DEC announces increased access to Santa Clara tract

SANTA CLARA – The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced that starting today there will be increased access for the public to the Santa Clara Tract Easement and Forest Preserve lands in the Madawaska Flow-Quebec Brook Primitive Area.

Located in the towns of Duane and Santa Clara, the Madawaska Road had previously been closed to the public. But new owners of the private land have reached a deal with the DEC to allow vehicle and bicycle access to the eastern portion of the Santa Clara tract. This is the first time since 2012 that the road will be open to the public.

The road extends 6 miles from state Route 458 to a parking area and trailhead for a hand launch onto Madawaska Pond. Paddlers can paddle the picturesque 228-acre pond and more than 2 miles of Quebec Brook above the pond to the boundary between Forest Preserve lands and private lands.

DEC said the road is on private land that is currently being logged, and drivers should expect to encounter trucks and other logging equipment. The public is urged to drive slowly and keep an eye and ear open for equipment.