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Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement

hikingfishinghuntingtrappingbikingsnowmobilingcross-country skiingsnowshoeingaccessiblehand launchparkingicon key

Kushaqua Tract Locator Map

The 19,000-acre Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement is part of the conservation easement lands in the northern Adirondacks. Some of the principle natural features on the property include the cliffs on the southern exposure of Loon Lake Mountain, the Sable Mountain Range, Mountain Pond and the headwaters of the North Branch of the Saranac River.

The private landowner manages the lands for timber and leases 31 camps to private outdoor recreation enthusiasts. The easement allows for full public access to the property, except for one-acre parcels around the leased camps.

A conservation easement is an agreement with the private landowner that allows public access while protecting open space by limiting development. The private landowner retains the right to manage the property for purposes such as sustainable timber production. Logging trucks, skidders, and other logging equipment may be present during logging operations.

Trail Information for the Northern Adirondacks provides general information regarding backcountry and seasonal conditions; specific notices regarding closures and conditions of trails, roads, bridges and other infrastructure; and links to weather, state land use regulations, low impact recreation and more.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hiking

General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Approximately 100 miles of seasonal access roads and numerous miles of old skidder trails are available to hikers, however there is only one hiking trail on the property.

Loon Lake Mountain Trail (3,279 feet) extends 2.8 miles and ascends 1,600 feet from the trailhead to the summit of the mountain and the fire tower in the Debar Mountain Wild Forest.

Fishing

fishing

General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules and regulations.

North Branch Saranac River is stocked with brook trout and may be accessed from the North Branch Road Parking Area via a 460-foot walk from the parking area to a 115-foot path leading to a hand launch with a dock on the shore of the river. The launch is restricted to non-motorized watercraft. The path is located off the southern shoulder of North Branch Road near the intersection of Mountain Pond Road (44.5114°N, 74.1472°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).

Upstream portions of the North Branch Saranac River and Hays Brook, their tributaries, and other unnamed streams contain native brook trout. Currently these waters may be accessed by non-motorized means via the seasonal access road system.

Hunting & Trapping

huntingtrapping

Wildlife Management Unit: 5C

General information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules and regulations.

Hunters and trappers may access almost all of the property except one-acre parcels around the leased camps.

The diverse habitat naturally present and created through timber harvesting supports a wide variety of big and small game wildlife species and fur bearers. Recently harvested areas are rich with a variety of non-game species as well as popular game species including white-tailed deer, black bear, ruffed grouse and woodcock.

Approximately 100 miles of seasonal access roads and numerous miles of old skidder trails provide non-motorized access throughout the property.

Mountain Pond Road extends approximately three (3) miles from North Branch Road and provides motor vehicle access to the southeastern portion of the tract from the end of mud season through the close of the Northern Zone Regular Big Game Hunting Season. Several old log landings and road shoulders along Mountain Pond Road have been mowed to provide off-road parking.

Hunter's Camp Road extends nearly four (4) miles from North Branch Road into the southern portion of the tract and provides motor vehicle access from the end of mud season through the close of the Northern Zone Regular Big Game Hunting Season. Several old log landings and road shoulders along Hunter's Camp Road have been mowed to provide off-road parking.

Biking

biking

General information on biking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Approximately 65 miles of seasonal access roads are available to biking.

Snowmobiling

snowmobiling

General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

An approximately five (5) mile secondary snowmobile trail extends through the tract between the C7B Snowmobile Trail Corridor just north of where it leaves the Kushaqua-Mud Pond Road and C7B just south of where it crosses County Route 26. The trail is groomed and maintained by Franklin Snowmobilers Inc. and provides stunning views as it passes through saddle of the Loon Lake Mountain Range and a valley between the mountains.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross-country skiingsnowshoeing

General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Approximately 100 miles of seasonal access roads and numerous miles of old skidder trails are available to skiers and snowshoers.

Wildlife

General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

The Adirondacks contain large tracts of wildlife habitat with some boreal, bog, alpine and other unique habitats. Many birds (Common Loon, Peregrine Falcon) and mammals (Moose, Black Bear) are unique to the Adirondacks or are mainly found here. More than 50 species of mammals and hundreds of species of birds inhabit or pass through the Adirondacks at one time of the year or another.

Accessible Features

accessible

General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.

In general, the extensive gravel road and trail development on the property lends itself well to universal accessibility for all public recreation users.

Directions

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

North Branch Road is the main public entrance to the property. Mountain Pond Road is the first gravel road on the right after the public parking area on North Branch Road. Hunters Camp Road is the first gravel road on the left approximately one mile beyond the Mountain Pond Road intersection.

Both Mountain Pond Road and Hunter Camp Road have been upgraded to allow for seasonal motor vehicle access and will be open to cars and trucks annually from the end of mud season through the close of the Northern Zone Regular Big Game Hunting Season. Several old log landings and road shoulders along both roads have been mowed to provide for off-road parking.

  • North Branch Parking Area is located off of North Branch Road, 0.7 miles west from its intersection with Kushaqua-Mud Pond Road. (44.5116°N, 74.1449°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).
  • Hunter's Camp Road Parking Area is located off Hunter's Camp Road approximately 2.0 miles west of its intersection with North Branch Road. (44.5021°N, 74.1829°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).
  • Loon Lake Mountain Trailhead Parking Area is located along Port Kent-Hopkinton Turnpike (County Route 26). (44.5826°N, 74.1233°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts.

All users of Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Specific Rules

  • Respect posted signs.
  • Only travel on roads and corridors designated open to the public.
  • Do not travel beyond any closed gates with motorized vehicles (whether locked or not).
  • Park in designated parking areas or pull-offs that do not block gates or roadways.
  • Expect to see logging trucks, skidders, and other logging activity.
  • Be aware that the landowner leases 31 camps to private individuals and sports groups that have access and recreation rights that the public does not have - please respect the rights of the lessees.

How We Manage Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement

DEC manages public recreation on these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement Lands Recreation Management Plan.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Food, gas, and other supplies may be found in the nearby communities of Vermontville, Bloomingdale and Gabriels, and in Onchiota from the weekend before the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend through the Columbus Day Holiday Weekend.

Lodging and dining opportunities are available in Saranac Lake.

Adirondack Regional Tourism Council (leaves DEC website) and Franklin County Tourism Office (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

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.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC Website) for information on outdoor guides.