Hiking on Lake George: top 6 hikes to do 

Lake George, also known as the “Queen of American Lakes”, is a beautiful lake located in upstate New York. One of the cleanest and clearest lakes in the North American Great Lakes, it is nestled in the Great Appalachian Valley and lies at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains.

Lake George is the perfect place for a day trip, offering a wide range of recreational activities for everyone from children to seniors, from athletes to those looking for relax. Campers can camp or picnic on the shores of the lake, while adventure seekers can hike in the surrounding mountains. The lake also offers a range of water activities such as scuba diving, jet skiing and parasailing, not to mention sport fishing.

The Lake George area is also important from a historical point of view, as it is home to two forts built in the mid-1800s and which were the scene of famous battles during the French and Indian War: Fort William Henry (British) and Fort Ticonderoga (French).

In this article we will focus on walks and treks around Lake George, the perfect place for a day outing. We have selected 6 easy routes that will allow you to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy wonderful views of one of the most beautiful lakes in North America.


Thomas Mountain

This easy hike starts at Bolton Landing and climbs about 600 feet to the summit of Thomas Mountain, where you can see Lake George and several nearby mountains. The trail is well marked and passes through dense forest, alternating between sandy and stony terrain. Those who are more experienced may choose to hike to the top of Cat Mountain.

  • Start: Bolton Landing (parking lot at the corner of CR-11 and Valley Woods Road)
  • Finish: Thomas Mountain summit
  • Elevation gain: approximately 600 feet
  • Length: 1.4 mi (45 minutes)
  • Difficulty: E
  • Period: All seasons


Prospect Mountain

The trail from Lake George Village to Prospect Mountain is one of the most popular in the area and provides views of Lake George and the Adirondacks for up to 100 miles. This route is a bit more challenging and passes through the Prospect Mountain forest on mixed terrain with rocks. On the top of Prospect Mountain there are the remains of the old Cable Incline Railway, which can also be reached by car following the Veterans Memorial Highway.

  • Start: Lake George Village (Smith Street)
  • Finish: Prospect Mountain summit
  • Points of Interest: Cable Incline Railway
  • Elevation gain: 1535 feet
  • Length: 2.8 mi (approx. 2 hours)
  • Difficulty: E
  • Season: All seasons

Lake George - New York


Shelving Rock Falls and Log Bay (ideal for families)

Shelving Rock Falls is a little-known destination near Lake George, but it's beautiful and easily accessible. There are several routes to the falls, all of which start on the main Shelving Rock Road in the Shelving Rock Area of the Lake George Wild Forest. During the walk you can also see a beaver dam and you can continue the walk to Log Bay, where you can go for a swim.

  • Start: Shelving Rock Area of the Lake George Wild Forest
  • Finish: Shelving Rock Falls
  • Points of interest: Log Bay, Shelving Rock Area
  • Elevation Gain: variable depending on the route but is limited
  • Length: variable depending on the route but still short
  • Difficulty: E
  • Period: from April to October


Sleeping Beauty Mountain

The hike up this mountain offers one of the best views of Lake George and the woodlands of the Shelving Rock Area. For this route you start from Hog Town Trailhead or Dacy Clearing Trailhead, if the road is passable. The trail is covered by forest and is never too steep, the ground is often stony.

  • Start: Hog Town Trailhead
  • Finish: Sleeping Beauty Mountain summit
  • Elevation gain: 1259 feet
  • Length: 3.4 mi (approx. 2 hours 30 minutes)
  • Difficulty: E
  • Period: all seasons


Black Mountain

Another route with great views of Lake George is the one to Black Mountain. This hike starts from Black Mountain Trailhead, on Pike Brook Road and initially follows a road which then becomes a narrower path. This path climbs through the woods until reaching the summit, where there is a fire tower. Black Mountain is the highest peak of the mountains surrounding Lake George.

  • Start: Black Mountain Trailhead (Pike Brook Road)
  • Finish: Black Mountain summit
  • Elevation gain: 1335 feet
  • Length: 2.5 mi (about 2 hours)
  • Difficulty: E
  • Season: All seasons


View of a lake


Pole Hill Pond

This loop trail starts at Pole Hill Pond Trailhead, on Lake Shore Drive, and climbs gently through the woods to a beautiful pond where you can relax and picnic. This route is not very difficult and in winter it is also perfect for snowshoeing.

  • Start and finish: Pole Hill Pond Trailhead (Lake Shore Drive)
  • Elevation gain: 1535 feet
  • Length: 5.5 mi (about 3 hours 30 minutes)
  • Difficulty: E
  • Period: All seasons


Hiking on Lake George: Our tips

Even during a day outing or a short trek, it is advisable to always be equipped to avoid finding yourself in unpleasant situations. Remember to wear comfortable clothing and take water and snacks with you, as you may not find refreshments.

Never underestimate safety, even on easy trails, so always carry a first aid kit (see our article “first aid kit for trekking and hiking: contents and recommendations”) and a GPS for Hiking.

Don't forget to wear the right footwear when hiking on Lake George, even if you are tackling touristy, undemanding trails. Trekking shoes with good grip and extra protection will give you more confidence when walking and will avoid mishaps on uneven or slippery ground.


Dragontail Limited Edition: the perfect shoe for a day outing

Dragontail Limited Edition is a model we have designed for those who want to get away from their daily routine and immerse themselves in nature. This model has a very comfortable fit due to the extra space in the forefoot area, and it offers the right control even on uneven terrain thanks to the Garmont GTF Diamante sole. This model is produced in a limited edition with a colour scheme inspired by the latest outdoor trends. Available only online at garmontnorthamerica.com