Eddy lands in Adirondack Park include nearly three thousand acres of critical wildlife habitat and one hundred acres of prime farmland. These lands consist of dozens of small and medium parcels purchased over the last twenty years. Geographically, these lands are clustered along the Adirondack Coast and West Champlain Hills. They can be found in the townships of Westport and Essex, near Split Rock Wild Forest in the small mountains between Port Henry and North Hudson near Hammond Pond Wild Forest.
Ecologically, these lands comprise much of Split Rock Wildway, a wildlife corridor linking Lake Champlain with the High Peaks to the west. They complement other protected areas, owned by the state and various land trusts. They are rich in species and habitats, having prime examples of the dry / rich oak / hickory / hophornbeam plant community described by Jerry Jenkins (renowned biologist and lead author and photographer for Northern Forest Atlas Project). They also include fertile moist northern hardwoods, beaver flows, rocky streams, acid shoreline, cliffs and talus, hemlock groves, and other natural communities abundant in wildlife.
All Eddy lands have been protected from logging since their purchase, with some of them now regaining old-growth characteristics. Collectively, they are sequestering hundreds of tons of carbon a year, as indicated by the plot surveys of forester Dick Johnston, thus contributing to climate stabilization. Like other wild lands and waters, they also provide other ecosystem benefits including filtration and cleansing of water and air, support for pollinators, erosion control, creation of temperate micro-climates, and wildlife habitat. Eddy lands have been protected as wildlife sanctuaries since their purchase, thus are abundant in wildlife that elsewhere may be pursued, and are especially popular with hikers during rifle-hunting season.
The Eddy conservation lands portfolio provides, as well, much of the area over which the Champlain Area Trails (CATS) system gives hikers and skiers quiet, scenic recreation opportunities. Nearly all Eddy lands were posted NO TRESPASSING before we purchased them. We have opened all of them to the public for hiking, wildlife watching, skiing, snowshoeing, tracking, nature study, and other quiet recreational and educational activities. The CATS trail network on Eddy lands now approaches thirty miles of footpaths (plus another twenty miles on nearby lands), most of which are gentle enough for casual hikers, all of which help relieve stress on the over-used trails of the Adirondack High Peaks.
Eddy lands portfolio
Beaver Brook area lands
Roughly a hundred acres bounded on the east by Lakeshore Road, on the south by Bobolink Farm (owned by a family hoping to protect their land soon with a conservation easement), on the north by the state’s Webb Royce Swamp land, and on the west by Windy Valley Farm, which is partly protected by a conservation easement held by Adirondack Land Trust and the state. Eddy’s two main parcels here include extensive frontage on Beaver Brook and Winsome Brook, two small waterfalls, hemlock-shaded pools, Beaver meadows, Black Ash swamp, mossy ledges, mature hardwood/hemlock forest, and a flagged but not yet official CATS trail.
Sprig Brook area lands
Nearly three hundred acres on the east and south sides of Sprig Hill and along both sides of the brook that drains it. This land, south of Walker Road, includes oak/hickory/hophornbeam dry/rich woods, mossy glades, talus, Beaver flows, fertile lowlands, potential valley clayplain forest (more research needed), and parts of three CATS trails.
Otter Brook area lands
Over five hundred acres of stream-side and hill-side habitat, including a block of forest that had no easy access so went unlogged for decades and now approaches old-growth values. Also here are mossy slabs, oak/hickory/hophornbeam glades, Beaver flows, hemlock groves, shady ledges, south-facing rock outcrops that offer sunning places for Bobcats, and parts of several CATS trails. Eddy wildlife cameras and tracking trips here have recorded Black Bear, Bobcat, Coyote, River Otter, Mink, Ermine, Fisher, Snowshoe Hare, and many other charismatic species. Contiguous forest is expansive enough here to provide safe habitat for interior forest songbirds.
Boquet River area lands
More than a hundred acres of high ecological integrity, including floodplain forest and associated oxbows and wetlands, some of which grow very old large oaks and other trees. Unusual plants here include a rare wild rye, Yellow Oak, and Black Maple. Wildlife movement here is frequent, especially near the confluence with Otter Brook. CATS and nearby farmers are interested in the potential here for a footpath along the old route of Cooke to Leaning Road. Northeast Wilderness Trust holds a Forever Wild easement on Eddy’s Floodplain Forest parcel; and botanist Marc Lapin (when doing the ecological baseline) found it to be an unusually intact and rich floodplain forest remnant.
Boquet Mountain lands
Close to five hundred acres, including much of the South Boquet summit, with panoramic views north, east, and south, and adjacent to Northeast Wilderness Trust lands. Here are several CATS trails, rock outcrops with prime habitat for Bobcats and other basking mammals and reptiles; classic dry/rich oak/hickory/hophornbeam woodland; fertility-indicating plants, like White Oak, Fragrant Sumac, and Woodland Sunflower; beech trees with abundant bear claw marks, interior forest songbird habitat …. An adjacent hundred or so acres is under conservation easement; and several hundred more adjoining acres, owned by Shirley Forest Industries, are managed under 480-A. Those 2020 Vision reports and more recent studies by Adirondack Nature Conservancy and Wildlife Conservation Society have shown the West Champlain Hills/Boquet Mountain Matrix Forest to be of exceptional biological value and diversity yet under-represented in protected area systems.
North Branch Boquet River area land
About fifty acres with a quarter mile frontage on the North Branch, including trout pools and swimming holes. Fishing friends report ample numbers of Brook Trout here. The two adjacent parcels also include mature hemlock/hardwood riverine forest, and are just downstream from what could be (if properly modified) one of the safest crossings for wildlife of I-87, where the river flows beneath. This area is also important for linking to wildlands westward in the state’s Hurricane and Jay Mountain Wilderness Areas.
Parch Pond area lands
More than eight hundred exceptionally scenic acres, including all of understated Parch Pond and much of 200+ foot tall Broughton Ledges, where is prime Peregrine Falcon nesting habitat. The low parts include Beaver flows and brooks. The ridge above Broughton Ledges grows Red Pine forest, extending into state land adjacent on the north.