A Beginner’s Guide to Saratoga Lake
7 Easy Ways to Enjoy Saratoga Lake
It’s hard for many locals to imagine a summer without at least one trip to Saratoga Lake. Its shores are home to many cherished childhood memories, and it continues to be a perfect recreation spot for all ages during hot summer months. Here are 7 easy ways to enjoy this beautiful local lake.
1. Take a Dip at Brown’s Beach
While most of Saratoga Lake’s shoreline is privately owned, families flock to Brown’s Beach, one of the only public swim spots. Relax on the sand and take in the beautiful view of the lake while you soak up the sun. The shallow waters are great for swimming, paddling and water sports. Remember to pack a lunch or your favorite local takeout and spread out on one of their picnic tables for lunch al fresco (here’s our guide to the best subs in Saratoga). You could also step into Dock Brown’s for a bite to eat on their breezy, lake view dining porch, or head down the street for ice cream at Stewart’s. Outside food and beverages are permitted, but NO GLASS. Please clean up after yourself and unfortunately no pets allowed. Brown’s Beach & COVID-19: Masks are optional, and free masks are available at the beach. They are operating at half capacity, so 250 people allowed on weekdays, 300 allowed on weekends.
12 and under FREE
13 and over $3 (Residents can get a discount if they go to Town Hall for a beach pass)
BEACH PASS: 10 visits for $20. Available for purchase to Town Residents Only at the Town Clerks office.
Hours of Operation:
Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend
Daily 10am – 7pm
On questionable weather days please call (518) 466-0678
Large Pavilion: To reserve, call Tony Panza at 518.584.6882
Boat Dock – Private to boat slip renters only
Pony Paddock: Snacks and Drinks
Doc Brown’s Restaurant/Bed & Breakfast
2. Visit Waterfront Park
If you’d rather not get wet, but still want a view, this beautiful lakeside park is the place to be. This highly anticipated park opened in June of last year and is still in pristine condition. The park has three levels. At the top is the parking lot and the spectacular new wooden staircase that leads to the lower levels.
The middle level features a fantastic new amphitheater overlooking the lake which can be used for events and gatherings.
The lower level has more parking for access to the sandy beach area and several picnic and BBQ areas. Although you can’t swim here, it’s a great spot to enjoy the view and the sun on those warm Summer days. View Park Map
3. Venture Out On the Water
Kayaks and Paddle Boards – Kayak Shak
For kayak and paddle board rentals (from $25), or to launch your own non-motorized boat ($10), the Kayak Shak is a fun, friendly and affordable option located about 2 miles away from the main lake basin (by water) on Fish Creek. It’s a bit of a paddle to get to the lake, but well worth it. After you work up an appetite, creek-side pizzeria Harvest and Hearth is only a few steps away offering artisan pizza pies, craft beer, wine and locally-sourced veggies.
Kayak Shak & COVID-19: Customers must pre-book rentals online, walk-ups are no longer permitted. You can do this ahead, or from your mobile device in the parking lot. Once you have made your reservation, proceed to sign the waiver(s) that is sent in your booking confirmation email. Please do not arrive more than 10 minutes before your reservation and be mindful of the social distancing protocol. No more than 10 water crafts will be allowed to launch at once, every 15 minutes to allow time for staff to prepare for the next booking. All watercrafts, life jackets and paddles will be disinfected after each use with an antibacterial, environmentally-friendly products. Staff will be required to wear masks to help ensure their safety and that of the customers. Customers will also be required to wear masks upon arrival until they have launched and are on the water. Once customers have returned they will be required to put their mask back on. The Kayak Shak appreciates everyone’s cooperation and understanding.
Hours of Operation:
Daily 9am-7pm, weather permitting
Single kayak $25/3 hours or $45/6 hours
Double kayak $50/3 hours or $85/6 hours
Paddle board $25/3 hours or $45/6 hours
Boat launch $10
See more Saratoga area boat launches and marinas
4. Take the Bait
Saratoga Lake offers excellent fishing for beginners and veterans alike with access to habitats from shallow, weedy zones to steep, rocky ones. Here, you’ll find large and small mouth bass, northern pike and walleye. You could also try your hand at bow hunting for carp! The New York State Boat Launch is located right on Route 9P with parking for 100 trailers so you can get right out onto the water. View the DEC’s fishing info and contour map.
Address: NY-9P, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Hours: April – October 6am – 7pm
Fees: vehicles $8 (Collected via automated pay station. Credit cards and exact change only.), buses/nonprofits $35.00,
For $65, the Empire Passport provides you unlimited day use vehicle entry into most of our parks. Apply on-line or call call the Park Office at (518) 584-2000 for more information. Boat Launch Pass must be displayed on dashboard.
5. Wine & Dine at Trendy New 550 Waterfront
This long-awaited new restaurant and bar is the trendy replacement for its extremely popular predecessor, Lake Local, which burned down a few years ago. Bigger and brand new, the lakeside ambiance at 550 Waterfront is reminiscent of a swanky downstate yacht club. Garage door walls that lift up, high ceilings, hanging rope pendant lights, double fireplaces under big screen TV’s, elegant modern decor, and a chill playlist set the mood for enjoying the waterscape over cocktails and dinner (both indoor and outdoor seating). Like Lake Local, they still have seating at the waterfront where a waitress will take your drink and app orders while you wait (and you will wait – no reservations, first come first served). Parking here is much easier than in the past, with an enlarged lot and attendants on staff.
550 Waterfront & COVID-19: Masks required unless you are seated and eating/drinking. Staff wear masks. Indoor and outdoor tables are socially distanced and sanitized between guests. Contactless QR code menus available.
6. Take a Hike
Experience Saratoga Lake’s surrounding environment by walking along Gray’s Crossing. There’s a 10 mile stretch with access points for canoeing, paddling & tubing, plus hiking and a smaller 1 mile loop that follows Kayaderosseras Creek, which meanders into the lake. This level wood-chip trail makes for a relaxing and enjoyable hike through the natural beauty of the region.
For more trails and Saratoga County hikes, check out our interactive maps
7. Stay Awhile
If you feel like you want to have a more long term stay by Saratoga Lake, we don’t blame you! We’d love to talk to you about homes for sale or rental properties on the lake. From waterfront cottages to townhomes, let us help you find just what you’re looking for. You can Live Chat an agent during business hours on our website, call (518) 587-4500, or visit us at 519 Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs – our office provides parking in back and is open 7 days a week.