P.O. Box 1081, Saranac Lake, NY 12983 / info@TheARTA.org
Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates
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.
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. The final step was for the decision to proceed to be published by the Governor, which happened on May17, 2016. Depending on a court challenge by the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society, the DEC intends to begin construction of the trail late in mid-2017.
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 www.AdironedackRailTrail.org 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 on the ARPS” silly law suit and keeping the Governor happy with his decision (bike relay June 4-6 is a first step in keeping our side of the story alive).
Public opinion still counts! Here are things you can do to influence the outcome:
Write letters supporting the trail to the editors of local papers:
Peter Crowley, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, email@example.com
Rich Rosentreter, Lake Placid News, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan McClelland, Editor, Tupper Lake Free Press - email@example.com
Write to the Governor in support of the Adirondack Rail Trail: The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York State, NYS State Capitol Building, Albany, NY 12224
You can help us with our mission. Click here to go to our Donations page.
These rails have been unused for forty years. They pass through the most beautiful parts of the wild Adirondacks.
Sign up to help move our elected officials to act to create a world-class recreation trail her for year-round use.