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The Abanakee Dam. (Photo/Indian Lake Museum)


NYS sending money for Abanakee Dam

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - Updated: 8:33 AM



INDIAN LAKE -- A top priority in the Town of Indian Lake is on its way to being refurbished, thanks to state funding announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Monday.

The town will be getting $750,000 toward upgrading the Abanakee Dam on the Indian River. According to Indian Lake Supervisor Brian Wells, the estimate for doing the work is about $1.2 million.

Though the dam is not in imminent danger of failure, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has put the town on notice that it needs to repair and upgrade it to bring it into compliance with state dam safety regulations.

The Lake Abanakee Dam creates the lake for those who have homes along its shoreline, provides water for white-water rafting, and could provide hydropower in the future. A failure would endanger property and lives downstream in North Creek.

"A big thanks to Gov. Cuomo. The Town of Indian Lake appreciates the governor's actions that will enable repairs be made to Lake Abanakee Dam. This is critical not only for dam safety but to protect a key economic infrastructure in our town," Wells said.

Rafting is a popular activity, and the rafting industry provides economic benefits to residents and the Town of Indian Lake.


The outdoor recreation funding includes $250,000 for new equestrian facilities and trails in Essex and Hamilton counties "that will transform the region into a premier horseback riding destination," according to a press release, as well as for a new hiking trail to OK Slip Falls in the Hudson Gorge Wilderness.

The towns of Minerva, Newcomb and North Hudson in Essex County and Indian Lake and Long Lake in Hamilton County will receive a total of $250,000 to develop horseback riding facilities in each of their communities. Among the projects being funded are:

-- five parking areas for horse trailers in each town;

-- a pole barn with concrete floor and water;

-- a 1,000 gallon holding tank for disposal of gray water and sewage from trailers;

-- two accessible mounting platforms; and

-- a horse washing station.

"We are also very enthused about the recreational opportunities," Wells said. "The governor's funding will help make these horseback riding facilities a reality.

"These funds are practical investments in our community that will help us capture new economic opportunity."

The DEC is working to designate horse trails in the Essex Chain Lakes Complex that surrounds the five towns. DEC has also proposed constructing a bridge over the Cedar River in the Town of Indian Lake that would allow horses and their riders to access the Essex Chain Lakes Complex from the south.

Town of Long Lake Supervisor Clark Seaman said, "That's fantastic. These funds will most certainly help develop the infrastructure we need to bring to reality a quality equestrian destination. It will bring a whole new group of recreational users and with that new economic benefits to our towns."


A trail to OK Slip Falls in the Hudson Gorge Wilderness officially opened July 20. The three-mile hike leads to an overlook that provides a view of the falls.

The parking area for the trailhead is on the south side of Route 28, about 7.5 miles east of the community of Indian Lake. The trailhead is on the north side of Route 28, 0.2 miles west of the parking area.

The trail also provides access to Ross, Whortleberry and Big Bad Luck ponds. Approximately a half-mile up the trail hikers should turn right onto the trail to OK Slip Falls. Follow the trail another 2.5 miles to the overlook on the east side of the OK Slip Gorge.

OK Slip Falls is considered one of the highest falls in the Adirondacks. Its waters flow into the Hudson River near the center of the Hudson Gorge.


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