About Tom French

Tom French splits his time between the Adirondacks and the Thousand Islands from his home in Potsdam. More information about his writing can be found at Tom-French.net.

Reader Interactions


  1. JT says

    Interesting article. I see the same phenomenon with the sand dunes in the Sodom State Forest several miles west of Brasher. As your coming down the Ruddy Rd. near the Sodom Forest entrance, there’s a sand dune adjacent to the road they used to haul sand out of. These state forests are abandoned agricultural lands acquired by the state many years ago and planted with conifer species. You can see White and Red Pine and Norway Spruce plantations. Were these lands abandoned as agricultural lands because of the sandy soil conditions not being suitable for agriculture?

  2. Martha Stevens Grow says

    This is so fascinating. I live on CR 53 and travel the Wilson truck trail and Bush/Meyers Rd. frequently, photographing egrets, herons, bitterns, wildflowers etc. I knew every step of the way along the truck trail that you described. I have often wondered what those holes were in the sandy banks on the south side of the Wilson truck trail. Now I know. My botanist friend and I have also found some uncommon wildflowers in that area. I would like to share that info with you. Thank you for this very interesting article.

    • Brian says

      Thanks for the question. It’s a matter of timing. An esker forms beneath a glacier when ice still exists above it. After the ice retreats completely the esker becomes a source of wind-blown sand that may form dunes downwind.

    • Brian Carl says

      JB, a few older maps display “blobs” which highlight areas where dunes (“eolian sand”) may be found but do not contain details of their shape and size. It was not possible to map dune details then with older style topographic mapping techniques and limited resolution. LiDAR has changed all that. I’m working on manuscript with co-author Dr. Franzi. Hopefully submit by end of summer after more field work. Check back then

  3. Gary French says

    As a child in the early 40s, I would often go to the “dump” with my Dad for the deposit of domestic waste. It was situated on a large bed of sand just outside of Norwood along the New York Central track to Massena. Little did I know that the entire area was once part of the Atlantic Ocean. And, given the environmental changes we’re now experiencing, perhaps it’s destined to become that once again.

  4. William Brown says

    The author makes it sound like the most recent Pleistocene glacial event that covered almost all of New York State (the Wisconsinan Glacier) persisted for 2.6 million years as a continuous ice sheet, but this isn’t the case. The entire duration of the Pleistocene may have lasted 2.6 million years, but during that epoch there were four major glacial events, each lasting up to about 100,000 years, along with a number of minor events. Otherwise, the article contains much new interesting information concerning the remnant sand dunes documenting the withdrawal of the final glacial episode of the Pleistocene 12,000 years ago.

  5. Ron Fregoe says

    Very nice !!! I have been on these dunes most of my life !! Some nice bucks! And sledding one one along rt 53. Near deer river. Used to be mryons Youmells farm.!!!

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