New York’s Most Scenic Waterways

There’s no wonder why so many boating blogs and websites rate New York as one of the prettiest states to boat in. With it’s thousands of gorgeous lakes, ponds, and rivers to explore we couldn’t agree with them more. Now here’s our list of what we believe to be some of New York’s most scenic waterways.


St.Lawrence River (Thousand Islands)

Menacing castles, ornate cottages, and picture perfect bridges are all too common on this 50 mile stretch of the St.Lawrence river. With nearly two thousand pink-granite islands, many of which can be visited, you can imagine there’s plenty to see and do. The many publicly owned islands give boaters a wide variety of options, from museums, to hiking trails, to an array of different restaurants. This span of river is truly a boaters paradise.

Lake Placid

Nestled deep within the Adirondack park this pristine lake proves worthy of its name. Surrounded by rolling hills, and some of the Adirondack High Peaks, a day on this lake comes with plenty of views. The village of Mirror Lake is located directly south of Lake Placid, and is the perfect stop after a long day on the water. Lined with plenty of artisan shops, water sport stores, and a variety of restaurants with scenic lakefront views. Just make sure to stick around after a day on the lake, as remarkable sunsets can be seen across the glass-like waters of Lake Placid.

Lake Skaneateles

Located 23 miles west of Syracuse, Lake Skaneateles lies as the sixth largest of the Finger Lakes. Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Finger Lakes Region, boaters can start at one of the few public boat launches and make their way up and down the 16 miles of sparkling blue-green waters. Sights of vintage wooden boats, antique vessels, and sailboats are frequent on the waters, as the lake has always been a popular destination for recreational sailing.

Saranac Lake

Although Saranac Lake isn’t exactly one single lake, It most certainly deserves a spot on our list. Saranac lake is actually an interconnecting of multiple scenic lakes, stretching a total of 24 miles deep in the heart of the Adirondacks. Access to Saranac Lake is easy through a multitude of launch sites located on each of the lakes. Boating throughout Saranac Lake is incredibly rewarding, as the Lake offers dozens of private sandy beaches, several rope swings, and plenty of islands to claim for use throughout the day.  

Lake George

Known as the queen of the American Lakes, Lake George is a truly remarkable body of water. Spanning 32 miles from its southernmost point at Million Dollar Beach, to the northernmost shores of Ticonderoga. With 32 miles of crystal clear water, there’s endless amounts of fun. Hundreds of beaches and islands both public and private scatter the lake, offering those seeking adventure an opportunity to camp, hike, fish, swim, cliff jump, and so much more. Surrounding the lake lies dozens of mountains, offering not only scenic views, but plenty of opportunities to hike, mountain bike, rock climb, and just plain adventure!

Lake Champlain

This 120 mile lake is packed with breathtaking views of New York and it’s Adirondack Mountains to the west, as well as Vermont and it’s Green mountains to the east. Starting in the small town of Whitehall, New York, the lake snakes between the Champlain Valley as little more than a river. Passing rolling farm fields, and century old orchards along the way.  After opening up past the town of Essex, New York the lake becomes a playground for recreational sailing, boating, and fishing alike.  Various charming small farm towns scatter the lakes shore on both sides, leaving boaters with endless opportunities of exploration. For those looking for something more than a day trip, be sure to follow Lake Champlain and its canal systems all the way to their northernmost point in Quebec.