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  1. #1
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    New question here. Lake George, NY between Hogtown and Shelving Rock

    Anyone have any recent experiences from riding the trails in the Eastern Lake George Wild Forest? I think this trip report may be fairly old, but I am specifically thinking of trying this ride:

    Map of East Shore Mountain Bike Ride - Lake George | EveryTrail

    Several years ago, my mountain bike club tried the approach in from Dresden, skirting around the Black Mountain area, and that is indeed very rugged. Trying to gauge, for example, whether I need a full day off of work (or a half day) to give this guy's 18 mile loop a try.

  2. #2
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    Related posts from 2012, found this thread:
    Mtb trails around Lake George area.

    I will comment that SteveSam's assessment is accurate of "Wild Forest" versus "Wilderness" designations, and is worth repeating:

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSam View Post
    The "deal with the park" is that it all depends on the land classification and specific trail closures. NY State Wild Forest Areas in the park are generally open to bikes. NY State Wilderness Areas within the park are strictly off limits to bikes. The lands around Lake George are all classified as Wild Forest, but many of the summits are off limits. These are posted with "No Bikes" at the trailhead (unless someone removed the sign). I have enjoyed riding and hiking the trails around Lake George for many years. I'll admit, it is a bit of an acquired taste. The single track is quite limited, but there are many miles of trails to explore, several ponds, some views, and many, many confusing trail intersections. I can't recommend any really good maps of the area. I find my way around with the Barbra McMartin hiking guide and getting lost a few times. I prefer the east side between Hogtown and Shelving Rock. Be prepared for mud, climbs, difficult to follow trails, and potentially a long time out. Lots of fun! SMBA and Moreau are also both great choices.

  3. #3
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    Found a few segments on Strava... some of you are riding this area! They are pretty slow speeds, so this suggests very rugged singletrack:

    Strava Segment | South Bay Road Climb
    35:17 for 1.1 miles up 753 ft

    Strava Segment | Unnamed Road Climb
    27:54 for 0.7 miles up 582 ft

  4. #4
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    Sounds interesting and worth a shot. I usually bring my road bike when I'm in that area, but would love to check out some trails too.

    Bug spray is a must this time of year. I was up in Warrensburg last week and the mosquitoes were nasty.

  5. #5
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    Good job! Adventure Ride, July 24, 2013

    This information is largely still accurate, and he is not joking that you should budget for a full day:

    Map of East Shore Mountain Bike Ride - Lake George | EveryTrail

    Is this trail riding? Cross-country? I think I would call it Adventure Riding instead. Two of us did the loop yesterday. We have ridden similar places (and a couple times done evening rides from the Dresden, NY end of this Wild Forest). We had very small backpacks, 2 to 2.5L of water each, food, map & compass. We were mentally prepared to push the bikes. We have done a lot of Adk High Peaks hiking, including Trailless. This is not a groomed mtn bike park, and you need to have a hiker mentality about reading maps and making decisions at trail junctions. Cell service is very sketchy at best until you get back down to Lake George. My iPhone tracked the ride OK with a Mophie Juice Pack to keep it charged.

    Segments:
    1-2 Old logging road, enjoyable start.
    2-3 Some confusing trail junctions. Old Carriage Path. Some sections very much washed out rocks, and it was WET on our ride, making it tougher. Perhaps 70/30 ride/push.
    3-4 Carriage trail eventually turns more to hiking trail. Ride & Push. Someone did a Strava segment to the height of land, why they called it a "road" on Strava, I do not know. Downhill to Bumps Pond is rocky and tough, but enjoyable.
    4-Fishbrook I think I recall it was pretty good. Some beautiful stretches of forest riding. Places few mountain bikers will ever see!
    Fishbrook-5 tough around the lake, very tight.
    5-halfway to 6 This is where the hiking traffic from Hogtown dies off, and there isn't enough interest from people hiking south from Dresden. You will find the trail more overgrown and somewhat tough going. By Millman pond (midway) life gets much better!
    Millman to 6 some very enjoyable sections.
    6-7 pretty enjoyable, as I recall.
    7-8 WOW. If only the snowmobile clubs took more interest in clearing trees! This is an old Carriage Road up Black Mountain. Try to imagine people in a horse and buggy going up! Beautiful cascading stream off to the right in some stretches. You pick your way down through the rocks, while shoulders and hands get tired of braking. Say hi to a lot of hikers doing Black Mtn from their boats on Lake George. (They will make comments of disbelief and amazement that you're out here.)
    8-9 Carriage Road in much better shape, but still a number of downed tree crossings. Near 9 is a great swim hole where there is a rock ledge to jump off.
    10 OK, we had to do it! We road beyond 10 to the Private Land, just to prove it to ourselves. It is WELL gated with fencing into the woods on either side. You CANNOT trespass and claim ignorance, sorry.
    10-11 was the worst, as the writer hints. The first part up from the lake is 95% push. But before Point 11, you hit another junction and the trail gets better.
    11-12 is back on Carriage Path. If we had more time, it looked promising to pedal up Shelving Rock Mtn. We turned downhill, and it was a great descent around the switchbacks.
    ALT - It looked like OK trail to try riding back to Darcy Clearing. That would be a variation worth exploring. When you drop down to the Road (12) you are facing a really tough climb back to the Hogtown Parking. It was the end of a long day for me, and managed to be a little behind the KOM on Strava. Steep, steep, steep!! Ouch. Mostly gravel road, couple sections paved for maintenance reasons. 1.5 lanes, but the cars are all going slow and are generally courteous.

    I'd like to pontificate more at some time... again, it's a far cry from the groomed, swoopy trails you are going to find in Rutland, for example. I don't think this Wild Forest will be overrun with mountain bikers anytime soon. A select few of you may brave the adventure in the name of seeing some beautiful sights and doing something different. While you'll spend time pushing your bike, you will still cover twice the ground of an average hiker. (A good ultra-adventure hiker with a camel bak and running shoes would, however, trump a mountain biker in this situation. But they wouldn't have as much fun!)

  6. #6
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    You have discovered why there isn't much info on mountain biking around Lake George. The vast majority of trails in the area are better suited for hikers.

    Head a little south of LG for some of the best riding in this part of the state, Moreau Lake SP and SMBA in Saratoga.

  7. #7
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    That sounds like a great day on some beautiful trails! I usually embark on one Adirondack adventure a year with my bike and, as you pointed out very accurately, it often involves a little bit of everything: from riding, to scrambling, to hiking in the woods with a bike. You need to know what you are getting into and have the right attitude or it will be an exercise in frustration. The reward is riding in complete isolation in some beautiful protected spots of upstate New York!

  8. #8
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    Idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by jmitchell13 View Post
    Head a little south of LG for some of the best riding in this part of the state, Moreau Lake SP and SMBA in Saratoga.
    My fledgling club hails from the Ticonderoga & Moriah area. I'd like to say Saratoga is a long drive. But in reality, we'd probably drive to Moreau Lake State Park, or to your trails off Daniels Rd, in about the same time. We'll put it higher on the to-do list!!

  9. #9
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    search and download: Adirondack Mountain Biking The Definitive Guide to Off Road Riding - http://thomannengineering.com/softwa...nbikeguide.pdf

    The document has topo maps and detailed trail summaries for 37 rides, and several are in-and around Lake George area. Most sound fairly rough with ton of climbing. Would probably make decent day hikes.

    I was hoping to find a mellower beginners trail in and around Lake George that I could ride with my girlfriend - who is a beginner. Anybody know of something in the area?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin78 View Post
    search and download: Adirondack Mountain Biking The Definitive Guide to Off Road Riding - http://thomannengineering.com/softwa...nbikeguide.pdf

    The document has topo maps and detailed trail summaries for 37 rides, and several are in-and around Lake George area. Most sound fairly rough with ton of climbing. Would probably make decent day hikes.

    I was hoping to find a mellower beginners trail in and around Lake George that I could ride with my girlfriend - who is a beginner. Anybody know of something in the area?
    quite a bit south, but Luther State Forest in Malta is a great beginner trails that just plain fun for anyone. Its probably about 40 minutes south of lake George but really easier to find and seriously a great beginner trail.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin78 View Post
    search and download: Adirondack Mountain Biking The Definitive Guide to Off Road Riding - http://thomannengineering.com/softwa...nbikeguide.pdf

    The document has topo maps and detailed trail summaries for 37 rides, and several are in-and around Lake George area. Most sound fairly rough with ton of climbing. Would probably make decent day hikes.

    I was hoping to find a mellower beginners trail in and around Lake George that I could ride with my girlfriend - who is a beginner. Anybody know of something in the area?
    Look up Crandall Park in Glens Falls, NY. Much closer to Lake George than Malta and great beginner trails.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmitchell13 View Post
    Look up Crandall Park in Glens Falls, NY. Much closer to Lake George than Malta and great beginner trails.
    I agree with this. Cole's Woods is true beginner mountain biking. Explore enough and you'll find some stuff that brings her to the edge of her comfort zone.

    Luther Forest is good for beginners as well, but when I went there for the first time as a return-to-mtb trip, a good chunk of it was over my head and frustrating. Start at Cole's, she'll get that down quickly, then step up to Luther after a few trips to get comfortable on a bicycle on loose surfaces.
    Eric

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