Lake Luzerne presides on the banks of the Hudson River at one of the most picturesque spots of the river’s run from the Adirondack Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. Here, water from Lake Luzerne joins the Hudson at a narrow gorge of tumbling water at Rockwell Falls, which can be seen best from the north side of the Bridge of Hope. A little further south, the confluence of the Hudson and Sacandaga Rivers form Phelps Bay, a stretch of water broad enough for water skiing. These historic waterways were used by Mohawk, Abenaki, and Iroquois Indians to travel between what is now known as Johnstown to Lake George.
Located in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, Lake Luzerne’s first settlements included grist mills, saw mills, a creamery and cheese factory, distillery and even a shirt factory; but leather was Luzerne’s biggest business during the last half of the nineteenth century. The first pulp mill in the United States using American-made machinery was built on the outlet of Lake Luzerne , it still stands with some of the original machinery as a public museum, and together with an iron ore smelter a gristmill and sawmill, are included in Mill Park. Adirondack Folk School is a unique school providing hands-on classes teaching the arts, crafts and culture of the Adirondack Region on Main St.
Loggers ran river drives until the 1930s, when the old logging camps found new lives as dude ranches. The first one, Northwoods Dude Ranch, succeeded in bringing the West, and all its cowboy flavor, to the East in Lake Luzerne. Today, the Painted Pony Ranch is a historic vacation
spot and home of championship rodeos, and you can find stables on Route 9N that still offer horseback riding. Although the Hudson River is mapped as the demarcation between Warren and Saratoga Counties, and Lake Luzerne and Hadley, residents and visitors alike find this little valley one wonderful place to “ride, raft, and rest.”