-- Last Updated: Aug-17-12 11:53 PM EST --
spent a week in Lake Placid and surrounding areas kayaking, hiking and sightseeing. suggest you pick up the Adirondack Paddlers Guide (Cilley) and accompanying waterproof map.
I paddled Lower Saranac (on a weekday, when few others were there) and it was lots of fun exploring the islands and checking out the campsites. there are some nice picnic spots for lunch on Bluff Island, including at the top of the 70-ft cliff. I also chose the Raquette River from Axton Landing up to the falls and back, and the St. Regis lakes (Upper St. Regis access thru Spitfire to Paul Smiths on Lower St. Regis and back). All three very enjoyable trips.
Some other day trips I would recommend investigating in that general area:
* Middle Saranac - South Creek access, explore up into Weller Pond and back. or, take the trip down the Saranac River thru the lock to First Pond access on Lower Saranac, if you have a shuttle.
* go "round the mountain" (Dewey Mt) from Lake Flower down thru Oseetah, Second Pond, First Pond then up to Ampersand Bay on the north end of Lower Saranac. it's close enough to walk to complete the loop.
* Rainbow Lake/Clear Pond, including the Inlet/Flow area. on the north side you can also explore the Narrows and the Middle Branch Saranac.
* Raquette River from Axton or the Crusher access down to Tupper Lake. Also, from Axton exploring up into the Stoney Creek ponds. (the dirt road to Axton Landing is on the rough side, you need a vehicle with decent ground clearance.)
* the Chubb River (access from Averyville Rd and paddle south) is supposed to be interesting, a couple of short portages are involved. might be low this time of year though.
* West Branch Ausable is also low but appeared paddleable from the access on River Rd. (Rt. 21) to Monument Falls access off Rt. 86. I scouted it out and it runs through some pretty countryside, but didn't appeal to me since it parallels the road the whole time.
* in Lake Placid itself you could do a warmup paddle on Mirror Lake, there's access from the little park on the south end.