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Saint Regis Canoe Area

State Land Master Plan February 2014 Description

This area is in the Towns of Santa Clara, Brighton, and Harrietstown in Franklin County. It is bounded on the north by private property and Keese Mills Road; on the east by the Santa Clara Town line, old logging roads and Upper St. Regis Lake; on the south by the Remsen to Lake Placid Travel Corridor, and on the west by the Santa Clara Town line.

Its selection as an area for special and restricted management is based on the num-erous, closely spaced ponds which lend themselves to use as canoe or guideboat waterways. Similar to the ponds that are clustered south of the railroad tracks and commonly referred to as the "Fish Creek" area, this region has long been noted for its qualities of clear, spring fed ponds, short carries and tranquil beauty. The area is now closed to motor vehicles, motorboats and aircraft in conformity with the master plan guidelines, thereby restoring the tranquil, wild atmosphere of these waters. The peripheral ponds are quite easily accessible via one or two short carries making a unique wilderness canoeing experience available to many people.

The terrain is dominated by the numerous ponds and is relatively low in elevation. St. Regis Mountain in the north and Long Pond Mountain in the western part of the area are the only two high spots. The character of the terrain also makes the area ideally suited for cross country skiing in winter months.

Much of the area was burned over in forest fires, probably the most extensive one occurring in the summer of 1903. Therefore, except for the wetlands, most of the forest cover was either burned off or very heavily damaged. This has resulted in stands of hardwoods which have regenerated after aspen, pin cherry, and white birch started rebuilding the humus layer. There are low lying stands of hemlock and spruce, now mature or nearly mature, which escaped the burn because of their location. There are also some spots near the ponds where white pine escaped the fires, and these large shoreline trees add to the scenic attractions.

All of the interior ponds have brook trout, and stocking and pond reclamation efforts by the Department of Environmental Conservation have been carried on regularly for many years.

The chief use now made of the area is for fishing, camping, canoeing and cross-country skiing. Snowmobile trails have been phased out under the Canoe Area guidelines, as well as the use of motorboats by the public on all waters within the area.

The State truck trail will be retained for administrative use relating to fish and water resource enhancement. Approximately 15.4 miles of snowmobile trails in this area have been closed, twenty one tent platforms removed and motorboat use by the public prohibited.

The l/4 mile spur road leading from the Floodwood Road to the south shore of Long Pond, has been blocked near the Floodwood Road and a small parking area has been provided at that point.

Public access to the area is restricted from the north and west by private posted land but is readily available on the south and east.

In 2010, a half acre of land associated with the St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower was reclassified to Historic.

A Unit Management Plan was adopted for this area in 2006.

Mapping Resources:
(Not from the State Land Master Plan or Unit Management Plans)

Recreational Opportunities Map

View larger map with additional options

Soils and Wetlands

View larger map with additional options




Saint Regis area statistics:

State Lands 17,615 Acres
Bodies of Water (52) 1,153 Acres
  (minimum) 1,560 Feet
  (maximum) 2,873 Feet
Foot Trails 18.4 Miles
Horse Trails 4.9 Miles
Bike Trails 5 Miles
Lean‑tos 3
State Truck Trails 5.9 Miles
Non‑conforming Uses: None


DEC Unit Management Plan Link


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