Slow paddle to Oseetah
See the Adirondack Mountains From the Sky!
Searching for Spruce Grouse

Blogger Note: As the warmer weather descends upon the Adirondacks, I can't help but think of all the cool paddling adventures on the horizon. Of course, that has me thinking about all the cool paddling adventures I've had over the years. Here's one from the 2013 archives that I deem worthy of repeating. Soon. 

The last time I launched a kayak in Lake Flower, I had to carry over a dam and navigate a short bit of rapids before heading down the Saranac River to Bloomingdale with a tricky takeout just before we hit the bigger rapids. THAT was cool. But on this day, I was going in the opposite direction in an opposite manner; a cool, LEISURELY paddle to Oseetah Lake.  

I had heard (and seen) that Lake Flower can get choppy when it’s windy. It can also turn to skateable, ice-palace-making ice in winter.  On this day, however, it was VERY calm — a real treat for a casual outing on a beautiful early summer day.

Lake Flower boat launch

The New York State boat launch, located on Route 86, is a terrific place to launch, offering ramps and a grassy area that is ideal for canoe and kayak access to the lake.  

I was paddling with my cohort Nicole, who is very familiar with the area waterways as she and her husband own the Gauthier's Saranac Lake Inn, located right near the boat launch.  She confirmed that indeed, the lake can become wavy fairly quickly, and that it is a popular place for motorboats, who can also create plenty of waves themselves - as opposed to those of us in smaller, human-powered crafts. Despite the calm, welcoming water, we only spied one “jet ski”-type motor craft before we headed into the narrower waterway that connects to Oseeta Lake.  And he waved and courteously kept his wake to a minimum.

Once we made the turn from the bigger lake into the narrows, we remained close, but just inside of the buoys that indicate where it is safely deep enough to operate boats. This was smart: there are some hazards - rocks - very near that buoy line that are easily viewable when you’re as low to the water as we were. We were paddling with the urgency of...something that isn’t in a hurry. I believe I’ve heard it referred to as “lily dipping,” actually.

We stayed near the outside of the lane to make way for faster-moving boats. (Given our speed, that would include ALL other boats.) I wondered how busy it got in this section, and Nicole affirmed that it gets quite a lot of motorboat traffic. The narrow passage leads to Oseeta Lake and ultimately to Second Pond and the Saranac Lakes and beyond. However, it took a few minutes before we saw any motorboats, and they all adhered to the “no wake” rule and were very chatty. In fact, it reminded me of walking on Main Street in Saranac Lake or the fitness trail in my mother’s retirement village; we were EXPECTED to wave and say something cheery.  

Paddle to Oseeta Lake

The narrow channel takes a few turns, affording us varying views that include the High Peaks as well as nearby Saranac Lake 6er mountains.

We turned around near the beginning of Oseetah Lake, a mere 3 miles and 17 hours after we launched, and returned at a slightly faster clip. The water remained calm, though on our return to Lake Flower a light breeze had churned up small waves, but nothing that affected our tracking.

This out-and-back is a great, short paddle with outstanding views and no hills. On this calm, leisurely day, it felt like a stroll down another welcoming, Adirondack main street where everyone is friendly; only the retail and restaurants are replaced by a few lakeside homes, interesting flora, curious wildlife, and stunning views.  
Here’s some more info about the route.
And here's a photo of a map!

Lake Flower map

-Kim Rielly is the director of communications for the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism. 

This week in related Spring Happenings:

Hello, you pretty thing

Backcountry birds

Here a fish, there a fish

Down on one knee

Farm to market to you

Gushing into spring

Deep water, big fish

Author:Kim Rielly
See the Adirondack Mountains From the Sky!
Searching for Spruce Grouse

E-Newsletter Signup Form

Upcoming Events

Friday, February 28th, 2020
Addison Bickford and Ben Hamelin take the Wednesday night jam out for a Friday night jaunt!
Saturday, February 29th, 2020
The upcoming date less then 1 day.
Join the Saranac Lake Farmers' Market at the historic Hotel Saranac hotel for its fall-winter season. As you walk through the doors you will be immediately greeted by a vibrant indoor market...

Recent Blog Posts...

Friday, February 28th, 2020
Andrea Kilbourne-Hill was born and raised in Saranac Lake, and is now doing the same with her own family. But between those bookends, Kilbourne-Hill has earned a degree from Princeton and a silver...
Friday, February 14th, 2020
  When the snow is right, there is nothing better than a snowshoe hike up a mountain. And Saranac Lake has a few options that will satisfy any snowshoer. Looking in all directions just north...
Earn Your Patch There’s an adventurous spirit in all of us. In Saranac Lake, you can answer that call by becoming a Saranac Lake 6er.
Unplug Outdoors The mountains, rivers, and lakes bordering Saranac Lake aren’t just for show, and those boots on everyone’s feet aren’t a bold new fashion statement.
Enter to Win Sample Saranac Lake with this getaway package. Enter now!
Sign up for our weekly newsletter.
Interested In
Sign Me Up!