Paradox Lake, New York, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Mid-Atlantic - New York - Adirondacks -

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.

Things to do at Paradox Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • State Park
  • State Forest
  • Museum

Fish species found at Paradox Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brook Trout
  • Brown Bullhead
  • Brown Trout
  • Lake Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout
  • Yellow Perch

Paradox Lake Photo Gallery

    Paradox Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    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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    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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