**Here at the LGLC, we know that the topic of the removal of the cabin at the top of Thomas Mountain has become the subject of many comments and opinions. While sentimental to us too, over the past year, the cabin became a safety issue for visitors to the preserve -- discharge of firearms in vicinity of the cabin (shells, trees shot up), squatters (someone living there, leaving clothes, bedding, alcohol and prescription drugs there), and using the cabin as a restroom; fire activity inside and just outside the cabin (burning the floorboards), using pieces of the cabin as kindling and not properly extinguishing fires; general graffiti, damage to and disrespect for the structure, inside and out. We therefore supported DEC’s decision to remove the structure. Visitors will still be able to camp on the preserve lands so long as they stay 150’ off of the trail. The removal of the cabin will allow everyone to enjoy the entire beauty of the preserve in safety. We hope that our friends and users of the preserve will understand and respect this decision and continue to create memories at Thomas Mountain into the future.
Statement from the DEC, as reported by Don Lehman of the Post Star, posted 12/27/2017:
"Over a period of four days last week DEC Operations crews tore down the Thomas Mountain Cabin and separated the debris into piles according to material type. DEC removed and disposed two tandem dump truck loads of debris totaling 2.1 tons at a construction and demolition debris landfill.
On Friday, after the most of the debris had been removed, DEC crews built a fire for warmth using some clean wood debris from the cabin. Winds blew the fire into another pile of debris creating a larger fire. The crew pulled the pile apart separating charred debris and uncharred debris. In total, less than two cubic yards of wood was burned.
A small two to three cubic yard pile of debris remains at the site and will be removed once the current spell of extremely cold temperatures ends. When the snow is melted in spring, DEC crews will rake and clean the site.
DEC noticed its plans to remove the cabin in the August 23, 2017, Environmental Notice Bulletin and originally planned to remove the cabin this fall. Other priorities delayed the removal until last week.
The cabin was removed because it did not comply with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan and was not compatible with the Forest Preserve. Additionally, vandals had started misusing the cabin, such that it had become an attractive nuisance."
This 1,909-acre parcel was acquired by the Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) in 2003 and sold to the state in 2013. It is now part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve. Its preservation is a major accomplishment in protecting the Lake George watershed, as one of the lake’s larger tributaries, Finkle Brook, flows through the preserve and forms Edgecomb Pond, the drinking water source for Bolton Landing.
In addition to preserving Edgecomb Pond, the Cat and Thomas Mountains Preserve protects the largest tract of contiguous land remaining in Bolton, yet another step in safeguarding the majestic viewshed of Lake George.
Just a five-minute drive from quaint Bolton Landing, the trails to the summits of Cat and Thomas provide a rewarding introduction to hiking the Adirondack trails. All of the preserve's trails have worthwhile views of Lake George’s south and central basins and the southwestern Adirondacks.
Hunting and trapping is allowed at the preserve; appropriate state licenses are required. Hikers should be aware of hunting seasons and wear bright colors and hike in groups to minimize risk.
Mountain biking is allowed on all of the trails. Recommended biking routes would be the orange trail, the yellow trail (to intersection with red) and red trail, from its intersection with yellow to Edgecomb Pond.
The Lake George Land Conservancy maintains the trails of the Cat and Thomas Mts Preserve through DEC's Trail Cooperative Agreement program. LGLC welcomes your comments and reports of damage or trail maintenance needs. Please contact us at 518-644-9673 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: Trails have been updated with DEC markers resulting in some changes to the marker colors. Use the map and guide linked on this page, updated 01/2018, for reference.
To Thomas Mountain Summit (1.4 miles*)
Park at the Valley Woods Rd. parking lot and follow the blue trail, which is a dirt road, for 0.7 miles until you reach the intersection with the yellow trail. Turn right on the yellow trail (also a dirt road), for another 0.7 miles to end at an overlook with a 180-degree view of Lake George.
To Cat Mt from Thomas Mt (2 miles*)
Continue on the yellow trail for 2.0 miles to the Cat Mt. summit. Footing is more difficult than the other trails and hikers should be prepared for the longer, more challenging trek.
Or, for an easier route to Cat Mt. from the Valley Woods Rd. parking area, follow the blue trail all the way. About two-thirds of the trail follows a logging road, with the last third on a more rugged and rocky woods trail. The summit of Cat Mt. offers a stunning 270-degree view of Lake George and the Adirondacks.
To Cat Mt. from Edgecomb Pond (1.9 miles*)
For a more direct hike to Cat Mt., park at the Edgecomb Pond Rd. area and follow the red trail on a dirt road past the pond for 0.7 miles (making a sharp right just past a gate) to the intersection with the blue trail (At 0.3 miles, you will pass on your left the section of the red trail that climbs steeply to Cat Mt.). Turn left (south) and follow the blue trail for 0.8 miles until you reach a T intersection. Turn left (south) and follow the blue trail for 0.4 miles to Cat Mt.
(*mileage is one-way)