Bolton Landing: the Gateway to Island Camping on Beautiful Lake George


Bolton  Landing is known as the gateway to Lake George island camping – about 90% of the islands on Lake George are within the boundaries of the Town of Bolton. And, believe it or not, this is the time of year to make your reservations for island camping.

The reservation process opens February 24, and runs through November 22, 2014. Reservations must be made at least 2 days ahead of arrival, and can be made up to 90 days in advance – check with 1-800-456-CAMP. Best to start early – the small_889794865sites are very popular and fill up quickly. Occasionally there are cancellations, and you can pick up a choice site at the last minute, but that option is not the usual way of things. According to, there are 170 islands on Lake George, and you can camp on 44 of them. (Some sources say there are 395 islands – depends upon your definition of an island!) On the 44 state-owned islands which are open for camping, there are a total of 398 campsites, as well as 116 picnic and day use sites. Most of the island campsites are well forested and private. All the sites have either a fireplace or a fire pit and a picnic table, most sites have a tent platform. The campsites have a dock for one boat and at least one toilet facility. Nine sites have picnic shelters which hold 15 people and are ideal for parties.  You have to reserve any of the islands for day use, picnicking or for camping. Go to or call 1-800-456-CAMP. small__5073356639There are three main clusters of islands open for camping: the Long Island Group (southern part of the lake), the Glen Island Group (central part of the lake), and the Narrow Island Group (Hueletts Landing at the northern part of the lake). There is even a cruiser camping area (no tents allowed) at Red Rock Bay and Log Bay Island, and there are a few Handicap Accessible sites available. All the camping islands are state owned. Some of the islands are large, offering 90 campsites and resident deer, other islands are small and private with only two or three campsites. The DEC bans bringing firewood into New York State unless it has been treated to eliminate pests, plan to buy local firewood for your campsite fire. Other “For Your Information” items: The islands are accessible by boat only. There are no pets allowed on the islands, docks, or on vessels moored at the docks. The Lake George Park Commission requires a User’s Permit, and fees are charged depending upon the length of time, size of the boat, and sleeping capability. Permits are available at the marina where the boat is launched (Norowal Marina in Bolton Landing, 518-644-3731). The maximum stay is 14 days, with check-in (12 noon – 9 p.m.) and check-out times (11 a.m. on the day of your departure). Where do you go to make reservations and for further information on island camping? You can call:small__3751509482 Lake George Park Commission at 518-668-9347; Regional Office at 518-623-1200;  Glen Island Group at 518-644-9696; the Long Island Group  at 518-656-9426; and Narrow Island Group at 518-499-1288. Or go to Reserve America has great maps of the sites and locations. has some great general information on island camping do’s and do not’s, including what to expect, and when to turn your generator on (twice a day) and your portable, battery-operated radio off (10 p.m. to 7 a.m. are quiet hours) – no, there is no electricity on the islands. How do you get to an island for camping? Two of the marinas that will allow you to launch your boat and park your car and trailer while you are out on the islands are: Norowal Marina, Inc., 518-644-3741; and Beckley’s Marina 518-668-2651 – and they have maps and directions! (Do expect parking fees.) small_738400053moonriseYou can connect to Bolton Landing marina web sites directly from our “What To Do On The Lake” section of this web site. No boat of your own? No problem! You can contact any of our marinas for a rental (saves wondering where you are going to park that trailer!). Or ask about a water taxi – for around $80 you can get a one way trip to the island of your choice for a picnic or for camping – just remember to make a reservation to be picked up for another one-way trip for the ride home! F.R. Smith and Sons (518-644-5181) and Beckley’s Marinas have water taxis options. (And check out the “Water Taxi” blog on this site.) Have you ever camped on an island? What is your favorite camping memory or story? Penelope Jewellsmall__9522451433    ]]>