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Saint Regis Canoe Area

Including the Saint Regis Fire Tower Historic Area

hikingfire towerpaddlinghuntingprimitive campinglean-tohuntingtrappingbikinghorseback ridingsnowshoeingcross-country skiingparkinghand launchhand launchicon key

Maps depicting location of the St. Regis Canoe Area in the Adirondack Park

The 18,400-acre Saint Regis Canoe Area is the only designated Canoe Area in New York State. The number and proximity of lakes and ponds offer numerous remote and unconfined paddling opportunities in a wilderness setting. Saint Regis Mountain is a popular hike and the summit, with its signature fire tower, can be seen from most waters within the canoe area.

Backcountry Information for the Northern Adirondacks provides general information regarding backcountry and seasonal conditions; specific notices regarding closures and conditions of trails, roads, bridges and other infrastructure; and links to weather, state land use regulations, low impact recreation and more.

Featured Activities



General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

There are 26 miles of hiking trails in the Saint Regis Canoe Area, many of the trails are canoe carries between ponds.

View from summit of St. Region Mountain
View from the summit St. Regis Mountain

Saint Regis Mountain (2,874 feet) - The trail ascends more than 1,200 feet and 3.4 miles from the trailhead to summit. The summit provides views of much of the northern Adirondacks and the many waters of the canoe area and nearby.

Long Pond Mountain (2,530 feet) - The trailhead is located on the shores of Long Pond and can only be reached by paddling from one of the two hand launch sites on the pond. The trail ascends 930 feet and 1.5 miles from the trailhead to the mountain's summit. The trail passes Mountain Pond and its designated primitive campsite at the 0.6-mile mark.

Fish Pond Truck Trail - The 4.7-mile Fish Pond Truck Trail and its 2 miles of spur trails, provide access to Bone Pond, Saint Regis Pond, Grass Pond, Ochre Pond, Mud Pond and Fish Pond. The trail ascends only 200 feet between the trailhead and the high point in the center of the trail. The spur trail to St. Regis Pond is known as the St. Regis Pond Truck Trail.

Fire Tower

fire tower

General information on fire towers includes historic and current uses of fire towers and links to other locations with fire towers.

The 35-foot tall Aeromotor LS-40 fire tower on the summit of Saint Regis Mountain was built in 1919. The fire tower was staffed by an observer to watch for and report fires in the surrounding forests until 1990. It is considered the longest-operating fire observation station in New York State.

Today, the tower is visible from the nearby hamlets Paul Smiths, Brighton, Gabriels and Lake Clear and has become popular among locals and visitors alike who regard it as a welcome part of the landscape. After decades of being closed, DEC and the Friends of Saint Regis Mountain Fire Tower are restoring the fire tower so it can be open to the public.



General information on paddling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

The Saint Regis Canoe Area is a popular destination for paddling with 50 ponds totaling 1,621 acres and varying in size from a 0.5-acre unnamed pond to 388-acre St. Regis Pond. Canoes and kayaks can access the water at Long Pond, Upper St. Regis Lake, Hoel Pond and Little Clear Pond.

A canoe on Long Pond
Canoe on Long Pond

A popular canoe trip is the Seven Carries. This route travels from Little Clear Pond to Lower Saint Regis Lake. It passes through St. Regis Pond, Green Pond, Little Long Pond, and Bear Pond.

The Nine Carries is another popular canoe route. There are a number of variations of this route that passes through Fish Pond and connects two of three waters - Long Pond, Hoel Pond, or Little Clear Pond. Along the way the route passes through Nellie Pond, Little Long Pond, St. Regis Pond and/or Ochre Pond.

Paddlers should be aware that some of the canoe carries may be in rough condition. The trails may become blocked by blow down or beaver dams. Some of the trails and canoe takeouts are muddy and rough. It is difficult to use wheeled canoe carriers on many of the trails.

A section of the canoe carry about half way between Long Pond and Nellie Pond has been flooded by beavers. This will require a short paddle across the beaver pond.


primitive camping

General information on backcountry camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

There are 70 designated primitive tent sites along the shores of 20 of the ponds in the canoe area.

All designated primitive tents sites, campsites and lean-tos are available on a first come - first served basis and cannot be reserved. Designated campsites are marked with a yellow "Camp Here" disc. Designated tent sites are for tents only. Tents or small campers can use designated campsites. There are no hook-ups for water or electricity at campsites.

The larger waters have multiple sites while some smaller ponds have only one site. Most all of the sites can only be accessed by paddling.

Pond surrounded by forest

The site on Mountain Pond requires paddling and hiking to access it. While certain sites on Fish Pond, Grass Pond, Ochre Pond and Saint Regis Pond may be accessed via spur trails off the Fish Pond Truck Trail.

Two lean-tos are located on Fish Pond and there is a lean-to on Saint Regis Pond

There are 10 campsites on the shores of Little Green Pond, nine of which are actually located in the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest. Nine of the campsites are road side drive-up sites which can accommodate tents or small self-sufficient campers. The last site is a walk up primitive tent site. All the sites are available on a first come basis, and the general regulations for camping permits apply. A special camping permit is no longer required.

A number of designated primitive road side campsites are located along nearby Floodwood Road, one on the main roads used to access the canoe area.

DEC's Fish Creek Pond Campground and Rollins Pond Campground are located adjacent to the wilderness. Allowing those who like some additional comforts to camp there and take day trips into the canoe area.



General information on fishing includes fishing tips with links to seasons, rules and regulations. You can ensure of continued good fishing opportunities in the future by fishing responsibly. If you have never been fishing but want to try, it's easy to learn how to fish.

Two Native Windfall Strain Brook Trout on the ground
Native Windfall Strain Brook Trout

The St. Regis Canoe area is renowned for its Adirondack brook trout fishing in a wilderness setting. Fishing ranks as one of the more popular activities with anglers seeking high quality early spring brook trout pond fishing.

Anglers may use the same trailheads and trails as hikers, the same hand launches as paddlers and the same camp sites as campers to access and fish these waters.

Twenty of the waters contain brook trout and other cold water lakes support fishable populations of lake trout and splake. Brook trout populations in several waters are maintained through annual stocking. The remaining waters with brook trout are maintained by natural spawning.

Slang Pond, Turtle Pond and Long Pond are fished by anglers seeking largemouth and smallmouth bass. Bass and northern pike are also found in the Saint Regis Chain Lakes that border the canoe area.

Fishing is prohibited on Little Green Pond and Little Clear Pond which serve as brood stock waters.

The Adirondack Fish Hatchery is located just outside the canoe area on Fish Hatchery Road. The road is used to access a number of parking areas for hand launch sites. The hatchery has an indoor visitor center with a pool containing salmon, a monitor showing brood fish in a pond, and other exhibits on fish propagation.

Adirondack/Lake Champlain Fishing provides information on fishing in the Adirondacks and links to top fishing waters, stocking lists, public fishing access and waters open to ice fishing listed by county.

Help Protect Native Adirondack Fish; populations of brook trout, round whitefish and other native Adirondack fish species have severely declined due to introduced fish.

Hunting & Trapping


General information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules and regulations

All the lands and waters within the Saint Regis Canoe Area are open to hunting and trapping. Hunters and trappers may use the parking areas, roads, seasonal access roads, trailheads, and trails used by hikers, and hand launches used by paddlers to access the lands and waters in this area.

Big game hunting is a popular activity, particularly near easily accessible locations such as Keeses Mills Road, Fish Pond Truck Trail, and Floodwood Road areas.

The pursuit of white-tailed deer and black bear mostly occurs around the perimeter of the canoe area, however, some hunters seek a more wilderness experience. Camping permits can be obtained from the local Forest Ranger for periods of a week or more so that people may camp on and hunt around interior ponds.

Trappers seek beaver, muskrats, mink and other fur bearing mammals in the canoe area during their respective trapping seasons.

Horseback Riding

horseback riding
St. Regis Pond with trees in the background and clouds
St. Regis Pond

General information on horseback riding includes safety tips and rules and regulations.

Horses can be ridden on the Fish Pond Truck Trail and the Saint Regis Pond Truck Trail. Horse drawn wagons are used by some during fishing or hunting seasons in order to transport supplies and equipment. However, there are no facilities or improvements for horses.

Only one horse and wagon group is allowed to access trail system at a time. Contact the DEC Lands & Forests office in Ray Brook (518-897-1291) prior to using horses in the canoe area.

Mountain Biking


General information on mountain biking includes how-to and safety tips with links to rules and regulations.

Electric bicycles (E-bikes) of any class are not allowed on trails and roadways where public motorized access is prohibited.

Bicycles are allowed on the 4.7 mile Fish Pond Truck Trail from Little Green Pond to Fish Pond. Bicycles are also allowed to use the spur trail to Saint Regis Pond, known as the Saint Regis Pond Truck Trail.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross-country skiing

General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on all hiking trails.

The 4.7 mile Fish Pond Truck Trail from Little Green Pond to Fish Pond is one of the primary ski routes.

Once the ponds are frozen and snow covered side trails off the truck trail provide several loop routes that cross Saint Regis Pond, Ochre Pond or Fish Pond and connect through Little Clear Pond.


loon on a lake

General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

Although there are no facilities developed for viewing wildlife, like any place in the Adirondacks you are likely to see wildlife on these lands.

The Adirondacks contain large tracts of wildlife habitat with some boreal, bog, alpine and other unique habitats. Many species of birds and mammals are unique to the Adirondacks or are mainly found here. More than 50 species of mammals and hundreds of species of birds inhabit or pass through the Adirondacks at one time of the year or another so it is not unlikely to catch site of wildlife during your trip.

More information on Adirondack Flora and Fauna (Leaves DEC Website) from the SUNY ESF Adirondack Ecological Center.

You can protect wildlife and wildlife habitat when viewing them.

Wildlife Found in the Adirondacks

Accessible Recreation

Access for people with disabilities

General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.

An accessible primitive tent site is located off Keese Mills Road, two miles west of the trailhead for Saint Regis Mountain. A hardened path from an accessible parking area is used to reach the campsite. The site is hardened allowing use of wheeled and other mobility assistance devices and a raised fire ring is available for campfires.


Pond with a canoe on it.

The Saint Regis Canoe Area can be accessed from a number of parking areas. All roads accessing the canoe intersect with State Route 30. All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using the NAD83/WGS84 datum.

  • Floodwood Road Parking Areas
    • Floodwood Crossing Parking Area requires a 1.1-mile carry to the hand launch site on Long Pond (44.3392° N, 74.4053° W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
    • Long Pond Parking Area requires a 0.3 mile carry to the hand launch site on Long Pond (44.3466° N, 74.4215° W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
    • Hoel Pond Hand Launch Parking Area is outside the canoe area, as is the pond itself. Paddler must pass through a culvert under the railroad track embankment to access Turtle Pond or carry over the embankment if water levels prohibit passage through the culvert. The parking is located at the end of a rough dirt road just past the Saranac Inn Golf Course. (44.3469° N, 74.3444° W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Fish Hatchery Road Parking Areas
    • Little Clear Pond Hand Launch Parking Area is located on the southwest shore of Little Clear Pond (44.3554° N, 74.2921° W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
    • Fish Pond Truck Trail Parking Area (44.3554° N, 74.3037° W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
    • Little Green Pond Parking Area (44.3592° N, 74.2946° W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Town of Harrietstown Boat Launch is located on the southeast shore of Upper Saint Regis Lake off Saint Regis Carry Road. Paddlers must cross the lake and paddle up Bear Pond Outlet to access the canoe area. (44.3951° N, 74.2698° W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • St. Regis Mountain Trailhead Parking Area is located on Keeses Mills Road. (44.4321° N, 74.3001° W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Rules, Regulations, and Outdoor Safety

All users of the St. Regis Canoe Area must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Practice Leave No Trace (leaves DEC website) principles when recreating in the Adirondacks to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts other backcountry users.

Planning and Management

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the 2006 Saint Regis Canoe Area Unit Management Plan (UMP) (PDF) and the 2014 Saint Regis Fire Tower Historic Area UMP (PDF, 8 MB). In addition to management objectives, the UMPs contain detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural & human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

Nearby Areas, Amenities, Attractions, and Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Gas may be found in the nearby communities of Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and Gabriels.

Food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, and Gabriels.

Dining opportunities can be found in the nearby communities of Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and Lake Clear.

Lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Santa Clara, and Lake Clear.

Adirondack Regional Tourism Council (leaves DEC website), Adirondacks Lakes Region (leaves DEC website), Franklin County Tourism (Leaves DEC Website) and Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce (Leaves DEC Website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.