The Hudson River Special Management Area

The Hudson River Special Management Area, which many locals call Buttermilk or the Bear Slides, is located on the eastern shore of the Hudson River in the Lake George Wild Forest. The management area covers 5,550 acres of forest preserves in the towns of Warrensburg and Lake Luzerne, NY.

The Hudson River Special Management Area is especially popular in the summer when visitors come to camp, hike, picnic, and tube down the river. Overnight camping is also allowed at designated campsites and some of the sites have access to an outhouse; however, please note that camping is not allowed in the entire area. There is no cell phone or internet service and there are no dumpsters in this area, so please carry it in and carry it out.

In the 1800s, the area was used to stage log drivers down the Hudson River to Glens Falls, NY. Sometimes, over 500,000 logs passed through the area. In the early 1900s, New York State added to the forest preserve through the acquisition of scattered upland parcels via tax sales. Then, in 1980, the land become known as the Hudson Recreation Area. Unfortunately, in 1993 the river stewards began reporting increases in littering, vandalism, and other non-complaint behavior. Currently, over 10,000 registered users visit the area every year. For this reason, it is more important than ever that Morgan Duke Conservation Society continue to protect the natural beauty and environmental health of the region. 

There are a few challenges we face in Hudson River Special Management Area.  Some visitors who come here do not carry out what they brought in with them. For example, when they pack up their campsite they leave garbage bags because they think the forest rangers will pick the bags up for them. However, NYSDEC does not provide garbage removal – instead, the park has a carry it in, carry it out policy. Some visitors who visit the Hudson River Special Management Area sometimes throw soda cans and glass in fire pits and do not pick them up. There have also been times when there is litter along the side of the road, in parking lots, and other places throughout the park. Another challenge is that some visitors spray paint on rocks and trees.

In 2014, Morgan Duke Conservation Society signed a Volunteer Stewardship Agreement with the NYSDEC Region 5 office in Warrensburg to adopt the Hudson River Special Management Area. The work we have already done since 2014 in the Hudson River Special Management Area includes picking up litter in campsites, parking lots, and wherever we could find it. Our volunteers also painted outhouses, trail gates, and picnic tables. In 2014, five volunteers, including the organization’s President and Vice President, planted 70 trees – 50 trees in an open field below Stone’s Mountain and 20 trees in Campsite 12. In an effort to limit damage to plants and wildlife, we also helped preserve vegetation that people drive over or walk over. We planted the trees along outside of Campsite 12 to serve as a reminder for people to stay on the designated pathways that lead from the parking lot to the campsite. By doing this, we can promote enjoyment of campsites and other recreation areas while also ensuring the health of wildlife and habitats.

Today, Morgan Duke Conservation Society continues to help maintain and preserve the environment and the natural resources in the Hudson River Special Management Area. At the same time, we remind visitors who come to the Hudson River Special Management Area to respect the natural resources and the environment when they visit.  Additionally, we remind visitors to carry it in and carry it out rather than littering, which harms the environment and wildlife.

We would like to thank Adirondack Tubing Adventures and their employees for helping to clean the banks of the river in the Hudson River Special Management Area.


 Morgan Duke Conservation Society Objectives for the Hudson River Special Management Area

  • To help protect and maintain the natural resources and environment in the Hudson River Special Management Areaso that all visitors may enjoy a clean and healthy environment.
  • To help protect and preserve vegetation and habitats in the Hudson River Special Management Area for all wildlife.
  • To raiseawareness of how the public can help keep the environment and natural resources clean in the Hudson River Special Management Area for visitors and future generations.
  • To educate others about the importance of protecting and preservingvegetation and wildlife habitat by not driving on illegal trails orwalking on naturally growing vegetation.