SARANAC — It was 1977, and they were students living together in Plattsburgh when they decided to buy some land.
“We were interested in an intentional community and living together and buying land and sort of protecting it over the long term,” said Hal Moore of Saranac. “We didn’t want to think of it as property but a place we could live, and it would be protected and not subject to being bought and sold.”
A lawyer helped them write up a trust agreement, and today the New Land Trust of Saranac consists of 287 acres, 10-12 miles of trails for hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing, a meadow and stage for music and a large stone labyrinth. A house also rests on the property and board members today are hoping to do agricultural sharing, utilizing a large barn.
On Oct. 6, from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m., they are holding their annual Fall Festival and Pot Luck at the 236 Plumadore Road property. The event will include apple cider making, cooking demonstrations, Yoga, tree identification trail tours, bird watching, music by Adrian Carr, art and more.
More information is available at newlandtrust.org.
“Everything here is open to the public and free,” said Jim King, the newest board member.
In fact, many people spend time on the land, including the region’s Eagle Scouts.
It started as a commune with about eight people in the 1970s.
“There was a barn on the property and we first renovated that into a living space,” Moore said. “And then two different couples built houses, and one was a club house.”
Some of the people involved with the trust lived there off an on until a couple years ago.
In 1994 it was incorporated as a 501 nonprofit.
“It sort of helped to ensure the property was never sold and was always used for educational purposes and recreational purposes,” Moore said.