Lower Saranac does get quite windy and challenging. You can put in at Ampersand Bay, but expect a quartering headwind when paddling south until you get to the river outlet. From there it is not far to the village and not a very far hike back to Ampersand Bay if you want to do a loop.
Long Lake is almost always windy, at least it seems to be during every 90 mile canoe race. Long and generally uninteresting with frequent motor boat wakes to deal with. Depending on when you go, if the water level is high in spring or after days of rain, expect a respectable current in the river when heading upstream on your return from Raquette Falls. Then you would have the length of Long Lake to padddle to the south, likely into a wind in the PM. If you can arrange for the carry around the falls, it is a good trip to continue downsream to take out at the “Crusher” boat launch, or to go all the way through the oxbow to take out at Moody Boat Launch at Tupper Lake.
Hoel to Long Pond is a good trip with plenty of possible side trips, including trails to LP Mountain, Mountain,Nellie and Bessie Ponds, and Pink and Ledge Ponds as possible interesting visits. I have done that and hiked the road back to my car left at Hoel.
If you want to do Raquette Lake to Forked, be sure to get an early morning start on Raquette. Note that, except for the far western end, the numbered campsites on Forked require a reservation. Several years ago the 90 mile canoe race route was changed to go to Blue Mountain Lake instead of to Forked due to how often Raquette gets high winds and unreasonably rough on the northern end.
If I were you, I’d reccomend the Hoel to Long Pond with a day or two for side trips built in.