Public Meeting held in Old Forge on proposed project to replace railroad tracks with a recreational trail

The meeting was held at The View on Route 28 and was very well attended by both residents of the Adirondacks, and tourists who visit the area.

Posted: Dec 5, 2019 11:09 PM
Updated: Dec 6, 2019 2:54 PM

OLD FORGE N.Y.-A public meeting was held in Old Forge Thursday night to discuss a proposed project on traveling from Remsen to Lake Placid.

Several people attended the meeting, which took place at the View on Route 28 in Old Forge.

People who live in, and vacation in, the Adirondacks came to speak to representatives from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Department of Transportation about a proposed project to rehab train tracks between Remsen and Tupper Lake.

The other half of the project includes removing the railroad tracks between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid, which would then be replaced by a recreational trail to be used for snowmobiling.

Some attending the meeting were in favor of removing the rails to create a snowmobile trail from Big Moose to Lake Placid.

“It's not getting rid of the railroad, the railroad will still run between Utica and Big Moose. Nothing will change in that perspective," said Jim McCulley of Lake Placid. “But what we really need in the Adirondacks is wintertime business and removing the tracks will mean at least another six to eight weeks worth of riding season for us," McCulley added.

Others also believe the recreational trail would be a huge economic development to the region.

"From an economic standpoint I think it will bring more visitors to the area then the train ever will,” said Mark Mayer of Big Moose. “If you look at the snowmobile community and where the riders are riding now and how they want to travel. That corridor there is very important for all of us to get to some of these communities that we normally can't get to." 

Thursday’s meeting was supposed to be the only local meeting on the matter, but Sen. Joseph Griffo added another meeting on Dec. 19 in Utica. The project is estimated to cost around $44.8 million dollars.

Public comments will be accepted through close of business on Friday, Dec. 20. Comments may be provided at any of the public meetings; mailed to John Schmid, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY, 12233-4254; or e-mailed to adirondackpark@dec.ny.gov.

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