MOREAU — A plan for recreational development in the Southern Palmertown area calls for Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility to be converted into a resort.
The long-closed prison would have a restaurant, concerts and other events, and a hotel, according to the proposal.
“It would be a resort-like destination,” said Saratoga PLAN Executive Director Maria Trabka.
The plan also calls for part of the prison land to be used by the community for maple syrup production.
Saratoga PLAN (Preserving Land and Nature) partnered with the Open Space Institute and Alta Planning and Design to develop the proposals. The 145-page report can be found on the agency’s website, www.saratogaplan.org. Trabka presented it at last week’s Moreau Town Board meeting as well.
The Southern Palmertown area stretches from Moreau Lake State Park in the north to Saratoga Springs in the south, and from Route 9 in the east to Route 9N in the west, including properties in Corinth and Greenfield. Saratoga PLAN is dedicated to preserving the rural character and natural habitat of Saratoga County and advocates for conservation.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday that Moreau Lake State Park is gaining 131 additional acres.
The report follows up on a 2016 purchase of 282 acres in the area by OSI, in an effort to make a continuous protected corridor between Moreau Lake State Park and Saratoga Spa State Park.
Already, a great deal of undeveloped land has been protected, Trabka said.
“It’s amazing to have such a wild area right here, so close to people,” she said. “You don’t have to go all the way up to the Adirondacks.”
PLAN is also still pushing for a 16-mile trail from Moreau Lake State Park to Saratoga Spa State Park.
“We’ve been working on that a long time,” she said, calling it a wonderful way to appreciate the “large unfragmented forest” in northern Saratoga County.
The report looked for ways to conserve the land “but still make it accessible for people,” she said.
If planners follow the report, they could allow continued logging in the area, as well as commercial uses that relate to the outdoors. Trabka envisions horseback riding and outdoor education, as well as existing uses like hiking, fishing and snowmobiling.
Volunteers are “scouting out” possible hiking trails throughout the land as well, she said.
The organization is now applying for a state grant for a part-time coordinator to help the towns, agencies and recreation groups to work together on developing the area.