Better Outside Project – Trail Feature #3: The Last Great Shoreline Preserve
The Last Great Shoreline Preserve is a 351 acre preserve located in the town of Putnam, NY and is maintained by the Lake George Land Conservancy. The preserve has actually recently been combined with Gull Bay Preserve and together the two are now called the Sucker Brook Preserve. The Last Great Shoreline serves as the northern entrance to the full preserve, and the two are connected by a network of trails that run throughout.
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: https://www.instagram.com/kb.hikes/
About The Location
Putnam, 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.
The Last Great Shoreline Preserve is unique in that it protects approximately 1,925’ feet of the Lake George shoreline and it is a very ecologically significant and undeveloped section of the eastern shore of Lake George.
I used the parking lot on Warrick Road, which is just a short walk from the actual trailhead a little further down the road. The trailhead itself has no parking area, and parking along the road to access the trailhead is prohibited.
This parking lot has room for approximately 15 cars, it’s fairly large and open. You can find directions to this parking lot here: Google Maps This trailhead is considered the northern entrance to Sucker Brook Preserve and allows easy access to the highlights of the original Last Great Shoreline Preserve.
You can also access this trail by boat! The trail leads right down to the Lake George Shoreline and a dock is installed at this location seasonally.
About The Trail
The Last Great Shoreline section of Sucker Brook Preserve has quite a few different features to explore. From the parking area, I took the short section of trail through the woods to get to the actual trailhead. This short trail follows the road but is a nicer walk through the woods than walking along the road – however, you could walk along the road if you wanted to. I used this option on the way back.
After signing in at the kiosk, I continued onto the blue trail until I came to a trail junction where I could either continue on the blue trail, or I could take the higher elevation red trail. I was feeling adventurous so I made the slight climb up to the top of the red trail and was greeted with some nice views throughout that trail through the trees towards the east. Below the trail there were some wetlands from Sucker Brook and views of the Green Mountains. Eventually the red trail meets back up with the blue trail.
A little ways after getting back on the blue trail, there is the option to take the yellow trail, which is a connector trail to the Gull Bay Preserve. This is a new section of trail created to connect the two original preserves. Since I was just there earlier in the day, I did not take this trail – but if you do, be sure to check out the new cedar swamp trail accessed in this section!
The blue trail winds through a forested area with an interesting array of plant life. There was a section that looked pretty cool with all new young saplings growing in which looked vastly different from the rest of the preserve with the bigger, older trees. At some point you’ll come to a bench in the middle of the forest, which is where the next viewpoint is supposed to be. At this viewpoint there are limited views out towards Lake George. Everything was growing in quite a bit, but I bet there would be nice views here after the leaves fall in the autumn.
After the bench and the viewpoint, the blue trail begins losing elevation quickly as you make your way down to the shoreline. You’ll find yourself in a gorge surrounded by walls of rock and dirt and it feels really secluded. At the bottom of the trail, the shoreline comes into view and there is a space for a dock. When I was there a few weeks ago, the dock was there but wasn’t placed in the water yet, however, once it is placed, you can access the preserve by boat, or you can access via kayak anytime.
To see a trail map and more information about The Last Great Shoreline section of Sucker Brook Preserve, check out this Trail Guide.