Birchbark Expeditions 
ADK Canoe Routes

Route Planning

A sample of some of the most popular routes that our BBX Guides have recommended for 4-5 day treks in the Adirondacks.   All these routes can be customized, extended, or shortened to match your crew’s skills – feel free to customize.  Details on the routes can be found in Adirondack Paddler’s Guide (4th Edition) and the Adirondack Paddlers Maps by Dave Cilley.  Copies are available from www.paddlesportspress.com

Crews are encouraged to design their own canoe route, with some considerations:

  • Routes can be on either flat water or moving water less than Class II. 
  • We recommend that routes generally will be no more than 6 hours or 10 miles in duration per day.
  • Consider building in a "layover day" mid-week, possibly with a side hike 
  • Custom routes must be reviewed by Birchbark Expeditions staff in advance.

Note that routes each have a Maximum Crew Size – dictated by the NYS DEC, accommodating the crew plus the guide.  Some also require permits for crews over 9 (including the guide).

Suggested Treks

Trek #




Cranberry Lake

Circumnavigate Cranberry Lake, camping and hiking along the way GPS Track

Put-in/Take-out Wanakena


Difficulty: Easy



Oswegatchie River to High Falls and Return

Easy twisty stream paddle through a very remote area.  Options for nice day hikes to High Falls, High Rock and Five Ponds.

Put-in: Inlet on Oswegatchie River

Oswegatchie River, High Falls and return.  GPS Track

Take-out: Inlet on Oswegatchie River

35 miles

2 Portages

Difficulty: Easy

Side hikes



Floodwood Loop – Saint Regis Wilderness

Put-in: Floodwood Pond Access

Fish creek, Follensby Clear Pond, Hoel Pond, Turtle Pond, Slang Pond, Long Pond, back to Floodwood Pond GPS Track

Take-out: Floodwood Pond Access

18 miles

6 Portages

Difficulty: Easy



Saint Regis Ponds Loop

Put-in: Floodwood Pond Access

Long Pond, Nellie Pond, Kit Fox Pond, Fish Pond, Ochre Pond, St. Regis Pond, Little Clear Pond, Hatchery Brook, Upper Saranac Lake, Fish creek Ponds, Follensby Clear Pond, Fish Creek, back to Floodwood Pond   GPS Track

Optional hike up Long Pond Mtn.  

Take-out Floodwood Pond Access

18-25 miles

10+ portages

Difficulty: Intermediate

Crew Max: 11

Permit Required



Oswegatchie Traverse

Put-in: Lowes Lower Dam Access

Hitchens Pond, Bog River, Low’s Lake, Big Deer Pond, Oswegatchie River  GPS Track

Take out: Inlet on the Oswegatchie River

35 miles

6 Portages

Difficulty: Intermediate-Difficult

Very Wild



Long Lake to Upper Saranac Lake

Put-in: Long Lake/Rte 30

Long Lake, Raquette River, Stony Creek, Upper Saranac GPS Track

Optional side hike to Ampersand Mountain GPS Track

ake out: North end of Saranac Lake (Saranac Inn)

40 miles

2 Portages

Difficulty: Intermediate-Difficult



Long Lake to Tupper Town

Put-in: Long Lake/Rte 30

Long Lake, Raquette River, Raquette Falls, Simon Pond, Tupper Lake  GPS Track

Can be extended by paddling further down Tupper Lake

Take-out: Tupper Lake Town Park

Extended version take-out: South end of Tupper Lake

44 miles (extend to 50 miles)

1 Portage

Difficulty: Intermediate-Difficult



Floodwood to Tupper Lake – Saint Regis and Saranac

Put-in: Floodwood Pond Access

Little Square, Fish Creek Ponds, Upper Saranac Lake, Stone Creek Ponds, Stony Creek and Raquette River to Tupper Lake.   GPS Track

Optional side hike to Ampersand Mountain GPS Track

Take-out: Moody Launch on Tupper Lake

30-45 miles

1 portage

Difficulty: Intermediate-Difficult




1) Camp sites on Middle and Lower Saranac Lake require reservations and additional fees.

2) Each area within the Adirondacks has a maximum number of persons per campsite, dictating the maximum crew size.  Double crews cannot camp within one mile of each other and must keep their distance while traveling. Permits are required for groups of 10 or more (double crews).

3) Any of the loop or flat-water routes can be reversed, allowing double crews to pass each other during a trek.