Paradox Lake, New York, USA
Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Paradox Lake.
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Paradox Lake visitor and community guide
Paradox Lake gets its name from a unique occurrence which happens every spring. Melting snow in the eastern Adirondack Mountains flows into Schroon River. Paradox Lake’s outlet also flows into Schroon River, but due to the sudden increase in water, the outflow is forced back, causing it to flow in reverse. The word paradox, so the locals claim, means “water running backward” in Indian.
Paradox Lake is an 896-acre lake located in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains in eastern upstate New York. Almost 5 miles long, and one mile wide, the lake averages 19 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 55 feet. Due to its proximity to Lake George, Lake Champlain, and Schroon Lake, Paradox Lake has become a popular destination for those seeking a bit quieter and less crowded vacation destination.
Paradox Lake is best known for its spectacular hiking trails. The Paradox/Schroon Lake Region is considered one of the most scenic sections of the Adirondacks characterized by rolling hills, numerous lakes and ponds and large sections of untouched forests. A network of trails south of Paradox Lake offer access to this beautiful wilderness plus a chance to climb to the top of Pharaoh Mountain. The view from the summit of Pharaoh Mountain is quite spectacular at an elevation of 2,557 feet. On the opposite shore of the lake, accessible only by boat, a 2.2 mile trail leads to Peaked Hill and Peaked Hill Pond. Peaked Hill provides some stunning views of the surrounding area and Peaked Hill Pond is rumored to hold some fine smallmouth bass and yellow perch.
Fishing on Paradox Lake is an activity that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Key species in the lake include landlocked Atlantic salmon, brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, lake trout, northern pike, pickerel, brown bullhead, yellow perch, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Canoes and rowboats available for rent from the campgrounds and state parks and there are a number of boat launches located around the lake. Shore and dock fishing is a good way to introduce children to the sport.
Consuming fish from Paradox Lake is safe, but some areas of the Adirondacks have fish advisories due to mercury levels. See the Adirondack Park Fish Advisory link at the bottom of this page for information on consuming fish from area lakes, ponds and streams.
Camping is very popular on Paradox Lake. Most campsites have hot showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities, boat launches, beaches, swimming areas, picnic areas, play areas, and RV hookups. There are also a number of cabins and vacation rentals on the lake. The hamlets of Severence, Paradox and Chilson and the village of Ticonderoga, just to the east, have accommodations of various types for vacationers. Many resorts, hotels, tourist homes and cabins cab found in the villages and along major highways in the area.
For those seeking solitude, there are a number state forests within a short drive of Paradox Lake. A large tract of state land to the south of the lake makes up the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness area. North of Paradox Lake, the Hammond Pond Wild Forest stretches for miles. Both areas are part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve which offers ample opportunities for hiking, biking, and backcountry fishing.
When Paradox Lake freezes solid in the winter, there is ice fishing, skating, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. Nearby Whiteface Mountain offers some world class downhill skiing and snowboarding and well-known Lake Placid, just one hour from Paradox Lake, has endless winter activities for those who don’t mind the cold.
If you’re looking for a little more hustle and bustle, consider a boat tour or ferry ride across Lake Champlain or Lake George. Fort Ticonderoga with its guided tours, museum, and daily musket demonstrations, is just 7 miles away. Ticonderoga is beautiful and historic town located at the confluence of Lake George and Lake Champlain and entirely within the Adirondack Park. For golfers, there are number of golf courses in the area.
With hundreds of acres of open water and thousands of acres of wild, untouched forests, Paradox Lake is the perfect vacation spot for boating, canoeing, waterskiing, fishing, hiking, biking… and just about any outdoor sport you can imagine.
Custom Paradox Lake house decor
Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.
Things to do at Paradox Lake
- Vacation Rentals
- Ice Fishing
- Water Skiing
- Cabin Rentals
- Downhill Skiing
- Cross-Country Skiing
- State Park
- State Forest
Fish species found at Paradox Lake
- Black Bass
- Brook Trout
- Brown Bullhead
- Brown Trout
- Lake Trout
- Largemouth Bass
- Northern Pike
- Rainbow Trout
- Smallmouth Bass
- Yellow Perch
Best hotels and vacation rentals at Paradox Lake
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Paradox Lake photo gallery
New photos coming soon!
Paradox Lake statistics & helpful links
Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed
Water Level Control: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Surface Area: 896 acres
Shoreline Length: 12 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 820 feet
Average Depth: 19 feet
Maximum Depth: 55 feet
Trophic State: Mesoligotrophic
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