Saranac Lakes Trek


  • Difficulty Level:┬áModerate
  • Miles: 40 Miles
  • Duration: 4 Days

This is a great trek for groups looking to experience both canoeing and hiking. A challenging day hike up Ampersand Mountain with tremendous views of the High Peaks and the canoe area. The Bartlett Carry is a relatively moderate portage, the only one of the trek. Expect some boat traffic in the Upper Saranac region. It’s gets more quite as you head into Middle Saranac.


Leave the Rollins Pond Canoe Base paddling northeast to the stream to Floodwood Pond. Paddle along the southern shore of Floodwood to the entrance of Fish Creek. Follow Fish Creek through Little Square Pond and into Fish Creek Ponds. There is a public beach and park along the east shore that is a pleasant spot for lunch. Continue under the bridge to the northeast shore of Fish Creek Ponds. Follow Spider Creek Passage into Follensby Clear Pond where there are a number of excellent campsites.
Paddle back out of Follensby Clear through Spider Creek Passage and Fish Creek Ponds to Fish Creek Bay. Canoe out into Upper Saranac Lake and head south. At the southern end shortly before the Indian (Chapel) Carry, there are several campsites on and around Indian Point. Establish camp for the next two nights.
Canoe around Indian Point to the east and into Huckleberry Bay. Carry across Bartlett Carry into Middle Saranac Lake. Paddle all the way across Middle Saranac to the beach on the southeast shore of the lake. Beach your canoes and hike up Ampersand Mountain. After taking in the 360-degree panorama from the top of the mountain hike back down to your canoes and return to your campsite.
Retrace your paddling on Upper Saranac Lake. Paddle back to Follensby Clear and on north to the carry to Horseshoe Pond midway up Follensby Clear. Carry into Horseshoe Pond and paddle along the north shore to the carry into Little Polliwog Pond and then into Polliwog. Paddle north around the point and then west to the carry to Middle Pond. After Carrying into Middle Pond, paddle to the canoe carry to Floodwood Pond. There are a number of good campsites on Floodwood Pond or you can continue back through the passage to Rollins Pond and the canoe base.