Follensby Clear Pond to Saginaw Bay

The lowdown

Follensby Clear Pond to Saginaw Bay offers a variety of paddling. The trip begins on Follensby Clear Pond, which is a very clear pond with shallow water. There are great opportunities to observe wildlife along the route, including loons. Along the creek there are a variety of bog plants including sundew, pitcher plants, sheep laurel, swamp candles, yellow pond lily, white waterlilies, pickerelweed, blue flag iris, Labrador tea, and bog rosemary.  Frogs, toads and turtles can sometimes be seen in the creek area.  As you enter Fish Creek Ponds and Bay you are likely to see Canada geese, mallards, black ducks, king fisher, and sea gulls.  

Fact check

  • Total Distance: @ 3 miles
  • Length of Time: 3+ hours
  • No portage
  • Flat water
  • Round trip
  • Motorboat access is allowed at north end of Upper Saranac Lake at Saranac Inn Boat Launch

Logistics

  • Public parking is available at the Spider Creek Access (across from Beaverwood Road) on Follensby Clear Pond (optional put in at Follensby Clear Pond across from Moss Rock Road)
  • Put in/take out at Spider Creek access on Follensby Clear Pond

The paddle

Launch from Spider Creek access point on Follensby Clear Pond and immediately go through the culvert that takes you into Spider Creek. You can choose to start at the other launch on Follensby Clear if you wish to extend the trip and paddle more on Follensby Clear Pond. 

Paddle down Spider Creek for a short distance until it opens up into Fish Creek Ponds. The channel to the left is lined with cottages leading into Fish Creek Bay on Upper Saranac Lake. You will pass through a large section with summer camps before the waterway opens up into Upper Saranac Lake. Whitney Point (left shore) is the former Great Camp of William Avery Rockefeller. It is now run as The Point, a Forbes 5 Star resort. 

Continue straight across the bay toward Buck Island, which has numerous campsites. Campsite 8 is on the more protected bay side with a nice rock to lounge on for a picnic or swim. To reach Saginaw Bay, continue past Buck Island to find three campsites on the left shore, with a lean-to at campsite 13. All of these are open for day use if unoccupied.

Recommended resource:  Adirondack Paddler’s Map: The Saranac Lakes

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