A full day paddle from the public boat launch on route 3 just west of Saranac Lake. Starting left from the dock you go under the route 3 bridge, through first pond and the Saranac River until you reach lower Saranac Lake. Beautiful Bluff Island is straight ahead and has a nice day use area to stop and swim. Head southwest toward the end of the lake about 5 miles at the boggy end you will need to look diligently for the inlet at the tip of Lower Saranac. The Saranac River is beautiful and filled with wildlife. A couple of miles in are the state owned locks which are manned days in the summer months but can be self operated according to posted directions at other times. Continue paddling up the river till the water opens up into Middle Saranac Lake (Round Pond on some maps). Bear left along the shore to a sandy beach, which gets great afternoon sunshine.
NY state maintains water access only camp sites on the shores and some island on both lakes, reservations can be made through the DEC website, In the past sites have been available for those just paddling through. Campsite maps are available at the put in, bringing your own map is prudent, a couple of great ones are available locally Motorboats travel on both lakes but courtesy is the rule not the exception. Lower has nice bays and shoreline to explore. Merganser broods patrol the shores with several dozen ducks in the brood. If the campsite on the narrows is not occupied it is worth a stop to the map of the lakes someone has carved into the floor of the lean-to. Middle Saranac is round and unprotected, often the wind is blowing fiercely in your direction when you leave the river. Caution is recommended in blowing conditions. Enjoy the beach the water is very shallow there (Bulrush Bay) and with the wind blowing in that direction the water is usually quite warm on a sunny day. Leave it clean and allow plenty of time for your return trip or plan a pick up at the South Creek Fishing Access boat launch on the south side of Middle Saranac Lake. Consider reserving a site on Lower Saranac and doing this as a day trip from there.
From Lake Placid take route 86 toward Saranac Lake. Go (S or W) on route 3. You will get a glimpse of lonesome bay on your right as you drive,a couple of miles later you will cross a bridge and turn left immedietly into the depatmrnt of environmental conservation (DEC) boat launch.
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