Fun in the Mud

Spring in the Adirondacks is a wild, overlooked, season. Saranac Lake has many attractions which shine in this special gap between winter and summer. It might not be the first place a person thinks of when the idea of spring break occurs to them, but it can be the last... because there are many good reasons to fit a spring trip to the Adirondacks into our schedule.

It can be worth dodging some puddles to get some of the lowest lodging prices of the year. There are fewer crowds, a nd they tend to be made up of adventurous folks, the kind who love exploring the little-known specialties of this amazing season.

Spring has sprung some Wildflowers

While fall is known as an extraordinarily colorful time of year, spring can be just as gorgeous in miniature. Pull on those boots and break out the macro lens for the camera. It's spring flower time.

Our native Adirondack species bud and flower before the trees can fully leaf out and block the sunlight. So we have a marvelous show going on at the forest floor that can be seen at no other time. Enjoy the bright sunshine yellow of trout lily, the delicate white bells of wintergreen, and the proud striped splash of jack-in-the-pulpit.

Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum) along the Boreal Life Trail at the Paul Smiths VIC

Blue cohosh and wild ginger are just a few of the medicinal plants used by the Native Americans, and savvy herbalists, to help people with their troubles. But as we all know, just walking in the woods can have a tonic effect.

Don't forget there are two varieties of trillium; the light white and the dark burgundy.

These delicate Alpine beauties peek out, peak bloom, and pass away in the space of weeks. We need to be there at these moments. They are fleeting.

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) is abundant at the VIC, especially along the Barnum Brook, the Boreal Life, and the Heron Marsh trails.

There's both trails and advice at the Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center. If we can't get out into the woods there's the slightly civilized Triangle Park along the riverbank.

we're talking Trout Season

Trout season opens April 1. And that's no joke!

Anglers begin with the patches of easily accessed open water around town, and as the season deepens, so do our waters. Late April and early May make for some incredible fishing as the trout seek the sun-warmed water on top of our lakes and ponds.

It doesn't matter how you get on the water, as long as you're there.

Saranac Lake has a number of fine trout waters for brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, and the hybrid known as splake. The DEC runs stocking programs so there's plenty to go around.

Plenty of time for those wily ones to get bigger.

While we are sworn to secrecy, the beauty is that there are many fine trout waters in the area!

Trout are popular because there's some skill and sneakiness involved. Keeping the reel clean makes for a smooth action, while keeping the hook small and inconspicuous will help the trout avoid noticing it. Middle Saranac and Lake Colby are good spots to try for the acrobatics of the rainbow trout.

Choose your lure and your fishing lake.

put more Mountain in that Biking

We try not to miss a beat. When the cross-country snow melts, those trails are ready for mountain biking.

The past few years has led to an explosion of trails, from ragged and rugged to easy inclines for the youngest enthusiast. Each trail has special challenges, and spring is a great time to experience their full, golden-budded, glory.

There are two mountains for your mountain biking enjoyment. This is Pisgah.

Bookmark our favorite mountain biking mountains, Pisgah and Dewey.

There are plenty of other trails, too. The "third" mountain on that list just might be Scarface. While biking is discouraged on the actual mountain, there's an incredible eight-mile network of single- and double-track trails. They run through a spruce and white pine wilderness known for its diverse scenery.

Birding time along the route

Spring migration time means our natives are getting busy and our visiting flocks are heading back to us. 

Saranac Lake's abundance of lakes and ponds means plenty of habitat for our varigated bird population. From the lively variety of our bogs and marshes, to the keen-eyed raptors at the tops of the tallest trees, we have birds in great abundance.

When a Boreal Chickadee was sighted along Oregon Plains Road, it was a life bird for many in the group. Photo courtesy of

The six million acres of the Adirondack Park have created a unique "pit stop" for many rare birds. Raptors and songbirds are especially suited to our mountains and forests.

Read some of our latest birding blogs to ponder some excellent spotting places.

Daffest is more than a bit daffy

How close are we to that million?

Our goal of a million daffodils was at the 80,000 bulb point last year. Each bulb can have between three and twenty blooms... so that's between 240,000 and 1,600,000 blooms this year. Come help us count!

This community-wide event has proven so popular it has now stretched into ten days of spring fun for the whole family. From the end of April into May, there's music and fun runs, prize-winning pastry and extravagant spring hats.

It's the time of year when it's not just our squirrels who are nutty.

Each of the festival's attractions highlights some facet of our special Saranac Lake appeal. Paint your own masterpiece at the Canvas, Cake and Cocktails event, or choose from the eye-rolling pleasures being judged at the Daffest Try Mine Pastry Contest. There's a townwide festival in the park and the thrilling Daffest Derby, where the hill at the heart of town is blocked off, lined with hay bales, and turned into a soapbox derby track.

And that's just the first weeked. Join us at this year's Daffest celebration.

See more of our thrilling events. Explore our lodging options. Find a favorite dining spot. Track down some fun family attractions.

We'll see you soon!

Author:Pamela Merritt
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