On October 18, the Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) closed on the purchase of 317 acres on French Mountain, which lies within the Towns of Lake George and Queensbury, for $525,000.
The LGLC will sell the property subject to a conservation easement to the Towns of Lake George and Queensbury; these transactions are expected to take place within the following months, according to an announcement sent to the press.
More than 2,000 feet of seasonal streams flow down the steep slopes of the property and join with East Brook. Zoning of the property would have allowed for the development of up to 15 new houses, potentially visible from I-87, Million Dollar Beach, resorts along Lake Shore Drive, and other locations on the lake. In addition, these houses would have contributed to the runoff that flows into East Brook, and then into the south basin of the lake.
The towns plan to create a multi-use trail system on the property, which the LGLC is expected to help maintain. Because of its historical use for logging, the property has skidder trails throughout that could be used for hikers and mountain bikers. Although the trails would be steep, the view from the lookout area includes expansive views of the lake, Lake George Village below, and the surrounding Adirondacks.
The property also provides a link to the neighboring East Brook Preserve, which the McPhillips family sold to the LGLC earlier this year. The Preserve contains wetlands and over 500 feet of the main branch of East Brook. The LGLC plans to develop a trail system and install educational signage at the property to explain how important land protection is to ensuring clean water in Lake George for generations to come.
The East Brook Preserve links with Lake George school property, effectively connecting the Beach Road in Lake George with the lookout from French Mountain.
The French Mt. project is the second time LGLC has partnered with municipalities on land conservation. In 2015 LGLC partnered with the Town of Bolton to protect The Pinnacle.
For more information about the Lake George Land Conservancy, visit their website.
Photo of view from French Mountain and map of French Mountain Protection Project provided.