I've been looking at land in upstate NY online and would like to know if anyone who is familiar with these counties could help me out with some information. If you know the answer to any of the questions, it would be appreciated. The following counties were selected based off of environmental concerns and I need more advice:
I know there is no perfect place but the most secluded with acres of forest, mountains, etc for protection would help.
I have severe sensitivities from environmental illness and need a location that has the best of the following:
A county with the coolest temps and least amount of humidity especially in the Summer.
Which counties may have the cheapest acreage?
Would the land be considered more mountainous or flat in the county?
No factory farms, chemical/GMO crops, or factories/plants close by.
Does upper state NY have a lot of ticks or mosquitoes?
A county that has the least amount of wireless such as cell towers, directional antennas, Smart Murder Meters, etc.
I know NY is currently trying to ban Murder Meters but would like to know if any counties already have banned them or if any of these counties do not have them installed yet.
I also do not want to be in a county that plans on allowing fracking. I know there are bans already in NY but some counties have not installed them yet as well.
Do any of these counties have active Permaculture groups, organic farms, or organic grocery stores nearby?
Would like property that is off grid with no electric in place if possible.
Do any of these counties have high speed wired (not wireless) internet such as DSL, cable, or fiberoptics?
Do any of these counties have no zoning or lenient zoning?
Thank you so much for any information you can offer. If someone has a rental property or work exchange program in an area without wireless or chemicals nearby, I would also be interested in that as well while I look to purchase something. I have an RV.
I've lived in NY most my life. I went to college (waaaaay) upstate, taught high school by the city, student taught around albany, and lived in the finger lakes for about a year. So I think I have some decent knowledge about the state, but I'm no expert.
The Albany area is a pretty nice area in general (Schoharie, Schnectady, I'd also look into Columbia as well if you're looking in that area). There's a lot of available land, and enough of a city vibe from the Albany-Schenectay-Troy if you need some culture. Plus, Hawthorne Valley is a HUGE Biodynamic farm that's in the area, so there's a pretty strong biodynamic following in that area if you're into that sort of thing. That part of the country is starting to become a little hub for alternative growers, and I've heard a few people I've worked with talking about trying to get land in that area. There is some money in this area- Saratoga Springs, Lake George, so if you need to sell produce you don't have to drive to NYC to sell it (although some people still do!).
The area by Pennsylvania just South/South East of the finger lakes- Chemung, Delaware, Broome- is pretty rough. It used to be a rich area decades ago, judging by how nice all the houses are, but its been pretty economically depressed for awhile. Lots of the houses just look completely uncared for and lots of the towns have dwindling populations that were already small to begin with. I had an offer to start up a farm in the area, but just after driving around I decided I didn't want to be in an area like that. But if you like your solitude this might be the place for you. Another downside is that when the fracking issue was still on the table a few years ago, I saw tons of pro fracking signs everywhere in this region. If fracking ever does open back up, which I don't think it will, it would definitely start in this area first (also because its close to PA and they were already accepting PA's fracking water before the ban).
The northeastern corner of the state is also an up an coming organic farm hub. I think Essex and Warren counties are particular spots people are flocking to. This area is really defined by the Adirondack park, which I think is the largest STATE park in the nation. It became a state park because they wanted the area to be underdeveloped for environmental reasons, so this area is very very secluded and very pristine. Its very mountainous and there's great hikes and waterfalls to see every few miles or so. As for land prices, it actually might fluctuate a lot. Some areas I bet are pretty cheap, but then you have Lake Placid in there, which definitely effects prices. Lake Placid is actually really fun to be around in the winter- I'd had to drive through there to go to college, and its a great little ski town that foreigners flock to during ski season. There's very very little industry in this area. As for how most people make their living, there's a couple of colleges, a little bit of tourism, and lots of prisons. So I wouldn't call it economically depressed, but its just not ever going to be a "healthy" economic area, which might actually be what you're looking for.
I went to college in St. Lawrence county. This is actually ABOVE the adirondacks. Its the poorest county in the state, so the land prices were always cheap. Its very very flat land, with COLD winters. Very different from the rest of the state. Its one of the few flat areas I've seen in the state. It feels like you're in the midwest. Most of the farming is traditional monocrop stuff, but I know that there are a few people around there that are building cordwood homes and doing off grid stuff.
I've gotten lime twice while in NY. The southern counties in the state are pretty bad with it. I'd think in the colder areas it wouldn't be as bad, but I'm sure people still get it there as well. Lots of people get lime around here.
From what you wrote I'd look into the Adirondacks. I don't know about permits, but I think you'd be left alone. The only thing is that you have to really like the cold. Like, 7 months of winter weather.
Hi, you may wish to study up on Washington County NY. Rural/agricultural history, organic farms making headroads, proximity to larger cities (Saratoga, Albany, Glens Falls, Manchester VT). Ticks are certainly present here but avoidable with care. Worth checking out, good luck. ps, i grew up in fulton county and unless things have changed recently, there is rural land available that could be potentially farmed, but it is mostly a depressed former leather tanning county soaked in industrial waste and ignorance.
I have to second what Mike said above, but I have had friends in the Fulton area who have done some great things with their land.
I currently live in the Saratoga area right in a little hub of organic farms which is really amazing. Land here is roughly $10k an acre. Warren county and nearby the land is much cheaper. Ticks and mosquitoes are definitely present, but can be tamed pretty easily. Zoning in these areas varies a lot from town to town.
Good luck on your search, and keep us updated. I'd like to know what you end up finding!
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