Thursday, 09 December 2021 12:25

New Acquisition to Provide Recreational & Habitat Connection Between Saratoga County and Adirondack Park

New Acquisition to Provide Recreational & Habitat Connection Between Saratoga County and Adirondack Park

MOREAU — The Open Space Institute announced last week a land protection success that will, for the first time, provide a direct recreational and habitat connection between Saratoga County, Moreau Lake State Park and, ultimately, the Adirondack Park. The newly protected land completes OSI’s years-long goal of creating the corridor of protected land in one of the fastest-growing regions in the state.

OSI purchased the newly protected, 60-acre “Moreau Lake Connector” property from Margie French, who owned the land for more than 40 years before selling the parcel to OSI. The property is situated in Warren County between the southeastern boundary of the Adirondack Park and Moreau Lake State Park. It is adjacent to Ralph Road State Forest and more than 1,260 acres of OSI’s “West Mountain” acquisition to the north and Moreau Lake State Park, which OSI has more than doubled in size, to the south. 

The property is located at the north end of the southern Palmertown Range and is part of OSI’s ongoing work in the area to connect the southern Palmertown near Saratoga Springs to the Adirondack foothills. 

With several existing access roads running throughout the property, the forested land has the potential to expand visitor access and recreational use of Ralph Road State Forest and the northern side of Moreau Lake State Park. In the future, the property may be considered for additional trail creation and for the potential creation of a parking area and trailhead along Call Street. 

The acquisition furthers OSI’s goal of establishing trails between the Saratoga Spa State Park, Moreau Lake State Park, and the Adirondack Park Preserve to better welcome and disperse new and existing visitors to the area.

This property, and the properties it connects to, are home to a diversity of wildlife. The Moreau Lake Connector property is one of eight significant properties, including the Spier Falls addition which doubled the size of Moreau Lake State Park, Big Bend, Ellsworth and Kenison (together known as Greentree Lake), Hudson Pointe, Faith Bible Church, and West Mountain, together totaling more than 7,000 acres, that OSI has protected in the area in support of creating a connected, green corridor in the Palmertown Range. 

The property is anticipated to be added to Ralph Road State Forest, along with OSI’s 1,260-acre West Mountain property. Once the transfers are complete, OSI will have helped the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) more than triple the size of Ralph Road State Forest. 

The centerpiece of the Palmertown Strategy will be the development of a landscape scale, 50-mile-long multi-use trail system called the Sarah B. Foulke Friendship Trails System. A year-long master planning process for an inclusive trail network was completed this summer. 

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