Posts Tagged ‘Biking’

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Unanswered Rail-Trail Questions

Adirondack Tourist Train (Susan Bibeau)For more than two years, rail-trail activists have been pushing state officials to end decades of financial support for the Adirondack Scenic Railroad and convert a ninety-mile rail corridor between Old Forge and Lake Placid into a year-round multi-use recreational trail.

Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates (ARTA) has argued that the tourism train has been a financial failure, requiring too much taxpayer support, and claimed that a rail trail would provide a bigger tourism draw. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

DEC Readies ATV Use Experiment on the Kushaqua Tract

 ATV-DamageThe NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing a new experiment trying to combine intensive public motorized recreational use and natural resource management. The DEC has released a draft Recreation Management Plan (RMP) for the Kushaqua Conservation Easement tract located in the Towns of Franklin and Brighton in Franklin County.  Throughout this tract, the DEC is proposing to open a number of roads to all terrain vehicles (ATVs).

The DEC went down this road once before in the mid-1990s when they opened scores of roads on the Forest Preserve to ATVs. Though official processes were not followed at that time, scores of roads and trails throughout the western Adirondacks were opened to ATVs. Trespassing in other areas was also widespread across the Forest Preserve. After extensive damage to roads, trails, and natural resources, the DEC and APA backtracked in 2005 and closed scores of Forest Preserve roads to ATV use.

At that time, public ATV use on the Forest Preserve was seen by many as an experiment that failed. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, December 12, 2013

Unanswered Questions About Essex Chain Proposal

FULL SIZE - APA Essex Chain Lakes Recommendation MapThe Adirondack Park Agency began deliberations Wednesday on the classification of 21,200 acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands, with staff members explaining why the agency’s staff settled on a Primitive classification for the Essex Chain Lakes. However, some questions were left unanswered.

The staff had considered proposals to classify the Essex Chain as Wilderness, Canoe, and Wild Forest. As reported earlier on the Almanack, the staff rejected the Wilderness and Canoe designations largely because local towns own the floatplane rights to First Lake, which is part of the Essex Chain, as well as Pine Lake, which is located a mile and a half south of the chain.

“The presence of floatplanes landing and taking off would detract from the sense of wilderness,” Kathy Regan, a senior natural resource planner, told the APA board.

» Continue Reading.



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

When ‘Primitive’ Is More Protective Than ‘Wilderness’

FULL SIZE - APA Essex Chain Lakes Recommendation MapWilderness is the most restrictive and most protective of the Adirondack Park Agency’s seven classifications for Forest Preserve lands, so perhaps it’s no surprise that environmental groups pushed for a Wilderness designation for the Essex Chain Lakes.

The APA staff instead recommended a Primitive classification. Ordinarily, this might be seen as a slight downgrade in protection, but in this case an argument can be made that natural resources are actually better protected under the Primitive classification. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, December 5, 2013

ESF Students Have Their Own Ideas For Essex Chain

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Adirondack Park Agency is weighing seven options for the classification of the 17,320-acre Essex Chain Tract. Perhaps they should consider an eighth.

Three college students have studied the various issues pertaining to classification and come up with their own recommendation: designate the tract Wild Forest with special restrictions.

The students—Azaria Bower, Kayla Bartheleme, and Erin Ulcickas—collaborated on the project this fall during their semester at the Newcomb campus of the State University College of Environmental Science and Forestry. » Continue Reading.



Monday, October 7, 2013

More Access For Sable Highlands Easement Lands

sablelmapA number of new facilities and access opportunities on the Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands in Franklin and Clinton counties (former Domtar Industries lands near Lyon Mountain) are now available for public use, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. DEC and its partners have constructed new parking lots, opened some roads for motorized use, and installed informational kiosks. Roads and trails have been opened through private lease areas to provide access under sporting leases to areas open to public use.

The Sable Highlands easement lands include more than 28,000 acres of lands distributed over 14 public use areas, all of which are open and available for public access and recreation in accordance with the April 2009 Interim Recreation Management Plan. More than 56,000 acres of the Sable Highlands easement lands are leased by the landowner to hunting, fishing and recreation clubs for their exclusive private use. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Better Rail Trail?
Biking The Plattsburgh to Saranac Lake RR

route near StandishThis was not the bike trip I had hoped for. It seemed like a good idea, until I saw my girlfriend Liz dragging her bicycle up and over slippery rocks in a rushing stream. After a push and pull to gain some ground and a quick break to study the best way to rock hop with a bike in hand, she stumbled and fell. While dropping her beloved Surly bicycle into the water in an attempt to gain her balance she just groaned with exasperation.  Now, with the bike partially submerged and her feet wet, we were both starting to question our reasoning.  Not only were we fording streams, we found ourselves dragging bicycles over downed trees, ducking and weaving around overhanging branches, pushing through thick brush only to find the path strangled by even more vegetation and debris.

Our plan was pretty simple; retrace the route of the abandoned D and H Railroad from Plattsburgh to Saranac Lake. The maps all showed it, locals talked about its existence and one bike shop mechanic told us he traveled the whole thing by dirt bike years ago. “Although, “he said, “the right of way seems to be lost in places.”  After some roadside scouting of the railroad grade via our little Toyota, we concluded that the best place to begin was outside of Cadyville where there were no houses or any no trespassing signs blocking our way. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Public Meetings Planned On Future Of Historic RR Line

NYCRR-Adk-Div-MapThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) have announced that they will hold four public meetings in September about the management of the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor, a 119-mile nineteenth-century rail line in the western Adirondacks.

A bitter debate has raged in the Adirondacks over the past several years after rail-trail advocates began pushing to have the historic railroad tracks torn-up. In 2011, an organization calling themselves Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates began calling for the outser of the tourist railroad operation and for conversion of the rail bed to a multi-use trail. More than 10,000 people have signed-on to a petition calling for the removal of the tracks. The trail advocates’ call for a reassessment of the corridor’s management plan has resulted in this round of public hearings. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ironman Lake Placid Set For Sunday

Crowd at the BeachThis Sunday, more than 2,800 athletes will compete in the 2013 IRONMAN Lake Placid, one of nearly 30 events in the global IRONMAN Series, is the oldest IRONMAN event in the continental U.S. and features one of the most scenic courses on the circuit.

The two-loop swim course takes place in Mirror Lake, followed by a unique transition in the Olympic Speed-Skating Oval. The 112-mile bike route leads athletes along state, county and local roads. The spectator friendly marathon (26.2 miles) run through downtown Lake Placid. The event offers a total professional prize purse of $25,000 and 60 coveted slots to the 2013 IRONMAN World Championship, taking place on October 12 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ausable River Association ‘Ride for the River’ Sunday

DSCF7905The Ausable River Association’s second annual Ride for the River is happening this weekend on Sunday, July 21. Three new Ride routes designed by Keene Valley bike shop LeepOff Cycles, music by Darryl Stout and Eric Klotzko, and a Hornbeck Boats canoe raffle are planned. This year’s Ride is in memory of Carol Rupprecht, a dedicated steward of the Ausable River.

The Ride for the River celebrates the scenic and recreational resources of the Ausable River as well as the communities and businesses that make the Ausable Valley a great place to live, work and play. Cyclists of all ages and skill levels can register for one of three scenic routes alongside the Ausable River and across its hills and valleys. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dewey Mountain Celebrates New Mountain Bike Trails

Mountain Bike trail openingDewey Mountain Recreation Center inaugurated 5.5 miles of new mountain biking trails with a ribbon cutting Sunday in Saranac Lake.

Volunteers from Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA) built the trails over the course of the past four years. There are options for beginners as well as experts, made clear by a new trail map and signage installed by BETA and North Country Healthy Heart Network. The trails are free and open to the public. Hikers and runners are also welcome to use the Dewey network of ski, snowshoe and bike trails during non-snow months.

Dewey Mountain Recreation Center is a four-season mountain-sports venue founded by the town of Harrietstown in 1980. The entrance is one mile west of downtown Saranac Lake on state Route 3. » Continue Reading.



Monday, June 10, 2013

Wilmington Whiteface Bike Fest This Weekend

WBF_FINALThe three-day celebration of two wheels, the Annual Wilmington Whiteface Bike Fest, will roll into the Lake Placid region once again from June 14-16. The bikefest is designed to promote and showcase cycling opportunities in and around Wilmington. This year’s festival will feature a beginner, instructional mountain bike program, the popular jump jam, the “Poor Man’s Downhill race, beach party, food games, lives music, a “best calves” contest and the 12th annual Whiteface Mountain Uphill Bike Race.

On Sunday, hundreds of cyclists will hit the roads, back country roads and trails during the Wilmington Whiteface 100k (WW100) mountain bike race. Cyclists from throughout the northeastern United States and Canada hope that this event will qualify them for one of 70 to 100 spots in the prestigious Leadville 100 (LT100). » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bicyclist: Don’t Share The Road

bike-page1I have just re-entered the cycling fold after a hiatus of 25 years. Growing up in Ottawa, I used to ride everywhere.  Back in the day, Ottawa was already pretty bike-friendly and a bicycle was my only real transportation. Weather permitting, I would ride dozens of miles a day  – to school, work, to the homes of friends – I never thought about distance. I had no car, no license, and lived in a city with affordable and convenient public transportation.

I resisted the temptation to succumb to Canadian progressivism though, and I couldn’t wait to begin burning fossil fuels with abandon. Just before my 17th birthday I did just that, first on a ’79 Yamaha XS400, a motorcycle bought with my summer job money, and eventually with a hand-me-down Buick Skyhawk. I don’t remember what happened to my old bicycle. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Second Ausable Bike ‘Ride For The River’ Planned

DSCF7905The Ausable River Association (AsRA) will hold its second Ride for the River bike ride and invites residents and visitors to join in on Sunday, July 21. The Ride for the River celebrates the scenic and recreational resources of the Ausable River as well as the communities and businesses of the Ausable Valley. Cyclists of all ages and skill level can register for one of three scenic routes alongside the Ausable River and across its hills and valleys.

Following the Ride, enjoy a picnic and live music with fellow riders as well as friends and family at Jay Covered Bridge in Jay, NY. All proceeds of the Ride benefit the Ausable River Association’s work to protect and restore the valued resources of the Ausable River for their benefit to the ecosystem and human communities. This year’s ride is in memory of Carol Rupprecht, a dedicated steward of the Ausable River. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Backcountry: A New State Land Designation?

Six Rivers Overview Map (Bill Ingersoll Proposal)Ever since the state announced that it had closed on its purchase of the Essex Chain of Lakes and sections of the Hudson River — part of the property formerly owned by Finch Pruyn — there has been much preliminary discussion for how these lands should be classified under the State Land Master Plan (SLMP). What you are about to read is one more such proposal. This one, though, is not from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) or any conservation group. Rather, it is my own personal, independent proposal. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Moose River Plains Multi-use Community Connector Opened

Seventh Lake Mountain Multiple use Trail (Moose River Plains Connector)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. » Continue Reading.



Friday, January 25, 2013

Phil Brown: Mountain Bikes and Wilderness

essex map croppedGenerally, I regard the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan as a sound document, but when it comes to mountain bikes I have some qualms. It seems to pit environmentalists against bikers, and the bikers I know consider themselves environmentalists.

I thought of this while reviewing the state’s proposals for the classification and management of the former Finch, Pruyn & Company lands.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is recommending that bikers be allowed to ride on a network of dirt roads in the Essex Chain of Lakes area and on the access road to the Boreas Ponds Tract (known as Gulf Brook Road). » Continue Reading.



Monday, November 5, 2012

Barkeater Trail Alliance Makes Tracks

I’m following Keith McKeever and his friends up a mountain-bike trail on a bright summer afternoon. The trail climbs smoothly but unrelentingly as it switchbacks up the side of Winch Mountain in Wilmington.

I’m feeling good at first, legs spinning, tires grabbing the soil. But after a few minutes I start to feel an ache in my chest, my breathing gets more labored, and my speed falters. Soon I come to a stop. Sweat drips off my forehead as I hunch over the handlebars and re-oxygenate my lungs.

Keith looks back as he turns up the next switchback. “Nice job!” he yells. “You’re almost halfway up.” Then he disappears around the bend. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More Adirondack Volunteers Sought

The Adirondack Park has a few thousand miles of trails, but few were designed for biking. The Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA) is trying to change that.

A group of passionate mountain bikers, BETA has developed dozens of trails in the Wilmington, Lake Placid, and Saranac Lake region and dreams of connecting them so visitors someday will be able to ride all day without their rubber hitting pavement.

BETA is one of several volunteer organizations in the Adirondacks Park that help make the park user-friendly. Others that jump to mind include Lean2Rescue, the Adirondack Forty-Sixers, and the Adirondack Ski Touring Council. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bike Ride to Benefit Ausable River Association

The Ausable River Association will host a Ride for the River bike ride on Sunday, September 16.  The event will include a  37-mile scenic bike ride following the river from headwaters to lake designed to raise awareness of issues affecting the Ausable River’s vital natural resources and raise funds for the Ausable River Association (AsRA), a local organization that stewards the watershed’s resources and connects communities around protection of the river.

Ride for the River  will start near the source of the Ausable East Branch by the Ausable Club and follow the gentle path of the river valley to conclude with a picnic on the Main Stem at the famous Ausable Chasm. For the more adventurous, a ride back to start will accomplish a total of 74 miles. The Ride has an intermediate grade along the river and is entirely on state roads, the majority of which have wide shoulders. A portion of this route is used in the Ironman Lake Placid Triathlon. » Continue Reading.



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