Saranac Lake Island camping?

I know one can camp on some of the islands and shores. But not sure about anything else.

Are the camping spots nice? Crowded or spaced out? Are there a lot of power boats or not an issue? Any other relavent information that make one want to or avoid camping there?

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Saranac Lakes
The lakes offer great paddling and camping. Some of the islands are difficult to land on especially with composite boats. The portage is hard on wheeled kayak carts.

Great place to paddle
Most of my paddling here is done post labor day. Check the NY DEC site for reservations. During the peak season, reservations are required. The adirondack paddlers map will also give you a lot of clue about the campsite and locations here. I would recommend one of two options in a kayak 1) Upper Saranac or 2) Middle and Lower. Middle and lower are connected by a manual lock which is a fun experience if you have never been through one. Enjoy your trip!

Saranac Lakes camping
DEC manages the ~90 sites on Middle & Lower Saranac as a campground. Reservations & fees apply early May-Columbus day weekend when sites revert to free, 1st come,1st served. The 20 sites on Upper Saranac are free yr around. Of the 3, Upper has the most private shoreline, thus the most development & motorboat traffic. Sites on all lakes are well disbursed & most have great views of surrounding mtns but you will hear traffic noise, especially at night. Middle can get windy.

You can paddle a loop thru Upper & Middle using 2 different carries (don’t miss Weller pond & adjacent Little Weller)and close a loop thru Lower. Oseetah, & L Flower w/ a 1 mile walk or bike from Saranac L village to Ampersand bay. Beach on W shore of Middle is one of best in Adks. From it a great trail ascends Ampersand Mt for unsurpassed view or neighborhood. Just below Upper lock where river begins to open into Lower, see Pulpit rock towering over S shore . Beach boat & scramble up a faint trail to great overlook. Upper has a navigable connection into Fish Creek & Ponds, Follensby Clear & beyond

Enjoy !

Chapel Island…
My wife and I used to camp in the Adirondacks in the 80’s. After a few unpleasant trips which included run-ins with bears, we decided to rent a guide boat and try some island camping. Our first night was a Saturday and we arrived late at a lovely island on the upper lake with a lean-to. After a great meal and a great nights sleep, we awoke to what sounded like church bells and organ music. Sure enough, there’s this little island with boats pulled up to it. There was a service going on! It was a great place to paddle (row, in our case). We also went to the middle lake and it was nicer with (I believe) no power boats allowed.

I highly recommend it!

Check this nice list of routes…
with general description.


GlenL gave the best
description for Middle and Lower Saranac. You don’t need permits for Upper Saranac though. There are two very nice islands with good sites there and another nice one within a few hours paddling up the Fish Creek Ponds loop is in Floodwood Pond.