Driving Around the Lake – The East Side of Lake George

medium_4023992548h at Ticonderoga, and head south toward Whitehall, Home of the United States Navy. Tank up before heading out – gas stations and rest stops are kind of sparse on this side of the lake! small__8062859945 Route 22 is nestled between the southern end of Lake Champlain and the northern end of Lake George. Unfortunately you can’t see Lake George from the road, Route 22 goes more interior and does not hug Lake George like route 9N does on the west side of the lake. You will get some lovely glimpses of Lake Champlain as you start out. The drive is picturesque – you are in the northern part of Washington County. Famous for its orchards and farms, it was once considered the breadbasket of New York City. You may want to take a short detour to see the hamlet of Hueletts Landing (population 77) which is located on County Route 6 off Route 22. Revolutionary War soldier David Hulett moved near the lake in 1804, possibly because of a land grant offered to veterans in lieu of wages for service. In 1874 a Hulette descendent built a boat landing, general store and post office, which opened this scenic corner of the lake to steamship traffic and tourism. The first Lakeside Inn was constructed in 1877-78. The only direct access to Huletts Landing was by ferry, however, a combination of train, coach and ferry were considered normal travel accommodations for Adirondack vacationers of this period. (No GPS!) large__3598702257Continuing the drive south you will reach Whitehall, considered to be the birthplace of the United States Navy. Whitehall was originally named Skenesborough in 1759 when it was settled by a land grant to British officer Philip Skene. During the French and Indian War the town was one of two major routes connecting the English and French Colonies, and a staging ground for raids between the two. During the American Revolution Skenesborough was captured by the American forces in 1774. Under the command of General Philip Schuyler, Benedict Arnold (while he was still American, of course), built a fleet of vessels to confront British forces at Valcour Island – thus the claim to fame that Skenesborough is the birthplace of the United States Navy. The name was changed to Whitehall after the Revolutionary War. During the War of 1812 the area was used to build ships to battle the British forces on Lake Champlain. The Champlain Canal was completed to Whitehall in 1823, and the Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad made it there in 1848. Interesting to think that water transportation was much more vital in those years.square_4920732505 If you are ready for a cup of tea about now, the Skene Manor House is an historic site as well as a famous tea shop – perched high above the town, it has a wonderful view of the surrounding area and the Champlain Canal. There are also some interesting antique stores along the way. Route 22 joins Route 4 at Whitehall, taking you to Fort Ann and Route 149 heading west at the southern end of Lake George. Route 149 will take you to Route 9 or 9Lto head north again. large__521427220Another possible detour-of-interest off Route 149 is to Buttermilk Falls Road, which will take you to Shelving Rock Trail. The road is paved for a few miles, and then gravel for about 11 miles. There are several trailheads for serious hikers along the way, but at the end of the road (literally) you can hike to Shelving Rock Falls – well worth the detour! Route 149 will intersect with  Route 9 at the famous French Mountain Commons shop-till-you-drop outlet stores. Route 9 heading north will take you on through the Village of Lake George. A right hand turn at the north end of the village and you are back on 9N/Lake Shore Drive, headed back to Bolton Landing, where you might want to stop at the Algonquin Restaurant for a lovely dinner by the lake. What is your favorite thing to do on a tour? Stopping at the scenic pull-offs? Finding unique stores and restaurants along the way? Discovering new places to shop and play? Reading historical road signs? (My mother often complained that she had read the first sentence of every historical sign in New York State, my father being less than inclined to slow the car down to a reading speed!) Penelope Jewell]]>