Now public and protected by the Forever Wild clause of the state constitution, the tract helps protect some of the wild character of the lake’s 4.5-mile shoreline. The parcel is is bordered by the Garnet Hill Property Owners Association, a private home owners association which protects its lakeshore property with restrictive use covenants.
The state’s land purchase conserves what was the last completely unprotected shoreline on Thirteenth Lake. In addition to being a headwater of the Upper Hudson River, the 329-acre lake is by far the largest water body surrounded by the 114,010-acre Siamese Ponds Wilderness.
When the land trust purchased the property in 2020, the Johnsburg Town Board unanimously approved the intended transfer to New York State.
Siamese Ponds Wilderness extends 24 miles north and south, 18 miles east and west, and was created between 1877 and 1910, according to DEC. Thirteenth Lake has 13 primitive campsites, and a public beach and canoe launch that are accessible to people who use wheelchairs.
Photo of Skiers on Thirteenth Lake courtesy Nancie Battaglia.