Guide To Paul Smiths Waterfront Properties

Paul Smiths

Traveling northwest out of the Saranac Lake New York Region, opportunities for waterfront living and water-based adventure continue to be plentiful throughout the Paul Smiths area. A wide variety of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams provide ample opportunity for water activities and exploration. Canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and other water pastimes are enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. Some of the lakes of the Paul Smiths region also feature classic Adirondack Great Camps. These majestic properties offer up a piece of history with classic Adirondack architecture and immaculate details throughout.

Paul Smiths Region Lakes

Upper & Lower St. Regis

Upper St. Regis Lake is a 742 acre lake found in Paul Smiths, NY. This lake became notable in the late 19th century when wealthy American elites began to visit the area due to its beauty. It became the site for many summer cottages that are known as Great Camps. These camps consist of multiple buildings including sleeping, dining, and game cabins.

Lower St. Regis Lake is a 350 acre lake also found in Paul Smiths, NY. This lake was also popular with the late 19th century elite, where more camps were built to enjoy the natural beauty of the Adirondacks.

Both of these lakes are part of the St. Regis Chain of Lakes that also includes Spitfire Lake. Paddlers and anglers can enjoy full days on the water as Upper St. Regis Lake flows into Spitfire Lake then into Lower St. Regis Lake.

During the summer months, these lakes provide amazing boating, paddling, fishing and some camping throughout the chain. During the winter months when the lake is frozen, locals and visitors can be seen snowmobiling, ice fishing and cross country skiing.

Spitfire Lake

250 acre Spitfire Lake is located in between Upper and Lower St. Regis Lakes. This lake is home to some of the most grand Great Camps built by late 19th century elites. Much of the shoreline on this lake is privately owned, so access can be tricky for certain activities like ice fishing that requires permission from land owners to access.

This lake is easier accessed during the summer months if you like to paddle. It is especially enjoyable if you are an Adirondack history buff. Paddling through this lake, you will pass stunning Great Camps as well as an plenty of pristine Adirondack nature viewing spots.

Anglers should be on the lookout for large and small mouth bass, northern pike, bullhead, and perch.

If you enjoy birding, species often seen in this area include loons, Canadian geese, seagulls, hawks and many other Adirondack birds.

Rainbow Lake

Rainbow Lake is a small three mile long lake in the town of Brighton, just northeast of Paul Smiths, NY. While this is a small, narrow lake, it does provide wonderful paddling opportunities that invite extending your days out on the water. Paddlers can go from Rainbow Lake to Lake Kushaqua in Onchiota, NY via the Rainbow Lake Narrows. Quiet waters make for a peaceful paddle on Rainbow Lake.

This lake also has opportunities for anglers to catch walleye, large and small mouth bass, pike bullhead and perch. Most anglers will be on the lookout for walleye while fishing in Rainbow Lake.

If you are hoping to do some primitive waterside camping, you are in luck as this lake has four sites.

Motorboats can operate on this lake. If you are visiting, you will be required to pay a day-use fee to put in from the campground.

Loon Lake

Loon Lake is another smaller lake that is approximately 3 miles long and can be found 20 minutes north of Saranac Lake. This lake provides a quiet and peaceful landing for boaters and anglers.

Loon Lake allows paddling as well as motorboats. Much of the shoreline is privately owned, so it can difficult to launch out unless you have received permission or own/rent a property that has access.

Anglers will be able to find large and small mouth bass as well as northern pike in the lake. There is also wonderful trout fishing on waterways just minutes away from the main lake.

Lake Clear

Lake Clear is a 940 acre lake found just outside of Saranac Lake. This lake is part of the original Seven Carries canoe route that included Upper & Lower St. Regis and Spitfire Lake. This lake is a great place to spend summer days boating, fishing or swimming at the beach.

Lake Clear provides plenty of space for boaters and paddlers to explore the lake. This lake allows motor boats, but there is no public access sites for boats to put in. Many of the boats that are found on the lake are owned by shoreline residents, or by visitors who received permission from the homeowners. Most visitors to the lake choose to explore in kayaks and canoes.

This lake is also an anglers paradise with one of the largest array of fish that can be found in the region. If you plan on fishing this lake, you can find landlocked salmon, large mouth bass, bluegill, bullhead, perch and northern pike as well as some other smaller fish.

This lake also features one of the most popular beaches in the area. During the summer months, you will see many community members and visitors enjoying the day at the Lake Clear beach.

Paul Smiths Region Ponds

Osgood Pond

Located in Paul Smiths, NY, Osgood Pond is a 500-acre pond that offers enjoyable days of paddling and fishing. This pond has two launch sites with the main site on White Pines Road. This pond allows paddlers to explore multiple bays and has access to Jones Pond and the Osgood River. While you are out paddling, don’t forget your fishing pole to search for large mouth bass and northern pike. Anglers can also enjoy ice fishing this pond during the winter when it freezes over!

Barnum Pond

As you pass through Paul Smiths, NY heading north to Malone on Route 30, you will find Barnum Pond. This pond is a spectacular paddling pond. With deepest depths at only about 10 feet, there is minimal launching access. While this waterway is well suited for paddling, don’t be surprised to see small boats with trolling motors out on the water. Route 30 can be quite busy, so setting a boat with a motor in can be tricky due to the minimal access. This pond also allows fishing, and anglers can find brook trout and bullhead.

Church Pond

This picturesque pond can be found as you enter Paul Smiths from Route 86. Church Pond is open for public recreation. Most visitors choose to paddle or hike the Red Dot Trail. Visitors looking to paddle can enter from the corner of Hoffman Rd and Route 86, or from Osgood Pond through the canal. Those looking to hike, can take the Red Dot Trail that goes to and from Osgood Pond. Additionally, there is a lean to along the way what provides a great stop to enjoy nature and have a snack.

Buck Pond

Located in Onchiota, NY, Buck Pond is one of the last waterways you encounter while following the Rainbow Lake Narrows. Buck Pond Campground and Day Use Area offers 116 campsites and a beach that allows day access. Before visiting, check out camping and day use regulations. Boaters and paddlers who decide to fish will be able to find northern pike, perch and bullhead. If you want to enjoy some time on the water without paying the day access fee, stop by Oregon Pond for public access before you reach the campground.

Other Waterways

Some other waterways in the Paul Smiths region that are great places to explore nature and water activities include:

Black Pond in Paul Smiths, accessed through Keese Mills Road

Two Bridge Brook between Gabriels and Bloomingdale, offering spectacular brook trout fishing

Jones Pond between Paul Smiths and Rainbow Lake, access by paddling from Osgood

Meacham Lake just outside of Mccolloms, features a campground and wonderful paddling

St Regis River, an 86 mile long river running throughout the region

Paul Smiths Real Estate

The Paul Smiths region provides many diverse waterfront living options for home buyers looking to take in the pristine beauty and nature of the Adirondacks. All of the lakes mentioned above have properties along the shoreline. Each area has its own distinct features with some providing more privacy than others.

Typically, with more privacy comes a higher price point, and properties that are generally more exclusive due to larger acreage. Many of the properties on Lower and Upper St. Regis Lakes have at least few acres with the property to keep the exclusivity of the lakes intact. Additionally, the price of Upper and Lower St. Regis homes and camps reflect this exclusivity with most properties being listed for over $1.5 million.

Depending on the condition, it is possible to find waterfront properties below a million dollars on other lakes around this region, including Rainbow Lake and Loon Lake. Over the past two years, properties on Rainbow Lake have sold anywhere between $500,000-$1,200,000. Home buyers who are looking for property that is a little more affordable should keep an eye on Loon Lake, Rainbow Lake and Lake Clear. Generally, Upper & Lower St. Regis Lakes and Spitfire Lake will fetch a higher price point due to the history and size of the classic Adirondack style camps.

Another great option for home buyers looking for a lower price point is smaller waterways including Oregon Pond in Onchiota, St. Regis River, and Paul Smiths area brooks like Two Bridge Brook. Brooks and rivers are generally longer, providing more opportunity for home purchasers to find a property that fits their needs and within proximity to their ideal community.

Paul Smiths Vacation Rentals

Unfortunately, our office does not offer any vacation rentals in the Paul Smiths region currently, but there is definitely a market for any homeowner who is looking to host visitors in this region. Additionally, if you are a home purchaser looking to live in your new property part-time and rent the property while you are away, there are very minimal regulations in this area versus other nearby rental markets. Most current regulations focus on the property being up to code, well maintained and being a good neighbor to protect Adirondack experience for the homeowner, community and guests.

The price range for renting a property in this region can vary greatly due to the wide variety of properties in the region. If you do a quick search on Air BnB for July 4th week, you will see nightly rates from $100 to over $1,000. It truly comes down to size, style and overall condition of the property as well as amenities included with the rental. A cabin in the woods could be on the lower end of the nightly rate, while a waterfront cabin will be asking towards the higher end of the spectrum.

If you are interested in looking for your dream waterfront property in the Paul Smiths region or listing your current property in the area for short-term rental, our experienced team at Adirondack Premier Properties would love to help. Contact us today to get started!

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