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. View our foliage report to check on the progression of fall color in Saranac Lake!

To get the most out of your trip, be sure to stop by some of our fabulous fall viewpoints, which pair well with local flavor, while you're in town. Looking for a moderate hike in the autumn woods or a spectacular view that is easy to get to? Try these dazzling locations that are just off the beaten path.

On the town

The many bright spots of Saranac Lake’s charming downtown are every bit as brilliant as the glorious fall foliage. The village's unique culture, food, shops, and attractions make it a great place to visit, explore, and unwind.

With a thriving arts culture, you can experience the Adirondacks through one of the many galleries located throughout downtown, all featuring talented local artists, or explore the decidedly fun ArtMarket & Studio Tours and 3rd Thursday Art Walks! While you're here, be sure to tune in to one of the many live music performances and entertainment that we enjoy each fall.

There are fun and colorful options for everyone in the family. Stop in for a spin on the Adirondack Carousel or explore the Loon Center for a natural history lesson! Travel in time and explore Saranac Lake's rich and vibrant local history. Explore local history with a visit to the Saranac Laboratory Museum or a with a self-guided walking tour downtown. Curious to learn more? Stroll the Saranac Lake Walk of Fame and meet local legends.

Autumn also marks late harvest season in the Adirondacks and that means flavor abounds! Saranac Lake is home to a tasty array of restaurants, breweries, and bakeries. Many of them include Adirondack-grown offerings on their menus and take inspiration from the amazing fresh produce and fall color. Plus, harvest markets and farm stands are bursting with seasonal items to enjoy on-site or take home, and many locations let you get close to life on the farm.

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 mountain climber looking to tackle some of the High Peaks, a moderate hiker looking for a half-day adventure or a family taking a leisurely stroll in search of fantastic fall foliage, the hiking in and around Saranac Lake is hard to beat. Downtown itself abounds with scenic walks, from the Riverwalk along the Saranac to the kid-friendly Bug Crawl!

Just a few blocks from downtown, head to The Pines for a relaxed walk in a pine forest. Self-guided nature walks, cascading waterfalls, remote views, and mountains of all sizes grace the landscape. Hikes for adventurers of all skill levels abound, with countless miles of trails leading to an unending variety of adventures.

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 and our local gear purveyors are ardent cyclists themselves. Get the inside scoop, then get in the saddle for a memorable ride.

A gray-haired couple strides through bright, fall foliage-covered forest.

On the water

Saranac Lake is stocked with aquatic adventures that start right in downtown! With warm days and cool evenings, autumn is the perfect time to enjoy the waters of the Saranac Lake area!

New in 2023, the Saranac Lake Paddling Challenge invites locals and visitors alike to explore our waterways. Via canoe or kayak, travel five routes that mix quiet woods with views of downtown, broad lakes and winding rivers. The challenge includes some of the areas below, which are among our favorites and always memorable to experience!

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 from the trees, unexpected views and migrating birds make fall paddles a completely different experience compared to 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.

Start planning your Saranac Lake fall getaway today!


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Nature Walks