Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Moose River Plains Mountain Biking Plan Comments Sought

The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is accepting public comments on Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (APSLMP) conformance for new development proposed in an amendment to the Moose River Plains Wild Forest Unit Management Plan prepared by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Plans being reviewed include expanding universal access for persons with disabilities, adding motor vehicle parking facilities, and increasing mountain biking opportunities in the Moose River Plains. DEC seeks to construct single-track mountain bike facilities, and make bicycling connections to trails at Eighth Lake Campground, Great Camp Sagamore, and nearby communities.

The Moose River Plains Wild Forest is located in the Towns of Webb and Ohio in Herkimer County and the Towns of Arietta, Inlet, Long Lake, Lake Pleasant and Morehouse in Hamilton County. A UMP for the area was completed in January 2011.

The proposed amendment would:

Address previous actions regarding bicycling from the 2011 UMP;
Incorporate proposals identified by the International Mountain Bike Association as part of a comprehensive mountain bike trail plan prepared for the Department of Environmental Conservation;
Provide additional recreational opportunities for persons with disabilities; and,
Address parking issues along Route 28 to accommodate new or expanded improvements.

Mountain bike objectives included in the amendment include:

Expand opportunities for single track riding in the Moose River Plains area.
Concentrate bicycling to specific areas and monitor the level of use.
Expand bicycling in the areas adjacent to highly visited areas such as Eighth Lake Campground and Great Camp Sagamore.
Connect the trail system to nearby towns and communities.

The APSLMP guidelines for wild forest areas allow bicycles “on roads legally open to the public and on state truck trails, foot trails, snowmobile trails and horse trails deemed suitable for such use as specified in individual unit management plans.” 6NYCRR §196.7(e) provides that “the operation of bicycles is permitted on all roads and trails on Adirondack forest preserve wild forest areas except for those roads and trails posted as closed to bicycle operation.”

Management actions to increase recreational opportunities for persons with disabilities include:

Modify the Eighth Lake Canoe Carry/Mike Norris Trail and the Eighth Lake lean-to and related facilities for persons with disabilities.
Construct a universal access trail and picnic area east of the new Route 28 parking area.

Public comment should address if the proposed activities conform to the guidelines and criteria of the APSLMP.  The APA will accept public comment on APSLMP conformance until February 17, 2017. The APSLMP and the UMPs are available for viewing or download from the Adirondack Park Agency website.

Address written comments pertaining to Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan conformance to:

Kathy Regan
Deputy Director for Planning
NYS Adirondack Park Agency
P.O. Box 99
Ray Brook, NY 12977

Email – SLMP_Comments@apa.ny.gov

If submitting comment by email, type the Moose River Plains Wild Forest Unit Management Plan in the subject line of the email message.

Fax: (518) 891-3938

UMPs are required by the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan for each unit of State land in the Adirondack Park. The plans integrate the goals and objectives of the Master Plan, related legislation, and resource and visitor use information into a single document.

Photo of a pond in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest by John Warren.

Related Stories

Stories under the Almanack's Editorial Staff byline come from press releases and other notices.

Send news updates and story ideas to Alamanck Editor Melissa Hart at editor@adirondackalmanack.com.

19 Responses

  1. Larry Roth says:

    Perfect – tie it in with the Adirondack Scenic Railroad line, and there’s potential for some great rail and trail action. Ride your bike out and take the train back or vice versa. The ASR is already doing some bike and rail stuff – this could only make it better.

    • Blackbear says:

      Have you ever looked at a map of this area? This area is nowhere near the railroad

    • Bruce says:


      I’m curious…how would you tie the two together, or were you being facetious? It’s 10 miles as the crow flies between Big Moose Station and the Moose River Plains. Further by road. It would be feasible if the old Raquette Lake RR were still in existence.

  2. Joe Hansen says:

    I was greatly impressed by the IMBA study’s recommendations and hope they will be implemented. Would the staff be able to post that link for others to read?

  3. Charlie S says:

    I don’t like this! I’ve seen what mountain bikes do to trails….the damage! And when they say “Expand opportunities for single track riding in the Moose River Plains area.” does this mean they plan on carving new trails or are they going to wreak havoc on the existing trails which have known only foot traffic all these years? There sure seems to be a big push to get more people into the Adirondacks by whatever means other than by foot which to me is the surest way of having a spiritual experience in the woods if we’re up to having one of those in the first place!

    • Paul says:

      Here is an example of some of the damage that is done by those on foot:


      Can you send us some links of the mountain bike “damage” you have seen in the Adirondacks?


      • Bruce says:

        I guess I shouldn’t point out the trail conditions in the HP out of the Loj, or the deplorable condition of backwoods lean-tos as in the article last year. It wasn’t vehicles responsible for either situation.

        This is going to upset a lot of people, but hikers as a class of humans aren’t any more environmentally friendly than other humans, it just takes them longer.

      • Boreas says:


        Since bikes are prohibited in the HPW, we can’t really use that for a comparison. But elsewhere, if Trail A has 10,000 hikers per year and an identical Trail B had 10,000 cyclists/year you would see significant erosion on both trails. Both activities cause erosion. I feel trail type & design should fit the terrain and soil composition to minimize damage & erosion. And some areas should have no trails.

        I feel MRP would be a decent area for different types of cycling, as long as the off-road trails are designed for it.

    • Jim S. says:

      Anyone travelling on a trail by any means of locomotion after a rain or rapid thaw will cause a lot of erosion. It isn’t only or even mostly mountain bikes doing damage. Irresponsible people are responsible.

  4. Charlie S says:

    I wont open your link because truly I believe too much information distorts the mind Paul and besides where do you get that I talk about bike “damage” I have seen in the Adirondacks. I never said I saw bike damage in the Adirondacks. I said “I’ve seen what mountain bikes do to trails.” Clear as day and I am not fibbing just to be partisan on this matter. And besides you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to come to the realization that if you take as many people who travel by foot on trails and instead put them on contraptions that have two wheels more wear & tear will be the end result on said trails. Sure there’s damage by foot,there’s damage wherever man goes… what is it you are trying to get across?

    I am not anti mountain biking or any biking for that matter I’m just saying there’s plenty of places to engage in this form of recreation why do we have to keep intruding upon what’s left of the few remaining wild places by encouraging more mechanized activity which in reality takes away from real down to earth human labor…foot travel. I used to be an avid biker Paul I loved getting on my two wheels and putting my body to work. There was a seven-mile paved trail that I knew surrounded by woods in a water management area. I put many miles in on that ‘paved’ trail until one day something snapped in me and I decided to walk it instead. And wouldn’t you know…I saw more,heard more,smelled more,felt more. In short I became more aware! There’s a major difference tween getting around by foot and getting around by wheels i’m here to say! So now I choose to walk especially when I go to the Adirondacks woods which,just being there,has the most delightful effect upon my soul. There are times I go into them woods and a deep,tingling,blissful sensation comes over me…..something I expect few people to understand.

    They’re going to do what they’re going to do Paul no matter how simple me feels about it. The people who make the decisions! They’re more short term in their thinking than I could ever be. One things for sure though….the more mechanization the less magic! I am convinced of this!

    • Paul says:

      The link is from here at the Almanack, you should check it out.

      You prefer to walk, some prefer to ride. Some of us prefer to do both (actually I prefer road biking)). I say give them a few more places to do it. Get’s them off the screen and into the woods. This is all pretty low elevation good area for that type of activity.

      I love to walk around in quiet places too, I hear you. I also think that some (not you and that is fine) get their “magic” from riding. You do your thing and let them do theirs. And in this case give them a good place to do it.

      • Jim S. says:

        Mountain biking is a great way to get young people into the woods. They develop a passion for nature and hopefully become environmentally concerned for life.

      • Charlie S says:

        “You do your thing and let them do theirs.”

        Of course Paul. Isn’t it always this way?

  5. Charlie S says:

    “…hikers as a class of humans aren’t any more environmentally friendly than other humans.”

    Depends on who the hikers are Bruce.

    • Joe Hansen says:

      Charlie S. I appreciate your concerns about trail erosion. There are mt. bikers who are concerned as well. A purpose built trail for biking if done correctly enhances user enjoyment and minimizes damage. We need the next generation to embrace wild lands and to use them responsibly. All we can do is keep hammering home enlightened use and hope that most concur.

      • Charlie S says:

        ” A purpose built trail for biking if done correctly enhances user enjoyment and minimizes damage.”

        Yeah but….What if of a sudden mountain biking takes off like handheld devices took off,like tweets took off! It wouldn’t take long for there to be a change in them there woods! And are they allowed to build a trail for bikes,a mechanized contraption?
        Minimizes damage? I like the idea of no damage in the first place thank you.

    • Bruce says:

      Yes Charlie, it does. Every class of outdoor user has both responsible and irresponsible people. The only camping I do now is because I can get to the campsite by vehicle. You would be hard pressed to tell I had been there after I left.

      We have lots of hiking trails in the National Forests surrounding where I live (1.4 million acres). Besides the erosion, many are lined with toilet paper, red, blue, green, and yellow plastic trash flowers, gorp and granola bar wrappers, etc., all from foot hikers because bikes aren’t allowed on most of them.

      Not allowing bikers in Moose River Plains won’t change that dynamic. I suspect all trails won’t be open to bikes, in fact I understand the DEC wants to create specified bike trails there. As Paul said, and talleys with what I saw while there, the MRP is mostly low gradient anyway.

      • Charlie S says:

        ” I understand the DEC wants to create specified bike trails there.”

        If this is the case then they’re not doing their job in my book. The DEC was designed to protect and enhance the environment which is not what they are doing if they encourage more and more mechanized use.

        • Bruce says:


          Read the DEC website, I’m sure you will discover that “protect and enhance” are only a part of their job. There’s page after page of all types of recreational activities on DEC managed lands.

          Besides, the Moose River Plains is a multiple use area.

Wait! Before you go:

Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox