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Saranac Lake "Welcome Center"

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After dropping my mother off and settling her in, I went into Saranac Lake to have breakfast and poke around. This stately building at the heart of the business district is billed with big signs as the "Welcome Center". And sure enough, if you go in the main door, there's a small room on the left with an information desk and brochures for many of the attractions in the area. While I was there, a woman from The Wild Center (about 15 miles down the road in Tupper Lake) came in to see if they needed more brochures; she was doing the rounds of places in town which offered them.

*I* think it's the town hall, and known as such to the residents! I can't think of another municipal building which would be this fancy in a town as small as Saranac Lake.

I asked there about maps, but they didn't have anything. They did, however, send me down the street two doors to a place which was just opening - and there I found some treasures.

He couldn't find any "Scenic Routes" maps - I have a downloaded version, but haven't been able to find a printed copy. The proprietor sighed and said that it was a problem that the state no longer printed many of their maps.

However, he gave me a free "Adirondack Forest Preserve Map and Guide" published by the DEC. This compact map met one of my wi9shes - it had the whole Adirondacks on one map, and goes all the way to my town. It identifies all the principal roads and hamlets, many other relevant vacation features and, more interestingly to me, is printed in shaded relief, which gives a clear sense of the directions of mountain ranges, their relation to each other, and the lone peaks (which often offer the best views). It shows all the grants, tracts and state and local preserves.

Then he showed me the real prize - The Adirondack Paddler's Map, north and south. They're printed on waterproof paper, and, as suggested by the title, show all the waterway and lakes - but that's just the beginning. The North map goes from Cranberry Lake on the west to Lake Placid on the east, St. Regis Falls on the north to Long Lake on the south, and is 36" x 44", double-sided. It's full topographic, shaded to identify state and private land, and variants of public use. It shows every boat launch, canoe launch, portage, and every campsite from permit only to primitive to leanto. It also shows trails - some hikers buy it just for that. The real prize, though, is that is shows every back road in the Adirondacks - which don't show on most maps; it identifies which are private and where, which are seasonably accessible to the public, and even marks the location of gates on the roads!

I also bought the smaller (and cheaper) southern map, which includes the Old Forge Chain of Lakes, which is a famous canoe route in its own right, but is also the start of a Northeast Canoe Trail which ends in Maine.


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Ah - guess what? After exploring AdirondackAtlas, I discovered that you can add to the legend an amazing number of things, from fire towers, lean-tos, primitive campsites, water access (they.apparently don't distinguish boat launches) to historic sites, gas stations, ice cream stands, and even AT&T data coverage!


Suzy, I found another map site:

It has the whole Adirondacks in topo - just zoom in. It seems to have Parking areas, and most of the trails, but no campsites, boat launches, fire towers, etc.


Suzy, that same site - - offers a downloadable brochure you might be interested in - Adirondack Yesteryears. It has an Adirondack history timeline, and 13 regional maps marking and describing historic sites in those regions.


faster, this was just the morning. After the surgery, and learning it went well, I headed in the other direction for the 4+ hours they held Mom for observation. Tomorrow we'll get into that.


Thanks for taking us with you on your little trek. Looks like you came upon some great finds. All interesting, and a nice photo too! (✬‿✬) - Teresa


I'm still looking for the ADK "Adirondack North Country Region Road Map - Scenic Byways & Birding Guide", listed as "Adirondack Scenic Byways Roadmap" at, and downloadable from there. It's a road map - Syracuse to Burlington, the Canadian border to Albany, with all the Scenic Routes from the Seaway Trail to the Dude Ranch Trail (a 40-mile loop starting and ending in Lake George). On the other side is the same area with less road detail, but many recommended birding spots, along with campground designations etc.


You hit the mother lode of maps.