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DEC Announces Improvements at Meacham Lake Campground in Northern Adirondacks

Improvements Include New ADA Accessible Boat Launch, Parking Area and Green Infrastructure Features

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced improvements to the Meacham Lake Campground in the Adirondack town of Duane, Franklin County, under the State’s Adventure NY initiative to connect more New Yorkers with nature. The improvements, supported by a $1.2 million state investment, include a new accessible boat launch on the eastern shore of Meacham Lake, a parking area, and green infrastructure features.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “DEC’s campgrounds in both the Adirondack and Catskill Parks provide visitors with abundant opportunities to experience the outdoors through boating, paddling, fishing, swimming and hiking. Governor Cuomo’s continued investments in our state parks and campgrounds afford more campers and families the opportunity to experience all that these remarkable natural areas have to offer, while supporting local economies.”

Under Governor Cuomo’s new Adventure NY initiative, DEC is making strategic investments to expand access to healthy, active outdoor recreation, connect more New Yorkers and visitors to nature and the outdoors, protect natural resources, and boost local economies. This initiative will support the completion of more than 75 projects over the next three years, ranging from improvements to youth camps and environmental education centers to new boat launches, duck blinds, and hiking trails. Adventure NY builds on existing State efforts and includes $50 million in funding from the historic $300 million Environmental Protection Fund and NY Works capital funding. Read more about the Adventure NY initiative.

The boat launch project includes a concrete ramp with floating docks designed for use by people with disabilities; 21 parking spaces for vehicles and boat trailers – including one parking space reserved for people with disabilities; an information kiosk; and landscaping with native plants. The parking lot includes gravel pretreatment filters, a bio retention area and an underground infiltration gallery to manage stormwater and protect the water quality of the lake. The roadway through the campground to the boat launch was repaved.

“I’m really pleased the new boat launch improves access for the disabled, as well as focuses on preventing the spread of invasive species, which is important for Meacham Lake and the health of our Adirondack lakes, streams and rivers,” said Senator Betty Little. “We continue to see that investing in infrastructure such as this encourages tourism, which has big benefits for our region.”

“Franklin County is very excited about the new boat launch at Meacham Lake,” said Barbara Rice, Chair of the Franklin County Board of Legislators. “The boat launch will provide residents and tourists access to the incredible natural resources of beautiful area of the Adirondacks. The increased tourism from this attraction will provide economic benefits to both Franklin County and Town of Duane. We are very appreciative of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to expanding recreational opportunities in the North Country.”

Boat launch stewards from Paul Smiths College’s Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI), trained by the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, will inspect boats, trailers, fishing gear, and other equipment through Labor Day to prevent aquatic invasive species from being introduced into the lake. DEC has provided AWI $1.4 million of Environmental Protection Fund monies for 53 boat stewards and decontamination operators at 28 sites throughout the Adirondacks during the 2017 boating season.

“The Town of Duane is pleased Meacham Lake with the new boat launch and parking area which offers improved recreational and boating opportunities for the public,” said Ned LeMieux. “This is a great addition to the recreational opportunities in our town and builds on the efforts of Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Seggos to improve access for tourists and residents fantastic natural resources of the Adirondacks.”

Boaters are reminded to clean, drain and dry boats before launching into a water and that state regulations prohibit launching, or attempting to launch, a watercraft from a state boat launch, or leaving a state boat launch, with any aquatic invasive species attached to the boat or trailer. For more information on these regulations visit DEC’s website.

The improvements will provide an enhanced outdoor experience and make the campground more accessible to all visitors. Meacham Lake is located in the Debar Mountain Wild Forest and is the source of the East Branch St. Regis River. The large lake is nearly rectangular in shape, and is two miles long, one-mile-wide, and has a surface area of 1,200 acres. The lake has a maximum depth of 80 feet and a mean depth of 36 feet.

Meacham Lake is an angler’s paradise with a two-story fishery which contains splake, northern pike, smallmouth bass, brown trout, lake whitefish, brown bullhead, yellow perch, and sunfish. Northern pike and smallmouth bass are the big fish in the lake. The smallmouth bass can most often be found on the eastern half of the lake between Roaring and Winnebago Brooks. Northern pike are found most abundantly in the southern end of the lake, which is quite weedy. Ice fishing is popular for pike and splake in the two to four-pound range.

The new boat launch replaces an old boat launch located outside the campground along Meacham Road in the northwestern corner of the lake. The location of the boat launch was shallow and caused problems or prevented the launching of all but small boats. The old boat launch will remain open for the launching of canoes, kayaks, and other car top boats free of charge.

Meacham Lake Campground is the only development on the lake. Campers are provided with a wide open view of a truly undeveloped area and can often hear loons calling in early morning and late evening. The campground has an activities area complete with Environmental Interpreters, volleyball, horseshoes, a kids playground, and a bathing beach. All types of camping units can be accommodated, from small tents to large recreational vehicles. The west side offers primitive and walk-in sites, while the main campground will accommodate both tents and RVs.

While the campground is open, boaters will need to pay a day use fee of $8.00 to launch their boat, but campers at the campground can launch for free. During the remainder of the boating season boaters can launch their boats for free.

DEC manages 4.6 million acres of public lands, including three million acres in the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve, 52 campgrounds, five day-use areas, more than 5,000 miles of formal trails, and hundreds of trailheads, boat launches, and fishing piers.

Plan your next outdoor adventure, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Instagram. For more information on DEC-managed campgrounds, visit DEC’s website.

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