While summer in the Adirondacks is ideal for kayaking, many people are surprised to learn that a sunny fall day is also a great time to paddle around Lake George. During September and early October, kayakers enjoy less boat traffic and a truly breathtaking display of fall foliage.
If you’re considering a fall kayaking trip, here’s everything you need to know about weather conditions on Lake George.
How to Determine if the Weather is Good for Kayaking
There are many factors that affect kayaking conditions on Lake George. However, an easy-to-remember tenet is the 120-Degree Fahrenheit rule, which states that the sum of the air temperature and water temperature should be at least 120 degrees.
Water temperature is a significant factor for kayaking because paddlers face a greater risk of capsizing than boaters. Although the National Center for Cold Water Safety recommends treating any water below 70 degrees Fahrenheit with caution, water temperatures above 60 degrees are typically safe for kayaking. It’s important to note, however, that temps below 60 degrees can be immediately life threatening, affecting your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as your ability to control your breath and think clearly.
Using the 120-Degree Fahrenheit Rule, if the water temperature is around 65 degrees, as Lake George often is in late September, then the air temperature should be at least 60 degrees, as well. Air temperature, while important, has a lot to do with personal preference and comfort. Some paddlers actually prefer fall’s cooler temps to the heat and humidity of summer. Just make sure to dress appropriately for the weather, and always wear sunscreen.
The higher the wind speed, the harder it is to paddle and the choppier the water. Gusty winds are not only challenging in kayak, they can be downright dangerous. Ideally, you want a calm day for paddling on Lake George, but it’s typically safe to kayak in winds up to 10 knots, or 12 mph. Winds above 17 knots, or 19 mph, are generally too strong for kayaking and should only be attempted by experienced paddlers.
Visibility is essential for kayakers. Obviously, you need to be able to see where you are going, but, more importantly, powered boats and other watercraft need to be able to see you for your own safety. As a precaution, kayaking is not recommended at night, in a storm, heavy rain, or in fog. While there are things you can do to make yourself more visible in these conditions, kayaking with impaired visibility should be reserved for those with experience.
Best Time of Year to Kayak on Lake George
Located in northern New York State and surrounded by the Adirondack Mountains, Lake George offers ideal kayaking conditions from late spring until early fall. During this six-month window, the air and water temps are nearly perfect, and the scenery never disappoints.
To learn more about kayaking in the area, visit us at Kayak Lake George. We offer kayak rentals and expert advice at the north end of Lake George Village. Located in a quiet, no-wake zone with a shallow sandy entrance, it’s the perfect launch site for your Lake George kayak adventure. Open daily from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM, May through mid-October. Walk-ins welcome.