The Open Space Institute last week acquired 1,200 forested acres adjoining the Hammond Pond Wild Forest in the town of Moriah, the organization announced.
The 1,206-acre "Tub Mill Pond" property was purchased for $1.5 million, with the private land conservation group anticipating it will eventually be acquired by the state Department of Environmental Conservation for addition to the state Forest Preserve.
The property, off Essex County Route 4 (Ensign Pond Road) is about a 20-minute drive from Northway Exit 29. It contains five lakes or ponds, including 57-acre Tub MIll Pond.
The acquisition borders the state's 40,000-acre Hammond Pond Wild Forest on three sides.
“The Open Space Institute is delighted to have protected this forested Adirondack property, rich with spectacular waterfront vistas and opportunities for fishing, kayaking, boating, and hiking,” said Kim Elliman, OSI's president and CEO. “Conserving the Tub Mill Pond property and making it publicly accessible will continue the long tradition of meaningfully connecting people with nature in this landscape.”
The property isn't yet open to the public, but OSI officials said they're working with DEC on opening the lands.
The deal comes as the state and environmental advocates are encouraging people to visit parts of the Adirondacks other than the High Peaks. The Hammond Pond Wild Forest, though within 20 miles of the High Peaks, sees far less use.
“This scenic property, with its iconic mountain views, forests teeming with wildlife, and glittering lakes and ponds is the perfect location for local residents and visitors to get outside and experience the natural splendor of the Adirondack Park Preserve," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement.
The town of Moriah supported the acquisition. “After taking the pulse of the community through a series of public meetings, the Town Board approved the conservation of the Tub Mill property, ensuring this breathtaking landscape would be accessible for hiking, fishing, and public enjoyment,” said Town Supervisor Thomas R. Scozzafava.
OSI said the Tub Mill Pond property is extremely scenic, including views of the mountains, unbroken forests shoreline, and granite rock outcroppings near the water’s edge. Flanked by a series of mountains and ridges, including Harris Hill, Lock Mountain, and Bald Peak, it said the acquisition will also protect the local viewshed for several popular hiking locations.