Town of Clifton St. Lawrence County Wilderness Search: On June 3 at 6:05 p.m., Forest Ranger Morehouse received a call from staff at the Wanakena Ranger School reporting a student lost in the woods. Two Forest Rangers responded to assist Ranger School staff who were able to locate the missing 30-year-old student from Marcellus by using cell phone coordinates. Rangers helped her use her compass to find her way out of the woods and the incident concluded by 8 p.m.
The new Frontier Town state campground was opened to great fanfare just before the July 4th holiday this year. The campground is now fully developed with campsites, trails, and amenities such as showers, playgrounds, horse stalls, pavilions, and scenic lookouts on the banks of the Schroon River, among other features. Construction of the new Paradox Brewery is well underway.
The Frontier Town Campground is designed to pay homage to the western themes of the old Frontier Town wild west amusement park that was in its heyday in the decades after the Second World War. The amusement park had become dilapidated over the years and the new campground was a State intervention to help restore the site to some form of commercial use. The main gate has a western design and many of the shower and bathroom buildings have western saloon facades. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is accepting public comment for a proposed amendment to the Hammond Pond Wild Forest and Port Henry Boat Launch Unit Management Plan.
The plan covers nearly 50,000 acres of Wild Forest designated “forever wild” Adirondack Forest Preserve land and includes a segment of the interstate North Country Scenic Trail and a controversial boat launch on Eagle Lake on Route 74 west of Ticonderoga.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced it is seeking public input “to improve recreational opportunities and natural resource protections in the Hammond Pond Wild Forest Management Unit.”
A public meeting will be held at 6 pm on November 13, at the North Hudson Town Hall, 3024 US Route 9, approximately one mile from Exit 29 of the Northway (I-87). The meeting will provide the public with an opportunity to offer input on future recreational uses. » Continue Reading.
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. » Continue Reading.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently made numerous arrests and seized large amounts of marijuana during a five day checkpoint in Essex County. The agency occasionally sets up this temporary check point near Exit 28 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87). A June operation here resulted in similar arrests and seizure of marijuana, as well as what the agency described as the disruption “of two separate alien smuggling rings.”
The agency put out a statement saying, “Checkpoint operations are a proven enforcement tool to deny criminal organizations the ability to smuggle people, narcotics or other contraband further away from the border and these arrests exemplify that.” » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency has announced that it has deemed DEC’s application complete for the Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area along the Schroon River in North Hudson. State and local officials have been touting the proposed facility as a “Gateway to the Adirondacks.”
The plan proposes an accessible public campground at the site of the former Frontier Town theme park. The campground would include RV, tent, and equestrian camp sites and facilities, and trails connecting to the snowmobile trails leading to Schroon Lake and Ticonderoga, and a new trail to Newcomb being proposed in the yet unapproved Boreas Ponds Tract Management Plan. The campground is part of the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub Master Plan.
Coming to the Adirondacks as a visitor for a week at a time, it felt as if I was always rushing to a trailhead or a boat launch or a fishing hole. I rigorously, almost militarily, mapped out my schedule to include hikes that must be completed and waterways that must be paddled, and heaven forbid that anything should get in the way of these forced, forested marches.
You miss a lot that way. For example, on each trip to the Upper Works for a crack at peaks like Marshall and Cliff, I would drive Blue Ridge Road from the Northway toward Newcomb without noticing its splendid array of creeks, waterfalls and feathery green tamaracks.
The plan to rebuild and reinvent the former Frontier Town wild west theme park site in North Hudson has not received much scrutiny, but it’s now being fast-tracked for planning and construction by the state. It’s short on details, but has a $32 million allocated in the new state budget. There are many questions around this project. Generally, the news following Governor Cuomo’s announcement to revitalize the former Frontier Town site has been greeted with great enthusiasm from local government officials and Adirondack leaders, but it has left me scratching my head.
My one clear thought among many questions is that it’s stacking up as one of the great boondoggles of all time. » Continue Reading.
How many times can we use the phrase “world class” and have it mean much?
Governor Cuomo has used that term to describe the $32 million Gateway to the Adirondacks around Northway Exit 29 in North Hudson. This “world class recreational experience will be realized through the establishment of state, local and private partnerships,” said the Governor’s State of the State report. “Transforming this site into an attractive destination will link local and regional resources and provide year round recreation opportunities and services for multiple uses, users and businesses… Drawing visitors to North Hudson to connect with premier opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding, snowmobiling and boating. This, coupled with commercial business development, will revitalize communities and help transform this region.”
I join others in certainly wishing this Gateway project well. But in a sense every I-87 Northway exit is a kind of gateway for visitors and residents who seek what the Adirondack Park has to offer – not just recreation but re-creation of ourselves in some cases, not just adventure but transformative experience in some cases, not just an automotive gateway but a gateway to the mind, the emotions and the senses that highly contrasts with our response to populous, pressure packed, polluted places and imagery not far away. When you drive into the Park you immediately realize this is not anyplace USA. That’s not an accident but a result of policies to protect the Park. » Continue Reading.
Since its closure in 1998, Frontier Town could be more accurately described as a ghost town, but parts of the moldering theme park would be granted new life in a $32 million plan by the state to establish a Gateway to the Adirondacks at Exit 29 on the Northway.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the plan in his State of the State Message in January and filled in some of the details later in the month. It will include an information center, day-use area, equestrian trails, and a campground along the Schroon River. » Continue Reading.
UPDATE:The public meeting regarding the Hammond Pond Wild Forest Unit Management Plan scheduled for Tuesday, February 7, 2017, at the North Hudson Town Hall, has been cancelled due to forecasted poor weather and road conditions. The meeting has been rescheduled for 6 pm on Thursday, February 16.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is revising the Unit Management Plan (UMP) for more than 45,500 acres of Forest Preserve lands in the Hammond Pond Wild Forest, including parcels adjacent to the proposed Adirondack Gateway at the former Frontier Town site in North Hudson.
The lands include more than 50 parcels located in the towns of Crown Point, Elizabethtown, Keene, Moriah, North Hudson, Schroon, Ticonderoga and Westport in Essex County. The majority of the Wild Forest is located between Lake Champlain in the east, State Route 74 in the south, the Northway in the west, and State Route 9N in the north. There are some parcels located between the Northway and US Route 9 and around the communities of Keene and Keene Valley, and notable parcels along the east side of Schroon Lake. (Adirondack Atlas Map) » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Park Upper Hudson Rec Hub Eco-Tourism Support Grants are available for municipalities. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) partnered with National Heritage Trust (NHT) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to deliver competitive grant funding to support new tourism linked to the recreational opportunities. In addition, a companion microenterprise program will soon be available for recreation/tourism-based projects connected with former Finch, Pruyn & Company lands for a total of $750,000 in funding, provided by a grant from TNC. » Continue Reading.
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