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Paddle the Sacandaga and Kunjamuk Rivers to Elm Lake

Speculator, New York


Added by Erin Hanczyk

The Sacandaga River to Elm Lake is an easily accessible yet very remote paddling destination. If you're looking for a peaceful and calm paddle, this is your place. In the fall, the foliage is breathtaking. Follow the winding river until it opens up into the expansive Elm lake, offering panoramic views of the Southern Adirondack Mountains.

The Sacandaga River is accessed via a hand launch at the Speculator Ball Field Parking Area in the town of Speculator, NY. Follow the Sacandaga River 1.5 miles until you reach Kunjamuk Bay. The Kunjamuk River begins further up the bay to the left.  Approximately 4 miles up river is Elm Lake. Paddlers will need to portage over a few beaver dams along the river. 

Once you reach Elm Lake, take in the scenery of the surrounding mountains as you paddle across to the north side of the lake. Once you reach the other side, the river picks back up, winding through the overgrown brush. The banks along this section make for a great place to pull off and have lunch or a snack.

Turn around from here and head back the way you came. This out-and-back paddle is approximately 12 miles round trip. For a shorter trip, paddlers can put in at the Pine Lakes Road hand launch which provides direct access to the Kunjamuk approximately 2 miles down river from Elm Lake. 

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