Prospect Mountain to open July 1
UPDATE (6/30/2020) — The summit will not be open for approximately six weeks as crews work to redo the stone wall. During this time it will be free to drive up the mountain. The short hiking path from the parking lot near the summit will not be open and no driving to the summit will be allowed at this time. No picnicking will be permitted.
Another fun activity that allows people to maintain social distancing standards and enjoy the outdoors is open in Lake George.
As our region entered the second day of Phase 4 in the NY Forward Reopening Plan — the road that allows people to drive up Prospect Mountain — called Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway — opened again allowing people to take in the spectacular views from its three popular lookouts.
What You Need to Know
The hours may change and are currently tentative, but the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation expects the highway to be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The summit will be closed to the public until late August while 500 feet of mortared stone border wall that is crumbling along summit lookout areas is removed and replaced with individual cut stone blocks. Due to the grades, the moving of the stone blocks is difficult and dangerous. The 0.2-mile nature path from the parking lot to the summit will not be available at this time either. When it is available, this path ascends about 155 feet. It is paved but some areas are steep.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, DEC is taking the following precautions:
- The shuttle will not operate;
- Picnicking will be prohibited, and the picnic pavilions will not be available to rent;
- Restrooms will remain closed but portable toilets are available in the parking lot; and
- View scopes at the pull-offs and on the summit have been dismantled.
During this time it is free to drive up the mountain, but these are the typical fees:
- Cars: $10
- Motorcycles: $5
- Bus: $50
About the Mountain
The drive up the mountain takes approximately 10 minutes to the parking lot. There are three vistas along the drive with views of The Narrows, islands in Lake George and more.
On a clear day, the 2,030 foot summit offers a 100-mile view.
Vermont’s Green Mountains, New Hampshire's White Mountains and the Adirondack High Peaks are visible. Sometimes on a day with very clear visibility, you can even see the Laurentian Mountains of Canada!
At the top there are historical ruins of what was once the world’s largest cable railroad from 1895-1903. This Cable Railway brought passengers for an overnight stay at the Prospect Mountain House, a hotel once located at the summit that eventually burned down twice.
You can also hike Prospect Mountain, though at this time the summit is not open. The hiking trail extends 1.5 miles and climbs 1,630 feet from the trailhead near Smith Street in Lake George.
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