Second Pond to the Lower Locks

Second Pond to the Lower Locks on the Saranac River is a beautiful trip, and it is an easy paddle with lots of opportunities to observe wildlife. White waterlilies and yellow pond lilies can be found throughout, but are growing most densely in the area around the Lower Locks. It is a great trip for birding. It is common to see Great Blue Herons, Common Loons, Canada Geese, Black Ducks, mergansers, eagles, Osprey, and many other birds. There are also signs of beavers and otters, and other wildlife. There are several really nice campsites along the way that are great places to stop and picnic or swim if the sites are unoccupied. 

Getting there

Public parking is available at State Bridge Boat Launch (Second Pond/Saranac Islands Public Campgrounds)

By the numbers

  • Total distance: approximately 4.5 miles round trip
  • No portage
  • Flat water
  • Motorboat accessible


Put-in at State Bridge Boat Launch at the beach to the right of the motorboat ramp, then paddle to the right, down the Saranac River. The pond widens and then curves as you enter into a narrow channel that takes you to the electrically operated Lower Locks. Turn around at the Lower Locks and return the same way.

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