Hannah Black sat on a furniture-sized chunk of rock and contemplated the beauty of Lake George.
“It’s just absolutely gorgeous,” said Black, 18, who lives in Toledo, Ohio. “Despite having a cloudy day, it’s still so beautiful.”
62 Days of Summer
Black looked across the lake and into the Adirondacks from the “Lake George Panorama” overlook on Prospect Mountain. The mountain is famous for its scenic properties — two other overlooks and a 100-mile view from the 2,000-foot high summit are favorites of photographers. You can drive up the toll road, or hike up the side of the mountain. The steep climb is challenging: It takes about three hours to complete the four-mile round trip.
62 Days of Summer
Black, who drove to the “Panorama” with her family, was content to just observe nature from a high vantage point. “It’s a good place to clear your mind,” she said. “It kind of reminds you how small you are … we’re from flatlands in Ohio, so the mountains are especially spectacular.”
A graying sky and the mountains rose high above the lake. Miles below, a steam whistle was audible at the lake’s southern shore. The steamboat Lac du Saint Sacrement began a trip north.
Neel Das, from Bengal, India, took photos of his wife, Shree, and son Rishin. “It’s like the lakes you see in Norway,” said Neel, who also motored to the scenic stop. “You can see the beauty of Lake George, you can see all the inlets.”
Prospect’s road is open from Memorial Day weekend through Oct. 19. Vehicle entrance is on Route 9, about one-half mile south of the village, across from the Lake George Chamber of Commerce. Admission is $10 per vehicle.
Wayne and Barbara Dunbar of Selkirk had their photo taken at the summit, as darker clouds — and then rain — moved in from the north. They had just completed the first half of the Prospect hike.
“It’s a steady climb up, it’s an aerobic workout,” said Wayne, a former Schenectady resident.
Barbara enjoyed the scenery at the summit. She could not recommend the views during the hike.
“You’re in the woods the whole time, climbing up roots, big rocks, little rocks,” she said. “Part of the time, you’re zig-zagging. Most of the time, it’s straight up.”
On top there are picnic tables and a pavilion, and large brown info boards that give history lessons — like details on the Prospect Mountain House, erected at the top of the mountain in the 1870s.
Overnight stays cost $3, but the high price included meals. The original building was destroyed in a forest fire in 1880, was rebuilt — but later burned again.
For the ambulatory experience, the trailhead is in the village of Lake George. There’s parking lot on Smith Street just beyond the foot bridge over Interstate 87. The bridge will put visitors on the hiking trail.