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Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area

Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area, campground, DEC, Adirondacks
A rendering of the entrance to the proposed Frontier Town
Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced (link leaves DEC website) in January 2017 the Master Plan to establish a Gateway to the Adirondacks at Exit 29 of the Northway, in the town of North Hudson. Located in the heart of the Adirondacks, the future Gateway site once hosted the Frontier Town theme park. New York State and the Open Space Institute, working in collaboration with five neighboring Adirondack towns, engaged the Chazen Companies to create a blueprint for a new recreation hub that would improve local amenities, expand access, and draw increased visitors to this park of the Park.

A key component of the Master Plan is a new public campground - including equestrian camping - and day use area to be operated by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Construction for the Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area, will begin in April 2018, marking a major step forward toward implementation of the vision of the Master Plan.

The Project

DEC is constructing a state campground, equestrian campground and two day use areas (the "Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area") on approximately 91 acres of land owned by the town of North Hudson and Essex County. DEC will operate the facility according to the terms of a conservation easement. It is designed to be in harmony with the topography and natural features of the site.

Froniter Town Proposed Site Plan

The DEC Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area will serve as a launching off point for outdoor exploration and adventure within this region of the Adirondack Park. Trails within the Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area will provide connectivity to the existing trail network along NYS Route 9 and also part of the Schroon Lake-North Hudson Snowmobile trail network knows as the "Ti to Co Line Trail." The trails will provide connectivity to the Hammond Pond Wild Forest to the east, to the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest on the west, and to the Palmer Pond Bridge connection on the west leading to publicly owned lands including the Boreas Ponds Tract (as contemplated in the Vanderwhacker Mountain Unit Management Plan Amendment) and Essex Chain Lakes Complex. In addition, trails within the Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area will connect to other trails and public roads associated with anticipated private development in the northern portion of the project area at Exit 29.

Key Features: Campground

Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area, Campground, DEC, Adirondacks

The new DEC campground, designed in collaboration with DEC, NYS Office of General Services, and C.T. Male Associates, will include 91 campsites total to accommodate a range of camping experiences.

Equestrian Camping Area

Modeled after DEC's Otter Creek facility, the equestrian camping area provides space for 33 equestrian camping sites including American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant features. The horse campsite pads will have electrical hookups, hibachi-style grills, and water spigots within 250 feet of each campsite. Thirteen horse tie stall structures will be located next to the camping pads, each having a capacity of up to five horses, and one stud stall will provide the capacity for up to 66 horses. Two ADA compliant horse mounting ramps will also be available for campers. This area also includes one shower building and a pavilion with electrical outlets and interior lighting

RV/Trailer Camping Area

A Recreational Vehicle (RV) and trailer camping area provides space for 13 RV and Trailer camping sites. All of the RV and trailer campsite pads will be provided with electrical hookups, fireplaces, and water spigots will be conveniently located. There will be one shower building in this area.

Tent Campsites Area

Frontier Town Equestrian Area Rendering

A tent camping area will be located to the south and west of the RV and trailer camping area, extending towards the Schroon River. A total of 45 tent camping sites, including 3 group-camping sites, will be provided with two shower buildings. Each tent site will have parking for two vehicles, a picnic table, fireplace and 12-foot-by-12-foot tent pad. The tent sites will not be serviced by electrical power. Water spigots will be conveniently located. A minimum of 30 feet buffer of existing vegetation will be maintained between tent sites and all tent sites will be set back at least 30 feet from top of bank along the Schroon River so that they are not visible to recreational users of the river. There will also be a playground and two pavilions with hibachi-style grills in the Tent Camping Area.

Key Features: Day Use Areas

Trail Side Day Use Area

A parking area for all-season trail access will be located off of Frontier Town Road near NYS Route 9. The primary intent of this day use area is to provide parking and trail access year-round, including for winter use. Parking for 26 vehicles will be available here, including 18 parking spaces for vehicles with snowmobile trailers, 6 for vehicles

Frontier Town Day Use Area Rendering

only and 2 accessible vehicle spaces. A waterless restroom will be provided at this location.

River Side Day Use Area

A seasonal day use area will be located along the shoreline of the Schroon River. This day use area will include a pavilion with hibachi-style grills, playground and flush toilets which will be open for day users as well as campers. This pavilion may be reserved by the public in advance. Thirty-four parking spaces will be provided at the bathroom/pavilion, two of which will be accessible. In addition, four parking spaces will be provided nearer the river, one of which will be accessible.

Additional Features and Information

In addition to the public facilities described above, the campground will include facilities necessary for the operation of the campground including an entrance ticket booth; one cabin for four seasonal workers and one cabin for the caretaker; a trailer dump station; a garage for administrative use; a firewood storage building; and a water treatment/storage building. The entrance ticket booth will utilize solar energy to support part of the ticketing operations and amenities for staff. Electric vehicle charging stations will be available at the seasonal day-use and tent camping areas.

Froniter Town Proposed Site Plan camping area

DEC anticipates employing 13 staff at the Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area: 2 year-round full-time employees and 11 seasonal staff. It is also anticipated that local business will benefit from the presence of both overnight and day users of these newly constructed facilities within the Exit 29 project site.

Timing

Site work began in February 2018, with construction starting in April 2018. The Trail Side Day Use Area is expected to be open in Fall 2018, and it is anticipated that the Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area will be fully operational by Summer 2019.

Planning and Management

The goal of this project is to establish a benchmark vision for a new gateway hub to the Adirondacks that will promote a world-class recreation experience and increase the economic vitality of the "5 Towns" including North Hudson, Newcomb, Indian Lake, Long Lake, and Minerva. The project should ensure that the proposed uses, programs and services improve access to the regions recreation amenities and support the growth of local communities and the region. DEC will operate the facility according to the terms of a conservation easement.

Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian, and Day Use Area Fact Sheet (PDF 173KB)
Upper Hudson Recreation Master Plan, December 2016 (PDF)

DEC Press Release (December 7, 2017)

DEC Press Release (April 11, 2018)