The Lake George Land Conservancy’s (LGLC) annual event, the Lake George Hike-A-Thon, took place on July 5, 2019, with nearly 550 hikers, paddlers, and volunteers taking part. Organizers say that seven years in, the event continues to show strong support from participants as well as sponsors.
The LGLC put out a survey after the event to get feedback from participants. Of 70 entries received to date, 96% said they were “very satisfied” with the Hike-A-Thon, and 97% said they are “very likely” to participate again.
The morning event included 17 different hikes and paddles around Lake George that occurred simultaneously, each choreographed to reach a specific location in time to greet a helicopter flown by Bruce Mowery of North Country Heliflite. The helicopter’s passengers included photographer Carl Heilman, II, who snapped shots of the cheering groups before flying on to the next site.
While the goal of the event is to promote the lands that have been protected by the LGLC and its partners in the watershed, the helicopter is what many participants look forward to and remember most, especially the kids. The helicopter fly-over has become an icon of the Hike-A-Thon, with this year’s event t-shirt design including an image of the helicopter.
This year’s Hike-A-Thon also included a new element, the After Party, which was held at the Festival Commons at the Charles R. Wood Park in Lake George Village from 11 am to 3 pm. Approximately 250 participants and members of the public gathered at the Commons after their hike or paddle to swap stories, purchase merchandise, play games, and enjoy a cold beer or root beer donated by the Adirondack Pub and Brewery, and ice cream donated by Stewart’s Shops. Guests were also treated to an up-close look at the helicopter, which landed on site around 12:30 pm, and visit with Carl Heilman.
After Party entertainment was provided by DJ Mike DuBray who was there with the Regional Radio Group’s 98.5 WCKM van, playing music and broadcasting live during the event.
Always scheduled for July 5th, the Hike-A-Thon is a free public event that encourages participation from all ages, abilities and backgrounds to come out and explore the land that surrounds Lake George. Most of the properties included in the Hike-A-Thon are either owned or managed by the LGLC; others are partner sites that are managed by organizations that share the LGLC’s goal of protecting the land that protects the lake.
Next year’s Hike-A-Thon is scheduled for Sunday, July 5, 2020, and organizers are anticipating 20 sites to choose from, the most that has ever been offered. Early-bird registration will open Monday, March 2, 2020, and anyone interested in participating is encouraged to register early. The registration process is getting more and more competitive as people vie for the most popular sites. This year, five sites filled up in just 24 hours.
More information about the Lake George Hike-A-Thon and photos from this year’s event, can be found on the event website. Questions can also be directed to Sarah Hoffman, at (518) 644-9673 or email [email protected]
Photo of 2019 Hike-A-Thon helicopter fly-over courtesy Lake George Land Conservancy.