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Saranac Lake Islands Campground & Day Use Area

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saranac lake islands campground location map
  • Dates of Operation:
    • Opening Date: May 19
    • Closing Date: September 10
  • Camping Fee: $22 per night (out of state residents surcharge additional $5 per night)
  • Address: 4468 State Route 3, Saranac Lake, NY 12983 (directions below)
  • County: Franklin
  • GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude): 44 17 17.35087N, 074 11 06.54704W
  • Campground Phone: (518) 891-2841
  • Regional Office Phone: (518) 897-1309
  • Make Your Camping Reservation: ReserveAmerica
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Check out the virtual tour for this facility!

Saranac Lake Islands Campground & Day Use Area Map (PDF) || DECinfo Locator

Watch a clip about camping at the Saranac Lake Islands and check out other clips on DEC's YouTube Channel.

Firewood Restriction Map (PDF) shows the 50-mile radius from which untreated firewood may be moved to this campground. Help prevent the spread of invasive pests and diseases by following New York's firewood regulation.

Support DEC Campgrounds

Members of the public can support DEC lands, facilities, and programs through our charitable partner, the National Heritage trust (NHT). Online giving is simple and secure and fully tax-deductible. Donations to NHT directly support projects and programs that enhance facilities, expand access to outdoor recreation and environmental education, provide public land access, and protect natural resources. Donate here (leaves DEC website).

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

person entering a canoe

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.

Campsite Restoration Project

This campground has sites that have been selected for restoration. While undergoing restoration the chosen sites will be closed. For the list of sites and more information on the project visit the Campsite Restoration Project page.

Featured Activities

motor boating


kayak on shoreline of lake

Motor boats, rowboats, and canoes allowed.



Fish present include: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch, bullhead, and pickerel. Fishing licenses are no longer being sold at any of our campground facilities, but can be conveniently purchased on-line or by phone.



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)

sunset through trees over lake

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

DEC campground rules and regulations

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

shoreline of lake with trees behind

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.