Our gorgeous fall season brings special events which embrace many of Saranac Lake's favorite things. Exploring nature, our love of art, music, and drama, and our amazing history all combine to create a wonderful experience.
From morning until night, there's the special crispness of fall air and the technicolor glory of our marvelous autumn season. We not only have the right mix of trees for maximum color, we have the perfect frame for this picture: our rugged mountains and crystalline lakes.
Come celebrate this season with us!
love of nature
Be at the finish line when the determined paddlers of the Adirondack Canoe Classic come into the Lake Flower docks. Also known as the 90-Miler, it will take place from September 9-11 this year. Don't miss the spectacular ending as up to 275 canoes, guideboats, kayaks, and even the occasional "war canoe" pull up at the downtown lakeshore.
This three-day, 90-mile, camping & canoe race has drawn competitors from as far away as New Zealand to "paddle in the wake" of this area's earliest routes; the waterways of the Adirondack region. Beginning in Old Forge, the competitors camp each night and follow the 5.25 miles of carries included in that 90 miles.
This chain of lakes, rivers, and carries were popularized by Adirondack guides as a wilderness journey for their guests. It also serves as the beginning of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Every fall since 1983, enthusiasts recreate (with modern equipment) the journey through the same forests.
For some, it doesn't matter how fast they finish. The point is the journey. Often it is several generations of a family, or a wilderness-loving group, as much as it is real racers looking for a serious challenge.
It takes the Moose River through the Fulton Chain of Lakes, and then on to scenic Raquette Lake. This leads to Forked Lake, Long Lake and the Stony Creek Ponds, and the Indian Carry to Upper Saranac Lake, location of many of the most storied and elaborate compounds of the Great Camp Era. Then they take Bartletts Carry — for so long the only route from Upper to Middle Saranac Lake, and on through Lower Saranac Lake and the rest of the Saranac Chain of Lakes, for a triumphant landing in Lake Flower.
If we aren't quite ready for that epic journey, we can start off more easily with the Tuesday Night Kayak Tours. Bring your own boat or rent one at the docks.
Follow along as experienced guides share their favorite routes along Lake Flower with its many camps, Oseetah Lake with some of the most beautiful shorelines and rugged bluffs, and the forest preserves along Kiwassa Lake. They happen every Thursday into October.
For those who want to keep their feet on the ground, choose from Paul Smith's College VIC mushroom nature walks.
indulge in the arts
Our Artist At Work Studio Tours now have expanded event dates to reflect their popularity. This is when our local artists open up their studios for visitors.
Over thirty artists participate, and their work ranges from painting and photography, ironwork and woodcarvings, pottery and ceramics, to quilting, fiber arts, and jewelry. This is their opportunity to discuss their work, share new directions, and often, feature studio specials which give us an opportunity to indulge at a discount.
It makes for a fantastic group outing, whether we are artists ourselves, or just appreciators.
There's also the Third Thursday Art Walks which fill our historic downtown with sidewalk artists, musicians, and general festivity. Last one this year is September 15th.
We don't neglect music or drama, either. Thursdays also feature the Free Party on the Patio at the Waterhole, a beloved summer and fall tradition, with many popular bands, both local and regional.
The fall drama at Pendragon Theatre this year is Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie. This classic of the American Theater has only four actors and features deep feeling and the interplay of reality and memory. This technique was pioneered by the playwright in this, his first amazing success, which went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1945. The play will run through October 9th.
Seek out all of our live entertainment.
explore our history
Fall is a beautiful time to experience a White Pine Camp Tour. This classic Great Camp was the scene of many interesting historical events, and influenced architecture throughout the Adirondacks. It was also the Summer White House of Calvin Coolidge in 1926.
The tour takes visitors through the many different buildings of White Pine, a common, early approach to the dangers of fire. Instead of many different rooms in a large building, this practical design gave each room a building.
There are also unusual places, like the game and bowling building with its self-propelled ball return, the long scenic walkway to the original boathouse, and the lovely Japanese teahouse on its own island — a iconic, much photographed, symbol of White Pine Camp.
Explore Saranac Lake's unique cure history with a variety of historical walking tours. The Trudeau Sanitarium Tour and the Historic Downtown Walking Tour are full of stories and interesting architecture.
Every Saturday, from 9am to 2pm, there's the glorious Saranac Lake Village Farmers' Market. The lovely lakeside setting, in Riverside Park, is a short distance from the boat dock and our walkable downtown. There's treats and artisan crafts along with the tasty farm items for sale.
No one need walk away hungry or empty-handed. That could be our motto around here.