Prospect Mountain - Another ghost funicular

Propect Mountain - Lake George - NY Travel Blog

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The first remnant of the old track

** I am back blogging after a long way away due to my move back to the Netherlands. I still want to complete the blog so here we go again! **

Due to a somewhat strangely planned travel itinerary I found myself this morning in a hotel near Albany New York, with plans to drive to Vermont heading back to the north to Lake George, the city I had stayed two days ago. This all because my eye caught a brochure of Prospect Mountain near Lake George NY. It appears that Prospect Mountain used to have a funicular, which had been decommissioned, turning the tracks into another ghost track.

Since I had visited so many of these funiculars (see here, here, here, and here) it was almost a sin to not visit this site.

The old cogwheel in the former engine room
And it got better, the old tracks appeared to be a hiking trail to the summit of the Mountain, that's why I changed my plans and went here.

Prospect Mountain is actually not a really high mountain. With a summit altitude of 616 meters (20202 ft) it raises 'only' 506 meters (1660 ft) above Lake George. Despite that the mountain has been popular with tourists visiting the Lake George area, since it offers great views, some 160 km (100 miles) away. In the 1870s a hotel was built on the mountain's summit which could be reached via a carriage road.

To provide better access a funicular was constructed in just six months, to be opened in summer 1895, the Prospect Mountain Cable Incline Railway. The Otis Company completed the job for just 120.000 USD. The line of 2020 meters (6626 ft) negotiated a height level of 486 meters (1,595 ft) with gradients ranging from 13 to 38%.

View from the summit over Lake George
The funicular operated successfully for 7 years, but in the end the public lost interest and it was shut down in 1903, so, 110 years ago. It would take until 1969 until tourist could easily visit the summit again. Now in their beloved privately owned cars, driving the Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway.

The highway is still available as a toll road. I preferred to get to the top hiking. Via the abandoned tracks of the funicular. The trail does not follow the track completely but enough to see some old remnants which come to a climax at the summit where some old iron cogwheels are left in a ruin which once was the engine room of the funicular. Very nice.

The famous view did also not disappoint and made the trip, together with some intense fall colours a trip very worthwhile.

More pictures below.

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The first remnant of the old track
The first remnant of the old track
The old cogwheel in the former eng…
The old cogwheel in the former en…
View from the summit over Lake Geo…
View from the summit over Lake Ge…
The first meters on the trail are …
The first meters on the trail are…
The first meters on the trail are …
The first meters on the trail are…
Part of the old track
Part of the old track
A railroad tie of the track that o…
A railroad tie of the track that …
The trail and also part of the old…
The trail and also part of the ol…
Crossing the Prospect Mountain Vet…
Crossing the Prospect Mountain Ve…
Fall foliage
Fall foliage
The parking and the last section o…
The parking and the last section …
The last section of the Prospect M…
The last section of the Prospect …
View from the summit over Lake Geo…
View from the summit over Lake Ge…
Remnants of the engine room
Remnants of the engine room
The old cogwheel in the former eng…
The old cogwheel in the former en…
View from the summit over Lake Geo…
View from the summit over Lake Ge…
View from the summit over Lake Geo…
View from the summit over Lake Ge…
GPS Profile (rendered by GPSVisual…
GPS Profile (rendered by GPSVisua…
GPS Height Profile
GPS Height Profile
Propect Mountain - Lake George - NY
photo by: mdalamers