Written by Alexa Zizzi
June 2021

Lake Champlain

Fort Ticonderoga - this or that - marinalife
Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain | Wikimedia Commons

Split between New York and Vermont and stretching across the Canadian border up to Quebec, this waterway is the Adirondacks’ largest lake spanning 120 miles long. Its outlet at the Richelieu River eventually joins the St. Lawrence River before draining into the Atlantic Ocean.

Named after French explorer Samuel de Champlain, this region is known for a war-laced past. As the scene of many battles in the French and Indian Wars, American Revolution and War of 1812, the water’s strategic layout played a critical role in the nation’s development, trade routes and victories.

port henry beach - this or that - marinalife
Port Henry Beach | Sherry White

Boating Attractions
From lighthouse tours and ferry rides to fishing charters and water sports, there’s tons of space to play along the Champlain shores. Waterskiing and kayaking are popular along the sheltered bays. Rent a canoe at historic Fort Ticonderoga or take a raft ride at the Ausable Chasm — a.k.a. the Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks.

Best Beaches
Visit sandy spots on either side of the lake to lounge alongside tranquil backdrops or let the kids play. On the Vermont side, check out Bayside Park where Lake Champlain meets Malletts Bay or North Beach Park with stunning mountain views. On the New York side, head to Port Henry’s small-town beach and campgrounds.

Lake George

Lake George Battlefield State Park sign - this or that - marinalife
Lake George Battlefield State Park, Warren County, NY | Kenneth C. Zinkel

At the southeast base of upstate New York’s Adirondack Mountains and lush old-growth forest, Lake George stretches 32 miles long at a depth of almost 200 feet. With more than 170 islands in this region, about 40 miles of lake are made up of stunning island shorelines.

From the Battle of Lake George to the Battles of Saratoga, it rightfully earned its nickname, “The Queen of American Lakes.” Originally called the “Lac Du Saint Sacrement” in 1646, it was later renamed Lake George to honor the British king. The Battle of Lake George is considered one of the first victories of the British defeating the French.

Boating Attractions
Boating excursions are popular in this area such as fishing, sightseeing cruises and parasailing. Lake George is a two-story fishery for reeling in both warm- and cold-water species. Ice fishing for lake trout and salmon is best in January before the water temperature rises in the summer, which is better for bass fishing.

Million Dollar Beach - this or that - marinalife
Million Dollar Beach | Mike Carey

Best Beaches
Explore beautiful public beaches and tranquil swimming holes along the lakefront all summer long. Lake George Beach — better known as Million Dollar Beach — spans 51 acres of gorgeous sands with concessions and adjacent boat launch. Head west to visit Dog Beach where furry friends can run free.