This short hike is designed mainly as a hike to a sandy beach on Middle Saranac Lake for your swimming pleasure. The well-graded trail can easily be done in shoes or flip flops.
Primary trailhead: From the intersection of Route 3 and Route 86 in Saranac Lake, follow Route 3 toward Tupper Lake. Continue for 8 miles to the Ampersand Mountain parking area on the right.
Look for the large, brown sign that marks the beginning of the trail in the back corner of the Ampersand Mountain parking area. This also accesses the state campground on the Saranac Islands, where a fee and reservations are required for camping.
The trail crosses a small wet area before beginning a level hike through an attractive forest. In season there are plenty of wildflowers and mushrooms to see. The trail ends at an old campsite near a sandy beach, which continues around a large portion of the bay. The water remains shallow for about 100 feet out from shore, making this a prime area for swimming.