Fulton Chain of Lakes

My wife wants to rent a cottage/cabin for a week on an Adirondack Lake next summer. (She is not interested in camping.) I’d love to have something waterside that would give me easy early morning access to the water, and also be a good put in or take out for a two or three day paddle with a friend. The Fulton Chain of Lakes looks nice, but I’ve never been there.

Can anyone recommend a nice Adirondack Lake that has lakeside cottages for rent but is also not overly crowded, overrun with motorboats and tacky concessions? Yes, I know this would be easier to find quiet and uncrowded if we were camping. I’m looking for a nice compromise. And seeking recommendations for any Adirondack lake. It is hard to get a sense of these lakes from internet research. We booked a motel at Schroon Lake a few years ago when we were passing through, and I found that lake a bit disappointing.

The overall Fulton Chain of lakes is probably even busier than Scroon, highly developed, with lots of motorboats. Within the area however, there are a few non-motorozied small lakes to paddle on … Nicks Lake and Moss Lake. very small though. People paddle the Fulton Chain of lakes for the historical canoe route but not for peace and quiet. It is tough to find quieter lakes where there is development but I can suggest:

Indian Lake has much wilderness and exploring on it. I just had an article published on it on line at Adirondack Sports and Fitness website.

Big Moose Lake in the Fulton chain area might be better, the St. Regis Lakes, Blue Mtn. Lake

Inlet, New York
Let your search begin here. Though I’m a bit prejudiced towards 6th Lake.


Adirondack info
Check this site out. It’s great for info on paddling, hiking and/or camping in the Adirondacks.


I rented a very nice cabin at this place on Lake Clear last year.


It’s literaly on the edge of the St Regis Canoe Area Wilderness and probably less than a mile from the nearest landing. Any place that’s nice will usually be a bit pricey though.

What about Moose Lake?
Hope I have this name right. We stayed for a couple of nights in a housekeeping cabin up there for the late May paddlefest sponsored by the Old Forge folks, and it seemed that the scale of this lake was small enough to limit the nuttiness. But off season, so maybe I am wrong. The cabin was not fancy but quite comfy, don’t remember the price except that it seemed pretty reasonable as were a lot of them in that stretch.

As to places to paddle and not get run over, though not in the Fulton Chain… one possible trip is to start at one of the Saranacs, I think Lower?, then take the Saranac River (think creek in a lot of places) down into Lake Flower. Even get to go thru a small manually operated lock on the way. Would require a pickup, and heck only knows if they have cell phone coverage int he village of Saranac Lake yet, but there are enough offices there you have a shot.

to rent a place throughout the entire adirondack park, one option is www.adkbyowner.com/vacationrentals.html the range of accomidations vary greatly, anything from a little shack to a luxurous “great camp.” many of the postings have detailed descriptions, pictures and links to the owner’s own site with more photos. the listings are broken up by geographic regions so you can just search the fulton chain.

4th lake in the fulton chain is the most developed of the chain, with houses right next to each other, 7th and 8th lakes are much less developed.

for your multi-day trip, you can follow the fulton chain east/northeast down the raquette river towards saranac lake, or you might want to try the st. regis canoe area near tupper/saranac lakes. instead of river/lake paddling that’s characteristic of the fulton chain/raquette river trip, the st. regis canoe area is mainly hopping from pond to pond. st. regis canoe area is almost 2 hours by car from inlet, the middle of the fulton chain.

old forge, at the west edge of the fulton chain, has a nice range of activities in its immediate vacinity: north branch of moose river offers short (under a day,) meandering, calm water paddling; bald mountian (also call rondaxe mountain) offers a short hike (1/2 day) with great views of the fulton chain; camp sagamore www.sagamore.org offers tours on its grounds and teaches the history of the “Great Camps” during the guilded age; enchanted forest is a waterpark.

btw, if you didn’t know this, don’t come until at least late june. black flies!

More thoughts
Early morning paddles are usually possible in most areas as boat traffice doen’t pick up until mid morning.

If possible I would plan your trip for just after Labor Day. It is much quieter and in some places you may have the whole place to yourself. One year even the owners left the day after Labor Day and we had the whole resort (right on 4th lake) to ourselves.

You might also ask the local paddling group http://www.adirondackpiratepaddlers.org for some suggestions.

By this time in the fall, the water level has been let down and only hand carry boats can get in. The docks are all “high and Dry”.

Hope you enjoy your trip.

8th Lake

– Last Updated: Oct-31-06 2:50 PM EST –

there is NYS campground on 8th lake in the Fulton chain that you can camp at and launch, however I don't believe there are cabins there. There are also a couple of leantos that you can paddle too on 7th lake that are free... first come first serve, but again, a leanto is far from a cabin...



macs canoe
macs canoe livery or renatl in Lake clear? are nice people. Maybe you could rent a popup and then tow it

Fulton chain (& others)
As stated, the Fulton chain is very developed. From 1st-4th Lake it’s wall to wall cottages. 5th & 6th are but puddles. You have to get into the E end of 7th before you leave the development behind & even then you still have the traffic noise from the adjacent SR28 to contend w/ plus the 1m carry between 7th & 8th. It surely wouldn’t be my choice for a 1 wk Adk destination.

Most of Indian Lake’s E shore is wilderness.

Once you get few miles N of village, Long L is only sparsley developed & you can continue into the Raquette R

Middle & W end of Lower Saranac are mostly undeveloped.

Cranberry L has miles of state shoreline & not too busy. If your not adverse to carrying (or a drive) you can connect w/ Oswegatchie R or even Low’s L

I visited a friend from outside area who’d rented a great place reasonably on Deer R Flow for wk last summer. Lots of great, mostly flatwater river paddling nearby but remote from any civilized diversions

Long Lake

– Last Updated: Nov-01-06 8:52 AM EST –

The Adirondack Hotel at Long Lake is one of my favorites. Beautiful place, nice people, good location, good food, and you can walk 15 ft. to the water. Good paddling in either direction. And there are plenty of shops in the village for your wife to browse through while you're out on the water.

One of the best paddle routes for first timers is the Fish Creek Ponds loop. If you're fast, you can do it in 6 hrs. If you like to cruise, you can take 2 days to do it. It has a few short portages to make it interesting.

Adk Hotel
and they have Ubu on tap !

Stillwater Reservoir
If you’re looking for peaceful paddling in a beautiful setting, you might consider Stillwater Reservoir. It’s the largest body of water in the vicinity of the Fulton Chain of Lakes and is mostly undeveloped with little boat traffic. It can be accessed from Rt. 28 by taking the Big Moose Rd. at Eagle Bay, proceeding to where it turns to gravel and continuing on to Stillwater.

A couple of things to keep in mind when paddling Stillwater:

As the name indicates, it’s a reservoir - meaning it contains submerged rocks which in places rise up to just below the surface, even in the middle of the lake. I was paddling down the middle of the lake this past summer and struck a pile of rocks that rose up from nowhere with no warning - there are no navigational aids in Stillwater that I know of. When I related the incident at the Mountain Man kayak store in nearby Inlet, they replied that navigating on Stillwater is an “art not a science”.

Also, they sometimes lower the water level for one or another reason such as to work on the dam. I suggest you check on this before heading there - the Mountain Man store in Inlet or Old Forge would probably know.

Anyway, I consider Stillwater one of the nicest paddling destinations in the area and would recommend it without hesitation.

Good luck and enjoy whatever you decide.

High And Dry ???
Came back past 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th etc etc along 28 to Warrensburgh today from Big Moose (north of Eagle Bay). All lakes right to the top. Nothing was high and dry though some snow on the ground and many trees are down and being cleaned up. Most electric is back on; so I was told.

Lake Abanakee or Lake adirondack
Go to www.indian-lake.com and search under lodging. Both lakes have very reasonable cabins and cottages for rent. It is not a crowded area yet is close to everything you would need.

Thanks for all of the suggestions
They have been tremendously useful in narrowing our search. There’s so many possible places, and it’s hard to get a genuine picture of any of these places from their websites alone.

I second Long Lake
We’ve gone there the past three years for a few days each Summer.

I strongly recommend Motel Long Lake. Aside from nice motel rooms they also have a bunch of cottages.

The place is very well maintained and has a nice beach where you and your wife can sit and watch the float planes come in and out and listen to the kids playing on the beach just across from you.

It’s an easy walk to “town” too.

The place is a throw back to simpler times in America. No fast food, no cell phone service or strip malls.

My wife would spend an hour or so with me out on the water but most of the time I was on my own.

Paddle in either direction but heading North gets you away from the homes and folks.

Just inquire about visitor weekends at Long Lake Camp for the Arts.

Vacancies are very limited during those times and most places are booked solid by the beginning of Feb. Yes, Feb.

The hotels and larger inns a decent but with warmer Summer temps. of late, the upper levels get pretty warm, okay, hot.

Now that our kiddoe has aged out of the that camp, it’s time for us to look to other places to “discover” in the Adirondacks.

more on Stillwater Reservoir
Stillwater Reservoir is a fine destination for several reasons. There are few motor boats because the lake is lined with submerged eskers-glacial features-and motor boaters know it.

There are accommodations nearby: at Stillwater Landing there is a Bed & Breakfast and a hotel; and at Beaver River, 8 miles up the Flow and accessible in summer only by boat or by hiking via trail from another lake nearby, there are cabins, and hotel and motel rooms. You can hire the water taxi or take the sightseeing boat to get there. You can take your car by way of a barge to the only road into BR, cut off when the dam was built many years ago.

There are private inholdings at Stillwater Landing and at Beaver River, but otherwise the shoreline is wild.

Beaver River is a great place to make the effort to visit, with history, good food, lots of isolation.

Stillwater Reservoir has over 40 amazing and beautiful campsites, free and owned by NYS. Register at the landing. Many sites are sandy.

The reservoir connects by carries to several smaller beautiful lakes and ponds, so one could easily spend 3 days or more out.

Fulton Chain of Lakes
I just spent a few days at Deer Meadow Motel and Cottages on 7th Lake in Inlet, New York. Very nice cottages and beautiful access to lake.