Posts Tagged ‘Lake George’

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

High Peaks Happy Hour: TR’s Restaurant, Lake George

Lake George Village tends to zip itself up from Labor Day to Memorial Day, then shed a layer or two in February for the Lake George Winter Carnival. In its 51st year, the Winter Carnival has had to adjust to this season’s shortage of snow and ice with re-locations and cancellations of events. Still, people braved the bitter wind on this crisp winter day, attending the many events still on the schedule. We also found them in the pub at TR’s Restaurant.

We had been referred to TR’s (Teddy Roosevelt’s) Restaurant at the Holiday Inn-Turf in Lake George several times. Devoted explorers that we are, off we went to get a better look. Located at the southerly end of the village, TR’s is on one of the highest spots in Lake George and affords a bird’s-eye view overlooking the lake.

Home to local regulars who gather to catch up with family news and prognosticate about town politics, there exists a camaraderie among fellow residents who freely flow throughout the room or talk across the bar. Bartenders Agnes and Bob greet the vast majority of customers by name.

Newcomers and hotel guests are made to feel equally at home and are frequently introduced to the regular patrons, with whom they always seem to find something in common. Representing all age groups, the majority of the clientele we met were of retirement age or older. We found the place quite full of cheerful, friendly folks who chatted easily and wasted no time finding out where we were from and what we were up to.

General Manager Michael Spilman took a few moments away from his banter with members of the Happy Hour crowd to share some of the history of the hotel and TR’s Restaurant. Though there has been a bar at the Holiday Inn since it was built in 1966, we had to admit that we had never been there. The Holiday Inn has changed hands only once since then, in 1990, and is now owned by Mike Hoffman. Three years ago, the hotel and bar were extensively renovated and remodeled and now boast, and equally deserve, resort status. With obvious pride in the establishment’s success, Michael shared information about honors and awards bestowed on this Holiday Inn, which consistently ranks among the top Holiday Inns in the country. It’s also home to the Lake George Dinner Theatre, entering its 45th season.

The pub is contemporary and sophisticated in design, neither too stark nor too trendy, with warm-toned woodwork and window moldings. A wall of windows brightens the room, bringing out the warm reddish hues of the wood and granite. Framed landscape photographs grace the linen-textured walls while oversized layered drum pendant lamps float overhead, complemented by smaller drum shades over the lustrous granite bar.

The U-shaped bar seats 18 in cider-stained slat-back bar stools with woven leather seats, while four pub tables and several small dining tables provide additional seating. The atmosphere is such that, were we Holiday Inn guests, we wouldn’t hesitate to bring our families in for lunch or dinner, or enjoy a cocktail and appetizers before dinner in the restaurant.

TR’s is open year-round from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. daily and offer Happy Hour drink specials from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day. Following a 12-year Happy Hour tradition, complementary hot hors d’oeuvres are provided, with a different item featured every day of the week. Many patrons were enjoying chicken strips with a delicious-looking sauce on the Saturday that we visited. Tacos were served on the Tuesday we returned for more information. Large flat-screen TVs are strategically placed to catch up on the news or a sporting event while dining or relaxing at the bar. Quick Draw is also featured. Just ask for the daily code if you need WiFi, whether a guest at the hotel or just stopping by the bar.

The wine selection includes red, white, sparkling and champagne, with house wines priced at $7 a glass. Coors and Samuel Adams seasonal drafts and 16 bottled beers, as well as the usual liquors are offered. Drink prices were reasonable. Pam’s custom Valentine’s Special, Box of Chocolates, (her own invention) consisting of three different shots, was $8. Beer prices vary by brand.

With an upscale look and a hometown heart, TR’s is a perfect mix of locals and hotel guests. The trick is telling which is which. The bartenders are genial, personable and professional. The patrons are equally friendly and won’t hesitate to start or join a conversation. Happy Hour at TR’s is full of smiles, from both sides of the bar.

Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

High Peaks Happy Hour: The Lemon Peel, Lake George

We were pressed for time, forced to conduct our business locally, so we took a short drive to Lake George on a Monday night. Not expecting much excitement, we opted for a bar out of the tourist loop, figuring that it would be a fair representation of a typical weeknight in a deserted resort town.

For local flavor in Lake George, one need step back just one street from Canada Street to the Lemon Peel Lounge, located on Dieskau Street. Though there was no crowd to escape on a Monday night in February, we could sense the appeal of both the bar interior and the outdoor deck area for locals and tourists.

Jen, the bartender, was ready to prepare whatever drink we desired, and Pam found something new with a caramel vodka and Coke. Though beer is currently unavailable on tap due to basement flooding courtesy of Hurricane Irene, Kim found the selection of bottled beers sufficient. A modest variety of wine is offered, and drink prices are very reasonable at any time of year; even better during Happy Hour, daily from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Owned and operated by John and Terri Case since the late ‘80s, the Lemon Peel was originally located on Canada Street where Smokey Joe’s Barbecue is now. John and Terri moved to the present location six years ago. Once part of the historic Woodbine Hotel, the lounge occupies an old Victorian with a square tower, shingled Mansard roof, and round-top windows. Various sheds and additions have been added through the years, pieced together like an architectural crazy quilt.

The interior is just as interesting. Our seats at the bar gave us an opportunity to observe the intricate craftsmanship of the ornately carved wooden liquor shelf, obviously original to the first bar established at that location, and the centerpiece of the room. One stained glass panel depicts an urn with vines and flowers. The ceiling above the bar is inset with colorful glass bottle bottoms, backlit from above. The bar seats about 12 patrons and features new black leather-cushioned barstools.

A pool table, protected from bystanders by half-walls, is used by the Lemon Peel pool league during winter months. Two tables are available behind the pool table for players, observers, or perhaps anti-socialites. Jukebox music and electronic darts and two TVs offer additional entertainment. Our proximity to a television also engaged our attention to Jeopardy, unable to resist participation with staff and patrons. A cigarette machine is on site, a relic from the past and a very rare sight, but still functional.

The deck in front and on the side, though put away for winter, has table seating, some with shade umbrellas and some for sun worship and retreat from the summer hordes and noise of Canada Street. A tent canopy is erected each summer for protection on rainy days. The Lemon Peel does not have musical entertainment, but performances emanating from another nearby bar frequently filter over, providing relaxing ambient music while allowing conversation.

This is a cash only bar, but ATMs are available nearby. The only food you will find here are a variety of chips and a frozen pizza that comes highly recommended by Jason, one of the patrons that night.

The Lemon Peel is open daily from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m. or midnight off-season and until 3 a.m. during the summer. Barring any unforeseen catastrophe, it’s open 365 days a year with no blackout dates. Free WiFi is fully accessible. On-street metered parking is free and plentiful off-season, but expect to pay and to walk during busy summer months.

This is a year-round bar that caters to locals and seasonal workers, but welcomes all. Jen was attentive and forthcoming with information about the Lemon Peel and what she knew of its history, the Lake George area and other taverns in the area. For a good, old-fashioned bar experience, the Lemon Peel is a must.

Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lake George’s Beach Road Getting Porous Pavement

Beach Road at the south end of the Lake is about to become the first heavily traveled roadway in New York State (and one of the only roads in all of the Northeast) to be paved with porous asphalt. This technology allows stormwater to drain through and be filtered naturally by the earth below. The silt, salt and pollutants the stormwater carries are expected to be filtered naturally and not go into the Lake.

The $6 million-plus reconstruction project is expected to begin in mid-April, and be completed in about 18 months. The pavement will be installed between Canada Street and Fort George Road. Warren County Director of Public Works, Jeff Tennyson, and the state Department of Transportation, have helped move the project forward, one expected to get national recognition, and set a precedent for other lakeside communities.

Beach Road has been in need of reconstruction for several years. In 2010, Warren County was planning to use traditional asphalt on the road. After attending the North County Stormwater Conference & Trade Show, and seeing several presentations on porous asphalt applications, Randy Rath, project manager at the LGA, and Dave Wick, director of Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District, encouraged the county to consider porous asphalt as an alternative to traditional asphalt.

Together, Randy and Dave quickly conducted research on the possibilities and made a presentation. In 2011, the LGA provided just over $8,000 in funding for a feasibility study with project engineer Tom Baird (Barton & Loguidice), to provide the information the county and state needed to move forward. At the same time, Dave Wick helped draft an application for additional monies to offset any higher cost from using porous asphalt.

Because this technology is still relatively new in the U.S., the county plans to install the infrastructure and storm drain system that would be needed with traditional asphalt, while the road is under construction. This traditional drainage system will be capped off and is expected to be brought online only in the event that the permeable pavement fails and has to be replaced by traditional asphalt at some point in the future.

Stormwater runoff is considered the number one source of pollutants entering Lake George. The dense development at the south end of the Lake, and the many impervious surfaces created by it, increases the volume and rate of flow of stormwater. Along with the stormwater, many contaminants, such as silt, salt and harmful nutrients, are carried directly into the Lake.

According to the Lake George Association (LGA), research studies and previous projects have shown that porous pavement is highly effective in draining stormwater, and as a result, it increases traction, reduces the build up of ice, and requires much less de-icing material in the winter. The amount of salt detected in the south end of the lake has doubled in just over 20 years according to the LGA.

Photos: Above, the Beach Road in Lake George Village; Middle, a cross-section of porous pavement technology; Below, porous pavement in use at an Albany parking lot. Courtesy LGA.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Lake George Land Conservancy Winter Warm-Up

The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) is again hosting its free family event, the Winter Warm Up, March 10, 9 am to 1 pm at the Lake George Recreation Center in Lake George. This year’s event will include new live presentations and activities, including a live raptor presentation at 10 am by North Country Wild Care members Nancy Kimball and Wendy Hall; Mammals of the Adirondacks presentation at 11 am by DEC with animal pelts and bones; invasive forest pests educational table and presentation; interpretive snowshoe walks led by staff from Up Yonda Farm Environmental Education Center; family broomball at 10:30 and teens/adults broomball at noon (bring your own broom!); door prize giveaways; and ongoing nature crafts, sledding, snowman building, storytelling and marshmallow-roasting by the bonfire.

Breakfast goods will be available from 9 – 10 am and hot soups and bread donated by local restaurants and bakeries will be available from 11:30 am – 1 pm. Coffee, hot chocolate and ingredients for s’mores will be out all day. Participating businesses at time of this release include Rock Hill Bakehouse, Lake George Baking Company, and Bella’s Delicatessen.

“We were very pleased with last year’s event,” said Sarah Hoffman, LGLC’s communications and outreach manager, “so we wanted do it again, but make it better with more activities and entertainment for all ages. Some snow would be ideal but even without it there will be things to keep families busy and having fun together.”

The Lake George Recreation Center’s trail system provides access to LGLC’s Berry Pond Preserve. Hikes onto the 1,436-acre Berry Pond Preserve will not be led during the Winter Warm Up, but guests are welcome to explore its trails on their own. Trail maps will be available.

For more information contact Sarah Hoffman at 518-644-9673 or email [email protected]

Founded in 1988, the Lake George Land Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to working with willing landowners and other partners to protect the world-renowned water quality of Lake George and to permanently preserve the natural, scenic, historical and recreational resources of the Lake George region.

Photo: A snowshoeing group from 2011’s Winter Warm Up (courtesy Jeremy Parnapy).


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lake George Courthouse Gallery Seeks Exhibitors

The Lake George Arts Project is inviting regional, national, emerging and established artists to send exhibition proposals to the Courthouse Gallery. Preference is given to experimental or non-traditional work created in the last two years. All exhibition proposals must include 10 to 12 images of recent work (jpegs on CD,) a hardcopy of resume, statement, image list, and a SASE for notification letter.

Complete guidelines can be found online. The postmark deadline is always January 31. Send proposals to: Lake George Arts Project, Gallery Committee, 1 Amherst Street, Lake George, NY 12845. For more information: [email protected], or call (518) 668-2616.

Photo: The Courthouse Gallery (Courtesy Lake George Arts Project).


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lake George Brewery Introduces Barrel-Aged Brews

The Adirondack Pub & Brewery in Lake George will celebrate its new limited edition bourbon barrel-aged brews at a “Festival of Barrels,” on Saturday, January 28, 2012, from 2-6PM on the deck of the Adirondack Pub. Tickets cost $20 and $25 at the door. Each ticket includes 5 beer tickets and a complementary mug. Tickets are available for purchase at the Pub during regular business hours and online.

At the “Festival of Barrels” guests will have the opportunity to sample 6-8 barrel aged beers, including some of the Brewery’s rare 2010 & 2011 Vintage Fat Scotsman, Bourbon Aged CoCo-Laboration (Chocolate Smoked Porter) and Double Dry Hopped IPA aged in White America oak barrels. Guests will feast on “Beast, Fish & Foul,” with the choice of three appetizers and three entrees, prepared to complement the craft brews.

Other than their bourbon barrel-aged brews, the brewery also produces a variety of other craft ales including, Café Vero Stout – made with 100% locally roasted coffee, Belgium White Peach – re-fermented with fresh peach puree and Maple Porter – made with pure maple syrup.

“We strive to produce high-quality and innovative ales for our loyal customers,” states John Carr, owner of the Adirondack Pub & Brewery, ”Beer drinkers have become accustomed to premium brews.”


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Adirondack Paintings on Exhibit in NYC

After moving to Saratoga Springs thirty-five years ago, Anne Diggory started looking for scenic landscapes to paint and soon gravitated to the Adirondacks. She’s been painting them ever since.

Over the years, Diggory has created several hundred paintings of mountains, lakes, and streams in the Adirondack Park. Starting this week, fifteen of them went on display at the Blue Mountain Gallery in New York City. The exhibit, titled “Turbulence,” will run through January 28.

Why “Turbulence”? Diggory, who majored in art at Yale, explained that she tried in these works to capture the energy of the natural world—whether a stormy sky, a frothy stream, or a wind-whipped lake. “I have a real interest in things that are moving or changing,” she said.

Depending on circumstances, she will paint on the spot or work from her sketches or photos. For Ripple Effect II, the painting of Rogers Rock shown above, she shot video from her Hornbeck canoe on Lake George. Later, she watched the video at home and created a seventy-inch-wide painting. (For a portrait of the artist at work,check out this New York Times story.)

Other Adirondack places depicted in “Turbulence” include Lake Clear, Lake Durant, and the Saranac River. The exhibit also includes paintings from beaches on Long Island and in South Carolina.

She made several of the paintings last summer while working as an artist-in-residence at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. (The name of the gallery is just a coincidence.)

Fortunately, you don’t have to travel to New York City to see the paintings in “Turbulence.” Most of them can be viewed on Diggory’s website. Just click here.

Not surprisingly, Diggory is an enthusiastic hiker and paddler. She and her husband used to take their daughters, Ariel and Parker, on camping trips when the girls were young. Ariel went on to earn a master’s degree in conservation biology from the State College of Environmental Science and Forestry and now works at the Adirondack Park Agency.

One of Diggory’s favorite Adirondack paintings depicts the view of Panther Gorge from Mount Marcy, the state’s highest summit. So far, she has climbed seven or eight of the forty-six High Peaks.

“I’m not going to climb all of them, but I’ll paint them all,” she remarked.

The Blue Mountain Gallery will host an opening reception 6-8 p.m. Thursday (January 5) and a closing reception 4-6 p.m. Saturday, January 28. The gallery is located at 530 West 25 Street in Manhattan.

Phil Brown is the editor of the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lake George Clearest Among 98 New York Lakes

Lake George received the best reading on a measurement for clarity among 98 New York lakes in 2011, the Lake George Association (LGA) has announced. “If you want clear water in New York State, Gull Bay on Lake George is the place to be” said Nancy Mueller, the manager of the NYS Federation of Lake Associations, Inc., the organization sponsoring New York’s Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP), in conjunction with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. On Lake George, the program has been coordinated by the Lake George Association for the past eight years. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: Olde Log Inn, Lake George

Located just north of Lake George Village on Route 9, The Olde Log Inn is open year-round for vacationers, campers and locals from Lake George and Warrensburg. As a restaurant and bar, The Olde Log Inn is a great place to escape the bustling village in the summer, eat a nice lunch or dinner, and sit on the patio and enjoy the mountain view and late afternoon sun.

As the name implies, The Olde Log Inn is of log construction inside and out, but has been remodeled recently enough to not appear “olde”. Originally Lanfear’s Country Tavern, the business has been in existence since 1976 and owned by Mike and Gigi Shaughnessy since 1999. The glossy pine bar seats about 15 patrons and is partitioned from the dining room by a windowed half wall that doubles as a bar counter, seating six, and close to the bar. The U-shaped bar allows for easy banter back and forth across the bar, and we became engaged in several conversations during our visit. Additional seating on the patio includes four pub tables for four each and five picnic tables, all equipped with shade umbrellas for use in the warmer seasons.

The cozy interior features checked country valances over the many windows, creating a homeyness which softens the predominantly rustic log interior. Currently decked out in holiday style, the canoe over the bar is trimmed in lights. Evergreen wreaths, swags and a tree tastefully invite the holiday spirit with your spirits. Windows on three walls allow plenty of light into the space, countering competition from the surrounding pine.

A stone fireplace in the dining area warms the far corner of the open floor plan. The dining room is an intimate space with seating for about 40 in closely spaced tables with appropriately rustic chairs. The Olde Log Inn caters to a healthy lunch crowd with its tempting offerings of sandwiches, salads, burgers, soups and appetizers all at reasonable prices. Dinner is served from 5 to 10 p.m. Entrees include pasta, steaks, ribs and chicken priced between $13.99 and $17.99. Their full menu is available online.

The Olde Log Inn’s Happy Hour is immensely popular with locals of all kinds and is offered from 4 to 6 p.m. daily. Though no unique drink specials are advertised, a light assortment of flavored vodkas inspired Pam to create a mixed drink with a huckleberry vodka base, which she dubbed the Huckleberry Crush. A handful of beers on tap include Smithwick’s, Stella Artois, Bud Light, Sam Adams Seasonal (Winter Lager at the moment), and local craft favorites Bear Naked Ale from Adirondack Brewery and Davidson Brothers Brewing Company IPA. Most popular domestics are available in bottles. The bar is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Sunday noon to 11 p.m. The kitchen is serving lunch, dinner and light fare Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 10 p.m. Quick Draw is available at the Olde Log Inn as well as wi-fi so you can follow our blog or look up one of our drink recipes.

Summer tourists can find solace in the hum of traffic on the nearby Northway or perhaps a cool afternoon breeze from the patio. Campers on the other side of Flat Rock Road might find comfort in the cleanliness and hot running water in the bathroom. Snowmobilers may huddle by the fireplace to warm up and peel off some snowy layers. Local professionals and contractors can meet up with their friends, or make new friends, and seasonal workers from the village shops can hide out, leaving behind the over-stimulated parents and children vacationing in Lake George. Bikers might escape the crowds of Americade or stretch their legs after a long ride in the Adirondacks. The Olde Log Inn is a year-round destination.

Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: Burleigh House, Ticonderoga

The entrance door was freshly painted at The Burleigh House in Ticonderoga. (A neglected entrance is one of Pam’s pet peeves.) As we approached the bar toward the back of The Burleigh House, we experienced an absolute first in our many bar experiences this year – all of the patrons were women! Nope, never encountered that before. There were probably six women in all and it wasn’t the ladies’ auxillary night either. The bartender was cute and personable and male – maybe he was the attraction?

As we took a seat and surveyed our drink options, we were greeted immediately by the bartender named Luke. Kim and Luke discussed beer options but she ordered a soda since it was her turn to drive. Lake Placid UBU Ale, Switchback Ale, Samuel Adams Octoberfest, and Coors Light are available on tap, and several bottled beer, malt and non-alcohol choices are offered as well. Pam readily noticed something new behind the bar, a chocolate raspberry vodka. She and Luke set to the task of designing a drink and the waitress, Barbie, soon joined them. Luke suggested a white russian variety and it was done. While Pam sipped the delicious drink, the waitress worked out a name and posted the newly born “Razz-berry Kiss” on a specials board at $3.50.

Pam sat, half listening, quietly contemplating something, while the owner, Kim Villardo, shared the history of The Burleigh House with Kim. When she pointed out an old picture of the original Burleigh House, Pam turned to it and studied it rather intensely. On the ride home later, she said that she had a sense of timelessness at the bar, like she was sitting in the original bar long ago. We tried to pinpoint what caused that feeling. Was Luke dressed in black and white, with a bow tie and cummerbund? No, but he was professionally attired in khakis and a button-down shirt. Was it the women in their fancy hats with cigar smoking men milling around them? No, they were casually dressed and still no men to be seen. Was it the ambient lighting reflecting shimmering bottles and liquids off the mirrored walls behind the bar? Yes, perhaps, and maybe a combination of factors, too much alcohol consumption not being one of them.

In 1953, fire destroyed the original Burleigh House, once an elegant four-story hotel with a bar and an orchestra downstairs. A new structure replaced the original in a simpler fashion with a bar and restaurant, sans orchestra, but there is Quick Draw and they do occasionally feature live music. Although it is no longer affiliated with the Burleigh family, the name was retained out of a love of the history of Ticonderoga.

Dozens of framed historic photographs, collected over the years by owner Kim Villardo, hang throughout the restaurant in silent retrospect. A gas fireplace adorns the pine covered wall near the bar, a vintage hand-colored and ornately-framed photograph of the original hotel hanging over the mantel. Open and spacious, with movable partitions for custom privacy, the interior conveys the impression of many rooms with distinct personalities. One area holds a pool table, a piano, and a few pub tables. A lounge in the center of the room, partitioned from the restaurant and bar with half walls, features two sofas, a piano and another smaller fireplace. The bar, with its soft, warm cherry finish, seats 15 to 20 patrons with leather stools comfortably spaced. Staff and patrons were friendly and interesting, as well as interested in what we were up to.

The Burleigh House doesn’t offer daily Happy Hour specials, but they do feature holiday drinks and a variety of spontaneous drinks like Cosmos, specialty shots and this day, and the Razz-berry Kiss. The kitchen is closed on Monday and Tuesday. The bar is open daily at 11 a.m. and noon on Sunday. They are open until midnight Sunday through Thursday and until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

On the more trendy side, The Burleigh House has free wi-fi, a website, and a Facebook page.

Located equidistant from Lake Champlain and Lake George, The Burleigh House is a summer hot spot. Though closed for the season, a large outdoor patio out back awaits the warmer weather. Local residents, snowmobilers and the occasional off season tourists support the business year-round. When you visit The Burleigh House, and we know you want to, have a Razz-berry Kiss with Luke and take a quiet moment to see if you feel the timelessness too.

Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lake George English Brook Project Completed

The Lake George Association (LGA) has announced the completion of a project to build a new sediment basin at the mouth of English Brook, one of the eight major streams entering Lake George. Tropical Storm Irene changed the route of the brook near its mouth, returning the stream to the path it took 50 years ago, prior to the construction of the Adirodnack Northway.

English Brook has been of high concern for over a decade. Land development in the watershed has increased the volume and velocity of stormwater runoff, leading to increased pollution entering the brook and creating one of the largest deltas on the Lake. English Brook has high levels of total phosphorus, chlorides, total suspended sediments, lead and nitrate-nitrogen.

The new basin is expected to slow the flow of water and allow sediment to fall out prior to entering the Lake. The basin is expected to be cleaned out every one to two years, when it reaches about 50-75% capacity. Each time it is cleaned out, roughly 300-400 cubic yards of material is expected to be removed.

The 150-foot long sediment basin was designed by the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District (WCSWCD) with financial assistance from the LGA.

English Brook is located just north of Lake George Village at the Lochlea Estate. Earlier this summer, the LGA installed a $49,500 Aqua-Swirl stormwater separator on the property, as part of a $100,000 stormwater project. This system is collecting previously untreated stormwater runoff from both the east and west sides of Rt. 9N, as well as the bridge between the two exits at Exit 22 on Interstate 87. The majority of the runoff in a 48-acre subwatershed is now being captured and treated.

Now that much of the upland work is complete, lake advocates believe the final step should be the removal of the sediment that has built up in the delta over the course of generations. The nutrient-rich sediment in deltas supports invasive plant growth, hampers fish spawning, harbors nuisance waterfowl, impedes navigation and property values have been reduced.

Photo: The new sediment pond at English Brook. Courtesy LGA.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lake George Survey Finds No Additional Asian Clams

The Lake George Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force (Task Force) has conducted a lake wide survey to identify any additional sites of infestation since the discovery of Asian clam in Lake George waters in late summer of 2010.

Populations have been found at Boon Bay, Treasure Cove, Norowal Marina, and a small population at Shepard’s Park just adjoining the first infestation near Lake George Village where substantial treatment actions were taken this year. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: Garrison, Lake George

The Garrison in Lake George, once a mecca for college students working in Lake George in the summer, or home for Thanksgiving or Christmas break, was and still is a haven for the locals. Situated on a hill, just far enough from Lake George Village, the Garrison offers security from the summer tourists as well as gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains from the deck in front.

As with many local pubs, the regulars at the Garrison welcome newcomers, but take comfort in being surrounded by their comrades. It’s one of those bars that you can visit as seldom as once a year and be sure to see someone you know, or visit for the first time and make friends you’ll see again and again.

Pam was once a regular at the Garrison in the ’80s and ’90s. Much like Norm of Cheers fame, she had her own designated barstool, at least in her mind, and, when necessary, was known to hover near it until it became available. Located at the end of the bar, in a far corner, it provided her with a view of everyone in the room, as well as a direct line to the door to see who was coming or going.

She recalls young Brian’s first days as a novice bartender, barely old enough to drink. The Garrison had been going through a number of bartenders at the time and Pam grew weary of “breaking them in”. Brian was different – curious and eager to learn. They started a game of “shot of the day”. While Pam worked her day job, it was Brian’s task to come up with a new concoction before she arrived for Happy Hour. He never knew which day she would come, but was always ready with something clever for shot du jour.

Built in 1953 on the site of Fort William Henry’s garrison, the Garrison has been continually in business since then. It fell victim to a fire in the early 1980s, but a new log structure was quickly built to replace it.

Current owner, BJ Forando, has owned it for the past 10 years. The original structure had an upstairs loft, dubbed the Koom Room in the 1960s, and the term remains on their sign. The origin and purpose of the Koom Room remains a closely guarded secret, though we suspect no one really knows. Not much has changed since then, but the carpeting, once perpetually sticky from spilled beer and cocktails, has thankfully been replaced at least a couple of times. College pennants still adorn the pine ceiling. Some, dusty and dingy, date back to before the fire, salvaged and ceremoniously redisplayed. The Garrison offers a free pitcher of beer for any pennant not currently among its collection.

The Garrison currently serves at least a dozen draft beers, mostly domestics and mass-produced specialty beers, and at least as many more in bottles, as well as malt coolers (Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Twisted Tea and Smirnoff Ice). The liquor selection is pretty standard, no specialty drinks, and the shot-of-the-day is a thing-of-the-past. Garrison Happy Hour specials, 50 cents off beer and well drinks, is offered Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. WiFi and Quick Draw are available. The bar opens daily at 11 a.m. and closes around midnight, but is subject to demand. Only seldom do they close to the public for private functions, but they do close for Thanksgiving and open late on Christmas Day.

For your amusement, activities include pool, electronic darts, arcade games, the toy claw and a jukebox. A variety of seating options can be found here. Outside on the deck, there are built in benches and a picnic table, but more seating is probably offered outside in fair weather. The bar accommodates up to 18 people. Two tables with seating for 4 each and a pub table for two are in the immediate vicinity. The restaurant, somewhat separated from the bar by a partition, features two large tables seating 6-8 each and can be put together for large parties. Several booths line the walls, accented by pendant lights above and Lake George panoramic prints. The menu is primarily bar fare – appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, soups and salads all in the $5 to $10 range. Lunch specials are offered daily at around $7.95. We don’t often comment on food, but Kim found the seafood chowder delicious!

Winter is the Garrison’s busiest season and it’s the only bar in the village that’s right on the snowmobile trail, but summer months afford nice views from the deck where you can lounge for hours in the sun or breeze, listening to the drone of boats on the lake. A huge parking area lends an air of optimism and endless possibilities. Kelly, our bartender the day we visited, was pleasant, professional, attentive and friendly. No matter the season or the time of day, you are sure to feel safe and welcome at the Garrison.

Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Preliminary 2011 Lake George Invasives Report

The Lake George Association (LGA) has released preliminary results from the 2011 Lake Steward program. The LGA has managed training, hiring, supervision and reporting for the Lake Steward Program since 2008.

During the summer of 2011, LGA Lake stewards were posted at six different boat launches: Norowal Marina, Mossy Point, Hague Town Beach, Rogers Rock, Dunham’s Bay, and Million Dollar Beach. The stewards inspected 8,584 boats for invasive species, removed suspicious specimens from 52 boats prior to launch, and educated over 19,000 people about the threats of invasive species and how to prevent their spread. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Black Velvet Art Party Scheduled for Nov 5th

The 23rd annual Black Velvet Art Party will take place on Saturday, November 5th, 2011, 8 pm to midnight at Roaring Brook Ranch in Lake George. The event is a celebration of black velvet art. Artists donate new, original works of art for the party’s silent auction. This funky formal features awards for original black velvet art and attire, live music, dancing, games, and more. All proceeds from the event support the Lake George Courthouse Gallery exhibition series. This year’s theme is “BLING!”

Call for artists: One of the special features of the event is the silent auction of “black velvet art” – created and donated by local artists, as well as past exhibiting artists of the Courthouse Gallery. The idea of “black velvet art” is wide open to artistic interpretation, and there are always surprises. For more info email [email protected], or call 518-668-2616.

The Lake George Arts Project was established in 1977 to offer comprehensive programs in the arts. Its mission is to provide exposure and income opportunities to professional and emerging artists, and to provide quality arts programming for the residents and visitors of the Lake George region.



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