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Welcome to North Hudson

History of the town of North Hudson

May 30, 2012
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Centrally located, North Hudson is approximately 50 miles from Glens Falls, Plattsburgh and Lake Placid.

Easy access to the Adirondack Northway, cell phone coverage in most areas of the town and a myriad of recreational activites make North Hudson a destination that will satisfy the outdoor enthusiast seeking the quiet, peace and challenges the Adirondacks have to offer.

Whether it is fishing from roadside ponds or seeking brook trout in the remote ponds, hunting thousands of acres of state land or joining one of the club leases, mountain biking or kayaking in Class V water, you will find it here.


-High Peaks

-Dix Wilderness Area

Fact Box

History of the town of North Hudson


Benjamin Pond came to the area at the turn of the 19th century and was the first settler to put down roots in the "broken and mountainous" terrain that characterizes North Hudson.

The town grew rapidly in the years prior to the Civil War. By 1811, the first gristmill had been built, saving early settlers a wagon trip to Warren County with their grain. A major stage road connecting Albany with Canada traversed North Hudson. As many as 40 wagon loads of timber were driven through the town in a day with the workers stopping at one of the numerous hotels and taverns that were built to accommodate them. The forests were thick with virgin forest for timber. The combination of Hemlock bark and water power spurred the development of a vigorous tanning industry.

"Deer were plentiful, a few elk were seen and numerous wolves heard at night" reported a travel editor in 1836. Although the elk are long gone, and it is now coyotes that are heard at night, it is still easy to picture in this sparsely settled town, what it must have looked like 200 years ago when larger game abounded in the forests. A buffalo herd can be spotted today from its location near the Blue Ridge Road.

Following the Civil War, the high cost of transportation led to a decline in the tanning industry. Raw hides had to be imported and then the finished hide exported to market. The cost of transport was too much for the industry to bear. Hemlock lost its importance as a product when a chemical tanning process replaced the natural one.

Lumber companies harvested pulp wood on the mountain slopes. Hikers, naturalists, hunters and sport fishermen explored the mountains. Hotels that had once served lumberjacks began to cater more to tourists. Classic cottage colonies such as Underwood, and secluded Adirondack style resorts, like Elk Lake developed at the turn of the 20th century.

During the golden age of small amusement parks, thousands came to the carefully crafted theme park, Frontier Town. Opened in 1952, the Adirondack attraction provided local seasonal employment and supported related service industries such as motels, gas stations, and restaurants. Frontier Town was a link in a chain of small theme parks that drew families to the area. By the 1990s, the historically based attraction included authentic industries from North Hudson's past, such as Roth's Forge and Sawmill, as a part of its display.

The permanent population of North Hudson has declined steadily since the Civil War. Many factors have contributed to the loss of population; the remoteness of the area, the lack of arable land (only 1/8th of the land is suitable for cultivation) and the decline in the lumber business. The dream that drove New York Secretary of State John Adams Dix to call for a state survey of natural resources to encourage the exploitation of mineral and other resources, was of little benefit to North Hudson. The town's highest peak, Dix Mountain, was named for him.


(This information was provided by the Essex County Historical Society at

-Hoffman Notch Wilderness Area

-Hammond Pond Wild Forest


Stock fishing

-Trout ponds

-Schroon River



Deer hunting

Access to thousands of acres of state land, join one of the private clubs or start a new club on one of the available lease properties.



-Schroon River


-Schroon River at North Hudson Town Beach

Mountain biking

-IMBA sanctioned trail system. Visit


-Schroon River, Class V

-Branch River


(This information was provided by the town of North Hudson at



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