The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) closed on the purchase of 212 acres in the Town of Bolton on December 20, 2019. The property was part the Twin Pines Resort owned by the McGurl family. The resort is expected to be unaffected by the sale. The LGLC will hold the property until the Town of Bolton is able to purchase it from LGLC encumbered with a conservation easement. This transfer is expected to take place in early 2020.
The property includes about 20 acres of wetlands and 3,000 feet of stream corridor, and is adjacent to the popular Cat and Thomas Mountains Preserve owned by the New York State Department of Conservation (NYSDEC).
The LGLC is planning to work with the McGurls and the Town of Bolton to plan trails that have a minimum impact on the land and landowners around Trout Lake. Similar to its collaboration with the Town in 2015 when the LGLC protected the Pinnacle, the LGLC will help manage the property and its trails, once they are established.
“We thank the McGurl family for their patience throughout this process,” LGLC Executive Director Jamie Brown said in an announcement sent to the press, “and for wanting to work with us to protect the land that has been a part of their family since 1986. This great property will simultaneously protect the water quality of Lake George in perpetuity, while also providing recreational access to some of Bolton’s most beautiful forests.”
Tom McGurl, Jr. said, “As we looked to the future, we wanted to be sure that Twin Pines would continue as a destination for our guests who have enjoyed the property for many generations, while ensuring that the land, views, and water would be protected in perpetuity. Working with the LGLC was a natural fit to accomplish this goal. Ultimately, lands that have sat mostly unused will, in time, be added to the recreational hub, linking Trout lake to the recreational opportunities of the Pinnacle, and Cat and Thomas Mountains. This will further enhance Bolton Landing as an outdoor recreation destination.”
The Bolton Recreational Hub (the Hub) is a collaborative effort between the LGLC, Town of Bolton, and Bolton Landing Chamber of Commerce, that combines the goals and outcomes of land conservation for water quality protection with access to quality recreational opportunities and commerce within the Town of Bolton. A comprehensive Bolton Recreational Hub Strategy was published in 2019, and provides guidance for conservation and recreational projects.
“The addition of these 212 acres in such a key area of Bolton is a huge step forward for the Hub,” Brown’s statement said. “The trails anticipated for the property as well as possible connectors to Cat Mountain and beyond are highly appealing for any outdoor enthusiast. In addition, the LGLC plans to install educational signage along these trails so that hikers leave with knowledge about the significance of land protection and water quality.”
Twin Pines on Trout Lake has been in operation since the early 1920s, according to McGurl.
The Lake George Land Conservancy is an accredited non-profit land trust based in Bolton Landing. More information is available on their website.
Images, from above: one of the streams that cross the newly protected property, once part of Bolton’s Twin Pines Resort, and map of Twin Pines Resort Protection Project, provided.