I’ve been an advocate of more recreational trails throughout the park for a long time. I also feel that we’ll be cheated if we don’t try our damnedest to try to have a rail and trail, side by side where possible and intersecting when not.
In a March 16 letter to the Utica Observer Dispatch respected trail advocate Tony Goodwin noted that a rail with trail, “… is not physically possible” and that: “Periodically leaving the corridor is so far just talk. A year ago, Tupper Lake rail supporters formed a committee to look at a parallel trail from Tupper Lake to the campground at Rollins Pond. I know committee members made field inspections, but so far there’s no plan showing that a parallel trail could feasibly be built.”
I decided to take a deeper look. I talked with some folks from Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake who have explored the rail corridor in greater detail than I have. I took their information and combined it with my own experience and I made a map of a possible trail from Saranac Lake to Tupper Lake.
You will note a few specific things:
- It is either in the rail corridor or on Wild Forest Forest Preserve with the exception of a short section at the Tupper Lake end that utilizes private roads.
- Based on APA maps it follows the rail corridor or existing trails and roads throughout the entire route. It would require two or three short connector sections and bridges to be complete.
- It would be an excellent all purpose trail. Short sections could be done by road bikes and the entire thing could be done on mountain bikes, by foot, ski, and snowshoe. Most, if not all of it, could be done by snowmobile. Primitive and front country camping can be readily accessed along the way.
Have at it folks. What do you think?