Running outside of a city feels so good. Mike and I were in Lake George, NY (about an hour north of Albany) for a long weekend visiting family. We decided the best spot for our 11 mile run would be the Warren County Bikeway. We knew we wanted to turn around at Lake George village so we could take in the beautiful lake views so we decided to park in a parking lot at the Lake George outlets.
I hadn’t been on the bike trail since I was little, when biking on the bike trail was a big day trip with Dad. We’d start by the Glens Falls Country Club, stop in Lake George village for lunch and browsing the shops, and take advantage of the bike trail “pull-offs” where we’d eat our trail mix and power bars to fuel up for miles ahead. It was such a fun day that left, at least me, totally exhausted. I had that picture in my head and couldn’t really imagine running all the way to Lake George village!
We started our run where the bike trail crosses busy Route 149 via a bridge. The bike trail is pretty wide, well maintained and shaded for the most part, giving us a nice break from the hot August sun. It’s hard to believe that Route 9 runs pretty much parallel because, surrounded by forests, you feel miles away from busy traffic. There are several historical signs along the path marking significant monuments and battle locations from the French and Indian War. We didn’t see many other people but when we did they were mostly serious bikers (out pretty early in the morning) and a few runners. On our way back after the turnaround in Lake George, we saw more families biking casually and even strolling the bike trail. What a change from DC where some of the popular trails in the city feel like a super highway of runners where you have to “merge” onto the trail.
I knew when we approached Magic Forest amusement park that the BIG downhill was coming up and we’d continue to enjoy a slight decline for close to 2 miles until we reached Lake George village. I used to get nervous biking down this hill when I was little, worried I’d get going too fast and fly off the path.
I love the moment when you emerge from the wooded bike trail in battlefield park and all of a sudden you’re right in front of Lake George, with breathtaking views that never seem to get old.
We needed to eat up a few more miles in order to hit our 11 so we ran through the village along Beach Drive and onto Canada Street, turning around when the sidewalk ended. It’s always fun to reminisce about my summers scooping ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s in the village and see the businesses that have been there forever and the others that seem to change annually. The time was flying by!
Back on the bike trail for the steady 2 mile uphill climb. The shade and dampness of the trail felt like such a relief after running on the sunny sidewalks in the village. Since there aren’t garbage cans along the trail, we held off on taking our energy gels until we reached the top of the hill at Magic Forest. Of course, we couldn’t resist some photo opportunities.
We had to go past the 149 crossing in order to get more distance in. So we enjoyed a bit of a downhill and then turned around and headed back to our car. I couldn’t believe how fast the time felt and how enjoyable that run was. It felt so nice to be running just us, not seeing many people and feel so far away from the hustle and bustle of the real world.