Lake George, New York, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Mid-Atlantic - New York - Adirondacks -

Sitting pretty at the base of New York’s majestic Adirondack Mountains, Lake George’s nickname is “Queen of American Lakes.” The 28,000-acre glacial lake is dotted with islands and notable rock formations, and is surrounded by lovely mountains and scenic vistas. Though its history is rich, today the lake serves as a recreational playground for area residents and tourists from all over the world.

Lake George is long and narrow, approximately 32 miles long and up to 3 miles wide. Fed by rainfall and melting snow, the lake’s water drains from its northern end into Lake Champlain by way of the La Chute River, dropping 230 feet over waterfalls and rapids. The Lake George Park Commission oversees the lake’s water to maintain fairly constant levels for recreation and navigation. Water levels are drawn down every winter 12-16 inches in anticipation of spring snow melt. Levels fluctuate about 5-6 inches during the summer. Water levels are regulated by releasing water over the dam at the lake’s outlet at the northern end along the La Chute River. The LaChute Hydro Company, a subsidiary of Enel North America, Inc. provides electricity to 4,000 New York households with this hydroelectric project.

The lake’s existence was first noted by Samuel de Champlain in 1609, but the lake was not named until 1646, when Isaac Jogues dubbed it “Lac du Saint-Sacrement”. In 1755, during the French and Indian War, Sir William Johnson renamed the lake Lake George, after King George II. Sir Johnson built a fort on the lake’s southern end, calling it Fort William Henry, and on September 8, 1755, the Battle of Lake George was fought between Britain and France. The lake played a supporting role in several other battles and hosted many prominent historical figures, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote, “Lake George is without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw.”

Those same beautiful waters attract thousands of yearly visitors, taking advantage of the lake’s convenient location equidistant between New York City and Montreal (Canada). In fact, at the turn of the 20th century, Lake George was as popular a summer destination as Newport, Saratoga, and the Hamptons, echoed now by the palatial manors on Millionaire’s Row in the village of Bolton on the lake’s western shore.

When planning your trip to Lake George, keep in mind that its southern shore around the village of Lake George is hopping with outdoor and indoor events, including mini-golf, a Haunted House of Wax, museums, cruise ships, and other developed tourism offerings. Northern Lake George around the village of Ticonderoga is quiet, set into the Adirondacks and free from the hustle and bustle of its neighboring shore.

No matter where you stay, a trip out onto the lake is a must. From guided river rafting trips to lake cruises, Lake George and its surrounding area has built up an industry based on its aquatic offerings. At the core of this lies a love of water, and renting a boat to enjoy a day of sightseeing and thrill-seeking should be number one on your list. Several local marinas rent boats — kayaks, canoes, speedboats, and pontoon boats — allowing you to make what you want of your lake experience. If you go for a motor boat, consider grabbing some water skis or a tube, and join in with other skiers and water lovers on a high-speed ride.

Fishing is a Lake George favorite, hosting lake trout, landlocked salmon, largemouth bass, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, and yellow perch. Both summer fishing and winter ice fishing are popular here, and the fish bite year-round, which has garnered Lake George a strong angling fan base. With over 28,000 acres to explore, there are plenty of dark holes and cubbies full of your next dinner.

Lake George prides itself on clean water. Because of the water purity and clarity, scuba diving is superb here, allowing you to dive in search of buried treasure. Old shipwrecks await, offering cannons, artifacts, and memories from the days of old. Keep in mind that all underwater treasures are protected, so you are permitted to take nothing away with you but the photos your underwater camera can take.

It’s hard to deny the call of the outdoors here, and when you finally succumb, a hike or bike ride is just the ticket. With miles of biking and hiking trails weaving through the Adirondack Mountains and ambling along the lake’s shoreline, hikers and bikers are treated to breathtaking views and a great escape from the energy of Southern Lake George. Prospect Mountain offers panoramic views of the lake, and is available to hikers, bikers, and motorists. The Warren County Bikeway offers 10 miles of quiet mountain trails at a level accessible to most riders and walkers. In addition, the Warren County Mountain Bike Trail System offers another 180 miles of trails that cover all ability levels and time commitments – if you like, you can venture out on a mountain bike trip that lasts for days.

If all the clean mountain air has you itching for a night out on the town, Lake George will still deliver: several communities surround the lake, pooling their resources to offer dancing, delicious cuisine, carnivals, quaint shops, mini golf, historical reenactments, and so much more. Whatever your yen, the lake’s towns will go the extra mile to make you happy.

Lake George is a beautiful oasis surrounded by friendly people, rolling mountains, and plenty of nature. With diverse offerings that allow for a morning hike, afternoon swim, dinner cruise, and late night on the town all in one day, this New York lake will have your planning your next visit before the first has even finished.

Things to do at Lake George NY

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Scuba Diving
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Waterfall
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Miniature Golf

Fish species found at Lake George NY

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Lake Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout
  • Yellow Perch

Lake George NY Photo Gallery

Lake George NY Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Lake George Park Commission

Surface Area: 28,160 acres

Shoreline Length: 109 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 320 feet

Maximum Depth: 200 feet

Water Volume: 2,380,000 acre-feet

Drainage Area: 234 sq. miles

Trophic State: Meso-oligotrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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