Most Lake George hiking trails offer views of small segments of the lake and its surroundings. The Cat Mountain hike lets you see nearly the entire lake, plus mountains on its western and eastern shores, and distant mountains to the south and east.
A Rewarding Hike with Panoramic Views of Lake George
This Adirondack hiking trail (slightly over three miles one-way) offers an amazing variety of terrain, including streams, wetlands, and beaver ponds. The route is generally moderate, with a few challenging spots. From the Valley Woods Road parking lot (directions below), follow the blue trail all the way up the mountain. The first two-thirds of the trail follows a logging road, while the last third is a more rugged and rocky woods trail.
You may wish to bring binoculars. The summit of Cat is approximately three miles from the lake, and you can’t make out individual land features with the naked eye.
Cat can also be hiked in conjunction with neighboring Thomas Mountain. From the Valley Woods Road parking lot, hike 0.7 miles along the blue trail until it intersects with the yellow trail, then turn right to continue following the yellow trail for 0.7 more miles to reach Thomas' summit. After summitting Thomas, you can continue on the yellow trail for an additional 2 miles until you reach the Cat Mountain summit, but be aware that footing on the trail between the two mountains is more difficult than the other trails.
- A map of the “Cat and Thomas Mountains Preserve” can be obtained from the Lake George Land Conservancy, PO Box 1250, Lake Shore Drive, Bolton Landing, NY 12814; (518) 644-9673.
- No vehicles allowed.
- Pets are allowed on this trail, but they must be leashed.
- Camping is permitted up to three nights, but you must be at least 150 feet from a road, trail, spring, stream, or pond. Larger groups or more nights requires a permit.
- Fires are permitted, but must be attended to at all times.
- This is part of the Lake George 12ster Hiking Challenge
- Cat Mountain is also paired with the Bolton Landing Brewing Company in the ADK 6 Pack Trails and Ales Hiking Challenge
GETTING THERE FROM LAKE GEORGE
Head north on I-87, and get off at exit 24. Turn right on County Route 11, and follow it toward Bolton Landing. (Do NOT turn right on County Route 10 (River Road) immediately after the exit.) Drive 2.0 miles until you reach Valley Woods Road, on your right. Turn right onto Valley Woods Road and continue for 100 feet to the parking area on your right. Be sure to sign the trail register.
ALTERNATIVE RETURN TRIP:
Turn right on Route 11, and follow it to its end at Route 9N, for an incredible view of the lake, of several of the Narrows islands, and of Sleeping Beauty and Buck Mountain as you drive down the hill (be sure to proceed slowly as the road is rather steep). Turn right, and follow Route 9N into Bolton Landing, and, from there, into Lake George. If time permits, you may want to spend time in Bolton Landing, a charming village with great restaurants, free beaches, and a laid-back atmosphere. Parking is usually available at the town hall.