D E C banner
D E C banner


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Saranac Lake Islands Campground

tent campingpicnic areatrailer boat launchfirewood saleshikingfishingboatingmotor boatingicon key

saranac lake islands campground location map
Watch a clip about camping at the Saranac Lake Islands and check out other clips on DEC's YouTube Channel.

Campground Map PDF File (658 KB)

Firewood Restriction Map || (PDF file, 1 MB) View map showing 50-mile radius from which untreated firewood may be moved to this campground. For more information see firewood restrictions.

This boat access only campground is located on Lower and Middle Saranac Lake.

a girl in a kayak at sunset

The Lower Saranac Lake Islands provide miles and miles for boater recreation and direct access to four other lakes, through a set of locks which allow your vessel to be raised or lowered to the right water level. Coupled with the ability to camp on selected island sites, being able to fish for your dinner, after hours of water skiing might make you never want to leave. Due to limited parking, campers may be required to use municipal lots in the Saranac Lake Village. When parking at the State Bridge location, you must prominently display your permit or camping document.


87 campsites (5 with lean-to's), outhouses, boat launch, 5 day-use sites, firewood sales.

accessible features

Accessible Features

2 campsites with accessible privy, picnic table, tent pad and grill. The accessible features of each site are connected by stone dust paths. Shoreline access is provided with trailhead landings to accommodate a ramp-equipped, flat-bottom pontoon boat. Full listing of DEC's Accessible Recreation Destinations.

Featured Activities

motor boating


sunset of blues and purples over the water

Motor boats, rowboats, and canoes allowed.



Fish present include: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch, bullhead, and pickerel.



Extensive hiking trails nearby for both the experienced and inexperienced hiker. Saranac Lakes Wild Forest is to the north of the campground and High Peaks Wilderness Area is to the south.


State Bridge Boat Launch Site - Route #3, leave Tupper Lake going east, approximately 17 miles. Located on right side of the road, sign provided at the entrance.

From Saranac Lake, take Route #3, west approximately 6 miles.

Get driving directions from Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Planning and Management

The Final Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the campground guides the DEC's land management activities at this facility for a five-year period, although a number of goals and objectives in the plan focus on a much longer time period. The UMP addresses specific objectives and actions for public use at this facility.

For more information regarding the UMP for this facility please contact the Bureau of Recreation, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY12233, Telephone 518 457-2500, and email for campground information

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

sun shining through the trees

DEC campground rules and regulations

Campground frequently asked questions

Clean your boat and equipment - help prevent the spread of aquatic invasives

Don't move firewood - help prevent of spread of invasive insects

Hiking safety tips

Additional Information

Area Attractions

sunset over the lake behind a kayak

There are a number of golf courses and horseback riding facilities nearby. The state operated Adirondack Fish Hatchery is about nine miles distance. The Adirondack Visitor Interpretive Center, which is located on Route 30 about twelve miles west of the campground complex, is a nature center and visitor information center with tour and travel information. The nearby villages of Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, and Lake Placid offer a good variety of restaurants, gift shops and shopping areas. Antique shops are scattered throughout the vicinity and area attractions are numerous.

Historic Interest

Lower Saranac Lake and Middle Saranac Lake combine to make the Saranac Lake Islands Public Campground. Development of this facility began in 1934, when a boathouse and cabin were built at Crescent Bay. Prior to 1894 the public was able to lease state owned properties and establish platform type camps on the lower lake. In 1974 all leases had expired and the Department of Environmental Conservation went about the task of ensuring that all platforms and structures were removed.

Lower Saranac Lake soon became a popular primitive camping area and 62 sites were designated for overnight camping. Each site was equipped with a fireplace, picnic table and outhouse, and a basic fee was charged for use. In 1992 the 25 sites on Middle Saranac Lake were added to the inventory, making a total of 87 sites.