The 12.8-mile Seventh Lake Mountain Multiple Use Trail (the Moose River Plains Connector) between the communities of Inlet and Raquette Lake through the Moose River Plains Wild Forest in Hamilton County is now open for public use.
The trail will provide a four season trail connection (including snowmobiles and mountain bikes) between the communities of Raquette Lake in the Town of Long Lake to the towns of Indian Lake and Inlet. The new trail connects with the existing Moose River Plains Wild Forest trail system which connects to Newcomb in Essex County and Old Forge in Herkimer County.
“Hamilton County and the towns of Inlet, Long Lake and Indian Lake are very appreciative of this outstanding trail and the enormous effort that DEC and others put into completing it in such a short time,” William Farber, chairman of the Hamilton County Supervisors, said in a statement sent to the press. “We appreciate the vision of Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Martens who recognize that economic sustainable communities connected to forest preserve and conservation easement lands are needed to ensure a healthy and vibrant Adirondack Park.”
DEC crews from Regions 5 and Region 6, with assistance from the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program, the towns of Long Lake, Inlet and Indian Lake, the New York State Snowmobile Association and local volunteers worked over the past six months to construct what is described by a DEC press release as “the most significant trail project to be undertaken in the Central Adirondacks in decades.”
The Moose River Plains Wild Forest Unit Management Plan approved the construction of this 12.8-mile community connection trail and the closure of 46 miles of snowmobile trails which existed in the more remote areas of this Wild Forest Unit. In addition, 15,000 acres of Moose River Plains Wild Forest lands were reclassified as Wilderness to create the new Little Moose Wilderness area and approximately two miles of road were closed to motor vehicle access within this Wild Forest.
“The New York State Snowmobile Association applauds the efforts of the Department of Environmental Conservation to create this community connector trail in the Moose River Plains Unit,” a press statement by Dominic Jacangelo, executive director of The New York State Snowmobile Association, said. “The plan for this trail is environmentally sound and will provide economic benefits to the local communities. DEC has, with the completion of this trail, built a strong partnership between the Town of Inlet, The Inlet Barnstormers, NYSSA and the State agency, and we look forward to similar future projects.”
The construction of this new multiple-use trail was approved in the 2011 Moose River Plain Wild Forest Unit Management Plan and constructed pursuant to the “Management Guidance: Snowmobile Trail Construction and Maintenance on Forest Preserve Lands in the Adirondack Park” (Management Guidance), which was determined by the APA to be in compliance with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (APSLMP) in November 2009.
Photo: A map of the trail made before construction was complete; a printable and downloadable version is available at the DEC website.