Lake Placid Kayaking & Canoeing

Paddle the Adirondacks

An Adirondack favorite activity in Lake Placid and the High Peaks is paddling. Whether canoeing, kayaking, whitewater or paddle boarding (SUP), we have thousands of reasons why this is a trip for your bucket list. The 6-million acres of the Adirondack Park has over 2,300 ponds and lakes, 1,500 miles of rivers and well over 30,000 miles of streams and brooks. With that being said, there are more than a few paddling options (okay, numerous options) within the Adirondack Park and the Lake Placid Region.

Reasons we love paddling in Lake Placid

  • The thrill of whitewater, rushing through the Adirondacks taking on it's fastest and most challenging rivers.
  • The serene view into the lives of all species of wildlife from schools of fish to the birds that feed on them, and from small almost unnoticeable mink or fox to the great moose that have been relocating to the park.
  • Witnessing a sunset or sunrise from an open body of water, and knowing that it is possibly one of the most peaceful moments you can experience. 
  • Unforgettable special events from a concert from the bandshell on Mirror Lake to the Fourth of July fireworks (Mirror Lake and Lake Placid both give stellar views).
  • Gazing at a galaxy full of stars under the clear Adirondack sky. 
  • The array of waterside lodging options where you can stay and paddle the Adirondacks right from the property.
  • Access to island lean-to picnic and camping spots.
  • All the places to explore, and the many, many places that are only discoverable by boat.

Whitewater Paddling

Springtime brings the best whitewater experience; as the snow melts out of the mountains and the spring rains start to settle in, the rivers swell and you will start to see more whitewater boats on the waters and atop cars throughout the park. But even if you can’t make it to Lake Placid in the spring, don’t think you’ve missed out, the Adirondacks offer year-round whitewater experiences, some of which include whitewater rafting

Whitewater paddling requires a special boat, gear and experience. Consider working with an experienced guide before attempting any sort of whitewater paddling. Learn about whitewater kayaking & canoeing in the Adirondacks, and plan your whitewater adventure trip.

Overnight trips in the Adirondacks

Overnight paddling trips in the Adirondacks are easy and accessible in the Lake Placid, within the Adirondack Park your options are seemingly endless.  Kayak or canoe camping opens up more options with gear and the ability to bring more luxury items. Picnic for lunch on one island and then camp overnight on another, with all these lakes, ponds, rivers and lean-to camping options you can create a perfect paddle vacation all your own. Take the pain out of planning by organizing your trip with the help of one the areas many skilled gear shops and guides.

Tips for a paddling outing

  • Plan accordingly, just as if you were backpacking into the wilderness.
  • Pack accordingly, think of your boat like your backpack – it needs to be packed with stability and even weighting in mind as well.
  • Check the weather.
  • Pick the right boat for the trip, and know the type of water you will be navigating.
  • Keep in mind, what you bring in, needs to come out.
  • If you do plan on camping please do so in designated areas. Check the local requirements and regulations before you head out.
  • Take a lesson and/or enlist the help of a guide.

Fishing while canoeing or kayaking

Fishing and paddling have always been a great fit for each other, well just maybe stay out of the whitewater, ...but you get the point. Canoes and kayaks offer access to endless fishing opportunities. Enjoy a quiet day on the water reeling in your catch from our clean, clear, spring fed lakes, ponds and rivers. Cook up that catch at any number of public fire-pits and lean-tos.

Be sure to check local regulations before you head out. Some regulations are specific to bodies of water. Pick up a fisherman's guide of fishing regulations at any local NYSDEC office and learn about fishing in Lake Placid.

Paddling rentals and lessons

If you have never paddled before, a local guide service can help! Many guides offer a 2-hour introductory course for a very reasonable price, and will help get you ready for exploring the Adirondacks by boat.

Don’t have your own boat or not sure you want to transport it to the Adirondacks? No worries, we have several gear shops throughout the park who rent and sell everything you'd need for that perfect paddle.  

Paddle from your room

Many area lodging properties offer waterfront access and some even offer boats aand boat rentals right on the property for guests to use. With so many options to choose from indulge yourself by planning that perfect paddling vacation!

Paddling map of the Saranac Chain of Lakes


Click on the image to download a map of regional waterways:  Ausable River, Chubb River, Saranac Lakes Chain, Saranac River, St Regis Canoe Area.

Paddling Results
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