The Adirondack Land Trust announced Friday that it has purchased Upper Saranac Lake property that once belonged to early Adirondack conservationist Clarence Petty’s family, preserving 570 feet of rugged shoreline on an interstate canoe route.
The trust last week paid $200,000 to Ed and Teresa Palen, of Keene, for 5 acres with a boulder-edged shore between Indian Carry and Indian Point on the lake’s south side. The Palens had purchased it in 2017 with the intention of seeing it added to the state’s protected forest preserve. The trust said it will work with the state to transfer the land and close a gap in the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest Preserve.
The purchase preserves an undeveloped patch along the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, which traverses 740 miles of rivers, lakes, ponds and portages from Old Forge to Fort Kent, Maine. The nonprofit canoe trail organization thanked the trust in a news release, saying it ensures future generations can enjoy the route. The trust previously worked with the state and another landowner to reroute a portage trail at Indian Carry, connecting the Raquette River to the Saranac Lakes Chain.
Clarence Petty was an early Adirondack forest ranger and conservationist instrumental in classifying lands in the Adirondack Park as protected categories of wild forest and wilderness. He and his brother Bill — once a regional director for the New York Department of Environmental Conservation — lived their first years on public land south of the lake property until the state ended the practice of squatting on the forest preserve in 1908, according to the trust. The family moved to private land nearby, and in 1952 Bill Petty bought the lakeshore property. His niece eventually sold it.
“I’m sure my father would be very happy to hear that this land is going to the Forest Preserve,” Clarence Petty’s son, Ed Petty, of Canton, said in a news release. “He thought it was a great place because it was surrounded by state land.”
This story has been updated to reflect the following correction: Bill Petty’s niece sold the property prior to the Palen family’s purchase from a different seller in 2017.