The Pinnacle, the Bolton landmark visible from Lake George and the Cat and Thomas Mountains Preserve, will be safely protected from development in perpetuity. More than five years after Ernest Oberer first proposed building houses on the ridgeline, the Lake George Land Conservancy exercised its option to purchase the property in May, two days before the option was scheduled to expire.
By then, the Conservancy had raised the funds necessary to purchase the property, helped in part by a $10,000 donation from the Sagamore, contributions from local residents and a matching grant from Neil and Jane Golub and two anonymous donors, said Sarah Hoffman, the Lake George Land Conservancy’s director of communications.
“It was wonderful to see and hear how excited the local community is about the Pinnacle,” said Jamie Brown, the Conservancy’s executive director. “This has been a property of concern for many years, and when the opportunity to protect it arose, we needed everyone’s support to make it happen.”
The purchase price was $525,000. Any additional funds raised will be used for expenses, such as closing costs, said Hoffman.
Bolton Supervisor Ron Conover confirmed that the Town will purchase the Pinnacle from the Lake George Land Conservancy for approximately $150,000 once a conservation easement is in place and the property is protected permanently from development.
The price of the property to the Town is far less than its market value, said Conover. “You can’t put a value on it,” said Conover. “Land protection is investment in our future. The protection of the Pinnacle, of its viewshed and with its potential for recreational trails, is a gift to the Town.” The purchase of the Pinnacle and its sale to the town is expected to take place at one closing, said Hoffman.
According to Conover, a system of trails linking the Pinnacle, the Cat and Thomas Mountain Preserve and the Conservation Park is in the process of being planned. The trail network includes easements across private properties, which several landowners have already agreed to donate Conover said. He said the Town’s ultimate goal is to link the trail system to the hamlet of Bolton Landing.
A Town to Peaks trail system, one that includes the Pinnacle, was a recommendation of a “Trails Master Plan” developed by Tracy Clothier of the LA Group with a $69,000 state grant, recalled Conover.
“The Pinnacle was the major, missing element in Bolton’s ‘Trails Master Plan’. It really is the jewel in the crown. If we had lost it, we would have lost not only a vista but a piece of the plan,” he said. “Once we have protected it, we need a strategy to package our trails system.”
Protecting the Pinnacle and “making Bolton a hub of hiking activities” was a partnership not only of the Conservancy and the Town, but also with he private landowners who have agreed to permit hiking trails to cross their properties, said Conover.
Photo: Bolton Central School students view the Pinnacle from across the lake. Photo courtesy of Ted Caldwell.
A version of this post was first published in Lake George’s Mirror Magazine.