A decidedly different fall sampler

Saranac Lake is full of eye-popping views year-round, but it’s hard to deny the unique beauty of autumn in the Adirondacks. From blazing orange to subtle yellow to fire engine red, the trees provide a landscape that is simply unforgettable.

But don't just take our word for it. Be sure to stop by some of our fabulous fall viewpoints while you're in town. Curious how the foliage is progressing in Saranac Lake? Check out our foliage report to get the latest info!

Vibrant fall foliage on a mountainside with a lake in the foreground.

On the land

Sure, we may have the word ‘lake’ right in our name, but Saranac Lake is situated in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, and that means there is plenty to do on the land.

Whether you’re a hardcore hiker looking to tackle some of the High Peaks or a family taking a leisurely stroll in search of fantastic fall foliage, the hiking in and around Saranac Lake is hard to beat. Self-guided nature walks, cascading waterfalls, remote views, and mountains of all sizes dot the landscape, and countless trails lead to an unending variety of adventures.

If you’re a goal-driven person, then tackling the Saranac Lake 6er hiking challenge is the perfect goal! Climb six iconic mountains in and around Saranac Lake to earn the finisher’s patch, or complete it in 24 hours for the Ultra designation!

For those who like to be self-propelled at a faster pace, Saranac Lake is also home to world-class road and off-road biking. From mountain bike trails less than a mile from downtown to quiet country roads with more scenic outlooks than cars, the biking in Saranac Lake is second to none.

A couple stands on a mountain taking in an orange fall sunset view.

On the water

There’s some water near here. Ok, so there’s actually a ton of water. So much that aquatic adventures start right in downtown and spread in all directions. And with warm days and cool evenings, autumn is the perfect time to ply the waters of the Saranac Lake area!

Lake Flower, which is a dammed part of the Saranac River, which drains the Saranac chain of lakes, flows right through downtown. The river offers a variety of paddling options, and serves as part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, which stretches from the Adirondacks all the way into Maine. As the leaves fall off the trees, unexpected views and migrating birds make fall paddles feel completely different than the same route in summer.

Of course, there are the three Saranac lakes, plus dozens of other ponds and lakes, that offer boating of all kinds - whether you’re a paddler, sailor, skier, or cruiser. Check out historic great camps on the St. Regis lakes or enjoy slowly trolling Moose Pond for fish.

For a more remote paddling experience, the St. Regis Canoe Area - the only designated canoe area in New York - is just down the road from downtown Saranac Lake. With historic routes like the Seven Carries, tons of loops, and dozens of ponds, the St. Regis Canoe Area is unlike any other place in the Adirondacks.

A woman paddling in a blue canoe across a lake at sunset.

On the town

The village of Saranac Lake is unique in so many ways, not the least of which is the culture, food, shops, and attractions that make it feel so much like home. Even as the days get shorter, the bright spots of Saranac Lake’s downtown will warm you as well as a cup of hot chocolate.

With a thriving arts culture, you can experience the Adirondacks through local eyes in one of the many art and photography galleries along Main Street, or take a tour and visit artist studios and watch them at work.

Start your day off right with a hearty breakfast and hot cup of coffee, enjoy a leisurely lunch or grab sandwiches to take on the trail, and relax after a hard day of fun with a wonderful dinner, local beer, and an unforgettable atmosphere.

There’s also a lot to do for people of all ages and interests. Take the kids to the Adirondack Carousel, stop in to the Loon Center for a natural history lesson, or check out the Adirondack Hamlets to Huts Trails Center for insider info on adventures to be had. All this, combined with any number of public parks, artist exhibits, nightlife, and unique shopping opportunities, make Saranac Lake a must-visit destination.

A woman and man cheers their drinks at the Hotel Saranac grand bar

Start planning your Saranac Lake fall getaway today!