Ground broken in next step for Adirondack Rail Trail project

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Adirondack rail trail (courtesy google maps)

The planned Adirondack Rail Trail is seen. (Credit: Google Maps)

TUPPER LAKE and LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Adirondak Rail Trail project seeks to connect the communities of Tupper Lake and Lake Placid with a 34-mile trail cutting through the wilderness between them, along a route cut by old railroad lines. Thursday, a new step was taken to make that vision a reality.

New York’s departments of transportation and environmental conservation, and the state Office of General Services, announced that ground had been broken on a $1.9 million effort to remove the existing railroad tracks on the right-of-way which will be used.

“The Adirondacks are one of the great treasures of New York State, and the careful redevelopment of this historic railroad right-of-way will make it easier for people to enjoy the region’s grandeur – regardless of whether they are hiking, riding a bicycle, snowmobile, or taking a scenic train,” said State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. “These two projects are indicative of the level of investment Governor Cuomo is making in creating expanded opportunities for tourism and economic growth while also protecting one New York State’s most valuable natural resources, the Adirondacks.”

The eventual path is planned for use by hikers, bikers, skiers and snowmobiles. Existing rail tracks will be removed from the line’s northern areas, above Tupper Lake.

It’s only the first part of the plan. In the coming weeks, work will begin on a second part, rehabilitating existing rail sections between Tupper Lake and Big Moose. The goal is to create the longest scenic rail trail in the country and connect Saranac Lake as well.

The project is part of the 2020 Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor Unit Management Plan. The titular corridor is 119 miles long, traveling the out-of-use rail line, which ceased operation in 1972. The line and its right-of-way were bought by the state in 1974.

“Visitors and local residents alike will be able to experience the excitement of a trail ride through some of the Adirondacks’ most remote and spectacular areas,” said DEC Commissioner Basic Seggos in a press release. “For those who prefer hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and more, the trail offers a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.”

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