New York state has taken ownership of the Essex Chain of Lakes tract in the Adirondacks. The deal to buy the 18,294 acres from The Nature Conservancy for almost $12.4 million closed on Dec. 21. The purchase is the first in a five-year program of buying 69,000 acres of former Finch, Pruyn and Co. timberlands for a total of $48 million.
The land is in the towns of Minerva and Newcomb and includes 11 lakes and ponds, nearly 15 miles of Hudson River shoreline and 8.5 miles on the Cedar River shoreline. There won’t be public access to most of the property until the fall, when two hunting club leases on a total of 11,600 acres expires.