The Saranac Lake Islands hold a very special place in my heart. The very first time I ever sat in a kayak was a guided tour through the Islands. One year later I decided that I needed to buy a kayak for myself. That decision to purchase a new kayak turned out to be a life changing decision for the better. Of course it wouldn’t be right if I had bought a few kayaks and never went back to the birthplace of my new-found passion. This was my fourth over-night camping trip on the Islands. How can I be eloquent enough to express how truly amazing this place is? With views of the Adirondack peaks wrapped around you, sounds of Loons, spotting a beautiful eagle, a newly hatched family of ducks, and a Great Blue Heron landing only feet from my kayak, this experience each time I visit is unique and ever-changing.
This weekend I went for a different Island than I normally choose. I am partial to Duck Island and Loon Bay, but this weekend it was Fern Island. I have to admit that going to a whole new Island was at first a bit confusing. I have had embarrassing moments in the past. I won’t begin to describe all the moments where I thoroughly embarrassed myself in front of plenty of people. First thing, I placed my paddlers map in a convenient location at the bottom of my rear hatch and below my tent so reaching it wasn’t exactly easy, insert expletive here, so trying to figure out where I was only proved to me that a map intended to guide you to your location was better placed within close reach. I navigated Island to Island reading various campsite numbers looking for number ten. I’m pretty sure the lady at site thirteen was chuckling to herself each of the three times I passed.
at least five miles in to a two-mile paddle, I found it! my landing site at Fern Island’s site number ten. It was perfect! The landing area is a flat natural rock outcrop with barely a climb to the camping spots. For a first time random selection for a space on the Lower Saranac lake, I hit it big! The Saranac Lake Islands are perfectly designed to provide the campers with a back country camping feel without being in the back country. All of the sites are boat-in only so just getting there is a treat. The waters of the Lower Saranac Lake are most often calm. The beginning of the paddle in First and Second Ponds are calm flat water that open up into the Lower Saranac Lake.
The campsites all have two tent sites, an outhouse, fire pit, and a picnic table ready to provide campers with some of the niceties of campsite camping without the shoulder-to-shoulder “camping” that can be found at other area campsites.
An evening of perfectly clear skies, campfire, the juiciest burgers I’ve ever made, and friendship. Not much more I could ask for.
How do you get one of these campsites for yourself? It’s easy. Go to http://www.reserveamerica.com and search for camping in Saranac Lake. Don’t have a Kayak or other boat? You can rent Kayaks from the Kayak Shack in Plattsburgh. Call them today (518) 566-0505.