Springtime in the Adirondacks is a lovely time of year, but it can be a challenge to take part in paddling, hiking, or other outdoor pursuits. Sometimes there’s ice, sometimes there’s snow, sometimes there’s mud. One never really knows. Luckily, while the state asks people to stay off high-elevation trails during mud season, there are a number of trails that typically offer better conditions early in the year.
Another activity that outdoor enthusiasts can consider is trail running. Sure, it’s just running on trails, but it’s a new and fun experience that doesn’t require a mountain or skis to be great. Trail running is already popular with Saranac Lakers, with some locals regularly competing in national ultra-marathons and the like.
With the combination of questionable trail conditions and suggestions to say on low elevation trails, trail running in the Saranac Lake area is a great spring workout.
Fish Pond Truck Trail
For a remote experience, head a few miles out of town to the St. Regis Canoe Area. While the only designated canoe area in New York is managed mostly for it’s dozens and dozens of ponds, there are some wonderful trails that penetrate the area as well.
The main trail is the Fish Pond Truck Trail, which goes 4.7 miles to--you guessed it--Fish Pond. There is a lean-to near the end of the trail that is great to rest at, but keep an eye on your food as the mice will most certainly try to get a free lunch. There are also great views of Fish Pond, and short spur trails lead to Grass, Ochre, and St. Regis ponds if you want to add a little mileage to the 9.4-mile round-trip.
Located between Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake, the trail to Raquette Falls is popular for skiing in winter and walks in the summer. The trail is 8.5 miles round-trip, with relatively minimal elevation change. However, it is remote, rough, and regularly goes up and down, so it’s not just some boring trot.
If you’re planning on coming up later in the year when the weather is warm, this trail is amazing because of the mid-run foot and leg soak that can be enjoyed in the Raquette River. There are outhouses near the falls and more than enough rock to chill out on as well.
Bloomingdale Bog Trail
The Bloomingdale Bog Trail is an old railroad bed that’s main use these days is for snowmobiling, gravel biking, and walking. But the trail, which starts just a couple of miles from Saranac Lake, offers unique views and habitats, as well as a number of places to turn around.
The trail runs for 8.25 miles from the outskirts of Saranac Lake to Vermontville, making a 16.5-mile round-trip. But along the way, there are a handful of road crossings, so if you’re looking for a shorter run then just go to one of the roads or scenic bridges and then head back.
In addition to the three trail above, there are awesome road running routes in and around Saranac Lake, whether you’re training for Ironman or a casual jogger. Either way, Saranac Lake is a great place to explore any time of year!