If you want a prime summertime vacation spot, look no further than Lake George, N.Y. This quaint town doesn’t see much action throughout the year. Still, when the temperatures start rising, tourists flock by the thousands to experience the beautiful summer scenery of glistening lake waters and green forests.
But it’s not just the natural beauty that reigns here. You should also watch for some dangerous creatures if you decide to travel to Lake George. It’s unlikely you’ll have any kind of encounter, so you shouldn’t avoid the area altogether.
But it’s worth knowing some animals to look out for before you arrive. Don’t skip out on visiting this gorgeous landscape just because of a few animals that may lurk in the waters or forests.
About Lake George, New York
Nicknamed the Queen of American Lakes, Lake George is a narrow lake stretching from Lake Champlain to the Great Appalachian Valley. It measures about 32 miles long and reaches a depth of 196 ft at its deepest point.
In the summertime, tourists fill the streets, beaches, and hotels due to the stunning scenery of the Adirondack Mountains and clean, blue waters. The town of Lake George only has a few thousand residents who live there. The popular novel “The Last of the Mohicans” took place in Lake George, N.Y.
Pro Tip: Want a day away from Lake George on your adventure? Go on a road trip to find these 7 Spectacular Castles in New York.
What Is Lake George Known For?
Lake George is known for its pristine beauty and outdoor recreation. Many people enjoy cruises to take in all 32 miles of the lake. Other guests rent boats and swim, fish, and relax in the sun. During the summer, you’ll find families spending the day on the numerous beaches and enjoying the clean Adirondack waters.
Many of the beaches have lifeguards on duty and are located near bustling streets. You can easily grab lunch or dinner while still spending the day near the lake. You’ll find shopping and dining options galore within the streets of Lake George, N.Y.
What Kind of Animals Are in Lake George?
Because of its clean waters, Lake George is home to varied wildlife on the shores and water. The American beaver often swims about building dams. Other common mammals include the American mink, muskrat, river otter, and raccoon.
The area also has numerous reptiles and amphibians, from the snapping turtle and the northern ringneck snake to the bullfrog and the four-toed salamander. Coldwater fish of Lake George include lake trout, salmon, and rainbow smelt. Warm water fish include smallmouth bass and yellow perch.
Some also commonly spot a bald eagle or peregrine falcon during their visit to Lake George. Other common birds include the great blue heron, the common loon, and the mallard duck. A weekend here will bring lots of opportunities for wildlife sightings.
Are There Snakes in Lake George?
Several species of snakes live in and around Lake George. In fact, ten species were documented during the New York State Amphibian and Reptile Atlas Project from 1990 to 1999. They include the northern redbelly, the common garter, the northern black racer, and the eastern milk snake.
The most dangerous snake living in these Adirondack waters is the timber rattlesnake. It ranges in colors from yellow to black. Although occasionally seen swimming in the water, they typically reside in rocky areas near the forests. Rarely do these rattlesnakes reach 5 ft long. The timber rattlesnake is considered a threatened species.
Does Lake George Have Leeches?
Most leeches prefer to live in shallow, freshwater areas instead of oceans, so you’ll find them in lakes, ponds, and rivers worldwide. They often hide under rocks or at the bottom of shallow lakes.
This means it’s highly likely that Lake George also has leeches. However, bites are often more alarming than harmful. Although some people experience shock or an allergic reaction, most people don’t require urgent medical care after picking off a leech.
What Dangerous Animals Live in the Adirondacks?
Black bears are probably the most dangerous animal in the Adirondack Mountains. The majority of New York’s black bear population lives in this area. Because they’ve learned to seek out human food, you may encounter a black bear while camping or exploring.
Moose are also one of the most iconic New York animals. Sightings usually occur in the fall during mating season. Although typically not aggressive, an agitated moose can be more dangerous than a black bear. They can grow over 6 ft tall, making them the largest land mammal in New York. Males can weigh close to 1,500 lbs. Keep your distance from these colossal creatures.
What Is the Deadliest Animal in NY?
Keep in mind you’re more likely to get stung by a bee than experience any kind of animal attack in New York. But as mentioned before, the timber rattlesnake, black bear, and moose top the list of the most dangerous animals in New York.
However, the white-tailed deer wins as the most deadly animal in the state. These normally harmless creatures cause hundreds of fatal car accidents each year and can spread Lyme disease. So watch out as you drive to Lake George for any animals crossing your path.
You can also find brown recluse and black widow spiders around the state. But again, you’ll likely only have to deal with an allergic reaction due to a bee sting. You may pull a tick off your pants leg or swat away mosquitos during your visit, too.
Pro Tip: After exploring Lake George, spend the night at one of these 5 Best Free Camping Spots in New York.
Is Lake George, New York, Worth Visiting?
In 1791, when Thomas Jefferson visited Lake George, he said, “Lake George is, without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw.” He wasn’t worrying about dangerous animals, getting bitten by a leech, or fearing a black bear attack. He declared the spectacular scenery as an image of perfection.
If you’ve never visited Lake George and love water recreation, shopping, and natural beauty, put this lake on your bucket list. Make reservations early and trek across the country to experience its majesty.
Have you ever been to Lake George? Tell us about your visit in the comments!
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