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.

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. 



(631) 275-1624


Speculator, NY 12164
I offer individual or small group Stand Up Paddleboard Lessons. Your board or one of mine. As a certified Instructor, I can help you enjoy Paddleboarding in beautiful Hamilton County.


(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 and fly fishing supplies in Tupper Lake. Stop in and plan your Adirondack paddle trip!


(518) 523-1635


6440 Route 30
Indian Lake, NY 12842
Adirondac Rafting Company invites you to run the wild and scenic Hudson River Gorge. The gorge run is a 16 mile, 4-5 hour adventure trip with plenty of whitewater fun.
Route 421
Piercefield, NY 12973
This remote area has abundant wetlands, including vibrant marsh communities with rare plant species, wildlife viewing opportunities, and plenty of room to canoe and kayak!
Hitchins Pond is a lovely destination for a morning or a weekend.
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.
Route 28
Indian Lake, NY 12842
Lake Adirondack is also known as Adirondack Lake. Once on the lake be sure to check out the northeast bay for the most scenic areas. The shallows and many small islands give the lake some neat features to explore.
Beautiful scenery and plenty of quiet, too.
Route 28
Blue Mountain Lake, NY 12812
Eagle Lake is a gem hidden between two lakes visible from the road. It can only be accessed via other lakes. Maybe this is where all the fish are hiding!
Enjoy the fishing and paddling at Eagle Lake.
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.
Route 28
Inlet, NY 13360
Paddle through Second or Fourth Lake to access this isolated body of water. Slightly smaller than the others, but with the same big views, Third Lake is well worth checking out if you're paddling in the area.
This is really an extension of Second Lake separated by narrows.
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.
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.
State Route 8/30
Indian Lake, NY 12842
This short and easy trail offers a short jaunt for a nature hike, birding, and a perfect Adirondack paddle on a secluded lake. Shhh... it's also a remote fishing lake.
Blue Mountain Lake, NY 12812
Blue Mountain Lake is one very large lake, with some outstanding features, many dotted islands, and an abundant loon population.
Forked Lake Road
Long Lake, NY 12847
Forked Lake is one of the more popular lakes in Hamilton County and with Forked Lake State Campground on the eastern end of the lake you will find it very busy.
Plenty of shoreline interest on Forked Lake.