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14 Incredible Recreational Lakes near Lake George, NY

Lake George isn't the only show in town. There are plenty of other incredible options, all within an hour's drive. From small and cozy fishing holes to nation-famous recreational reservoirs, local lakes have it all.
ItIsWild.com: Best Lakes near Lake George NY

Popular Lake George draws crowds from all over the country and gets really busy during the summer. Yet, there are plenty of other excellent lakes in the area offering just as much fun.

The choice here is diverse. For example, you can visit other famous gems like Lake Champlain and Great Sacandaga Lake or check out the hike-in Pharaoh Lake and camp in the wilderness.

Most of the options on the list are excellent fishing, kayaking, and swimming lakes. And many are fantastic waterskiing and camping destinations, too.

And the best thing is, all of the lakes on the list are within an hour’s drive from the Town of Lake George. 

Check out what the area has to offer!

Lakes near Lake George:

  1. Lake George
  2. Glen Lake
  3. Fourth Lake
  4. Lake Champlain
  5. Lake Luzerne
  6. Stewarts Bridge Reservoir
  7. Great Sacandaga Lake
  8. Lake St. Catherine
  9. Loon Lake
  10. Brant Lake
  11. Schroon Lake
  12. Pharaoh Lake
  13. Saratoga Lake
  14. Lake Bomoseen
Lakes near Lake George New York Comparison Table
Comparison Table

1. Lake George

Lake George in NY State
Source: unsplash
  • Website: Lake George
  • Distance from Lake George: 0 miles (0 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Swimming, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddleboarding, Sailing, Water Skiing, Wakeboarding, Tubing, Hiking, Camping, Picnics

At over 28,400 surface acres, Lake George traces its origins to melting glaciers from the last Ice Age. The lake’s 82 miles of shoreline is mostly forestland, much of it under state-mandated preservation. 

The Town of Lake George on the lake’s southern end and Ticonderoga – a hamlet on the northern tip of the lake where it flows into the La Chute River – are its two notable settlements. Mountain streams provide sources of water for this lake.

Designated as an area with distinctive natural qualities by New York lawmakers in 1961, much of the area within and around the lake and areas of the broader watershed have received special protection under the Lake George Park Commission

Lake trout are abundant throughout the lake. Other notable species include bass, black crappie, landlocked salmon, northern pike, and perch. Ice fishing is permitted.

Within the village, Lake George Beach – also known as Million Dollar Beach – has been a popular summertime recreation destination since this 51-acre beach opened in 1951. Another shallow beach at Usher Park also attracts summer visitors. 

2. Glen Lake

  • Website: Glen Lake
  • Distance from Lake George: 7 miles (15 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Swimming, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddleboarding, Picnics

Seven miles south of Lake George, Glen Lake is a 327-acre natural lake that is approximately two miles in length from southwest to northeast. Private property occupies much of the shoreline of this lake in the Town of Queensbury. Boating and fishing are popular activities.

A daytime public launch site exists along the western side of the lake for those who have canoes, kayaks, and smaller boats that fit atop a vehicle’s roof. Larger boats on trailers and motorized boats can’t launch here. 

The lack of larger vessels and crowds makes this a quiet destination. But public facilities are lacking, so you won’t find beaches or piers here.

Anglers will find brown bullhead, walleye, bass, yellow perch, and pike. Ice fishing is popular in winter. 

3. Fourth Lake

Fourth Lake in New York
Source: flickr/CC BY 2.0
  • Website: Fourth Lake
  • Distance from Lake George: 9 miles (15 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Swimming, Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddleboarding, Hiking, Camping, Picnics

A drive nine miles southwest of Lake George leads to Fourth Lake, a tranquil alternative for those wanting to fish along a lake at a time when Million Dollar Beach and other Lake George waterfront areas are crowded. 

This 49-acre lake has tree-lined shores and hills visible in the distance for boaters to enjoy. At this secluded location, motorized boats are prohibited.

A small parking space is available at Lake Luzerne Campground for those who wish to hand-launch their smaller watercraft. Access to this site is permitted only during the site’s summer camping season. 

From a boat or along some cleared areas of the shoreline, those who cast a line will find popular fish species to catch. These include largemouth bass, rock bass, bluegill, brown bullhead, northern pike, pumpkinseed, and yellow perch.

4. Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain in New York
Source: unsplash
  • Website: Lake Champlain
  • Distance from Lake George: 30 miles (40 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Swimming, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddleboarding, Sailing, Water Skiing, Wakeboarding, Tubing, Hiking, Camping, Picnics

One of America’s largest lakes, Lake Champlain covers a distance of 125 miles from its tributaries and water sources in New York’s Adirondack region and Vermont’s Green Mountains into Quebec, where it transitions into the Richelieu River. 

Water from Lake George flows into this lake through the La Chute River at Ticonderoga. 

Closer to the municipality of Lake George, a 27-mile drive northeast to Whitehall offers an opportunity to see where the Poultney River transitions into Lake Champlain along the New York-Vermont state line. 

Just south of this point, South Bay is the southernmost extension of Lake Champlain, one that extends 4.5 miles southwest to the area where South Bay Creek and other small streams empty into the lake.

The South Bay State Boat Launch provides excellent access to this area, including a pier. Fish found in this area of Lake Champlain include large gar, perch, white crappies, catfish, brown bullheads, and pumpkinseed sunfish. 

5. Lake Luzerne

lake luzerne new york sailing
Source: flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0
  • Website: Lake Luzerne
  • Distance from Lake George: 12 miles (20 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Swimming, Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddleboarding, Picnics

Lake Luzerne is a 12-mile drive southwest of the town. This 111-acre lake is bordered by the Town of Lake Luzerne. 

The Wayside Beach along Lake Luzerne’s western end offers excellent access for those who plan to use their own watercraft. Canoeing and kayaking are popular activities along this lake.

Anglers will enjoy the relaxed vibe while fishing or winter ice fishing. Common species found in Lake Luzerne include brown trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass, rock bass, northern pike, bluegill, and chain pickerel.

Those wanting to visit another popular waterway in the area can travel less than a half-mile west to see rapids and Rockwell Falls along the Hudson River, just above where the Sacandaga River flows into the Hudson.

6. Stewarts Bridge Reservoir

  • Website: Stewarts Bridge Reservoir
  • Distance from Lake George: 15 miles (25 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Swimming, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddleboarding, Camping, Picnics

Four miles west of Lake Luzerne and a 15-mile drive from Lake George is Stewarts Bridge Reservoir. This body of water represents the first impoundment of the Sacandaga River immediately upstream from the Hudson River. 

The Stewarts Bridge Dam is located approximately 3 miles from where the river flows into the Hudson. 

Construction of the high earthen dam began in 1951, and the reservoir grew into its present shape a year later. The western boundary of Stewarts Bridge Reservoir is at the Conklingville Dam.

An agreement with the company operating the Stewarts Bridge Dam has allowed paddlers to launch from this area into some of Class 2 and Class 3 rapids between May and September. 

The Conklingville Dam at the upper end of this 470-acre reservoir offers flood control and power generation while promoting recreation. 

Fish caught within this body of water include smallmouth bass, rock bass, pumpkinseed, walleye, and yellow perch. 

7. Great Sacandaga Lake

Great Sacandaga Lake
Source: flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Website: Great Sacandaga Lake
  • Distance from Lake George: 40 miles (1 h)
  • Activities: Fishing, Swimming, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddleboarding, Sailing, Water Skiing, Wakeboarding, Tubing, Hiking, Camping, Picnics

A much larger reservoir immediately to the west of Stewarts Bridge Reservoir, Great Sacandaga Lake covers an expanse of 29 miles of the Sacandaga River that was first impounded after the opening of the Conklingville Dam in 1930. 

The lowest area of the lake near the dam is a little more than 15 miles southwest of Lake George, with the popular picnic area and boat launch on the north shore 28 miles away, and docks at Mayfield in the far area of the lake nearly 50 miles away.

One of the biggest lakes within the Adirondacks, this 24,707-acre reservoir has 115 miles of shoreline. The lake offers camping, boating, and fishing activities. 

Fish commonly harvested from Great Sacandaga Lake include northern pike, walleye, landlocked salmon, brown bullhead, smelt, brown trout, and yellow perch. 

record 46 lb. 2 oz. northern pike was caught here in September 1940.

8. Lake St. Catherine

Wakeboarding in Vermont
Source: unsplash
  • Website: Lake St. Catherine
  • Distance from Lake George: 40 miles (1 h)
  • Activities: Fishing, Swimming, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddleboarding, Sailing, Water Skiing, Wakeboarding, Tubing, Hiking, Camping, Picnics

A little under 40 miles east of Lake George, just over the Vermont state line, Lake St. Catherine is a popular summertime destination. 

Typically open from late May until early October, the 117-acre Lake St. Catherine State Park offers access to the 930-acre lake along its northeastern corner. This state park opened in 1953 on former farmland and a boys’ summer campsite. 

During its open season, the state park features swimming and picnic areas, a nature center, hiking trails, a campground, and a boat launch. 

Rental canoes, pedal boats, and kayaks are available. Occasional moose sightings occur within the park, and white-tailed deer are commonly encountered, as well. 

Lake St. Catherine Association – a non-profit formed in 1953 – is a volunteer organization that seeks to maintain and preserve this body of water. 

Notable sections of the lake include the small Lily Point section at the lake’s northern end, the Atwater Bay and Hull Bay sections in the central area, and the Little Lake portion near the earthen dam that regulates the water levels. 

Bass, crappie, bluegill, perch, pike, and pumpkinseed swim in these waters.

9. Loon Lake

loon lake new york
Source: dreamstime
  • Website: Loon Lake
  • Distance from Lake George: 25 miles (30 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Swimming, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddleboarding, Sailing, Water Skiing, Wakeboarding, Tubing, Hiking, Camping, Picnics

With its notable wishbone shape on nautical charts, Loon Lake is a lucky place to fish near Lake George. 

Located within the limits of the Town of Chester, some areas near the lakefront were once a hamlet with resort hotels and vacation homes that were built in the late 19th century. 

Today, the 539-acre lake with a little more than 11 miles of shoreline offers a quiet retreat. Privately-owned docks extend into the water from the forested shoreline. A marina offers services during the season that generally runs from May until September. 

Rental speedboats, canoes, pontoons, and paddleboards are available. Colder months tend to offer solitude, though ice fishing may be possible in some areas for those willing to chance it.

A variety of fish swim in the lake. These include tiger muskie, bass, bluegill, brown bullhead, bass, and walleye. 

10. Brant Lake

Brant Lake New York
Source: unsplash
  • Website: Brant Lake
  • Distance from Lake George: 26 miles (35 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Swimming, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddleboarding, Sailing, Water Skiing, Wakeboarding, Tubing, Picnics

Brant Lake is located in the Town of Horicon, approximately 26 miles north of Lake George. 

Situated midway between Albany and Plattsburgh, this quiet area has a history as a resort destination that began in the 19th century when Theodore Roosevelt spent time near this 1,376-acre, five-mile-long lake.

With its pristine views, Brant Lake offers enjoyable fishing during the late spring and summer, incredible fall foliage, and snowmobiling and ice fishing during colder months. 

The lake’s southern reaches are connected with the Schroon River near the access available from Interstate 87.

A popular pan fishing destination, anglers will also see abundant populations of smallmouth and largemouth bass. Other fish in Brant Lake include rainbow trout, yellow perch, brown bullhead, and chain pickerel.

11. Schroon Lake

Schroon Lake New York
Source: unsplash
  • Website: Schroon Lake
  • Distance from Lake George: 29 miles (35 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Swimming, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddleboarding, Sailing, Water Skiing, Wakeboarding, Tubing, Hiking, Camping, Picnics

Schroon Lake is a 4,107-acre lake located north of Lake George. Pottersville, a hamlet on the lake’s southern shore, is a drive of 25 miles, while the Town of Schroon Lake on the northern part of the lake is 33 miles away from the Town of Lake George. 

Launches to Schroon Lake are available in the Schroon Lake town and at Horicon, as well as at the Eagle Point Campground & Day Use Area in Pottersville. An unsupervised swimming area is also located at Eagle Point.

Near the southern area of Pottersville, the lake transitions into the Schroon River. Throughout the lake, those who cast a line will find angling opportunities to catch northern pike, black crappie, yellow perch, bass, and brown bullhead. 

During winter months, landlocked salmon and lake trout are popular catches for ice fishers.

12. Pharaoh Lake

Lakeside camping new york state
Source: depositphotos
  • Website: Pharaoh Lake 
  • Distance from Lake George: 29 miles (35 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Swimming, Paddleboarding, Hiking, Camping, Picnics, Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing

Approximately 35 miles north of town, Pharaoh Lake offers a quiet destination to escape from the workaday world. 

A few miles east of the upper reaches of Schroon Lake, this tucked-away, 441-acre lake is nestled within the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area, a 46,283-acre preservation area. 

Mountain and hill views, abundant wildlife, and fishing and camping opportunities abound in this region of the Adirondack Forest Preserve. Brook and lake trout swim in Pharaoh Lake.

Beautiful vistas are found along Pharaoh Lake and other nearby waterways in this preserve, including Crane Pond. Fishing, camping, hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing are popular activities.

Pharaoh Lake is a hike-in destination that requires a 3-mile (one-way) track to get to. The most common route starts from Pharaoh Road, some 29 miles from Lake George.

13. Saratoga Lake

Lake during sunset in Adirondack Mountains
Source: unsplash
  • Website: Saratoga Lake
  • Distance from Lake George: 35 miles (40 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Swimming, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddleboarding, Sailing, Water Skiing, Wakeboarding, Tubing, Camping, Picnics

A little less than 35 miles south of Lake George, Saratoga Lake offers great fishing opportunities for those who have watercraft. 

Most of the lake’s 12.1-mile shoreline is in private hands, but the four-acre Waterfront Park that opened in 2015 at the lake’s northern end provides a location to launch non-motorized boats, a beach, and a picnic area.

A marina at Brown’s Beach sits at the southern end of the lake, 35 miles south of Lake George.

Less remote than many of the lakes in the Adirondacks area, the northern tip of this 3,762-acre lake touches the municipal boundary of Saratoga Springs, a city with many mineral sources. 

Smallmouth and largemouth bass, rock bass, perch, redbreast sunfish, black crappie, and chain pickerel swim in this lake.

14. Lake Bomoseen

Lake Bomoseen kayaking
Source: flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Website: Lake Bomoseen
  • Distance from Lake George: 41 miles (50 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Swimming, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddleboarding, Sailing, Water Skiing, Wakeboarding, Tubing, Hiking, Camping, Picnics

Forty miles northeast of town, Lake Bomoseen has nearly 2,400 surface acres and is the largest lake that sits entirely within Vermont. 

The lake’s waters flow into the Castleton River, before reaching the Poultney River and Lake Champlain. With marinas and boat launches, this large freshwater lake is a popular fishing destination.

The 3,576-acre Bomoseen State Park sits along the lake’s western shore, at a site that includes quarry holes and rubble piles from the area’s slate industry. 

The park opened in 1960, offering access to both Lake Bomoseen and Glen Lake, a short distance to the northwest. 

Camping, hiking, and wildlife viewing are popular. 

Fish commonly found in Lake Bomoseen include yellow perch, pumpkinseed, crappie, and bass.

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