This 1,909-acre parcel was acquired by the Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) in 2003 and sold to the state in 2013. It is now part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve. Its preservation is a major accomplishment in protecting the Lake George watershed, as one of the lake’s larger tributaries, Finkle Brook, flows through the preserve and forms Edgecomb Pond, the drinking water source for Bolton Landing.
In addition to preserving Edgecomb Pond, the Cat and Thomas Mountains Preserve protects the largest tract of contiguous land remaining in Bolton, yet another step in safeguarding the majestic viewshed of Lake George.
Just a five-minute drive from quaint Bolton Landing, the trails to the summits of Cat and Thomas provide a rewarding introduction to hiking the Adirondack trails. All of the preserve's trails have worthwhile views of Lake George’s south and central basins and the southwestern Adirondacks.
Hunting and trapping is allowed at the preserve; appropriate state licenses are required. Hikers should be aware of hunting seasons and wear bright colors and hike in groups to minimize risk.
Mountain biking is allowed on all of the trails. Recommended biking routes would be the orange trail, the yellow trail (to intersection with red) and red trail, from its intersection with yellow to Edgecomb Pond.
The Lake George Land Conservancy maintains the trails of the Cat and Thomas Mts Preserve through DEC's volunteer stewardship agreement. If you need a Forest Ranger, whether it's for a search and rescue, to report a wildfire, or to report illegal activity on state lands and easements, call 833-NYS-RANGERS. If you need urgent assistance, call 911. To contact a Forest Ranger for information about a specific location, visit the DEC website to find phone numbers for every Ranger listed by region.
To Thomas Mountain Summit (1.4 miles*)
Park at the Valley Woods Rd. parking lot and follow the blue trail, which is a dirt road, for 0.7 miles until you reach the intersection with the yellow trail. Turn right on the yellow trail (also a dirt road), for another 0.7 miles to end at an overlook with a 180-degree view of Lake George.
To Cat Mt from Thomas Mt (2 miles*)
Continue on the yellow trail for 2.0 miles to the Cat Mt. summit. Footing is more difficult than the other trails and hikers should be prepared for the longer, more challenging trek.
Or, for an easier route to Cat Mt. from the Valley Woods Rd. parking area, follow the blue trail all the way. About two-thirds of the trail follows a logging road, with the last third on a more rugged and rocky woods trail. The summit of Cat Mt. offers a stunning 270-degree view of Lake George and the Adirondacks.
To Cat Mt. from Edgecomb Pond Trailhead (1.9 miles*)
For a more direct hike to Cat Mt., park at the Edgecomb Pond Rd. parking lot and follow the red trail on a dirt road past the pond for 0.7 miles (making a sharp right just past a gate) to the intersection with the blue trail. Turn left (south) and follow the blue trail for a 0.7-mile climb until you reach a T intersection. Turn left (south) and follow the blue trail for 0.4 miles to Cat Mt.
(*mileage is one-way)