Skip Navigation
Regional News
Marcy Dam after Irene. Photo:  Phil Brown, <em>Adirondack Explorer</em>, used with permission
Marcy Dam after Irene. Photo: Phil Brown, Adirondack Explorer, used with permission

Adirondacks: state to remove iconic Marcy Dam

Listen to this story
State officials have decided not to repair and restore Marcy Dam, the iconic structure in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. The dam was heavily damaged during tropical storm Irene in 2011.

For decades, it was a popular destination for back country hikers and skiers. Phil Brown with Adirondack Explorer magazine broke the story about the decision and he spoke about it with Brian Mann.

Hear this

Download audio

Share this

Explore this

Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

The old view from Marcy Dam. Photo:  Bob Martin, used with permission
The old view from Marcy Dam. Photo: Bob Martin, used with permission
Brian Mann: It is an official decision that the DEC is going to not repair and replace this structure, but is going to remove it?

Phil Brown: Yes that’s their decision, although the public has the chance to comment on it. I don’t know what could change their mind but I suppose that’s a remote possibility.

Brian: Did this decision take you buy surprise?

Phil I wouldn’t say the decision took me by surprise, I think there was a greater chance that DEC would rebuild the Marcy Dam as opposed to the Duck Hole Dam which is much more remote in the wilderness.

Brian: Marcy Dam, for people who haven’t been there, can you describe what having that structure there before it blew out in the storm. What did people see when they arrived on the ski trail or hiked in there?

Phil: Well there’s a small pond surrounded by forests and with gorgeous views of Mount Colden and Avalanche Pass, and the slides on right peak.

Brian: The last couple of years since Irene hit, what do people see now?

Phil: Well it was a pond; basically it’s a mudflat now with a small stream running through it. So it’s not as pretty right now, but people say it could grow back and become a wetland and eventually a forest?.

Brian: So what do you think as a guy who has been in there many times and been through there? Is this a sad moment? Is it good to see it going back to a more pure wilderness look? How do you react?

Phil: There’s no doubt there’s a lovely view, I’ve taken many pictures there myself. But I understand the decision. I think it’s very expensive to rebuild the dam and it is an unnatural structure in a wilderness area, which really doesn’t serve much purpose.

Visitor comments


NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.