Friday, September 14, 2018

New Map Of Adirondack Mountain-Bike Trails

The Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA) has published a full-color map of more than 75 miles of moutain-bike trails in Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Wilmington, and Elizabethtown.

In all, the map shows trail networks in 10 locations: Mount Pisgah and Dewey Mountain in Saranac Lake; Brewster Peninsula, Henry’s Woods, and the woods near the Lake Placid Club and Craig Wood golf course in Lake Placid; the Flume and Hardy Road trails in Wilmington; and Blueberry Hill and Otis Mountain in Elizabethtown.

Trails are color-coded: green for easy, blue for intermediate, black for advanced, red for expert only. Perhaps it’s my eyes, but I found it hard to differentiate between the blue and black trails. Fortunately, the trails also feature geometric symbols: a circle for easy, square for intermediate, diamond for advanced, and double diamond for expert.

The map includes contour lines, gravel and paved roads, and hamlets. It uses colors to differentiate between state lands and other lands.

The map is a testament to how far mountain biking has come since BETA came into being in 2010. Most of the trails depicted  were designed and are maintained by BETA. And the organization has a number of new trails on the drawing board.

Executive Director Josh Wilson said BETA plans to update the map each winter as needed to reflect additions to the trail networks. Wilson said the current map, released in July, is largely up to date, but most of the trails marked “under construction” have been completed since publication. A trail connecting Scott’s Cobble with the Craig Wood trails is not shown on this edition of the map but will be added to the 2019 map.

I’m not much of a mountain biker, but I have ridden at most of the venues. When my girlfriend and I bought mountain bikes a few years ago, we took them to the Flume trails. As soon as we turned off the trunk trail onto a gentle single-track trail winding through a beautiful forest, I had an aha moment. So this is what mountain biking is all about!

I didn’t know about the Blueberry Hill and Otis Mountain trails in Elizabethtown, so I’m looking forward to checking those out.

The 18-by-24-inch water-resistant map folds up to a size that fits in your back pocket. It can be purchased in bike and outdoor shops in the region for $16. Proceeds support the nonprofit group.

The BETA map is nice complement to a cycling map published earlier this year by Green Goat Maps of Saranac Lake. This map shows suggested road-biking routes in the Saranac Lake/Lake Placid region, including the routes’ elevation profiles. The routes range in distance from 21.7 miles to 45.3 miles and in elevation gain from 1,059 feet to 3,887 feet.

The cycling map is the same size as BETA map. It too is water-resistant and full color. It sells for $11.95.

Photos of BETA maps.




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Phil Brown is the former Editor of Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues, the same topics he writes about here at Adirondack Almanack. Phil is also an energetic outdoorsman whose job and personal interests often find him hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, trail running, and backcountry skiing. He is the author of Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, which he co-published with the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the editor of Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology of Marshall’s writings.Visit Lost Pond Press for more information.

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