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P.O. Box 1081, Saranac Lake, NY 12983 /                               

Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates

About ARTA

ARTA is a New York based 501c3 not-for-profit corporation dedicated to creating a world class recreation trail from Lake Placid to Old Forge, with a first implementation between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake. 

What we do and are doing

In order to influence the political process, we started in 2010 to demonstrate both a real public demand for a recreation trail and also the benefits and feasibility of converting the rail bed into a recreation trail. In the time since then 13,000 people have signed our petition.  We commissioned additional studies to supplement the Camoin study completed in 2011. The Rails to Trails Conservancy (RTC) conducted a paid study in 2012 to give us detailed cost-per-mile construction costs using similar trail conversions (click here for some samples) that took advantage of local labor, volunteers, and local materials, something not addressed in the Camoin study. RTC also looked at connector trails in Tupper Lake and in the Fish Creek/Rollins Ponds areas. In Tupper Lake easy access to downtown and to the Wild Center would be a major draw. In the campsite areas, over 200,000 people come annually, most with bicycles that could access the new trail.

The RTC results were presented on July 11, 2012 at the Harrietstown Town Hall in Saranac Lake. Their conclusion: we can build the first leg, from Saranac Lake to Tupper Lake with salvaged rail funds alone.  Once built, we should expect 244,000 new visitors who will spend $19.8 million locally.  Click here for more on this report.

In late 2015 the departments of Transportation and Environmental Conservation published their recommendations for the corridor: namely a rail-trail from Lake Placid to Tupper Lake and the possibility of rail restoration north from Big Moose to Tupper Lake.  In February 2016 the Adirondack Park Agency declared this plan to be consistent with the State Land Use Master Plan (SLMP).  The final step was for the decision to proceed to be published by the Governor, which happened on May17, 2016.  A court challenge by the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society resulted in a vacating of the 2016 UMP.  The State is now deciding whether to appeal and/or revise the SLMP so construction can again begin.  Watch our News Page for updates.

Next Steps

We will start to need serious funds once we are asked by DEC to be a part of the trail planning and construction team, which we believe is imminent.  Once that happens ARTA can, as volunteers, help assemble the working group that will advise the DEC and the towns along the way on items like trail surfacing, rest areas, ATV barriers, parking, guard rails, etc.  And we can run seminars for local businesses that will show them how to promote their businesses on and other marketing outlets for the trail (we will work with Empire State Development, I Love New York, and ROOST on this).  

We are hopeful that we can raise much of the needed money from grants, but to get the grants it is probable that we will need some “pump priming” money to pay a full or part-time project coordinator who can take some of the load off the shoulders of our volunteers.  In the interim we are focused keeping the Governor happy with his decision. Please write to him expressing your support for a quick resolution of the current road-block. 

Public opinion still counts!  Here are things you can do to influence the outcome:

And Please Donate

You can help us with our mission.  Click here to go to our Donations page.

ARTA Board of Directors

  • David Banks, Lake Clear. David was the first pharmacist at the federal prison in Ray Brook in 1981, and is now a U.S. FDA scientist. He has a Masters and Ph.D. in Public Policy.  He has a home in Lake Clear.
  • Dick Beamish, Saranac Lake.  A veteran environmentalist, Dick founded the Adirondack Explorer Magazine, the most respected source for policy news, opinion, and self-propelled outdoor recreation in the Adirondacks.
  • Hope Frenette, Tupper Lake. Hope is co-owner with her husband Jim of a 26 year old contracting firm, as well as a Commercial Real Estate investor and a NYS licensed Real Estate Broker.  She is an avid skier both downhill and X-country, a hiker, camper, paddler, sportswoman and conservationist. She is also a member of The Wild Center (Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks) and The Adirondack Observatory.
  • Tony Goodwin, Keene. Tony is Executive Director of the Adirondack Trail Improvement Society and creator of the 33-mile Jack Rabbit Ski Trail between Keene and Paul Smiths.  He is the author of “Ski and Snowshoe Trails in the Adirondacks” and the Adirondack Mountain Club’s “Guide to the High Peaks.” Tony served on the original Remsen - Lake Placid Citizens Advisory Committee in 1992
  • Lee Keet, Saranac Lake. Lee is a private equity investor whose business is based in Saranac Lake.  He serves as Government Relations Chair for the Adirondack Council, Water Quality Chair for, and is a board member of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy.
  • Chris Keniston, Tupper Lake. Chris has been an activist for the revival of Tupper Lake and enjoys hiking, biking, snowmobiling and cross country skiing.  He is a Senior Investigator with the New York State Police and is in charge of their gun investigation unit.
  • Jim McCulley, Lake Placid. Jim is President of the Lake Placid Snowmobile Association.  He is a local businessman providing concession equipment and services to local institutions in the Tri-lakes area.
  • Joe Mercurio, Saranac Lake.·Joe is a retired PhD. educator who has been a leader in local issues, notably leading a citizen committee to successfully reform the local (Harrietstown) assessment procedures.
  • Scott Thompson, Beaver River. Scott is the owner/operator of Norridgewock Lodge in Beaver River, a -year-round resort near the southern end of the Old Forge-Lake Placid corridor and a major winter destination for snowmobilers.
  • Maureen Peroza, Tupper Lake. Maureen is a retired school teacher who taught in the Tupper Lake School System for 30 years.  She has been active in many local not-for-profits like the Wild Center (Adirondack Museum of Natural History) and Adirondack Observatory.  An avid outdoor woman, Maureen bikes, runs marathons and enjoys downhill and cross-country skiing.  
  • Jim Rolf, Rome NY.  Jim is Statewide Trails Coordinator at New York State Snowmobile Association.

Corporate Documents


These rails have been unused for forty years.  They pass through the most beautiful parts of the wild Adirondacks.

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