Roadtrip to Lake George
Lake George Village New York
Today Aug. 16, 2006 we are leaving to go check out Lake George. Lake George is another place I've always wanted to see since a coworker raves about how cool it is and lots of fun. Of course, they have a camper setup at a campsite there, so they travel there every weekend to stay.
I did some research this week about what kind of campgrounds are there, and motels. The most popular campground seems to be the Lake George Battlefield Campground, which is near Lake George Village. Another campground we are interested in seeing is the Mohawk campsites. Since we don't have an RV, we'll just be tenting it.
We decided to take the scenic route to Lake George via Route 8 north, instead of the Interstate, which would take us through Albany. The drive north for us is very simple, just taking Route 8, which ends at Winstead CT then staying on 8 north.
Colebrook Lake, CT
After passing Colebrook Lake it wasn't even 8 miles and we were in Massachusetts. I saw a sign that said Welcome to Sanfield Mass, and then a sign for Welcome to the Berkshires. The area then became rather scenic with several huge hills. We past a couple of nice restaurants too.
We passed the Klondike camping resort, and it is now 5:04 PM. So it only took us an hour and a half to get here from southern Connecticut. I just saw a sign that said Entering BECKET, and immediately to the left was a rather large pond, with a beach. Here's the Becket General Store, a Becket Church, We came to a dead-end and made a right. That's when I realized I missed a picture of the Tollgate Inn. We're heading on East 20 and North 8 and the traffic is not heavy at all for it being rush hour back home. A very nice drive. It should take us about an hour or so to get through Mass. Hopefully it will not be too dark by the time we get to Vermont.
We almost missed the turn where 8 north splits from east 20, and then we passed a sign for the Summit Hill Campground. Even though this is a nice scenic drive, the hubby is not giving me any opportunity to take pictures, or I just keep missing them. Anyway I guess the major deal is getting to Lake George before dark
There seems to be alot of houses for sale along route 8. We went through Washington, saw the Washington Town Park, and Hinsdale, Hinsdale has a nice cannon and cannonballs displayed in their downtown area, and even saw some houses for rent, Dalton, then Pittsdale because we're going to jump over to Route 7 north, via highway 9. I like Dalton, it's sort of a medium size town and has a small downtown area.. Gas here is $2.95, compared to Connecticut's $3.14. All of the shopping centers are west of Dalton, on highway 9,which is also called Dalton Ave.
When we got to Pittsfield we turned north on route 7 and then saw a huge beautiful lake and just had to park the car and take some pictures. According to the map, Pittsfield State Forest is on the other side of this lake. Honestly, even though we're suppose to be in the Berkshires, I haven't seen any mountains yet. Vlad says his i2 GPS stopped working, so we're going by our Microsoft Streets and Trips with the GPS on our laptop.
Even though we are 3/4 of the way through Mass, it didn't seem like we were in Mass until we got to Lanesboro on route 7 north. There were several motels here like the Weathervane Motel, and the Lanesboro Motel, The Lamp Post motel, also many activities like putt putt golf etc. Then we came across several resorts that are trying to be built here like Vacation Village, and Snowy Owl resort. The Red Carpet Inn and the New Ashford Motor inn. Also here's the Carriage House Motel.
Then the road seemed to lose altitude and there were large hills all around us. So depending on what altitude you are at would determine whether the the surrounding landscape is dotted with hills or mountains. None are so high that you can't see the top. We went through New Ashford and Williamstown. (1753 reconstructed house on the Willimstown green) Then hit a very scenic overlook.
A little sign informed us that we were now in Vermont. The highway improved like it was just paved. The landscape went from large hills to rolling vistas, dotted with farms, and little antique stores and old barns. The trees in Vermont are shorter and more condensed. Here's a picture of the Best Value Inn, the South Gate Motel and the Fife and Drum Motel. The first large town we came into was Bennington, VT. I was really impressed with how nice it was. The gas price in Vermont was $2.89
Heading even further north, we decided to take route 30 into New York instead of Route 4 like the Streets and Trips suggested. Highway 7 then turned into a 4 lane double
highway. First view of some southern Vermont
mountains. The mountain near
Manchester. Vermont was very peaceful, with manicured landscapes and no trash anywhere. Vermont also has it's share of swamplands. Dorset was a really nice quaint town, but it was too dark to take any pictures. The last picture I took before dark was turning onto highway11east.
Side Note- we just lost our Sprint signal 10 miles from Manchester, so Sprint probably has a tower in Bennington
Entering New York State
As soon as we crossed the border into New York, the atmosphere was totally different, along with the landscape. We are on 22 north now, and will stay on 22 north till we reach highway 4 then we'll turn south. Almost to Comstock, we passed a huge prison. Wow
We're in Fort Ann, and stopped to fill up with gas. Only needed 8 gallons, so we have driven 200 miles, and that makes 25 miles per gallon. So that's good, the new plugs and wires, and oil change helped. A much of mosquitos landed on the car while we were filling up. and gas here was 3.01
It's 9:05 and it has been totally dark outside since we left Vermont. Boohoo no more pictures... We're on Highway 149 going south and just passed a popular restaurant called the Cherry Grill.
The Lake George Area
We just turned north on highway 9 and are already getting hit with visions of fun. Motels everywhere. Lake George 3 miles! The most widely advertised thing so far is a Rodeo with Texas style BBQ, Travel Lodge, Miniature Golf, Water Slide. Oops, just passed the Lake George Battlefield Campground. We turned around in the Howard Johnson that is next door and went back. The Lake George Holiday Inn is across the street from the Campground. Also nearby is the Tiki Lodge
The Lake George Battleground Campground
OK we turned around and went back and the registration office was closing. They said they close at 9pm and it was 9:16. But he took us anyway and gave us tent site #65. Which was only a half block from the reservation office. The spots appear to be really close together, because there is a tent right next to out picnic table. Oh well at least we got a spot. And it was 20.00 not the 27.00 they advertise on the Internet. When I asked about the difference in price, he said if you reserve online there is a 9.00 service charge.
Also he said we could stay tomorrow night too, but they are booked on Friday already. I can understand why! This area is a big WOW!. I also asked him if it was a real battlefield and he said, yes, the French and Indian war was fought in the field. I guess this building over there with the light on is the restrooms
After we pitched our little tent we started to build a fire and the neighbor next to us, brought us over some firewood. We seem to have the last spot left, and our picnic table is stamped "Handi Cap Only." .
I awoke this morning to tall pines trees hovering overhead, and a very quiet campground. Lake George Battlefield Campground is a small campground and not near Lake George, but you could actually walk to it if you wanted to. We made coffee then set out to find out where the airhorns for the ferries were coming from, and accidentally came upon Lake George Beach.
Lake George Village
We then drove the strip and saw 3 ferries getting ready to leave, and a sign that said, Welcome to Lake George Village. We took a lot of pictures of this area, and then followed Highway 9 North. There are tons of motels here. So many, so close to each other, that I could only take a picture of every other one. There are restaurants and shops galore. We then ran into another public campground which is much larger than Battlefield Campground. It is called Hearthstone Point, we stopped and got a brochure. They are the same price as the Battlefield Campground.
We kept driving North on highway 9 and went through Diamond Point and Bolton's Landing, which also looked like a very popular place to go. The street lined with little shops and restaurants on both sides of the street.
After we realized we weren't going to find the Chasm on Lake George (yes, it's located on Lake Champlain) then we turned around at a scenic overlook of Lake George. If we would have kept traveling north then we would have wound up in Ticonderoga.. So we went to far, there was nothing up this way past Bolton's Landing, and we were getting hungry.
Heading back to the campsite, I didn't feel like I needed to take anymore pictures, I already have about 100 motels pictures, and it will take a special page to put them on. All in all it was a nice morning drive, by 11am most of the motels have vacancies. So if you can't book online, just get here early in the day and you'll find a room. Also on highway 9 north there is horsebackriding.
Coming back to Lake George Village, the traffic was much heavier being is is now almost noon. When we past Shepard Park I saw a sign that said there is a curfew here. We went back to the campground and made breakfast (which I brought in the cooler) We are still trying to decide whether it is more economical to eat out or to cook food in the campsite. If we have to buy ice to keep food cold and buy the firewood to make the fire, and buy the food. Then how are we saving money by not eating out?
We stayed at the campsite all day till the coolness of the evening set in. Took a shower(but they clean the showers at 1pm, so I had to wait. Listened to the music of the ferries all day, their airhorns, and occasional heard the sound of a cannon going off. I spent most of the day looking through the brochures that I picked up at the registration office, and most of the brochures were not for Lake George at all. They had 2 coupon books though, and all the activities and restaurants in the books were for Lake George area.
It seems the most popular activity at Lake George are the ferries, with their brunches, and moonlight cruises, pizza cruises on Thurs., and pasta cruises on Fridays, and Firework cruises.
Other than that, horseback riding is promoted, and there is even a horseback ride with dinner of steak and potatoes. Another activity in the book is the hot air balloon rides, but they don't list a price. Then you can rent a skidoo for 55.00 for the first half hour. There are several miniature Adventure Golf courses, and a Water slide park. Lake George is a fun place to vacation, but it would be a good idea to already know what you want to do before you get here.
Later we are going down to the waterfront and just watch all the activity. Who says you can't come here without spending money, but there are certainly lots of things to do if you want to blow some money. And I just found out from our neighbor campers that you can walk to Lake George Beach from the campground. We could have spent all day at the beach!
We took a walk down the path to the beach and took some more pictures. Then we found out that they shoot off fireworks every Thurs. night. We walked towards the downtown area along the shoreline walkway and saw several nice waterfront restaurants. Then came upon the town park called Sheppard Park, and saw that they had a firefighters carnival here all day with lots of arts and crafts. We walked toward the bandstand and they were playing some jazz. We went up to the main street looking for an ice cream shop, but the two that we found, had some really long lines.
We eventually got our milkshakes, and then headed back to the waterfront to wait for the fireworks. The downtown area was pretty packed as evening wore on, and the only restrooms I found were behind the visitor's center.
Friday Aug. 18
Today we check out of Lake George Battlefield Campground. Where are we going? I think Vlad wants to head back to Maine to visit some friends.
Gas- CT - 34.58
Coke - .78
Ate sandwiches and potato salad I made for the trip
Gas - NY - 24.16
Campsite - 20.00
Ate eggs and bacon and toast on the fire, coffee
Ate hot-dogs and potato salad
2 milkshakes - 7.50
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