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NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Press Release - DEC Finalizes Community Connector Multiple-Use Trail Plan

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Press Release
Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A plan to establish a 40-mile community connector multiple-use trail system between the communities of Minerva, Newcomb and North Hudson in the Adirondacks has been approved, state Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Marc Gerstman announced today.

"Governor Cuomo committed the state to expanding and promoting diverse outdoor recreational experiences in the Adirondacks and a sustainable economy for Adirondack communities," said Acting Commissioner Gerstman. "DEC is gratified to work together with the communities that host the Finch acquisition and to see our commitments fulfilled. We pledge to continue our partnership with the environmental community and the towns. The new trail will establish new areas to mountain bike, horseback ride, hike, snowmobile, cross-country ski and snowshoe while linking to amenities found in the communities."

The finalization of the plan will allow for construction to begin immediately on 18-miles of new trail between Newcomb and Minerva. The entire trail is expected to be completed by 2018, with portions of the trail being open to the public next year. Work will also begin next year on the trail connecting Newcomb and North Hudson, starting with the construction of a bridge over the outlet of Palmer Pond near the hamlet of North Hudson. The whole trail system is expected to be completed by 2022, with new trail segments becoming available for public recreation every year until the completed date.

The trail system connects the Forest Preserve units of the Vanderwacker Mountain Wild Forest, the Camp Santanoni Historic Area and the Lake Harris Public Campground as well as the Hudson River Hyslop and Blue Ridge Road Conservation Easements. It will follow existing roads and trails on public, private and conservation easement lands to minimize the amount of new trail building. The design of the trail system includes efforts to minimize impacts to residents along its route and to the natural and cultural resources of the area. This will include looping around the Gate Lodge Complex of the Camp Santanoni Historic Area. If connections are needed across private property, permission will be sought from the owner.

The plan also calls for the construction of a bridge over the Palmer Pond outlet that will provide administrative access to maintain the dam and a crossing for the Newcomb to North Hudson community connector trail. Additionally, the plan calls for the addition of new primitive tent sites for camping and a new lean-to near Great Camp Santanoni to protect the historic structures from potential damage caused by inappropriate use of the Great Camp complex.

The plan can be found on DEC's website.

State Senator Betty Little said, "The community connector trail will afford so many more people access to enjoy and appreciate this wonderful part of the Adirondack Park. This means so much to these communities, and particularly the small businesses that will benefit from an outdoor experience that appeals to more tourists of all ages and physical ability. I thank Governor Cuomo, DEC Acting Commissioner Marc Gerstman and the staff for working with the local officials and other stakeholders to establish this long-desired trail system."

Assemblyman Dan Stec said, "I applaud DEC for listening to the needs of the people and deciding to make this multi-use trail a reality for the five towns. The purpose of this land acquisition was touted to include recreation and economic development needs. It's good to see DEC following through on this commitment."

Chair of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Bill Farber said, "This community connector trail is another great example of the success we can achieve when the region's five towns and two counties work in partnership with state agencies and local stakeholders. Snowmobiling is important to our region, and opening this trail will be a direct benefit to our winter economy. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and DEC, we have achieved a balance in protecting the Adirondack Park and opening it to greater recreation and tourism opportunities."

Town of Minerva Supervisor, Steve McNally said, "With the Governor's and DEC's help, we are really excited with the new opportunities ahead of us. With limited accommodations and services in our small towns, having the ability for people to get from one town to another will make us a better destination."

Town of Newcomb Supervisor, George Canon said, "This is a major step toward greater economic benefits for the communities in the five-town hub, especially during the winter months. Thank you to Governor Cuomo and DEC for their ongoing commitment to Adirondack communities, residents and visitors."

Town of North Hudson Supervisor Ron Moore said, "The Town of North Hudson is very pleased to have this new recreational opportunity that will provide a Community Connector Trail between the five towns. We believe this will help to spur the new growth in our economies that we so desperately need, while at the same time preserving and protecting the environmental resources that are our great treasure. Many thanks to the DEC for their continued commitment and hard work in bringing these new recreational opportunities to all of our people and the economic benefits that will support our struggling businesses as a result."

Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway said, "The Adirondack Council supports the goals of the state's community connector snowmobile trail network, which aims to make snowmobiling between the park's communities safer, easier and more ecologically friendly. Moving trails off of lakes and ponds, out of the middle of Forest Preserve units and toward existing travel corridors is good for protecting clean water, wilderness, wildlife and the winter economy of local communities."


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