Recommendation for ADK lake?

Hey folks. I’m looking for recommendations on a good spot to take two sort of new paddlers to in the ADK for about 5 nights in July. Something just like Cranberry Lake but not Cranberry Lake (already doing that one and want a second destination). We want someplace where we can drive, park, paddle in a few miles and camp for a few days and then paddle out. No portage but we wouldn’t mind paddling to a second site. How likely would we be to find a decent site on Indian Lake in July? Any ideas welcome. And thanks!

Diane Maluso

Ithaca, NY

Indian Lake campsites are only available via the DEC State campground reservation system - via Resreve America. There is a fee to camp! likewise with Lower and Middle Saranac.

Indian Lake
Indian Lake campsites are reservation only and most (if not all) of the weekends in July and August are booked well ahead of time. Check out their site on for booking & availability. However, the park reserves several (I think 4 or 5) sites that can’t be reserved ahead of time, they are only available when you show up at the gate and are first-come first-served. These are not premium sites but if you’re not fussy and you go in a weekday you can probably count on getting one of these. Another downside of these if I remember correctly is you have to renew your reservation for these sites daily, you can’t get them for more than a day at a time. Call the park office and check with them 'cuz my info could be outdated, it’s been a couple years since we’ve been.

Here’s a suggestion: The St. Regis area, the section south of Floodwood road and into Upper Saranac Lake. The following bodies of water (not necessarily in any order) are all interconnected by paddles with no portages with campsites spread out all along the way: Floodwood Pond, Fish Creek, Little Square Pond, Follensby Clear Pond, Upper Saranc Lake. Get a copy of the new ADK paddlers map & check out this area. Upper Saranac is very much Cranberry-like, you can put in at the public launch in Saranac Inn. Campsites are shown on the map. Follensby Clear is nice as is Floodwood Pond. As I mentioned, they are all interconnected and perfect for beginners. With very short portages, you can spend days pond-hopping through this area if you want.

Get the map & check it out, there are a lot of possibilities. Get the Quiet Water book, there are quite a few reviews of many great places to paddle & camp in the ADKs. Wherever you decide to go, have a great time!

Cranberry Lake

– Last Updated: Jul-06-04 10:12 AM EST –


You mention you've done Cranberry. I would like to paddle/camp this Lake. Any recomendations? I've heard the south end is less congested(motor boat traffic) and has some good camping sites.

Jankins landing
is near wanakina, Ita a great spot to camp, theres a spring fed stream nearby, the second one in as I recall. We were there right after the big blow down and there was a big tree on the leanto. We cut it up and made chairs, dont know if there still there or not

Asumining the trails arte open, and you want to do a little hiking, take the trail up to gadsby pond and on up to cat mountain, you wont regreat it

Thanks for the tip, do you need permits for camping?

Little Tupper
The Whitney canoe area between Tupper and Long Lake

Little Tupper isnt too large a lake about six miles long but beautiful. You can do some day trips farther in to other ponds too.

Or Lows Lake…the one portage is very easy.

gotta go!! gotta go! gotta go!
Oh man, I’m itching to get on the water… It’s all I can think about!!! lol

Additional choices

In addition to great locations already mentioned here’s a few more to consider:

Lake Lila

Long Lake

Low’s Lake (50 yd carry if you go beyond Hitchins Pond)

Raquette L

Lake George

Big Moose L

Cedar River Flow

Blue Mt Lake (& connected Eagle & Utowana lakes)

Carry Falls Reservoir

Big Dog, No permits needed for any of 46 1st come, 1st served primitive campsites on Cranberry.

Park & launch on Wanakena’s N shore Rd just past Pine Cone Inn rather than SBL especially if main body of lake is whipped up.

Enjoy !

try the little tupper, long lake area

thanks for the advice, folks. we ended up on Cranberry Lake again, Site 40 for 3 nights and loved it. Put in in Wanakena on Friday afternoon and took out about 5 minutes before the lightening started on Monday afternoon. This was my daughter’s first kayak trip and it was a real kick watching her paddle her little Carolina 12 footer, lash a chair, make doughboys, and allow herself to be less than perfectly clean. Wonderful, wonderful trip. Saw heron, loons, duck, hummingbirds, toads, fish, powerboaters, and other paddlers. We spent one day paddling down to the end of the Dead Flow and enjoyed scouting out all the sites for other trips.

This weekend we’ll head to Little Tupper unless the weather is really bad. Thanks again for the suggestions!