If you’re thinking about trying paddling for the first time there is no better place to do it than Saranac Lake and the surrounding area. We have some of the best paddling in the Adirondacks and much of it is on beginner friendly lakes, ponds, creeks and rivers. It’s one of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of the Adirondacks and unlocks access to areas that cannot be reached by foot or on a bike.
The stakes are a little higher when traveling on water but with a little preparation and guidance it’s surprisingly easy to get started. Many of our customers are new to paddling and we have lots of experience introducing people to the sport and getting you comfortable on the water.
Canoe, Kayak or Stand Up Paddleboard?
Kayaks are often a good place to start as they feel more stable and are a bit easier to maneuver with a double-bladed paddle. Canoes are great too as they are a little easier to get in and out of and have more room for gear, dogs, kids etc. Stand Up Paddleboards have become popular as well and are fun to paddle but require a little more effort and balance.
With canoes and kayaks you can have your own boat or pair up and share a tandem boat. In a tandem you share the workload but have to coordinate your paddling. In a solo boat you are the master of your own destiny but have to control the direction and distance that the boat travels yourself.
Getting comfortable on the water
It’s very common for beginners to be nervous about paddling for the first time. Worries about tipping into the water or not being able to do it are the norm. However, with just a little guidance and common sense most people of all ages and abilities get comfortable enough to paddle around on their own in just a few minutes and it is much easier than they expect.
Our top tips for safety and getting comfortable:
It is very rare for our customers to get into difficulties and by following the guidance above you reduce any risk even further.
If you are looking for even greater peace of mind then booking one of our experienced guides to accompany you is a great way to fast-track your confidence and abilities too.
Where to go?
Doing an “out and back” trip is suggested for your first time as this gives you control over how far you go and how long you are out. This means that you start and finish at the same place.
Once you have tried paddling and are ready for the next step then a “point A to point B” trip gives your paddle a little more purpose, a destination and sense of accomplishment.
For your early trips it’s good to choose beginner friendly waterways that are not too exposed and without any strong current.
Suggested beginner itinerary
If you have completed all of these then you’ve definitely caught the paddling bug! You have also done the first paddle in the Saranac Lake Paddling Challenge (Middle to Lower Saranac). Working on the others or exploring the vast array of other paddling options in the area is a logical next step.
What to bring?
As a rule, pack light. Additional weight on board will require more effort to maneuver.
We love introducing new paddlers to the sport and we can provide you with all the equipment, services and information you need to get started. You can explore our trip services further here or reach out to discuss things further at +1 518 891 7450 or firstname.lastname@example.org