You may know of Lake Flower as the site of the Winter Carnival but did you know it is also the finish line for the 90-miler Canoe Classic? Lake Flower is also the gateway to the Saranac Lakes and the lock system that opens the passage.
The best place for your put-in is near the state boat launch site on Route 86 in Saranac Lake. There is a grassy area to the left of the motorboat launch where the loading and unloading is easier. Lake Flower is a very attractive paddle but it has an overabundance of motorboat traffic. The buoys mark the course for the motorboats, which suggest you avoid as much as possible. There is a law about wake production by boats close to residences, but that is not always followed and many boat owners don’t reduce their speed for paddlers.
Now onto the good news! There is very nice paddling in the shallows near the marina which is on the east shore. The south and southeast shores are great places to hang out while paddling. As you head down the narrows into Oseetah Lake you will be in a very attractive area where wildlife starts to make themselves a bit more noticeable.
Once into the opening of Oseetah Lake you have a very good chance of seeing bald eagles, ospreys and loons. Oseetah Lake is very large and has many bays and small islands. Oseetah can get a bit choppy because it is much less sheltered than Lake Flower. From Oseetah Lake you can continue through the Saranac River into Second Pond and eventually into The Saranac Lakes.
At the south end of Oseetah Lake there is a carry trail to Pine Pond. Pine Pond is a small pond with camping and heavy wildlife potential. Check out the Pine Pond page for more details.
Distances: Lake Flower to Oseetah Lake – 3.2 miles, Oseetah Lake to Pine Pond Carry Trail – 1.5 miles
How to get there: From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 86 in Lake Placid, follow Route 86 toward Saranac Lake. Continue for a bit over 10-miles, through Ray Brook and into the Village of Saranac Lake. As you pass through Saranac Lake, Lake Flower will be on your left. Look for the state boat launch parking, also on the left.
Type of launch: State boat launch site, less than 100 yards
Type of water:
This lake can be a bit choppy at times, but well sheltered. Has heavy motorboat usage that can cause wakes which can potentially overturn a paddler who is not aware.
This lake can also be very choppy, but more frequently, because of its size. Heavy motorboat usage can also be an issue, but it is much easier to avoid.