Rollins Pond is a quiet campground in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. It’s a perfect spot for kayaking, canoeing, fishing and bike riding.
Quiet, remote campgrounds have sort of become our thing the past couple of years.
Especially if there’s a pond or a lake nearby – then we know we’ll be spending gorgeous days out on the water. Throw in a few hiking trails, and we are – wait for it – happy campers.
Rollins Pond in the Adirondack Mountains ticked all of those boxes for us when we camped there with friends for a few days last fall.
The campground is open from mid-May until just after Labor Day in September. We visited for the last week of the season.
Rollins Pond acts as an overflow campground for the much busier Fish Creek campground, located just a couple of miles away. You drive through Fish Creek to get to Rollins Pond.
When we visited, Fish Creek was still busy, but Rollins Pond was quiet, with not much vehicle traffic. And campsites at Rollins seemed to be spaced farther apart than Fish Creek.
Gathering Supplies at Rollins Pond
Most of the season, there’s someone who drives through the park selling campfire wood. That service had already stopped for the season when we visited, so we bought wood at one of the (numerous) roadside stands.
There’s no general store at the Rollins Pond Campground, but over at Fish Creek Pond you’ll find The Trading Post, a one-stop shop. It sells campfire wood, grocery items, outdoor gear, and souvenirs. And they make pizza, subs, breakfast sandwiches, wings, and other items daily!
Other than that, the closest grocery stores are about thirty minutes south in nearby Tupper Lake (IGA and Save-a-lot), or you can head 45 minutes east towards Saranac Lake for more options (like an Aldi).
Will I Have a Cell Phone Signal?
There’s not much phone signal at Rollins Pond, but you’re not completely cut off from the outside world.
Using Verizon towers, we had one (iffy) bar at our campsite. Signal improved a bit if we drove back towards Fish Creek.
Kayaking + Canoeing at Rollins Pond
Rollins Pond is a fantastic area for kayaking and canoeing.
The pond is small enough that there aren’t many waves. And there were no big motor boats speeding by to cause waves either (although small motors are technically allowed).
It’s also a great spot for fishing, although we came late in the season and didn’t catch much.
If you want to try fishing, you can get a license online.
You can rent a canoe, kayak, or rowboat near the boat launch site.
When we visited, the changing autumn colors were already starting to make an appearance. It was a beautiful time to be out on the water.
Need more suggestions for kayaking gear for beginners? This guide is for you!
Campsites at Rollins Pond
There are hundreds of campsites at Rollins Pond, and most of them have lake access. It looked like the few spots that didn’t were located across the campground road from the lake.
The lake access from our campsite was fairly muddy, but we didn’t mind!
There were a few campsites (like the one in the photo below) that had a nice sandy beach to access the water.
The campsites were spacious and spread apart.
That said, some sites are larger than others. We originally booked site A11, but it wasn’t large enough for our group’s two tents.
Since the campground was fairly empty, it was easy to move to site A12, which was a little bigger.
If you’ve only got one tent, this shouldn’t be a problem!
At our new site, there was lots of room, not only for our tents, but also our bikes and a hammock, as well as enough trees to hang tarps to protect our tents from rain.
Do bring your bike if you enjoy cycling! We took a 7-mile ride around the campground.
There’s a concrete campfire pit at each site, with a nice solid grate to do your cooking on.
And is anything better than a cozy campfire at the end of the day?
We found a tiny stick village on our site, evidently a project of some previous camper.
There are plenty of restrooms throughout the campground, and we found them to be super clean!
There’s a large shower house at Rollins Pond, and also a large one in the Fish Creek Pond Campground nearby. The showers are free as of autumn 2021 (they used to be pay).
Not too far away from the campground was the short trail up Panther Mountain.
It was a 17-minute drive from Rollins Pond.
There are plenty of other trails also just a short drive away, since the campground is surrounded by the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest.
The parking area is across the street from the Panther Mountain trailhead. It’s a moderately difficult trail, 0.6 miles each way (1.2 miles total).
The photo below was taken from the parking area. Look for the yellow curvy road sign, and you’ll find the trailhead is just to the right of that road sign.
After you cross the street you’ll see the trailhead sign more clearly.
The trail is short (but steep!) with a nice overlook.
The view at the top is lovely. Note that you cannot see the sunset from this mountain (we found that out the hard way), but it’s still a great overlook.
Does a serene forest camping trip sound like the escape you’ve been looking for? Maybe Rollins Pond is the campground for you!