Lake George captures your soul. Soothes body and mind. Inspires art, music and healthy living. Makes memories that last forever.
It is a special place, deserving special protection.
Lake George is located at the southern end of the famed Adirondack Park in Upstate New York. At 32 miles long, up to 2.5 miles wide, and with depths reaching 200 feet, it is considered to be among the clearest and cleanest large lakes in the world.
Formed nearly 10,000 years ago by melting glaciers, the Lake’s water clarity and scenic beauty have awed residents and visitors alike for centuries. More than 90% of the watershed remains as natural forestland, with nearly half of the forested acreage publicly owned by New York State and constitutionally protected as forever-wild Forest Preserve. Adding to its allure, Lake George is a headwater lake, fed by dozens of mountain streams and dotted with more than 170 islands of varying shapes and sizes.
Today, the crystal clear water that in 1792 Thomas Jefferson described as being "without comparison the most beautiful water I ever saw," remains the Lake’s signature attribute and an essential resource for thousands of area residents and visitors. Designated by New York State as a Class AA-Special waterbody, Lake George serves as the primary source of drinking water for surrounding communities and residents. The Lake is also the primary driver of our regional tourism economy, generating $3 billion in annual economic activity, supporting more than 500 tourism businesses (not to mention the many other businesses that provide products and services to the tourism industry) and accounting for nearly $630 million in direct tourism spending.
In 1961, the New York State Legislature recognized Lake George as “an area so distinctive in natural qualities and scenic beauty that it is deserving of special protection,” and created by act of law, the “Lake George Park,” a 300-square-mile land and water expanse subject to special laws and protections under the jurisdiction of the Lake George Park Commission. Indeed, Lake George is so special that its protected watershed exists within the larger six-million-acre Adirondack Park whose abundant waterways, in addition to Lake George, include 3,000 lakes and ponds, and 30,000 miles of rivers and streams.