Tucked neatly among the mighty Adirondack Mountains, Loon Lake is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. This lake checks all boxes on the list of a perfect mountain lake. It is clean, clear, present in a valley, surrounded by coniferous trees, and full of game.
This wishbone-shaped water body is located 23 within Chester town. Chester Town, also known as the “Crossroads of the Adirondacks,” is located between the Hudson and Schroon Rivers, towards the west of Lake George. This town came into being in 1799 and was a well-known farming community. Nowadays, it acts as an outdoor travel destination, providing access to Adirondacks’ entertainment opportunities.
A town boat launch provides public access to the lake, and a full-service marina also offers boat rentals. There are a handful of public and private sandy beaches along the shore of Loon Lake.
A perfect relaxation point, the lake is small, exceptionally clean, and very peaceful.
- Lake Type: Natural Freshwater, Dammed
- Surface Area: 580 acres
- Surface Elevation: 1696 Ft
- Watershed Area: 8,391.0 acres
- Drainage Area: 13 sq. miles
- Water Residence Time: 7 months
- Shoreline Length: 11.2 miles
- Mean Depth: 15.0 feet
- Maximum Depth: 45 feet
- Water Quality: AA
- Trophic State: Mesotrophic
There is documented proof of Indigenous people fishing and hunting along Loon lake’s shores for many generations. Then came the fur traders looking for and constructing trade routes through the area.
In 1892, the New York State Legislature passed a bill to establish Adirondack Park within the mighty Adirondack Mountains. This park aimed to preserve the timber, water, and natural appeal of the Adirondack Mountains. Since then, the Adirondacks’ wildlife and woodlands have thrived, making the six-million-acre park even more bountiful than it was when it was first established.
Population & Habitats
An estimated 130,000 residents live in Adirondack Park round the year, with nearly 200,000 summer homeowners. On average, the park welcomes 7 to 10 million visitors each year. Park’s 103 towns and villages support multiple habitats, from alpine summits to farmlands, acidic bogs, deciduous forests, and coniferous woods.
Winters at Loon Lake
Here is a winter scene picture. This is what it looks like and it can make for a lot of fun. Winters are somewhat tough at and around the lake. Visitors are encouraged to start early and wear snowshoes with snow spikes while attempting to scale the mountains. Other must-haves items for winter excursions are: a first-aid kit, a windbreaker, an emergency blanket, extra layers of clothing, a headlamp, extra batteries, food, and water.
Activities at Loon Lake
Streams from the Palmer Pond to the southwest and Mountain Spring Lake to the north are the primary inflows for Loon Lake. This wishbone-shaped lake has a water capacity of more than 600 acres and is a perfect picnic, hiking, swimming, and boating spot.
Home to brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, and northern pike, Loon Lake is where you go if you want to find a catch every time you cast a real. The fish population includes plenty of small and largemouth bass, dragonfly nymphs, freshwater shrimp, sunfish, rainbow trout, and chironomids.
Besides the well-known lake-friendly activities, visitors can also enjoy the Chester Challenge – a customizable hiking adventure. The trail is somewhat steep and calf-burning, but it is worth the climb as the views from the top are phenomenal. You are free to choose from a total of 11 trails and eight locations. Completing the challenge gets you a commemorative pin!
The valley surrounding the lake offers a wide array of quaint shops, eateries, and lodging options, such as rustic cabins, charming bed & breakfasts, ranches, resorts, and summer residences. You can also find lake-facing properties for rental and sale.
The O.P. Frederick’s restaurant was featured in the series Escape from Dannemora. Enjoy the steaks, scallops, and salmon at this famous eatery, or visit the Silver Star Restaurant & Tavern and The Place Restaurant; some food items on the menu are still being sold at 1980s rates!
Another unique item to include in your travel itinerary is the caving adventure offered at the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park in Pottersville. East’s largest marble cave entrance hides the spectacular Adirondack geology. You are free to tour by yourself or book a guided tour through the caves.
Horseback riding is another remarkable activity around Loon Lake. The ranches around the lake offer family-friendly rides for basic to expert-level riders. Children get to enjoy their rides on ponies. All these trail rides offer jaw-dropping mountain views.
Besides swimming, the lake offers paddle boating, canoeing, and kayaking activities for the general public. Take a paddle boat around the shoreline and witness the gorgeous trees seemingly growing straight up in the water.
The Loon Lake Lodge and RV resort is the most visited facility on the lake and has the lake’s only public boat ramp and dock/marina. You can rent boats, such as canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, Sea-Doo personal watercraft, and stand-up paddleboards to cruise around the lake.
If you visit Chester town during winter, you have the option to go ice fishing on the lake or ski at Gore Mountain. Snowmobiling is another winter-only activity, and if you don’t know its basics, you can get training lessons from tour guides near the lake!
Another must-visit area is the Chestertown farmer’s market. Shop for yourself or get locally-grown produce for friends and family. Mingle with the local farmers and let them suggest the fruits, vegetables, cheese, and other food items and how best to prepare them.
Wildlife In & Around Loon Lake
Ducks, geese, ruffed grouse, deer, gray squirrels, black bears, woodcock, and furbearers are commonly seen species around the lake. This place is nothing short of heaven for hunters with hunting licenses or wildlife viewers with binoculars. Other species include:
- Boreal Chorus Frog
- Blue-spotted Salamander
- Eastern Newt
- Red-bellied Snake
- Downy Woodpecker
- Turkey Vulture
- Ring-necked Pheasant
- Common Loon
- Ring-necked Duck
- Canada Goose
- Bald Eagle
- Red-winged Blackbird
- American Tree Sparrow
- Song Sparrow
- Indigo Bunting
- Rose-breasted Grosbeak
- American Redstart
- Yellow Warbler
- Northern Waterthrush
- Common Yellowthroat
- Common Raven
- American Crow
- American Goldfinch