Considering a 4-day trip to Middle & Lower Saranac lakes over Columbus Day weekend, using a few of the island campsites (reserved in advance). Not sure whether to expect quiet and solitude or powerboats and boomboxes (or something in between). Looking for insight from anyone who has paddled the Saranacs over Columbus Day weekend. I know it’s a busy weekend in the ADKs, but I don’t know what to expect out on the lakes. Thanks in advance!
Don’t expect peace and quiet
Coincidentally, on another watersports forum on which I answer questions somebody posted a question this week about whether he could get away with exceeding the 5 mph speed limit on the channels at Saranac with his jetboat and jetski that weekend. I was appalled (and, of course, told him to not try it – I have family in the Adirondacks and plan to paddle up there more often when I retire) so I looked into the regulations on the lakes up there. Though Little Tupper, the upper Raquette River and the entire canoe trail chain of lakes prohibit power boat traffic, it appears that they permit any and all sorts of screaming riff-raff on Saranac, Tupper and Long Lakes. Per some reports that turned up during my research it sounds as if Saranac is the typical big lake powerboat chaos on weekends and holidays.
Depressing. Columbus day is a bit late in the season though, so maybe it will not be too bad.
Go up to Weller Pond
nice and quiet.
The Saranac Lake Island Campground is officially closed Oct 7 though I cant think how DEC could prohibit camping.
Having a friend that lives on Saranac but on a side cove..I have not seen any whooping up. He has a cannon. I often paddle it in July and again no significant motor boat traffic. Yes there are motorboats but I have never been bothered.
I have been there once at Columbus Day. The water is cold and waterskiers unless serious and wetsuited are done.
You would be amazed how deserted the ADKs are for paddling after the middle of September. Even the normally rowdy Fish Creek Campground has some two dozen campsites in use and no beer parties.