MOREAU, NY (Nov. 29, 2021)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) has announced a critical expansion to Moreau Lake State Park in Saratoga County. The state’s acquisition of the OSI-protected property brings the Moreau Lake State Park’s total acreage to 6,250 acres, making it one of the ten largest parks in the state park system. The property offers spectacular natural habitat for native species including the Federally endangered Karner blue butterfly, as well as new opportunities for year-round recreation.
"The acquisition at Big Bend Point guarantees the protection of a critical habitat and pristine natural resource," said Governor Kathy Hochul. "Moreau Lake State Park is visited by hundreds of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts each year for camping, swimming, and exploring its popular trail network. With more people than ever visiting our parks, this acreage will expand options for outdoor recreation in the region and preserve open space in fast-growing Saratoga County.”
Over the past 20 years, OSI has added more than 4,250 acres to Moreau Lake State Park, tripling the park in size.
“OSI is proud of our 20 years of land conservation efforts which have helped protect and expand Moreau Lake State Park for its spectacular beauty and popular recreational offerings,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of OSI. “With this latest OSI addition to Moreau Lake, we are excited to say that we have now tripled the size of this fantastic outdoor destination that not only welcomes the public for exploration and enjoyment, but also serves as critical wildlife habitat in this fast-growing region.”
The park addition, spanning 860 acres, was protected by OSI in 2019, and includes a two-mile, undeveloped stretch of the Hudson River known as Big Bend Point. Featuring sandy soils, isolation from developed areas, and open meadows, Big Bend Point offers exceptional habitat for thousands of plant and wildlife species, including the Karner blue butterfly — which will also benefit from an OSI-led habitat restoration project on the site expected to support a minimum of 3,000 rare butterfly specimens annually.
The land also featured wide, established logging roads that can be converted into an accessible trail network for walking, bicycling, birding, and wildlife viewing, equestrian riding, and non-motorized winter sports such as cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) will also install car-top boat/kayak launches and allow permit hunting in-season.
The unique topography, biodiversity, and expansive acreage of the property also offers new destinations for Moreau Lake State Park’s robust Nature Education program. State Parks is developing a site plan that aims to welcome visitors in 2022.
“Supporting this new access to Moreau State Park is another example of Governor Hochul's commitment to expanding outdoor recreation for New York residents and visitors,” said State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid. “These are wonderful places for outdoor enthusiasts to discover the Upper Hudson River in this stunning area of New York. I'm grateful to the Open Space Institute for helping create this new public access.”
The $1.6 million purchase of Big Bend Point was funded by the Environmental Protection Fund. With its proximity to both Lake George and Saratoga Springs, the park is attractive to visitors year-round as it offers ice fishing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and other winter activities.