Saranac Lake Islands
Guide

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Introduction

Saranac Lake Islands State Park is a secluded water retreat that is perfect for RV campers who want to get back to nature. The 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 allowed on the lake, if you are interested in water or jet skiing.

The park also has hiking trails that take you through the forests surrounding Saranac Lake. 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 out your own island, giving you a truly secluded camping experience.

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 the state and in Canada. Once you reach the park, you may have to walk or take a boat to access some of 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. There's also a number of RV campsites near the park, should you want to camp with your rig. Fish Creek Pond has over 300 sites and 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.

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.

Saranac Lake Islands Campground

The campsites found within Saranac Lake Islands State Park are all tent camping only. There are 79 sites scattered on the shore and on islands. You can even get a site with your own 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. Try to book as early as possible if you plan on visiting during the summer.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Saranac Lake Islands

In-Season

Canoeing

Saranac Lake State Park is also 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, or explore the four lakes that you can access from Saranac Lake.

Hiking

There are also a number of trails that lead around the lake, making it a great destination for RV campers who want to hike. 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 Wilds Lake Forest is just north of the park, and High Peaks Wilderness Area is a short hike to the south. Combined, they give you hundreds of miles of trails hike.

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.

The boat launch is 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.

Off-Season

Island Camping

Saranac Lake Islands State Parks has a number of campsites that are located on islands. You can also choose a site on a private island, giving you your own 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.

Waterskiing

The lake is also a great destination for those interested in water skiing. Motorized boats are allowed on Lower Saranac Lake, so you’ll be able to water ski whenever you visit the park. You can also use a jet ski on the lake.

There is also 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.

Powerboating

If you want a faster way around the lake, you can bring a powerboat to explore the area. You’ll be able to connect to four lakes from Lower Saranac Lake. 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.

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