Better Outside Project – Trail Feature #1: Godwin Preserve & Pole Hill Pond

The Godwin Preserve is a 112 acre preserve located near Bolton Landing, NY and is maintained by the Lake George Land Conservancy. The preserve has several interesting features including an overlook area and a gorgeous pond. I am hiking this trail to benefit the Lake George Land Conservancy, and to bring awareness to outdoor organizations who focus on conservation and preserving outdoor spaces for public access. Please consider helping me to fundraise for this awesome organization by visiting my Instagram profile to view the fundraiser information: ​​

About The Location
Bolton Landing, NY is located near Lake George, a highly preserved lake in the Adirondack Mountains, offering a myriad of outdoor recreation opportunities. The Lake George area is home to many hiking trails for a variety of ages and ability levels. This area is one of my favorite places to hike because it offers the beauty of the Adirondack Mountains while using trails that don’t completely exhaust me by the end of the day. 

Trailhead Parking
We used the trailhead parking on Padanarum Road. This trailhead has room for approximately 10 cars. You can find directions to this trailhead here: Google Maps This trailhead allowed for us to see the highlights of both Godwin Preserve and Pole Hill Pond Preserve without adding too many miles, however, if you’re looking for a much longer hike, consider doing the loop through Pole Hill Pond Preserve, or start at the trailhead on Route 9N. 

About The Trail
Godwin Preserve has two different trails on the property – the red trail, and the yellow trail. One of the things I like about the Lake George Land Conservancy properties is how the trails are all interconnected or there are plans to interconnect them. From the parking lot you can access the ridgeline and the pond, or you can take the connector trail to go to nearby Amy’s Park. Godwin Preserve is also connected to Pole Hill Pond Preserve which has several more miles of trails to explore. To see a trail map and more information about the Godwin Preserve, check out this Trail Guide

On this trip we took the red trail which first led through a beautiful forest setting. You first go uphill gradually until you reach the col between two high points. Just before you start heading downhill, you’ll come across the yellow trail which leads up to the overlook area. We decided to take this yellow trail first and check out the views. 

The yellow trail takes you to the top of the high point and a big open rocky area allows for views northwest across the valley and the wetlands of Amy’s Park. It was a really gorgeous view in the springtime, and I bet it would be really amazing in the fall, too. 

After spending some time at this lookout point, we headed back down from the ridge and continued back on the red trail leading us to the pond. The trail is partially on an old logging road but it’s pretty clear that it hasn’t been used as such in a while. The trail to Pole Hill Pond is actually part of the Pole Hill Pond Preserve which is owned by New York State. It was purchased by the Lake George Land Conservancy in 2000, and then sold to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in 2004. Lake George Land Conservancy maintains the trails in the Pole Hill Pond Preserve through DEC’s volunteer stewardship agreement. For more information about the full Pole Hill Pond Preserve, check out this Trail Guide

On this trip we only went to the pond, and didn’t do the rest of the loop in the Pole Hill Pond Preserve. When we arrived at the pond, it was a beautiful, gorgeous, sunny day and the sun glinted off the water in such a way that it looked like everything was sparkling. I’m usually a bigger fan of mountain views, but the view of this pond was just phenomenal. The best feature was a large, rocky outcropping which would be the perfect place to have a picnic, which is precisely what we did. We sat out on the outcropping for at least half an hour, soaking in the sun, the beauty of the area, and eating some snacks to refuel for the hike back. 

It was a lovely hike, away from crowds and it was the perfect length and difficulty level for myself and my 9 year old daughter to feel challenged without feeling exhausted by the end!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *