62 Days of Summer
Lake George offered only 70 degrees on a recent July afternoon, but Kimberly Curnow and her son Liam Pine still took dips.
“This is our fourth time up. It’s a quick trip from where we live,” said Curnow, a Poughkeepsie resident. Even though the deep blue was cool — the “Queen of the American Lakes” is notoriously late to warm — Curnow and Pine were glad they traveled north to the Million Dollar Beach.
“It’s just fun,” said Pine, 10, teeth chattering just a little bit.
July and August are prime times for Lake George’s largest stretch of sand. Warm sunny mornings — and even breezy, overcast afternoons — will bring people to the 250-yard beach that is also a summer paradise for children and sea gulls.
Hot weather has been bringing all of them to the cool Million since it opened in 1950. Construction began in 1949. The beach’s high-priced name is a reminder that New York wrote a big check to develop and construct the extravagant sandbox. The site was an immediate hit.
Bathers have mountains on both sides, stately looking homes on the east and west shores and a big sky that is often dotted with parachute riders towed by speed boats. Steamboat whistles from nearby boats such as the Minne-Ha-Ha and the Mohican add summery sound.
Ed Blondin, facility supervisor at the beach, said people are still coming. In 2013, he said, between 120,000 and 125,000 sun and sand fans were at the MDB. There used to be more. “In the days before air conditioning, it was people all the time, it was wall-to-wall people,” he said.
Admission to the beach is free, but parking in the 200-vehicle capacity lot is $10 per car, $5 for motorcycles and $50 for tour buses. Beach hours are 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.; picnic areas are open from 10 a.m. until dusk.
There are rules for visitors. No floatation devices. No underwater swimming equipment. No alcoholic beverages on the sand. No glass containers. No pets.
Veronique Lafrance of Quebec was on the beach and in the water with her 7-year-old daughter Laurianne on a sunny afternoon. “We are very happy here,” Lafrance said. “The water is not too deep, so it’s easy for the children.”
Queensbury’s Jim Gleason says he visits the beach on occasion, but it is neither the sand nor the water that attracts him.
“It’s the view,” he said, seated in a chair on the beach. “Can’t beat it.”
Gleason has plenty of time, and plenty of visits ahead: The beach closes after Labor Day.
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Categories: -News-, Schenectady County