The Lynn LaMontagne Schumann Preserve at Pilot Knob
223 acres in the Town of Fort Ann
An updated trail map is in progress (the trail following the old driveway has
been rerouted). Since this is a heavily used property the trails are well
worn and well marked but some turns can be missed if you're not paying
The orange trail leads from the parking area for a steady ascent of 620 feet
to the gazebo and scenic lookout, following a rocky path that can also be wet in
the case of recent rain. In the winter, the trail can be icy; so you should use
crampons or microspikes. After 0.25 miles the trail splits and you can get to
the gazebo by either continuing to climb east for another 0.5 miles or head
south on a slightly longer path with a softer foot bed.
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.
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. More can be read about Lynn
and her time with LGLC here.