It’s no secret the Adirondacks is a national and local treasure for outdoor recreation enthusiasts – but you essentially have to pick and choose where you go, simply because the Adirondack Region is so large.
What if you wanted to hike from one town to another? How about staying in one area one night, and another the next?
Thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s most recent initiatives to promote outdoor recreation and tourism in the Adirondacks, visitors and residents will now have even more opportunities for activities and lodging through a destination-based trail system.
New York State has partnered with the Five Towns of the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub to develop a Hut-to-Hut destination-based trail system. This arrangement will rely on a substantial trail network of Adirondack Park and existing and new lodging locations.
The Five Towns are Long Lake, Newcomb, Indian Lake, Minerva, and North Hudson. The towns include 26 trail or “traverse” opportunities for visitors in the region who wish to partake in overnight stays and multi-day hikes.
Traverses are hikes that start out in a community, go into more rural or backwoods areas, and then end in another community. The idea is to connect municipalities while preserving natural resources at the same time – the Five Towns surround 65,000 acres of the state Forest Preserve.
“The Plan unveiled. . .will lead to improved public access to the Forest Preserve coupled with lodging, for the benefit of tourists, sportsmen and women, outdoor enthusiasts of all types, and the people and communities of the Five Towns region of the Adirondack Park,” DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement.
This Hut-to-Hut trail system intends to draw in visitors who want to come to the Adirondacks for more than a day, and to provide lodging and facilities along the way. Lodging will include a wide range of options from low-cost hostel-type of housing to more elaborate, upscale accommodations.
Although the plan is to draw in more visitors and offer opportunities for residents, one of the goals is to specifically attract more winter tourists to the Adirondacks. Skiers and snowshoers will now be able to utilize comfortable, warm lodging as they engage in their favorite cold weather activities.
Additionally, after being under review for years the final plan has been approved for the revitalization of the 119-mile Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor by Gov. Cuomo, the DEC, and the DOT.
The corridor is actually a railway constructed in 1892 that is now under the jurisdiction of the DOT. In 1996, a Unit Management Plan was adopted, calling for rail use to be developed along the entire length. The UMP also encouraged the creation of a parallel trail where feasible.
In 2013, the DEC and DOT started seeking public input for a UMP amendment to best determine how the corridor should be utilized. The public’s needs were listened to and experts were consulted for nearly three years.
The process has revealed a strong support for a long distance, multi-use trail in the northern portion of the corridor, and a scenic railway in the southern segment.
“By rehabilitating the railway and building a scenic trail, we are better utilizing the corridor and its surrounding lands to create more economic and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement.
The state is investing $15 million to upgrade the rail line between Big Moose and Tupper Lake, and $8 million to build a multi-use trail between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid. This construction will happen within the next three years.
“It maximizes public recreational opportunities in a way that minimizes environmental impacts,” Adirondack Park Agency Chairwoman Leilani Ulrich said about the governor’s plans in a statement.