unexpected!

Early Sept after Labor Day
The weather is still warm, but not hot. The bugs and crowds are gone. The evenings are cool for sleeping, the water is warm for swimming. You have your pick of campsites.

Mid June can be darn buggy, don’t count the black flies out till July. True the worst is mid to late May, but they are still annoying in June. And the horse flies, deer flies, mosquitoes, no-see-ums, are waiting for the summer feast, tourists. Water is much colder in the late spring and early summer. I have taken the Scout swim test at Massawepie July 5th with the water at 50 degrees F. on the surface!


Any time is good but…
if you want to avoid the bugs, then the best bet is right after the Labor day weekend. Most of the crowds are gone and you have the whole park almost to yourselves. Wel, except for all the racers coming in for Adirondack Fall Classic canoe race.

"Best Time…"
I would say… after ice-out and before the ice comes back. I know that doesn’t really answer your question, but truly, every season has it’s rewards. There always seems to be a “grace” period in the very early spring…no bugs, no leaves, just a zillion love-sick frogs. And there’s one in the fall…nothing but color and serenity. In between, it’s a roll of the dice. Very unpredictable, but rarely dissapointing. Rain, bugs, campers, bears, rain, bugs… Don’t plan too much, just be ready to enjoy it.

fly season
The best time to paddle in the Adirondacks is right in the heighth of blackfly season. It is the least crowded time of year so you are more assured of solitude and vacant campsites. Equiped with skin-so-soft, head nets, and a good breeze, of course.