Could I return to the Boreas Ponds this year? Maybe next year?

The Boreas Ponds and Adirondack High Peaks. Nikon Df camera, Irix 15mm f/2.4 lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

It’s a location with an amazing, breathtaking view of the Adirondack High Peaks.

But it’s a hike.  A major hike for the inexperienced.

Trust me.  I’ve done it twice.  And I’m still surprised I can walk today.

That being said … there may be a plan that can allow me access to the Boreas Ponds one more time.

Let’s explain.

Originally the Boreas Ponds tract was private land.  In 2016, the State o New York purchased the property from the Nature Conservancy, who had acquired it from the old Finch Pruyn paper company.  For two years, there was limited access provided to and from the pond area; car parking was limited to a 3 1/2 mile hike from the Ponds itself.

There’s been plenty of hearings and discussions and meetings as to whether access to the Ponds should be made available to motorized vehicles, to foot traffic, to animals – in short, whether the Ponds should be classified as “Wilderness” (no motorized anything) or as “Wild Forest” (some motorized access).

According to this report in the Watertown Daily Times, a new DEC proposal will allow limited parking to within one-tenth of a mile to the Boreas Ponds dam itself, with a couple of prime spots reserved for handicapped access.

So what does this mean for me?

Essentially, if I’m reading this correctly, I should be able to drive on Gulf Brook Road up to the LaBier Flow and park, which would still leave me about a mile to get to the Ponds view.  That I can work with.

The report also says that the parking spots will be day-access only, with keys to the location available on a sign-out basis at the soon-to-be-constructed Adirondacks welcome center, on the campus of the old Frontier Town amusement park.

So I don’t know if that will affect any plans I might have for Milky Way photography or star trails photography or any other sort of astrophotography or noctography … but that’s an issue for a future time.

For now, though, the most important factor is that this will allow me one more try to get the perfect Boreas Ponds photograph.  If not this year … next year for sure.

I can tell you this… it’s nice to have options open.

And I’m sure there’s some of you out there right now that are screaming at your monitors, “Chuck, you dummydope, you almost died there last year!  And you probably broke your foot hiking there two years ago!  Why would you even consider doing this again, you goofnut?”

To that I say …

The view is spectacular, and if I can get access to that spot one more time…

It’ll be truly worth the risk for one more photograph. 😀