Paddling A. A. Low’s Lost Empire

Not currently being offered

Inventor and entrepreneur Abbot Augustus (A.A.) Low (1844-1912) had a dream of creating a vast and profitable wilderness empire in the Adirondacks. By the late 1890s, Low attained wealth through his father’s shipping and importing business and had acquired over 46,000 acres of land in the Bog River watershed. Here, he organized the construction of a 15-mile railroad from Horseshoe to Hitchins Pond, erected sawmills and other small factories, dams, hydroelectric plants, boarding houses and a home for himself on Bog Lake.

At its peak, his Horseshoe Forestry Company produced 20,000 gallons of maple syrup yearly, bottled “Virgin Forest Spring Water” for city markets, made a variety of wild berry preserves, grew potatoes and made wines and “Staff of life” cereals. In 1908, after a devastating fire swept through this area and destroyed much of the standing timber essential to the company’s operation, Low liquidated his holdings and left the region.

Since then, this wilderness enterprise has slowly disappeared into the natural landscape. This “bring your own boat” tour will explore this beautiful area and visit the ruins of Low’s remote empire.

Horseshoe Forestry Company Evaporator Building in 1901. Image courtesy of Hallie Bond.

This tour will be led by former Adirondack Museum curator and scholar Hallie Bond and NYS licensed guide Brian McDonnell. The tour begins at 10 AM and ends at 4 PM.

The tour fee is $60 for AARCH members and $70 for non-members.

Please note that the route is about a 5 mile round trip and you must bring your OWN CANOE. Some canoeing experience is required. Some canoes are available to rent for $25 (two-person canoe), but arrangements must be made ahead of time through AARCH.



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