Saranac Lake is one of those rare places where there’s always something to do. No matter the weather, no matter the time of year. There’s no shortage of activity and no doubt it’ll be time well spent. Whether it’s an outdoor adventure or a slice of culture, Saranac Lake has four seasons of fun all within easy reach. Here are a few ways we keep ourselves entertained, no matter the season:
The Great Outdoors
Known all over the world for its picturesque mountains and shimmering lakes, the Adirondacks have drawn travelers to Saranac Lake for more than a hundred years. The very words ‘Saranac Lake’ are synonymous with world-class outdoor sports and recreation. We owe it all to the Adirondacks, where there’s always a mountain to ski, a peak to summit, a lake to paddle, or a trail to snowmobile. Saranac’s accessibility to a range of slopes, lakes, and trails make it possible for visitors of all ability levels to enjoy the outdoors or to explore a new activity.
And to those looking to nature for inspiration, there’s plenty of beauty to go around. Painters have visited the Adirondacks for generations, birders congregate during migration season, and some even find a little Zen Forest Bathing along the Adirondack River Walk.
For more more on skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, and other Saranac Lake pastimes, visit Saranac.com
Museums and Attractions
Saranac Lake has captured the imagination of visitors for hundreds of years, so there’s a lot of history and culture to explore here. Starting in the early 19th century, sportsmen began frequenting the Adirondacks for a share of its pristine hunting and fishing. These ‘rusticators’ established hunting camps and cabins and soon the first hotels followed, drawing visitors from all over, including notables like Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Winslow Homer and more.
Exhibits and collections on the history of the region can be found in the Adirondack History Museum and historic sites like the John Brown Farm. You can dive back even further back into history and learn about the earliest inhabitants of the region at the Six Nations Cultural Center where visitors can explore the legacy and lifestyles of the Iroquois Nations, whose Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora tribes first occupied this land.
Further into the 20th century, a new generation of sportsmen sought mountaineering and hiking opportunities in the great outdoors. The great outdoorsmen of the 20th century quite literally blazed new trails through the Adirondack wilderness on downhill skis, in hiking boots, and other implements of outdoor adventure. The Lake Placid Olympics Museum remembers the zenith of this athletic spirit, offering exhibits and artifacts from the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics which were both hosted in the Adirondacks.
At the same time, there was another type of visitor discovering the Adirondacks. Travelers seeking to swamp the filthy city air for the benefits of clean mountain air to cure illness or improve their health flocked to resort-like Sanatoriums and “Cure Cottages” like the Robert Louis Stevenson Cottage, where they stayed for treatments or to simply refresh themselves in the ‘healthful’ mountain air. The Saranac Laboratory Museum, run by the Saranac Lake Historical Society, offers exhibits on the region’s unique history as a health destination.
The Saranac Six
Count yourself among the ranks of the Saranac Six. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, hikers can be found challenging themselves on six Saranac-area peaks. Completion of all six earns you a lifetime membership to the Saranac Six, which includes a hiking patch, your name entered in the rolls, and the right to ring the bell on Berkley Green in downtown Saranac Lake. We mean it when we say four-seasons too. Different levels of achievement can be earned by hiking in winter months, or by hiking all six peaks in a single day. The six peaks, McKenzie, Scarface, Haystack, St. Regis, Baker, and Ampersand are all drivable from Saranac Waterfront Lodge. They present a variety of challenges, but are accessible to hikers of all skill level.
Arts + Entertainment
There’s always something on the schedule, no matter the season. The troupe at the The Pendragon Theater, for example, has kept Saranac Lake entertained with year-round professional productions for over 40 years. From small-cast musicals to family friendly shows and classics with a twist, this little theater has big personality and is Saranac Lake’s center stage. In addition to its seasonal program of professional shows, the theater also offers a variety of youth shows, camps, and playwright workshops.
Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is also an excuse to have some good old fashion fun. This historic winter celebration dates all the way back to 1897 and is known for parades, winter sports, parties, and the famous Ice Palace which is built just across Lake Flower from Saranac Waterfront Lodge. We’re proud to be the host for 2022 Winter Carnival’s Snow Ball and Royalty Dinner!
There’s also a great arts scene here. For hundreds of years, painters have flocked to capture the region’s natural splendor and to this day a bustling gallery scene continues to draw artists and art appreciators. Saranac Lake is home to the Adirondack Artists Guild and a variety of other art galleries that hold frequent and seasonal exhibitions.
Finally, guests love the Adirondack Carousel, which whirls ‘round and ‘round all year long.