Prospect Mountain Trail

MODERATE 265 reviews

Prospect Mountain Trail is a 2.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Lake George, New York that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1535 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

This trail is a steep hike up an old tramway trail from Lake George Village to the top of Prospect Mountain with great views of the southern end of Lake George. The tramway was once the largest cable railroad in the world. Expect to see other hikers as this is a very popular hiking trail due to the beautiful views. Parking area is alongside the Smith Street (at the trailhead at the bottom of the mountain). This beautiful hike starts with an enclosed bridge that crosses over the Northway (I-87) and then proceeds as a typical Adirondack region trail in New York state. The beginning is fairly easy with some steeper sections starting around midway. You can also drive the toll road up the mountain for $10 and enjoy the panoramic views that way or take the shuttle bus. There are picnic areas at the summit. If you plan ahead there is an alternate and very enjoyable route down the other side of Prospect that ends at the Lake George Recreational area - this desent includes a beautiful waterfall as well. If you choose this route you will need to leave a second car at that trailhead prior to your hike.

hiking
23 hours ago

Hiked mountain on easter sunday. Loved the view and would like to hike again when all the snow and ice is gone.

1 day ago

Still plenty of ice near the top. Great views!

27 days ago

Quick and steep, do not underestimate Prospect Mountain it will kick your butt.

hiking
30 days ago

I live locally, but this was my first time crossing the foot bridge and heading up Prospect Mountain. The trail was still icy and snow-covered in late March. I slipped up the first half of the hike and ended up giving in and putting my spikes on after crossing the highway.

There aren’t any breaks on this hike. It’s short, only about 1.6 miles to the top, but it’s steep. I was breathing hard at the top. The views are beautiful, and there’s a ton of room at the summit.

This is a very popular and well-traveled trail, which is a big downside. I’m selfish and I want the woods to myself. Probably won’t hike it again anytime soon, but it was a decent climb.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail was much more difficult than we anticipated but an excellent hike nonetheless with gorgeous views at the summit. The nightmare bridge over the highway from parking area to the trailhead will be with me for a while :D

scenic driving
4 months ago

$10 view to drive about 10 minutes. Have had better views of Lake George doing other hikes. Low effort = low reward. However, if you're looking for something with easy access that would be good. There are cool train parts at the top with history info and lots of picnic tables on the way up.

6 months ago

It's not a moderate trail! it's quite steep and difficult to climb at parts. Beautiful view at the top though. Much more beautiful in fall.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice hike, especially in the fall when leaves are turning. Spectacular Lake George views from the summit.

beautiful hike... kind of hard for a 10 year old though.. great day in all!

6 months ago

Nice trail, when brooklynites aren't hiking there!!! Quite steep!!!

hiking
6 months ago

No need to park where the folks live in the village. Just park alongside the road at the trailhead at the bottom of the mountain. Expect to see other hikers as this is a very popular hike. Overall, pretty easy hike with good views, though some of the views at the top are limited by trees. You'll see lots of others at the summit since there's a road in that people in vehicles use. If you haven't done Sleeping Beauty, try that one out...just as easy and way way better views (from the east side of Lake George instead of the west side).

6 months ago

Fun hike with great views over Lake George. Some history at the top as well.

hiking
6 months ago

This is a decent challenge for a short distance. While it is over relatively fast, it is relentless climb straight up the mountain. I did it to prepare for Mount Marcy and ended up performing well on that hike the following week.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice Hike with some pretty decent elevation

hiking
6 months ago

This was an excellent workout however I would not categorize this trail as moderate - it was HARD. Straight up the mountain. We ended up taking 2 cars and parking one at the top. I have a broken shoulder and didn't want to walk back down. The view was totally worth it! Spectacular!!

7 months ago

the real trail is to hard for little ones under 8 but once you enter the park and drive all the way up to the top there is a parking lot and even a bus service if you choose to go to the peak . It is paved trail to the left of the parking lot that anyone can do but there are 3 sets of ling stairs just before the top so not wheelchair friendly unless you take the bus because cars are not allowed past parking lot

7 months ago

Could not take dog on trail steps bridge over highway. So could not do walk more than .28

7 months ago

it was fujn

hiking
7 months ago

Make sure if you are attempting an "easy" hike you stick very closely on the Red trail. I accidentally jumped onto blue after the first road crossing and it added some mileage for sure, lol. Both trails lead to summit but blue is considerably longer and steeper. Cool hike though. Insanely busy summit, taking pictures without being photobombed by a stranger is near impossible. USGS stamp on the farthest, highest point, not to be missed.

7 months ago

This should be rated as hard. Make no mistake, this trail is tough and challenging. Amazing views at the top!

hiking
7 months ago

My husband and I found this short 3.2 mile hike challenging. We are in the senior citizen range. The 1, 627 feet climbing and descending had no switch turns to recover. The upper trail was across Rick slabs that were slippery with gravel, leaving, and water from a recent rain storm. The trail was well marked and the view from the top was amazing. The remnants of the old cog railway was also interesting to see and read about. We did not see bathroom but we did find a jug of cool water to refill our bottles. Is was quite crowded at the top with folks that drove up and then took a jutney bus the short distance from the parking lot to the summit. Maybe in a few weeks, after the school summer vacations end, it would be quieter on the top.

hiking
8 months ago

Too many jerks on the trail. Some nice views.

8 months ago

Nice place

hiking
8 months ago

I have been doing a lot of hiking lately, and I can say this probably should be rated as hard. I would not recommend someone "easing" into this one. WHile this may be moderate for someone who has been hiking a lot, this is not for a first timer in my opinion. Some of the ratings on here are a little off.

hiking
8 months ago

Also, to comment on Aubrey Smith's post, some mischievous person painted in the word "no" before the words "dogs allowed", so yes, dogs are allowed.

hiking
8 months ago

A very pleasant hike. Parked on Montcalm Street but there was other parking on some access road just uphill from there, didn't know that. It's as described, with mostly a medium grade up to the summit with just a few areas where it leveled out briefly. We found the footing to be easier than some other hikes we've done, not too bad at all as long as you WEAR PROPER FOOTWEAR. There's a sign-in book at the start for your safety. Good idea to use it, although I have to wonder if anyone checks it. We kept a slow steady pace all the way up, not really any breaks, and it took 1:07. Going down took about the same, although some people were booking down quickly. The trail was well marked with red discs labeled "foot trail". (There's a road, too, so some people drive up.). The view at the top was very nice, although we liked the view from Buck Mountain much better last year. The bugs weren't too bad. No bites, but we prepared with bug spray beforehand. There are picnic tables but no trash barrels at the top, and remnants of huge metal wheels that were once part of a cable car track that brought people up from the shore of Lake George for $3. That was a long time ago, when the average weekly wage was $20. At the top you can look down on the foot of Lake George and some of the village. You can also see Butler Pond, which I overheard someone say is the water reservoir for Glens Falls. I almost gave this four stars instead of five because the porta-potty at the top was filled almost to the brim. I think if you're going to bother having one there at all that it should be adequately maintained. So, all in all a nice hike. If you're in reasonable shape and conditions are good, then 3 hours should give you plenty of time to make the trip. Happy hiking! Namaste.

hiking
8 months ago

Really beautiful throughout the trail and at the summit. Very hard for those that aren't used to hiking a mountain. Also, I noticed that the trail description states that dogs are allowed. I saw "no dogs" signs at the beginning and at the summit, just FYI.

8 months ago

Nice short hike (short in comparison to other hikes further north in the ADK high peaks region). A bit steep at times but I was able to do it with my 1 year old in a baby carrier.

8 months ago

This is a pretty strenuous trail, uphill most of the way, mostly uphill. I hiked it with my grandson yesterday. But at the top it was a beautiful panoramic view, picnic tables, jugs of water, a large parking lot for people who decide to come up by car, restrooms, and a shuttle to go just from the parking lot and summit and back, a few feet.

8 months ago

Challenging hike.

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