Family Paddling & Hiking Vacations in the Adirondacks
St. Regis Canoe Outfitters prides ourselves on offering fun-filled family wilderness experiences for your vacation. Whether your family is looking for an adventure, a leisure vacation or a quiet retreat in the wilderness, we have the resources to make your trip possible. The term "vacation" is said to have originated in the Adirondacks when wealthy New Yorkers would "vacate" their homes on the hot summer days to head to the cool Northern wilderness where they established camps.
The Adirondacks are well known for breathtaking vistas and exhilarating mountain air. The Adirondacks contains over 2,000 miles of hiking trails and 3,000 lakes and ponds. Deemed "Forever Wild" by the New York State Legislature in 1894, the roughly 3 million acres of public land is designed as an unspoiled wilderness area.
The Saranac Lake area in particular is famous for attracting famous writers, scientists and medical doctors as well as performing artists. Historically rich in tradition, the Adirondack region also offers an opportunity to experience a glimpse into the past. For information on Adirondack history go to: http://www.adirondack.net/history/.
The area has excellent birding and is a major route for migratory birds. The fishing is amazing, especially for Trout. Enjoy your wilderness experience with a paddling and or hiking trip for a day or camp out under the stars with your family on an overnight trip. These precious days in the wilderness will be forever memorable to you and your family.
Suggested Paddling Trips
Please refer to the Suggested Routes or Guided Trips pages for details on trips. A good rule of thumb for young families is to remember to gauge the trip to the younger members' abilities. Make the trip an experience they want to repeat.
Floodwood Pond to Fish Creek begins at the Floodwood Outpost. This is an excellent area for families with small children. Explore the islands on Floodwood pond and meander along Fish Creek. There are nice beaches along the way to get out and swim or sit in the sun and relax.
Floodwood Loop is a great 3 or 4 day trip for families with pre-teens and young teens.
"The novel and romantic peculiarity of this wilderness is its marvelous water communication... One can travel in a canoe or light boat for hundreds of miles in all directions through the forest." --W.H. Murray, 1869
Northern Forest Canoe Trail
The Northern Forest Canoe Trail extends from Old Forge to Maine. Your family can participate in the exploration of these waterways with us. Family trips can start from Long Lake to the Raquette River thru the Saranac Lakes chain to the Saranac River ending at Franklin Falls Pond. We will help you choose, the portion of this trail that is right for your family. Details of this Northern Forest Canoe Trail and map can be found on page 16.
Rail & Paddle Package
Ride the Adirondack Railroad and Paddle the Saranac River - a great way to spend a day in the Adirondack Park. This train-paddle-train package starts at the Lake Placid Rail Station where you:
Take the train to Saranac Lake. From the SL station you walk three blocks to our Base on the Saranac River. Board the canoes (or optional kayaks at an add'l fee) - (we include a map and all accessories) and you paddle approximately 2 hrs to the Moose Pond Bridge, where we pick up and return you to the Saranac Lake train station. Take the train back to your car at the Lake Placid Station.
Total time is 4 1/2 to 5 hours round trip.
Lunch may be purchased on the train, or at one of the corner stores on the way to our base. Train runs Wednesday through Saturday. Reservations must be made by Noon of the day prior.
Suggested Hiking Trips
The Saranac Lake area has six mountains that are well worth the hike. In downtown Saranac Lake, Mount Baker is an excellent family hike with lookouts that provide spectacular views of the Saranac Lakes, Lake Flower and the high peaks to the east. The roundtrip hike is 1.8 miles with an ascent of 884 feet.
Panther Mountain is a shorter peak located along Route 3 between Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake. From the summit area the Seward Range of mountains can be seen to the South, while the Panther Pond is below. The hike is excellent for families. The hike roundtrip is 1.2 miles with an ascent of 780 feet.
Activities after Canoeing...
The Visitor Interpretive Center on Rt. 30 at Paul Smiths. Close to Osgood Pond, Lower and Upper St. Regis for paddling. A challenging day hike, (recommended for 8yrs. and up) is St. Regis mountain. The family friendly trails at the V.I.C. are wonderful for all ages, strollers and dogs on leashes as well.
The Butterfly House is a wonderful experience for children to explore. Adjacent to the VIC Building, is a Native Species Butterfly House, featuring butterflies and moths in all stages of development. Visitors can view native butterflies up close and learn about the life stages and migratory patterns of these colorful insets.
The Wild Center in Tupper Lake is where the wild world of the Adirondacks opens before your eyes. There are swimming otters, terrific engaging exhibits and plenty to explore inside and outside.
Stop at Donnelly's Corner for ice cream with a spectacular view of the High Peaks (Rt 86 & 186.)
The Adirondack Carousel is a new and exciting addition to Saranac Lake. The carousel features animals that are common in the Adirondacks. The hand carved carousel animals include a large mouth bass, brook trout, beaver, black bear, black fly, blue heron, bobcat, deer, fox, eagle, frog, heron, hermit thrush, draft horse, loon, moose, otter, porcupine, racoon, red squirrel, salamandar, skunk, toad, and turtle. Their mission is to fuse art, education and entertainment, and involve, encourage and inspire all youth to appreciate where we live, to be environmentally responsible, to enjoy the great outdoors, and to have fun while doing it. Cost is $2 per ride, $5 for 3 rides, or $10 for 7 rides.