The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) have announced their long-awaited decision in a controversial effort to tear up most of the 119-mile historic railroad running through the central Adirondacks. The decision has been issued in the form of a proposed amendment to the Remsen to Lake Placid Travel Corridor Unit Management Plan (UMP).
The plan would remove the rails between Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, and Lake Placid in favor of a multi-use recreational trail for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. It also calls for maintaining the railroad from Remsen to Big Moose Station and rehabilitating the 45 miles of rail from Big Moose to the Village of Tupper Lake. Also included is a plan to use at least some of the corridor as a long-range snowmobile trail that would connect to communities along the line, including Beaver River.
The Amended UMP would also include what an announcement from DEC described as “hut to hut cross-country skiing opportunities between Beaver River and the Horseshoe Lake Station and train stops in Beaver River, Lake Lila and other interior destinations…”. DOT will seek a long-term lease of the excursion railroad, which railroad advocates said was necessary to allow for more investment in the train service.
The UMP Amendment is expected to be posted to DEC’s website by Friday here, where additional documents about the corridor are already posted. A public hearing is planned for Tupper Lake Middle-High School on Wednesday, July 8, at 7 pm.
DEC and DOT are accepting written comments until July 27th via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or addressed to the following:
John Schmid, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY, 12233-4254
Dawn Klemm, NYSDOT Region 2, 207 Genesee Street, Utica, NY 13501
More stories about the Adirondack Rail-Trail efforts can be found here.
Photo of the Rail Corridor near Lake Clear courtesy John Warren. Map provided by DEC.