Autumn in Saranac Lake may be a paddler's dream, with no bugs, fewer crowds, and water stretching from downtown out as far as the eye can see. But land-based adventurers will find more than enough to fill their time, whether hitting the hiking trails or seeking out a sweet flow on a mountain bike.
The village of Saranac Lake is situated in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, with the famed High Peaks nearby and countless trails to waterfalls, remote ponds, scenic vistas, and historic sites. Whether you're a first-time hiker or wrapping up the 46 High Peaks, there is a hike that is perfect nearby.
From the short and flat Moose Pond trail to the long and steep McKenzie Mountain, the hiking in the Saranac Lake region is unparalleled. For a more cultivated experience, make the quick drive to the Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center and check out the nature trails and a huge variety of birds and wildlife.
6er hiking challenge
If you're the kind of hiker that likes a challenge, or just want a unique souvenir to commemorate your trip, then check out the Saranac Lake 6er hiking challenge. Comprised of a half-dozen mountains, all within a short drive of downtown, the 6er challenge will bring you to the summits of some of the area's most spectacular peaks.
From Mount Baker right in the village, to the century-old fire tower atop St. Regis Mountain, the 6er peaks are a great way to experience the outdoors. If you're really dedicated, try to finish all six peaks, including safe drive time, in 24 hours to earn the coveted "Ultra" designation. Climb one or climb them all, and if you do climb them all, be sure to ring the 6er bell in Berkeley Green park downtown!
The Adirondacks are known for a lot of things, and quiet, winding country roads are one of the most popular features. While they may pose a driving challenge in winter, in summer the roads become a cyclist's ideal retreat. With loops galore bringing you right back into town, bringing your road bike will be well worth it on a trip to Saranac Lake.
Follow alongside a bubbling stream, stop for a cone of soft serve with sprinkles along the way, or find some hills for a real challenge! It doesn't matter if you're training for a 100-mile race or a family out for an evening joy ride, road cycling in Saranac Lake is hard to beat.
The opportunities for getting off the road on two wheels are almost as numerous as the road cycling options! Just about a mile from downtown is the town-owned Dewey Mountain Recreation Center. Home to snowshoe and cross-country ski races and family fun all winter, the trails are open to the public for mountain biking all summer! Gentle uphills and tons of options make Dewey the perfect place for families.
There are also 5 miles of trails at Mount Pisgah on the other side of town, where wintertime brings tubing, skiing, and riding, and the historic Bloomingdale Bog Trail runs more than 10 miles out of town and through one of the largest boreal bogs in New York. Following a long-abandoned railroad bed, the bog trail is great for biking bird watchers and those looking for unique vistas.
While paddling and water sports in a town with "lake" right in the name may take center stage during the warmer months, the land adventures to be had all summer in Saranac Lake will make for an unforgettable stay!