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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Savoring the views from Lake George and the legacy of Lynn Schumann

A hiker stopping at the gazebo showed me how to use take a panorama with my iPhone. 
“I knew the woman this is named for,” I began several times throughout the morning, as twenty-somethings, sixty-somethings, and in-betweeners appeared at the gazebo overlooking Lake George to take a load off and savor the view. I wanted the hikers to know what it took to create this preserve and the special person in whose memory it was renamed.   

The preserve is 45 minutes from
Saratoga Springs.
Not that anyone needed to hear it from me. The Lake George Land Conservancy has an excellent flyer that describes the Lynn LaMontagne Schumann Preserve at Pilot Knob and its trails. More than 2,500 people annually enjoy what is accurately described as a moderately steep hike with the reward of “a shady rest at the preserve’s gazebo with expansive views of Lake George and the Adirondacks.”

Lynn, who died from breast cancer in 2010, had been executive director of the Lake George Land Conservancy. I was lucky to get to know her because her son, Jeff, and my son Joe have been buddies since Lake Avenue School. She was a lovely person inside and out, smart, sweet and classy – and passionate about preservation.
The trail fit what this tenderfoot was looking for to a T: a do-able hike with a place to sit and soak up the lake and mountains for as long as I liked, with the added bonus of being 45 minutes from home, not counting a pit stop at the outlets.  

Finally took the time to take this
one-mile hike and enjoy the views
of Lake George and the Adirondacks.
Soul food: sky, water, mountains.
So there I was on August 6 – a weekday! – navigating my first hike in way too long; taking my time along the trail; sharing the Lynn Schumann legacy with people from Hudson Falls, New Jersey, Webster, NY, and France; queen of the gazebo with my water bottle, a bag of almonds, a sliced-up pear, a chunk of Manchego, my husband’s binoculars and my new iPhone, whose pictures barely do justice to the scenery but are lovely nonetheless. They are my answer to people asking “what are you doing” since leaving my full-time newspaper job in July. 


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