Stories
Traveler & visitor information and tips
It’s been a wonderfully warm, sunny summer in the Adirondacks, and there’s no better place to be than in the water. Saranac Lake doesn’t quite have the deep, mountain-stream pools synonymous with swimming holes, but there are some fantastic spots with rocky shores or sandy beaches to hit up when the mercury climbs. Check out our five favorites below, then head into town and ask one of our local... [Read More]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:Outdoor Recreation, Summer
It is summertime in the Adirondacks, and you’re in the right place to enjoy some spectacular outdoor recreation. And starting June 27, there’s no better place to spend Wednesday evenings than Saranac Lake’s Music on the Green at Berkeley Green! Featuring local musicians, as well as regional and national acts, Music on the Green is one of Saranac Lake’s favorite summer events. A... [Read More]
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Author:Kelly Brunette
Categories:Music, Summer
My folks were watching my 12-year-old niece Rebecca for the weekend and it seemed like a good idea to have them all come up to Saranac Lake for a visit. We spent a few days exploring the area walking in Bloomingdale Bog, checking out the Olympic Center, and going miniature golfing. I had suggested to my niece that perhaps she would like to hike a short mountain, but she was hesitant, unsure... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Dog Friendly, Fall, Family fun, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Saranac Lake 6er, Spring, Summer, Wildlife
The 6ers are what we call the six hike-able mountains that ring the village of Saranac Lake. The Adirondacks are known for its mountain hiking, and it's human nature to create "sets" for achievement purposes. There's the 46 High Peaks that are over 4,000 feet in height. Thus inspired, we have created what has turned out to be a very popular way for people to enjoy our kinder, gentler... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Fall, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation, Snowshoe, Spring, Summer, Trail Running, winter
One of the great joys of my summers for the last decade has been taking advantage of one of Saranac Lake’s more unique outdoor experiences, island camping. Sure, you can find world class lakeside camping in Saranac Lake. But there’s something extra special about paddling or motoring up to your site and knowing that, for the time you’re there, it’s all yours. No traffic driving by, no other... [Read More]
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Author:Glenn Pareira
Categories:camping, Dog Friendly, Family fun, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling
Rainy day fun Rainy weather didn’t stop us from having fun in the woods when I helped out with a Lake Placid Middle School field trip at the Paul Smith’s College VIC. Thankfully the steady rain abated early in the day and we were left with mostly damp and misty conditions. Students alternated between stations to look at stream invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, and... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Dog Friendly, Family fun, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Spring, Summer, Wildlife
Adirondack hiking is rightly famous for its millions of acres of rugged wilderness. Isn't hiking about getting out into nature? Isn't "luxury hiking" a contradiction in terms? Not when we are hiking at the Paul Smith's Visitor Interpretive Center, a short drive from Saranac Lake. It's hiking in ways the whole family can appreciate. Known locally as "the VIC," this project was developed in... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Arts, Birding, Dog Friendly, Fall, Family fun, foliage, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation
Submitted by guest writer: Tyler Merriam On a late Friday afternoon, I loaded my mountain bike in the back of my car and drove the short distance to the southernmost entrance of the Bloomingdale Bog Trail. For those of you who don’t know, this trail begins just off Route 86, about 3 miles north of the heart of Saranac Lake, and ends approximately 16 miles away in the town of Onchiota. The... [Read More]
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Author:Anonymous
Categories:Cycling, Outdoor Recreation, Summer
Submitted by guest writer: Eileen Mowrey The Adirondacks are full of beautiful waterways just waiting to be explored. Running straight through the heart of Saranac Lake is one of the area’s best paddling opportunities – the Saranac River. This 81-mile river encompasses several lakes and winds through miles of both civilization and wilderness before spilling into Lake Champlain.... [Read More]
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Author:Anonymous
Categories:Fall, Family fun, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, Spring, Summer
There’s nothing more Saranac Lake than Third Thursday ArtWalks. Every third Thursday in June through September, the galleries open their doors and showcase their artwork. Art and oftentimes the artists who created it literally spill onto the streets from 5-7:30 p.m. There’s music and laughter everywhere, providing a lively backdrop to the positive energy and celebration of all... [Read More]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:Arts, Events, Historic Downtown, Music, Summer
Submitted by guest blogger: Rivka Cilley It was a beautiful sunny day in May with temperatures in the mid 60s when a group of us set out to paddle from Hoel Pond to Long Pond. The sky was a rich blue with a similar color reflecting on the water. The water was calm and inviting. We stepped into the water to launch our canoes feeling the refreshing coolness of the water on our feet.... [Read More]
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Author:Anonymous
Categories:Paddling, Spring, Wildlife
I love standing on a mountaintop, surveying the surrounding landscape and watching clouds roll by, but I don’t always have time to get to those wonderfully out-of-the-way places. That’s one of the many things I love about living in Saranac Lake — there are options to be had — and since I've been too busy to do long hikes I love having a list of easy go-tos. Besides that, at this time of year... [Read More]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:Family fun, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation, Spring, Summer
Fiddlehead Bistro is a work of art. If you’re in downtown Saranac Lake you can’t miss it — it’s the bright yellow building on the corner of Broadway and Dorsey streets, right next to the Saranac River. Detailing on the outside is simple. There’s a nod to the restaurant’s namesake flora, and a small iron snail that says a lot about the food. It’s delicate, beautiful, and not for people in a rush... [Read More]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:Dining
A Chilly Start to Spring While winter held off the arrival of spring this year with both hands, warm weather is finally coming on in full force – and birds are coming with it. After all, even with the chilly weather we’ve had this spring, birds have been on the move – with ducks like Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup, and both Hooded and Common Mergansers on Lake Flower... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Events, Family fun, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, Spring, Summer, Wildlife
The New York State Department of Conservation runs twelve fish hatcheries, or fish culture stations, across the state. In turn, these hatcheries raise and stock fish into more than 1,200 public waters. Hatchery programs help improve recreational fishing and restore native fish populations. Doing their part to keep fishing in the Adirondacks a real experience for anglers today and in... [Read More]
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Author:Kelly Brunette
Categories:Conservation, Family fun, Fishing, Spring
Submitted by guest writer: Rivka Cilley The Saranac River is always the first body of water in the Saranac Lake area to be clear of ice. A group of us recently paddled from the launch at St. Regis Canoe Outfitters to the top of Permanent Rapids on River Road.  It was a beautiful, warm sunny day with very little wind. The water levels were high with the spring melt, enabling us... [Read More]
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Author:Anonymous
Categories:Paddling, Spring
What are the coolest paddling routes in the Saranac Lake area? That's a tough question, because we are the Lake Country, a paddler's paradise. Canoe, kayak, or even innertube, we have an adventure to fall in love with. To help with this question, I asked some local guide services about their favorite places. What do they recommend most often? Where are the places that are extra scenic, or... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Dog Friendly, Fall, Family fun, Paddling, Spring, Summer
The beauty of this 'Round the Mountain race is... it doesn't have to be a race. You don't even have to be in it to revel in the fun. It's a great way to kick off the paddling season and get those competitive juices flowing, or be a spectator, cheering the first boats and experiencing the scenic and picnic possibilities along the shores of Lake Flower. Any time, it can be a more... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Events, Family fun, Historic Downtown, Paddling
Chilly Spring Weather While it may not have been welcomed by many folks, my skis and I were happy about the chilly weather we had for much of March and April. I was out skiing and enjoying the snow as much as I could. But, when the weather turned warmer and finished off the cross-country skiing season, it ushered in spring birding and I happily set aside my skis for my... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Spring, Wildlife, winter
The first day of spring, called the vernal equinox, has historically fallen on either March 19, 20, or 21. This year, the equinox landed on Tuesday, March 20. But in Saranac Lake, on March 20 you are just as likely to see a foot of snow piling up on the trails as you would see the crocuses popping up in front of the library. So how do you know, really, when spring has arrived? Here... [Read More]
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Author:Kelly Brunette
Categories:Spring
Submitted by guest blogger: Tyler Merriam As the snow finishes melting and we take guesses at when the ice will go out, our thoughts often turn to our summer paddling plans. On June 1, we once again kick off Celebrate Paddling ADK, the month-long series of paddling-related events in the Saranac Lake region. One of the best things about canoeing, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding... [Read More]
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Author:Anonymous
Categories:Family fun, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling
Of course, when it comes to getting away, "girls" can be any age. Because no matter how accomplished a woman is, she will always enjoy a time away from her responsibilities. The greater the challenges, the more necessary stepping away can become. It is incredibly rejuvenating to find a welcoming atmosphere, where one can be herself, with her friends, and do fun girl things. I love it! Here'... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Arts, Cultural, Dining, Heritage, Historic Downtown, Shopping, Spring, Summer
When I think of Cris Winters' work, I think texture. Her Pink House Gallery downtown is full of different layers. Sometimes it is overt, as when she uses multimedia techniques to create a mood or landscape. Other times it is conceptual, where her work suggests depths that are not physically there. But always, there is a great engagement with nature, which is a constant theme in her work.... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Arts, Cultural, Exhibits, Shopping
In the microclimate of Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC), I find myself in a winter wonderland, as if a Hollywood special effects crew came through and sprayed and hosed down the vast landscape with deep, sticky, fake snow, but this is real stuff here - natural.    An Intimate Museum    Enter here and walk through time and see how... [Read More]
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Author:Troy Thomas
Categories:Birding, Conservation, Cross Country Skiing, Exhibits, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Snowshoe, winter
Blue Skies and a Day of Birding With a beautiful blue winter sky above us, my brother, nephew, and I set out the other day to enjoy some boreal birding in the Bloomingdale Bog Complex north of Saranac Lake. The afternoon was forecast to turn rainy (ugh) anyway, so we wanted to enjoy the snow and winter before that happened. And for those of us who aren't yet ready for spring, this is the... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Birding, Fall, Family fun, Hiking, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Snowshoe, Wildlife, winter
Saranac Lake is a beautiful conglomeration of mountains and people. The downtown captures this essence in a wonderful way — eclectic eateries are interspersed among art galleries, music is on everyone’s mind, and mountains and lakes play peek-a-boo from behind the historic architecture. People visit for a lot of reasons, but they always find more than they expected while they’re here. Still... [Read More]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:Arts, Beer, Cultural, Cycling, Dining, Dog Friendly, Events, Exhibits, Fall, Family fun, Fishing, Heritage, Hiking, Historic Downtown, Music, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, Saranac Lake 6er, Shopping, Spring, Summer, Trail Running
If your kids are anything like mine they love breaking records. And second best to holding the record, is knowing the record - biggest number (Googolplex), smallest state (Rhode Island), fastest animal (Cheetah), funniest Minion (Stuart), smelliest feet (Dad for the win). I had been waiting to bust out my trivia challenge for just the right day. "Tallest tree?" I asked. Silence. With both... [Read More]
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Author:Kelly Brunette
Categories:Conservation, Dog Friendly, Snowshoe, Spring, Wildlife
So much to do I just love winter and sometimes I feel like there are not enough days to do everything I want to do: downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and ice skating. It is also hard to squeeze in the not-so-fun things that I must do, such as laundry, cleanin,g and filing income tax! On this particular Sunday I had promised myself to do laundry and file my income tax.... [Read More]
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Author:Lisa Sciacca
Categories:Cross Country Skiing, Dog Friendly, Outdoor Recreation, Snowshoe, winter
I’m not a history buff, but one thing that’s always fascinated me is the Adirondacks’ place in the world. If you ask the right people, big names get thrown around. Bill Clinton has visited; Melville Dewey, creator of the Dewey decimal system, lived in Lake Placid; and poet Sylvia Plath broke her leg on Mount Pisgah in Saranac Lake while visiting in 1952. The accident reportedly... [Read More]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:Family fun, Historic Downtown
A Change in the Fortunes of the Weather Let’s be honest. January was a frustrating month in the Olympic Region for anyone who loves skiing and winter sports. Check that – January was a wildly frustrating month for anyone who enjoys such activities. Our variable and constantly changing temperatures gave us rain and warmth followed by frigid drops which froze everything solid – it was no fun for... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Cross Country Skiing, Dog Friendly, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Skiing, Wildlife, winter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdR_kBSIENc
Turns out, maple syrup has a connection with Mark Twain. At least it does now. Mark Twain Mapleworks is a sugarhouse on the shores of Ampersand Bay on Lower Saranac, part of the same complex where Mark Twain stayed for the summer of 1901. It's utterly appropriate, as it turns out. A list of "Mark Twain's Favorite Foods" reads: maple syrup, cranberries, raccoon, garden produce, canvasback... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Family fun, Heritage, Natural History, Spring
Saranac Lake is home to some great waterways. Popular fishing and paddling waters are now frozen over and the shanties and augers are out for ice fishing. Before you head out, here are five fun tips to ensure you get the best out of this cold-weather experience! 1. Get there early to get your favorite spot  Lake Colby is a popular ice fishing spot. It seems like every day... [Read More]
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Author:Brooke O'Neil
Categories:Fishing, Outdoor Recreation, winter
Submitted by Guest Blogger: Jeremy Evans Day at Dewey One of my favorite things about Saranac Lake is that it feels authentic, comfortable, and home-like to both residents and visitors alike. I can sense this at many of its community gathering places like Mt. Pisgah, Downtown, the Civic Center, and at Dewey Mountain Recreation Center. Located on Route 3 on the western edge of the... [Read More]
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Author:Anonymous
Categories:Cross Country Skiing, Family fun, Outdoor Recreation, Snowshoe, winter
The Saranac Lake 6ers: Baker, St. Regis, Scarface, Haystack, Ampersand, and McKenzie. You hiked them one-by-one in the summer and marveled at the variety of views they afforded — distant High Peaks and uniquely shaped lakes. So now what? Time to try them in winter, that’s what! In the Adirondacks, nice summer hikes turn into full-blown adventures in the winter. It’s a beautiful time to be... [Read More]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:Hiking, Outdoor Recreation, Outerwear, Saranac Lake 6er, Snowshoe, winter
In winter, this Adirondack village is a haven for skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking challenges, snowmobiling, and exploring a lively downtown full of artsy shops and restaurants. A favorite time of year is when the snow flies and locals and visitors can get out into the woods on skis or snowshoes, and embrace the season with outdoor events. This February, there is more reason to celebrate... [Read More]
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Author:Carrie Gentile
Categories:Events, Family fun, Outdoor Recreation, Snowshoe, winter
If you’ve ever been to Saranac Lake, especially in winter, you’ve probably heard of Winter Carnival. It’s the longest-running event of its kind in the U.S., and it’s also one of the quirkiest. Let me explain. Every year, volunteers pull large blocks of ice from Lake Flower to build the ice palace, a stunning blue structure that people can walk through after the 10-day Carnival starts. There’s... [Read More]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:Events, Family fun, winter
Saranac Lake calls to people in different ways. Yes, there’s art, music, good food, and good people here. There are also events like Winter Carnival that bring visitors and residents together for a blockbuster, two-week celebration of all things cool. It’s a quirky place that draws the adventurous, the curious, and the creative, but when all of those things are pushed aside there’s one thing... [Read More]
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Author:Shaun Kittle
Categories:Cross Country Skiing, Fishing, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation, Saranac Lake 6er, Skiing, Snowshoe, winter
As I got ready for my thrift shop expedition, my husband cautioned me, "Now don't go crazy." I don't know why he is always asking this of me. I consider my enjoyments to be springing from enthusiasm, and there's nothing wrong with enthusiasm. Like in the photo above, where I found a beautiful purple coat for only three dollars. Who wouldn't be excited about that? The lure of saving money... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Historic Downtown, Shopping
If a game of King of the Hill that ends in tears and a handful of snow down your collar is your typical day of winter-family-fun — let me help you out! Saranac Lake is bursting with cool things to do that will leave the whole family smiling from ear to ear. Here are 5 things for your clan to try on your next Adirondack winter vacation in Saranac Lake: 1. XC... [Read More]
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Author:Kelly Brunette
Categories:Cross Country Skiing, Family fun, Outdoor Recreation, Snowshoe, winter
As I stroll through the village of Saranac Lake, a virtual Norman Rockwell or Currier & Ives painting, I keep waiting for the horse-drawn sleigh to pass by — the passengers in stocking caps and mittens, colorful quilts piled on top of them.  The horse-drawn sleigh never materializes, I shiver and zip up, and one word comes to mind — coffee. Where The Warmth Is The cafe... [Read More]
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Author:Troy Thomas
Categories:Dining, Historic Downtown, winter
Monitoring the snow depth The beginning of ski season is often a game of figuring out how much snow depth we have and how much snow coverage is needed to explore certain trails. So early season skis tend to be on open trails and fields which catch more snowfall – unless the wind is pushing it off. With the depth of our snow increasing of late and with the storm late last week, Wren (my four... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Cross Country Skiing, Dog Friendly, Family fun, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Skiing, Wildlife, winter
Winter is Finally Here! It took a long time to show up this year with our crazy warm fall, but winter weather has finally started to arrive in the northern Adirondacks. Our recent wet weather aside, little by little we’ve built up some snow as evidenced by my regular need to shovel. It all makes Wren, my four-legged companion, excited as she plays with her tennis ball in the snow... [Read More]
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Author:Alan Belford
Categories:Dog Friendly, Family fun, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Skiing, Wildlife, winter
Lets do this! With less than a week until Christmas, its time to check those final things off your gift list. In Saranac Lake, shopping downtown offers a low-pressure experience and so many different options. Plus, smaller stores mean shorter lines. So, go! Find the ideal gift, make it meaningful…and get back to enjoying the holiday season. Here are six gifts for those types sure... [Read More]
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Author:Kelly Brunette
Categories:Historic Downtown, Shopping, winter
New Year's Eve is a special, even unique, holiday. It is the only one which celebrates both the old, and the new. It is a time to look backward and forward. To take the stress off of such endeavors, you should also have a good time. To help with that, Saranac Lake's First Night gives you many choices to celebrate the turn of the year — your way. It's also a great gift idea. With... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Arts, Events, Family fun, Theatre, winter
The Adirondacks are a geological treasure chest. They are an extension of the Canadian Shield, one of the world's largest continental shields. These mountains, rivers, and lakes have the ancient magma, glacial errata, and billion years old rocks that make for fine hunting. Iron ore seams, dramatic sandstone layers, and plenty of igneous minerals add up to a delightful mix of... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Arts, Family fun, Historic Downtown, Shopping
Goodbye warm-weather gear! Sadly, on November 1, I hung the kayak and canoe in the garage, but I was still holding out for another bike outing which was scheduled for November 7. Unfortunately, as that date approached the nights grew colder and so did the days. Biking in 30-degree weather was not something our group wanted to do - so we changed plans! Take a... [Read More]
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Author:Lisa Sciacca
Categories:Birding, camping, Conservation, Cross Country Skiing, Dining, Equipment, Gear, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation, Outerwear, Paddling, Shopping, Skiing, Snowshoe, Wildflowers, Wildlife, winter
The first Friday of every month, the galleries of downtown Saranac Lake host art openings, highlighting their featured artists and providing an opportunity to mingle and discuss. My girlfriend and I consider this a favorite activity. It's a great time for us to go off and have a girls' night. Saranac Lake is an art town. Photography, painting, jewelry, and crafts of all kinds pop up... [Read More]
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Author:Pamela Merritt
Categories:Arts, Cultural, Dining, Events, Exhibits, Historic Downtown
Submitted by Guest Blogger: Kathy Barlow Ten Reasons to be grateful in and around Saranac Lake This year, after a rainy (and cool) spring and summer, autumn gave birth to warm days, cool nights, and a festival of colors in the mountains. The extended good weather gave us more opportunities to take advantage of all our area has to offer. Now, as the days are getting shorter and the stars... [Read More]
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Author:Guest Blogger
Categories:Heritage, Natural History, Outdoor Recreation, Wellness
The weather The saying goes, “Wait 5 minutes and the weather will change.” In this case one day made a huge difference. The previous day I biked with Gretchen and Trisa on part of the Oregon Trail, and it was cold. We even had layers and gloves on, and our feet were cold!   The next day, the weather was grand. I wanted to bike again, so I texted Trisa and... [Read More]
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Author:Lisa Sciacca
Categories:camping, Cross Country Skiing, Cycling, Dining, Equipment, Fall, Family fun, Outdoor Recreation, Paddling, Summer, Wildlife, winter
Saranac Lake is not only a beautiful Adirondack mountain town, ringed by crystal blue lakes and countless hikes to amazing vistas, but it also has a lively, walkable downtown. Main Street and Upper Broadway are replete with artists’ studios, restaurants, and bars. Now that Saranac Lake is my hometown, I’ve done my due diligence and “researched” the numerous eating and drinking... [Read More]
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Author:Carrie Gentile
Categories:Beer, Dining, Fall, Music, winter

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