FRANKLIN — New facilities in Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands in Franklin and Clinton counties are now available for public use.
Located in western Clinton and eastern Franklin counties, Sable Highlands totals more than 28,000 acres of lands over 14 public-use areas, with 56,000-plus acres leased by the landowner, the Forestland Group of Chapel Hill, N.C., to hunting, fishing and recreation clubs for exclusive private use.
The State Department of Environmental Conservation and its partners have constructed new parking lots, opened some linear-recreational-corridor roadways for motorized use and installed informational kiosks that provide access and enhance the usage of specific public-use areas.
The corridors, DEC said in a press release, are roads and trails on the property that travel through private lease areas as a means to provide ingress and egress to and from public-use area.
Among the recently completed facilities are new six-vehicle parking areas, one on the Blair Kilns Road in the Town of Bellmont for the 3,900-acre Figure 8 Public Use Area and the other on the Standish Road in the Town of Saranac for the 2,500-acre Cold Brook Public Use Area.
Informational kiosks and register boxes at each parking area provide information for people using these lands. Access beyond the parking areas is by foot or mountain bike only.
DEC plans to provide additional opportunities for public motorized access in the future.
In the D&H Road Linear Recreation Corridor, the 6.5-mile D&H Road is now open to motor vehicles and mountain bikes in summer and fall; closed in winter and during mud season.
The road, available year-round by hikers, skiers and snowshoers as conditions warrant, connects Franklin County Route 26 near the hamlet of Loon Lake in the Town of Franklin with the Wolf Pond Road just east of the hamlet of Mountain View in the Town of Bellmont.