“With every construction milestone, we are growing more excited about
the completion of the trailhead and parking area,” said OSI’s president
and CEO, Kim Elliman. “Moreover, we are excited about the prospect of
improving southern access to the High Peaks, which we hope will make the
area more welcoming and help relieve some of the pressure on other
locations within the Adirondacks.”
OSI has been working on the redesign and expansion of the Upper Works
parking area with the Town of Newcomb, which is providing an in-kind
contribution toward the work. The parking area is expected to open by
Memorial Day 2021.
OSI also indicated that it is pursuing additional partnerships, private funds, and grants to fully achieve the ambitious plan.
Other future, planned upgrades for Adirondac Upper Works include: the
renovation of the historic MacNaughton Cottage which will provide a
space for a satellite private outfitter and visitor information; the
installation of new kiosks, wayfinding signage, and bathroom facilities;
and additional stabilization of the 1854 MacIntyre Blast Furnace.
Recognizing the historic and environmental importance of this
spectacular landscape located in the heart of the Adirondack Park, OSI
acquired the 10,000-acre Tahawus tract in 2003. OSI then transferred
most of the property to DEC, but retained 212 acres for educational,
historic, and recreational purposes.
Since then, OSI, with support from the Cloudsplitter Foundation, Overhills Foundation, Prospect
Hill Foundation, Walbridge Foundation, and New York State Council of
the Arts, has invested nearly $900,000 in improvements at Adirondac
Upper Works, including site planning; the initial stabilization of the
blast furnace; the creation of an interpretative trail with educational
panels that guides visitors from the northern parking area, through the
former Village of Adirondac, to the historic 1854 Blast Furnace; and the
structural preservation of MacNaughton Cottage. Built in 1845,
MacNaughton Cottage is the site from which then Vice President Theodore
Roosevelt began his midnight ride to the presidency in 1901.
Attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, the High Peaks
Wilderness Area is the best known, most heavily used, and largest
wilderness in the Adirondack Park. Increased visitorship to the High
Peaks over the past few years is providing a boon in certain Adirondack
In addition to providing alternative access to the High Peaks, OSI is
seeking additional solutions to improve recreational access, while
protecting the park and preserving its culture and natural resources.
Recent and ongoing land protection projects include Tub Mill Pond and
Trembleau Mountain in Essex County, Hans Creek in Saratoga County, the
Boselager Working Forest Additions in Clinton county, and Huckleberry
Mountain in Warren County, among others.