For more than a century, paddlers traveling between Utowana and Raquette lakes have used a trail known as the Marion River Carry—a canoe and kayak portage around rapids in the Marion River to Utowana Lake.
The Marion River Carry is one of the Adirondack's most well-traveled water recreation routes and serves as an important link in one of the Adirondack Park’s most popular canoe routes.
Saving the day
When it was announced that the owner of the carry had plans to build several homes along Utowana Lake, there was a large public outcry.
Development along the land would limit access to the carry, and when word spread about the possibility it drew fierce opposition from nearby residents and outdoor enthusiasts.
In 2009, New York had recognized the carry as an important public recreation resource and listed the property as a priority acquisition.
Then in 2013, we stepped up and bought the land—obtaining 280 acres of forest, 3 acres of the Marion River, and 14.5 acres of the Utowana Lake frontage, including an often-used offshoot of the historic Northern Forest Canoe Trail.
“When OSI got involved, it was like a gift from heaven. They really changed peoples’ lives.” Carolyn Gerdin, Raquette Lake resident
Since we acquired Marion Carry, it was identified as an appropriate replacement property associated with the Township 40 settlement and is expected to be added to the Adirondack Park.
Peace of mind, at last
Our acquisition ensured that the canoe carry, as well as hundreds of acres of pristine Adirondack forest, will remain available to the public forever.
Since 1899, when William West Durant built a railroad along the carry that transported tourist between steamboats, the Marion River Carry has served as a place of connection for Adirondack residents and visitors.
And to this day, the canoe carry still serves as an important link in the Adirondack Park, including at one the most popular annual events, the 90-mile Adirondack Canoe Classic.