St.Regis lakes region is home to the only wilderness canoe area in New York state. St. Regis Canoe Area is 18,000 acres of 58 bodies of water. It offers several classic canoe routes: 9-mile Seven Carries Route traversing 10 lakes and ponds, or longer Nine Carries Route, or traverse from Long Pond to Hoel Pond. Trips start from Follensby, Clear, Floodwood and Fish Creek Ponds. Campgrounds are plentiful in the area, but advance bookings are recommended as it may get busy in the summer.
The nearby Saranac, St.Regis, Ausable, and Raquette Rivers provide both relaxing passages through majestic forests and invigorating stretches of challenging whitewater. The Saranac River is a very pleasant downstream float in any season, with a Permanent Rapids class II-III below the Moose Pond Road bridge.
A loop around the St.Regis Lakes offers the opportunity to view several Adirondack Great Camps. Other canoe trips include the Raquette River to Tupper Lake route – 18-mile leisurely winding paddle meandering between sandy wooded banks.
The nearly continuous waterway – from the top of Upper Saranac Lake to the boat launch site on Lake Flower in the village of Saranac Lake – traverses a series of beautiful lakes, several narrow channels, two locks and historic Bartlett’s Carry. Great mountain views can be enjoyed from all the lakes.
There are plenty of canoe and kayak rental shops in Saranac Lake offering full-gear outfits — including canoes, paddles, life vests and canoe portage gear or car mounting supplies — as well as lessons and camping gear if you want to stay overnight.
Plenty of paddling opportunities are present at the Chubb River. Solitude can be found on Lake Lila, Little Tupper Lake and Brown’s Tract Ponds.
The newly dedicated Northern Forest Canoe Trail enables paddlers to go from Old Forge to Fort Kent, Maine by ways of Quebec, Vermont and New Hampshire.