Hut-to-hut planning coming along

SARANAC LAKE — A group behind an Adirondack Park-wide hut-to-hut initiative has developed numerous new routes but is holding off on releasing them to the public until they are finalized.

Adirondack Community-based Trails and Lodging System held a meeting on Tuesday morning at its offices in downtown Saranac Lake. Jack Drury and Joe Dadey presented new information and maps to board members, and briefly described what had been developed to a small audience.

The pair said that after a series of public input meetings, new routes for the hut-to-hut and hut-to-hamlet initiative are being worked on. Despite low turnout at some of the meetings, they said a lot of information had been gathered.

“What we lacked in quantity, we made up for in quality,” Dadey said, noting that more than 200 map points had been created as a result of the meetings.

Although the new routes are not yet open for public perusal, Drury told the crowd that two routes from Saranac Lake to Duane would be proposed. One would utilize the former railroad bed that includes the Bloomingdale Bog Trail, while the other would go to Paul Smiths and then up to the town of Brandon. The group focuses on self-powered activities such as hiking, biking and paddling.

Other routes include using the proposed Adirondack Rail Trail from Tupper Lake to Lake Clear, and another suggestion will likely involve the Adirondack Scenic Railroad transporting people via train from Utica to Tupper Lake and points in between.

Dadey has also spearheaded a new nonprofit group called Hamlets to Huts, which will work to promote the overall system while directing people to existing businesses and lodging. Dadey didn’t rule out the group operating its own lodging if the need arose.

For more information on the group’s proposals so far, go to www.adirondacktrailsandlodging.org.


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