Enjoying Lake George Responsibly

This appears to be an opportune time to address the use of Lake George and how we can all learn to enjoy it more responsibly. After an 8 year-old girl lost her life in a horrific boat crashinvolving the abuse of drugs and alcohol this past year, many people who use Lake George are reacting to the tragedy by looking at their own character. I know I did.

Lake George has an amazing and, more importantly, natural ability to make people feel calm and relaxed, or joyful andeuphoric, without the use of mind altering drugs and alcohol. I have lived on this lake my entire life, and I still get tingles every time my boat passes through the Narrows and into The Mother Bunch Islands – the Adirondack Mountains embracing me, the sun reflecting diamond-like sparkles on the water. I have wonderful memories of waterskiing on the lake as a teen, skimming across incredibly calm, silky waters with the crisp morning air on my skin. And I still believe that food is never more delicious than when it is enjoyed on the lake, sitting in a moored boat or at a picnic table on one of Lake George’s many islands.  

There are so many ways in which the “Queen of American Lakes” has an innate ability to both calm and stimulate our senses – and there’s a way to do it responsibly. As a reminder, I’ve included a few of the lake’s boating rules and regulations below.

Rules & Regulations for Boating on Lake George

Unlike many lakes in the Adirondacks and throughout New York State, Lake George has a unique set of laws that are enforced by the Lake George Park Commission (LGPC) and the Warren County Sheriff's Department. Many of the laws are common sense, however, some – like those listed below – are designed specifically to protect the lake’s pristine waters, shoreline and residents. Remember, many wildlife species call Lake George home and many residents rely on it as a clean source of drinking water.

• Every trailered boat must receive a Vessel Inspection Control Seal (VICS) at one of six docking stations prior to entering the lake. 

• All vessels that are 18 feet or longer, or are mechanically propelled by motors of 10hp or greater, must register with the LGPC and display a registration decal.

• Boating under the influence of alcohol and consuming it on board is dangerous, illegal and strictly enforced by the LGPC and the Warren County Sheriff's Department.

• No dumping is allowed, and boats are required to have sealed heads and holding tanks for showers and sinks. 

• The steep mountains on each bank amplify noise for those of us living and vacationing on the lake, so there is a decibel limit of 86 from 50 feet away and no more than 80 from 100 feet away.

• Noisy personal watercrafts, such as jet skis, are only permitted on the lake from 8:00am to 7:00pm, or sunset, whichever is earlier. There are also several Restricted Use Zones on Lake George, including Sandy Bay and Paradise Bay.

For more detailed information on safe boating, including invasive species protection, speed limits, right-of-way rules, personal watercraft use, and waterskiing and tubing, please visit the Lake George Park Commission website or the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Living on Lake George

All of us need to reflect on our responsibility to the environment, to others and to ourselves, while using a gift like Lake George. If you are interested in learning more about the lake or searching for your dream home on Lake George, contact me to set up a meeting today or call (518) 361-0230.

Lonnie Lawrence is a licensed real estate broker and lifetime resident of Lake George. Her 40+ years of experience and vast knowledge of the region have made her an expert on Lake George Real Estate.