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.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation recognizes that in an era of dwindling staff and funding, it needs to rely more than ever on volunteer organizations to help maintain trails and other recreational amenities.
Of course, these organizations need funding, too. BETA will be raising money this Sunday by hosting a Halloween Hustle 5K and Kids Fun Run at Mountain Van Hoevenberg. Why not sign up? By doing your part you will help BETA do its part. Click here for details.
BETA is on our mind because we published a story by Alan Wechsler (“Bikers blaze their own trails“) about the group in the November/December issue of the Adirondack Explorer. (Our cover photo, taken by Josh Wilson, is of bikers on a trail maintained by BETA.)
As always, the latest Explorer is full of articles about environmental issues, outdoor recreation, wildlife, and Adirondack books and people. We’ve selected several for online viewing:
- In the third story in our series about the Adirondack Park Agency, Kim Martineau writes about the threat posed by upland development to the Park’s natural beauty.
- Ken Aaron reports on the latest developments in the paddling-rights lawsuit filed against yours truly.
- We try out a beautiful new trail up Moxham Mountain in the central Adirondacks, illustrated with photos by Seth Lang.
- Publisher Tom Woodman writes about a Saturday morning on popular Bald Mountain near Old Forge.
Photo by Josh Wilson: mountain biker in Wilmington.