Thursday, June 23, 2016

Lake George island camping, Fork Island: 06/18/2016

Island camping, Lake George, 06/18/2016

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.
In the 35 years that I've been exploring Lake George I've done a lot of paddling, hiking, motor boating, sailing and water skiing, but I think the best way to really soak up the beauty of the lake is camping on one of the islands. There's nothing like going to sleep at night and waking up in the morning with the lake lapping at your campsite, surrounded by water. No cell phones, no tv, no distractions, just you, the lake and the mountains.

With a perfect weather forecast last weekend, we loaded our family's boat with paddling and camping gear and headed north from Bolton Landing up into the Narrows.

Heading north out of Bolton Landing

Approaching the Narrows

We made our plans at the last minute (Saturday morning), so we had to take whatever sites were available. Plenty were available, and we chose a site on Fork Island at the north end of the Narrows. There's no such thing as a bad island campsite on Lake George, so you can't go wrong.

Stopping at Glen Island to pick up a camping permit

Setting up camp

Since it was late afternoon, we had a simple itinerary: set up camp, get in a bit of paddle boarding and kayaking. Supper, campfire and crash.

Beth on an early evening paddle around the island

Cooking over a campfire- it's all about the coals

Just before dusk a full moon came up over the mountains on the eastern shore. Actually it's 2 days before the full moon, which is the first full moon to occur on the summer solstice in 50 years, but who's counting?

The sun set as the moon rose. We lucked out with our campsite choice: we had good exposure to both the east and west for the sunset, the moonrise and sunrise.

At this time of year it doesn't really get dark until almost 9:30. It didn't take long for the kids to crash out in front of the campfire.

Sometime just before sunrise, maybe around 4am, we all awoke to loons calling back and forth. As a symbol of unspoiled wilderness, it's encouraging to see Lake George's loon population on the upswing.

Calm water and bright sun in the morning

With the bright sun, we were up and cooking breakfast by 7am. After a bit more paddling around the island, we packed up and headed for home.

If you go: Reserve a campsite here, but only if you are making your reservation more than 48 hours in advance. If you're camping inside the 48 hour window, you'll have to stop by the Glen Island ranger station to pick up a permit. More information is available on the DEC's website here.

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