State park ex­pands to 6,100 acres

State ac­quires sig­nif­i­cant new par­cel at Moreau Lake State Park

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Paul Post [email protected]­i­tal­first­media.com Re­porter

MOREAU, N.Y. >> Moreau Lake State Park is grow­ing again with the ac­qui­si­tion of 131 acres on Spier Falls Road that al­lows for the cre­ation of a new trail to Pot­ter’s Point, and im­prove­ments to the Sher­man Is­land Boat Launch park­ing area.

Since the late 1990s, the park has roughly tripled in size to its cur­rent 6,100 acres.

“This new ac­qui­si­tion, from the Baker fam­ily, con­nects two parcels we owned pre­vi­ously on Pot­ter Road and Spiers Falls Road,” said Peter Isk­ende­rian, park man­ager.

In 2015, ap­prox­i­mately 750 acres of former Mount McGre­gor Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity land was added to the park, which made many new trails pos­si­ble to sites such as Lake Bonita where pub­lic ac­cess was pre­vi­ously pro­hib­ited.

The park has nearly 40 miles of trails. Plans call for build­ing a new marked trail to Pot­ter’s Point next year, Isk­ende­rian said.

In ad­di­tion, con­nec­tions to ex­ist­ing trails will cre­ate new long-dis­tance hik­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing the planned Palmer­town Range trail, which would link the park to Saratoga Springs.

“The eco­nomic and eco­log­i­cal in­tegrity of the Palmer­town Range will per­sist when there is ad­e­quate con­tigu­ous land con­served,” said Maria Trabka, Saratoga PLAN ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor. “With this ac­qui­si­tion, New York State is en­sur­ing the fu­ture of an im­por­tant, premier work­ing land­scape in Saratoga County.”

While the main day use and camp­ing fa­cil­i­ties sur­round Moreau Lake, the park also in­cludes a seven-mile stretch of Hud­son River cor­ri­dor from Corinth/Lake Luzerne to Moreau/Queens­bury on both sides of the river in Saratoga and War­ren coun­ties.

The new par­cel ex­pands the park’s trail net­work, pro­vides ac­cess to scenic views and pro­tects open space. It en­com­passes mul­ti­ple sum­mits, in­clud­ing Palmer­town Moun­tain, and af­fords views of the Hud­son Val­ley and the south­ern Adiron­dack Moun­tains.

State of­fi­cials say the vis­tas will add to the park’s ap­peal as an in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for bald ea­gle watch­ing when ea­gles win­ter along the Hud­son River. Sev­eral ea­gle sur­vey out­ings are planned this month and will con­tinue in Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary.

Moreau Lake is a des­ig­nated Bird Con­ser­va­tion Area, rec­og­nized by the Audubon So­ci­ety as an Im­por­tant Bird Area. It also con­tains a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of hem­lock and north­ern hard­wood trees.

Strate­gi­cally lo­cated be­tween Saratoga Springs and Lake Ge­orge, Moreau Lake has one of the most heav­ily used state camp­grounds in the state. Over­all, the park at­tracts more than 400,000 vis­i­tors an­nu­ally for year­round ac­tiv­i­ties such as swim­ming, camp­ing, hik­ing, hunt­ing, boat­ing, fish­ing, ice fish­ing, cross-coun­try ski­ing and snow­shoe­ing.

In 2017, six new cab­ins were con­structed in the park for vis­i­tors seek­ing a more back­coun­try type ex­pe­ri­ence.

FILE PHOTO

FILE PHOTO.

One of six new cab­ins at Moreau Lake State Park that opened in 2017.

FILE PHOTO.

The Over­look at Moreau Lake State Park af­fords panoramic views east to­ward Wash­ing­ton County and Ver­mont.

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