Graphite Range community forest

Driving along busy Route 9 in Wilton, New York, within one of the fastest growing counties in the state, it is hard to imagine that nestled between the restaurants and shopping plaza, lies a gateway to a pristine forest ripe with opportunities.

Developed as a multi-use, community-managed forest owned by Saratoga County, the proposed 202-acre Graphite Range Community Forest will become a recreational hub for the surrounding communities and a space for environmental education and economic opportunity – all while helping to permanently protect the ecological value and resilience of the southern foothills of the Adirondacks, an area vital for regional natural resource connectivity.

A dynamic community hub

As a central hub of the larger Sarah B. Foulke Friendship Trails system, Graphite Range Community Forest will offer a spectrum of outdoor recreation opportunities such as hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and mountain biking. 

A critical-to-conserve area

Permanent protection of this 202-acre property as a community forest will prevent future development which would impair or destroy its delicate natural resources – a likely alternative outcome in a rapidly growing region with significant development pressure.  Instead, a rocky ridgeline, tumbling creeks, a diversity of northern hardwood forests, and an old graphite mine are among the wonders awaiting exploration and interpretation.

A worthwhile investment

The recreational opportunities provided by this property will attract both community and regional visitors (visitation at the two state parks in the Palmertown area alone tops 3.5 million people annually), benefitting local tourism and recreation-related businesses such as outdoor stores, restaurants, and lodging. Additionally, thoughtful forest management practices and selective timber harvests on the property will support local jobs in the forest products industry, as well as provide a potential source of revenue to support long-term property maintenance and trail stewardship.

To make a non-cash donation, such as gifts of appreciated stock, click here.

CURRENT NEED

Help us get one step closer to more multi-use public trails in 2022.

Help raise $20,000 for the Graphite Range by National Trails Day, June 4th!  

what your gift supports

Your contribution to Graphite Range Community Forest will directly support trail amenities such as kiosks, bridges, benches, trail markers, interpretive signage and more.

Project Partners

OSI
Saratoga PLAN
Saratoga County
Wilton Partners LLC

FEderal Grant Recipient

This project has been awarded $391,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Community Forest Program, a highly competitive federal grant! Now, we need to raise private funds to secure this important community resource. Can you help?

LEARN MORE

The community forest is a piece of a larger conservation and recreation project: the Palmertown Range.

Watch the entire Palmertown Range
series here.

This community forest project is being made possible thanks to the vision and generosity of a local family that acquired the land with a commitment to conserving it with and for the benefit of the local community.