Public access to the Madawaska Flow, a popular destination for paddlers and anglers, has been cut off for the time being.
The Madawaska Flow is located in the town of Santa Clara, west of McColloms. It is part of the 72,000 acre Santa Clara Tract, a conservation easement.
For years, access to the put-in on the Madawaska Flow has been via a dirt road that starts on state route 458. But that dirt road is privately owned and now the owner of the section near state route 458 has closed the gates.
Mike Lynch/Lake Placid News
A view of the Madawaska Flow, which has been cut off from the public recently.
The property owner is Winston Towers, an LLC, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The property owner notified the DEC on June 4 that it was closing the gate on the road that accesses the easement lands and Madawaska Pond, according to the DEC. The letter indicated that this was being done in preparation for placing the property on the market.
The private owner has the right to do this because there is no deeded right-of-way for public access to the property, even though the road has been used in the past.
The DEC is reviewing a number of options and actively seeking to reestablish public access to the easement lands and Madawaska Pond in the near future.
The DEC does have a deeded right for public access in another location on the same parcel of land, but there is no road there. DEC would need to build a road to exercise the deeded right-of-way.
Without the road, there is no legal means of getting to the flow without a considerable amount of effort, including bushwacking perhaps from the west side. There is private land between the conservation easement lands and state Routes 30 & 458, and there is no legal means to cross the privately owned railroad bed on the west side.
NFCT "best of" list released
The nonprofit organization that established and promotes the Northern Forest Canoe Trail has released its "best of" list for the route.
The list includes attractions, activities and businesses. It was compiled through nominations from the public via email and social network sites. The goal is to promote travel to the towns and communities along the 740-mile water trail, according to the NFCT.
The list includes "bests" ranging from best place for a sandwich, best sunset viewing location and best weekend paddling trip. Other categories, including best day trip, best lunch and best birding location. There are 10 categories overall.
Several of them were in the Adirondacks.
The Saranac lakes were voted best skinny dipping location. The portage from Eighth Lake to Brown's Tract was voted the top one on the route.
Little Italy in Saranac Lake was voted best place to get pizza on the trail.