Photographer:Madeline Tolle
Camera:Canon Elan II
Film: 35mm Kodak Ektar 100

Photo Essay: Canoe Camping on Saranac Lake, NY

Deep in the Adirondack Mountains exists an idyllic lake dotted with tiny islands just waiting to be explored

Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York is one of those places that despite being the outdoors, feels a whole lot like home. For me, summer simply isn’t complete without a trip or two to the lake, and so, with the season winding down I assembled some friends, tossed two canoes on top of the car, and headed up north for an idyllic three day weekend.

There are a lot of things that make Saranac Lake special. But in my mind, it’s all about the tiny islands that dot the water. Some of of them are barely bigger than a rock. Others are big enough to camp on. There is simply nothing cooler than camping on a private island, and this is the place for it.

For three days we spent sunrise chasing the tiny islands as they emerged from the previous night’s fog. Then enjoying the day on the water, taking breaks from paddling by docking our canoes at different islands for a snack break, swim, or maybe even some cliff jumping. At the end of each day we’d watch the sun set over the lake with cold beer in hand, listening to the loons make their ghostly calls across the water.

The only bad part is that it ever ends.

more dreamy canoe camping photography here

Madeline Tolle is a Los Angeles-based freelance photographer and stylist with a special interest in shooting 35mm film
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