Located at the interface of rapidly expanding urban development and the natural landscape of the Adirondack Park, the Palmertown Range is shaping a sustainable, natural-urban intersection.
The Palmertown Range project area is part of the southern Adirondack foothills located in Saratoga County and encompasses 40,500 acres within the southern portion of the Palmertown Mountain range. The predominately forested zone contains approximately 8,000 acres of currently protected lands and three key existing recreation hubs: Moreau Lake State Park, Daniels Road State Forest, and Lincoln Mountain State Forest.
Protect. Play. Prosper.
The vision for the Palmertown Range is to establish the area as a regional recreation destination and bolster its economic development while conserving critically important natural resources.
One important goal of this project is to identify ecologically important areas and partner with municipalities and landowners to protect them. Palmertown has an abundance of forests and wetlands, including some rare old-growth tupelo forests and conifer fens. It also includes portions of eight watersheds, including the headwaters of several rivers. Another project goal includes the establishment of Community Forests. Community Forests are communally owned woodlands managed by the local community with the goal of shared stewardship responsibilities and economic benefit among community members.
SUPPORT NEEDED: Graphite Range Community Forest
Nicknamed “The Range,” the 200+ acre property once used as a driving range for golfers is now poised to offer a range of benefits to the community. Though just minutes from downtown Saratoga Springs, the Graphite Range Community Forest and its multi-use trails will make you feel like you are miles away.
Together, we can permanently protect this land and create a recreational gateway to the Palmertown Range.
The development of a multi-use spine trail connecting Saratoga Spa State Park to Moreau Lake State Park is a major recreation goal. With the recent addition of 4 properties, covering approximately 2,050 acres, big strides have already been made to the proposed spine trail. Additionally, a network of spurs and loop trails will accommodate various user groups.
In 2020, a generous donation of $500,000 from the Sarah B. Foulke Charitable Trust funded a trail Master Plan, completed in the summer of 2021. The plan provides a conceptual outline of over 50 miles of proposed trails for the Sarah B. Foulke Friendship Trails, as the system will be known, as well as recreational uses that can be supported in each area. Additionally, the Master Plan includes locations for gateways and trail heads to increase public access to the trail network. Planners are in the early stages of designing site-specific trail networks for properties with willing landowners, both public and private. Learn more about the Friendship Trails here.
You don’t have to wait to enjoy trails in the Palmertown Range. Already, there are wonderful public trails to take you from water level up to the ridge of the Palmertown Range:
Recreation and conservation successes in the Palmertown Range will stimulate local economic development. Local tourism and recreation related businesses – such as outdoor stores, restaurants, and lodging – will benefit from increased recreational use of the area. Greater conservation of forest lands will enhance quality of place and attractiveness of the region, while sustaining the local forest products industry, creating jobs and leading to further protection of forest lands from development pressures. The former Mount McGregor prison facility and the International Paper plant are two high profile economic development opportunities that could be compatibly developed in a manner that benefits from the overall vision for the Palmertown Range strategy.
PALMERTOWN RANGE VIDEO SERIES
See the beauty and learn about the Palmertown Range potential in this 4 part mini-series.
Read the recently completed Southern Palmertown Conservation and Recreation Strategy for more details. The strategy was spearheaded by the Open Space Institute and Saratoga PLAN in 2017, and made possible with support from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program and the Cloudsplitter Foundation. To learn more about OSI’s work in the Palmertown Range, please visit
To learn more about existing and proposed trails in the Palmertown Range area check out our map.
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