Friday, November 4, 2016

Free Drive Up Prospect Mountain to Honor Veterans

lakegeorge_prospectmtadkfamilytimeFor the second year the caretakers of Lake George’s Prospect Mountain are opening the highway to the public November 5-6 in honor of all veterans.

According to DEC Region 5 Spokesperson David Winchell, Prospect Mountain is one of two summits in the Adirondacks that are open to public motor vehicle traffic, the other being Whiteface Memorial Highway. Last year’s open weekend saw over 900 cars pass through the Prospect Mountain gate. With amble parking for 450 cars as well as two accessible spaces, the free weekend was a success for all.

“Last year we were approached by a local group and asked what we could do to honor veterans,” says Winchell. “We thought it was a wonderful idea and after consideration decided to make the mountain available to everyone. This is the last weekend we are open for the season so it is an opportunity for people, that perhaps won’t be hiking, to be able to be at the top of a summit and see a gorgeous view.”

Prospect Mountain has a long history of people building on it to access its view, from humble log cabin structures to the Prospect Mountain House Hotel. After two fires, financial struggles and numerous owners the mountain was given to New York State in 1923. It wasn’t until 1969 that Prospect Mountain opened as a Memorial Highway in honor of American Veterans.

Driving the highway isn’t the only way to reach the summit. The current hiking trail follows the old Incline Railway used by guests of the Prospect Mountain House Hotel. For anyone using the highway there is still a 10-minute walk from the parking lot to the open vista. At the top a beautiful view of Lake George is to the east with Vermont visible in the distance. The Adirondack High Peaks are off toward the northwest. Some visitors say you can see New Hampshire on a clear day.

“It’s a huge appeal to be able to drive up an Adirondack Mountain. The 5.6-mile road has three pullovers along the way,” says Winchell. “This year people may want to bring a jacket. It can be windy on top. The leaves may not be at peak color, but there is still color to be seen.”

Prospect Mountain will be open on Saturday, November 5 from 9 am – 5 pm and due to daylight savings time on Sunday, November 6, from 8 am – 4pm. Enjoy!

Photo of Prospect Mountain view used with the permission of Diane Chase, 

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

3 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    I get the feeling that us “old folks” are “personna non grata” in the Adirondack Mts, (Boreas Ponds for example) so I really appreciate the opportunity to take in the beauty from a mountain top that I am unable to climb. As taxpayer I deserve a chance to do this at least a few this a year.

  2. says:

    Too bad NYS can’t let vets drive up these mountains any day they’re open– at no charge.

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