Sleeping Beauty Mountain, part of the Lake George Wild Forest, is located on the east side of Lake George and is a moderate hike with a few steeper switchbacks. The trail ascends 1,038 feet and 2.1 miles from the Dacy Clearing Parking Area to the summit at 2,347 feet.
From the parking area, follow the trail about half a mile to the first intersection, then turn right and continue the rest of the way to the summit. Hikers will encounter the false summit first which provides stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains. The wooded summit is approximately a half mile further from the false summit. » Continue Reading.
The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) has protected 37 acres in the hamlet of Huletts Landing, Washington County, by purchasing a 33.3-acre upland piece and a conservation easement on the adjoining lower 3.7-acres lakefront property on Lake George. This conservation project is expected to provide permanent water quality protection by preventing the development of uplands directly above the lake, viewshed protection, and the addition of a small, family-friendly recreational opportunity.
A press release from the LGLC said the organization intends to make “modest improvements to the uplands property to allow for minimal passive recreational use.” A small parking area is expected to be identified so as to not interfere with traffic on Bluff Head Road, and a short trail will lead to one or two picnic tables installed at the lookout area. » Continue Reading.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Town of Fort Ann have announced efforts to improve parking on Shelving Rock Road, and access along Dacy Clearing Road in the Lake George Wild Forest.
Town of Fort Ann crews is planning to construct a new parking area on DEC managed Forest Preserve lands along Shelving Rock Road and rehabilitate the eight existing parking areas. Together, the nine parking areas will provide parking for 92 vehicles.
The popular Shelving Rock Day Use Area on the eastern shore of Lake George provides access to Shelving Rock Bay, Shelving Rock Falls, the summits of nearby Buck, Sleeping Beauty, and Shelving Rock Mountains, and climbing routes on Shelving Rock and Sleeping Beauty Mountain. » Continue Reading.
Long-distance hiking, peak bagging, and trail hiking are great ways to experience the out-of-doors, yet they’re also “been there, done that” pursuits for most hikers. More than 10,000 people have hiked the Adirondack Forty-Six, dozens thru-hike the Northville-Placid Trail each year, and adjectives used to describe High Peaks Wilderness Area have changed from pristine and wild to impacted and confining. Taking pride in being the black sheep of the hiking community and loving land where there are few traces of mankind, there is no Pacific Crest Trail in my past, no popular peak bagging list in my future. For me it’s all about pursuing unique forms of recreation that take me through the backdoor of beyond. Thus my latest conception: “name bagging.” » Continue Reading.
John Sanford, the writer who placed a series of novels and stories in Warrensburg, once recalled, “In the spring of 1931, when Nathanael West was writing his second novel, Miss Lonelyhearts, I was working on my first. Neither of us was progressing… and when West proposed that we get away from the city, I turned up the right place to go. I’d met an upstate game warden, and through him, we obtained, for $25 a month, a seven-room cabin in the Adirondacks, together with a forest preserve of 1,200 acres and a 50-acre pond – Viele Pond, it was called. There in that private realm, we wrote, fished, swam and shot away the summer.”
That Adirondack Forest Preserve that accommodated West and Sanford so hospitably in the 1930s is about to be enlarged by another 836 acres. » Continue Reading.
New York State has purchased the Berry Pond Preserve in Warren County in order to protect water quality in Lake George and its tributaries. The State purchased the 1,436-acre property from the Lake George Land Conservancy with $1.7 million from the Environmental Protection Fund.
The Berry Pond Preserve lies within the Warren County towns of Lake George, Lake Luzerne and Warrensburg, and includes the headwaters of West Brook, a major tributary to the southern basin of Lake George. » Continue Reading.
The efforts of a group of former campers and staff and community supporters have saved a wilderness camp that for more than 70 years has taught generations of young women life skills and environmental stewardship. Camp Little Notch a former girl scout camp abutting the Lake George Wild Forest in Fort Ann, Washington County, has been purchased by the non-profit Friends of Camp Little Notch (Friends of CLN) from the Open Space Institute (OSI).
Organizers say it is the only former Girl Scout camp in the United States to have been purchased by an alumnae organization and operated as an independent camp. Situated between Lake George and Lake Champlain, the property is an important migratory pathway for large mammals and a vital part of the Lake George watershed region. » Continue Reading.
The Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Report below is issued intermittently by DEC and is not a comprehensive list of all emergencies in the back-country, these are only a few of those recently reported by DEC.
The events reported below are reminders that wilderness conditions can change suddenly and accidents happen. Hikers and campers should check up-to-date forecasts before entering the backcountry and always carry a flashlight, first aid kit, map and compass, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods and always inform others of your itinerary.
The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) has issued a report to the press outlining its work in 2014 and looking forward to its plans for 2015. In tallying their efforts, LGLC has found that over the last nine months they have protected 462 acres of Lake George watershed lands through partnerships, purchases, donations and conservation easements and are currently working on plans to protect over 750 acres in the near future.
Land conservation projects have been completed in five towns around Lake George, including Bolton, Hague, Putnam, Fort Ann, and the Town of Lake George. The projects protect forests, wetlands, rocky slopes and ridges, and streams, as well as wildlife habitat.
LGLC also achieved land trust accreditation in August from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. The organization is also preparing for a change in leadership. Executive Director Nancy Williams is expected to retire this fall, and LGLC’s Board of Directors hope to have a new executive director in place by January of 2015. » Continue Reading.
Rock climbers will have a few more routes to climb this weekend, according to Joe Racette, a biologist for the state Department of Environmental Conservation who monitors the nesting of peregrine falcons on cliffs.
Racette said the Upper Washbowl cliffs near Chapel Pond are now open to climbers. DEC closes Upper Washbowl and Lower Washbowl each spring at the start of the falcons’ breeding season. DEC has ascertained that that this year the falcons are nesting on Lower Washbowl. » Continue Reading.
According to local lore, Robert Moses, secretary of the State Parks Commission, and John Apperson, leading defender of the “forever wild” clause of the NY constitution, had a confrontation of historic proportions, one summer day in August of 1923. Moses, who was already carrying out an ambitious scheme to grab power, had convinced Governor Al Smith that the development of state parks would be a very popular election issue.
As the center-piece of his plan, Moses wanted to build a parkway on the Tongue Mountain peninsula (plus, eventually, gas stations, scenic overlooks, and hotels). Apperson wanted to prevent development altogether. He dreamed of bringing the central portion of the lake (Tongue Mountain, the Narrows, Black Mountain and Paradise Bay) under state ownership, and thus under the protection of the NY constitution.
The battle over the highway at Tongue Mountain happened quietly, behind the scenes, and out of the headlines. In fact, Robert Moses’ biographer, Robert Caro, never mentioned this story, and apparently knew little about the work of John Apperson at Lake George. Fortunately, we can now examine letters and documents long hidden from view that shed considerable light on the politics concerning the creation of a Lake George Park. » Continue Reading.
This week’s story of murdered Schroon Lake Special Game Protector William Jackson sparked an inquiry from one of the Almanack‘s regular readers. TiSentinel had heard the story of longstanding rumors of foul play in the death of a game warden at Jabe Pond in Hague and wanted to know more.
The story he was referring to is that of 21-year-old Special Game Protector Paul J. DuCuennois of North Creek who disappeared on October 16, 1932 while patrolling Jabe Pond; his car was located at the end of the trail to the pond. He was reported drowned by Charles Foote and Wilson Putnam, who said they saw him go into the water from the other side of water. They told authorities they rowed to the spot of DuCuennois’s swamped and overturned canoe, but could not immediately locate his body. Nearby his jacket lay floating, the men said, and in its pocket, the key to the game warden’s car. » Continue Reading.
Four additional Forest Preserve roads closed this spring, when budget cutbacks restricted the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) ability to repair, maintain and patrol them, have reopened in time for big game hunting season.
Hamilton County and the Towns of Inlet and Indian Lake had partnered with DEC earlier to reopen and maintain roads and nearby recreational facilities in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest including Moose River Plains Road (Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road), Otter Brook Road up to the Otter Brook Bridge, and Rock Dam Road. “Big game hunting brings much needed economic activity to Hamilton County during the fall,” said William Farber, Chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors. “We appreciate DEC’s willingness to work with us to reopen the roads in the Moose River Plains. “Commissioner Grannis deserves praise for his determination to open the roads despite the significant reduction in resources DEC has for maintaining roads and other recreational facilities in the Adirondacks,” he said.
DEC also utilized $250,000 of Environmental Protection Fund monies to replace inadequate culverts on the main Moose River Plains Road with bridges over Sumner Stream and Bradley Brook this past summer. This is continuation of major rehabilitation work in the Moose River Plains over the past several years. Over one million dollars has been invested in roadway improvements based on the findings of an engineering study of the Moose River Plains road system.
The additional newly reopened roads include:
Lily Pond Road in the Lake George Wild Forest in the Town of Horicon, Warren County. The Town of Horicon Highway Department provided assistance with grading and fill material and the Town will continue to provide assistance with garbage removal, cleanup and inspection for the remainder of the year.
Gay Pond Road in the Hudson River Special Management Area (aka the Hudson River Recreation Area) in the Lake George Wild Forest in the Town of Warrensburg, Warren County. The South Warren Snowmobile Club covered the cost of several new culverts to replace ones that had failed and been crushed under the road. DEC staff is undertaking the work to replace the culverts and to provide fill and grade the road, with completion expected by this weekend.
Indian Lake Road and Otter Brook Road (between the Otter Brook Bridge and the Otter Brook Gate) in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest in the Town of Inlet, Hamilton County opened last week. The highway departments from Hamilton County and the towns of Indian Lake and Inlet replaced culverts, filled holes and graded the road.
Barry Hutchins, Supervisor of the Town of Indian Lake, praised DEC saying that “The Town looks forward to continuing the great working relationship we have developed with DEC and make the Moose River Plains a premiere Adirondack recreational destination for campers, hunters, anglers, wildlife watchers, hikers, mountain bikers and others.”
Photo: The new Sumner Stream crossing on the Moose River Plains Road (Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road) in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest (courtesy DEC). Additional photos of work done to the road are available online.
Funding reductions to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) resulting from the state’s historic budget shortfall will limit the agency’s ability to maintain roads in the Adirondack Forest Preserve, delay construction of recreational facilities on easement lands, and prevent the hiring of Assistant Forest Rangers this season according to media materials distributed late last week.
“Due to the inability to maintain or patrol roads and nearby recreational facilities, a number of roads will remain temporarily closed to public motor vehicle access,” the DEC announced. “These roads have already been closed for mud season, as they are each year. While gates on these roads will remain closed and locked to prevent access by motor vehicles, the roads and surrounding lands will be open for authorized recreational use by the public.” Each of the roads that will temporarily remain closed has parking available near the gate. The public is asked not to block the gates or the roads, as DEC may need to access the roads for routine maintenance and emergencies. Road maintenance tasks generally include gravel placement to maintain road surfaces, road grading, culvert replacement and removal of road hazards such as leaning or downed trees. Maintenance of campsites along and near these roads also requires a significant effort by DEC staff, including the removal of trash.
The following DEC roads will remain temporarily closed to all public motor vehicle access:
* Moose River Plains Road System (all roads) in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest, the Towns of Inlet, Arietta, Lake Pleasant and Indian Lake, Hamilton County;
* Lily Pond Road in the Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Horicon, Warren County;
* Jabe Pond Road in the Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Hague, Warren County;
* Gay Pond Road in the Hudson River Special Management Area (aka the Hudson River Recreation Area) of the Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Warrensburg, Warren County;
* Buttermilk Road Extension in the Hudson River Special Management Area (aka the Hudson River Recreation Area) of the Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Warrensburg, Warren County;
* Dacy Clearing Road in the Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Fort Ann, Washington County.
The following DEC roads will remain temporarily closed to general public motor vehicle access, but may still be accessed by motor vehicle by people with disabilities holding CP3 permits:
* Scofield Flats Road, in the Hudson River Special Management Area (aka the Hudson River Recreation Area) of the Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Lake Luzerne, Warren County; and
* Pikes Beach Access Road in the Hudson River Special Management Area (aka the Hudson River Recreation Area) of the Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Lake Luzerne, Warren County.
As in the past, the Bear Slides Access Road will be closed to motor vehicle use by the general public but will remain open to people with disabilities holding CP3 permits.
In addition, ongoing parking lot, road, trail, and public facility projects in the following areas will be suspended pending funding becoming available:
* Black Brook Easement Lands in the Town of Black Brook, Clinton County;
* Kushaqua Easement Lands in the Towns of Brighton and Franklin, Franklin County; and
* Altamont Easement Lands in the Town of Tupper Lake, Franklin County.
The Department says it will provide “reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities upon request for access to programs on state lands where roads are closed.” For instance, people with disabilities holding a DEC Motorized Access Permit for Persons with Disabilities (CP3 permit) will be allowed to access recreational programs by motor vehicles on two of the roads that will otherwise be closed to the public. Those with disabilities who wish to access recreational programs in the Warrensburg/ Lake George area should contact Tad Norton in the Department’s Warrensburg Office at (518) 623-1209, and those with disabilities who wish to access recreational programs in the Northville/Raquette Lake area should contact Rick Fenton in the Department’s Northville office at (518) 863-4545.
Questions regarding the temporary road closures, should be directed to the regional DEC Division of Lands and Forests at (518) 897-1276 or the Region 5 DEC Office.
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