Take Route 9N out of Lake George village to reach Lake Luzerne, a quieter resort community about 10 miles away. The trim village of Lake Luzerne, bounded by two rivers, consists of a few small streets crowded with Victorian homes. Lake Luzerne traditionally has been known for its dude ranches, which is why you’ll notice signs pointing to Big Hat Country along the way.
Though the dude-ranch business is not what it was once, the country’s oldest weekly rodeo still takes place weekend nights in summer at Painted Pony Ranch (703 Howe Rd., off Rte. 9N, 518/696-2421).
The free Lake Luzerne Chamber Music Festival (Lake Tour Rd., off Rte. 9N, 518/696-2771), featuring members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, takes place on Monday nights during the summer at the Luzerne Music Center.
At the eastern end of town flows the Hudson River, where bubbling Rockwell Falls rushes downstream through a small park. At the western end, the Sacandaga River attracts white-water rafters and canoeists. Rental equipment and guided white-water raft trips down the Sacandaga’s Class II and III waters are offered by the Adirondack River Outfitters Adventures (518/696-5101) in Lake Luzerne, and by Wild Waters Outdoor Center (518/494-4984) in nearby Warrensburg.
Hiking Hadley Mountain
Although Hadley Mountain is only 2,700 feet high, it affords magnificent views from its summit. To the north loom the High Peaks, to the south are the Catskills and Great Sacandaga Lake, and to the east Lake George and the Green Mountains. The Adirondack Mountain Club considers the four-mile round-trip hike to the summit easy-to-moderate in difficulty. The hike should take about three hours.
To reach the trailhead, take Route 9N north of Lake Luzerne to Hadley and head north on Stony Creek Road. Continue three miles to Hadley Hill Road and turn left. Proceed slightly over four miles to Tower Road, turn right, and continue another 1.5 miles to the trailhead on the left, marked with a sign.
Accommodations and Camping
To make reservations at the 174-site Luzerne State Campground (Rte. 9N south of the village, 518/696-2031), call 800/456-CAMP.
The gracious Lamplight Inn B&B (2129 Lake Ave., 518/696-5294, www.lamplightinn.com, $175–250 in summer, about a third less other seasons) is an award-winning 1890 hostelry featuring 10 bedrooms, fireplaces, 12-foot ceilings, and a wraparound porch. An addition to the inn offers five modern rooms equipped with Jacuzzis.
Between Lake George and Lake Luzerne, the Roaring Brook Ranch and Tennis Resort (Luzerne Rd./Rte. 9, 518/668-5767, www.roaringbrookranch.com; inclusive rates $84–134 d per person, including riding, use of all facilities, breakfast, and dinner; family rates available) in its 65th year still operates as one of the oldest and best dude ranches in the area. Spread out over 500 acres, the well-kept resort includes 142 simple but comfortable rooms, 30-odd horses, five lighted tennis courts, three swimming pools, saunas, and fitness rooms.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition