DEC has public meeting today on Hammond Pond Wild Forest

The High Peaks are seen from the Belfry Mountain fire tower, which is located in the Hammond Pond Wild Forest and is likely the most accessible fire tower within the Adirondack Blue Line. (Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

The state Department of Environmental Conservation will host a public meeting Tuesday night in North Hudson to take public comments on proposed actions to increase public recreation in the Hammond Pond Wild Forest.

The wild forest is located in the eastern part of the Adirondacks and includes such landmarks as Baxter Mountain and Belfy Mountain, perhaps the most accessible fire tower peak in the Adirondacks. The forest is made up of about 50 parcels totaling more than 45,000 acres in the towns of Crown Point, Elizabethtown, Horicon, Keene, Moriah, North Hudson, Schroon, Ticonderoga and Westport.

The DEC is proposing a number of measures, including adding equestrian trails that will connect to the Frontier Town Gateway, improve accessibility and add campsites and a lean-to.

Some of the proposals include adding three primitive campsites at Deadwater Pond, as well as numerous other locations. The DEC would also like to add a section for the North Country National Scenic Trail and will formally designate some trail sections as snowmobile trails. Another trail proposed would include canoe carries and connect Russett, Mill, Murrey and Tanaher ponds.

Accessibility also looms large in the UMP, with DEC proposing a couple of accessible campsites in several areas, including along the Schroon River near a planned fishing and river access site.

The public meeting will begin at 6 p.m. tonight at the North Hudson Town Hall.

To read the full UMP, go to www.dec.ny.gov/lands/51337.html. DEC will also take written public comments until Dec. 7. Written comments can be sent to NYSDEC, 232 Golf Course Road, Warrensburg, NY 12885; or R5.ump@dec.ny.gov.