I think I mentioned that I saw the booth for Lake George at the AAA Marketplace and even when I told them I was from the area, they pressed the brochures and materials into my hands. I wouldn’t want their gift to go to waste so I decided to go through the information and see what I thought of the area if I looked at it through a tourist’s eyes. By the time I finished I was ready to book my next vacation in the Adirondacks!
Let me go over some of the points that caught my attention and that would make me plan a vacation in my old stomping grounds.
First of all, Lake George is beautiful no matter what time of year you go. Having spent approximately 1/3 of my life in the area I can attest to that. So the first thing the brochures addressed was the lake. 32 miles long it is always sparkling, clear and clean , a spring -fed lake. In the summer cruise boats ply the lake. In the winter there’s ice skating and ice fishing and a Winter Carnival.
When I was growing up the Ticonderoga was the largest boat and sailed the whole length of the lake. As I recall it was a full day trip. The Mohican was a smaller boat and only cruised the southern portion from the piers in Lake George Village to just north of Bolton Landing, stopping at the Sagamore/ Green Island after it’s turn around. That’s certainly changed. The original “Ti “ & Mohican have long since retired but there are new boats including a paddlewheeler. The last I knew the Mohican II, listed on the National Register of Historic Places ,was still conducting narrated tours along the shoreline.
One of the things that I don’t remember doing as a “kid” is white water rafting on the Hudson River. That and slow-tubing or lazy river tubing are new offerings, or at least new to me…not that I never went “tubing”. I seem to remember “tubing” on the Schroon River and Trout Lake. We always seemed to have a big old patched inner tube around somewhere. Now there are commercial Tubing companies Like Adirondack Tubing Adventures and Tubby Tubes.
Another attraction that sounds familiar but I can’t picture is Natural Stone Bridge and Caves. Located in neighboring Pottersville. The brochure describes it as ranging from easy walking tours to challenging cave crawls. I would definitely go there again. I’m sure I went as a child but like I said, I just can’t visualize it. Be nice to refresh my childhood memory or see it through adult eyes.
The Hot Air Balloon Festival in September is something that is has been added since I lived in the area. It’s been over 30 years since I lived there so I would expect that things would change! Now, I am not a “ballooner”, I’ve never been up in one but I would love to attend this event just for the opportunities to take pictures of the colorful balloons.
History buffs or maybe even ghost hunters can’t skip the forts. There are forts everywhere in the area. The Syfi channel’s Ghost Hunters Series has even done a couple of shows there. One in Fort Ticonderoga and I believe one in Fort William Henry. In fact there’s a tour called Spirits of History Ghost Tours that runs from Memorial Day to Mid-October. Even Fort Edward on the Hudson River get’s into the act. There you can find the Old Fort House Museum, one of the oldest frame buildings in upstate New York.
There are trails and mountains everywhere for the hikers or if you prefer the water sports, boating, water skiing, freshwater scuba diving, para-sailing or just hanging on the Million Dollar Beach at the end of the lake. If you do decide to hike, be sure to summit Prospect Mountain. Not a hiker? No problem as you can reach the top by taking a 10 minute drive up the Prospect Mountain Veteran’s Memorial Highway. Once on top you can experience the 100-mile-view of the surrounding mountains.
The Great Escape was called Storytown when I was a kid but it’s grown up and now is a Six-Flags Theme Park.
And the places to stay…well, everything from rustic campgrounds to RV parks to cabins or motels to a hotel on an island reminiscent of the great hotels of the 50’s & 60’s like was featured in the movie “Dirty Dancing”. I worked with the photographer at the Sagamore as a teenager. I remember them announcing cha cha lessons on the veranda! I know there have been many renovations done to the Sagamore but I expect it is still the showcase Hotel on the Lake.
I mustn’t forget to mention that Lake George becomes the motorcycle capital of the east for a weekend every summer when the Americade, the world’s largest motorcycle rally, comes to town.
There’s so much more I could tell you about the area but I think you might enjoy finding out for yourself.