State buys 2,460 acres, two mountains near Lake George (update)

ALBANY (AP) – New York state has purchased 2,460 acres along Lake George in the southeastern Adirondacks, including two small mountains with hiking trails and panoramic views of the 32-mile-long lake.

The purchases, using $1.8 million from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund, will help protect the scenery and water quality of Lake George and its watershed, Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said Wednesday. The land acquisitions are part of an effort to maintain the water quality of Lake George, slow the spread of invasive species and promote outdoor recreation and tourism, he said.

The parcels include Cat and Thomas mountains in Warren County. That 1,900-acre tract was previously owned by the Lake George Land Conservancy and has a well-developed trail system that attracts thousands of hikers annually. Hikers are rewarded by views of Lake George and Vermont’s Green Mountains.

The state also bought the 565-acre East River Road Tract in the Warren County town of Bolton from The Nature Conservancy for $381,000. That land was formerly owned by Finch, Pruyn and Co. Public access is slated to begin in October.

The state will pay full local property and school taxes on the land.