Adirondacks State Park Paddling Overview

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Adirondacks State Park
Adirondacks State Park (courtesy, New York Tourism)

Running southwest to northeast through the heart of Adirondack State Park, the lake regions of the Adirondacks offer unrivaled opportunities for boating and canoeing. Miles and miles of beautiful lakes and streams are available for the boater to explore. While a few may feel the presence of roads and railroads detracts from the wildness of the woods, most find the surroundings peaceful and serene. In fact, except for the larger lakes during the summer months, the Adirondack Routes (especially the streams) are largely unchanged from colonial times.

In and around Adirondack Park you'll find some of the best canoeing and kayaking in the world. Coursing through pristine forests and dramatic mountains are more than 30,000 miles of brooks and streams, 6,000 miles of rivers, and almost 3,000 lakes and ponds. Whether it's shooting Class V rapids in the Hudson River Gorge, pond-hopping in the St. Regis Canoe Area, island camping on Indian Lake, or drifting down the long and lazy Raquette River, the remarkable diversity of the Park's water provides endless prospects.

Canoeing or kayaking is one of the best ways to view the remarkable wildlife of the Adirondacks. Wildlife is everywhere—especially deep in the wilderness, along the Paddling routes. Those animals you're most likely to spot in your travels include the white-tailed deer, red fox, and beaver. More reclusive are the area's black bear, coyote, and moose. There are hundreds of species of birds. Among the more noteworthy are the osprey, loon, hawk, Great Blue heron, and American bald eagle. Nearly all of the waters offer great fishing. Most lakes and streams have thriving populations of trout, northern pike, bass and salmon.

When passing from one body of water to another, it is frequently necessary to leave the water and carry your boat and "duffle" overland. In the Adirondacks, these overland portages are known as "carries."

Adirondacks Paddling Directory

Western Foothills
& Central Adirondacks

Fulton Chain
Raquette Lake
Blue Mountain Lake
Bog River
Stillwater Reservoir

High Peaks
Long Lake

Lake Champlain
Lake George

Northwestern Lakes

Tupper Lake
Saranac
Paul Smith's
Cranberry Lake

Southern Region

St. Lawrence River


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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