view looking out from fire tower at surrounding mountains

An Adirondack Summer Bucket List for the Best Lake George Camping Trip

If you love camping and the Lake George area, you’re going to want to make the most of your getaway here in the southern Adirondacks. There are so many fun things to do in Lake George! Reap the benefits of all the incredible outdoor recreation opportunities available in the Lake George region when you add one or more of the following to your Adirondack summer bucket list:

Elevate Your Hike by Adding a Historic Fire Tower or Stunning Waterfall to the Journey

fire tower on mountain summit

Hadley Mountain Fire Tower

Sure, you could tackle one of the High Peaks, but for an equally rewarding experience with stunning sights, check out a fire tower hike or a waterfall hike.

Fire towers represent a significant aspect of Adirondack history, dating back to the early 1900s when nearly 1 million acres of forest were destroyed in fires. Fire towers were built on top of mountains for trained professionals to be able to better hone in on the location of fires in the distance. Spruce Mountain and Hadley Mountain are two options for fire tower hikes close to Lake George.

two waterfalls

Left: Beecher Creek Falls, Right: Shelving Rock Falls

In addition, there are a variety of waterfall hikes in the Adirondacks, from the 200-foot OK Slip Falls in Indian Lake to the 30 to 46-foot Split Rock Falls in Elizabethtown. At about an hour away, either of these options would be a doable day trip for those staying at a campground in the Lake George, NY area.

Note, please adequately research your hike ahead of time. Some Adirondack hikes are rated difficult, and for good reason. Find a hike that matches up with the skill level and experience of your group. Shelving Rock Falls is a popular family-friendly waterfall hike near Lake George that is considered good for kids or beginners.

Try An Outdoor Railbiking Excursion & Experience the ADK in a Super Unique Way

rail trail for railbiking through woods

Part of Revolution Rail’s North Bridge Run

Railbiking offers an opportunity to see the forests and waters of the Adirondacks in a way you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Railbiking is easy to do, not strenuous, and perfect for almost all ages and abilities.

Plus, Revolution Rail, the primary railbiking company in the region, has continued to expand their operations since opening in 2017. They now offer several “runs” through three different locations in North Creek, Hadley, and Thurman. In fact, they now offer a Rails to River experience out of Hadley, wherein railbiking is combined with a whitewater rafting trip. Speaking of which…

Ride the Rapids & Paddle On as You Make Your Way Down the Sacandaga or Hudson River

whitewater rafting with red lifejackets and paddles

Did you know that there are different classes of rapids and, therefore, different levels of whitewater rafting? In other words, even if you’ve never set foot in a raft in your life, there’s a beginner-friendly whitewater rafting trip for you.

We’re fortunate to have many highly-rated whitewater rafting outfitters in the Adirondack region, including a few close to Lake George. Check out Adirondack Adventure Center, Sacandaga Outdoor Center, or Wild Waters Outdoor Center.

Whitewater rafting takes endurance and teamwork and is just as much a social experience as one where you’re immersing yourself in nature. This exhilarating activity is a must-do for any Adirondack bucket list.

Make Mountain Biking on Designated Trails or Bikeways a Priority This Trip

gurney lane bike trail sign on tree in woods

If you haven’t ridden a bike since you were a kid or don’t own one to bring on your camping trip, no worries! From bike rentals at places like Garnet Hill Lodge’s Outdoor Center to the local bike share problem with CDPHP Cycle, you’ll be gripping those handlebars and feeling the wind rush by you in no time.

The aforementioned Garnet Hill not only has bike rentals but an entire mountain biking trail system on their property that cyclists can access for a fee. Plus, the Gurney Lane Recreation Area, just five minutes from Lake George Campsites, has a top-rated mountain biking park open to users at no charge.

Finally, there are two designated bike paths in the Lake George region: the 9.4-mile Warren County Bikeway that runs from Lake George to Glens Falls and the 9-mile Feeder Canal Trail that goes from Queensbury to Fort Edward. We’re just a 1-minute drive to designated parking for Warren County Bikeway on Round Pond Road.

Learn All About Past Stories of the Adirondacks at These 2 Forts

fort william henry cannon

Fort William Henry is located on the southern basin of Lake George and is just 12 minutes from Lake George Campsites. Fort Ticonderoga is at the northern end of the lake, about an hour from Lake George. Both forts offered valuable access to waterways in the 1700s – Lake George and Lake Champlain, respectively – and each played a crucial role in the French and Indian War.

sign for fort carillon/now fort ticonderoga with cannons in the background

Both Fort William Henry and Fort Ticonderoga offer guided tours, live reenactments, weapons demonstrations, educational programs, and much more. Fort Ticonderoga also has a King’s Garden, beautiful to see in bloom in the summer, as well as guided boat tours on the Carillon, a boat that bears the former name of Fort Ticonderoga. They also have a corn maze.

Take to the Trails on Horseback With a Reputable Ranch

people horseback riding in a line on the left, horses grazing by a pond on the right

Photos provided

It may not be as strongly associated with the Adirondacks as whitewater rafting or hiking, but horseback riding is a deeply underrated Adirondack activity. These majestic animals can bring you even closer to the crux of the Adirondacks: nature and the great outdoors.

Experience trail riding with Circle B Ranch, located in Chestertown, just 30 minutes from Lake George Campsites. They offer guided horseback rides, horseback riding lessons, and they even do sleigh rides in the winter. Choose between the 1-hour Beaver Dam Trail or the 2-Hour Circle B Mountain & Valley Trail.

Trail riding in the fall is stunning with that quintessential Adirondack foliage. We here at Lake George Campsites are open through October 15, 2023! Outdoor fun doesn’t have to end when summer does.

Let Lake George Campsites, minutes from Lake George Village and a wide array of attractions and activities, serve as your home base for a classically Adirondack vacation filled with one-of-a-kind outdoor adventures. How many bucket list items do you think you can check off during your next camping trip?

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