There’s More to Saranac Lake Than Saranac Lake

It is easy to think of Saranac Lake as a quaint, idyllic village, a few miles from Lake Placid, surrounded by mountains and a network of waterbodies. Encircling the little city however, are small hamlets, home to many who consider themselves to be part of the Saranac Lake Community.


Located just a few miles down the river, this a tightly knit population boasts 1,160 souls. Centered around the baseball field, turned skating rink in the winter, you will find a sawmill, ice cream stand, record shop, fire department, brew pub, antique stores, several churches, a couple auto mechanics, and, of course, a Dollar General. Life in Bloomingdale moves at a slower pace and will remind you of days gone by, memorialized by the work of Norman Rockwell.

Town of Franklin

Still wholly within the Saranac Lake School District, the hamlets of Vermontville, Sugarbush, Loon Lake, and Onchiota are in this vast township. Merrillsville, Thatcherville, Goldsmith, Alder Brook, Union and Franklin Falls and Kushaqua Lake represent the smaller, older settlements. Although always willing to lend a hand, the thing that residents in this town have in common is they want room to spread out…and only entertain neighbors if they are invited.

Paul Smiths

Home of the “College of the Adirondacks” and the prestigious St. Regis Chain of Lakes, in Paul Smiths you can find people living in places like “Easy St,” Keese Mills and McColloms. They all share pride in the hotdog vendor, who can usually be found midday at the intersection of State Routes 86 and 30.


On the edge of the scenic farm fields, just past Donnelly’s Ice Cream, you can find 205 of the nicest people. The post office, handy mini mart and sprawling athletic field are defining features of Gabriels, NY. Locals still lament the loss of “Teddy’s Mall” which “Had it all.”

Rainbow Lake

Bisected by a historic railroad bed, a residential neighborhood can be found buffering this gorgeous waterbody. Known for its tall pine trees and unique topographical features, you can also find a thriving maple syrup operation, potato fields, and a children’s camp tucked into the woods in Rainbow Lake.

Lake Clear

Its airport is large enough to land a Boeing 747, but most people go to Lake Clear for the food at the small diner overlooking the tarmac. The two fine pubs attract snowmobilers in the winter and campers in the summer. The beautiful mile long sandy beach is the local’s worst kept secret.

Saranac Inn and Fish Creek

A few tiny pockets of year-round homes can be found in the proximity of Upper Saranac Lake. Residents here can enjoy lake life and golf in the summer and true quiet the rest of the year.

Although up to a half hour from the Village, there is no question the inhabitants of these neighborhoods contribute to the character of Saranac Lake. That leaves us to ask, have you ever been to Onchiota?

If you’re thinking of buying a home in the ADK – and more specifically, the Saranac Lake area – you might consider some of these quaint small towns. If you’re ready to find your Adirondacks dream property, let us know – we’d love to help!

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Locations, Saranac Lake