Sharp Bridge scheduled for extensive upgrades
By Gwendolyn Craig
One of the state’s oldest campgrounds could be on the docket for some restoration work.
The Adirondack Park Agency and state Department of Environmental Conservation have issued a draft five-year plan for public comment to upgrade the Sharp Bridge Public Campground and Day Use Area. It’s a 40-campsite compound off state Route 9 in the Town of North Hudson adjacent to the Schroon River and surrounded by Hammond Pond Wild Forest. The Essex County campground opened in 1920 and is one of DEC’s two oldest in the state.
The draft proposes replacing a dilapidated caretaker cabin; rehabbing roads and water infrastructure; replacing the trailer dumping station; replacing overhead electric lines and burying them; adding trees and shrubs; and restoring campsites. Part of the plan includes making drinking water fountains accessible for people in wheelchairs.
Josh Houghton, a natural resource planner with the DEC, presented the wish list to APA commissioners at their November board meeting. The APA will have to decide if the plan conforms with its rules and regulations, namely the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan.
Houghton described Sharp Bridge as a “fairly sleepy facility, mostly catering to tent campers.” Its site usage is around 46% with few day-use visitors, records show, while the campsites draw 2,300 to about 4,800 campers a year. Houghton said there was a drop in attendance during 2020 and 2021, and thought it was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. About two thirds of visitors are New Yorkers.
The DEC is also seeking public input via a visitor survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SharpUMP. Comments and survey responses should be submitted by Dec. 19. Comments to the DEC may be mailed or emailed to: Josh Houghton, EPS2 (NR), NYS DEC Bureau of Recreation, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-5253, firstname.lastname@example.org.
APA comments may be submitted to: Megan Phillips, Deputy Director Planning, Adirondack Park Agency, P.O. Box 99, Ray Brook, NY 12977, (518) 891-4050, SLMP_UMP_Comments@apa.ny.gov.