Early-bird registrations for the Lake George Land Conservancy’s (LGLC) Hike-A-Thon have set new records for the event organizers say. Now in its 7th year, the online registration form went live March 4; just 24 hours later, 363 people had registered, filling up five of the 17 available sites. One week later, the registration total reached 450.
With an expected attendance of more 600 hikers, paddlers and volunteers, the Lake George Hike-A-Thon continues to be the LGLC’s largest event. Always scheduled for July 5th, the event has rotated through the days of the week; this year the 5th lands on a Friday, which may be one reason for the huge response.
The 2019 Hike-A-Thon will include 17 simultaneous hikes and paddles all around Lake George, culminating with aerial photography of each group by Carl Heilman, II, who will once again be flying in a helicopter donated and piloted by Bruce Mowery of North Country HeliFlite. Mowery and Heilman have been part of this lake-wide event since its first year.
The biggest change to this year’s event is the addition of an After Party, to be held at the Festival Commons at the Charles R. Wood Park. Participants and their friends and family are invited to gather at the Commons after their hike or paddle to swap stories, pick up merchandise, and visit with sponsors. Beer and soda will be provided by Adirondack Pub and Brewery, and ice cream sundaes will be provided by Stewart’s Shops. Guests can also take a moment for some photo ops with the event stars – the helicopter (which will remain on the ground – no rides), Mowery and Heilman. Free parking will also be available to Hike-A-Thon participants, thanks to Adirondack Pub and Brewery.
Also new in 2019 is the addition of a paddle in Dunham Bay marsh, in the south end of Lake George. Participants will launch from the Dunham’s Bay Marina, which is waiving their usual park and launch fee in support of the event. This 1,400-acre marsh was added to the Lake George Wild Forest in the late 1970s, and contains water that flows north into Lake George’s Dunham Bay, Harris Bay and Warner Bay. The LGLC recently protected a strip of land along the Warner Bay marsh, ensuring a permanently protected buffer.
The Lake George Hike-A-Thon encourages participation from people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities, by offering sites that have varying levels of difficulty. Details about each site is available at lakegeorgehikeathon.org/sites.
The early-bird registration period runs until April 30, and includes a free event t-shirt for each registered person. General registrations may be made until June 14.
After organizing the first Lake George Hike-A-Thon in 2013 as a celebration of the LGLC’s 25th anniversary, the event has continued each year since to showcase the LGLC’s parks and preserves as free public resources, and to promote an appreciation for the outdoors and for the protection of the land that protects the lake.
The Hike-A-Thon is a free public outreach event, made possible with the financial support of business sponsors and individuals who choose to donate with their registrations. To date, the 2019 Hike-A-Thon sponsors include the Lake George Mirror, as the event’s media sponsor; Carl Heilman, II/Wild Visions, Inc.; Bruce Mowery of North Country HeliFlite; the Town of Bolton; the Adirondack Pub and Brewery; Candlelight Cottages; Lake George RV Park; Camp David; Lake George 12ster; Arcurio Consulting; and Clothier Planning and Consulting. In addition, JUST water is donating water for participants, and Stewart’s Shops is donating ice cream for the after party.
To register for the Hike-A-Thon and for more information, click here, or contact Sarah Hoffman at (518) 644-9673, or email [email protected]