It was clearly a big tourism weekend in the Lake George weekend, with one local police officer telling me it was the biggest July 4th crowd he had ever seen in the village of Lake George. That's great for local businesses, but based on what I saw left behind in the village on July 5, I wonder how great it was for the lake and its surroundings.
I took a ride up the Warren County Bike Path to the village early the morning of July 5, looking to beat the heat, and started seeing beer cans and bottles on the trail near Lake George RV Park. By the time I got to the stretch of the trail near Old Military Road, they were more prevalent.
When I emerged onto Beach Road, I was shocked by what I saw. Garbage was everywhere, piled up at the cans along the road, but also all over Dog Beach, the water next to it and the field near Battlefield Park. It was barely 7 a.m., but state DEC crews were already at work.
I talked to one member of the cleanup crew, who said the mess left behind was the worst he had seen in years, and it would take days to clean up. I saw a broken fishing pole, smashed water melon, pizza boxes, fast food bags, plastic cups and more beer, water and soda containers than I could count.
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The mess stretched up West Brook Road, Fort George Road and Beach Road past Million Dollar Beach.
Apparently many of our visitors don't believe in the "Carry in, Carry Out" principle followed by many of us who enjoy the outdoors. It's not too hard to bring a bag with you and take your garbage with you. Our lake is a tourism spot because of its beauty, and what I saw done to its shores this weekend shockingly endangers that.
-- Don Lehman