This trail is as smart as it is pretty. Signs that detail the area's history and appealing destinations accompany a scenic ride from Glens Falls into the resort town of Lake George, New York. Traveling by bicycle in either direction, you can stretch your legs with some climbing. Begin in Glens Falls to take advantage of a more gradual ascent and the reward of a swim at Lake George Beach.
The trail's south end at Platt Street in Glens Falls does not have designated parking, so leave your car at the Leonard Street trailhead. Then, to say you rode the entire trail, follow the bikeway signs south on Leonard Street a couple of blocks, watching for where the trail picks up on your left.
You will see several 19th-century industrial buildings along the trail, and the tracks of the Delaware and Hudson Railway (D&H) are visible on the far side of Platt Street. The D & H took passengers all the way from New York City through Glens Falls to the resort town then known as Caldwell (now Lake George). Today much of the bike path follows that route.
Return to the Leonard Street trailhead and follow the trail, heading west and north through a residential and light-industrial area. Less than 1 mile ahead, the trailside Coopers Cave Ale Company has a bike rack and picnic tables, if you hanker for a gourmet soda or handmade ice cream. As you near Queensbury, trees green the trail, and at mile 2.2 you cross the beautiful pedestrian bridge over Quaker Road and Halfway Brook. After another trailside ice cream opportunity, at Sprinkles, the trail becomes wooded. You just might see a fox cross the trail.
At about mile 3.3 you will leave the trail for 1.5 miles. The well-marked detour takes roads past large homes and the Glens Falls Country Club. The surroundings become more forested as you return to the bike trail. Then views of glittery Glen Lake, considered an idyllic fishing spot, reward your climbing efforts. As you cross a bridge over the lake's feeder stream, you will probably spy aquatic wildlife, water lilies and other flowering water plants.
Until you reach Route 149, about 1.2 miles north, you follow the right-of-way of the old Hudson Valley Railway, which provided trolley and interurban services. Woods and meadows again surround you; a stream gurgles beside the trail, which trends uphill.
At mile 8 the trail briefly parallels busy Route 9, and you will see the 30-foot Uncle Sam statue in the Magic Forest theme park. From here it's all downhill to Lake George Village, rife with sites cultural and historical, such as the Spanish Mission-style train station. As the trail winds down at the shore of the beautiful lake, it cuts through Lake George Beach State Park. Don't forget that swim!
Parking and Trail Access
To reach the Glens Falls trailhead, take I-87 to Exit 18, then head east on the combination Corinth Road and Broad Street for about 1 mile. Bear left on South Street. Cross Glen Street (Route 9), where South becomes Bay Street. Go one block then turn right on Maple Street. After several blocks, turn left on Leonard Street. Go 1.5 blocks and look for the trailhead and parking on the left.
To reach the Lake George Beach Trailhead, take I-87 to Exit 21, and take Route 9 North. Turn left at the traffic light, continuing on Route 9. In less than 1 mile, at the bottom of the hill on Route 9, bear right and follow the sign for Lake George Beach. Head up this road and park alongside it. The trail begins at the end of the road on your right next to a signboard.