Adirondack Lakes & Trails Outfitters can provide all the equipment, transport and information you need for a camping trip. The camping options are endless in the Adirondacks so here we just highlight some popular campgrounds and backcountry camping destinations in our area. There is also some general information to help get you started with your planning.
The Saranac Lake Islandscampground contains 87 camp sites located on Lower Saranac and Middle Saranac lakes. They are boat access only and all have a fire pit and an outhouse. 5 sites have lean-to's and there are 5 day use areas as well. Reservations are required between May and September and are very popular. Reservations are made on reserveamerica.com. If you have trouble getting the dates you want it is worth contacting the campground directly to check for cancellations. There are no boat rental services at the campground but we are nearby and offer quality boats at competitive prices.
Fish Creek Pondand Rollins Pondcampgrounds are in the Floodwood area and they are connected (Rollins is accessed via Fish Creek entrance). They are huge and have 642 camp sites between them - many of them waterfront. These are car camping sites with lots of amenities. Although not quite the wilderness experience of the other campgrounds mentioned here, this can be a convenient option and a good back-up plan if you are unable to find a site elsewhere in the area. They maintain a list of no-shows and cancellations and there is a chance you will get a site here even in busy periods. Sites can be reserved online at reserveamerica.com. We can deliver boats to you here for you to use during your stay and collect them afterwards.
Buck Pondcampground sits on Buck Pond and also Lake Kushaqua. There are 116 sites with flush toilets, hot showers, trash & recycling center, a boat launch and a picnic area. No motorized craft as allowed on Buck Pond but are allowed on Lake Kushaqua. Reservations are made on reserveamerica.com. We can deliver boats to you here for you to use during your stay and collect them afterwards.
The Floodwood area in the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest has a lot of first come-first served sites that anyone can occupy free of charge. Many of these are boat access only but there are some with road access along Floodwood Road too. This is a beautiful area to paddle in with many small ponds and well established, signed carries between them. A lightweight boat is recommended. We can provide transport services to and from your start and end points.
Slightly further north, the St Regis Canoe Area offers some excellent camping in a more tranquil and remote backcountry setting. There are 50 ponds of all shapes and sizes with 70 camp sites on 20 of the ponds. A lot of this area is more remote and so the adventure level steps up a notch! Some of the carries are long and may be in rough shape. Beaver activity and blow down may also present unexpected obstacles.
The best map for the area is The Paddlers Map - North. This has all camp sites and canoe carries marked on it and is waterproof. It is available in our retail store or on our online store here.
Bears are not a common problem at all in this area but the DEC recommends the use of bear canisters throughout the backcountry of the Adirondacks as a precaution. We have the DEC recommended canisters available for rent and you can read more about the use of them here.
There's some great fishing in the area so if you're looking to do that you can check-out more details on how to get a license here. Note that you cannot usually get these on-site at campgrounds but they are easily obtainable by phone or online.
Canoes are the most common choice for paddle camping because of the extra room they have for gear. Be careful not to overload your boat and also remember to balance the weight distribution of your gear and yourselves so that your boat is balanced and "trimmed" properly in the water, Something like a lightweight 17ft Wenonah Spirit II or a Swift Keewaydin 17 tandem canoes are great options for a multi-day trip and we have this other suitable boats available to rent or buy too. Kayaks can be used for paddle camping too but you'll have to travel lighter and packing and unpacking will be a little more involved.
When tackling carries make sure you have a method that is practical, comfortable and that works for you. Canoes are often carried with a yoke on the shoulders and it is worth practicing a little before your trip. Carts can be used as well and these will help you roll your boat on the trail instead. We rent or sell these too.
If you are camping for the first time make sure you do your research and prepare properly for the experience. Even simple things like staying dry, preparing meals and having enough light can be a challenge if you haven't planned properly. There's lots of information on the internet to help with this. Here's a beginners guidearticle from the KOA and also one onbackyard campingwhich can be a gentle way to introduce your family to camping before doing it for real.
Being a considerate camper and minimizing your impact on the environment is really important. The 7 principles of Leave No Trace provide great guidance on how to approach this. Camping with your dog: Your guide to a relaxing outdoor adventure