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ESF’s Newcomb Campus

huntington forest

ESF’s Newcomb Campus

Huntington Wildlife Forest (HWF) is the 15,000-acre property managed by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry that forms the Newcomb Campus. For over 80 years the Newcomb Campus has been the focal point of research and instruction in ecology and forestry relating to the Adirondacks specifically and the Northern Forest more broadly, which extends from the eastern shore of Lake Ontario to the Atlantic coast of Maine. The Newcomb Campus has served as a “living classroom” for thousands of students and a study area for researchers interested in better understanding the ecology and management of the Adirondack region.

The Newcomb Campus is permanently staffed by ecologists and foresters who manage the property, conduct research, and teach, and educators who develop and deliver a wide range of educational outreach programming. Additionally, other researchers (visiting professional scientists, university faculty, and graduate and undergraduate students) work at the Newcomb Campus throughout the year. Most are from SUNY ESF, though many researchers from across the Northeast and throughout the world also work here.

Newcomb, N.Y is located in the center of New York’s six million acre Adirondack Park. Driving time to the campus is three hours from Syracuse, N.Y and two hours from Albany, N.Y.

Semester Life at the Newcomb Campus

Living and studying at the Newcomb Campus is a singular experience. Our property is a mix of wild and developed areas, including Goodnow Mountain with its maintained fire tower and stunning views, and Rich Lake, which is open to non-motorized public recreation and supports private recreational access for campus residents. The Newcomb Campus also includes the Adirondack Interpretive Center, which features 3.6 miles of hiking and running trails through 235 forested acres along Rich Lake.

ARS students will live in a mix of small residential cabins in the Arbutus Area, perched along the shore of Arbutus Lake. Each cabin sleeps four or six in bunks and is furnished with shelving and wardrobe units. Each cabin also includes a shared bathroom with shower and a kitchen with dishes, basic eating and cooking utensils and pots and pans. Students are responsible for their own meals.

rachelRachel Neugarten, Manager for Conservation Priority Setting, Conservation International

I spent the summer of 2009 at ESF’s Newcomb Campus, conducting research for my MS degree at Cornell University that focused on the impact on local communities of the sale of the last large industrial timberland in the Adirondacks. The AEC was a perfect location for me to center the study. I interviewed local residents, government officials, timber industry reps, ecologists, and conservationists from all over the Adirondacks. I found that, unlike in past large conservation deals, this deal was structured to significantly reduce tensions over forest land use, primarily because of extensive outreach conducted by The Nature Conservancy and the New York State DEC. 

The study would not have been possible without the support of the AEC staff, who shared their extensive knowledge of the ecology, geography, politics, and history of the region, as well as their extensive network with local residents, officials, and friends whose lives are entwined with the surrounding forest.

While you’re not required to have a car available to you while at the Newcomb Campus, previous experience has shown it is a plus for most students. studentHWF is located in a remote part of the Adirondacks, and though it is perfectly situated for those wishing to “get away from it all,” it is a short drive to some services, and a longer drive to others. There is no public transportation and there are no stores within walking distance, so those without a car usually coordinate with others who do, for social, recreational, and grocery needs.

Student Life in the Adirondacks

Want “Out”? We’ve got Out: Our semester has all the outside you can ask for, and if you throw in weekends, as much as you can handle

While ARS students will be busy, there will be plenty of time for independently exploring this remarkable land of lakes and forests, streams and mountains. The central Adirondacks are an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, and fall is perhaps the most enjoyable time to be here! For those who enjoy outdoor activities few places are better located than ESF’s Newcomb Campus, which is literally in the center of the park. We are surrounded by thousands of acres of State Forest Preserve, much of which lies in the High Peaks Wilderness Area, and adjacent to the newly acquired Essex Chain Lakes parcel, accessible to the public for the first time in more than a 100 years.

From the Newcomb Campus you are minutes from hiking, climbing, fishing, camping, canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, white water rafting, and more. Newcomb also boasts historic Great Camp Santanoni, the High Peak Golf Course and three preserved fire towers.

In addition to outdoor pursuits, Newcomb is close to many museums, historic sites, festivals, live music, movies, restaurants, shopping and other activities in our neighboring towns and villages.

Who knew the middle of nowhere is the middle of everything?



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