Lake George Land Conservancy Hike-A-Thon
Trip report from the 2017 Lake George Land Conservancy Hike-A-Thon
For the second year in a row, I signed up for the Lake George Land Conservancy’s Hike-A-Thon. This is an annual event put on by the LGLC to showcase their preserves and to promote appreciation for the outdoors. Every year groups of hikers and paddlers journey into the various LGLC preserves around Lake George and Carl Heilman, II flies over in a helicopter to take their picture. For this year, I dragged along my two friends (Pam and Mark) and signed up to hike Thomas Mountain in Bolton Landing.
The day started at 8 am when we arrived at the Cat and Thomas Mountain trailhead off of Route 11 in Bolton Landing. After gathering our gear, we signed in at the Hike-A-Thon registration table and met our fellow hikers. The three volunteers were incredibly helpful and even provided water and granola bars if anybody wanted to bring them on the hike.
Around 9 am we took a group picture behind the Hike-A-Thon banner and began the hike up Thomas Mountain via the Orange Trail. It’s a 1.4 mile hike that climbs 716 feet to the summit. The trail starts off flat and follows an old logging road. Estimating around a half mile into the hike, the trail leaves the main logging road and turns right leading up another logging road. This section of the hike is where it starts to get steep. After about 40 minutes, we reached the summit.
At the summit is a cabin where the group rested, drank some water and took many pictures. The view from the summit is less than 180 degrees and faces the south looking at Cat Mountain nearly right in front of you. Lake George is to the left and Crane Mountain is to the right. The cabin is open to the public at first come first serve basis and in really good shape. It has a chair, love seat and a loft within it.
We had around 15 minutes to rest and enjoy the view and then we got into formation for the helicopter. All the groups for the Hike-A-Thon were trying to spell out the word “Lake George” and we were assigned the letter E. We got into the shape of a capital E just in time for Carl Heilman to fly over in the helicopter. He was hanging out the side and taking pictures of us while we waved back at him. The helicopter did two passes and then Carl waved good bye and headed off to the next mountain.
We chatted a bit with some of the other hikers about different hikes we have been on. After a little while we headed back down the same way we came up. Normally on this mountain I would continue on to Cat Mountain via the Richard Hayes Phillips Trail but our schedule for the day prevented us from continuing on. A few members of the group did head that way though.
Overall it was an amazing hike and we met some great people along the way. Can’t wait until next year.
Personal note: I’ve hiked many of the preserves that the LGLC owns around Lake George and I have to say they do an amazing job. First their website is very well detailed on trail guides, directions and up to date trail information. Second each of their locations look great. The parking is easy and sign in stations have lots of information about the preserve. It is very obvious that the staff members and their volunteers care about the land and put a lot of their passion into it. Please consider helping them out in whatever way you desire as they are a worth while cause to protecting the land around Lake George.