Monday, August 10, 2015

The Pinnacle: 08/08/2015

Panoramic view of Lake George from The Pinnacle, just outside of Bolton Landing, Saturday 8/08/2015.

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In a textbook example of environmental groups, local government and citizens working together, the Lake George Land Conservancy just last month closed on its purchase of the prominent peak outside Bolton Landing known as The Pinnacle. The closing was the culmination of more than 5 years of negotiations to protect the parcel. A trail has been marked and is now open to the public leading to the spectacular summit overlooking Lake George. We hiked the new trail this past Saturday.

The trail can best be described in one word: easy. That's not to say that you don't have to work for the view, but it's as easy as 400 vertical feet and a mile each way can be. I'm seriously considering bringing my parents up, and they're in their upper 70s (now I'll find out if they really read my blog). The route follows a jeep trail that would have been the driveway leading to 3 homesites on the ridgetop, climbing rather steeply at times but with good footing and a steady grade. Compared to the rough jeep road up Thomas Mountain (another nearby LGLC site), the Pinnacle trail is much easier.

Kid-friendly jeep trail

We had a large group of family and friends, with the youngest hikers ages 6 and 7. The kids literally ran to the top. The route is fairly non-descript, passing through mixed oak and pine woods, until you get to the top. Just before reaching the summit overlook, the trail passes through a small area that had burned in September of 1999 (there were several forest fires in the Adirondacks at that time, including a fairly large one on Bear Den Mountain, near Noonmark, in the High Peaks). Aspens and birch have reclaimed the area, with some large white pine snags mixed in. It's an interesting example of forest succession. There isn't any interpretive signage, but maybe the LGLC will add some in the future.

Approaching the summit overlook

The large lookout at the summit provides one of the best views in the entire Lake George basin. In terms of bang for the buck, the view from The Pinnacle must be at the top of the list. The view is said to be 270 degrees, sweeping through Tongue Mountain, the Lake George narrows, Black Mountain, Sleeping Beauty, Buck Mountain and Pilot Knob. Trout Lake is visible in the southwest, as is Hickory Ski Center.

Tongue Mountain, Black Mountain and the Narrows

Dome Island, Huddle Bay, Buck Mountain and Pilot Knob

The view to the north

LGLC and the town have plans to connect The Pinnacle to the nearby Cat and Thomas Mountains parcel, to the Bolton Conservation Center and possibly eventually to the town itself.

Heading back down

With easy access from town (it's 5 minutes from Main Street in Bolton Landing to the trailhead), an easy trail and a spectacular view, I expect The Pinnacle will soon become an extremely popular destination. That's great - we need more low effort / high reward destinations like The Pinnacle to connect kids, families, tourists and others to the Adirondacks.

To read more about the partnership that resulted in The Pinnacle's protection click here. A preserve brochure and map is here.


  1. This is a nice place to go. Kids friendly because of its easy trail and so the entire view.

  2. I hiked Pinnacle Point last Monday with two college students and a couple of other kids you might know. Beautiful winter views of the Narrows, Green Island and Huddle Bay. Thanks for the recommendation.