A New York City-based conservation organization announced the purchase of 84 acres of wetlands, pond and forest land in Greenfield in an ongoing project to create a trail from Saratoga Springs to Moreau.
The Open Space Institute has been collaborating with Saratoga PLAN and local governments since 2017 to create a bike and foot trail from Saratoga Spa State Park to Moreau Lake State Park.
The proposed 13-mile Southern Palmerton Range recreational corridor could help protect wildlife while attracting more outdoor recreation to local economies, advocates say.
The Open Space Institute has already acquired land between the two parks, including hundreds of acres at Greentree Lake next to the Lincoln Mountain State Forest.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation praised the new acquisition. “With outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers flocking to New York’s great outdoors like never before, it is critical to make strategic investments that support smart growth, enhance recreational opportunities, and boost local economies without sacrificing wildlife protections,” Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a press release.
The Palmertown Range is part of the Adirondack foothills, stretching from Fort Ticonderoga to Saratoga. It’s home to Mt. McGregor near Wilton, where a state prison held inmates until its closure in 2014.
According to a 2018 Open Space Institute document planning conservation of the Palmertown Range, the project could encourage new businesses in the area, “including lodging, restaurants and cafes, rental shops, environmental education and guide services, camping, geocaching, and related businesses at appropriate locations along the trail system.”