KEENE, N.Y. – The Adirondack Land Trust on May 11, 2023 purchased 137 acres to maintain public recreational access and conserve natural forests, including 1,844 feet of floodplain on the East Branch of the Ausable River. The land trust will hold this parcel for transfer to New York State for addition to the constitutionally protected Forest Preserve, along with 25 adjoining acres.

Combined, the parcels border 5,227 feet of state land and include approximately one mile of public trails that lead to Snow, Rooster Comb, the Wolfjaws and other mountains within the High Peaks Wilderness. The steep terrain includes sheer cliffs, glacial outcroppings, large hemlock trees, and numerous unnamed streams.

Trail access from New York State Route 73 in St. Huberts goes through private land, following Deer Brook, and reaches the land trust’s parcel about one mile from the road.

“Given the location, topography, and existing public trails on these lands, they are a perfect fit for state ownership. We look forward to working with our state partners to make that happen,” said Bill Paternotte, Adirondack Land Trust board chair.

The 137-acre parcel had been owned by the same family since 1894 when John Holmes Maghee of Morristown, New Jersey and Keene Valley, New York, purchased it from George and Didamina Beede. The land trust purchased it for $300,000 from a fourth-generation family descendant.

Photo by Becca Halter/Adirondack Land Trust