Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails - Lake George, NY
Posted by Michele DeRossi on 1st June 2017
Photo Credit: Laurie Carr
Lake George, located in
northern New York state at the southeast part of the Adirondack Mountains, is
full of hiking opportunities for people and dogs of all abilities and ages. Filled
with challenging steeper trails with stunning views of Lake George or peaceful paths
of undisturbed ponds and wetlands, there is something for everyone. The Lake
George Land Conservancy has 13 preserves and parks throughout the Lake George
watershed and all are dog friendly. The Conservancy supports the exploration of
the areas with dogs but asks that dogs are picked up after and are leashed,
most importantly during hunting season.
Amy’s Park: The Bolton property
includes the headwaters for Indian Brook and contains important wildlife
habitat within its large, unfragmented forest and wetland complexes. Lake
George Land Conservancy has created four hiking trails for passive recreation,
exploration and education, which include lookout areas to view the active
beaver pond and its resident wildlife, as well as a view of Lake George. Dogs and owners are able to hike the entire perimeter
of Amy’s Park.
park includes 315 feet of lake shoreline, a popular spot for anglers and anyone
who wishes to sit and enjoy a peaceful moment on the point. Having previously
hosted cabins, a convenience store and a gas station, the property is now a
beautiful lawn with towering birch trees and space for families to play and
picnic together. The lawn is flat and easy to
walk for people and dogs of all levels of mobility. In addition, water access is available to let your dog/dogs
Last Great Shoreline: The Last Great Shoreline Preserve (LGS)
protects approximately 1,925 feet of Lake George shoreline and is one of the
most ecologically significant and undeveloped parcels on the eastern shore of
Lake George. The Preserve's trail system is currently 3 miles in total length and
includes two scenic viewpoints. A seasonal dock here can accommodate multiple
boats from dawn to dusk. Canoes and kayaks are welcome along the shore, too!
Schumann Preserve at Pilot Knob: By far Lake George Land Conservancy’s most
popular preserve, this property hosts over 10,000 registered guests each year.
Though the hike to the top is moderately steep, hikers are rewarded for their
efforts with a shady rest at the preserve’s gazebo and expansive views of Lake
George and the Adirondacks. The orange trail leads from the parking area for a
steady ascent of 620 feet to the gazebo and scenic lookout, following a
sometimes rocky path that can also be wet and slippery at times. After 0.25
miles the trail splits and you can get to the gazebo by either continuing to
climb east for another 0.70 miles or head south on a more meandering (longer
and drier path) of about 0.85 miles.
Pinnacle: Just a
five-minute drive from quaint Bolton Landing, the trail to the Pinnacle summit
provides a rewarding introduction to hiking in the Adirondack Park. The view from
the top offers a breathtaking panorama of Lake George. The lookout provides an
expansive 270-degree view, including (from left to right) the Tongue Mountain
range, the Narrows, Shelving Rock, Buck Mountain, the Town of Bolton, Dome
Island, the Bolton Conservation Park, Trout Lake, and much more!
Photo Credit: Amanda Scheidegger
Mountain: The preserve harbors a
variety of habitats, from moist wetlands and overgrown farmland to mixed
hardwood/coniferous forest and dry rocky-summit grassland. Watch for stumps and
old beaver chew marks on the trees bordering the ponds, as you walk along the
old railroad bed that passes through the lower portions of the preserve. The three trails of Cook Mountain Preserve offer a
variety of experiences for hikers of all ages and abilities. For history buffs,
there is a new blue trail that takes you to a cemetery that dates to the Civil
War. It is reached from the yellow trail about 0.15 miles past the
beginning of the loop.
Hill: The short
inner loop trail to Bear Knob is marked with yellow trail disks, and the longer
loop trail to Pole Hill Pond is marked in blue. Prepare for wet areas, steep
climbs, and rocks. Your rewards will be the spectacular view from Walnut Ridge,
serenity of untouched Pole Hill Pond, and abundance of native Adirondack plants
and birds. The trail climbs steeply to the top of Walnut Ridge, which has
spectacular views of Lake George. It then drops down to Pole Hill
Pond. Just before the pond the trail intersects with a trail that
will take you across Godwin Preserve to Padanarum Road. You can then
continue on to Amy’s Park, via the connector trail.
Photo Credit: Robin Smith
and Thomas Mountains Preserve: In addition to preserving
Edgecomb Pond, the Cat and Thomas Mountains Preserve protects the largest tract
of contiguous land remaining in Bolton, yet another step in safeguarding the
majestic viewshed of Lake George. Just a five-minute drive from Bolton Landing,
the trails to the summits of Cat and Thomas provide a rewarding introduction to
hiking the Adirondack trails. Hikers should be aware of hunting seasons and
wear bright colors and hike in groups to minimize risk. Mountain biking is
allowed on all of the trails. Recommended biking routes would be the orange
trail, the yellow trail (to intersection with red) and red trail, from its
intersection with yellow to Edgecomb Pond.
For more information about hiking around
Lake George, trail details, conditions, and advice, visit the Lake George Land
Conservancy website at www.lglc.org
or visit their office in Bolton Landing.
DeRossi is the Community Engagement and Events Manager at the Lake George Land
Conservancy in Bolton Landing, New York. Michele grew up around Lake George and
loves to explore the trails around the watershed with her family’s dog, Gracie.
The Lake George Land Conservancy is constantly working to provide new trails,
events, and programs for the entire lake community, bringing awareness to the importance
of the land that protects the lake.
Make sure you are ready for a hike by reading our 15 Tips for Hiking with Your Dog and reviewing our Dog Hiking Checklist.
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