One can hardly visit Lake George without at some point running across some quote from Thomas Jefferson praising it:
Thomas Jefferson, in 1791, was among the earliest tourists in Lake George who came to enjoy the pure, sparkling waters of the lake and the natural and majestic beauty of the surrounding mountains. He wrote a letter to his daughter attesting to the absolute beauty of the body of water called Lake George.
“Lake George is, without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw; formed by a contour of mountains into a basin thirty-five miles long, and from two to four miles broad, finely interspersed with islands, its water limpid as crystal and the mountain sides covered with rich groves of thuja, silver fir, white pine, aspen and paper birch down to the water edge, here and there precipices of rock to checker the scene and save it from monotony. An abundance of speckled trout, salmon trout, bass, and other fish with which it is stored, have added to our other amusements the sport of taking them ….”
– Thomas Jefferson
Less well known is that Jefferson passed through Lansingburgh en route to Lake George, something considered somewhat newsworthy at the time. Regrettably there’s not much that can be said about it, as he really was just passing through. One wishes a diary or letter would turn up mentioning some more specifics – their clothing, the horses, if people lined the streets to see them, etc.
We can aſſure the public that buſineſs may now be tranſacted in this town without the leaſt danger of receiving the infection of the ſmallpox.
Vermont Gazette [Bennington, VT]. June 6, 1791: 3.
For their journey, see e.g.:
“Editorial Note: The Northern Journey of Jefferson and Madison,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-20-02-0173-0001. [Original source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 20, 1 April–4 August 1791, ed. Julian P. Boyd. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982, pp. 434–453.]
26. Albany * 8
Waterford + 2
Peeble’s 4 […]
This calculation of distances with rating of inns where Madison and TJ lodged or dined is extracted from the Account Book (NN), where it was entered at 20 June 1791 after TJ arrived back in Philadelphia. It bears the caption “The stages and distances of my journey.”
“IX. Jefferson’s Table of Distances and Rating of Inns, [17 May–19 June 1791],” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified July 12, 2016, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-20-02-0173-0010. [Original source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 20, 1 April–4 August 1791, ed. Julian P. Boyd. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982, pp. 471–473.]