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Silver Lake Wilderness Area - Unit Management Plan

The Silver Lake Wilderness Area (SLWA) is comprised of the Forest Preserve lands in three distinct, but interrelated units: (1) the Silver Lake Wilderness (SLW), (2) the Sacandaga Primitive Area (SPA), and (3) the Cathead Mountain Primitive Area (CMPA). The Sacandaga Intensive Use Area, also known as the Sacandaga Campground, is not included in the SLWA.

The Silver Lake Wilderness is a 106,770 acre management unit located in the Towns of Lake Pleasant, Benson, Hope, Wells and Arietta in Hamilton County. It is the fourth largest and southern most wilderness area in the Adirondacks. The unit is roughly bounded on the north by Route 8 and private lands near Piseco Lake, Oxbow Lake, Hamilton Lake, Sand Lake and Lake Pleasant; on the east by Route 30; on the south generally by the Hamilton County line; and on the west by Route 10, the West Branch of the Sacandaga and the Piseco Outlet. Surrounding nearby state lands include the Jessup River Wild Forest to the north; Wilcox Lake Wild Forest to the east; Shaker Mountain Wild Forest to the south; and the Ferris Lake Wild Forest to the west.

Both the Sacandaga and Cathead Mountain Primitive Areas are relatively small sections of State land which provide access to private lands that are totally enclosed by the wilderness area. The Sacandaga Primitive Area is 4.2 acres in the Town of Wells and consists only of the Whitehouse Road and its right-of-way in lots 362 and 382 of the Benson Tract. The Cathead Mountain Primitive Area consists of Great Lot 121 (206 acres) in the Town of Benson which contains two rights-of-way to an inholding of private land as well as the remnants of a telephone line for the state owned fire tower on Cathead Mountain.

The Department completed a Unit Management Plan for the Silver Lake Wilderness Area in April 2006. If you have questions or comments about the UMP, please email us at: r5.ump@dec.ny.gov.

Silver Lake Wilderness Area Unit Management Plan (20.2 Mb, pdf) This is a large document and may be slow to download. As an alternative you may download specific sections using the links below.

Sections for Easier Downloading:

Appendix A
Appendix B: Campsite Location Maps
Appendices C-H
Appendix I: Unit Maps