Lake George has had a number of names over the hundreds of years that human inhabitants have enjoyed its clear, pure water and the spectacular views provided by the mountains around the lake.

The Iroquois Indians called it "An-di-a-ta-roc-te," which meant "there where the lake is shut in," a reference to the mountains that surround the lake on its eastern and western shores.

In 1642, Father Isaac Joques was among a group believed to be the first white men to travel the 32-mile-long lake, and he dubbed it "Lac du Saint Sacrement," French for "Lake of the Blessed Sacrament."

One of the lake's major tour boats carries this name today, and a monument to Joques sits in Battleground Park.

Lake George was the scene of a number of historic battles in the 18th century, including the three-part Battle of Lake George in 1755. It was during this period that the lake was dubbed Lake George, after King George II, by British Major General William Johnson.

Johnson had Fort William Henry built in 1757, to defend the British hold on the lake's south end, and the historic fort sits off Beach Road in the village of Lake George today.

Fort Ticonderoga, which sits just north of Lake George's north end in the town of Ticonderoga, was one of a number of places in the Lake George region that played a pivotal part in the battles for independence from the British.

The Lake George region's history is a large part of its allure to people around the world. There are numerous monuments to various figures who played major parts in its past, and both Fort William Henry and Fort Ticonderoga are open as tourist attractions.

Many of the hundreds of thousands of visitors to Lake George each year come to enjoy the natural attractions that were first noted by indigenous settlers hundreds of years earlier.

The lake's water remains clear and cool, perfect for swimming, boating, fishing and virtually every other water-borne activity. Two companies operate tour boats from piers in the village of Lake George.

The mountains that ring the lake are home to thousands of acres of state-owned land that host dozens of hiking trails and numerous state and private campgrounds. State-run camping facilities include Hearthstone Point, Battleground Park, Rogers Rock and dozens of sites on islands that dot the lake's northern narrows.

There are also "day use" areas on state land, as well as on the eastern shore in Fort Ann at the popular "Shelving Rock" area.

For those who enjoy the beach, municipal beaches can be found in the towns of Lake George, Bolton, Hague, Ticonderoga, Dresden and Fort Ann. Among the more notable ones are at Huletts Landing in Dresden, Veteran's Park in Bolton and Ticonderoga Beach in Ticonderoga.

For rainy days, there is plenty to do inside at communities around the lake, including visiting popular shopping areas in Lake George, Queensbury and Bolton, visiting historic attractions or an indoor waterpark, like Great Escape Lodge and Waterpark.

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