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Located in the heart of New York State's majestic Adirondack Mountains, 4,077-acre Long Lake is indeed the longest lake in the area stretching for 14 miles through Hamilton County. Over half of the shoreline has been developed, but much still retains its original wilderness setting. The hamlet of Long Lake sits on the southeast shore of the lake and offers accommodations and activities to make any length of stay enjoyable. Camping is another great way to enjoy the lake, and campgrounds along the shoreline offer paddlers and hikers a quiet and relaxing place to enjoy views of the beautiful water.
Long Lake is a narrow and shallow lake, measuring one mile at its widest point. Although classified as a lake, Long Lake is actually a glacial widening of the Raquette River which accounts for its average depth of 13 feet despite being surrounded by mountains. The Raquette River is the second longest river in the state of New York behind the Hudson River. As part of a water route that connects the Fulton Chain of Lakes with the Saint Lawrence River drainage, Long Lake is especially popular with kayakers and canoeists. Over 140 miles of waterways can be accessed from Long Lake.
Long Lake is also known for its fantastic fishing. Anglers will find a public boat launch in the town of Long Lake which allows larger boats out on the water. Fish in the lake include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bullhead, yellow perch, and brook trout. From boat or shore, angling enthusiasts will enjoy the challenge of casting for native sport fish. There is one marina on the lake which offers a variety of watercraft for rent. Public beaches are available for those who enjoy watching boats more than being on them.
Boating is the best way to experience Long Lake's unique geological features. The shoreline varies from pristine sandy beaches to towering rocky cliffs. At the headwaters of Long Lake, Buttermilk Falls is a scenic place for enjoying an afternoon picnic and swim; this location is also a favored fishing spot. The southern end of the lake is considered by many to be the most picturesque section of the lake. The northern end of the lake is the geographic center of the Adirondack Mountains. This is the deepest and least developed section of the lake with areas measuring down to 43 feet.
Long Lake is located in the center of Adirondack Park which spans more than 6-million acres of public and private lands. The park is larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky, and Everglades National Parks combined and covers over 1/5 of New York State. Hiking and biking trails can be found throughout the region and range from leisurely nature walks to steep climbs that can challenge even the most experienced hiker. The 133-mile Northville-Lake Placid Trail runs along the eastern shore of the lake, and there are many lean-tos along the trail. Whichever trail you choose, you'll enjoy incredible views of the vast Adirondack Mountains. In the winter months, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and snowshoeing trails offer the same views, but under a completely new awe-inspiring panorama.
The hamlet of Long Lake has many restaurants and unique shops, as well as grocery stores, and other facilities to fulfill vacation needs. Accommodations range from waterfront hotels to secluded mountain cottages. Vacation rentals and real estate around the southern end of Long Lake are plentiful. The northern end of the lake, which is almost totally undeveloped, is ideal for primitive camping for those who like a break from modern civilization.
Whether planning a relaxing vacation or in need of a base camp for exploring hundreds of miles of waterways throughout the Adirondacks, Long Lake is the perfect starting point for any kind of adventure. The grandeur of the Adirondack Mountains and lakes, the natural beauty of the woods, and the fresh air of public lands - protected as "forever wild" by the Adirondack Park Agency - provide the perfect environment for unlimited recreational opportunities.
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