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Rail removal would help snowmobilers

February 24, 2012
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

To the editor:

I was fortunate to snowmobile in your area twice this winter. Here in Western New York, we have had virtually no snow.

In January we parked our trailer at the Stillwater Reservoir and rode across the ice to Beaver River, where we were staying. Luckily the ice was thick enough to make the crossing, but there was very little snow to provide lubrication for our sliders. I prefer not to cross a frozen body of water due to the fact it might not be safe.

In February we parked in Old Forge and rode the tracks to Beaver River. There was barely enough snow between the rails. This caused our plastic skis to make contact with the steel rails, therefore damaging our skis.

Both times the passage would have been easier and safer had there been a recreational trail in place. The Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates is dedicated to converting the 90-mile railroad line that connects Old Forge and Lake Placid into a world-class recreational trail for snowmobiling in the winter and bicycling, hiking, running, strolling, birding and handicapped use during the summer months. This makes sense due to the fact the railroad bed has been largely unused since service ended in 1972.

This recreational trail would be very beneficial to your local ecomomy. Not only would New York state residents utilize it; those of other, nearby states, including Canada, would come as well. I used to snowmobile exclusively in Ontario and Quebec, but with the dollar at par, high gas prices and expensive trail permits, it is no longer feasible to go to Canada.

In closing, this project needs the local media to get the word out, We are all depending on you to help make it happen.

Thank you,

John Pfennig

Member, Shawnee Sno Chiefs Snowmobile Club




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