Wiawaka was established on Lake George due to the lake’s unique beauty and restorative character. Working together, Wiawaka and the LGLC have ensured that these qualities are forever protected.

On July 10, 2024, the LGLC permanently protected the 42-acre Wiawaka Uplands through the purchase of a conservation easement from the Wiawaka Center for Women (Wiawaka)! (Read more in News.)

Under this conservation easement (CE), the land continues to be privately owned by Wiawaka, and the LGLC will ensure the land’s permanent protection and assist with its stewardship. Though currently open for recreation only to Wiawaka’s guests, the conservation easement allows for sustainable public recreation in the future.

Located in the Town of Lake George, Wiawaka is a nonprofit organization and the longest continually operating women’s retreat center in the country. The center was founded in 1903 as a destination for women working in the factories of Troy, NY, to escape the city and enjoy an affordable vacation. Today, Wiawaka continues to offer affordable accommodations and weekly programming, retreats, and evening lectures from mid-June to early September.

The upland property contains over 1,500 feet of stream corridor and five acres of forested wetland within the southern basin of Lake George. Town zoning would have allowed for residential and commercial development on the site, which would be visible from the lake and surrounding lands. In its natural and undeveloped state, the land will continue to slowly filter and clean rainwater and runoff from upland storm events, before the water reaches the lake, as well as protect precious wildlife habitat and scenic views.

We are excited to play a part in protecting the landscape that has served as a peaceful backdrop for our guests for over a century. We look forward to working together with the LGLC to complete this conservation project, and to enhance the existing uplands trail system for greater use and enjoyment by the community in the future.

Doreen Kelly, Wiawaka Executive Director

South Basin Initiative

The Wiawaka Uplands project is the LGLC’s latest effort in protecting land in the Lake’s south basin.

The LGLC’s South Basin Initiative focuses on protecting land in the southern-most area of Lake George that encompasses the “headwaters” of Lake George. Protecting land in the south basin has tremendous benefits for the water quality of Lake George.

Lake George flows south to north. Water entering the Lake from the south end, the Lake’s headwaters, travel the greatest distance – some for the entire 32 miles – before emptying into the La Chute River in Ticonderoga, and then to Lake Champlain.

Because these headwaters persist in Lake George for so long, they can have the greatest impact on the water quality of the entire Lake. The protection of these waters, and the land that surrounds them, is therefore a very important conservation priority for the health of the Lake George watershed.

Now, more than ever, there is urgency to this work at the southern end of Lake George. Development pressure within the south basin is tremendously high because of its convenience: properties in the south are closer to transportation, the amenities that come with the urban area of Lake George Village, and zoning that is more favorable to development.