Property values inside the Adirondack Park vs. outside the Park

Having spent years buying and selling land in and out of the Adirondack Park I’m sure I can give you a little insight about property values and stability of investment. For comparative purposes we’re looking at property outside of the Park being the Tug Hill area , St Lawrence River region etc. I’m not talking about the southern tier because there is no comparison between the 2.

When comparing property that’s inside the Park to property outside you will immediately notice the difference in pricing for similar properties. So what gives ? Plenty so I’ll try to keep focused and relevant. One thing we all know is the Adirondack Park is much more restrictive when it comes to development etc. Significantly more restrictive than any surrounding regions for sure. Not everyone is pleased with that but there’s a benefit for the property owner. With a place so closely monitored you know before you buy in the Park you’ll never have to worry about a dog food factory being built next door. It simply isn’t going to happen , not now not ever. Outside the Park you cannot buy KNOWING this will not happen to you ever. Inside the Park you will know there won’t be a shopping center or trailer park built nearby or anything of that nature. It just doesn’t happen in the Park. Everything there is “limited” , and more limited than ever. By that I mean NYS owns 3 million acres in the Park these days which is more than ever before. So half the park is privately owned and very heavily regulated. With this comes scarcity and security in your investment. The fact is restrictions work for the property owner in many ways , investment protection is just one of them.

We’ve had some pretty rough times in this country in recent years and the real estate market certainly reflects that. I don’t want to claim the property values inside the Park were not impacted because they were just like everywhere. The economy we have today measures success by how bad you’ve been hurt. The hurt inside the Park has been less than outside which surprises no one. So why would I buy outside the Park ?


Lots of reasons and I mean LOTS. Let’s agree everyone is not cut out for Adirondack Park crowd. You won’t find me sitting at an outdoor cafe’ drinking $5 coffee in the middle of Old Forge or Lake George. Ain’t happenin’ .  On the other hand you WILL find me floating around the stumps on Stillwater Reservoir chasing smallmouths. Seriously though the biggest obstacle for most buyers is the Adirondack Park is simply too expensive for most. Doesn’t mean you can’t go there and enjoy all the activities available , it just means buying there may not be in the cards right now. When looking around the Tug Hill & St Lawrence areas you’re going to find most everything you can imagine at some pretty ridiculous prices. What you will find is a lot of waterfront property at some really really attractive prices. You will also find these lakes are significantly better fishing than the Adirondacks. There’s some beautiful lakes in the Park but the fishing isn’t remotely close to what it is to the West/North of the Park. There’s a ton of lakes & rivers to the West/North of the Park and the best fishing in NY is there period. The hunting outside the Park is better than inside. I can say this with certainty considering I’ve hunted both inside and outside for 38 yrs and know this area up here pretty well. The hunting inside the Park can be very good on private managed properties. Considering State Land inside the Park is NOT managed in any way shape or form the hunting can be pretty lousy. State Land in the Park cannot be logged according to the NY State Constitution. It’s really unfortunate because we have 3 million acres sitting there and not providing for the wildlife in any measureable way. The private land is always managed and usually provides some real good hunting. Outside the Park though is simply better, hands down. So maybe I’ve convinced you the hunting and fishing is better outside the Park – it is don’t doubt that. So what exactly is better in the Park that can protect your investment?



The scenery alone in the Adirondack Park sets it above and beyond anywhere you’re traveling on the East Coast. It’s simply a beautiful place and a place that “looks” expensive if ya know what I mean. If you want to hike , bike , canoe etc you will not find more or better opportunities anywhere no matter where you travel. Something as simple and overlooked as a “Sunday drive” is an experience in itself. The fact is it’s an absolutely beautiful place that’s treated as importantly as it should be. No complaints from me. I love the Park , I really do but there’s much to consider before buying.

The scarcity of ownership opportunities combined with the regulations inside the Park pretty much guarantee your investment is safe. I would guess your money is as safe there as it is anywhere you want to spend it. The Tug Hill /St. Lawrence River regions offer some excellent opportunities but not the security offered to the East. Many of these areas have little to no zoning regulations in place. In the towns with little or no zoning you will find really low prices on some attractive real estate but no protections, “peace of mind” that comes from knowing what is / isn’t allowed. These are all things you have to consider before deciding where to look. Either way if you’re buying property in the North Country you will not regret it , ever. THIS is where all the action in NY is and where the fun is had. When you hear about outdoor recreation in NY you hear about Tug Hill , Old Forge, Lake George , Cranberry Lake , Salmon River area , St Lawrence River region … you get the idea. My point is you NEVER hear anyone talk about their vacation on the Susquehanna River or Guilford Lake. So quit fooling around and get up here to join the fun. Thanks for stopping by and please share this with your friends ,leave a comment and please sign up for all the latest !    mj

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