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Saranac Lakes in New York

by  guest-paddler

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

We arrived in the area on Thursday night and camped at Fish Creek Campground. After checking out of Fish Creek, we departed for the Island Campground Registration on Route 3, where we picked up two bundles of dried firewood.

We shuffled the cars, one at the take-out at Ampersand Bay, and the other at the put-in at Saranac Inn. Launched at 3:30pm, and had a 2.5hr paddle to Buck Island on Upper Saranac Lake. Camped on site #11 (southside of the island).

From there, we paddled to Bartlett Carry (1/2 mi.) to Middle Saranac Lake. The only snafu for us was that my buddy's cart broke on the trail, and we had to use mine. On Middle Saranac Lake we stayed on Bartlett Island (#75), and from there we paddled through the upper locks to Lower Saranac Lake. Camped on Fern Island (#10) and paddled to the take-out at Ampersand Bay.

Temps were glorious, no rain, and the locals told us this was the best weekend of weather in a while (highs in the mid 60s, lows in the 30s). We wanted to hike up Ampersand Mtn., but time constraints did not allow. More reason to return for another trip.


Fish Creek is a full-service campground - flush toilets, running water, etc.

Buck Island (Upper Saranac) - primitive, outhouse/toilet, fire ring, wooden benches.

Middle and Lower Saranac - state-run, outhouses, fire ring, picnic table.


Fishing kayaks (sit-on-tops) - one Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game, and an OK Prowler Trident 13.


Fish Creek is to the west of Upper Saranac Lake, located on Rt. 30. Saranac Inn is off of Rt. 18, and Ampersand Bay is located off Rt. 3.

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: 2-3 Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water

Trip Location