Warren County

Lake George conservancy buys French Mountain land

Plans are to transfer to land towns, build hiking trails
View from French Mountain
PHOTOGRAPHER:
View from French Mountain

LAKE GEORGE — The Lake George Land Conservancy has purchased 317 acres on French Mountain, at the southern end of the lake, with plans to open the property for recreational use.

The private land group is acquiring the mountain from the McPhillips family for $525,000, with plans to transfer ownership to the towns of Lake George and Queensbury, after attaching conservation easements to preserve the land from development. The property, southeast of the Lake George Battlefield state park, is split between the towns.

After the ownership transfer, Queensbury and Lake George will work together to create trails on the property, which is visible from the Northway. Because it has historically been logged, there are “skidder trails” on the property that could be converted to multi-use recreation trails. The mountain offers views of the southern basin, the village of Lake George and surrounding mountains. It also links to the conservancy’s East Brook Preserve, which was acquired earlier this year.

“The partnership with the towns of Lake George and Queensbury, and the hiking and biking trail system, will have a very positive impact for the economy year-round,” said Bernice McPhillips, whose family owned the land for 90 years. “The beautiful view from the top is from the village straight up the lake and will more definitely be appreciated by the hikers and bikers using the trail system.”

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French Mountain/South Basin Protection (Photo: Lake George Land Conservancy)

The conservancy said more than 2,000 feet of seasonal streams flow off the property into East Brook, so the acquisition helps protect the Lake George watershed. 

“The creation of a 317-acre, jointly owned French Mountain park is huge,” said Queensbury Town Supervisor John Strough. “This effort, initiated by Lake George Supervisor (Dennis) Dickinson and LGLC’s Jamie Brown, is going to be a boon for both Lake George’s water quality and our area’s recreational offerings.”

“This project could not have happened without everyone involved being fully committed and dedicated to its success,” Brown said. “We are grateful to the towns of Lake George and Queenbury and to the McPhillips family, and look forward to other partnerships like this that will protect the land that protects the lake and create wonderful community resources.”

A similar partnership with the town of Bolton opened The Pinnacle to public use. That mountain overlooks Bolton Landing on the west side of the lake, and that preserve opened in 2015.

Reach Daily Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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