Shelving Rock Mountain is a 3.4 mile hike on winding trails that leads to a stunning view of Lake George and nearby Buck Mountain
3.4 miles (6.8 miles round trip)
Lake George Wild Forest
Fort Ann, Washington County
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Hike Shelving Rock
Shelving Rock is a long 3.4-mile to a small peak overlooking Lake George in the Town of Fort Ann in Washington County. The trail is on public Forest Preserve in the Lake George Wild Forest Area. Shelving Rock provides a great view of the Narrows and the south basin of Lake George.
The trailhead is on Shelving Rock Road, several miles beyond Sly Pond Road or Hogtown Road, which both lead to the start of Shelving Rock. There are multiple parking areas leading up to the trailhead, which begins in the fourth parking area on the right side of the road. This is a popular hike and the parking lots fill up early. Shelving Rock Road often fills up end to end with vehicles, so beware that it’s possible that you could end up parking far from the trailhead.
The trail to Shelving Rock begins from the back of the parking area, leading past the trail register and a barrier before heading back into the woods. The trail is very well maintained and easy to follow. The first section is flat, and the trail is wide and well maintained. There are very few roots or rocks to trip over and walking is very easy. After 0.2 miles, the trail reaches an intersection. To the right, a trail leads towards Dacy Clearing and the hike to Sleeping Beauty, while the Shelving Rock trail is to the left. After this junction, the trail remains mostly flat before beginning to climb upwards along a series of switchbacks. The switchbacks keep the trail from ever being particularly steep, so the difficulty remains low to moderate for the entire hike.
The trail continues up switchbacks for most of a mile before reaching a second junction. Here, Shelving Rock is to the left option, while the trail branching to the right leads to Black Mountain four miles to the north. From here, the summit is only 0.6 miles away.
The Summit of Shelving Rock
The trail winds up a few more switchbacks and then around a part of the summit, passing by a few side trails with slight views of Lake George through the trees, and a couple of campfire spots, before reaching the summit. There is not much of a view from the true summit but the trail continues to a clearing with a much better view, especially from high vantage points on the large, exposed boulders.
The return trip is easy due to the gentle and well-maintained trail. Overall, the hike is moderate, with only 1,000 feet of elevation that is spread out over a gentle trail with very few hazards. This hike is appropriate for all ages and ability levels.
When You Hike Make Sure to Practice “Leave No Trace” to be Prepared and to Protect the Forest Preserve
Please follow “carry in, carry out” rules for all trash and follow other Leave No Trace principles when hiking in the public Forest Preserve and other wild areas. The seven Leave No Trace principles are: 1) Plan ahead and prepare; 2) Stay on hiking trails and camp at designated areas; 3) Dispose of human waste and trash properly; 4) Leave what you find; 5) Minimize campfires; 6) Respect wildlife; 7) Respect other hikers.
Educated hikers do not damage the environment. Prepared hikers do not need search and rescue unless injured.
Winter Use: Shelving Rock is a popular mountain for snowshoeing in the winter.
Click here to become a member of Protect the Adirondacks.