Public input is sought for the selection of 5-10 priority hiking trails within Hamilton County for inclusion in a trail maintenance plan as the primary goal of the Hamilton County Trails into Prosperity project. The project will enhance recreational opportunities, bolster local economies, and improve natural resource user experience by designing comprehensive trail maintenance and sustainability plans for key Hamilton County hiking trails. Those who hike in Hamilton County are encouraged to complete a brief survey regarding priority trail selection.
The Trails into Prosperity project will prioritize existing trails within Hamilton County in terms of environmental quality, importance to outdoor recreation, access to back country, and impact on tourism, with potential and future opportunities for trial maintenance implementation. With direction from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) and public input, up to ten trails will be chosen to include in the Hamilton County Trail Management Plan that addresses environmental needs.
“The public survey is an essential component of this project, and the project team thanks participants for their time and input,” Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Chairman William Farber said.
In 2019, the NYS DEC, in cooperation with the Department of State and the Adirondack Park Agency, announced that Hamilton County was awarded a Community Smart Growth grant in the amount of $66,500. The Trails into Prosperity project is a collaboration between the NYS DEC, Hamilton County, Wilderness Property Management Inc., Protect the Adirondacks, and the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District. In this first phase, grant funds will support the creation of a plan for the management and sustainability of trails in Hamilton County.
“Hamilton County’s towns have unique natural resources and depend on tourism to drive the economy,” said Farber. “The large number of trails in the county presents a maintenance challenge, and many need repair and currently do not provide high quality or safe recreational experiences. Hamilton County will take a proactive leadership role in maintaining and preserving trails, which will enhance the quality of user experience and support our local economy.”
“Hamilton County Trails into Prosperity is fully consistent with maintaining the environmental quality of the Adirondack Park and will enhance our local communities,” grant administrator Nancy Berkowitz said.
The Trails into Prosperity team seeks public input for trails to include in the Hamilton County Trail Management Plan. Those interested can complete a short survey and recommend trails for inclusion. Click here to take the survey. The survey closes Aug. 5.
Picture is by Jaylim Aboneaaf from the firetower on Owls Head Mountain outside of Long Lake.