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Upper Hudson Woodlands Conservation Easement

map showing Upper Hudson Woodlands Conservation Easement

Conservation Easement

Limited public recreation rights were purchased by the State under a conservation easement agreement. While the State purchased certain development and recreation rights, the land remains in private ownership.These rights include public recreation opportunities on the conservation easement lands and public access corridors to access recreational opportunities on nearby forest preserve lands. Many of the public recreation and public access corridors provide for motorized recreation such as snowmobiling and motor vehicle access.

As part of this agreement, the State purchased rights on more than 55 miles of existing snowmobile trails. The trails not only remain open for public snowmobile use, but three towns and three snowmobile clubs no longer need to lease sections of these trails. This will provide them with a combined savings of $72,000 annually.

The state also purchased a total of 9.6 miles of Public Fishing Rights on five bodies of water. A few of the sections adjoin forest preserve lands providing access for anglers with connections to forest preserve lands and waters.

Additional recreation opportunities will be available to the public in the future as described in the Upper Hudson Woodlands Recreation Management Plan. Many of the proposed recreational facilities are among the priority 50 Access Project in Governor Cuomo's recreation facilities are developed and clearly marked, they will be open to the public and described on this web page.

DEC is encouraging public recreation on these easement lands at this time only as described below to prevent lost or injured recreationists and trespassing on private lands by the recreating public.

Current Public Recreation Opportunities

Hunting Opportunities

Seasonal access roads have been opened to motor vehicles in time for the Northern Zone Regular Big Game Hunting Season on the Township 19 Tract (PDF 582 KB) in the Town of Indian Lake, Hamilton County.

O'Neil Flow Road (74"21'55"W 43"50'4"N) leaves State Route 30/28 just a short distance south, and opposite, of the DEC Lake Durant Campground between the communities of Blue Mountain Lake and Indian Lake. The road crosses forest preserve lands in the Blue Mountain Wild Forest for the first mile and then ends at a gate a mile further on.

In addition to providing access to the 1,600-acre Township 19 Public Use Area, the road serves as the boundary for the public use area. The public is prohibited from trespassing on the private lands north of the road for any reason. Hunters and other recreationist can walk the road for more than five miles beyond the gate to access Dun Brook and the lands open for public use south of the road. The road continues on as the boundary between private lands to the north and the Essex Chain Lakes Primitive Area to the south until it connects with the Cornell/Deer Pond Road.

Barker Pond Road departs the O'Neil Flow Road on the right shortly before the gate. The road extends 0.6 mile to a new parking area a short distance from Barker Pond. (74"19'57"W 43"51'11"N). A primitive tent site is located near the parking area and another tent site is located on the west shore of Barker Pond.

The two roads not only provide access to the Township 19 Public Use Area, but they improve access to more than 4,000 acres of the Blue Mountain Wild Forest north of the Rock River.

These seasonal dirt or gravel roads that often are rough and muddy with rocks sticking up in locations. Shoulders are soft, ditched or even non existent. Drivers should always drive slowly and use caution when operating on these roads. Pickup trucks, SUVs and other high axle vehicles are recommended - four wheel drive vehicles will serve even better. The road will be closed to motor vehicle traffic during the winter and the spring mud season.

Fishing Opportunities

Public Fishing Right posting sign
Look for this sign to
identify the location of
Public Fishing Rights

Fishing rights were purchased as part of the the conservation easement on stretches of five trout waters on the Upper Hudson Woodlands Conservation Easement Lands and now open to anglers. The fishing rights allow the public to walk along the stream banks for the sole purpose of fishing.

Currently there is limited parking and access to these sections. DEC plans to develop parking areas and access trails in the near future.

Public Fishing Rights signs are posted on the stream bank marking the sections of water open to public fishing. Anglers must stay on the banks of the posted sections. Be aware that while most sections include both banks of the river, some only include one bank. Read the descriptions below carefully to ensure proper use of the rights of public fishing.

Cedar River: The Cedar River is located in the town of Indian Lake, Hamilton County. It flows from the Cedar River Flow to the Hudson River and contains brook trout, brown trout and smallmouth bass. DEC stocks this section of the Cedar River with brook trout.

There are four small (less than a mile) and one long, 2.3 miles, sections of easement lands open to public fishing. All of the sections are located just north of the community of Indian Lake and can be accessed from the Cedar River Road on the west side of State Route 28/30. The river is on the south side of the Cedar River Road. Two small sections are connected by forest preserve lands providing a continuous section of public fishing more than one mile in length. The largest section connects with forest preserve lands at the upstream end providing more than four continuous miles of public fishing.

Parking areas identified below are just roadside pull-off sites. No formal access trails have been developed at this time however, "herd paths" have begun to form at some locations. Otherwise anglers will have to bushwhack the short distance from the road to the river as described below. Anglers should carry and use a map and compass to avoid getting lost. Access trails will be marked and constructed in the future.

Please pay attention to Public Fishing Right signs and property boundary signs. Do not trespass on other private lands or onto the conservation easement lands that do not provide public access rights.

Map of Cedar River Public Fishing Section 1 || Printable Version (PDF 574 KB)

Section 1: Two parking areas have been created with paths to the river. Parking Area 1 is at the Boundary of the Moose River Plains Wild Forest and the Easement. Parking Area 2 is a the snowplow turnaround area. Please park in provided area at the snowmobile turnaround. Please stay on the paths as they are easements over private land. The fishing corridor is 33 feet from each side of the riverbank.

Anglers can fish from both banks of the river however there is no crossing available to get to the southeast bank. Anglers will need to wade across the river.

This section adjoins a 2 mile stretch of river on forest preserve lands upstream to Wakely Dam. This provides almost 4.3 continuous miles of public fishing. The Cedar River Road along the forest preserve lands is seasonally maintained and may not be accessible during early trout season.

Section 2: Currently there is no legal access to this section. DEC will provide information about the section and how to access it when a parking area and an access trail are developed.

Section 3: Currently the only access is from the state lands at the downstream end of this 0.3 mile-section of public fishing. Anglers can park along the road bordering the state lands, or at the parking area at the Sprague Pond Trailhead, and bushwack across state forest preserve lands to the river bank. Be sure vehicles are completely off the road and remember to stay on state forest preserve lands when entering or leaving. Once at the river anglers, can fish upstream along the section or downstream on state forest preserve lands.

Anglers can fish from both banks of the river however there is no crossing available to get to the south bank. Anglers will need to wade across the river.

A 0.3-mile section of the river between Section 3 and Section 4 is state forest preserve land. The two sections and the forest preserve combine to provide 1.1 continuous miles of public fishing.

Map of Cedar River Public Fishing Sections 2, 3, 4 & 5 || Printable Version (PDF 472 KB)

Section 4: Currently the only access is from the state forest preserve lands at the upstream end of this 0.5 mile section of public fishing. Anglers can park along the road bordering the state lands, or at the parking area at the Sprague Pond Trailhead, and bushwack across state forest preserve lands to the river bank. Be sure vehicles are completely off the road and remember to stay on state forest preserve lands when entering or leaving. Once at the river anglers can follow the section downstream or fish the state forest preserve lands upstream.

Anglers can fish from both banks of the river however there is no crossing available to get to the south bank. Anglers will need to wade across the river.

A 0.3-mile section of the river between Section 3 and Section 4 is forest preserve. The two sections and the forest preserve combine to provide 1.2 continuous miles of public fishing.

Section 5: Currently there is no legal access to this section. DEC will provide information about the section and how to access it when a parking area and an access trail are developed.

Fishing Brook: Fishing Brook is located in the town of Long Lake, Hamilton County between the communities of Long Lake and Newcomb (Essex County.) The brook contains brook trout.

Map of Fishing Brook Public Fishing Section || Printable Version (PDF 471 KB)

The 4.0-mile section of public fishing begins on the north side of State Route 28N about 4.5 miles east of Long Lake. Anglers can fish both sides of the bank from there to County Line Flow.

The only access at this time is from the upstream end of the section near the State Route 28N Bridge over Fishing Brook. Anglers can park along the road, being sure vehicles are completely off the road.

Please pay attention to Public Fishing Right signs and property boundary signs. Do not trespass on other private lands or onto the conservation easement lands that do not provide public access rights.

DEC plans to construct a parking area and car-top boat launch (including boats with electric motors) on County Line Flow and Fishing Brook Bog. All facilities at these 2 sites will be accessible for persons with disabilities.Currently fishing is not allowed in these two waters, which are located at each end of this stretch of Fishing Brook. Once the facilities are completed anglers will be able to launch boats and fish in Fishing Brook Bog and County Line Flow.

The Branch River and Palmer Pond: The Branch River access is located in the Town of North Hudson, Essex County south of the Blue Ridge/Boreas Road (County Route 2) near Exit 29 of the Northway (I-87) and is the inlet to Palmer Pond. Both waters contain and are stocked with brook trout. In addition, Palmer Pond contains and is stocked with brown trout.

Map of The Branch and Palmer Pond Public Fishing Sections || Printable Version (PDF 2.5 MB)

The 1.6-mile section of public fishing begins at the mouth of The Branch where it flows into Palmer Pond and extends upstream. Fishing is allowed along all of the shoreline, and on the waters, of Palmer Pond. The section of conservation easement lands along Palmer Pond consists of 0.7 miles of shoreline on both the southern and northern shore at the western end of Palmer Pond. The eastern end of Palmer Pond is state forest preserve land and open to the public.

A large pull off along the Blue Ridge/Boreas Road near the western end of Palmer Pond provides access to both the pond and The Branch. Anglers can also park along the road in locations where the Branch is next to the road, being sure vehicles are completely off the road.

Palmer Pond is going to have a parking area, small boat trailer launch, fishing pier, all accessible for persons with disabilities on the eastern end, at the existing large parking area.

Please pay attention to Public Fishing Rights signs and property boundary signs. Do not trespass on other private lands or onto the conservation easement lands that do not provide public access rights.

English Brook: The section of public fishing on English Brook is located in the Town of Warrensburg, Warren County on the west side of State Route 9 between the villages of Lake George and Warrensburg. The brook contains and is stocked with brook trout.

Map of English Brook Public Fishing Section || Printable Version (PDF 388 KB)

A roadside parking area for this 0.4-mile section is located on Somerville Road 0.7 miles from State Route 9. Somerville Road is a dirt road on the west side of State Route 9. The entrance to the road is 1.1 mile south of the traffic light at the intersection of State Route 9 and the Diamond Point Road near Exit 23 of the Northway (I-87). Somerville Road is a seasonally maintained road and may not be accessible during early trout season.

Please pay attention to Public Fishing Rights signs and property boundary signs. Do not trespass on other private lands or onto the conservation easement lands that do not provide public access rights.

Snowmobile Trails

Newcomb to Long Lake: 11.6-mile section of the C8B snowmobile corridor connecting the Hamlet of Long Lake in Hamilton County with the Hamlet of Newcomb in Essex County crosses the easement lands. It lies on the north of Route 28N in the Town of Long Lake and the south of Route 28N in the Town of Newcomb. Maps: Eastern Portion (2.1 MB PDF) and Western Portion (1.9 MB PDF)

Newcomb to Indian Lake: 24.5-mile new trail that opened December 2010 joins the S84 snowmobile trail to connect the Hamlet of Newcomb in Essex County with the Hamlet of Indian Lake in Hamilton County. Newcomb to Indian Lake Map (1.9 MB PDF)

Indian Lake to Moose River Plains: 9.6-mile section of the C8 snowmobile corridor that connects the Hamlet of Indian Lake in Hamilton County with the Moose River Plains crosses a parcel of easement land. The trail lies south of the Cedar River eventually connecting to the Limekiln Lake - Cedar River Road at Wakely Flow. The C8 travels west on the road across forest preserve lands and eventually connecting with the Hamlet of Inlet. Cedar River Map (2.0 MB PDF)

Galway to Corinth: 4.4 mile section of the C8A snowmobile corridor crosses the conservation easement lands in the Town of Greenfield, Saratoga County east of Lake Desolation. This portion of the C8A lies completely in Saratoga County and connects the Hamlet of Galway with the Village of Corinth. Lake Desolation Map (3.3 MB PDF)

Lake George - Lake Luzerne Trail System: Two sections totaling 3.3 miles of the S42 snowmobile trail in the Towns of Lake Luzerne and Warrensburg in Warren County cross conservation easement lands. 2.4 miles of trail are on the Hall Hill Tract in the Town of Lake Luzerne and 0.9 miles of trail are located on Viele Pond Road Tract in the Town of Warrensburg. South Warren Map (3.3 MB PDF)

Warrensburg to Stoney Creek: 1.9 mile section of the C4 snowmobile corridor and the S42B snowmobile trail in the Towns of Stoney Creek and Thurman in Warren County cross conservation easement lands. These portions of C4 and the S42B combine to connect the Hamlet of Stoney Creek and the Hamlet of Warrensburg. Thurman Connector Map (3.3 MB PDF)

DEC will continue to update the information on public recreation opportunities on the Upper Hudson Woodlands Conservation Easement. DEC asks the public's cooperation in not recreating on these conservation easement lands except as identified on this page.


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