Gateway To The Boreas Ponds

On Friday, April 15, 2016 the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced the State had purchased the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds tract from The Nature Conservancy. The public will now have the opportunity to experience these lands and the beautiful Boreas Ponds.

Brendan Wiltse

Boreas Pond seen from the summit of Skylight.  Brendan_Wiltse
Boreas Pond seen from the summit of Skylight.

On Friday, April 15th the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced the State had purchased the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds tract from The Nature Conservancy. The public will now have the opportunity to experience these lands and the beautiful Boreas Ponds. Friends and I visited the ponds two days after the state announced the purchase.

Gate at the south end of Gulf Brook Road. Brendan Wiltse
Gate at the south end of Gulf Brook Road.

Gulf Brook Road, which is the main access to the ponds and surrounding lands, is gated at the south end. The road is off of Blue Ridge Road between Newcomb and North Hudson in the Schroon Lake Region of the Adirondacks. We spoke with a Forest Ranger on our way out and he didn't know when or if the road would be opened. The DEC is currently developing an interim recreation plan, we likely won't know whether the road will open until that plan is released. The ultimate fate of the use of the road won't be determined until the lands go through the classification process.

Shelly Cihan and Seth Jones walking the road. Brendan_Wiltse
Shelly Cihan and Seth Jones walking the road.

The hike into the ponds along the road is 7 miles, with approximately 600 feet of elevation gain occurring in the first 2 miles, the remaining 5 miles is mostly downhill to the ponds. Much of the road is in good shape, but there are some muddy sections.

LaBier Flow. Brendan Wiltse
LaBier Flow.

At 6 miles the road reaches the LaBier Flow, which is where many of the environmental groups are calling for road access to end. From here it is an additional mile of walking on the road to the Boreas Ponds. Paddlers would be able to paddle the flow for a little less than a mile and then carry a short distance to the ponds.

Restricted access near camps and lodge. Brendan Wiltse
Restricted access near camps and lodge.

There are still active leases on the land for hunting camps and the main lodge on the lake. These are private residences and access in and around these structures is limited until their leases expire.

The Boreas Ponds. Brendan Wiltse
The Boreas Ponds in the Adirondacks.

The view of the High Peaks - particularly Marcy, Haystack, Gothics, and Pyramid - from the Boreas Ponds is magnificent. There are few other water bodies that offer such unique and stunning scenery.

Taking in the view of the Boreas Ponds. Brendan Wiltse
Taking in the view of the Boreas Ponds

The Boreas Ponds and surrounding lands are a great addition to the Forest Preserve and will offer new and unique paddling and hiking opportunities. Birders and nature enthusiasts may also find this area worth exploring, there is a diversity of habitats and forest types along the length of road and around the pond that provide good bird and wildlife viewing opportunities.


DEC Message about the Boreas Ponds Tract: The State of New York has completed the purchase of the Boreas Ponds Tract. While DEC develops an interim recreation plan, access to the tract will be limited to foot traffic only beyond the closed gate. Motor vehicles, bikes and horses are prohibited. Additionally, the public is prohibited from trespassing in and around the lodge on Boreas Pond and the leased hunting camps.

Check out more photos of the Boreas Ponds on Brendan's website.

About the Author …
Brendan Wiltse
A resident of Saranac Lake, the vast majority of his free time is spent hiking, paddling, and skiing the backcountry with his dog and camera. Follow Brendan on Instagram @brendanwiltsephoto
Brendan Wiltse
About Area ADK …
Real Adirondack Stories, Epic Adirondack Adventures
Area ADK is a celebration of the Adirondacks, a nod to the classic campfire tale, a place to gather and tell stories. Share your story #VisitAdks.
Related Content …
By seaplane, foot, wheels or boat, the natural world awaits. We climb to gaze across a breathtaking landscape, to photograph a fleeting season in the Adirondack wilderness, to explore and feel alive.
About the Region …
Schroon Lake Region
Schroon Lake is your gateway to the Boreas Ponds Tract and more! This area offers unparalleled opportunities for exploration, vacation activities, and easy access to the High Peaks.
All content, photography, programming © Adirondack Regional Tourism Council, 2002 - 2017P.O. Box 911, Lake Placid, NY 12946
© I LOVE NEW YORK LOGO IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK/SERVICE MARK OF THE NYS DEPT. OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; USED WITH PERMISSION.
The Adirondacks, New York - LonelyPlanet Best in the U.S. 2017