The best times to paddle this lake are early in the morning or later in the afternoon or evening. Wind tends to pick up late morning into the afternoon, making for difficult paddling conditions. The shore is a mixture of private and public land. The eastern launch area has a wonderful sand beach for not only launching but returning to for a swim or picnic. The NW shore has an attractive wetland where birding could be decent.
Shoreline length: Approx. 6.5-miles
How to get there:
EASTERN SHORE LAUNCH: From the intersection of Route 3 and Route 86 in Saranac Lake follow Route 86 toward Paul Smiths. Continue to Route 186 on the left and follow here. Continue to Route 30 which will come in on your right. Follow Route 30 for under 1-mile to the State access point for Lake Colby on the left.
SOUTHERN LAUNCH: From the intersection of Route 3 and Route 86 in Saranac Lake follow Route 86 toward Paul Smiths. Continue to Route 186 on the left and follow here. Route 186 will become Route 30; continue straight onto Route 30 for 1.6 miles to a bridge over the Outlet, park here.
Type of launch:
EASTERN SHORE LAUNCH: A 0.1 mile hike along a gravel road, flat conditions to a sand beach launch.
SOUTHERN LAUNCH: Roadside, Easy access
Type of water: This is a very large lake with almost no protection from the elements or windy conditions. While on some days it can be very calm, other days it can whip up some decent sized whitecaps.