The Great Sacandaga Lake: a History

Plans to flood the Sacandaga Valley

Did you know?  …Stretching 29 miles spanning Fulton, Saratoga and Hamilton counties and boasting 125 miles of shoreline, the Great Sacandaga Lake is a man-made reservoir!  It was created with the intentional flooding of the Sacandaga Valley upon the completion of the Conklingville Dam in the town of Hadley along the Sacandaga River in 1930. The New York State Archives has an incredibly detailed copy of the plans for the lake’s creation, take a look!

Before the dam’s completion, spring run-off and heavy rains caused persistent flooding along the communities of the Sacandaga and Hudson Rivers as far south as Albany, which experienced the worst of its flooding in March, 1913.

Surprisingly, the construction of the Conklingville Dam and the creation of the Great Sacandaga Lake did not come out of public funds.  The many businesses which stood to benefit from the flood protection the new dam would provide banded together in the late 1920’s to raise the $12 Million it took to build the dam and flood the valley.

Today, the Great Sacandaga Lake area is a must-see tourist destination for anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city!  Boasting year-round seasonal sport activities from boating on the Sacandaga lake and walleye fishing in the summer to skiing and snowboarding in the winter, hundreds of shops, boutiques, restaurants and museums, the area offers the very best the Adirondacks has to offer!

Keep coming back for timely articles, glimpses into the history and heritage of the region, and explore the many area-specific guides and profiles that highlight all that makes the communities of the Great Sacandaga Lake area so very special!

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