Lake George’s miles of hiking, skiing and snowshoe trails are an untapped resource for tourists and day-trippers, an oversight Bolton Supervisor Ron Conover hopes to correct.
On behalf of the Town and the Village of Lake George, the Town of Hague and Bolton itself, Conover will submit an application to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for an $80,000 grant to create a comprehensive inventory of the public hiking trails in the Lake George watershed.
The final product would include graphics showing the public trail heads, lake access points, public docking areas, links to downtown business districts, trolley stops, various attractions, and recreational, historic and cultural resources, said Tracey Clothier of the LA Group, who will write the grant application.
According to Clothier, funds are available through the state’s Adirondack Park Community Smart Growth Grant Program.
The DEC seeks proposals for planning initiatives that link environmental protection, economic development and community livability, Clothier said.
“The Smart Growth program promotes sustainable economic development, and this proposal envisions a powerful tool to attract a new audience and bring significant new visitor dollars to the area,” said Clothier. “We’re appealing to the kind of experiential tourist who seeks a deep appreciation of an area’s unique natural and cultural history, the kind who will keep coming back.”
Clothier said the completed plan will also identify gaps in the trail system and examine potential alternatives for developing links between Lake George and Bolton, said Clothier.
Trails to be inventoried include not only those on state and municipal owned lands, but trails in the Lake George Land Conservancy’s nature preserves, said Clothier.
In fact, Clothier said, the project complements the Lake George Land Conservancy’s “Round the Lake Challenge.”
Similar to the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Forty-Sixer program, the “Round the Lake Challenge” encourages hikers to climb local peaks, paddle bays and marshes, and visit natural, historic, and cultural landmarks.
A detailed master plan for the east side of Lake George would be completed during a second phase of the project, said Clothier.
Photos: Lake George Wild Forest; Paddling in Northwest Bay.
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