Drive up Prospect Mountain for free

The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced Prospect Mountain Veteran’s Memorial Parkway will stay open through Sunday, Nov. 6 this year.

Plus, the state is offering free admission for cars headed up the mountain on the weekend of Nov. 5 and 6. The state-operated parkway opens around Memorial Day and closes in the fall.

The parkway will be open from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

“Visitors and residents will be able to enjoy the amazing views of Lake George and the surrounding Adirondack Mountains provided by the popular Prospect Mountain Veteran’s Memorial Parkway for a longer period of time this fall,” said DEC Regional Director Robert Stegemann in a press release from DEC. “We also want to honor all the men and women who served in our country’s military by allowing everyone to access the parkway for free on the weekend before Veteran’s Day.”

This was made possible through the efforts of three local military veterans, Phil Santaserio of Queensbury, and Dan Hurley and Dennis Galloway of Lake George and the help of the DEC, State Sen. Betty Little and Assemblyman Dan Stec.

“This action is to be considered a tribute to all those USA military veterans, men and women, who have served and are currently serving their countr in any fashion, throughout the world,” according to a statement in a flyer handed out by Galloway.

Galloway and Hurley are co-chairs of the Veterans Memorial rout of Lake George.

Before you get to the top, the 5½ mile parkway offers lookouts with views of The Narrows, Panoramic Lake George and an “Eagle’s Eye” view.

At the end of the parkway is a parking lot from which a shuttle runs guests up to the 2,030-foot summit of Prospect Mountain. You can ride the shuttle, which also features a video of the history of Prospect Mountain or walk up a short but steep trail to the summit.

The summit provides a 360-degree panoramic view of Vermont’s Green Mountains, the High Peaks of the Adirondacks and more. The remains of the world’s largest cable railroad and picnic facilities are also at the top.

If you don’t want to drive, you can also hike the mountain any time of the year. The 1.5-mile hiking trail ascends 1,630 feet from the village of Lake George to the summit.

Earlier this year an Excelsior Conservation Corp crew completed an accessible walkway allowing people with disabilities to access the summit of the mountain from an accessible parking spot along the summit roadway, according to the DEC press release.

Other than the free weekend in November, the cost to drive up the parkway is $10 per car, $4 per motorcycle and $50 for a commercial bus.