DEC Releases Draft Adirondack Rail Trail Plan

The Draft Adirondack Rail Trail Conceptual Plan has been released for public review and comment.

[From the Adirondack Almanack]

A Draft Adirondack Rail Trail Conceptual Plan outlining the general design and features of the future 34-mile, multi-use recreational trail on the railway bed between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake has been released for public review and comment.

"The Draft Adirondack Rail Trail Conceptual Plan is an important step in developing a unique, world class outdoor recreation trail like no other in the Adirondacks, New York State, or the nation," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement issued late Monday. "The rail trail will connect the villages of Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, and Lake Placid, providing visitors and residents with new opportunities to walk, hike, and bike in three seasons, and cross-country ski, snowshoe, and snowmobile in winter, boosting local economies in surrounding communities all year long."

The press DEC release announcing the plan's release also said:

The draft plan provides design recommendations based on the input from the Adirondack Rail Trail Stakeholder group. The shared goal of DEC and the Stakeholder group is to develop and manage a recreational trail that maximizes public use by residents and visitors of all abilities, ensures a safe and enjoyable experience for trail users, and minimizes negative effects on natural resources, adjacent residents, and other trail users.

The draft plan describes a 10-foot wide stone dust tread for the full 34-mile length of the trail with shoulders a minimum width of 2.5 feet on each side. The trail and its amenities will comply with American Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements to the maximum extent possible to ensure it is accessible for use by people of all abilities. The trail will also connect to numerous hiking, biking, paddling, fishing, and camping opportunities on the adjacent lands and waters of the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

The municipalities have scheduled four public information sessions along the rail trail corridor where the Draft Conceptual Plan will be presented and questions answered from attendees:

Village of Saranac Lake and town of Harrietstown (two meetings)

May 1 and May 2 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Cantwell Community Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library at 109 Main St., Saranac Lake, NY

Village and town of Tupper Lake

May 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Downstairs Community Room of Goff-Nelson Memorial Library at 41 Lake St., Tupper Lake, NY

Village of Lake Placid and town of North Elba

May 4 May 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the First Floor Meeting Room of the Town Hall at 2693 Main St., Lake Placid, NY

DEC will also hold two meetings with an availability session from 3 to 5 p.m. and a public meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. DEC will answer questions and accept comments during each of the two afternoon availability sessions. DEC staff will share a presentation and offer the public the opportunity to comment on the draft plan during the evening public meetings.

The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 9, in the Community Room of the Tupper Lake Emergency Services Building at 31 Santa Clara Ave., Tupper Lake, NY. The second meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 10, in the main conference room of the DEC Region 5 Headquarters at 1115 State Route 86, Ray Brook, NY.

The Draft Conceptual Plan is available to view or download on the DEC website at Copies of the Draft Conceptual Plan are also available for review at DEC Region 5 Headquarters in Ray Brook and the municipal offices of the villages of Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, and Lake Placid, and the towns of Tupper Lake, Santa Clara, Harrietstown, and North Elba.

Public comments will be accepted until close of business June 2, 2017. Written comments may be mailed to Senior Forester Steve Guglielmi, NYSDEC Region 5, P.O. Box 296, Ray Brook, NY 12977 or sent by e-mail to:

April 25, 2017