MOREAU — Moreau Lake State Park will be seeing an expansion of 860 acres, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday.
The expansion will include a natural habitat along an undeveloped stretch of the Hudson River that will be known as Big Bend Point, according to a news release.
Hochul said the acquisition will guarantee the protection of the natural resources and a “critical habitat.”
“Moreau Lake State Park is visited by hundreds of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts each year for camping, swimming and exploring its popular trailheads,” she said in a news release. “With more people than ever visiting our parks, this acreage will expand options for outdoor recreation in the region and preserve open space in fast-growing Saratoga County.”
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation teamed up with the Open Space Institute to protect the former logging site at Big Bend Point in the town of Moreau. Big Bend Point includes wide logging roads that can be converted into a trail network for year-round wildlife viewing, walking, biking and nonmotorized winter sports like cross-country skiing.
State parks officials also plan to install car-top boat and kayak launches, as well as permit hunting in season.
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Moreau Town Supervisor Todd Kusnierz said the announcement of the expansion is fantastic not just for Moreau, but for Saratoga County as a whole.
“As we all know, Moreau State Park is a huge draw, pulling in tens of thousands of visitors, campers, hikers, bikers throughout the year,” he said. “This is very exciting.”
Kusnierz said the town of Moreau is working to put a multi-use trail along the Hudson River from Nolan Road to the Northway. He said eventually the trail will be able to tie into the state park land.
“It’s a win for the town of Moreau, Saratoga County and those that like to take advantage of our recreational opportunities,” Kusnierz said.
He said that Moreau received a total of $30,000 in grant money from the Saratoga County Trails Grant Program between 2019 and 2021. The town received $10,000 each year.
Moreau has begun working on the trail, which Kusnierz states is right on the bank of the Hudson River.
He said that the town is getting help from students on the project as well.
“We have a great, unique partnership with BOCES, where their students are working with the town of Moreau to help us in that effort,” he said.
The purchase of Big Bend Point cost a total of $1.6 million, according to a news release, which was funded by the state’s Environmental Protection Fund. The acquisition of the land brings the total acreage of the state park to 6,250 acres.
New York state parks officials are developing a site plan that aims to welcome visitors next year.