Navigation Regulations for Lake Placid

Navigation Rules adopted by the SOA governed navigation of the Lake from 1910 through 1923. In 1924, at the request of the Association, the State Legislature passed a law covering navigation on the Lake. In 1941, the State Legislature passed a State Navigation Law which repealed all local laws governing navigation in the State. That law, while more stringent in some respects, neglected certain restrictions which were found from experience to be necessary for safety on the Lake. To address this concern, the SOA requested that the Board of Supervisors of Essex County establish the Lake Placid Vessel Regulation Zone, which was agreed to on August 10, 1942 and amended most recently in 1989. The Town of North Elba annually appoints a constable with the authority to enforce the navigation rules and the New York State Navigation Law.

The regulation applies to all parts of the Lake that are within 1,000 feet of any shore or island. The so-called ‘Vessel Regulation Zone’ covers nearly the entire Lake with the exception of a small section on West Lake. The regulation limits the speed of boats on Lake Placid for the protection of boaters, swimmers, and the shoreline as follows:

  • Paradox Bay: 5 miles-per-hour.
  • Within 100 feet of the shore, a dock, pier, raft, float, or an anchored or moored vessel: 5 miles-per-hour.
  • In fog, mist, thick weather, snow, or heavy rain: 10 miles-per-hour.
  • Within 100 feet of any canoe, rowboat, or swimmer: 10 miles-per-hour.
  • More than 100 feet, or less than 300 feet, from shore: 20 miles-per-hour.
  • Sunset Strait (between Peninsula and Buck Island) during the day: 20 miles-per-hour; at night (from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset): 10 miles-per-hour.
  • No boat may exceed 45 miles-per-hour.

The regulation prohibits jet skis and airplanes anywhere in the Vessel Regulation Zone.