Saranac Lake NY

Saranac lake, New york
Saranac lake, New york

Saranac Lake NY is commonly recognized as one of New York State’s best small towns. The praise doesn’t end there, however. Saranac Lake is also widely considered to be one of the best small towns in the entire country, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation named it as one of their “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” in 2006. In addition to history, much of Saranac Lake’s allure lies in its location and its surroundings. You can find this inviting town within the mountainous confines of Adirondack Park, and famous Lake Placid is only seven miles away to the east. Also close to Saranac Lake are a number of other lakes, including the three lakes that share the town’s name – Lower Saranac Lake, Middle Saranac Lake, and Upper Saranac Lake. The smaller lake that the town borders is known as Lake Flower.

History & Historic Downtown

History & Historic Downtown
History & Historic Downtown  Image: LukeGordon1 (flickr)

The area that is now the town of Saranac Lake was first settled by Jacob Smith Moody and his family in 1819. Slow growth followed, partly fueled by the 1827 establishment of a logging facility by other settlers. The first school in Saranac Lake was built in 1838, and approximately 10 years later, the settlement had its first hotels. Many of the early visitors came to hunt and enjoy the woodlands atmosphere, and in the latter half of the 1800's, Saranac Lake became famous as a destination where people with tuberculosis could treat and maybe even cure their ailment. The town itself was incorporated in 1892. Adding substance to the history of Saranac Lake are its many famous visitors from the past. Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, Jack Dempsey, Albert Einstein, and a number of U.S. Presidents are just some of the famous characters who spent time in Saranac Lake. Some of the wealthiest families from times gone by also came to the Saranac Lake area and built grandiose family compounds that were known as Great Camps. Numerous historic buildings speak to the history of Saranac Lake, and many of the structures that are found in the town’s historic downtown district are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Outdoor Recreation

Outdoor Recreation
Outdoor Recreation  Image: holmestp (flickr)

Saranac Lake’s location among lakes, rivers, and the Adirondack Mountains helps to make it a prime destination for outdoor recreation. Boating, paddling, whitewater rafting, hiking, biking, and skiing are among the most popular pursuits among residents and visitors. The list of outdoor recreation options certainly doesn’t end there, however. Those who choose Saranac Lake as their New York vacation destination can also partake in such activities as birding, fishing, rock climbing, swimming, picnicking, ice skating, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing. If golf is your thing, you can hope to add that to the agenda as well. The Saranac Inn Golf Club is home to a splendid 18-hole course, and just outside of Saranac Lake in RayBrook is the fun 9-hole course at the Saranac Lake Golf Club.

Saranac Lake NY Hotels & Lodging

Saranac Lake NY Hotels & Lodging
Saranac Lake NY Hotels & Lodging  Image: ivyst (flickr)

Saranac Lake is a major hub of the Adirondack Park region. The town certainly attracts a healthy amount of visitors, and awaiting these visitors are numerous lodging options. Hotels, motels, and motor inns can be found in the village, and there are charming bed and breakfasts to choose from as well. Renting a rustic cottage or camping also figure among the Saranac Lake NY lodging options, and there are enticing area resorts to consider. As is true of the activity options, there are accommodations to suit virtually every taste and preference in Saranac Lake NY.

Top image: Alex1961 (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0

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