After more than a decade of planning and negotiation, the Schumann Preserve at Pilot Knob was added to the list of protected lands within the Lake George basin in August 2000. Originally, this parcel was illegally cleared, and a house and mile-long driveway were constructed. The five-acre house lot became a focal point throughout the south basin and around the lake because it disrupted the unbroken wilderness of the Pilot Knob range. Further proposed development would have greatly changed the quality and character of the entire basin. Clearly visible from nearly any point in the southern half of Lake George, the house and its outlying buildings scarred the once-pristine ridgeline and galvanized support for conservation. The property was subsequently confiscated by authorities and resold to the Zug family who stewarded the land for over ten years.
"After spending time on the mountain, it became clear that there was really no other choice but to do what was necessary to preserve this amazing place," say Steve Szymanski and Carli Zug, referring to their decision to sell this wonderful area to the LGLC. With the help of hundreds of donors, the LGLC was able to purchase the property at below market value.
This property, first named the Pilot Knob Ridge Preserve, was renamed on August 9, 2010 at a dedication ceremony in honor of LGLC's past executive director, Lynn LaMontagne Schumann, who was instrumental in its preservation. Lynn passed away from breast cancer in March, 2010.
Distance And Terrain
By far LGLC’s most popular preserve, this property hosts over 2,500 registered guests each year. Though the 3 mile hike to the top is moderately steep, hikers are rewarded for their efforts with a shady rest at the preserve’s gazebo and expansive views of Lake George and the Adirondacks.
The orange trail leads from the parking area for a steady ascent of 620 feet to the gazebo and scenic lookout, following a sometimes rocky path that can also be wet and slippery at times. After 0.25 miles the trail splits and you can get to the gazebo by either continuing to climb east for another 0.70 miles or head south on a more meandering (longer and drier path) of about 0.85 miles.
Please note that the orange trail has been re-routed off of the driveway. We ask that you do not walk on the driveway, as it leads to private property. Also note that there are many “herd paths” through this area. Please help us reduce our impact on the land by staying on designated trails. In the early spring, the trail may be closed due to a dangerous combination of ice and mud.
Just south of the gazebo the blue trail leads further east for a more gentle hike through hemlock and oak forests and grassy meadows. After about 0.9 miles you’ll come to the head of the waterfall loop. Follow the trail south for 0.1 miles to the base of the waterfall or head northeast to climb to the top. The waterfall is seasonal and though active in the spring, it is often dry in late summer and fall.
Highlights And Key Points Along The Route
Seasonal waterfall, hiking and snowshoeing. May include steep and rocky sections.
Identify And Describe The Management Organization
The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) is a not-for-profit land trust that works solely within the Lake George watershed in the southeastern corner of New York's Adirondack Park.
Preserve is open year-round, dawn to dusk.
Please stay on the marked trails.
Please be courteous of other preserve guests.
No removal of plants or animals without permission.
No camping, littering or fires.
Motorized or non-motorized recreational vehicles are NOT allowed.
Leashed dogs are permitted. Please clean up after your dog.
Please park only in the preserve’s designated area.
Tours Are Offered
Site is Child-friendly
Site is Pet-friendly