Family Friendly Hiking near Lake George
Adirondack State Park is known for its outdoor adventures, including hiking. Some of the best hiking in upstate New York is in and around Lake George, located in the southernmost region of the Adirondacks. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a week of exploring, Lake George is only a little over a 3-hour drive from New York City.
Exploring and discovering family-friendly hiking in Lake George to share has been an adventure. Although the Adirondack State Park is well known for its High Peaks, there are also many beginner/intermediate-level hiking trails. We’ve compiled a short list of some of the best hikes in Lake George for families and beginners.
1 | The Pinnacle
The Pinnacle is a hiking trail five minutes outside Bolton Landing and maintained by the Lake George Land Conservancy. The trail is an out-and-back, about 2 miles roundtrip. If you want to start with a small hike or don’t have much time, we highly recommend this hike as it only takes just over an hour to complete. Once you reach the summit, there are stunning views of Lake George and the surrounding mountain ranges. This has become a popular trail because of its ease, so you will likely encounter other families exploring.
2 | The Schumann Preserve at Pilot Knob
The Schumann Preserve is also a Lake George Land Conservancy property and trail. This trail is similar in length to the Pinnacle but is steeper when taking the popular red trail. Although more challenging, it is not impossible for a beginner hiker or children. The trail has rock steps built into various parts and various information signs that are always fun for the kids to read and learn. Once you reach the peak, you will be rewarded with a beautiful view and shady rest at the gazebo. We did see different wildlife on this trail, including foxes, chipmunks, frogs, and caterpillars.
If you are still ready for more after resting, an extended trail leads you through hemlock, oak forests, and grassy meadows to a waterfall loop about 1 mile away. The waterfall is seasonal as it is active in the spring and often dry in late summer and fall.
3 | Shelving Rock
On the east side of Lake George, you will find Shelving Rock. There are two options for hiking, one to the falls and the other to the summit. We hiked to the summit with a toddler (mix of independent walking, shoulder sitting, and carrier) and can tell you this 3-mile hike is worth the distance. This hike was our favorite. The trail is more peaceful and quieter because most will choose to hike to the falls. The trail is wider than most because most of it used to be an old carriage road. Once at the summit, you take a small narrow path leading to a beautiful view of the lake. This is a perfect spot for a lunch break, so pack some food and take all your trash with you.
Bonus: Up Yonda Farm, Environmental Education Center
Up Yonda Farm has more than 3 miles of trails which are easy to moderate. This family-friendly attraction has more to offer than hiking. Up Yonda focuses on finding new ways to connect with nature through hands-on science programs. Some connecting trails include the Sugar Trail, which highlights the maple sugaring activities and provides a view of the Sugar House. While there, you can also explore the butterfly garden, pond, museum, and sensory garden. The museum features wildlife exhibits and has a children’s activity room. They often host events and education programs with people to help answer your children’s questions. This is always a favorite for everyone!
Whether you are looking for a quick, easy hike or are excited to get your kids out on the trails, we hope this list provides a great starting place. Remember to leave no trace, take nothing, and leave only footprints. For more information about No Trace Principles, click here. We hope to see you out on the trails!
If you are interested in visiting the Lake George area and are looking for a place to stay close to the trails and village, check out our accommodations. We are open Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend.