To the immediate west of Paul Smiths  begins the St. Regis Canoe Area, a 20,000-acre region encompassing 58 lakes and ponds. Standing alone at the area’s northern edge, and offering wide-angled views of the watery terrain, looms St. Regis Mountain.
St. Regis Canoe Outfitters (Floodwood Rd., 518/891-8040, www.canoeoutfitters.com ), one of the area’s largest outfitters, based in Saranac Lake , maintains an outpost in the canoe area at Lake Clear. To reach the outpost and several good boat-launch sites, take Route 86 north from Saranac Lake to Route 186. Turn left and follow Route 186 west to its end and junction with Route 30. Continue straight ahead, past the junction, for 5.5 miles, crossing the Saranac Inn Golf Club.
Just beyond the course, at a paved four-way intersection, turn right on Floodwood Road. Continue straight ahead 4.1 miles to the base.
Off Route 30 between the St. Regis Canoe Area and Tupper Lake  village lie the secluded 355-site Fish Creek Pond Campground (518/891-4560) and 290-site Rollins Pond Campground (518/891-3239). For reservations at either, call 800/456-CAMP.
Tucked into the woods near a fish hatchery is Sunday Pond B&B (Rte. 30, Saranac Inn, 518/891-1531, www.sundaypond.com , $85 d), a simple, Adirondack-style lodge with three guest rooms and a sleeping loft that’s good for families. All rooms have private baths.
Just west of the St. Regis Canoe Area is the classic Lodge at Lake Clear (Rtes. 30 and 186, 518/891-1489, www.lodgeonlakeclear.com , $169–289 d), where you can choose among four guest rooms filled with Adirondackiana, two housekeeping chalets, and two suites complete with Jacuzzis. The snug lodge is renowned locally for its restaurant, Hohmeyer’s, which serves German and Adirondack specialties. The menu changes nightly, but entrées such as Wiener schnitzel or sauerbraten are always featured. Downstairs in the main lodge is a German Bierkeller.
The region’s most exclusive hostelry is The Point (Upper Saranac Lake, 518/891-5674 or 800/255-3530, www.thepointresort.com , $1,250–2,500 d), an ultra-luxurious great camp once owned by the Rockefellers. Now open to the public, the 11-guestroom Point features the absolute utmost in hedonistic delights—all for a mere daily rate of $1,250–2,500, which includes gourmet meals, wine and other beverages, and recreational activities.