We are in the final weeks of leaf peeping here in upstate New York, with most of the state's foliage now past peak. Still, there are a lot of beautiful colors out there on display, but you just may have to get a bit creative to get a good view.
You’re seen the fall foliage by foot, by car, even by rail, but have you seen it by boat?
It’s so beautiful, it almost looks fake. Lake George stretches 32 miles in the southern Adirondacks. And this time of year, a chilly breeze chops the water as multi-colored trees watch from the mountains above.
The Lake George Steamboat Company transports visitors to scenic parts of the lake only visible by boat. Today’s 14-mile cruise takes us through the so-called Narrows, weaving through the lake’s many peaceful islands.
In addition to steering the boat, Captain Victor Bates also serves as the tour guide.
“Off to our left Catskill Bay, once the site of the old Trout Pavilion Hotel,” Bates said. “Unfortunately, destroyed by fire in the 1970’s. The guest register still remains, some rather note-worthy names in there, like Susan B. Anthony, Shirley Temple, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson. And one of the more interesting entries, Mr. Brigham Young the second who signed in with Mrs. Brigham Young wives 1-9.”
The captain explains The Mohican has a rich history. It was christened in 1908.
“She is by far the oldest, continuously-operated passenger vessel in North America, today,” Bates said. “She’s one of three vessels on the register of national historic places that is still in operation today.”
“It’s a lot of brown this year, not that vibrant yellow, orange, reds that we normally get,” Bates explains of the foliage, explaining a warmer than usual fall is partially to blame. “Back in July, we had the gypsy moth come through the area and ate off a lot of the leaves, so the trees had to re-bud about mid-July.”
He says the trees couldn’t run their usual seasonal course.
So, from the man who has the best view of Lake George, what would you tell folks who have never visited, why come to Lake George?
“Well, to discover the beauty of it because it really is a beautiful area,” Bates said.
If you’d like to come out here and hop on board, you’ll have to wait until April. They are already wrapped up for the season.