The work of OSI to provide people with new places to discover nature plays a critical role in this equation. In the face of increasing human pressure on the land, OSI is offering solutions that will better disperse eager explorers by securing additional acreage for public access; working with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to create a new point of entry to the High Peaks area; and improving recreational amenities and access points at OSI’s long-held Tahawus property.
As visitors drive into the High Peaks from the southeast, they enter the region by way of Tahawus, a 258-acre forested tract complete with an abandoned historic village and 19th century blast furnace. The property was acquired by OSI in 2003 as part of a much larger 10,000-acre purchase. With most of the land having been transferred to the state, OSI, with the support the Prospect Hills Foundation, the Walbridge Fund, and the Overhills Foundation, has installed interpretive signs and completed other site work on sections of Tahawus that it retains.
Then just last year, OSI unveiled a series of planned improvements aimed at bolstering Tahawus as a recreational destination, while also developing alternative routes to nearby Mount Marcy and and a host of nearby High Peaks destinations such as Mount Marshall, Iroquois Peak, Boundary Peak, and the Colden and Algonquin peaks. Trailhead improvements, a comfort station, and the potential conversion of an historic cottage into an outfitter station should also draw hikers and climbers—helping to ease the pressure on the northern High Peaks entry points.
Some 30 minutes southeast of Tahawus is another destination that promises to become an important Adirondack entry point, thanks in part to OSI. In 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled plans to repurpose Frontier Town, once a popular Wild West theme park that has since fallen into disrepair, as the new “Gateway to the Adirondacks.”
The Gateway project builds on a master plan commissioned by OSI and supported by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The Gateway will serve as a new jumping-off point to such places as the state’s recently acquired 10,000-acre Boreas Pond property, as well as myriad hiking corridors. The Gateway will also offer a public campground and equestrian facilities and trails.
Meanwhile, OSI continues to conserve breathtaking areas in other parts of the Adirondacks. In 2017, OSI purchased the Trembleau Mountain-Lake Champlain Shoreline property in Essex County and Huckleberry Mountain in Warren County. Each of these features breathtaking views, as well as thigh-burning hiking trails that are equal to the grandeur of the High Peaks.