To the editor:
In less than two years, ARTA, the Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates, has created the opportunity of a generation. New York state announced the reopening of the Unit Management Plan for the Adirondack Travel Corridor (the rail tracks) and will soon invite public comment at hearings on the future of this state-owned asset. ARTA has maintained that the corridor would be of greater benefit as a year-round recreational trail than attempting to restore and operate the Old Forge to Lake Placid section of the line.
Over 12,000 petitioners, several local governments, and the New York State Snowmobile Association have joined in the push to repurpose the corridor as a year-round recreational trail for snowmobiling in the winter and bicycling with hiking, and a host of outdoor activities, the rest of the year.
In the last few days ARTA celebrated the accomplishments with a public affair that included speakers from other rail trails, introducing NYSSA Trail Coordinator Jim Rolf as our newest board member, and launched the Adirondack Business Owners Resolution asking the state DOT, DEC and the governor to support this conversion as soon as possible. Over 200 business owners are listed on a resolution of support, and you can be counted at www.theARTA.org. firstname.lastname@example.org.
This will not be just another trail in the woods. It will be a world-class attraction and activity for an entire region.
As with large numbers of rail trail conversions, the potential is immeasurable; salvage value should more than pay for the conversion and, while most trail work is already done by the snowmobile clubs, there are many options for the summer surface and amenities to be maintained, and ARTA will outline these for the UMP review process.
Unlike the previous UMP hearings when the general public seemed unaware of better choices, we encourage you to visit our website often and join us in moving the state down a new trail.