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Click the image above to view a map of the ecological communities found in the Preserve. This map was prepared as part of an Ecological Assessment, Inventory and Management Plan drafted in 2011.

Trout Lily (Erythonuim americanum)

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), early August. Although the "klunk-ker-plunk" call of this heron might not be as iconic as that of the Common Loon, it is no less peculiar or enigmatic.


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The over 23 square miles (60.7 kilometer square) of the Shingle Shanty Preserve is located at the top of three watersheds in a remote part of the Adirondack Park, approximately 9 miles west of Long Lake, NY. The Preserve bridges the gap between the Pigeon Lakes and Five Ponds Wilderness Areas to the west, a historic private park to the south, Lake Lila Primitive Area to the north, and the William C. Whitney Wilderness area to the east.

Mud Pond

Mud Pond, early August.

Biological Characteristics

The property has over 1700 acres of pristine boreal wetlands, 9 lakes and ponds, 6 miles of headwater streams and over 12,600 acres of northern hardwood and successional northern hardwood forests. It ranges in elevation from 600 ft to 2600 ft and is host to numerous species that benefit from large scale protection. Within its matrix are high elevation hardwood forests and water resources which make this preserve ideal for a multitude of research initiatives. Highlights of the Preserve’s include:

Multiple Headwater Ponds and Over 40 Miles of Headwater Streams

The Preserve's location at the top of multiple watersheds is a unique attribute of exceptional value. This topograpy helps assure the purity of the waters, and is conducive to the control and eradication of aquatic invasive species. The ponds on the property include:

Convenient, But Controlled Access

The Preserve has a network of logging roads that was created when the property was owned by International Paper. Shingle Shanty Pond, South Pond, Deer Pond and Thayer Lake are all easily accessible via road. The Preserve receives limited and highly restricted usage. Those with access to the property are particularly concerned about the introduction of invasive species and are subject to a number of rules to prevent the accidental introduction of aquatic and terrestrial invasive species.

Silence and Darkness

Limited access and tight restrictions on the use of internal combustion engines means that the Preserve is exceptionally silent when it comes to human noise. Researchers making audio recordings don't need to worry about contending with the din of distant motorboats, passing vehicles, dogs barking, or conversations drifting across water or through the woods. While it is certainly possible to find similarly quiet areas in the Northeast, it typically requires long treks away from vehicles.

The Preserve is located in one of the darkest areas in the Northeast, making it a fantastic location for astronomy education or any other educational or research activity that would benefit from minimal light pollution.

An Ecological "Iceberg"

In terms of climate and ecology, the Preserve has a lot more in common with regions hundreds of miles to the north than the immediately surrounding area. The Preserve is located in an unusually cold area for its latitude in the southernmost area of USDA hardiness Zone 3 in the northeastern United States. Species common 50 miles away, such as oaks, are not present in the area. Changes in species composition resulting from climate change are likely to occur much more rapidly in ecologically isolated areas.

2006 Hardiness Zone Map

The 2006 Hardiness Zone Map, showing the location of the Preserve within Zone 3. Visit for more maps and details.