Upper St. Regis & Spitfire Lakes

Made famous by the Gilded Age’s powerful elite

Home of Sprawling Adirondack Great Camps

Upper St. Regis Lake is a pristine body of water located in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York. The lake is known for its crystal-clear waters, rocky shoreline, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

The lake is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a range of activities such as fishing, boating, swimming, and kayaking. The lake is also home to a diverse range of fish species, including lake trout, salmon, and bass, making it a popular spot for anglers.

Picture Perfect Paradise

Facts About Upper St. Regis & Spitfire

  • Upper St Regis: 711 Acres
  • Spitfire: 254 Acres
  • Motorized recreation is allowed
  • The area has a very private feel as there is not a public beach
  • While fishing, you can expect to find Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Brown Bullhead, Yellow Perch, Lake Trout, Splake, and Largemouth Bass
  • Public boat launches include the Upper St. Regis Lake Boat Launch on Route 30, canoe launch at Paul Smith College.

Dotted with sprawling Great Camps and waterfront cabins, the pristine shorelines of St. Regis and Spitfire Lakes are the perfect places to buy or build your own piece of paradise.

St. Regis Lake is made up of Upper and Lower sections, and its northern end is dominated by Paul Smith’s College of the Adirondacks. The college’s sprawling campus is unmistakable, and its restaurant, The Palm, is open to the public for dining. The college also marks the start of every summer resident’s rite of passage: the famous canoe routes called The Seven Carries and the Nine Carries.

Spitfire Lake is the smallest body of water on the St. Regis River chain and the public isn’t allowed access except with a Spitfire Lake property owner’s permission. Its exclusivity and the privacy of its property owners are paramount. In fact, there are only about 60 properties on both Upper St. Regis and Spitfire Lakes combined, so when one of the Adirondack Great Camps for sale comes on the market, it doesn’t last for long.

The lakes are small and connect via narrow passage on Upper St. Regis, and through Lower St. Regis Lake via a series of shallow and narrow passages. While this route requires man-powered canoes or kayaks, motorized boats are allowed on both lakes. These lakes illustrious pasts and their remote accessibility have created a vibrant summer community that gathers over sailing, conservation, and a love of the Adirondacks.

Nearby Activities & Attractions

Explore the dozens of lakes and ponds in the 18,400-acre St. Regis Canoe Area, the only designated canoe area in New York State. There are numerous trails that act as carries between bodies of water which people will often hike or jog in conjunction with the trails maintained by Paul Smith’s Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC).

Hike St. Regis Mountain, a 2,874-foot Saranac 6 peak. The fire tower atop the summit is open to the public and can be seen from many of the bodies of water throughout the Canoe Area.

Eat at The Palm, Paul Smiths College’s on-campus restaurant staffed by mostly students. The dining room manager stated upon opening in 2013 that the goal of the Palm is, “to provide fine dining in a casual atmosphere that’s complete with caricature wall hangings and smooth jazz.” Yes, please.

Fun fact: the Adirondack Regional Airport (SLK) is to the east of Upper St. Regis and Spitfire Lakes, to the north of Upper and Lower Saranac Lake, and to the northwest of the village of Saranac Lake. You can fly to and from metropolitan areas like Boston and Philadelphia via Cape Air.

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Loon Lake

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Portrait of Marie Morgan and Kris Wheeler