Located in the southern Adirondacks, Lake George is one of the most beautiful lakes in New York. In fact, its nickname is the “Queen of American Lakes” for its beauty. Even Thomas Jefferson was awe-struck by the lake, saying in May 1791, “Lake George is without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw.”
Since it was my first time visiting this beautiful area, I decided to hop aboard a boat cruise offered by the Lake George Steamboat Company for a tour of the lake.
Unfortunately on the day of my visit, the weather was quite poor. However, despite this, I still had a fantastic time touring the lake and enjoying its beauty.
The Lake George Steamboat Company runs three different ships from their dock adjacent to downtown Lake George and Fort William Henry. The boat you are put on varies by day and the tour that you take.
On the day of my tour in early October (a great time to see fall foliage in the Adirondacks), I had a chance to take a one-hour sightseeing cruise aboard the Minne Ha Ha. The Minne Ha Ha is an authentic steam-powered paddlewheel boat that was built in recent decades but definitely feels historic (in a good way).
The Minne Ha Ha has three decks, which allow for plenty of riders to enjoy the scenery. All three decks of the boat feature both covered and uncovered viewing areas. This means that no matter the weather, you’ll be able to comfortably enjoy the trip.
The Minne Ha Ha features a small gift shop, snack shop, and a bar. It is also handicapped accessible up to the second deck.
The first deck also offers windows into the engine room. It’s definitely a lot of fun to see into this usually hidden area and watch how the Minne Ha Ha operates.
Upon leaving the dock, the boat headed to the eastern shores of the lake. Along the way, the captain offered a bit of narration about the history of the region, the geology of Lake George, and what we were seeing from the boat.
While leaving, there are great views of downtown Lake George, including the Fort William Henry Hotel, so make sure to look behind you as the boat is leaving dock.
Unlike some boat tours I’ve been on, this tour offered sporadic narration throughout the tour instead of a contrast narration for just portions of the trip. One positive of this is that things along the route were pointed out as we passed them, which gave me a better idea of what I was seeing.
Thanks to the deep waters of Lake George, the boat is able to travel very close to the coast, especially on the eastern shore. This meant that we were able to get a great look at some of the amazing homes and cabins along the lakeshore.
If you can, sit on the right side of the boat as this will allow you to be on the shore side, assuming the boat follows the same route it did during my tour.
After heading about 2 miles north along the lake, the boat crosses Lake George at Woods Point and heads to the western shore of the lake.
The narration and beautiful views continue on this side of the lake as the boat heads back to its dock in town. All told, this hour-long tour covers around 5 miles of beautiful Lake George.
Once the boat is nearly back at the dock, the captain turns on the boat’s Calliope. Powered by steam from the engines, this musical instrument is really neat to hear, but those who don’t like loud noises might want to avoid the front of the ship when it’s playing.
Overall, despite the poor weather, my tour of Lake George aboard the Minne Ha Ha was a real treat. Not only was I able to see this beautiful area from the water, but I was able to learn more about the region.
If you are in the Warren County area, I highly recommend taking a sightseeing Lake George boat cruise on the Minne Ha Ha or taking a look at one of the other tour options available from the Lake George Steamboat Company.
Note: My trip on the Minne Ha Ha was hosted by the Lake George Steamboat Company. However, the opinions expressed are my own.
Minne Ha Ha Sightseeing Cruise
Hours: Dates and times vary.
Cost: Adults: $17.50, Kids: $8.25
Address: 57 Beach Rd