Earlier this April, New York State purchased the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract from the Nature Conservancy for $14.5 million, allowing the state to preserve and maintain it for the future. Recently, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced its Interim Access Plan for the tract, which will greatly expand the area’s accessibility for recreational activities.
The Boreas Ponds Tract is located in Essex County between the Towns of Newcomb and North Hudson. Within the tract is the 320-acre Boreas Ponds and several other waterways. Much of the land is situated between the North River Mountain Range and the Boreas Mountain Range.
The tract was included in the Nature Conservancy’s purchase of 161,000 acres of Finch timber company land in 2007. New York State then purchased the Boreas Ponds Tract from the Nature Conservancy in 2016.
After acquiring the Boreas Ponds Tract, the next step was to develop an Interim Access Plan. The DEC identified key areas in the tract where it could improve accessibility for recreational activities. According to the DEC, some of the proposed projects include:
- 3.2 miles of motor vehicle access on the Gulf Brook Road
- 6.7 miles of roadway from Blue Ridge Road to the Boreas Ponds Dam (bicycles would be allowed on this roadway)
- 25 miles of seven roadways that would allow horses and horse drawn wagons on them
In the Boreas Ponds Tract, all of the roadways and lands are open for hiking, hunting, trapping, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing (except for one-acre around the leased camps). Additionally, while outdoor camping is allowed anywhere, campsites must be more than 150 feet away from a roadway or body of water.
For more information about the Boreas Ponds Tract’s recreational opportunities, a full list is available on the DEC’s website.
Although the DEC has completed its Interim Access Plan, it is still waiting for the Adirondack Park Agency to give a Forest Preserve Classification for the Boreas Ponds Tract. Once classified, the DEC will be able to develop a Unit Management Plan and determine the best way to preserve the tract.
Have you explored the Boreas Ponds Tract?
- DEC – DEC Announces Access Plan for Boreas Ponds Tract