ALBANY, NY (Dec, 7, 2017)—Building on early groundwork and planning by the Open Space Institute (OSI), local partners and state officials, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos this week announced plans for a “Gateway to the Adirondacks” campground and other amenities. The plan is intended to link local and regional outdoor recreation experiences in Adirondack Park, bolster tourism and strengthen the North Country’s regional economy.
“OSI is proud to have played an early, pivotal role in taking this transformative project from an abstract idea to concrete plans. This exciting plan will improve public access, expand recreational opportunities and support local economies in the heart of the Adirondacks,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “OSI’s involvement builds on 25 years of land conservation in the Adirondacks, during which we have protected more than 28,000 acres to support the region’s invaluable cultural and natural heritage.”
In his 2017 State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to establish a “Gateway to the Adirondacks” at Exit 29 of the Northway in the town of North Hudson. In the heart of the Adirondacks, the Gateway site once hosted the Frontier Town theme park. New York State and OSI, working in collaboration with five neighboring Adirondack towns, engaged the Chazen Companies to create a blueprint for a new recreation hub that would improve local amenities, expand access, and draw increased visitors to the park.
A key component of the new DEC plan is a $13 million state investment through the NY Works program to develop a new DEC campground—including equestrian camping—and day-use area. The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) has deemed DEC’s application complete for the Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area.
“Through Governor Cuomo's leadership, we are now one step closer to establishing an essential hub for tourism in the Adirondacks that will bolster economic development in the region by providing easy access to all of the Adirondack Park’s recreational opportunities at one central site,” said Seggos.
Under the plan, the DEC campground, equestrian campground, and two day-use areas will be constructed on approximately 91 acres of land owned by the town of North Hudson and Essex County. The facility will be operated according to the terms of a conservation easement and will be designed to complement the site’s topography and natural features.
The campground area will serve as a launching-off point for outdoor exploration and adventure in this part of the Adirondack Park. The Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area trails will connect to the existing trail network along NYS Route 9 and part of the Schroon Lake-North Hudson Snowmobile trail network known as the “Ti to Co Line Trail.” The trails will provide connectivity to the Hammond Pond Wild Forest to the east, the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest on the west, and the Palmer Pond Bridge connection on the west, leading to publicly owned lands, including the Boreas Ponds and Essex Chain Lakes Complex.