After more than a decade of planning and negotiation, the 223-acre preserve was added in August 2000 to the list of protected lands within the Lake George basin.
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, 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.
The property was subsequently confiscated by authorities and resold to the Zug family who stewarded the land for over 10 years. With the help of hundreds of donors and a selling price well below market value, the Lake George Land Conservancy was able to purchase the property from the new owners.
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 on March 13, 2010.
"My greatest moment," Lynn said, "came after we purchased the preserve. The organization made a significant decision to remove the house situated prominently on the hillside. It was a sunny spring morning when the wrecking crew began the process of demolishing the house. I peered out over the ridge and saw some 40 boaters anchored along the shoreline cheering as the house came down."
Though the 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 contain sections of of ice, mud and standing water. We ask that you wear appropriate shoes (including spikes if necessary) and NOT walk around those areas, as it erodes trails and damages trailside vegetation. Please check this page for seasonal conditions, or follow the preserve’s page on Facebook.
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.