New York state has added 131 acres to Moreau Lake State Park in Saratoga County.
The addition brings the park’s total acreage to 6,100, a nearly nine-fold increase in size since the park was established 50 years ago, officials said. The property will help expand year-round trail-based recreation and protect the natural habitat in fast-growing northern Saratoga County.
“New York is home to some of the best outdoor recreation areas in the nation, and this addition will continue to preserve our state’s treasured natural habitat,” Gov Andrew Cuomo said. “By expanding Moreau Lake State Park, we are not only providing increased recreational opportunities for New Yorkers, we will also help attract even more visitors and boost tourism in the region.”
“This addition to Moreau Lake State Park will increase the size of the park and expand recreational activities for visitors,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. “As the park celebrates 50 years, we are continuing to grow and preserve it in Saratoga County. We are committed to growing natural habitats across the state, boosting tourism opportunities and strengthening the economy of upstate communities.”
The new parcel will expand the park’s trail network, provide access to scenic views and protect open space. The new 131-acre parcel encompasses multiple summits, including Palmertown Mountain, and affords dramatic views of the Hudson Valley and southern Adirondack Mountains.
Officials said the vistas will help add to the park’s appeal as an increasingly popular destination for bald eagle watching, when eagles winter along the Hudson River.
State Sen. Betty Little said the park “is one of the Capital Region’s most treasured outdoor recreational facilities. Residents and visitors alike visit to enjoy the trails, scenic views and diverse wildlife population, and adding even more acreage to this park will only further attract visitors to experience the natural beauty of our state.”
Maria Trabka, executive director of Saratoga PLAN, said, “The economic and ecological integrity of the Palmertown Range will persist when there is adequate contiguous land conserved. With this acquisition, New York State is ensuring the future of an important, premier working landscape in Saratoga County.”
The state Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation plans to create a new trailhead and parking area at the Sherman Island Boat Launch on Spier Falls Road to provide access the new parkland. Connections to existing trails will create new long-distance hiking opportunities, including the planned Palmertown Range trail, which would link the park to Saratoga Springs. The land will also be open to hunting in season.
The acquisition will also protect the region’s natural habitat. This area lies at the ecological transition zone between the Adirondack Mountains and the Hudson Valley, and retains a high degree of biodiversity. Moreau Lake is a designated bird conservation area, and is recognized by Audubon as an Important Bird Area. This area also contains a significant Hemlock-Northern Hardwood ecological community.
Moreau Lake State Park was 700 acres when established in 1968. Its boundaries have grown substantially over the last few years, including the addition of more than 705 acres added from the former Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility.
Assembly Member Carrie Woerner said,