Lake George NY as a major tourist destination predates the existence of the United States as an independent country. It continues to be popular with vacationers throughout the northeast today. With its wealth of both natural and cultural attractions, this perennial popularity isn’t too hard to explain.
History And Geography
Lake George is a long, narrow mountain lake in the Adirondacks. It runs in a north-to-south direction for more than 30 miles. It was well-known to American colonists in the 17th century; it received it name (after the reigning British monarch) during the French and Indian War. The northern end of the lake runs parallel to Lake Champlain, and the two are connected by the fast-moving La Chute River. The famous Fort Ticonderoga was built at the eastern end of the river and the town of Ticonderoga extended westward to the end of Lake George. Lake George NY is the name of the smaller town at the lake’s southern end.
The lake has been a haven for summer vacationers since the mid-18th century. By the turn of the century, Lake George was a celebrated summer retreat for both wealthy and modest families from New York City and other major urban centers in the region. The more prosperous visitors to the lake constructed summer mansions on the west side of the lake, building up the celebrated “Millionaire’s Row.”
It was the wide variety of enjoyable summer activities that first turned Lake George into a tourist haven. For all its popularity, the area around the lake remains sparsely populated, giving visitors plenty of opportunities to enjoy the natural environment. Camping, hiking, boating, hunting, and fishing are all extremely popular. Much of the land around the lake (including many of its 300-plus islands) is public property, making it easy for visitors to roam at their leisure.
Modern times have brought even more fair-weather fun to Lake George and the surrounding area. Numerous golf courses operate in the area. More adventurous visitors can try out zip line courses, paintball fields, whitewater rafting, and hang gliding in the region. Lake George also has plenty of family-friendly points of interest, including educational and historical tours all around the lake.
Although summer remains Lake George’s busiest season, the rise of wintertime sports has produced a constant influx of visitors throughout the year. Thanks to the hilly terrain surrounding the Adirondack mountains, the lake is a convenient base for visiting a variety of different skiing and snowboarding slopes. The biggest are Gore Mountain, Ski Hickory, and West Mountain. Well-maintained trails make the region attractive to snowmobilers, cross-country skiers, and winter hikers. Anglers make regular trips to Lake George to try their hand at ice fishing.
There are indoor entertainment opportunities aplenty during the colder months, too. A number of different winter festivals are run in the different towns and villages around the lake. Many of the lake’s finest tourist attractions, from the Adirondack Winery to the House of Frankenstein Wax Museum, are as enjoyable in cold weather as they are in the summer.
This brief overview can’t really come close to laying out all of the compelling tourist attractions and opportunities in the Lake George region. It’s well worth a visit, and tourists who make their way to the lake will find ample opportunities to enjoy themselves on both brief stop-overs and extended vacations.