Canoe & Kayak Route Suggestions

These route suggestions will help you choose a route suited to your party's time parameters and experience. The rivers are mostly flatwater and the numerous lakes and ponds are connected by portages or small streams that lend themselves to exploration. For a list of publications that will help you get started, please visit our online store.

Note that these routes are grouped by number of days. Each trip has or will have a table showing the relative portage distances and overall length of the trip. Also, most of the trips have a map overlaying the intented route. Note: These maps are for overall planning  purposes only and are NOT intended for navigation. Any trip will vary depending on experience, intended side trips, and conditions, so look though the list and enjoy!

Good preparation is the key to an enjoyable and safe paddling trip.

Day Trips

 This is the well-known "Route of the Seven Carries" including the three St. Regis Lakes and a delightful variety of ponds connected by short portages. There are two route possibilities:  a...
This 4-5 hr trip is a popular day trip from our Saranac Lake Base that is also a great overnight trip. Campsites on these two lakes are part of the Saranac Lake Islands Campground--all sites are boat...
This is a justly popular day trip loop from our Floodwood Outpost.  (4-5 hrs)   Beautiful small stream with great lunch spots and swimming.   Longest portage is 1/3 mile...
This trip starts right at our Saranac Lake Base and is one of our Day trip Packages that include the boat and pickup and return to our base at the end of the trip.   The trip can be a 2hr...
A great 5-6 hr loop from our Floodwood Outpost. Nearly all state land borders the route so there is excellent picnicking, fishing, & swimming along the route. Great camping makes this route...
This 4 hr trip includes an optional hike up Long Pond Mtn. (additonal 2.5 hrs and 900 ft uphill). It is almost entirely in the Wilderness Area, where day trip use is limited to groups of 15 or less....

Overnight trips-two days

This overnight river trip starts as our Saranac River Base. Spectacular mountain scenery, pastoral, and swamp land lead to a 1.2 mile long class II+ rapids called Permanent Rapids.  This is a...
Two popular loops start and end right at our Floodwood Outpost. This area may be explored from a basecamp---the western loop taking about 5 hrs and the eastern loop about 6 hrs. This is a great 3 day...
Famous for great brook trout fishing, solitude and demanding portages, this route goes through the heart of the Wilderness Area. Any variation can lead back to our Floodwood Outpost. Also...
Mixed flatwater and whitewater, this trip has two waterfalls with some class 2-3 rapids with "must moves" above the falls. It is mostly wild land and is best done as an overnight.
Flatwater. Paddle upstream from Meacham Lake to campsite on tributary ponds. Famous eskers, great wildlife and plantlife make a great short trip.
A flatwater trip upstream to falls and return. It is about 6.5 miles upstream and the same return to Axton Landing. There is an alternate take out about 3-4 hrs further downstream at the Crusher...

3-4 day trips

From our Floodwood Base to Tupper Lake. May be extended to 6 or 7 days. A great variety of terrain - ponds, small streams, rivers and lakes including rocky shorelines, islands, extensive marshes and...
A spectacular lake and river trip. Beautiful islands and optional side trip to Raquette falls. Reservations necessary for any night spent on either Middle or Lower Saranac Lakes through the...
A justly popular loop, starting and ending at our Floodwood base. This trip starts with beautiful Fish Creek, and passes through Follensby Clear and Hoel Ponds before ending in the Canoe Area. A...
A popular and relatively easy lake and river trip. The Raquette River may be followed to Tupper Lake or one may portage to Upper Saranac and end either at our Floodwood base or Saranac Lake Base....
Beautiful islands and mountain scenery with optional mountain hikes. Route includes Fish Creek and Upper, Middle and Lower Saranac Lakes. Designated free campsites in Upper Saranac Lake and pay...
This moderate route has good fishing in a great variety of waters,. The route includes Rainbow Lake, the St. Regis Lakes and the wilderness ponds of the Canoe Area, ending at Little Clear Pond. This...
A two or three day trip to High Falls and return on a distinctly northern wilderness stream (no motorized vehicles). It is about 8 hrs up to High Falls and about 5 hrs back downstream to Inlet....
An easy paddle up the Bog River to Lows Lake, an excellent place to basecamp and explore by foot or canoe. Excellent short day hikes to viewpoints or lakes.  Designated campsites. ...
A challenging route with portages marked but still being cleared. A nice sense of remoteness in an area that is off limits to motors. It's best to car top the canoe to Little Tupper Lake (or have us...
A beautiful, wild lake with mostly state-owned shoreline. Over 45 state campsites and long secluded bays extending into the Five Ponds Wilderness Area give a remote feeling. Optional hikes to...
This area was opened to the public by a State purchase in 1998 and provides one with a wilderness-like 7 mile lake with possibilities to explore neighboring ponds.    This is an "up...
One of our few river trips. Two portages around dams at Franklin Falls and Union Falls. Permanent Rapids (Class II+) must be portaged with our canoes or may be run in own canoes for  experienced...
This has become a relatively popular wilderness trip.      There are three possible day hikes from this route to low mountains that provide great views over the canoe route....

4-5 day trips

This is a strenuous, remote trip with numerous ponds and a couple of small streams. It lies mostly within the wilderness area. Included are Floodwood Pond, Upper Saranac Lake, Hatchery Brook, St....
Up Bog River and Low's Lake to Deer Pond. Then a 2.2-carry to the upper Oswegatchie River in the Five Ponds Wilderness. Two or more days down the Oswegatchie to take-out at Inlet. Many optional side...

Longer trips

Starting on the Fulton Chain of Lakes, this route leaves the Moose River drainage, follows the Raquette River, and then ends with the Saranac Lakes. You may end at either base. This is an historic...
Probably the most popular of the extended trips, this route offers beautiful mountain scenery, optional hikes and good fishing in both warm and cold waters. The route follows the Marion River, the...
This strenuous route includes Round Lk, Ltl Tupper, Lila, Bog Lake, and the Bog R thru Low’s Lk to Low’s Lower Dam Access. It provides a degree of remoteness and wild character that is rare. Portages...