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Paddling in the Adirondacks

There’s nothing more satisfying and peaceful than dipping a paddle into a pure, pristine Adirondack lake, river or pond. More than 3,000 lakes and ponds, and more than 25,000 miles of rivers and streams flowing through the Adirondacks, making it a mecca for canoeing and kayaking. Discover the wilderness areas that offer backcountry paddling experiences, as well as the boat launches located right in our downtowns that connect to waterways that will put you in the middle of a lake, surrounded by the mountains, in no time.

kayak paddling in the Adirondacks

Paddling Safety Tips

No matter where, what, or how often you paddle in the Adirondacks, certain paddling safety measures should always be followed. Whether you’re going out for a couple of hours or a full day, make sure you bring the following essentials on your trip.

  • A properly fitted Personal Flotation Device (PFD) is a must for each member of your group. It’s not meant to be a seat cushion, either. The only way for it to help you is if you’re wearing it!
  • Pack plenty of water and snacks. Paddling works up an appetite, and staying hydrated is always important. Don’t rely on lake or river water for drinking, as they could contain harmful bacteria. Bring purified drinking water and, for longer trips, a purification system for filtering additional water.
  • Bring a dry bag to store food, extra clothes, electronics, and other gear. Not only does it save your stuff from dripping paddles, but it will also mitigate damage if you happen to flip!
  • As with any Adirondack adventure, a map should always be within reach. Unlike trails with markers, there are very few signs along waterways to assist with wayfinding. Knowing your route ahead of time and having a map to reference will prevent a lot of confusion and turnarounds.


paddling a canoe in the Adirondacks

Adirondack Paddling Resources

woman sitting in a canoe in the Adirondacks

Kayaking & Canoeing

whitewater rafting in the Adirondacks

Whitewater Rafting

yoga on a stand up paddleboard

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Discover Why Paddling is Good For You