The six million acre park is a unique patchwork of one-half public and one-half private land. There are several designated wilderness areas and many wild forest areas that are very attractive to the canoeist. Geologically, this area is a dome-shaped region that tilts slightly to the west. This extension of the "Canadian Shield" into the U.S. gives rise to several rivers and is home to hundreds of lakes and ponds. The rock that makes up most of the High Peaks region is an ancient rock called Anorthosite that was formed about a billion years ago. This rock, more often found well underground than at the Earth's surface, apparently is very common on the moon. The terrain is hilly and sometimes mountainous, yet the base is level enough to provide ideal canoeing waters. The scenery is superb, and mountain day hikes are possible from your paddling route. The High Peaks Wilderness intertwines with the paddling routes. Hikers and backpackers come for the challenge of the 46 peaks over 4000 feet or to hike one of the long distance trails like the Northville-Placid Trail or the Cranberry Lake 50. Long distance paddlers find the ultimate challenge here as they start off on the 740 mile long Northern Forest Canoe Trail.
Saranac Lake has a rich history. Native Americans, most prominantly the Mohawks, inhabited the Adirondacks for at least three seasons out of the year. It was their favorite hunting ground. The first Euro-American settler, Jacob Smith Moody, arrived in Saranac Lake in 1819. Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau arrived at Paul Smith's Hotel in 1873 as an invalid suffering from tuberculosis. He devoted the rest of his life to finding a cure for Tuberculosis, starting the Adirondack Cottage Sanitorium in 1884. By the end of the 1800's this area was a destination for people seeking a cure from Tuberculosis. Railroads expanded into the region in 1868, making travel from New York City very conveneint. In 1869 William H.H. Murray published Adventures in the Wilderness, which brought large numbers of visitors to the Adirondacks to find respite for the body, mind and soul. Luxury hotels and small hunting camps operated to accomodate the large number of visitors. In 1876 the first Great Camp in the area was on Upper St. Regis Lake built by Ansom Stokes on Birch Island. It consisted of a cluster of tents, which were eventually replaced by cabins. Over time more and more elaborate Great Camps were built. For a time line of the history of Saranac Lake see Historic Saranac Lake website. We offer guided history tours. One of the most popular guided history tours is the Historic Great Camps on Upper St. Regis Lake, where there are more Great Camps than any other location in the Adirondacks.
St. Regis Canoe Outfitters in the Adirondacks
For over 30 years our business has been based on helping people explore, enjoy and love this park. Our guides are mature outdoor professionals who love what they do. We have a wide variety of outfitting packages, lightweight canoe and kayak rentals and camping gear rentals to assist you in your paddling adventures. Even more importantly, we have the knowledgable, caring and experienced staff that are both patient yet eager to share information with you if want the challenge of a self guided trip. The Canoe & Kayak Route Suggestions page provides suggestions that you can get started with. The area provides a wide variety of options that are suited to your party's time 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. The waterways are a beautiful place to slow down and to enjoy. We recommend 3-4 days as a minimum. On longer trips, it is nice to plan a layover day to hike a peak or just relax. Good maps and guidebooks are an invaluable resource. You will find the details you are looking for the in the publications available on the Maps & Guidebook page of our on-line retail store. Our Guided Trips are paddling and/or hiking trips that are camping based.
We are also equiped to provide you with transportation or top of the line backpacking gear for hiking with details on our Hiking & Backpacking Services page. Saranac Lake has created the Saranac Lake 6ers Challenge Program . You can gain the title of being a Saranac Lake 6er by hiking the peaks in the Saranac Lake region, which includes McKenzie, Ampersand, Scarface, Haystack, St Regis and Baker Mountains. If you are heading out towards the Tupper Lake and Long Lake areas there is a nice selection of hiking trails including Coney Mountain, Panther Mountain, Raquette Falls, Goodman and Goodnow Mountains. The 46 High Peaks in the Lake Placid Region attract millions of hikers every year seeking to earn the 46er title. The High Peaks includes Mount Marcy, which is the highest point in New York state and the source for the Hudson River. The ADK Mountain Club is a wonderful resource to consider as they provide education & lodging at the gateway to the High Peaks. Whether you are seeking to hike the highest peaks or to just go out for a simple walk in the woods, there are boundless opportunities for everyone.
Travel to the Area--refer to Directions
At Saranac Lake, we have a two hour tour down-river trip that may be ice free year-round. At Floodwood, ice out is usually mid to late April and the ponds begin to freeze in early to mid-November. Daily high and low temperatures vary as much as 20° above or below average.
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