The state Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the completion of a new snowmobile trail in Wilmington.
The 3-mile trail connects the community of Wilmington with a snowmobile trail that leads to Cooper Kiln Pond. DEC Region 5 Director Robert Stegemann said in a press release last week the agency is pleased to provide more opportunities for snowmobilers.
"DEC continues to work with local communities to increase tourism and economic activity by providing and improving recreational opportunities in the Adirondacks," he said.
(Map courtesy of the state Department of Environmental Conservation)
The trail lets snowmobilers ride from Wilmington to the existing Cooper Kiln Pond Trail. From there, it's another 3 miles or so to the pond itself, providing riders with a 12.6-mile round trip.
Wilmington town Supervisor Randy Preston said the community is ready to start promoting the trail.
"This trail will become an economic boon for the Town of Wilmington, now and for years to come," Preston said in a prepared statement. "DEC Forester Rob Daley has been hard at work all summer to make this a reality. We are very fortunate to have him working with us."
Jim McCulley, president of the Lake Placid Snowmobile Club, told the Enterprise the DEC has been working on the trail since it completed the Wilmington Wild Forest Unit Management Plan several years ago. He said the trail starts near the old Marble Mountain Base Lodge and uses old ski trails and sluiceways to connect to the Cooper Kiln trail.
"The adding of this trail will be great for the economics of the area," McCulley said. "It opens it up so that Wilmington gets connected to the rest of the state's trail system."
McCulley said he hiked the trail with DEC staff about a month ago and "it looks good."
"It's a work in progress," he said, "but it should be good for Wilmington."
At an altitude of more than 3,000 feet, Cooper Kiln Pond is located below the summit of Stephenson Mountain. DEC officials said snowmobilers can stop and take a break at a lean-to next to the pond.
Environmental officials noted that this new trail is part of a larger effort to bring snowmobilers north to Plattsburgh, Malone and northern parts of the Adirondack Park. The trail was built with "significant help" from the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program, staff and volunteers from the town of Wilmington and inmate crews from the Moriah Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility.