Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands
NOTE: A downloadable map of the Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands is under development,a link to the map will be found here when the map is completed.
The 84,000-acre Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands are located in northern Adirondack Park. The conservation easement lands lie in the Towns of Bellmont (51,142 acres) and Franklin (21,504 acres) in eastern Franklin County and the Towns of Saranac (5,833 acres) and Ellenburg (5,693 acres) in western Clinton County.
Ten areas of private land and eight parcels of Forest Preserve land are surrounded by the conservation easement lands. A significant amount of forest preserve and other State-owned lands are located adjacent or nearby to the Sable Highlands.
The Sable Highlands are bisected by many miles of town, county, and State roadways. These roads vary from seasonally maintained sand and gravel roads to major State Routes. Important roads for access to the property include: State Route 374; Standish Road; Port Kent to Hopkinton Turnpike (aka County Route 26 or "Old Route 99"); Wolf Pond Road; True Brook Road; and Bigelow Road.
55,895 acres of the 84,000 acres will continue to be leased by landowner to private hunting, fishing and recreation clubs, these lands are not open to the public at any time.
28,105 acres divided among 14 designated public use areas (PUAs) are open to public access for recreation. Also, trails and roads that pass through the privately leased lands will be opened in the future to the public, subject to restrictions, for the purpose of accessing the Public Use Areas. These are referred to as linear recreation corridors (LRCs) and travel through, or adjoin, the private lease areas. See map depicting the Public Use Areas.
Public use of the Linear Recreation Corridors is limited to travel over and along the designated route. The public will not be permitted to use or otherwise trespass on private lease lands adjacent to designated Linear Recreation Corridors. None of the Linear Recreation Corridors are open to public motorized vehicles at this time. Certain corridors are open to the public for hiking, biking and horseback riding in the summer and snowmobile use in the winter. Linear Recreation Corridors are open to motorized vehicle use by the members of the lease clubs and their invited guests.
This web page focuses on the public use areas, linear recreation corridors and adjacent or nearby state lands that are open to public recreation.
Be aware that the Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands are privately owned, actively timbered and leased camps are present. Public access and recreation is allowed with restrictions. Users of these lands must:
- Travel on roads open to the public
- Not travel beyond any closed gates with motorized vehicles (whether locked or not)
- Park in designated parking areas only - don't block gates or roadways
- Expect to see logging trucks, skidders and other logging activity
- Access only the lands and corridors that are open to the public
- Be aware that much of these lands are leased to private sports groups that have access and recreation rights that the public does not have - please respect the rights of the lessees.
Forest Preserve Lands vs Conservation Easement Lands
There are different requirements for recreating on the conservation easement lands and the adjacent (or nearby) forest preserve lands. Users must be aware of which lands they are recreating on and the rules and regulations that apply. The maps depict the type of land and their boundaries. BE AWARE THAT NOT ALL forest preserve lands are signed at this time. Do not trespass on private lands that are not part of the conservation easement.
DEC intends to develop many recreational facilities on the Sable Highlands lands and waters open for public use. There has been limited marking of boundaries and installation of signage at this time. Also, only some of the roads, parking lots, campsites and other recreational facilities have been developed. More work on boundaries, signage and recreational facilities will be undertaken as resources become available.
See the Sable Highlands Interim Recreation Management Plan for information on proposed recreational facilities.
Public access for non-motorized recreation - on foot, mountain bike, horse, or canoe/kayak - is available at this time in the Public Use Areas and on certain Linear Recreation Corridors. Permitted recreational activities include hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife viewing and canoeing/kayaking. See the sections below for more information on specific recreational activities.
Currently public motorized accessed is allowed by motor vehicle only on municipal roads and by snowmobile on the Linear Recreation Corridors designated for use as snowmobile trails. Linear Recreation Corridors are open to motorized vehicle use by the members of the lease clubs and their invited guests.
Recreational facilities, including additional routes for motorized recreation, will be developed in the future following completion of the recreation planning process and as resources are available. People wishing to access the public use areas must do so by entering from locations where the properties adjoin municipal roads. Avoid blocking any gates or obstructing traffic when parking.
NOTE: The Wolf Pond Road is a narrow, dirt municipal road which is heavily utilized by logging trucks.
Camping and campfires are limited to designated campsites only. Otherwise all state land use regulations are in effect and will be enforced by DEC Forest Rangers.
Several of the Public Use Areas can only be accessed by the public through the use of Linear Recreation Corridors. Detailed information on the Public Use Areas and the Linear Recreation Corridors may be found below under the heading Recreational Facilities.
Visitors to the Sable Highlands should be properly prepared and equipped for a remote, wildlands experience. Visitors should expect to assume a high degree of responsibility for their own welfare and for environmentally sound use of the area. Know safe hiking practices, camping & hiking rules, how to avoid getting lost (PDF) (191 kB), state land use regulation and current trail conditions.
Report back country emergencies, such as lost or injured hikers, and wildland fires to the DEC Emergency Dispatch at 518-891-0235.
Currently all nine (9) designated campsites have been constructed with accessible features including hardened surfaces in the campsite and hardened pathways to accessibly-designed privies. Holders of a Motorized Access Program for People With Disabilities (MAPPWD) permit may access the campsites with an ATV. All of the campsites may only be accessed by foot, non-motorized watercraft, mountain bike or by MAPPWD. See the section on camping for more information on the campsites and see the map for their location.
Accessible fishing platform on the North Branch
Also, a small, accessible fishing platform is located along the North Branch of the Saranac River in the Saranac River Public Use Area. A parking area with a hardened surface has been constructed along Goldsmith Road. People holding a MAPPWD permit may use an ATV on the trail from the parking lot to the closest of nine accessible campsites. The fishing platform is adjacent to this campsite. The campsite and the access to the fishing platform have hardened surfaces.
Accessible waterway access sites have been constructed on Grass Pond and Fishhole Pond near Loon Lake in the 3,919-acre Plumadore-Inman Public Use Area. Features that provide accessibility for people with disabilities at each of these facilities include:
- Universally accessible parking areas designed to accommodate up to five vehicles;
- ADA compliant access ramps; and
- Universally accessible platforms designed for getting in and out of boats, canoes and kayaks.
Recreational opportunities available at the 14-acre Grass Pond and 22-acre Fishhole Pond include fishing for native brook trout, boating, paddling, nature appreciation, photography, hunting and wildlife viewing. These ponds are shallow and very weedy. While boats with motors are allowed on the ponds, DEC recommends the use of boats no longer than 14 feet with electric motors to protect aquatic vegetation and shorelines.
These accessible opportunities can be reached from State Route 3 (between Redford and Vermontville) by taking County Route 26 (aka "Old Route 99") at Merrill's Corners north.
- The access road to Fishhole Pond is located on the right side 6.3 miles from Route 3; look for the DEC sign marking the entrance. Take the access road a short distance to a T-intersection. Turn left and the parking area is on the left 1.3 miles from the intersection. NOTE: The lands around the access road are closed to the public. Parking and stopping along the road or other access of these lands, is prohibited.
- Grass Pond is immediately adjacent to County Route 26 approximately 7.6 miles north of Merrill's Corners. The parking area and access point are marked with a DEC sign.
- Parking for the Saranac River campsite and fishing platform is located on the north side of Goldsmith Road, approximately 1.8 miles from Route 3 and four miles from County Route 26.
DEC welcomes all visitors to explore outdoor recreation on state lands and we are committed to providing an ever-increasing range of accessible opportunities.
Full Listing of DEC's Accessible Recreation Destinations.
Currently there are no official hiking trails on the Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands. Although all roadways in Public Use Areas and Linear Recreation Corridors currently open to the public may be hiked. There are no maps of these roads, so hikers must have map and compass skills to properly navigate around.
Camping and campfires are only allowed at designated campsites. Currently nine (9) campsites have been designated and constructed.
- Six campsites have been designated and constructed on the Barnes Pond Public Use Area.
- Two campsites have been designated and constructed in the Plumadore-Inman Public Use Area.
- One campsite has been designated and constructed in the Saranac River Public Use Area.
All of the campsites may only be accessed by foot, non-motorized watercraft, mountain bike or by motorized vehicle by people with a Motorized Access Permit for People With Disabilities (MAPPWD).
Observe all campfire safety practices. Use only dead and down wood, it is illegal to cut down dead or live trees. Don't leave garbage at the campsite or in the fire pit - if you carry it in, carry it out. Better yet, carry a portable stove. Stoves heat more quickly, are easier to clean and do not leave blackened rocks and partially burned firewood. They are useful in wet rainy weather.
Also, camping at a campsite for more than three nights requires a camping permit from the local Forest Ranger.
Regulation prohibits the import of firewood into New York unless it has been treated to kill pests. The new regulation also limits the transportation of untreated firewood to less than 50 miles from its source.
Bringing your firewood with you? Most people don't realize they move bugs along with their firewood. You could be spreading diseases or insects that can quickly kill large numbers of trees. Our forests are at risk from the transport of firewood infested with tree killers.
Here's how you can help STOP THE SPREAD of these pests:
- Leave firewood at home-do not transport it to campgrounds or parks.
- Only purchase firewood that has been harvested in New York State or treated for pests.
- Burn all firewood brought to the campsite.
See Frequently Asked Questions for more information on firewood regulation.
Grass Pond and Catamount
Paddlers can access Grass Pond and Fishhole Pond in the Plumadore-Inman Public Use Area using the waterway access sites. Be aware that small motorized boats are allowed on these waters also. The Grass Pond waterway access site is off County Route 26 (Loon Lake Road). A parking area has been designated and signed at this location.
The North Branch of the Saranac River in the Saranac River Public Use Area is for experienced paddlers only.
Grass Pond and Fishhole Pond in the Plumadore-Inman Public Use Area are open to small motorized boats only. Boats should be less than 14 feet in length and the motor should be 10 horsepower or less. The Grass Pond waterway access site is off County Route 26 (Loon Lake Road). A parking area has been designated and signed at this location.
Prevent the Introduction and Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
- INSPECT your fishing and boating equipment and remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to it.
- DRY your fishing and boating equipment before using it on another body of water.
- CLEAN your fishing and boating equipment if it cannot be dried before its use in another body of water.
More information on how you can avoid spreading aquatic invasive species.
North Branch of the Saranac River
Numerous high-quality ponds, lakes and streams, supporting diverse fisheries resources, can be found on the Public Use Areas. The public may access all streams, rivers, ponds and lakes on Public Use Areas for fishing using non-motorized methods unless specifically prohibited.
The North Branch of the Saranac River offers some good rainbow trout and brown trout fishing. A small, accessible fishing platform is located on the bank of the North Branch in the Saranac River Public Use Area and can be accessed from the Goldsmith Road. A parking area has been designated and signed.
Fishing and waterway access sites have been constructed on Grass Pond and Fishhole Pond in the Plumadore-Inman Public Use Area. Both of these waters contain brook trout. The Grass Pond waterway access site is off County Route 26 (Loon Lake Road). A parking area has been designated and signed at this location.
Also, a small, accessible fishing platform is located along the North Branch of the Saranac River in the Saranac River Public Use Area. A parking area with an ADA compliant hardened surface has been constructed along Goldsmith Road. People holding a MAPPWD may use an ATV on the trail from the parking lot to one of the nine accessible campsites. The fishing platform is adjacent to the campsite. The campsite and the access to the fishing platform have ADA compliant surfaces. The general public may use the fishing platform, accessing by foot or mountain bike.
Anglers should check the current fresh water fishing regulations for and know the statewide regulation and the regulations pertaining to specific waters.
Hunting & Trapping
The diverse habitat supports a wide variety of big and small game wildlife species. All public use areas are open to public hunting and trapping during the legal hunting and trapping seasons, except where specifically prohibited by posted notice. Parking areas have been designated and signed along County Route 26 (Loon Lake Road) and the Goldsmith Road.
Hunting and trapping is allowed on all forest preserve lands. All hunters and trappers much comply with all applicable State laws and regulation.
Numerous logging roads provide ample opportunities for mountain bicycling. Mountain bike use is allowed on any road or trail in a public use area and on Linear Recreation Corridors open to the public except those that are specifically posted closed for mountain bike use. CAUTION: Logging may be occurring on the property and timber harvesting equipment may be utilizing these roads and trails.
Numerous roads and skid trails on the property lend themselves well to equestrian use. Horse-back riding is allowed on any road or trail in a public use area or linear recreation corridor open to the public except those that are specifically posted as closed to equestrian use. No horse assembly areas have been developed at this time.
Skiing & Snowshoeing
People may ski or snowshoe on unplowed roads in Public Use Areas and on Linear Recreation Corridors that are not open to public motorized use and that can be safely accessed from public roads. Skier and snowshoers are discouraged from using groomed snowmobile trails.
Several trails pass through the Public Use Areas, on designated Linear Recreation Corridors and on the municipal roads. These routes provide important connections between communities in the area and constitute key links in the inter-county snowmobile trail network.
A parking area has been built on Goldsmith Road for tow vehicles and trailers. The southern terminus of Linear Recreation Corridor 8 (Liberty Road) lies several hundred feet to the east of the parking area and connects to the C8A Snowmobile Corridor Trail (Wolf Pond Road) via Linear Recreation Corridor 7 (Wolf Pond Mountain Road). ). West of it's intersection with LRC 7, LRC 8 travels toward the hamlet of Loon Lake where it connects to the C7 Snowmobile Corridor Trail which provides direct access to Onchiota and points south or Mountain View and points north.
Construction of the parking area was a cooperative effort of the landowner, the Town of Franklin, and DEC. The Town of Franklin donated time, personnel and equipment from their highway department and will be plowing the parking area.
Due to winter logging operations snowmobile trails may be rerouted. These route changes are a result of the cooperation of Chateaugay Woodlands, the landowner of the easement lands, and their willingness to maintain the snowmobile network. The cooperation of snowmobilers will ensure future cooperative reroutes when the need arises.
DEC will work with the landowner to ensure that signs on the trails and maps instruct snowmobilers on which routes are each winter. Information will be posted here and on the Northeastern Adirondack Trail Information web page under the Sable Highlands heading prior to the winter snowmobile season. Portions of these routes may be plowed from time to time so riders should be cautious and aware of motor vehicles that may be on the road.
Public Use Areas
14 parcels of land of various size (totaling 28,105 acres), located in various places, are open for full public recreational use. See map for locations and access.
Ingraham West (392 acres)
Public access to this parcel currently does not exist. DEC may develop a Linear Recreation Corridor to provide access to the parcel in the future.
Owls Head (598 acres)
This Public Recreation Use Area currently receives extensive public use which has been essentially continuous over the course of generations.
An unofficial trail to the main summit of the Owls Head Range has been created through use near the small community of Owls Head in the Town of Bellmont. The trail starts on private lands and currently crosses through the lands of two adjoining private owners. The trailhead and trail need to be relocated and an agreement reached with the two landowners allowing public access to the trail before the trail can be officially open to the public.
Barnes Brook (561 acres)
The Barnes Brook parcel lies close to the hamlet of Mountain View adjacent to Franklin County Route 27. No logging roads have been developed on this parcel. Public use is restricted to non-motorized access, mainly for activities such as hunting, fishing and trapping. Currently, no recreational facilities have been developed on this parcel.
Plumadore-Inman (3,919 acres)
This large and easily accessible Public Use Area contains a variety of natural features - a mixture of mountains, ponds, streams and forest roads and trails make this parcel appealing to wide spectrum of recreational users.
Two campsites have been designated and constructed. The campsites may only be accessed by foot, non-motorized watercraft, mountain bike or motorized vehicle by people with a Motorized Access Permit for People With Disabilities (MAPPWD).
A parking area along County Route 26 (Loon Lake Road) has been designated and signed. Waterway access sites have been built on Grass Pond and Fishhole Pond.
Sugarloaf (5,460 acres)
Sugarloaf is the largest of the Sable Highlands Public Use Areas. Some outstanding natural features and good road access make this parcel an excellent area for public recreation. The parcel is accessible from the northeast via the Goat Path Road (Linear Recreation Corridor 1 as it passes through private lease areas), from the southeast via Linear Recreation Corridor 11, and from the northwest via the Sugarloaf Road. Currently, motorized vehicle use is prohibited on the Linear Recreation Corridors. No recreational facilities have been developed on this parcel at this time.
Lilypad (1,052 acres)
Linear Recreation Corridor 2 provides access to this parcel from Linear Recreation Corridors 1 and 3 which travel from public roads through private lease areas. Otherwise, only a small segment of the parcel has frontage on Linear Recreation Corridor 1, at a location south of the intersections of Linear Recreation Corridors 1 and 3. Due to the extensive wetlands and riparian areas located within this parcel, coupled with a lack of currently developed road access, this parcel is managed to provide a more primitive recreational experience. Currently, motorized vehicle use is prohibited on the Linear Recreation Corridors. No recreational facilities have been developed on this parcel at this time.
Rocky Brook (1,646 acres)
This Public Use Area is similar in character and access to the Lilypad Public Use Area. Existing roads on the parcel are currently limited to unimproved seasonal "winter roads" developed to support timber harvesting operations. Like Lilypad this parcel this parcel is managed to provide a more primitive recreational experience.
Presently, this parcel is only accessible to the public from the south via Linear Recreation Corridor 1. Once Linear Recreation Corridor 1 leaves the Rocky Brook parcel heading north toward the Figure 8 Public Use Area, the road is in a poor and unimproved state. Currently, motorized vehicle use is prohibited on the Linear Recreation Corridors. No recreational facilities have been developed on this parcel at this time.
Figure 8 (3,939 acres)
This Public Use Area is easily accessible from the north via the municipal Blair Kilns Road. Currently, motorized vehicle use is prohibited. No recreational facilities have been developed on this parcel at this time.
Bigelow (1,560 acres)
Primary access to this Public Use Area is via the municipal Bigelow Road. This parcel is similar in character and access to the Rocky Brook and Lilypad Public Use Areas. It is managed to provide a more primitive recreational experience. Currently, motorized vehicle use is prohibited on the Linear Recreation Corridors. No recreational facilities have been developed on this parcel at this time.
Cobble Hill (908 acres)
Primary access to this parcel is from State Route 374 via Linear Recreation Corridor 4. The Ouleout Creek and its tributaries lie within the Public Use Area. Currently, motorized vehicle use is prohibited on the Linear Recreation Corridors. No recreational facilities have been developed on this parcel at this time.
Cold Brook (2,542 acres)
This Public Use Area adjoins the Standish Road in the Town of Saranac and is bounded on the west by private lease lands and on the north by Linear Recreation Corridor 5 (aka Piney Ridge Road). Public access to the parcel from the Standish and Piney Ridge Roads is by non-motorized means only. Currently, no recreational facilities have been developed on this parcel.
Bradley Pond (1,352 acres)
Public access to this Public Use Area is restricted to the westernmost portion due to the lack of a legal motor vehicle access for the public. Foot or other non-motorized access to the easternmost portion is discouraged until the boundary lines between the parcel and the adjoining private lands are well signed and marked. Currently, no recreational facilities have been developed on this parcel.
Barnes Pond (3,761 acres)
This Public Use Area can be accessed directly from True Brook Road in the Town of Saranac. True Brook and its tributaries provide fishing opportunities. Six campsites have been designated and constructed. The campsites may only be accessed by foot, non-motorized watercraft, mountain bike or motorized vehicle by people with a Motorized Access Permit for People With Disabilities (MAPPWD).
Saranac River (415 acres)
This parcel is easily accessible through a well-developed road and trail system that connects to the Goldsmith Road and the North Branch of the Saranac River. The North Branch, as it is locally known, is one of several revered trout fisheries located in the area. The section that flows through this Public Use Area is considered by DEC fisheries biologists to be one of its most productive reaches.
One campsite has been designated and constructed and may only be accessed by foot, non-motorized watercraft, mountain bike or motorized vehicle by people with a Motorized Access Permit for People With Disabilities (MAPPWD).
A small, accessible fishing platform located on the bank of the North Branch of the Saranac River can be accessed from the Goldsmith Road. A parking area has been designated and signed.
A parking area has been built on Goldsmith Road for snowmobile tow vehicles and trailers. The southern terminus of Linear Recreation Corridor 8 (Liberty Road) lies several hundred feet to the east of the parking area and connects to the C8A Snowmobile Corridor Trail (Wolf Pond Road) via Linear Recreation Corridor 7 (Wolf Pond Mountain Road).
Linear Recreation Corridors
Unlike the public roads open for use in designated Public Use Areas, Linear Recreation Corridors (LRCs) are roads and trails that travel through private lease areas and provide access to the Public Use Areas. They will be signed and managed to facilitate public access while minimizing the public's use on private club members' enjoyment of their posting leases.
None of the linear recreation corridors are open to public motorized vehicles at this time, though certain ones are open for public snowmobile use in the winter. Linear Recreation Corridors are open to motorized vehicle use by the members of the lease clubs and their invited guests. The chart lists the Linear Recreation Corridors that are currently open to the public and the uses that are permitted in each. See map for locations.
Equestrian and mountain bike use will be permitted on all Linear Recreation Corridors unless specific signs prohibiting such use are conspicuously posted.
NOTE: Specified public uses have no bearing on the use of these roads by the landowner, their contractors, agents, assigns or lessees.
Linear Recreation Corridors (and the recreational uses allowed on them)
- LRC #1 Blair Kiln Road & Goat Path Road: Non-motorized recreation
- LRC #2 Harris Road: Non-motorized recreation
- LRC #4 Cobble Hill Road: Non-motorized recreation
- LRC #5 Piney Ridge Road: Non-motorized recreation
- LRC #7 Wolf Pond Mountain Road: Non-motorized recreation (except in winter) and Snowmobiles
- LRC #8 Liberty Road: Non-motorized recreation (except in winter) and Snowmobiles
- LRC #9 D&H RR Road: Non-motorized recreation
- LRC #10 Tender Road: Non-motorized recreation
- LRC #11 Old D&H Road, West Mountain Road, & Piney Ridge Road: Non-motorized recreation
Public access of the leased lands adjacent to the linear recreation corridors is prohibited.
Linear Recreation Corridors which list snowmobiling as a use are groomed.
Linear Recreation Corridors 5, 7 and 8 will be closed for public use annually from September 27 through the close of the Northern Zone Big Game Rifle Season.
Neighboring DEC Lands & Facilities
- Chazy Highlands Wild Forest
- Debar Mountain Wild Forest
- Taylor Pond Wild Forest
- Upper Chateaugay Lake Boat Launch Site
- Chazy Lake Boat Launch Site
The Sable Highlands contain steep rugged areas, large sloping hills, numerous small streams, and several river valleys. Some of the higher mountains and peaks include Mount Tom at 2,684 feet; Peak Mountain at 2,255 feet; Ragged Lake Mountain at 2,750 feet; and Norton Peak at 2,870 feet.
The area is drained by two major watersheds, the Lake Champlain Watershed and the St. Lawrence River Watershed. All or parts of 59 lakes and ponds, with at total surface area of 2,631 acres are located within the Sable Highlands.
There are over 400 miles of streams including three major rivers - the North Branch of the Saranac River, the Chazy River, and the Salmon River. Two of these rivers are designated under the Wild, Scenic and Recreation River System - the Salmon River is designated as Recreational and the North Branch of the Saranac River is designated as Study.
Most all of the wildlife species found in the Adirondacks may be found in the Sable Highlands. It contains one of the largest concentrations of moose in New York.
Rules and Regulation
- Public access is restricted to the 14 designated Public Use Areas and the Linear Recreation Corridors available for non-motorized public use.
- The public must park in designated parking areas only - don't block gates or roadways.
- The public may only access the lands and corridors that are open to the public. Entering private lands not open to the public is prohibited.
- The public may not travel beyond any closed gates with motorized vehicles (whether locked or not).
- None of the Linear Recreation Corridors are open to public motorized vehicles at this time.
- Certain Linear Recreation Corridors are open for public snowmobile use in the winter.
- Most Linear Recreation Corridors are open to non-motorized access, see chart above.
- Linear Recreation Corridors are open to motorized vehicle use by the members of the lease clubs and their invited guests.
- Some Linear Recreation Corridors may be closed or further restricted during certain periods of the year.
- Public access of the leased lands adjacent to the Linear Recreation Corridors is prohibited.
- All snowmobiles using the easement lands must be registered and insured and user of snowmobiles must wear appropriate safety equipment.
- Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs) cannot be registered in New York State and therefore are prohibited from use on public roads and lands.
- Linear Recreation Corridors 5, 7 and 8 will be closed for public use annually from September 27 through the close of the Northern Zone Big Game Rifle Season.
DEC Forest Rangers are primarily responsible for search and rescue, wild land fire suppression and enforcing state land use laws and regulations. DEC Environmental Conservation Officers are primarily responsible for enforcing hunting, fishing, trapping and pollution laws and regulation. Both are state law enforcement officers and, as such, can and do enforce all state laws.
The 84,000-acre Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands are spread out over a large area. The 28,105 acres of lands open to public access are divided into 14 Public Use Areas of various sizes that are scattered across that large area. Directions will depend on the Public Use Area being accessed. General directions are provided here, but maps of the area should be used to get to a desired location. (There is no public access available to the Ingraham West Public Use Area)
Public Use Areas in the southern portion of the Sable Highlands can be accessed using municipal roads that connect to State Route 3 between the hamlets of Saranac (Clinton County) and Merrill's Corners (Franklin County). These roads include the True Brook Road, the Standish Road, and the Goldsmith Road,
Public Use Areas in the southwestern portion can be accessed off Franklin County Route 26 (Loon Lake Road) which connects to State Route 3 at Merrill's Corners and Franklin County Route 27 in the Town of Duane. Franklin County Route 27 connects with State Route 30 a few miles south of the Adirondack Park boundary.
Public Use Areas in the northwestern portion can be accessed using the road system around the hamlets of Owls Head and Mountain View. Both are on Franklin County Route 27 (Pond Road) which connects with State Route 30 at its southwestern terminus, and and the intersection of Franklin County Route 25 (Duane Road) and Franklin County Route 41 (Fayette Road) at its northern terminus. The Brown-Benoit Road, Indian Lake Road, Ragged Lake Road, East Road and Wolf Pond Road are some of the municipal roads that can be used to access the Public Use Areas.
Public Use Areas in the northeastern portion can be accessed using municipal roads that connect to State Route 374 between the hamlets of Lyon Mountain (Clinton County) and Brainardville (Franklin County). These roads include Blair Kiln Road, Bigalow Road and Clinton County Route 2 (Bradley Pond Road).
Other Sources of Information
Adirondack Regional Tourism Council, Adirondack Lakes Regional Tourism and Adirondack Coast Regional Tourism can provide information about recreating in this area and other amenities. Use the links provided near the bottom of the right column to access their websites.
Numerous guide books are available with information on the lands and waters in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.
The DEC State Land Interactive Mapper can be used to print maps showing state lands, trails and facilities for this area or any location within New York State.There are also excellent printed maps and computer map programs from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), National Geographic and other sources. These are sold in outdoor retail shops, bookstores and on the internet. Use the USGS Maps link in the right column to order their maps online.
Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings.
The Property has been logged for well over 100 years. Much of the logging was associated with the area's mining history. Large amounts of timber were harvested in order to make charcoal.
The property was acquired by Domtar Industries in 1962. Since then it has been managed as a working forest to supply pulpwood for Domtar's paper mills and sawlogs to local and regional sawmills.
The property has been certified under the Forest Stewardship Council as being a well managed source of wood products that is timbered via sustainable forest management practices. Domtar leased exclusive recreation rights to portions of the property and allowed the construction of camp buildings by the members of private lease recreation clubs.
On December 28, 2004, Domtar sold approximately 84,400 of its 104,400 acre Adirondack holdings (the Sable Highlands) to Chateaugay Woodlands.
On the same date, Domtar sold the approximately 20,000 acre balance to The Nature Conservancy, which subsequently sold the lands to the State of New York as additions to Forest Preserve and State Forest lands.
New York State purchased a conservation easement from Chateaugay Woodlands on approximately 84,000 acres. 400 acres of their lands are not covered by the easement.
- Assures that the Sable Highlands remain a working forest;
- Requires continued use of sustainable forest management practices;
- Allows for continued private recreational leasing portions of the lands; and
- Provides public recreation opportunities other portions of the land in accordance with a recreation management plan approved by the landowner and the Department of Environmental Conservation.
DEC has developed an Interim Recreation Management Plan for the Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands. DEC is currently working to finalize the management plan. The final plan will be made available once it is completed. If you are interested in participating in the public input process for any of these plans, e-mail DEC using the link at the bottom of the right column.
Recreation Management Plans are intended to assess the recreational resources present within a Conservation Easement, identify opportunities for recreational use and consider the ability of the resources and ecosystems to accommodate public use. Recreation Management Plans are developed by DEC in accordance with the terms of the conservation easement agreement and in cooperation with the landowner.
Important Phone Numbers
Forest Fire, Search and Rescue: (518) 891-0235 (24 hours a day) or dial 911
State Land Regulation/Backcountry Law Enforcement: (518) 897-1300
Environmental Law Enforcement: (518) 897-13261
Turn in Poachers and Polluters: 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332) - call the TIPPs hotline to report any environmental violations or report it online.
More about Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands:
- Sable Highlands PUAs Map - Map depicting Public Use Areas (PUAs) in the Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands