Addition Protects Diminishing Open Space, Expands Access to Outdoor Recreation
Moreau Lake State Park Celebrates 50th Anniversary This Year
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the addition of 131 acres to Moreau Lake State Park. The addition brings the park's total acreage to 6,100, a nearly nine-fold increase in size since the park was established 50 years ago. The property will help expand year-round trail-based recreation and protect the natural habitat in fast-growing northern Saratoga County.
"New York is home to some of the best outdoor recreation areas in the nation, and this addition will continue to preserve our state's treasured natural habitat," Governor Cuomo said. "By expanding Moreau Lake State Park, we are not only providing increased recreational opportunities for New Yorkers, we will also help attract even more visitors and boost tourism in the region."
"This addition to Moreau Lake State Park will increase the size of the park and expand recreational activities for visitors," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "As the park celebrates 50 years, we are continuing to grow and preserve it in Saratoga County. We are committed to growing natural habitats across the state, boosting tourism opportunities and strengthening the economy of upstate communities."
The new parcel will expand the park's trail network, provide access to scenic views and protect open space. The new 131-acre parcel encompasses multiple summits, including Palmertown Mountain, and affords dramatic views of the Hudson Valley and southern Adirondack Mountains. The vistas will help add to the park's appeal as an increasingly popular destination for bald eagle watching, when eagles winter along the Hudson River.
The New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation plans to create a new trailhead and parking area at the Sherman Island Boat Launch on Spier Falls Road to provide access the new parkland. Connections to existing trails will create new long-distance hiking opportunities, including the planned Palmertown Range trail, which would link the park to Saratoga Springs. The land will also be open to hunting in season.
This acquisition will also protect the region's natural habitat. This area lies at the ecological transition zone between the Adirondack Mountains and the Hudson Valley, and retains a high degree of biodiversity. Moreau Lake is a designated Bird Conservation Area, and is recognized by Audubon as an Important Bird Area. This area also contains a significant Hemlock-Northern Hardwood ecological community.
Moreau Lake State Park was 700 acres when established in 1968. Its boundaries have grown substantially over the last few years, including the addition of more than 705 acres added from the former Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility.
State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, "It is fitting that as Moreau Lake State Park celebrates its 50th anniversary, the park continues to build on New York State's remarkable conservation legacy. These scenic lands not only offer tremendous recreational opportunities in the region, they contribute to clean air and water and preserve valued natural habitat. I am grateful for Governor Cuomo's support for our public lands."
Senator Betty Little said, "Moreau Lake State Park is one of the Capital Region's most treasured outdoor recreational facilities. Residents and visitors alike visit to enjoy the trails, scenic views and diverse wildlife population, and adding even more acreage to this park will only further attract visitors to experience the natural beauty of our state. I thank Governor Cuomo for his commitment to providing New Yorkers with the best outdoor recreation in the nation."
Senator Kathleen A. Marchione said, "Governor Cuomo's plan to invest in our State Parks will not only benefit New Yorkers who enjoy the outdoors, it protects our state's diminishing open spaces and natural resources. Moreau Lake State Park is home to a diverse population of plant and animal life, and this expansion will further protect the park's natural habitat while increasing access for visitors. I'm excited to see the great improvements that are coming to this park."
Assembly Member Carrie Woerner said, "Visitors come from across the globe to experience the natural beauty of New York State, and Moreau State Lake Park is a shining example of our State Parks. By adding 131 acres to the Park, we are creating more recreational opportunities for visitors and residents to explore. I commend Governor Cuomo for his dedication to our community and all of our State Parks."
Maria Trabka, Executive Director of Saratoga PLAN, said, "The economic and ecological integrity of the Palmertown Range will persist when there is adequate contiguous land conserved. With this acquisition, New York State is ensuring the future of an important, premier working landscape in Saratoga County."
The additional park acreage underscores Governor Cuomo's commitment to improving and expanding access to outdoor recreation. The Governor's NY Parks 2020 plan is a multi-year commitment to leverage a broad range of private and public funding to invest approximately $900 million in State Parks through 2020.
Moreau Lake State Park serves nearly 400,000 visitors a year, who are drawn to its sandy beach, campground, nearly 40 miles of nature, hiking and cross-country ski trails, and opportunities for boating, fishing and ice fishing.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual state parks, historic sites, golf courses, boat launches and recreational trails, which are visited by 71 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit parks.ny.gov connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.