Lake George Information

Lake George lies in northeastern New York State entirely in Warren County with its eastern border abutting Washington County in the upper region of the Great Appalachian Valley. The Lake George Park Commission, designated by the New York Legislature by act of law, operates Lake George Park and Lake George. Lake George is a natural lake fed by dozens of mountain streams and underground streams. 

Lake George is 32 miles long, between one and two a half miles wide, covers 28,170 acres with about 180 miles of shoreline, an average depth of 70 feet, and a maximum depth of almost 200 feet. Ninety percent of land surrounding Lake George is natural forestland, and New York State owns half of that forested land. 

Black Mountain, Elephant Mountain, Pilot Knob, Prospect Mountain, Shelving Rock, Sleeping Beauty Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain, and Tongue Mountain frames Lake George. The lake has sections called the narrows filled with islands. There are 170 islands in Lake George, and New York State owns 148 of them. 

The New York State Legislature recognized Lake George as “an area so distinctive in natural qualities and scenic beauty that it is deserving of special protection” in 1961. Its protected watershed exists within the larger six-million-acre Abundant waterways fill Adirondack Park. Adirondack Park, which includes Lake George, 3,000 additional lakes and ponds, and 30,000 miles of rivers and streams.


Lake George History

The last glacial advance of the Wisconsin Ice Sheet that blanketed much of North America began to retreat about 18,000 years ago, and had completely retreated from New York State around 10,000 years ago. The retreating glaciers dug out many natural waterways and water bodies in North America. Lake George in the Adirondack Park is one of them. Thomas Jefferson described Lake George as being "without comparison the most beautiful water I ever saw" in 1792. Lake George flows north to Lake Champlain via the LaChute River out of Ticonderoga, New York.

The Iroquois and the Algonquin Indian Nations claimed and fought over the Lake George to the Lake Champlain waterways through the Adirondack Mountains and region. The Mohawk and Oneida Nations also considered this their territory. These waterways provided the easiest route through the Adirondacks and a valuable resource for the indigenous people. The word “Adirondack” originated from the Mohawk Nation, and the Mohawks used the word to describe the Algonquin tribe in a derogatory sense. Adirondack means “Bark Eaters”.

The French were the first Europeans to explore the Adirondacks, and Samuel de Champlain discovered Lake Champlain in 1609 and found beavers, a hot commodity in Europe. Father Jogues reached a lake the Iroquois called “Andia-ta-roc-te”, which means “Tail of the Lake”, while working on a treaty with the Mohawk in 1642. British General William Johnson traveled with 2,200 Colonial troops and 300 Indian troops in 1755 to the Tail of the Lake, which he named Lake George in honor of King George II. 

After naming Lake George, General Johnson hastened to build a fortress to guard against the French for control of the region. Soon, three battles ensued between the Indian and British and Indian and French factions, the battles of Bloody Morning Scout, Battle at Lake George, and Battle at Bloody Pond. Wars over the beaver continued until the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Then the Adirondacks witnesses the Revolutionary War.

After the “Shot Heard Round the World”, referring to the first battles of the Revolutionary War in Concord and Lexington, the Adirondack region soon came into play. The region is the site of America's first victory against Britain and the battles won by the Continental Army that are known as the "Turning Point of the American Revolution". The Adirondack Park mantles six million acres in 12 counties in New York State with its eastern border on the New York/Vermont state line. 

By the 1830s, Americans began truly exploring and settling the Adirondack region. In 1864, Dr. Thomas Clark Durant, vice-president of the Union Pacific Railroad, began construction on the Adirondack Railway and completed it in 1871. Interstate 87 began as a series of extensions, beginning in 1957 until the completion of its final connection in 1967. Referred to as "the Northway", I-87 stretches from Albany, New York, to the Canadian border.

Lake George is called “The Queen of American Lakes” and is considered one of the most gorgeous bodies of water in the world. Today, Lake George is the primary fuel of the regional tourism economy, generates $2 billion annually, and supports over 500 tourism businesses, plus the suppliers of products and services to the tourism industry. This accounts for nearly $630 million in direct tourism spending each year. 


Lake George Fishing

Predominant game species include largemouth, rock, and smallmouth bass, black crappie, chain pickerel, northern pike, yellow perch, landlocked salmon (a subspecies of Atlantic salmon), rainbow smelt, pumpkin seed sunfish, and lake and brook trout. Lake George is one of the top bass fishing lakes in New York State, and extremely popular for crappie, perch, salmon, and trout, plus for ice fishing in the winter. Salmon is stocked yearly. 

Lake George Park Commission (LGPC) regulations require the registration of all watercraft via day use or seasonal permit. All vessels 18 feet or longer, or any vessel mechanically propelled by a motor 10 H.P. or greater, must register. The LGPC requires creel limits for certain game species and boating regulations.

Lake George:

  • Landlocked (Atlantic salmon): All year, minimum length-18", and daily Limit-2
  • Lake Trout: All year, minimum length-23", and daily limit-2
  • Smelt:
    • May 16 through March 31: Minimum length-none, daily limit-25
    • April 1 through May 15, Use or possession prohibited
  • Dip netting prohibited

On the Lake George Tributaries, which are designated as from Lake George upstream to the first barrier impassable by fish, the same regulations apply except for fishing times for smelt: Fishing is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 5 a.m. from April 1 through May 15.

Lake Trout

Lake George contains two fishery tiers. One fishery is cold water fish, with perch, salmon, and lake trout, and the other fishery is for warm water fish, with bass, and sunfish. Lake trout inhabit the deep, cold waters of the lake, especially during the summer. Perch move into shallower water during the colder times of the year, which are a favorite catch of ice anglers. 

Lake George comprises a large lake trout population. Anglers find the biggest lake trout that average 10 to 20 pounds in 40-feet or deeper water at Lake George. Lake trout can reach a weight of up to 30 pounds and can average 15 to 34-inches in length. Since Lake George reaches depths of almost 200 feet, deeper is better for these trout. 

Salmon

In Lake George during the fall, the salmon enter streams to spawn. The female turns on her side and fans out a nest in the streambed where she deposits her eggs. After spawning, the fish return to the lake, unlike Pacific salmon. Young landlocked salmon usually stay in the streams for a couple of years before migrating back into the lake. The steep terrain surrounding Lake George offers only marginal spawning production. 

When water temperatures reach the upper 50s, the salmon swim offshore to deeper water, and return to the shallow stream-mouths again in the fall. Salmon roam around the lake close to the surface, looking for smaller fish to eat. Salmon average 18 to 20-inches in length with anglers catching trophies over 5 pounds every year. Once hooked, they take off like a bolt of lightning and will jump entirely out of the water during the fight.

Perch

Yellow perch in Lake George average between four and ten-inches in length and travel in schools. They prefer shallow water less than 30-feet deep with grassy and weedy beds for feeding and breeding in March or April, and begin staging near their beds before that. Anglers find late winter and early spring the best times to go after perch, which is popular with ice-fishing enthusiasts. In the summer, perch tend to roam in deep open water. 

Bass

Marine biologists use smallmouth bass to analyze environmental conditions in Lake George. They build their spawning nests in two to 20 feet of water. Fry remain in their nests motionless for a bit but eventually rise in a school that the males herd and protect for a short period of time. Lake George bass fishing is excellent for smallmouth and largemouth bass. 

Bass average 12 to 15-inches long, with anglers frequently catching bass over 16 inches. Smallmouths dominate Lake George over largemouths and offer the best trophy potential. Anglers frequently hook bass over four pounds every season. Largemouths like to hang out in warm, shallow water as opposed to the colder water. In the summer, bass focus on the bountiful crayfish population in the lake.

Smelt

Rainbow smelt are an extremely important element of Lake George fisheries. Smelt spawn annually in the many tributaries of Lake George shortly after the ice-out, when water temperatures approach 45 degrees. Smelt typically spawn at night. Females lay thousands of eggs in gravel-strewn streambeds, the males fertilize them, and then the males and females return to the lake. When the smelt fry move to the lake, they become feed for larger fish.

Eight Lake George marinas provide boat launches and there are an additional five in the campgrounds and towns around the lake. Anglers will never have a problem locating a fishing charter on this lake. Lake George fishing guides offer charter services for parties from two to 20 people and go after any species you desire. But, book your fishing adventure early because these Lake George pro guides are popular. 

Check out experienced local pro guides on our Lake George Fishing Guides page.


Lake George Boating

Lake George offers marvelous boating adventures with its backdrop of tall mountains, pristine, clear, glacial waters, forested terrain, outstanding bays and beaches, 170 islands with many offering camping, and abundant wildlife viewing opportunities. Boating is one of the most popular activities on Lake George, so there are many businesses that offer rental boats, PWCs, and boating accessories. 

Being an extremely deep lake with crystal clear water, Lake George is popular with scuba divers. Dive sites in Lake George are interesting and varied, with dive site depths ranging from 20 to 80 feet and over 150-feet for technical diving. Divers can see historic wrecks and sites on the floor of Lake George.

Dive sites include The Radeau from 1758, which was identified by the Smithsonian Institution as the oldest intact warship in North America, old hotel sites, steamboat landings, natural formations like varied wall and pinnacle sites throughout the lake, and an abundance of freshwater fish. However, there are some strictly enforced regulations.

Dive boats and divers are required by law to use red-and-white dive flags. Divers must remain within 100 feet of the dive flag. Only one dive boat is allowed to be tied to a mooring buoy at a time and moor only to a mooring buoy. Buoys throughout Lake George direct boaters in the right direction and warn of water hazards. Boaters on Lake Gearge need to know what buoy markings and colors mean.

Boaters must register to launch their boats on Lake George, and they must pass a boat inspection. Any vessel mechanically propelled by a motor 10 H.P. or greater must register with the Lake George Park Commission and display a Registration Decal. Boats may be registered annually or for one day or one week. 

Registration fees differ depending on size and use of boat. Boats equipped for overnight accommodations have a bed or bunk and sanitary facilities. Boats equipped for overnight accommodations whether or not they're used for overnight stays will be registered as so. Boats may be registered by mail, in person at the Commission office, a local vendor around Lake George, or online. 

All operators of motorized boats and personal watercraft need to qualify for a boating safety certificate by 2025. If you are an out-of-state resident, New York State recognizes the boating safety certificate issued by your home state. This law imbedded a phased-in policy approach depending on year born for compliance with the safety certificate for the year 2025.

Six Inspection Stations at Lake George:

  • Million Dollar Beach Launch: 139 Beach Road, Lake George, New York
  • Dunham's Bay Dock & Launch: 2036 Bay Road, Queensbury, New York
  • Huletts Landing Marina: 6068 Lakeside Way, Huletts Landing, New York
  • Norowal Marina in Bolton: 21 Sagamore Road, Bolton Landing, New York
  • Mossy Point Public Boat Launch: 158 Black Point Road, Ticonderoga, New York
  • Rogers Rock Public Campground: 9894 Lakeshore Drive, Hague, New York

Lake George Speed Limits and Other Regulations:

  • The speed limit is 5 mph when within 100 feet of shore, dock, or stationary vessels such as boats, rafts, floats, etc.
  • In the main lake, the speed limit for daytime hours from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. is 45 mph.
  • In the nighttime, the speed limit drops to 25 mph until 6:00am.
  • Buoys throughout the lake alert boaters of speed restrictions in certain areas.
  • Vessels should avoid red scuba divers' flags, swimmers, paddle boats, and other small objects in the water by a distance of at least 100 feet.
  • Personal water craft (PWC) may not be operated within 500 feet of the outer boundary of a designated swimming or mooring area.
  • Vessels cannot be anchored, moored, or recreated from within 200 feet of private property shoreline without the express permission of the property owner or lessee.
  • Canoe paddlers should be warned that canoes are better for shoreline boating than use in the main lake.

Shop or sell a boat on our Lake George Boats for Sale page. 

Plan your trip to Lake George by calling one of the marinas today on our Lake George Marinas page and check out our Lake George Boat Ramps Map. 


Lake George Real Estate

Lake George’s real estate is the largest market for lake homes and land in New York. Typically, around 140 lake homes are for sale on Lake George, and 50 lots and land listings are available. Lake George homes for sale have an average list price of $1,115,000. Lake George homes range from $34,900 to $23,500,000. The town of Lake George, New York, on the southern tip of Lake George, provides the only school district on the lake with an elementary, middle, and high school. 

The closest major airport, Albany International Airport, is 54 miles from the southern tip of Lake George. The closest towns to Lake George are on the south side of the lake at Glen Falls, about five miles away with a Walmart, and Albany has the nearest city conveniences. These towns also have dining, but hamlets near the lake and waterfront eateries abound. Restaurants, resorts, and lodges that serve alcohol are scattered around the lake and at the marinas and some provide live music.

To find your dream home, explore our Lake George Homes for Sale page. 


Lake George Cabin Rentals

Quite a few private lodging hospitality entities offer luxurious cabins, cottages, and apartments around Lake George. These rentals provide amenities like waterfront cabins with docks, fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, BBQ grills and fire pits, and swimming pools. Lake George has communities dotted around its shores with numerous private vacation home rentals, also offering lavish amenities. 

You can find these exciting vacation home rentals on vrbo.com or airbnb.com. Folks crowd to Lake George in summer, so look and book early for your rental. Besides cabin and vacation home rentals, Lake George also has marvelous resorts and lodges offering the highest quality amenities, plus a few B&Bs. 

Find the perfect vacation home on our Lake George Cabins page. 


Lake George Camping

Lake George offers dozens of campgrounds with tent, RV, and island camping. On either side and on the southern border of the lake, visitors can find Lake George RV parks with amenities like dump stations, showers and restrooms, fire pits and grills, laundry facilities, picnic tables, ADA facilities, sandy beaches, and swimming areas, along with tent campsites at the RV and even motel properties. 

Island camping is a bit different. Visitors who want to camp on islands need to make reservations far in advance because the sites are very popular and fill up quickly. Campers can reserve most campsites, but campers should have a second choice in mind when making reservations in case their first island or site choice is taken. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has multiple rules and restrictions.

Island campsites on Lake George are divided into three groups, Glen Island, Long Island, and the Narrows. Located in different areas of Lake George, each of these groups have their own headquarters for reservations, and registration for a permit is a requirement. Dogs are prohibited on the islands, docks, and on vessels moored at docks. The Lake George island campsites are boat-in only.

Fees vary for the different islands, and island camping is seasonal. They typically open in mid-May and close sometime in September depending on the weather. Some islands offer day-use facilities. Some island campsites are first come, first serve, but visitors must also register for them. There are 387 shoreline campsites on 44 state owned islands. All sites have a dock for one boat, a fireplace, a  picnic table, and toilet facilities. Cruiser sites for larger boats also provide a charcoal burner and privy.

The Narrow Island Group (Mother Bunch Group), has 85 campsites. The Glen Island Group (The Narrows), has 170 sites and 42 cruiser sites.  Long Island has 90 sites. The 42 cruiser sites are for large boats with sleeping quarters. The Glen Island Group offers 25 sites on the mainland but still accessible by boat only. Most sites are well forested and private. 

Use the Reserve America links listed below to reserve and register for island campsites in the Lake George area:

Long Island Group

Glen Island Group

Narrow Island Group

Check out our list of campgrounds and RV parks for your family adventure on our Lake George Camping page. 


Hiking Lake George

Hiking trails abundantly surround Lake George with its heavily forested terrain and mountain trails. The following are the closest to and the most popular trails at Lake George. Hikers at Lake George are advised to wear hunter orange during deer hunting season, dress for the weather with layered clothing, and wear quality hiking boots. 

Buck Mountain near Kattskill Bay

The Buck Mountain hike on the east side of the lake is a moderate 6.6-mile-long trail with a few steep and rocky sections to get through before you can appreciate its picturesque lake views. There are a couple of different trail options that lead to the summit. The more common one to use is at the end of Pilot Knob Road.

Black Mountain near Clemons, about 5 miles east of Lake George

The Black Mountain hike is relatively easy with a few challenging spots that bring it up to a moderate level. Black Mountain, Buck Mountain, and Sleeping Beauty Mountains have interconnecting trails. This hike is about 5-miles round-trip and includes a fenced off fire tower and a windmill.

Amy's Park at Bolton Landing, west side of Lake George

The 500-acre Amy's Park has a network of short hiking trails considered easy with a few lookout areas, a beaver pond, and other wildlife viewing opportunities with a canoe/kayak launch close to the parking lot.

The Pinnacle at Bolton Landing

The Pinnacle is considered an easy hike with moderate stretches, 1.5-mile trail with lake views and connects to Bradley's Lookout Trail and the trail to Cat Mountain near the summit. It includes a few steep climbs.

Hackensack Mountain in Warrensburg about 6 miles west of Lake George

This 2.7-mile Hackensack Mountain hike is a moderate loop that wanders through a beautiful forest to the summit, where you can look out over Warrensburg and surrounding mountains.

Prospect Mountain at Lake George

Prospect Mountain is one of the most popular hikes at Lake George. It is a 3-mile extremely steep and rocky hike with lake views and rated moderate to difficult. At the summit, you can check out remnants of the Prospect Mountain Cable Incline Railway.

Cat and Thomas Mountains near Bolton at Lake George

You can hike on two mountains with moderate to difficult ratings in one day at the Cat and Thomas Mountains. Both peaks can be accessed from one trail network with lake views. If you want to hike only one of them, Cat Mountain is the most popular trail. Both trails together are a 7 to 8-mile hike.

Tongue Mountain Range near Bolton

The Tongue Mountain Range is a trail system of six separate difficult hikes, the French Mountain Trail with a waterfall, Clay Meadow Trail with a waterfall, First Peak, Fifth Peak, Brown Mountain, and Five Mile Mountain Trails. Visitors on these hikes need to watch out for rattlesnakes.

Warren County Bikeway from Lake George to Glens Falls

The 9.2-mile Warren County Bikeway is available for walkers, hikers, and bikers to enjoy from Lake George Village to Glens Falls, or vice versa. Hikers will find historical signage, plenty of picnic spots, and scenic views along the way.

Colonial Wars Self-Guided Walking Tour at Lake George Village

The Colonial Wars Self-Guided Walking Tour is an easy walk that takes you through historical spots in Lake George Village and includes the Lake George Battlefield and hikers learn about Lake George's significance in the French and Indian War.

Adirondack Bicycle Tours

Discover the best Lake George Area cycling routes with Adirondack Bicycle Tours. The principal goal of Adirondack Bicycle Tours is to take people on bike rides in the Southern Adirondack Region. These tours focus on guided recreational touring trips. These bicycle tours go at a reasonable pace with time to talk while you ride. Group tours include “loops” and “point to point” rides of varying length, difficulty, and duration in Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Essex and Hamilton Counties.


Hunting Lake George

The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) owns and manages over 4,000 acres of land in the Lake George Watershed. Some of these properties are open to hunting, by permit only. The LGLC only allows deer hunting. No other game hunting is permitted. The following preserves are open for hunting at Lake George by permit only:

  • Amy’s Park
  • Anthony’s Nose
  • Godwin Preserve
  • Sucker Brook Preserve at Gull Bay and Last Great Shoreline
  • Terzian Preserve

Hunters and hikers should wear hunter orange on LGLC preserves during deer season. Hunters can purchase a New York State hunting license at a License Issuing Agent Location, online, or by phone. If you purchase online or by phone, it takes up to 14 business days to receive your license and tags in the mail. If you need your license sooner, it is recommended to purchase it from a License Issuing Agent.


Lake George Things to Do

Visitors can sample their way through the restaurants of the Lake George area. Foodies can grab a table in small hamlets and waterside towns in the region. Dozens of waterfront restaurants invite you to enjoy a burger and much more with a frosty beer or mixed drink on their waterfront decks with live music. 

The Top of the World Golf Resort near Lake George Village on the southern tip of Lake George offers spectacular views of Lake George and the surrounding countryside, a challenging eighteen-hole golf course, and the complete Adirondack Inn experience, with fine dining at their restaurant and a charming B&B. 441 Lockhart Mountain Road, Lake George, New York.

Learn how to throw an axe at Adirondack Axe. Axe throwing sessions begin with some short training exercises. Visitors must be 18 to throw on their own axes and adults must accompany 13 to 17-years-olds. Adirondack Axe is open year-round. 578 Aviation Road, Queensbury, New York.

The Adirondack Adventure Center is eight miles southwest of Lake George where you ride the Lazy Lynx Float or enjoy guided lazy river tubing adventures that last approximately 2.5 to 3-hours, depending on river conditions, or take a zip lining ride through the treetops from May through early September or October. 877 Lake Avenue,
Lake Luzerne, New York. 

Adirondack Scooters provide scooters for one or two riders available with helmets and gas included, plus hourly and daily rates. A valid driver’s license and proper footwear are required. It is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. 2239 State Route 9, Lake George, New York. 

Check out the Hyde Collection Art Museum and Historic House for an impressive array of works by renowned masters, like Rembrandt, Picasso, and van Gogh. This museum offers a world-class group of works that span almost six thousand years of art history from antiquity to the present. 161 Warren Street, Glen Falls, New York.

The Charles Wood Theater is always hosting a comedy show, a concert, or a play. This venue features a 300-seat, four-wall rental, and producing theater with 30,000 square feet with traditional to cutting-edge music, theater, dance, comedy, lectures, meetings, and seminars. The Charles R. Wood Theater’s mission is to promote cultural and artistic endeavors and foster economic development and improvement of quality of life. Glens Falls, NY area. 207 Glen Street,

Ski and snowboard at nearby mountains to Lake George from late November through mid-April. The Dynamite Hill Recreation Area near Chestertown, New York, Gore Mountain near North Creek, New York, Hickory Ski Center near Warrensburg, New York, and West Mountain near Queensbury, New York, all offer exciting winter adventures from nine to 22 miles away from Lake George. 

Plan the perfect day trip or vacation on our Things to Do at Lake George page.


Lake George Weather & Climate

Lake George sees an average of 45 inches of rain per year, with 69 inches of snow and 176 days of sunshine. The winter low in January is 7 degrees and a summer high in July of 81 degrees. June, July, and August are the most comfortable months for this region. January and February are the least comfortable months. 

Keep your eyes on the skies with our Lake George Weather Forecast page. 


Lake George Zip Codes

Warren County: 12814, 12824, 12836, 12845, 12883, 12874.

Washington County: 12804, 12819, 12827, 12844, 12861.

Lake George Email Updates


 

Lake George Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.

 

Lake George Weather Forecast

Tuesday

Partly Sunny

Hi: 33

Tuesday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 13

Wednesday

Mostly Sunny

Hi: 38

Wednesday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 22

Thursday

Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 42

Thursday Night

Chance Rain/Snow

Lo: 30

Friday

Chance Rain/Snow

Hi: 41

Friday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 13


Lake George Water Level (last 30 days)


Water Level on 2/20: 318.90 (-1.10)



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