Adirondack Paddling

Paddling the Adirondacks

The Adirondacks have miles and miles of open water and for maximum on-the-water-fun, a peaceful day in the comfort of your canoe or kayak can't be beat. Hamilton County has plenty of water to explore: small ponds, miles and miles of rivers, and some of the largest lakes in the park.

By the numbers

The Adirondack Park is over 6 million acres in size, broken up between public (state) and private land. Within those 6 million acres are over 2,300 ponds and lakes, 1,500 miles of rivers, and well over 30,000 miles of streams and brooks; the Central Adirondack region is home to many of them.

Large lakes

Lake Pleasant, Raquette Lake, Indian Lake, Long Lake, and Blue Mountain Lake — sure, they are the names of towns, but they are also the names of the lakes that represent these towns. There's also the Fulton Chain of Lakes, a string of eight lakes located on the western edge of the county. If you want a bit of a different outing, you can head to smaller lakes like Limekiln, Utowana, Eagle, Durant, or Abanakee. No matter your choice or destination, you will have an unforgettable paddling experience in the Adirondacks.

A man paddles out near the shoreline of a lake.

Backcountry ponds

Backcountry ponds are the gems of Hamilton County. They break up the landscape of our fabulous mountains and rolling hills. While some of our backcountry ponds are found along a scenic dirt road, many need to be walked to. Portaging is a familiar activity for flatwater paddlers who want to get out and away from motorboats and crowds. Portaging can be exhausting, but it's worth every step. A lighter boat is a simple solution, but so is a cart for your canoe or kayak. Start with a short portage like South Pond, then make a longer trek to Rock Lake or Sprague Pond. If you want to really want to adventurous, stretch yourself and try something like Upper Sargent Pond. You can also work with a guide or outfitter to help make your adventure even better, and easier! The choices are only limited by your imagination!

Meandering rivers

Miles and miles of slow-moving rivers, outlets, inlets, streams, and waterways await your visit. Nothing offers more beauty than our rivers. The narrow waterways of the Marion River, Kunjamuk River, Browns Tract Inlet, and the Raquette River are just a few examples of beautiful waters where you can clear your mind. Our rivers are lined with wildflowers and birding opportunities. Witness a Belted Kingfisher coasting along the shore in search of food for its young, or an otter playing hide and seek with you in an eddy of the Raquette River. Experience the curiosity of what's around that next oxbow and feel the satisfaction of finally seeing it. 

Leave No Trace

The magic of the Adirondacks is the result of previous generations taking a long view and protecting the mountains, lakes, and rivers within the Blue Line. That tradition continues today as we support and encourage everyone to practice Leave No Trace ethics, which help protect the lands and waters of the Adirondacks. You can pledge to Love Your ADK to help ensure the magic of this region continues for the next generation. 


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(518) 523-1635


6440 NY 30
Indian Lake, NY 12842
Adirondac Rafting Company invites you to run the wild and scenic Hudson River Gorge.


(518) 359-3228


1754 State Route 30
Tupper Lake, NY 12986
Complete canoe and kayak outfitter offering canoe, kayak, and SUP rentals and sales, camping equipment, maps, paddle gear, fishing supplies, and more.
Route 10
Lake Pleasant, NY 12108
Follow this short, gentle path through the forest to a remote lake with views of distant rolling hills. This trail makes for an incredible hike, snowshoe, or ski making it perfect for an easy outing no matter the season.
Good Luck Lake is a wonderful paddling lake.
Cedar River Road
Inlet, NY 13360
This large, gorgeous lake makes for a great backcountry paddle. Quiet, with plenty of opportunity for spotting birds and other wildlife, this lake is perfect for an intermediate paddler.
Great paddling above the Wakely Dam on Cedar River Flow.
Moose River Plains Wild Forest
Inlet, NY 13360
The easily accessible Lost Ponds are some of the most scenic bodies of water in the region. Great for hiking, mountain biking, and paddling, any activity you choose is going to memorable.
Narrows and cliffs add to the paddling interest of Lost Ponds.
Sixth Lake Road
Inlet, NY 13360
This is a beautiful spot for a scenic paddle or fish on the Fulton Chain. The fish are plentiful and the scenery is superb.
A woman holds a fishing pole.
Moose River Plains
Inlet, NY 13360
Don't let an intimidating name fool you. This little pond is well worth the effort. Great views and frequent wildlife sightings should put this short trip on your to-do list.
Helldiver Pond is scenic and easy to access with an easy carry.
Limekiln Road
Inlet, NY 13360
You can fish from any of the lakefront sites as well as from the public boat launch. There's splake and brown trout for the advanced fisherman, and sunfish, bullhead, and perch for the smaller anglers.
Find trailheads from the southern bay, to Whiter Pond and Moose River Plains Road.
1365 County Route 24
Piseco, NY 12139
With sandy beaches and incredible rolling hills all around, this is the place to be on Lake Piseco. Take it all in as you hike, swim, paddle, and fish. 
A sunset from Point Comfort
Route 30
Long Lake, NY 12847
A fully accessible wilderness area located near Long Lake, it has picnic areas for day trips, space for overnights, and room to enjoy the wilderness.
Route 30
Long Lake, NY 12847
Lake Eaton is known for fine fishing all year long and great paddling in summer. Motorboat access is only from the campground, via day use fee.
Lake Eaton is a particularly lovely lake in an area full of lovely lakes.
Old Piseco Road
Piseco, NY 12139
There are three state campgrounds on the lake, each with a paved launch for trailers. All can be found by taking Old Piseco Road off of Route 8 on the back side of the Piseco Lake.
A popular lake for boating, fishing, and paddling.
Blue Mountain Lake, NY 12812
Cascade and Stephens ponds are two beautiful gems in the Blue Ridge Wilderness. In any season, you'll find peaceful forests and pristine waters. If you're lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of an otter; they've been known to frequent these parts.
Cascade Pond
901C Sabattis Rd
Long Lake, NY 12847
The William C. Whitney Wilderness Area is a paddlers paradise. But that said, there are hiking opportunities here for hikers, birders, campers, fishermen and women, and even some hiking for paddlers. 
This wilderness area is a great place to view fall foliage.
Chain Lake Road
Indian Lake, NY 12842
A great secluded lake with an easy approach both by foot and with canoe in tow. Surrounded by tamaracks, this lake gives a real backcountry feel with less effort than many other bodies of water.
Bullhead Pond has brook trout.
Route 421
Long Lake, NY 12847
From Long Lake, drive 12 miles north on Route 30, to County Route 421 ( 1/5 miles past the Hamilton / Franklin County Line ).
A beautiful spot for paddling with no motors allowed.
Forked Lake Road
Long Lake, NY 12847
Forked Lake is one of the more popular lakes in Hamilton County, and with New York State-run Forked Lake Campground on the eastern end of the lake you will find
Plenty of shoreline interest on Forked Lake.
Route 30 on the east shore of Long Lake
Long Lake, NY 12847
Long Lake is simply a widening of the Raquette River and is very long, making the name for it quite accurate. Long Lake, being so long, has been divided into a North and South section which is split by Route 30 and the Village of Long Lake.
A perfect gem of an Adirondack paddling day.

Leave No Trace 7 Principles

The Adirondack Park provides a haven of pristine wilderness in New York state’s northernmost reaches. It also offers an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities for explorers of all ages and experience levels! While you enjoy your visit, please keep the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace in mind. Set forth by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and championed by many partners within the Adirondack Park, these principles will not only improve your own nature experience, but they help preserve this unparalleled natural wonder for generations to come.

Know before you go
Be prepared! Remember food, water, and clothes to protect you from cold, heat, and rain.     
Use maps to plan where you’re going. Check them along the way so you’ll stay on course and avoid getting lost. Learn about the areas you plan to visit.
Stick to trails and camp overnight right
Walk and ride on designated trails to protect trailside plants. Camp only on existing or designated campsites to avoid damaging vegetation.
Trash your trash and pick up poop
Pack it in, pack it out. Put litter—even crumbs, peels and cores—in garbage bags and carry it home. Use bathrooms or outhouses when available. If they're not available, bury human waste in a small hole 6-8 inches deep and 200 feet or 70 big steps from water and the trail.
Leave it as you find it
Leave plants, rocks, and historical items as you find them so others can enjoy them. Treat living plants with respect. Carving, hacking, or peeling plants may kill them.
Be careful with fire
Use a camp stove for cooking. Stoves are easier to cook on and create less impact than a fire. If you want to have a campfire, be sure it’s permitted and safe to build a fire in the area you’re visiting. Use only existing fire rings to protect the ground from heat. Keep your fire small.
Keep wildlife wild
Observe wildlife from a distance and never approach, feed or follow them. Human food is unhealthy for all wildlife and feeding them starts bad habits. Protect wildlife and your food by securely storing your meals and trash.
Share our trails and manage your pet
Be considerate when passing others on the trail. Keep your pet under control to protect it, other visitors, and wildlife. Be sure the fun you have outdoors does not bother anyone else. Remember, other visitors are there to enjoy the outdoors too.