West Caroga Lake, New York, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to West Caroga Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for West Caroga Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About West Caroga Lake

West Caroga Lake brushes up against the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. The 319-acre freshwater lake has become a year-round destination in eastern New York’s Capital-Saratoga tourism region. Fishing in the warmer months is a big draw and when winter rolls around and the lake is capped with a three-foot sheet of ice, snowmobiling, skiing and ice fishing take center stage.

West Caroga Lake is one of 44 lakes in Fulton County. Several of those lakes surround the small town of Caroga, which sits between West Caroga and East Caroga Lakes. The two bodies of water are joined by a channel that is navigable by boat. A number of other lakes are located less than a half-hour drive away.

Native Americans used to live in the area and named it Caroga, which means “by the streams or water-ways.” Later, those same creeks, streams and lakes drew settlers to the area. In the early years, logging, hunting and tanning pelts sustained the economy but now, tourism is more important.

Taking in the natural beauty of the area while fishing West Caroga Lake has always helped anglers reel in big catches. The reflection of the mountains on the water while fishing for one of the many varieties of fish West Caroga Lake has to offer is irresistible to folks who enjoy the outdoors. Lake whitefish, rainbow smelt, smallmouth bass, Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout and yellow perch all make their home in West Caroga Lake.

The Caroga Lake New York State Campgrounds are open from mid-May through Labor Day. Many of the camp sites allow you to take in beautiful mountain and lake views from your tent or RV. The grounds boast 161 tent and trailer sites, bathhouses, boat launch, beach, boat rentals and picnic facilities.

Pack your clubs and wildest golf shirt. The Nick Stoner Municipal Golf Course is a par-70 course in Caroga just minutes from the campground. Hitting the links is a treat made sweeter by the stunning views courtesy of the Adirondack Mountains.

Hiking is a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Some trails to trek include Kane Mountain Trail, Willie Marsh Trail, Hamilton Mountain Fire Tower trail and the Nine Corner Lake Trail. The trails offer views of mountain ridges and even some lake vistas of West Caroga Lake.

In the fall, the skyline turns into a sea of bright red, orange and yellow foliage and visitors come to drink in the colors of the season. Hunters come in search of big game, migratory fowl and furbearer hunting and trapping. Check with the NY Department of Environmental Conservation for dates and regulations.

With winter comes an average of 12 feet of snow. Nearby mountain resorts are popular for downhill skiing. Cross-country skiing is widespread around Caroga and snowmobile races are common for those who enjoy a faster pace. In January, ice fishing huts pop up on West Caroga Lake like daisies in the springtime.

The town of Caroga has around 1400 year-round residents and that number more than doubles in the summer. The little resort town does not have a host of hotels; vacation rentals on West Caroga Lake are in the form of private homes or cabins for rent. Hotels are available in the cities of Johnstown and Gloversville.

The Caroga Historical Association and Museum and the Adirondack Museum of Blue Mountain Lake offer a glimpse into the area’s past. There are exhibits depicting pioneer life and the area’s role in the French and Indian and Revolutionary wars.

West Caroga Lake is surrounded by New York State’s Adirondack State Park. The park is a six million-acre preserve created in 1892 to protect the region’s forest land. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation operates several campgrounds in the park. There are also more than 2000 miles of trails and designated areas for canoeing, hunting, fishing, trapping, snowmobiling, skiing, mountain biking, and rock climbing.

West Caroga Lake and the surrounding area offer year round entertainment. Whether you chose to enjoy the lake from the deck of one of numerous lakeside cabins or take in the natural beauty by doing one of countless outdoor activities, West Caroga Lake is a destination worth reaching.

Things to Do at West Caroga Lake

  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Hunting
  • State Park
  • Museum

Fish Species Found at West Caroga Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Perch
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Smelt
  • Trout
  • Whitefish
  • Yellow Perch

Find Places to Stay at West Caroga Lake

If you’re considering a West Caroga Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a West Caroga Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite West Caroga Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

West Caroga Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 319 acres

Shoreline Length: 3 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,453 feet

Average Depth: 34 feet

Maximum Depth: 70 feet

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Shop West Caroga Lake Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


Advertise Your West Caroga Lake Business or Vacation Rental

LakeLubbers will soon offer businesses the opportunity to advertise and homeowners and property managers the ability to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily. If you would like additional details, please contact our advertising team.


Looking for the West Caroga Lake Forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here. We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

West Caroga Lake Photo Gallery

New photos coming soon!

Spread the word! Share our West Caroga Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!