From the Adirondack Guideboat Show, and the Hanmer Guideboat Race, to future events, and activities, we’re bringing more fun and adventure to the Adirondacks.

Learn More About Our Events and Programs

Upcoming Events

Adirondack Guideboat Show at Hotel Saranac Ballroom in Saranac Lake, New York.

Guideboat Show

The Guideboat Show, for many years, was a part of the Hanmer race drawing people to the Harrietstown Town Hall and then to the Saranac Lake Civic Center where it was held before its demise.

The Show was developed to educate residents and visitors about these Historic crafts and builder to compliment their race. Today, it has been enthusiastically adopted by the Hotel Saranac and is held annually in its ball-room.

DATE (tentative): July 1 through July 7, 2024

TIME: 10:00am – 5:00pm

LOCATION: Ballroom of the Hotel Saranac

Hanmer Guideboat and
Canoe Race

An important part of Adirondack heritage, the Willard Hanmer Guideboat and Canoe race (The Hanmer) first ran in 1962 as a tribute to the famous Saranac Lake, NY Guideboat builder, Willard J. Hanmer.

A community picnic and celebration with games and entertainment is held at the finish line on the Saranac River / Fish and Game club.

A Para Division is being explored for 2025.

DATE: Sunday July 7, 2024

TIME: 10:00am – ?

LOCATION: Lake Flower and the Saranac River

Guideboats being rowed in Hamner Guideboat Race
William Hanmer building an Adirondack Guideboat
Willard Hanmer working on an Adirondack Guideboat in his shop in Saranac lake, 1961. Original at the Adirondack Experience.
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History of the Hanmer Guideboat and Canoe Race

Like his father Theodore Hanmer (1860-1957) from whom he learned his trade, Willard was revered as a master Guideboat builder. His Guideboats were in great demand; however, he refused to sacrifice quality in lieu of mass production. Willard carefully built the entire boat by hand so that it was entirely free of imperfections.

Willard continued to build this Adirondack treasure until his death in 1962, at which time, he was one of the oldest citizens of the area at age 97.

His shop is still in operation and is the last of the original working Guideboat shops in the Adirondacks still in existence. Currently owned and run by Chris Woodward, a master Guideboat builder himself, the art is continued through today. The style of boat is patterned closely after the canoes used by the American Indians. Guideboats weigh approximately 80 pounds; however, can safely carry a half-ton, including three people.

In 1962, The Hanmer was created in Willard’s honor and has traditionally been held annually on the Sunday closest to the Fourth of July. The race was such a success that it quickly expanded from just folboats and Guideboats to include canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards.

The race ran annually through its 50th anniversary in 2012. It was successfully revived in 2022.

The 2024 race will be held on July 7, 2024, in Saranac Lake. Start line and activities will be at the River Front Park on Lake Flower with a finish line at the Saranac Lake Fish and Game Club with a community picnic.

Chris Woodward Smiling in his Adirondack Guideboat Shop
Chris Woodward at the
Woodward Boat Shop in Saranac Lake, NY

Tomorrow’s Events

Father and Daughter Rowing Guideboat Hanmer Guideboat Race
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Guideboat Academy

Guideboat racers and builders will offer their boats and expertise to teach a younger generation. The participants in this Academy will learn the art of rowing the Guideboat. The academy graduates will guarantee the future of the Hanmer and the use of the Guideboat for it’s all season water enjoyment. Dates to be announced. A Para Division is being explored for the 2025 Academy.


Power Boat Races

A return of power boat races, including, but not limited to, Hydroplanes and Cocktail Racers is under investigation. Where o’ where have the Bathtub racers gone?

Bathtub Racing Saranac Lake New York
Man fishing in Adirondack lake
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Fishing Contests

The increased popularity of fishing derbies demonstrates the need for an additional fishing contests on the Saranac chain of lakes.

Teeming with fish; Bass, Pike, Landlocked Salmon, Perch, Trout and Bullhead, area sportsmen are looking forward to a 2025 event.

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A permanent northern home for these outdoor events is being investigated. Currently, two historic Guideboats from the Upper Saint Regis Lakes have been donated for this purpose.

An Adirondack Guideboat under construction at the Hanmer Guideboat Shop.

Learn More About Us

Green Side of the Big Apple has a history spanning decades for promotion of events in the Adirondack region. From Guideboat and Canoe races, to planned educational and cultural events.