How does this sound? Enjoy the Adirondack Park by day, then by night stay cozy and warm at an inn or luxury campground. Sound nice? It just might become a reality! The Adirondack Community Trail and Lodging System (ACTLS) has been diligently working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to devise a hut-to-hut trail system that could connect the Adirondack community, town by town.
What’s The End Goal?
ACTLS ultimately hopes to have five hamlets of the Adirondack Park connected by a network of trails. Long Lake, Newcomb, Indian Lake, Minerva and North Hudson are all part of the plan. Each trail will begin and end in an Adirondack community, allowing visitors to spend the night in that community’s accommodations, without having to lug around a tent all day. Talk about benefits for both parties!
This hut-to-hut trail system will appeal to a wide variety of people. According the ACTLS’ research, the trails will attract all ages and families- the types of hikers that aren’t looking for a stressful experience or a high risk adventure.
Wake up in one town, fall asleep in another – no car involved! It’s the best of both worlds. Visitors can experience the towns and back country all in one outing.
ACTLS’ consultant team recognizes there will be a broad range of reactions to this system. Some routes will be easily agreed upon while others will require further discussion. In the 112-page report proposed by ACTLS there is a detailed description of the planned routes.
Breakdown of Lodging Options and Trails
The following is proposed in ACTLS’s Concept Plan for Hut-to-hut Destination-based Trail System for the Five Towns of Long Lake, Newcomb, Indian Lake, Minerva and North Hudson.
Which towns are included and how often? [Start, finish, or intersect]
- Newcomb : 10 routes
- Indian Lake: 9 routes
- Long Lake: 8 routes
- Blue Mountain Lake: 7 routes
- Minerva: 4 routes
- North Hudson: 4 routes
- Raquette Lake: 3 routes
Where can you expect to find lodging?
- Indian Lake: 8 lodge options
- Long Lake: 6 lodge options
- Newcomb: 7 lodge options
- North Hudson: 5 lodge options
- Minerva: 5 lodge options
- Other towns: 18 lodge options [within 8 different communities]
What type of lodging is proposed?
- Private/Nonprofit: 34
- Easement: 7
- Forest Preserve: 2
- Undetermined: 6
Economy Boost is Expected
With increased accessibility to remote Adirondack towns, business is expected to increase. Alongside hiking accessibility, the idea behind this plan is unique and attractive for outside visitors. Indian Lake Supervisor Brian Wells views this plan as an economy enhancer for central Adirondacks.
“We all have hiking trails in the Adirondacks. They’re all pretty remote. This concept of people actually being able to start in town and then ending up in a town I think is kind of a neat idea, a really novel approach to something. And I think it’s going to help bring a little bit of business into town,” Wells said to WAMC radio.
There’s a lot to look forward to as this plan becomes reality. Glampers and campers alike will be able to experience the Adirondack Park for longer periods of time with more accessible amenities.
ACTLS Isn’t The Only One With This Idea
NYS Governor Cuomo proposed an initiative called Adventure NY in January. Governor Cuomo’s plan intends to connect Adirondack communities using a network of trails and recreational facilities. Additionally, the plan will “Improve access to State lands, rehabilitate campgrounds, and upgrade DEC recreational facilities,” according to the Governor’s office website.
Both initiatives intend to increase accessibility to the outdoors, connect people to the outdoors and have great potential to provide recreation activities for everyone to enjoy in the future.
Where Does ACTLS Stand Today?
ACTLS held a meeting in Saranac Lake in June to discuss their progress. Jack Drury and Joe Dadey, the project directors of ACTLS, presented new routes and maps to board members. According to Adirondack Daily Enterprise, the two directors said many public input sessions are where the trail ideas were developed
Drury even gave a sneak preview: hikers can expect routes from Saranac Lake to Duane, Tupper Lake to Lake Clear and routes utilizing Adirondack Scenic Railroad. The next step for ACTLS is an implementation strategy for the trail system.
How do you feel about a hut-to-hut trail system in the Adirondacks?