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Where the leaves are on fire with color

The Saranac Lake Region is blessed with numerous recreational opportunities from hiking trail to quiet bodies of water. The area also has some of the most scenic roadways in the region. With all that’s going on recreation wise, you now have the changing of the guards. As summer hibernates, the fall colors come alive with a show that makes the best 4th of July Celebration a bit humbled.  One question I get quite often is, “where is the best place to go for the fall colors.” This is a very hard question, since there really in no “one place” to go. Below however, I have listed some excellent choices to choose from, if you must choose that is.  

Driving Destinations-

Route 86, 186, 30 and 3 through Fish Creek  

I know this sounds very confusing but it’s a huge loop with scenic splendor that you will adore. In Saranac Lake follow Route 86 toward Paul Smiths and enjoy the colors around Lake Colby on your way out of town. As you pass along the Route 86 stop and take some pictures of the wetlands that border the road. Route 186 will be on your left about 5-10 minutes out of town. At this intersection be sure to gaze over toward Whiteface Mountain across the farm fields.

As you pass down Route 186 you will enjoy colors and continue onto Route 30 toward Fish Creeks. Route 30 has unlimited scenery over Lake Clear, Follensby Pond, and Fish Creek Ponds just to name a few. Route 30 then comes to Route 3 where you will have to take a left back toward Saranac Lake. The colors along this stretch of road are fantastic. Passing by Panther Pond and many wetland areas you will have plenty to take pictures of.

Other great drives

  • Route 86 to Paul Smiths
  • Route 3 to Bloomingdale
  • McKenzie Pond Road
  • Forest Home Road to Lake Clear

Hiking Destinations

Baker Mountain

This fantastic short hike is located off Route 30 between Long Lake and Tupper Lake. Baker is a perfect fall colors destination for the entire family that overlooks the entire region and many surrounding colorful forests. From the parking lot you will have a nice hike over a well-used trail that climbs somewhat steeply through an open forest, rich in color itself. Once on top you will have many different viewing areas to choose from.

Other great hikes

Haystack Mountain

Moose Pond

Scarface Mountain

Ampersand Mountain

Paddling Destinations

Lake Flower to Oseetah Lake

This Paddling is located I the middle of town at the boat launch site. Paddle down the scenic waters of Lake Flower as you come to the narrows that lead into the open shallow waters of Oseetah Lake. Be on the lookout for eagle soaring above. The wetlands at the south end of Oseetah Lake are an attractive destination.  

Other great paddles

Lake Colby

Follensby Pond

Moose Pond

Second Pond

Middle Saranac Lake

Interested in getting out with a guide to tour the High Peaks Region and see the fall colors from up high, Give one a call and set one up. Need a fantastic place to stay while in Saranac Lake, we have something for you.  Maybe you want a picnic lunch – Saranac Lake has great shops with amazing food selections. 


Artist at Work Studio Tour this week
Painted Landscapes, Clay Demonstrations, and Chickens...all a part of the Artist at Work Studio Tour

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About The Author

Spencer Morrissey is an Adirondack native and to this day resides and works in the park. He works as a community developer, smart growth planner, recreational consultant, and licensed guide. He is the owner of Incapahcho Wilderness Guides a publishing company, and co-owner of Mountain Goats, LLC an Adirondack Guide Service based out of Lake Placid and Cranberry Lake. Spencer is a 5-time 46er and a winter 46er, a fire-tower challenger completer, a finisher of the Adirondack 100-highest, and is in the pursuit of climbing all the names peaks in the Adirondack Park. Spencer is a published author with titles; “The Other 54,” “Adirondack Trail Runner,” and “Adirondack Trail Skier,” with other titles always in progress.

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