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Blue Ridge Wilderness Area

State Land Master Plan February 2014 Description

This Wilderness is located in the Towns of Arietta, Lake Pleasant, Long Lake and Indian Lake in Hamilton County. The area is roughly bounded on the north by Route 28; on the east by Route 28/30 and private lands; on the south by private lands immediately north and west of Cedar River Flow, Wakely Mountain Primitive Area and Moose River Plains Wild Forest; and on the west by the Lake Kora and Sagamore Lake properties and the Moose River Plains Wild Forest.

The area is dominated by Blue Ridge, a height of land ranging from 2,700 to 3,683 feet in elevation and running in a general east‑west direction for a distance of more than six miles. On the lower north slopes of the ridge there are a number of attractive little trout ponds with foot trails leading to them from Route 28/30. The forest cover is a typical mix of hardwoods and softwoods, with the higher elevations predomi­nantly covered with red spruce and balsam fir. Most of the old growth spruce and hemlock in the northwestern part of the area suffered heavy damage in the 1950 blow down, which affects the character of the area even to this day. Parts of the blowdown area were affected by subsequent, legislatively authorized, salvage logging. Also, a microburst in 1995 felled trees across the northern third of the area. Nevertheless, large portions of the Wilderness exhibit the characteristics of old growth forest, having been largely untouched by windstorms and logging.

The Blue Ridge Wilderness is easily accessible along most of its perimeter. A portion of the Northville‑Lake Placid foot trail runs north from Wakely Pond past  Stephens Pond and Lake Durant. A major rerouting in 2009 moved six miles of trail from along Cedar River Road to a new trail along the southern boundary of the Wilderness. Campers from the Lake Dur­ant public campground make use of the trails in the vicinity while the chief use of the foot trails in the Wilson Pond section appears to be by anglers, hunters and summer visitors to the community of Blue Mountain Lake. Most use near the south boundary of this area is concentrated along the Northville-Lake Placid trail and around Sprague Pond.

Great Camp Sagamore, a National Historic Landmark, stands on the west shore of Sagamore Lake at the western boundary of the Blue Ridge Wilderness. An area of the Wilderness around Sagamore Lake is included in the Historic Great Camps Special Management Area. The area was designated to recognize the historic connection between the Great Camps and the Forest Preserve.

Approximately 5.5 miles of jeep trails and 5.5 miles of snowmobile trails have been closed. A modest stream‑gauging station which was installed in 1978 at the con­fluence of the East Inlet and Lost Brooks on the former Sagamore property has been removed.

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




Blue Ridge area statistics:

State Lands 47,125 Acres
Bodies of Water (24) 252 Acres
  (minimum) 1,676 Feet
  (maximum) 3,744 Feet
Foot Trails 23 Miles
Lean‑tos 3
Non‑conforming Uses:  
Golden Beach Campground Septic
Blue Mountain Cemetery Access Road


DEC Unit Management Plan Link


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