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For Release: Wednesday, August 31, 2016

DEC Announces Access Plan for Boreas Ponds Tract

State Outlines Public Access Opportunities to Recent 20,758-Acre Acquisition

Hikers, bikers, skiers, paddlers, horseback riders, hunters, anglers and others will have improved access and additional recreational opportunities on the recently purchased 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.

"We are excited to provide better access to and additional recreational opportunities on this amazing tract of land," said Commissioner Seggos. "Outdoor enthusiasts of all skills and abilities will now have incredible opportunities to visit and enjoy the newest addition to the Adirondack Forest Preserve."

DEC has developed an Interim Access Plan for the Boreas Ponds Tract which identifies specific areas available for public access while providing for protection of the natural resources of the area and the rights still held by The Nature Conservancy and its lessees. The Interim Access Plan does not have any bearing on the future land classification of the tract currently in development and does not prejudge what access and uses will be allowed in the future.

Additional access opportunities identified in the Interim Access Plan includes:

  • 3.2 miles of motor vehicle access on the Gulf Brook Road;
  • 6.7 miles of roadway open to bicycling from Blue Ridge Road to the Boreas Ponds Dam; and
  • Approximately 25 miles of seven roadways open to horse and horse drawn wagons.

Paddlers will be able to access Boreas Pond and other waterways by carrying their canoes and kayaks 2.5 miles from the gate on Gulf Brook Road to LaBier Flow and then another 0.5 mile between the flow and Boreas Pond.

All roadways and lands are open to hiking, hunting, trapping, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing except for one-acre around the leased camps.

All of the lands are open to camping provided campsites are more than 150 feet from any roadway or body of water, but at this time no specific tent sites have been designated.

DEC and the town of North Hudson have established a total of eight parking areas:

  • Three year-round parking areas along the Blue Ridge Road at the entrances to:
    • Sand Pond Road,
    • Gulf Brook Road, and
    • Ragged Mountain Road.
    • These are the only parking areas designated for parking horse trailers;
  • Two year-round parking areas designated along the Elk Lake Road for anglers, hunters, trappers, and others; and,
  • Three seasonal parking areas designated along Gulf Brook Road which will not be available from the beginning of winter through the end of the spring mud season.

In addition, public parking will be allowed on any point along Blue Ridge Road or Elk Lake Road except where parked vehicles will block a roadway or gate. There are several miles of suitable public parking along Blue Ridge Road.

Lease holders will have the right to drive motor vehicles, ATVs and snowmobiles on Gulf Brook Road, Trout Pond Road, White Lily Pond Road, and Ragged Mountain Road.

A large portion of the Boreas Ponds Tract is a lowland area between the North River Mountain Range to the west and the Boreas Mountain Range to the east. The summits of the Boreas Mountain Range are on the tract. Spectacular views of these mountain ranges and mountains in the High Peaks Wilderness - such as Marcy, Haystack, Gothics, and Saddleback - can be seen from a number of locations.

Boreas Ponds, the namesake of the tract, form a 320-acre body of water, now one of the largest in the park completely surrounded by Forest Preserve. Other waters on the tract include LaBier Flow, Boreas River, LeClaire Brook, Casey Brook, Slide Brook and White Lily Brook, which provide habitat for cold water fish, including brook trout.

More information and links to maps may be found on the Boreas Ponds Tract web page on DEC's website.

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