Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Public Comment Sought On Grass River Area Management

grass river wild forest umpThe Adirondack Park Agency (APA) has announced they are now accepting public comment for the Grass River Wild Forest Unit Management Plan.

The APA will accept public comments until July 13, 2018 regarding Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan conformance for the proposed management actions.

The Grass River Wild Forest is located in the lesser traveled northwest corner of the Adirondack Park. The unit encompasses approximately 14,000 acres of Forest Preserve lands in several parcels located in the Towns of Clare, Clifton, Colton and Fine in St. Lawrence County.

Good access to the area affords many recreational opportunities, including but not limited to hiking, hunting, trapping and fishing.

Popular natural resource areas contained in the unit are Lampson Falls, Stone Dam, Leonard Pond and the waterfalls on the Grass River along Tooley Pond Road, Tooley Pond itself and Tooley Pond Mountain. The unit includes three rivers classified as Scenic Rivers under the NYS Wild Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act – the North Branch of the Grass, the Middle Branch of the Grass and the South Branch of the Grass River.

Also found in the area is approximately 107,000 acres of conservation easements on corporate-owned lands – Tooley Pond, Long Pond, Seveys and Grass River Conservation easements.

Some proposed management actions include:

  •  Designate and mark trails to waterfalls along Tooley Pond Road including Basford, Sinclair, Bulkhead, Rainbow, Copper Rock and Twin Falls;
  • Construct a foot trail to Church Pond from State Highway 56 and build a trail to Cranberry Pond;
  • Build a canoe carry trail through the Cranberry Pond parcel to the North Branch of the Grass River on the Grass River conservation easement to provide access to the Stillwater section of the river;
  • Develop a bicycle trail connecting the old Grass River logging road at Lampson Falls to bicycle trails within Downerville State Forest;
  • Rehabilitate part of the Grass River Railroad west of State Highway 3, as part of a non-motorized recreational connector trail (including bicycle use);
  • Connect the Grass River Wild Forest snowmobile trail system with the snowmobile trails in the conservation easement tracts and other adjacent private lands;
  • Connect the Grass River Wild Forest snowmobile trail system with trails in the communities of Degrasse, Star Lake, South Colton and Cranberry Lake, in the towns of Clare, Clifton, Colton, Fine and Piercefield;
  • Modify existing layout of primitive tent sites and annually monitor for over-use impacts;
  • Open the Spruce Mountain Road across the South Branch of the Grass River to seasonal public motor vehicle use to provide access to the Tooley Pond conservation easement, particularly for the hunting seasons and;
  • Work with towns to establish a maintenance schedule for the road network supporting facilities (i.e. barriers, signage, etc.) with the Grass River Wild Forest.

To review the proposed 2018 Unit Management Plan amendment, click here.

Address all written comments to:

Kathy Regan, Deputy Director for Planning
NYS Adirondack Park Agency
P.O. Box 99
Ray Brook, NY 12977
Fax: 518-891-3938
Email –

Please submit all written comments to the APA by July 13, 2018.

The mission of the Adirondack Park Agency is to protect the public and private resources of the Adirondack Park through the exercise of the powers and duties of the Agency as provided by law. For more information, call the APA at (518) 891-4050 or visit

Map of Grass River Wild Forest courtesy DEC.

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One Response

  1. Janet Wakefield says:

    Is the Spruce Mt Road into the South Branch of the Grass River parking area closed now? I drove up there when the Tooley Pond Tract was first acquired.

    Also, the road to Rustic Lodge is not gated nor did I see any posted signs, so can a paddler park and then put in below the rapids near the Lodge? Or just do a carry?

    The Rustic Lodge property is for sale. I would like to see the state acquire that property and/or access to the river for paddlers. It has sat empty for years and the buildings are in bad shape. The property has changed hands for many years and no one seems to make a go of it. I imagine the buildings would need to be torn down. The area where they are would make a nice primitive campground.

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