While not quite as extensive as the similar Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway in Lake Placid, the Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway in Lake George is definitely worth the visit! Lake George is a small village in the Adirondack Mountains that is popular for its stunning mountain views, hikes, and quaint downtown.
When you reach the 2,030 ft. summit, you will be treated to the 1,000 mile view stretching from the Adirondack High Peaks to Vermont’s Green Mountains to the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and on clear days the Laurentian Mountains of Canada.
Prospect Mountain has a long history as a destination spot for great views and a relaxing atmosphere. In 1895 a railway to take people to the summit was built that would take visitors to the Prospect Mountain House, a hotel with dining options and a dance hall. After 1903 the railway failed for financial reasons and the area was sold to NY state. The hotel that sat at the top burnt down in 1932. The current highway was opened in 1969 to provide easy access to the summit and 100 mile view.
What to Know Before Visiting Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway
The Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway is 5.5 miles and brings you to the summit of Prospect Mountain at 2,020 ft. On the way up you will find three pull of parking areas with overlooks. At the summit you will find a large parking area with a quarter of a mile walk up to the summit. There is also a large picnic area with tables and a bathroom next to the parking lot. You will find another picnic area on top of the summit, so make a day out of it and bring your lunch!
Access to the highway is off of US Route 9 and after a short distance you will come upon the entrance booth for the highway. As you begin your drive up the mountain, the first overlook you come upon is the Narrows. Here you will enjoy your first glimpse of Lake George and the village with towering mountains behind. You will also find binoculars for closer views (0.25 cents to use) and some fun rock formations to climb on.
The second overlook will bring you to some great views of Lake George Village below, the lake itself, and mountains in the background. There are more paid binoculars here and rocks to climb for better views.
There is a third pull off area, but the views from this one are not great, so we continued on to the parking area just below the summit. Again, here you can get some views of Lake George and the village below, but you have to make the final climb to the summit to get the really great views!
The last section of the highway was closed to cars, so we had to walk the quarter of the mile up. It took less than 10 minutes and was well worth it! (The summit is handicap accessible and they were allowing drivers with handicap tags to drive the rest of the way to the summit).
At the summit you will also find the remains of the railway that once sat at the top and a sign with the history of the Prospect Mountain House.
The fee for entrance to the highway is $10 per car, $5 for motorcycles, and $50 for buses.
- Late May to Labor Day: Daily 10am to 6pm
- Labor Day to Veterans Day: Daly 9am to 5pm
Alternate Ways to Reach the Summit
While driving to the summit of Prospect Mountain is the easiest and least strenuous way to reach it, there are alternative methods for those who are more physically inclined.
- Hike: If you are a hiker, this may be the option for you! You can hike the 3.2 mile round trip hike to the summit of Prospect Mountain. The trailhead is found on Smith Street in Lake George. The trail is classified as moderate to difficult with some steep, rocky sections.
- Bike to the top: Bikers can enter and bike the 5.5 mile highway to the summit for $2/person
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