DEC updates public recreation plan for Cedarlands
The state Department of Environmental Conservation has released its finalized recreation plan for almost 5,000 acres of conservation easement land near Long Lake, and it includes expanded hiking, camping and mountain biking opportunities.
The Cedarlands easement was secured by the DEC in 2002 and covers 4,890 acres. The easement is still a working forest and includes a private summer residence.
The easement property largely overlaps with the Cedarlands Scout Reservation, which has been on the market since 2015 and recently went under contract to be sold to an unnamed buyer from the Catskills area, according to Lake Placid-based real estate broker Margie Philo. She said the buyer doesn’t have plans to build any large structures on the location at this time but instead wants to “just enjoy the nature of it.”
On most of the easement, the area around McRorie Lake, the public is not allowed to go on the property between Jun 24 and Aug. 23, which is when the Boy Scouts traditionally use it. And year-round, the public is only allowed to use designated routes through the heart of the Boy Scout camp on the McRorie’s south shore.
The DEC easement on the property would carry over when the property is sold.
A conservation easement is an agreement between the DEC and a private land owner that allows public access to private lands. The land owner often receives monetary benefits for allowing public recreational access.
Improvements include expanding access for people with limited mobility, as well as expanding parking at Mud Pond along Kickerville Lane. Parking along the road north of the new parking area will be prohibited, but a Motorized Access Program of People with Disabilities will allow access further along the road for those with permits. The DEC will also build an accessible waterway access point, as well as a new canoe carry to the south shore of Mud Pond.
More accessible improvements will be constructed at McRorie Lake, including a campsite and access to the shore.
Four campsites will be built near Mud Pond, and there will be four campsites plus a new lean-to built at McRorie Lake.
The Mud Pond and Rock Pond mountain trails will be maintained for hiking, and may be rerouted from their current locations and the department plans to build a perimeter trail around McRorie Lake. There is currently a trail that follows the west shoreline.
Mountain biking will be allowed on Fishing Camp Road and McRorie Lake trail. The recreation management plan says that once the perimeter trail is complete, biking will be allowed all the way around the lake. The perimeter trail may also be groomed in winter to promote cross-country skiing, but no snowmobiles are allowed on the property.
For more information on the easement, go to www.dec.ny.gov/lands/108144.html.