By Mike Lynch
The Adirondack Land Trust has purchased 17 acres on Thirteenth Lake in the Central Adirondacks, with the intention of selling the land to the state so it can be added to the Forest Preserve.
This land — purchased in late December from Elise and Woody Widlund — was the last unprotected land on the lake’s 4.5-mile shoreline. The majority of the lake, a headwater of the Hudson River, is surrounded by the Siamese Ponds Wilderness near the northeastern edge of the tract. Another small section is still privately owned.
“This project is an example of how a small but strategic land purchase can have wider impact and protect New York’s collective investment,” said Adirondack Land Trust Board Chair Bill Paternotte in a statement.
The 17 acres is bordered on one side by Forest Preserve and the other by the Garnet Hill Property Owners Association, which has a beach and private boat launch on the shoreline of Thirteenth Lake. The association protects its lakeshore property with restrictive use covenants, according to the land trust.
The lake shoreline is home to 13 primitive camping sites on state land. The lake can also be accessed by a boat launch for canoe, kayaks, and small boats. Only electric motors are allowed on the lake. Several hiking trails are located nearby, including one on the western side to Peaked Mountain.
The 114,010-acre Siamese Ponds Wilderness is one of the larger wilderness areas in the Adirondack Park, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The purchase fulfills the conservation goals of the previous landowners, Elise and Woody Widlund, and was made possible by donations to the land trust’s Wild Adirondacks Fund, including more than 40 individual contributions from Johnsburg residents and homeowners, according to the land trust.
“The town board enthusiastically and unanimously supported the Adirondack Land Trust acquisition of this beautiful parcel on Thirteenth Lake,” Johnsburg Town Supervisor Andrea Hogan said in a statement. “Protection of year-round outdoor recreation is vital—not only to the local economy, but to benefit the health and well-being of residents as well. In 2020 we have been grateful for the rural and scenic character of our region, and to the organizations that partner with us in preservation.”