One of our favorite summer traditions is going out with friends on Lake George. This is one of the things I love about Upstate New York, and I wish summers were longer!
We start off the morning by heading to the Long Island ranger station to pay for a day use site ($10 per day). The day use/picnic sites are first-come, first-serve by going to a Lake George area ranger station to make your reservation.
We usually go to Diamond Island or Speaker Heck Island, which are on the southern portion of the lake. This time we stopped at Speaker Heck Island for most of the day.
Once we paid our day use fee, we headed over and docked at our site (#18). Each dock is marked with the number and boaters have to pay the fee to dock there (there are times folks have docked their boat, not realizing you have to make a reservation, and had to leave when another boat showed up).
After docking, we set up at a picnic table on the island and got ready for some swimming. There are picnic tables and grills scattered around the island, and there is also a covered shelter.
Towards the center of the island, there is a large outhouse with 3 bathrooms. It is very convenient especially when you have kids.
The kids like to either wade in from the edge of the island, or jump right off the end of the dock.
There are a lot of boats going between the eastern side of Speaker Heck Island and Assembly Point, so you just want to be careful about swimming way out. However, there is plenty of swimming around the island without going too far out. The kids like looking for fish and crayfish, or anything else they might spot on the bottom. We bring both goggles and snorkels (plus fins).
The kids had fun going in a little “kiddie pool” that had been created with rocks, and you can find others around the island. When the kids get tired of snorkeling and swimming, they usually relax in their floats or they use pool noodles out in the water.
The southern end of Speaker Heck Island has a little cove, which also has some rock formations. The rest of the cove is fairly shallow, with grasses growing in it, so the kids didn’t want to snorkel there. However they did use their tubes and also walked out a little bit in the cove (especially since the bottom is more sandy, as opposed to rocky). It is nice because it is more protected from things like boat traffic and wakes.
During the day, some of the large tourist boats come by the island. The kids like to wave to the passengers, and sometimes the captain will blow the horn.
If you are lucky, you might see some Bald Eagles, which nest on Speaker Heck Island. Sometimes you will see folks going by on their boats looking through binoculars. We have seen a few eagles during our many times here.
Speaker Heck Island is a great place to spend the day on Lake George, whether you have your own boat, rent a boat, or catch a ride to the island with someone else.
Check out this site for more information about reserving island sites and campsites: http://www.lakegeorge.com/camping/reservations.cfm
Wow another gorgeous place, and this Speaker Heck Island is so special. Lucky you and your family. It does sound like so much fun, and summer should be longer to spend more time at a place like this!
I had never been to NY until this year and I have been twice to Long Island. This looks so beautiful!
I have never been to your area of the country and am always amazed when I see the words New York and then see non city things! This is beautiful. I love how the water is so clear.
What a beautiful sounds. sounds like a great place to spend the day with the family.
Wow, what a beautiful place to visit. I have never been east nor have I ever been to NY. If I ever get that way, this is one place I would like to visit.
Lake George looks so amazing! Looks like a great place to go camping. This might be a place to put on our list to go camping.
Lake George is gorgeous! I would love to spend some time playing there with the family. You really can’t beat enjoying nature as a family.
What a beautiful place! I’ve only been to NYC and this is the first time that I’ve heard of this island. I hope we get to visit it someday and see those bald eagles.
What a beautiful place! I never even knew that it existed until this post! It sounds like it would be a blast to visit.
This looks like such a gorgeous place. I never knew that it existed until I saw this. I think I may have to add it to my bucket travel list.
This looks like such a fun getaway for both parents and kids. I used to love doing stuff like this growing up.
I have a couple of friends that go to Lake George every year and love it. I’d enjoy going there and seeing places like this island.
This looks beautiful! Those waters are so crystal clear!
That place really looked so amazing. I’ll add it to my list for my to go travel targets for this year. Your photos look so good.
This Island is amazing!! Going on my travel bucket list. The water is so calming and clean.