‘Round the Mountain Canoe & Kayak Race

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THIS YEAR’S RACE: The Northern Forest Canoe Trail has tentatively scheduled the 2021 ‘Round the Mountain for 11 a.m. Saturday, May 8. We are currently awaiting final permitting approvals from the appropriate authorities. These delays are associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We will announce the opening of registration as soon as final permits are granted. Thank you for your patience.

The ‘Round the Mountain Canoe & Kayak Race is an Adirondack favorite, taking place annually on the second Saturday of May — the unofficial kickoff event of the Adirondack paddling season.

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail took over the ‘Round the Mountain in 2021 following its acquisition of the Adirondack Watershed Alliance’s events and activities; other AWA races include the Celebrate Paddling Invitational, the Adirondack Canoe Classic — the 90-Miler — and the Long Lake Long Boat Regatta. The NFCT will run these events in 2021, with support from the AWA and its founders, Brian and Grace McDonnell.

2021 event info

Due to restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 installment of the ‘Round the Mountain will look a little different. Masks and social distancing will be required at the start and finish lines.

  • Registration will be exclusively online.
  • Participants will need to submit a health check survey certifying that they are in compliance with NY State COVID guidance along with contact tracing information prior to participation.
  • Participants will need to pick up their registration packets at the Saranac Lake Civic Center at 213, Ampersand Ave, Saranac Lake, NY.
  • The first heat will start at 11 a.m. at the Ampersand Bay Resort, located at the foot of Ampersand Ave on Lower Saranac Lake. Parking will be limited.
  • We encourage you to do a pre-race car shuttle to the finish line at the Riverfont Park on Lake Flower in Saranac Lake. Race organizers will not provide transportation.

The race course begins at Ampersand Bay. Paddlers head west on Lower Saranac Lake to the mouth of the Saranac River across from Bluff Island. The course continues down river, with a short carry around the lower locks, then to Oseetah Lake and ending at Lake Flower. Race distance is approximately 10.5 miles.

Entry fee is $30 per person. Northern Forest Canoe Trail Members receive a 15% discount.

Click here to register.


Every racer must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device (PFD). This PFD must be worn at all times. Failure to comply will result in disqualification and forfeiture of entry fee.

Note: Any coastguard approved inflatable PFD satisfies this requirement, ensuring that a PFD will not restrict performance.


Awards will be presented to the top three finishers in each class. Due to COVID safety protocols, we will not hold an awards ceremony. Results will be posted to the NFCT website immediately following the event.