At a good pace, the gazebo on the Pilot Knob Preserve trail can be reached in 15 minutes from the trail head on Pilot Knob Road in Lake George. In my opinion, it has the best view that can be obtained in a 15 minute hike. You have to climb 500 feet, so you may want to climb more slowly, but the vantage point is awesome.
From the the gazebo you can see most of the southern half of the lake.
This property is owned by the Lake George Land Conservancy and the official name is the Lynn LaMontagne Schumann Preserve at Pilot Knob. It contains a small network of trails that total about 3.7 miles. Two loops are possible; a lower loop to the gazebo only, or a second loop to a waterfall.
I did both, and spent about 1.5 hours here last night. The trail rises steeply to the gazebo. There was still some rotten snow and ice to contend with, but it is disappearing fast. I had decided to do this hike on a Thursday night because it was 60 degrees and it was a nice night to be out.
|Decision point. I chose left.|
The wind picked up quite a bit while I was climbing and as I reached the gazebo, it didn't feel anywhere close to 60 degrees, but I didn't care. I stopped at the gazebo and took pictures before continuing towards the waterfall.
|Looking towards Assembly Point|
|Looking towards Northwest Bay|
|Same view from the deck of the gazebo|
As you get close to the waterfall, there is another loop option. This is a small loop. I chose the right fork which leads to the base of the falls.
|The area near the falls is shaded and there was still snow cover|
I've been here before quite a few times, but never during the spring runoff. The waterfall dwindles quite a bit during the dry season, but not in the spring. There was a beam of light from the sinking sun that hit the waterfall. It wasn't quite captured by the pictures, but it looked really neat at the time.
|You can't tell perspective, but this is probably a 25 foot drop on the primary falls|
I scampered around the falls, careful not to slip on the ice and snow still in the area. My dog Rev doesn't get concerned about this, but I kept her away form the edge as well.
|Looking down on where the falls spills over|
There are several cascades in this area, but the primary one is probably on the order of a 25 foot fall. The one shown below is probably 6 feet.
|Another cascade higher up|
|Rev was patient|
|What a good girl!|
|Back to the gazebo|
At the gazebo I gazed out over the pre-sunset skies, then dropped down the other part of the first loop to get back to the trailhead.
Hike Distance: 3.7 miles
Hike Time: 1.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 1000'
|The route (click image to enlarge)|