DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos and Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito joined local elected officials and other partners at a ribbon cutting event last week in North Hudson. They were there to unveil the first phase of the former Frontier Town theme park site development on the Schroon River at the corner of Route 9 and Blue Ridge Road, nearly adjacent to I-87 Northway Exit 29.
The completed project is expected to feature a 91-acre universally accessible state campground, an equestrian campground, along with two day-use areas (Riverside and Trail Side). The project’s official name is Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area. The two day use areas are now open; the new campground is expected to open for the season in the spring.
Paradox Brewery, currently located in leased facilities on Route 9 in Schroon Lake, near Northway Exit 27, is building a new brewery and tasting room on former Frontier Town property along Route 9 in North Hudson, just north of the new campground entrance. The 25,000 square feet brewery is expected to be completed in 2019 and produce about 50,000 barrels a year. A trail will connect the brewery to the campground.
Modeled after DEC’s Otter Creek facility, the equestrian camping area is expected to include about 30 American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant equestrian camping sites. Horse campsite pads will have electrical hookups, hibachi-style grills, and water spigots within 250 feet of each campsite. Thirteen horse tie stalls are being located next to the camping pads, each having a capacity of up to five horses, and one stud stall will provide the capacity for up to 66 horses. Two ADA compliant horse mounting ramps will be available for campers, as will a shower building and a pavilion with electrical outlets and interior lighting.
A Recreational Vehicle (RV) and trailer camping area provides space for 13 RV and Trailer camping sites. All of the RV and trailer campsite pads will be provided with electrical hookups, fireplaces, and water spigots will be conveniently located. There will be one shower building in this area as well. A tent camping area will be located to the south and west of the RV and trailer camping area, extending towards the Schroon River. A total of 45 tent camping sites, including 3 group-camping sites, will be provided with two shower buildings. Each tent site will have parking for two vehicles, a picnic table, fireplace and 12-foot-by-12-foot tent pad (no electrical power), with water spigots nearby. DEC says a minimum of 30 feet vegetation buffer will be maintained between tent sites and all tent sites will be set back at least 30 feet from top of bank along the Schroon River so that they are not visible to recreational users of the river. There will also be a playground and two pavilions with hibachi-style grills in the Tent Camping Area.
A parking area for all-season trail access will be located off of Frontier Town Road near NYS Route 9. The primary intent of this day use area is to provide parking and trail access year-round, including for winter use. Parking for 26 vehicles will be available here, including 18 parking spaces for vehicles with snowmobile trailers, 6 for vehicles only and 2 accessible vehicle spaces. A waterless restroom will be provided at this location. Trails would connect to the Hammond Pond Wild Forest to the east, the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest on the west, and the Palmer Pond Bridge connection on the west leading to publicly owned lands, including the Boreas Ponds and Essex Chain Lakes Complex.
A seasonal day use area will be located along the shoreline of the Schroon River. This day use area will include a pavilion with hibachi-style grills, playground and flush toilets which will be open for day users as well as campers. This pavilion may be reserved by the public in advance. Thirty-four parking spaces will be provided at the bathroom/pavilion, two of which will be accessible. In addition, four parking spaces will be provided nearer the river, one of which will be accessible.
The former theme park Frontier Town closed in 1998 and fell into ownership of the Town of North Hudson and Essex County (except the large a-frame and parking lot on Blue Ridge Road, which is privately owned). $32 million were budgeted by Governor Andrew Cuomo and DEC to fund the project to redevelop the site.
There are already two private campgrounds at Exit 29 – Blue Ridge and Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Campgrounds. Seven miles north on Route 9 is DEC’s Sharp Bridge State Campground, also on the banks of the Schroon River. Paradox Lake Campground is ten miles away, and Scaroon Manor Campground 15 miles.
You can read more about development at the former Frontier Town site here on the Adirondack Almanack.
Photos: Above, a site plan for the proposed development provided by DEC; below, construction of the new Paradox Brewery underway in early September 2018 (courtesy Paradox Brewery).