Friday, July 24, 2020

Take a Survey About Hiking Trails in Hamilton County

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 Aboneaaj from the firetower on Owls Head Mountain outside of Long Lake.

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Peter Bauer is the Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks. He has been working in various capacities on Adirondack Park environmental issues since the mid-1980s, including stints as the Executive Director of the Residents' Committee to Protect the Adirondacks and FUND for Lake George as well as on the staff of the Commission on the Adirondacks in the Twenty-First Century. He was the co-founder of the Adirondack Lake Assessment Program (ALAP) in 1998, which has collected long-term water quality data on more than 75 Adirondack lakes and ponds. He has testified before the State Legislature, successfully advocated to pass legislation and budget items, authored numerous articles, op-eds, and reports such as "20% in 2023: An Assessment of the New York State 30 by 30 Act" (2023), "The Adirondack Park and Rural America: Economic and Population Trends 1970-2010" (2019), "The Myth of Quiet, Motor-free Waters in the Adirondack Park" (2013), and "Rutted and Ruined: ATV Damage on the Adirondack Forest Preserve" (2003) and "Growth in the Adirondack Park: Analysis of Rates and Patterns of Development" (2001). He also worked at Adirondack Life Magazine. He served as Chair of the Town of Lake George Zoning Board of Appeals and has served on numerous advisory boards for management of the Adirondack Park and Forest Preserve. Peter lives in Blue Mountain Lake with his wife, has two grown children out in the world, and enjoys a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities throughout the Adirondacks, and is a member of the Blue Mountain Lake volunteer fire department.Follow Protect the Adirondacks on Facebook and Threads.

3 Responses


    Trail NOT in Hamilton County that needs attention is Bald Mtn a/k/a Rondaxe.

  2. drdirt says:

    We filled in survey, but sure hate to mention all the great trails in Hamilton county ,.,.. really prefer the ‘hi-peakers’ to stay east. We keep our trails clean. It is getting difficult to find the good state campsites available, as it is. Does the county really need to lure in more visitors?
    Or is this just me being old and greedy?

    • Boreas says:

      Indeed some people who drive a few hours and want to hike without dealing with full parking lots, many people, and shuttles will eventually search out other places to hike. Consider yourself lucky to have had good trails at all!

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