Not only do the Adirondack Mountains boast an abundance of peaks to climb, but also streams, rivers, and lakes to paddle. Paddling a canoe or kayak down a backcountry stream on a warm, sunny day is an incredible opportunity to connect with the “Forever Wild” nature of the Adirondacks, giving you the ability to take in the sights and sounds of the flora and fauna in a very unobtrusive way. With roughly 8,000 miles of lakes and streams and hundreds of major lakes and ponds, the possibilities for paddling are nearly endless.
To make the most out of your Adirondacks experience, we here at ADKTrailMap.com have assembled a guide to help you have a safe and enjoyable journey while paddling. Remember to review this guide each time you pack for your trip to ensure that you don't leave anything behind.
The first stop for planning any paddling trip to New York's Adirondack Mountains should be to ADKTrailMap.com. From here you can plan your route by browsing the map; seeing where to park; finding put-in and take-out locations; and exploring an array of other outdoor recreation activities.
ADKTrailMap.com is also available on mobile devices with limited features. For full functionality on smartphones, download our free 'Adirondack Trails' app from the either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
Visit AdkTrailMap.com or open the Adirondack Trails app to see these routes on the map and for a complete list of paddling routes in the Adirondacks.
Held the weekend after Labor Day, the three- day, 90 mile Adirondack Canoe Classic is a paddling race starting in Old Forge, finishing in Saranac Lake. For more information or to find out how to register, visit:
Located near Old Forge, this 11 mile slow moving section of the Moose River provides abundant opportunities for wildlife viewing in a wilderness setting.
Enjoy this scenic lake in the Whitney Wilderness Area either as a day or overnight trip with a stayover at one of the numerous backcountry campsites (some of which are on small islands).
Located in the popular St. Regis Canoe Area (which is the only designated 'Canoe Area' in the DEC Forest Preserve), follow the Seven Carries route for a scenic paddling adventure that can be completed as a day trip or stay overnight at a primitive campsite on the route. Aside from the Seven Carries, the St. Regis Canoe Area has 50 ponds suitable for paddling.
Although you may be interested in visiting the Adirondacks to paddle on flatwater, plenty of opportunities for whitewater exist ranging from from family-friendly Class I ripples to intense Class V rapids. If you are new to whitewater, do not start without the help from experts. Instead, find one of the many paddling guides and/or outfitters that offer guided trips and tours for all levels of ability.
The vast majority of whitewater outfitters are located along the Hudson River and in the greater Hudson Valley. However, equipped and experienced whitewater paddlers can find also find opportunities throughout the Adirondack Park.
To ensure a positive experience, PRIOR to leaving, use our helpful checklist to make sure no stone is left unturned when packing for the trip.
In case of any emergency know the DEC Forest Ranger Adirondacks Emergency Phone Line: 518-891-0235
If you have cell service in the Adirondacks, dialing 911 may direct you to a 911 Dispatcher in a neighboring county or potentially even Vermont. If for any reason a 911 Dispatcher can not assist you, dial the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Phone Line. DEC Forest Rangers are highly trained emergency responders knowledgeable of the geography and subtleties of the Adirondack Mountains.