Saranac Lake Islands
Guide

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Introduction

Saranac Lake Islands State Park is a secluded water retreat that is perfect for campers who want to get back to nature. Saranac Lake Islands State Park, located in the Tri-Lakes region in New York is a park that gives campers starry night skies, scenic landscapes, and some of the best lakes in the area. Saranac Lake has some of the best fishing that you’ll find in the region, with pickerel, bullhead, and bass. You can also connect to four lakes in the surrounding areas, giving you plenty of water to cover by canoe or kayak. Motorized boats are also allowed on the lake if you are interested in water or jet skiing. The park has hiking trails that take you through the forests surrounding Saranac Lake, and you’ll have gorgeous views of the Adirondacks as you hike. The forests are also packed with dozens of species of birds, making the park a great destination for birdwatchers.
The campsites in the park are dotted along the shore and on islands in the lake. You can even rent your own island, giving you a genuinely secluded camping experience. Although no RV friendly sites are available at Saranac Lake Islands, you won't have to drive far to find a place to park your rig for the night, as there are numerous campgrounds in the area.

RV Rentals in Saranac Lake Islands

Transportation in Saranac Lake Islands

Driving

Saranac Lake Islands State Park is found in the northern tip of New York and is within driving distance of major cities in New York and Canada. Once you reach the park, you may have to walk or take a boat to access the campsites.
If you are driving from Albany, take I-87 from the city, and you will reach the park in around two and a half hours. From Montreal, take Autoroute 15 south, and you will get to the park in just over two hours. If you are coming from Ottawa, take ON-416 south to reach the park in a little over two and a half hours.
If you are planning on staying at one of the tent sites within the park, you’ll need to hike to your site. If your site is on one of the lake’s islands, then you’ll have to bring a boat to reach your site.
Those maneuvering large vehicles will find a large parking lot near Second Pond and the park's campground. During peak season, this lot may fill up, and guests may be required to use municipal lots in Saranac Lake Village. There are also several RV campsites near the park, should you want to camp with your rig. Fish Creek Pond has over 300 RV sites, and it is a quick drive from Saranac Lake Islands State Park. The roads may have snow or ice during the winter, so be prepared by bringing snow chains. It's also a good idea to check local weather and road conditions before setting out.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Saranac Lake Islands

Campsites in Saranac Lake Islands

Reservations camping

Fish Creek Pond Campground

If you wish to stay in an RV campground, Fish Creek Pond is a nearby campground that is a quick drive from Saranac Lake Islands. There are over 300 sites for you to choose from, most of which have views of the water. None of the sites have hookups of any kind. However, they do have picnic tables and fire pits, and dogs are allowed at all sites. The campground is open year-round. You can book all of the sites up to nine months in advance, and must reserve them a day in advance. The campground is quite large, but you should still consider booking well in advance if you plan on visiting during peak season in the summer.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Saranac Lake Islands Campground

The campsites found within Saranac Lake Islands State Park are all tent camping. There are 79 sites scattered on the shore and islands. You can even get a site on a private island. Dogs are allowed at all of the sites. Some of the sites can only be accessed by boat. You can book your spot up to nine months in advance, and must book at least a day before you plan on arriving. The sites fill up quickly during the summer, especially the island sites, so try to book as early as possible if you plan on visiting during the peak season.

Seasonal activities in Saranac Lake Islands

In-Season

Nearby Attractions

One of the best things about Saranac Lake Islands State Park is its location. The park's proximity to charming towns and even more outdoor recreation opportunities make it possible for you to enjoy this area of New York for days, or even weeks. The small towns of Saranac Lakes, Tupper Lake, and Lake Placid are a short drive away from the park, making it possible to enjoy antique and gift shopping, a variety of local restaurants, and sightseeing at its finest. Private outfitters in the area give you a chance to horseback ride, enjoy a guided canoe tour, or relax on a gold course for an afternoon. If you're looking to explore the surrounding area on foot, there are miles of connector trails that join Saranac Lakes with the High Peaks Wilderness Area and Saranac Lakes Wild Forest.

Canoeing

Saranac Lake State Park is a popular destination for boating. One of the best ways to explore the lake is with a canoe. You can take a canoe out to a private island to camp for the night, or explore the four lakes that you can access from Saranac Lake. Access to the other lakes is possible via a set of locks that will raise you and your boat to the correct water level. There are no boat rentals available at the park, so those interested in exploring the lakes will need to bring their own flotation devices along in the Airstream.

Powerboating

If you want a faster way around the lake, you can bring a powerboat along on your RV vacation to explore the area. You’ll be able to connect to four lakes from Lower Saranac Lake, and there are thousands of acres of water, so there’s plenty of room to make the most of your boat’s motor. There is a wide boat launch that makes it easy to get large vessels out onto the lake. The park does not offer boat rentals, so you’ll need to bring your own vessel along with your campervan.

Waterskiing

The lake is also a great destination for those interested in waterskiing. Motorized boats are allowed on Lower Saranac Lake, so you’ll be able to waterski whenever you visit the park. You can also use a jet ski on the lake. There is a boat launch that makes it easy to get your vessel into the water from your trailer. The park does not rent motorized boats, however, so you’ll have to bring your own with your rig.

Off-Season

Photography

Whether you're hiking one of the trails, canoeing through the backwaters of one of the various lakes, or fishing from the forested shoreline, you won't want to forget your camera in the Class A. The Adirondack Mountains in the distance create a stunning backdrop, which is even more picture-worthy during the autumn when they fall foliage is at its peak. Wake up early and capture a colorful sunrise, or tread lightly along one of the many paths and try to snap some of the park's full-time wildlife residents.

Fishing

Saranac Lake is known in the area for its fishing. The lake features a wide variety of different fish species, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bullhead, pickerel, northern pike, and yellow perch. Fishing is excellent year-round, but at its best from spring through fall. There is a boat launch near the campground, making it easy to head back to your site and cook the day’s catch. You can also fish from the shore or in one of the many streams found in the park.

Hiking

Several trails lead around the lake, making it an excellent destination for RV campers who want to hike as there is a large parking lot situated lakeside. You can explore the park’s forests and get scenic views of the Adirondacks. In addition to the trails that lead around the lake, you can connect to an extensive network of trails that allow you to explore the area surrounding the park. Saranac Lakes Wild Forest is just north of the park, and the High Peaks Wilderness Area is a short hike to the south. The Wild Forest and the wilderness areas will give you hundreds of miles of trails to hike.

Island Camping

If you're willing to leave the pop-up behind for a night or two, Saranac Lake Islands State Parks has several campsites that are located on islands. You can also choose a site on a private island, giving you your secluded paradise in the middle of the lake. If you plan on reserving one of the island camping sites, book as soon as possible, as the sites fill up quite quickly. You can book the sites up to nine months in advance.

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