New York State has partnered with the Five Towns of the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub expected to help develop tourist destinations that rely on the extensive trail network of the Adirondack Park and existing and new lodging options.
The Concept Plan for a Hut-to-Hut Destination-based Trail System for the Five Towns of Long Lake, Newcomb, Indian Lake, Minerva, and North Hudson presents 26 trail or “traverse” trips involving overnight stays and multi-day hike opportunities for visitors to the Upper Hudson region.
Traverses are defined in the report as hikes that begin in communities, go into the backcountry, and end in another community. The concept is lodging about 8-12 miles apart that is connected by trails with gaps filled by new amenities on private lands or huts on “forever wild” New York State Forest Preserve lands.
The Five Towns surround the 65,000 acres of the former Finch lands that have been added to the Forest Preserve. According to the report, the Recreation Hub area encompasses a total of 1,293 square miles, including 485,000 acres of Forest Preserve and 341,000 acres of private land. It contains 154 miles of wild, scenic and recreational rivers, including 36 miles of the Hudson River; 305 miles of foot trails, including 47 miles of the Northville Placid Trail; several mountain ranges, the Santanoni Great Camp, the historic McIntyre Works at Tahawus, 62 lean-tos, 195 designated primitive campsites and many other amenities.
The proposed multi-use Hut-to-Hut trail system would utilize existing lodging from platform tents to yurts to eco-lodges, to existing bed and breakfasts, rental cabins and hotels. It would range from low-cost, hostel-type lodging to expensive, amenity-rich, upscale lodging. Some lodgings would be self-service, where visitors prepare their own meals, while other lodgings would be full service accommodations that provide meals. The Adirondack Hut system is expected to be designed to accommodate visitors year round.
A copy of the plan can be found on the DEC’s website.