Adirondack Land Trust Protects 250 Acres and Dramatic Cliffs on Moxham Mountain

TOWN OF CHESTER, NY — The Adirondack Land Trust and a family have partnered to protect 250 acres of Moxham Mountain and its lofty cliffs between Minerva and North Creek, NY.

On February 12, 2019, the Adirondack Land Trust purchased the south face of Moxham Mountain from the Brassel and Zack families and the Brassel estate for $160,000. 

“We are extraordinarily grateful to the Adirondack Land Trust for our years-long collaboration to preserve Moxham Mountain for all time,” said Mary Brassel Zack, who grew up in the Adirondacks and now lives in Pennsylvania, and whose parents bought the land in the 1950s. “This exceptional Adirondack landmark will remain forever undeveloped and beautiful, and eventually accessible to those who want to enjoy its unique terrain. Moxham’s cliffs command attention and challenge hikers to reach the top, where they can enjoy views of Gore Mountain and the Hudson River to the south and the High Peaks to the north.”

The Town of Chester and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) endorse the purchase for its potential to provide a new hiking trail on the south side of the mountain and to create safe trailhead parking off Route 28N. DEC and the Student Conservation Association opened a northside trail to Moxham’s 2,360-foot summit in 2012. Moxham, part of the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest, offers an alternative to the more crowded hiking trails of the High Peaks Wilderness Area. There is also interest among rock climbers in exploring cliffs that will become accessible from the south side.

There is no recreational access presently, but the land trust and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are working to transfer the land to the Adirondack Forest Preserve, at which time it will become public. The purchase was made possible by donations to the land trust’s Wild Adirondacks Fund. 

According to the Adirondack Explorer, in the late 1700s a surveyor named Robert Moxham is said to have fallen from the mountain’s cliffs and died, an event that likely gave the site its name. 

Christopher Jage, land protection manager for the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and former land protection manager for the Adirondack Land Trust, led this project under a cooperative agreement between the two organizations.

Founded in 1984, the Adirondack Land Trust works to protect farms and forests, undeveloped shoreline, scenic vistas, and lands and waters contributing to the quality of life of our communities as well as the wildness and rural character of the Adirondacks. The land trust has protected 23,887 acres.

Photograph: The view east from Moxham Mountain. © Carl Heilman II