The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) has announced that Grant Cottage State Historic Site, formerly part of the now closed Mount McGregor State Correctional Facility, will be part of a 750-acre parcel being transferred to Moreau Lake State Park.
Grant Cottage State Historic Site is the site where President Ulysses S. Grant died in July 1885.
General Grant spent the last five weeks of his life at the cottage, writing his memoirs while battling cancer. The Cottage became an historic site in 1890. Grant Cottage is one of several New York State historic sites that operate without a State Parks employee present. The non-profit Friends of Ulysses S. Grant Cottage has managed Grant Cottage in cooperation with NYS Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, along with the Department of Corrections.
“I’m thrilled that New York State will open these 750 acres of beautiful forested land to the public for outdoor recreation,” said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said in a statement to the press. “Moreau Lake State Park is visited by hundreds of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts each year for camping, swimming and exploring its popular trail network. Adding this land to the park will greatly expand the recreational opportunities in the region, preserve open space in fast-growing Saratoga County and ensure access to the Grant Cottage State Historic Site.”
The new park lands, located in the towns of Corinth, Wilton and Moreau in Saratoga County, include extensive forests and wetlands and the shores of Lake Bonita, a scenic undeveloped lake. The transfer extends the park’s protection of a mountain ridge known as the Palmertown Range and includes a key segment of a planned long-distance Palmertown Ridge Trail that is expected to connect Saratoga Springs to Moreau Lake.
State Parks announced that they will undertake a public planning effort to give the public an opportunity to comment on how best to provide recreational access to the new parkland, which will include creation of hiking trails and access to Lake Bonita. Public access to the property is currently limited with no parking areas or maintained trails.
Moreau Lake State Park is a 4,531-acre park that attracts almost 400,000 people each year as a destination for swimming, kayaking, wildlife viewing, hiking, fishing, hunting and more. The park’s Nature Center provides educational programming for park visitors and local students throughout the summer months.
With its proximity to both Lake George and Saratoga Springs, the park is attractive to visitors year-round as it offers ice fishing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and other winter activities. In recent years the park has become a very popular destination for bald eagle watching in the cold winter months, when eagles winter along the shores of Moreau Lake itself, or along the Hudson River, which runs along the west side of the park property
Photo of Grant Cottage courtesy Wikimedia user. Maps provided by State Parks.