As the double rainbow spilled from cottony clouds, the Adirondack evening cast its colorful stripes on Lake Saranac’s glassy surface.

Located five hours from New York City yet a world away, a lush paradise of pine covered mountains, crystal clear lakes and crackling streams awaits the visitor to the region.

It wasn’t my first time exploring the Adirondacks, but was my first time exploring by canoe. And for 4 days, a group of friends camped at a primitive campsite on Fern Island, one of the many islands scattered throughout Lake Saranac.

Getting to the island required paddle power (or renting a motorized boat) and a bit of sweat. We rented canoes from Saranac Lake Marina. To make things easier we hired their pontoon boat to drop off our equipment: 4 days worth of camping gear, food, firewood and naturally, lots of beer.

We scouted the island for great sites – nowhere on the island was flat and we set up shop on a healthy incline: Tents staked under a canopy of 50-foot tall trees, tarps strapped to tree trunks to create a shelter from the elements, and organized coolers and bags overflowing with food.

The nearby town of Lake Saranac offers all the necessities you needed for camping and with a little preplanning, a stop at Walmart to grab loose ends makes gearing up a snap. Just remember to bring your bag and gear from home – or you’ll be strutting in Walmart style.

Nights are perfect for a barbecues, beers and a campfire. Smores would be a great addition but we struck out finding kosher or vegan marshmallows. Next year hopefully.

Check out photos of evening on Lake Saranac below and more photos in the coming days from the lake and from the time, years ago, I got “arrested” while hiking in the Adirondacks.