Blue Mountain Lake, New York, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Mid-Atlantic - New York - Adirondacks -

Most repeat visitors to the Adirondack Region will eventually make a visit to Blue Mountain Lake. One of the premier vacation destinations in the six million acre Adirondack Park, the Blue Lake region has attracted visitors since the 1800s. The magnates of banking and industry retreated here to their massive Great Lodges to fish, hunt, sail and enjoy the pristine waters of Blue Mountain Lake and neighboring Indian Lake. The lakeshore is lightly developed with rustic resorts and beautifully-restored Great Lodge-style vacation rentals dotted along the wooded shoreline. In many ways, Blue Mountain Lake still looks out on vistas very similar to those enjoyed when the Vanderbilts were in summer residence at nearby Sagamore Lake. Rustic lodges look out over 1,280 acres of clear blue water to Blue Mountain rising on the eastern shore. Loons call in the morning mist, and feeding fish dapple the lake’s surface.

Swimming, sailing, boating, canoeing and kayaking occupy many hours of the day. Those so inclined can also enjoy pontooning, water skiing, wake-boarding, tubing and paddle-boating. Many visitors take one of the scenic tours available on original 1916 launches to view Blue Mountain Lake and its two adjoining lakes: Eagle and Utowana. The clean water of Blue Mountain Lake is a favorite for swimming or sunbathing from a sandy beach. A large number of vacation rentals are available, both private residences and resorts. Nearly every property has the expected deck holding the customary Adirondack-style lawn chairs overlooking the lake.

Fishing is always a popular activity on Blue Mountain Lake. The water holds smallmouth bass, walleye, bluegill, northern pike, black crappie, perch, chain pickerel, sunfish and pumpkinseed. Brook trout are also present, requiring special fishing regulations for the lake. Regulation booklets are usually available wherever fishing licenses are sold. Ten islands on the lake are a part of Adirondack Park and thus available for public use. Fishing is especially good along their isolated shorelines. Fly fishing is popular in the shallows and at the mouths of streams draining into the lake. Several marinas along the shore provide boat rental and launch facilities along with tackle and bait. Ice fishing is allowed on Blue Mountain Lake. The local Fish and Game Club holds an annual ice fishing derby for members.

One of the bigger attractions to Blue Mountain Lake is the Adirondacks Museum on the east shore just outside of the tiny village of Blue Mountain Lake. The museum complex showcases Adirondack architecture, furniture, boats and lifestyle exhibits from the surrounding area. The complex offers a cafe, arts center and even lodging opportunities. Open from May to October, the museum complex will likely require more than one visit to fully appreciate everything it has to offer. The museum also has wireless internet available, something of a magnet to those suffering from technology withdrawal. In keeping with their rustic persona, some vacation rentals choose not to provide modern amenities such as televisions, radios or telephones.

Blue Mountain Lake has far more to offer than just water sports and fishing. Blue Mountain itself is one of the most-climbed peaks in Adirondack Park. A short, steep 2+-mile hike takes climbers to the summit 3,759 feet above sea level. Those wishing even more spectacular views often climb the Blue Mountain fire tower. The observation booth provides breathtaking views of several lakes and many peaks, including Mount Marcy and Snowy Mountain. Rustic camping is available both on the park islands and at 138-acre Castle Rock on the north shore. The Northville – Lake Placid Trail, a New York state hiking trail, passes nearby, and several snowmobiles criss-cross the area. These provide cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and even mountain biking in selected areas. Forest preserves and national park lands within the Adirondacks Park offer a wealth of opportunities for wildlife viewing, secluded trout streams and even whitewater rafting. A good guidebook is a must for exploring all that the park has to offer.

The area around Blue Mountain Lake became a fashionable resort destination beginning in 1878 when a stage line was completed. Thomas A Edison was one of the early regular visitors. He wired the Prospect House for electricity, making it the first hotel in the world to feature electric lighting. The grand hotel featured 300 rooms and hosted such famed citizens as Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Jay Gould and Louis Tiffany. The spectacular hotel is gone now, but several other famous hotels still exist as resorts, bed-and-breakfasts and private homes. The little village of Blue Mountain Lake is well-supplied with artisan shops offering unique and eclectic shopping opportunities. The village is home to the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts, offering year round theatre and music performances, art galleries, workshops and classes. Only 14 miles away, Great Camp Sagamore National Historic Landmark preserves the 27-building estate of the Vanderbilts. Local craftsmen demonstrate traditional Adirondack skills among the workshops on the estate. And surrounding it all is the stunningly beautiful scenery of the Adirondack woods and mountains – especially beautiful in the autumn.

Vacation rentals at Blue Mountain Lake are plentiful and exist as cottages, resort hotels and self-catering cabins and homes. Finding real estate along the lakefront may be difficult as these properties often stay in the same family for generations. There are usually a few properties on nearby lakes for sale, and year-round rentals are always possible. Blue Mountain Lake is the true heart of the Adirondacks and mustn’t be missed. Make a visit soon. You’ll feel the magnetic call of Blue Mountain Lake and once experienced, you will just have to return!

Things to do at Blue Mountain Lake NY

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Camping
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Park
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Blue Mountain Lake NY

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Brook Trout
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Crappie
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Blue Mountain Lake NY Photo Gallery

Blue Mountain Lake NY Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 1,280 acres

Shoreline Length: 9 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,790 feet

Average Depth: 25 feet

Maximum Depth: 100 feet

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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