The Adirondack Land Trust has purchased 17 acres of land on the Thirteenth Lake’s 4.5-mile shoreline, marking the conservation of the last unprotected shoreline on Thirteenth Lake. The Lake is a headwater of Upper Hudson River and the largest body of water within the Siamese Ponds Wilderness.
New York State Forest Preserve borders the land on one side, while the Garnet Hill Property Owners Association borders the other. The latter is taking advantage of restrictive use covenants to ensure its lake shore property is protected.
The Adirondack Land Trust will be working along side the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to integrate the Thirteenth Lake land into the 114,010-acre Siamese Ponds Wilderness, allowing for it to become public, and thereby protected under the Forever Wild clause of the NYS constitution.
Adirondack Land Trust Board Chair Bill Paternotte said, “We are proud to partner with New York State, the town of Johnsburg, and members of the community to safeguard the wild character of Thirteenth Lake. The people of New York State had the foresight to conserve most of this shoreline more than a century ago. This project is an example of how a small but strategic land purchase can have wider impact and protect New York’s collective investment.”
The land was purchased from Elise and Woody Widlund and aligns with their goals of conservation. The purchase was made possible by donations to the land trust’s Wild Adirondacks Fund, including over 40 individual contributions from Johnsburg residents.
“So many people who live and retreat near Thirteenth Lake are passionate about preserving wilderness,” said Beth Maher, a resident of North River. “That made mobilizing support for this effort relatively easy.”
Thirteenth Lake contains 13 primitive camp sites, along with a public beach and a canoe launch accessible to those confined to wheelchairs, making its integration into the Siamese Ponds Wilderness fruitful for outdoor recreationists.
“The town board enthusiastically and unanimously supported the Adirondack Land Trust acquisition of this beautiful parcel on Thirteenth Lake,” Johnsburg Town Supervisor Andrea Hogan said. “Protection of year-round outdoor recreation is vital—not only to the local economy, but to benefit the health and well-being of residents as well. In 2020 we have been grateful for the rural and scenic character of our region, and to the organizations that partner with us in preservation.”