Main Street in village of Saranac Lake in Adirondack Mountains, New York. Image credit Wangkun Jia via Shutterstock

8 Most Affordable Towns to Retire in The Adirondack Mountains

Retiring to the beautiful small towns in the Adirondack Mountains is a recipe for a blissful, fun, safe, and healthy post-work life. These towns are spoiled by nature, starting from the mountains overlooking them and some lakes by their banks. Also, with their low population, laid-back vibes, affordable housing, and high population of seniors, retirees can feel at home in these charming towns. Without further ado, discover the most affordable towns in the Adirondacks for retirees.

North Creek

Main Street in North Creek, New York.
Main Street in North Creek, New York.

North Creek in Warren County is a small town of just above 500 residents, ideal for retirees who love to enjoy a slow-paced, laid-back retirement. For social retirees, however, there are many other hamlets in the main Johnsburg town and its surrounding areas with a larger population to mingle with fellow retirees. But North Creek offers affordable housing with an average home price of below $300,000 and crime is almost unheard of, which makes it a haven to live out a retirement.

To relax and feel young at heart, retirees can even take scenic gondola rides in Gore Mountain, or embark on rail bike tours on the Upper Hudson River with Revolution Rail. Meanwhile, history buffs can go back in time at the North Creek Depot Museum to learn about the town's history.

Schroon Lake

Aerial shot of Schroon Lake and the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York.
Schroon Lake and the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York.

Schroon is a town within the Adirondack Park, housing the hamlet of Schroon Lake which lies by the lake of the same name. Retirees can either stay in the main town or the hamlet by the lake, which is the largest community and has about 800 residents. Here, accommodation is affordable, with an average home price costing $324,000, while the crime rate is negligible, and retirees are assured of a placid environment to relax, brood, and enjoy nature. In addition, Schroon and Paradox Lakes are within the town for boating, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and fishing experiences.

The scenic Schroon Lake Town Beach is also available for relaxation as it features green areas for picnics and quaint restaurants to enjoy lunch. Retirees can also kick back at the Strand Theatre to enjoy thrilling movies or head to the Spectacle Pond Trailhead for an easy hike to explore nature around a pond and exercise.

Tupper Lake

A foggy Autumn morning on Tupper Lake, Adirondack Mountains, New York.
A foggy Autumn morning on Tupper Lake, Adirondack Mountains, New York.

Retire in Tupper Lake and experience laid-back vibes, pristine scenery, natural beauty, and quietness. This charming town west of Lake Placid has all the draw cards for retirees. Its population is just above 5,000, with around 22% beyond 65 years of age (as of 2022), creating not just a peaceful aura but one of like minds. Retirees will also benefit from the affordable housing scheme in Tupper Lake, with an average home costing below $300,000, which is far less than the average in the US (around $420,000). On the fun side, Tupper Lake may be small and less populated, but it is never boring.

The town is located along the Racquette Pond, a small scenic lake where retirees can rent boats and kayaks to explore the waters and surrounding scenery. The Wild Center is another interesting attraction in town with trails along woods, boardwalks, live exhibits, and canoe trips on the Raquette River that runs through it. Art lovers can always spend time at the Tupper Arts, featuring two art galleries, art events, and dance classes.

Old Forge

Old Forge, New York: Wide Horizontal View of the Basin Stream of the Water Safari Park with People Swimming, via Mahmoud Suhail /
Basin Stream of the Water Safari Park in Old Forge, New York. Image credit Mahmoud Suhail via

Old Forge is a hamlet in Webb Town, Herkimer County, with approximately 800 residents, perfect for a peaceful and quiet retirement. With such a low population, locals are friendly, the air is clear, and the scenery is beautiful. These features make Old Forge inviting for retirees, in addition to affordable housing. While the median home price sits around $500,000, prices are trending downward. But there is more. The town is framed by the Adirondack Mountains while lying still by the Moose River, west of Fulton Chain of Lakes. These lakes are recreational spots for boating, fishing, kayaking, and canoeing.

The town also is home to the Moose River Farm which is an exciting destination to have fun trekking with llamas and sighting other animals on tours. The Enchanted Forest Water Safari is another attraction that makes the town exciting as it is the latest water park in New York, with thrilling rides.

Saranac Lake

Vibrant aerial view of Saranac Lake, New York, nestled in the Adirondack Mountains during the fall season.
Saranac Lake, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains during the fall season.

Saranac Lake is a picturesque lake town and the largest in Adirondack Park, with a population of around 4,000. Saranac Lake is one of the cheapest places in New York, with a living cost approximately 20% lower than the national average and a median home selling price of around $350,000. When it comes to relaxation, retirees will find several options in town, starting from the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, where you can see and learn more about loons.

The Saranac Lake Marina is another interesting destination in town from where one can embark on boating, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing activities on the beautiful lake. For a dash of history, retirees can check out the Saranac Laboratory Museum, which reflects the town's history as a top destination for treating tuberculosis.

Indian Lake

Blue Mountain Lake in Indian Lake, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains.
Blue Mountain Lake in Indian Lake, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains.

For retirees looking for endless mountain views and charming lake scenery, Indian Lake is the perfect place to be. This lake town in Hamilton County has a population below 1,500, with affordable housing. The median home listing price sits around $200,000. The crime rate is also minimal, locals are warm and welcoming, and most households have residents above 65, making up 21% of the total population. Retirees looking to explore nature have abundant options, starting from Indian Lake, where one can admire the water's scenery or fish on it.

Additionally, several lakes and mountains surround the town, including Blue Mountain Lake, Big Bad Luck Pond, Cascade Pond, Adirondack Lake, and Crotched Pond, among others. Elsewhere, art lovers can spend time at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts, home to art exhibits in three galleries, scintillating performances, and arts events.

Lake Placid

The Main Street in Lake Placid, New York.
The Main Street in Lake Placid, New York. Image credit Karlsson Photo via

Lake Placid is a gorgeous small town within the Adirondacks, framed by Whiteface Mountain and the lake of the same name. While the town is renowned for hosting the 1980 Olympics Winter Games, it is a perfect destination for retirees. The town's population, according to the last estimate, is 2,205, and that contributes to its peaceful atmosphere and low crime rate. The town is also affordable as the cost of living is 10% lower than the national average and the median home sold price is under $400,000.

While here, retirees can enjoy the lake's beauty and embark on fishing expeditions. Mirror Lake is an alternate option to Lake Placid and more suitable for boating, kayaking, and canoeing experiences. Elsewhere on the shores of Lake Placid, retirees can hike the easy Brewster Peninsula Trails to watch birds and admire nature.

Lake George

Cruise boat on the water Lake George, New York.
Cruise boat on the water Lake George, New York.

Lake George is a pristine, beautiful town on the shores of its namesake lake in Warren County, New York. With just above 3,000 residents, the town is quite peaceful, and has a negligible crime rate, making it safe for retirees. In terms of affordability, the cost of living in Lake George is generally lower than the national average, although housing can be expensive, with median home listing prices around $600,000. This is still lower than prices in New York City, where median home prices are around $800,000.

Meanwhile, the town’s median age is 52.2, while almost 15% are above 65, creating a mixed environment of seniors and middle-aged people. For recreation, retirees can spend time on Lake George admiring the still waters and embarking on boating, kayaking, and fishing expeditions. For more things to do, retirees are invited to waterfront dining at the Boathouse and Boardwalk Restaurants to enjoy stunning meals and scenic views. For history lovers, Fort William Henry Museum is in town and it features exhibits, sounds, and sights that offer a glimpse into the Indian and French Wars.

The Adirondack Mountains is a region of incredible natural beauty and serenity, where retirees can live out their post-work life in bliss with nature. The mountains frame the region, providing a postcard-perfect backdrop, while over 200 lakes in the foreground complement them. Across these lakes and at the backdrop of mountains are quaint small towns, almost crime-free, with low population and abundant recreational activities, making them great for retirement. These towns are also quite affordable and have a high population of people above 65 which is a great combination for retirees looking to get the best out of their money while surrounded by like-minded people.

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