In the western portion of Warren County, a broad series of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams once served as the waterway trail the Indians used as the connection between the Mohawk Valley and the Champlain Valley. Later, soldiers followed these trails during the French and Indian War. Once fighting had subsided, land grants were offered to soldiers in lieu of monetary payment, and speculators aimed to profit from the area’s most abundant resource, lumber. The moving waters of the rivers and streams provided power for the mills and tanneries which became the nucleus for small villages. Soon logs clogged the waterways, flowing downstream to mills and tanneries.
Just after the Civil War, Americans began to seek refuge from the cities and discovered the lure of wilderness. Construction of a railroad through the Adirondacks gave vacationers easy access to the boarding houses and large Inns for the visitors in and around the area. The earliest hotel on Brant Lake, built originally by Benjamin Hayes as a log cabin, was added to and renovated into what is today the Sunset Mountain Lodge. Vacationers came to these small vacation communities, such as Horicon and Chestertown, for the same reason they do today -- to enjoy the natural beauty and outstanding fishing and hunting opportunities. The following itinerary will take you into the heart of western Warren County, to rediscover the landscape that has lured visitors to these small vacation towns for over a century. By bike, boat, car or train, there are many ways to discover the First Wilderness Corridor. Click here to view the Google-based map.