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Canoe Camp in the St. Regis Canoe Area

Saranac Lake, New York


Added by Tara Schatz

This trip takes you through a series of lakes and ponds connected by streams or short portages near Saranac Lake, NY. It's an amazing trip for several reasons.

First of all, the camping is totally secluded and totally free. You can tailor the trip to meet the needs of fit-and-feisty adventurers or families with young children. You can paddle out to an island and camp for a night, or make a week of it and explore every lake and pond in the region. It's your call.

Park your car at the Floodwood outpost of St. Regis Canoe Outfitters. There's spot nearby to put your canoe into Floodwood Pond. You can also stock up on necessities (bug spray!!!) at the outfitters, and if you don't have float-worthy vessel, you can rent one here. If you are portaging between islands, I highly recommend you rent a set of wheels. This saved our backs on numerous occasions.

Using the Adirondack Paddler Map (you can buy one at the outfitters), you can easily create a route from pond-to-pond, planning all of your portages and camping spots ahead of time, or you can hop in your boat and wing it.

It's easy paddling most of the time and each lake and pond has it's own personality. Some allow motor boats and maintain public campgrounds. Some are totally secluded - home to moose, eagles, and humongous snapping turtles. Almost all of the ponds are awesome for swimming and fishing, and each pond has at least one resident loon that will sing you to sleep each night.

We visit every year, and our favorite loop is easy enough to paddle with kids over the course of two or three days. Here it is:

Floodwood Pond - camp on one of the islands.to Fish Creek - if the water is really low you have to get out and walk the boat here.to Little Square Pond - good fishingto Fish Creek - look for nesting Loons in Juneto Fish Creek Pond - motorboats are allowed hereto Square Pond - camp on Square Pondto Fish Creek Pond - motorboats and noisy campgroundto Follensby Clear - our favorite lake, camp on one of the islandsto Polliwog Pondto Middle Pondback to Floodwood Pond and your car

The portages are never more than a mile, but we found in the summer that the trails were extremely buggy. A few times we paddled to our favorite campsite on Follensby Clear and stayed there for days - swimming, exploring, and eating yummy camp food. It's a truly beautiful, quiet, and inspiring place.

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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