Horseshoe Lake


Horseshoe Lake is located in the Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest. There are three perfect launch locations to choose from, each one gives access to a different part of the lake. This lake is very big and round, not allowing for much protection from the winds or elements. Be sure to explore the entire lake and take in the wetlands and the tributaries as they come to you. The outlet on the western shore is a very attractive location to visit, but be very careful of the culvert near the road.

How to get there

Eastern Launch: From the intersection of Route 3 and Route 30 in Tupper Lake follow Route 30 toward Long Lake. Continue for under 10 miles to Route 421 on the right. Follow 421 for around 5 miles to the inlet on the right. There is a small pull-off on the side of the road.

Southern Launch: Continue an additional half-mile to the southern launch. This is a handicap-accessible area.

Western Launch: Continue yet another mile to the open field area near the railroad tracks for this launch. An old sunken cement pier makes for a nice area.

Type of launch: All launches are roadside with less than 100 feet to carry over flat terrain. All launches are gravel, dirt, and grass.

Type of water: Whitecaps are not unheard of and heavy winds are frequent. Always watch out for motorboats. While there is no designated launch for motorboats it is in a Wild Forest and they are allowed. Mainly you will see small fishing boats with limited size motors trolling around.


Along the southern shore there is ample camping and launch areas for car-top boats. Please don’t use a camping area as a launch unless you plan to camp there — leave it open for the campers.


With a max depth of just over 15 feet the fishing is quite shallow compared to other lakes of this size in the Adirondacks. The weedy lake bottom makes for a natural fish habitat. The lake has a shoreline of over 4.5 miles where a large portion can be accessed from the roadside. At dusk, bullhead angling from the shores of Horseshoe Lake is common.

Note: Camping permits required for over 3 days.

Species: The lake is known for its panfish and especially perch fishing. Brook trout, walleye and tiger muskie. 

Ice Fishing

This is a popular ice fishing destination due to its high population of perch.

Access Points:

From the intersection of Route 30 and Route 3 in Tupper Lake, follow Route 30 toward Long Lake. Watch for County Route 421 on the right and follow here, also known as Horseshoe Lake Road. This road is very rough and will access you to the southern shore first. The paved road then turns into a dirt road as it makes its way up to the western shore where additional roadside access can be had. 

Shoreline along the southern and western shore allows for launching of car-top boats and small motorized boats.


These are excellent locations for birding; eagles have been seen in the area quite frequently.


A handicap-accessible fishing overlook is available on the shores of Horseshoe Lake, and there are two accessible campsites.