In September 1901, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was visiting the Tahawus hunting and fishing club when he received a piece of stunning news: President McKinley, struck by an assassin’s bullet, was dying in Buffalo.
It was from Tahawus that Roosevelt embarked on his famous “Midnight Ride to the Presidency,” setting out in a buckboard wagon to North Creek Train Station.
Largest wild forest in the East
The 10,000-acre Tahawus Tract had been at the top of the conservation community’s “must-save” list for years. In private ownership since the early 1800s, this spectacular landscape is rich in natural and historic resources.
Tahawus is a jewel in the Adirondacks, the 26-million-acre Northern Forest—the largest remaining wild forest in the East, which has resisted fragmentation for over a century.
In the late 1990s, global economic trends drove paper companies to migrate south, putting large swaths of the Northern Forest up for sale. The record-breaking land sales had many conservationists concerned about the future of the Northern Forest wildlands.
A landscape at risk
During lengthy contract negotiations, we worked with state and local officials to craft a plan that would accommodate wilderness, working forests and historic interests.
OSI transferred most of the property to the state in 2008 but retained the core, 258 acres, for education and the preservation of historic structures. Then in 2017, OSI opened two interpretative trails with educational panels that guide visitors from the northern parking area, through the Village of Adirondac, to the 1856 Blast Furnace.
Adventuring by the birthplace of the Hudson River
The land is now open to adventurers to kayak or canoe along Lake Henderson’s serene shoreline, or take a side trip to the headwaters of the Hudson River, which begins here as a quiet and inconspicuous mountain stream.
Meanwhile, campers can pitch tents along the popular Calamity Brook Trail while hiking to the base of Mt. Marcy, New York State’s tallest peak, seven miles due east of Lake Henderson.
Another popular day trip: A visit to the remains of the historic mining village of Adirondac, where one of New York's first hunting clubs regularly welcomed Teddy Roosevelt.