Bolton Landing, NY – With an expected attendance of more 600 hikers, paddlers and volunteers, the Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) is getting ready for its 6th annual Lake George Hike-A-Thon, set for Thursday, July 5, 2018. The public is welcome to participate in the free, family-friendly event, but registrations must be made by June 15.
The 2018 Hike-A-Thon features 19 simultaneous hikes and paddles all around Lake George, culminating with aerial photography of each group by Carl Heilman, II, who will once again be flying in a helicopter donated and piloted by Bruce Mowery of North Country HeliFlite.
One of this year’s coveted seats for the helicopter ride has been given to the event’s Summit Sponsor, Angels at Lakeshore Gallery. Gallery co-founder Tim Tiger will be riding with Heilman, Mowery and an LGLC representative in the 4-passenger helicopter as it circles the lake, stopping along the way to snap pictures of groups of cheering hikers and paddlers participating in the event. The highly choreographed flight takes nearly 2 hours.
New in this year’s lineup is a paddle at Jabe Pond in Hague and a hike up Spruce Mountain in Dresden. The Spruce Mountain hike is made possible thanks to special permission from a neighboring landowner who has given permission to access the unofficial trail through his property, and will be assisting with leading the hike.
Each site’s participation is limited based on parking and trail capacity and safety, which means that some of the favorite sites fill up quickly. The exclusive hike to Rogers’ Rock, for example, maxed out at 50 people within 8 hours of opening registration, and the Spruce Mountain hike filled within 10 days. As of May 23, eight of the 19 sites are full, and only 100 more spots are available in total.
“We are so pleased to see the continued success of this event,” said Sarah Hoffman, the LGLC’s communications and outreach manager, and organizer of the Hike-A-Thon. “What started as a one-time experiment has grown into this huge outreach event that we’re incredibly proud of.”
The event encourages participation from people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities, by offering sites that have varying levels of difficulty. The Charles R. Wood Park in Lake George is fully accessible and ideal for young kids and those with reduced mobility. The Cook Mountain Preserve in Ticonderoga and Pole Hill Pond Forest Preserve in Bolton are good choices for those looking for a more challenging hike.
After organizing the first Lake George Hike-A-Thon in 2013 as a celebration of the LGLC’s 25th anniversary, the event has continued each year since to showcase the LGLC’s parks and preserves as free public resources, and to promote an appreciation for the outdoors and for the protection of the land that protects the lake.
“We are all in this together,” said Hoffman, “no matter our backgrounds, or how separated we seem, from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga, we all want to see the lake protected.”
Starting in 2017, the Hike-A-Thon also includes Partner Sites, which include Camp Chingachgook, a YMCA camp in Fort Ann, the Charles R. Wood Nature Park in Lake George, Up Yonda Farm Environmental Education Center in Bolton, and the Silver Bay YMCA.
“We’re happy to include these partner sites,” said Hoffman, “to provide a greater variety of trail types and locations to our participants, as well as to help promote these partners’ good stewardship practices and conservation of their own lands.”
The Hike-A-Thon is a free public outreach event, made possible with the financial support of business sponsors and individuals who choose to donate with their registrations. The 2018 Hike-A-Thon has been sponsored by Lake George Mirror, as the event’s media sponsor; Carl Heilman, II/Wild Visions, Inc.; Bruce Mowery of North Country HeliFlite; the Town of Bolton; Angels at Lakeshore Gallery; Candlelight Cottages; Lake George RV Park; Victoria Ragucci, CPA; Adirondack Etching; Camp David in Bolton Landing; Stored Technology Solutions; Wiawaka Center for Women; and Clothier Planning and Consulting.
Snacks and water are being donated by JUST Beverages and KIND Healthy Snacks, and Cedar Graphics is donating printing screens for the shirts.
To register for the Hike-A-Thon and for more information visit https://lakegeorgehikeathon.org/, or contact Sarah Hoffman at 518-644-9673, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For news and updates, follow the Hike-A-Thon on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LakeGeorgeHikeAThon/.