Rail trail short on amenities and maintenance

To the editor:

ARTA (Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates) seems to think that the more often you repeat a fairy tale, the more likely it is to be taken as fact. Yet another Guest Commentary is in the paper today (July 9), advocating ripping up the rails.

I’d just like to point out a few things. Really, just a few. Like this: The Saranac Lake-to-Remsen trail would be the fourth-longest trail in the country. All trails of any significant length (more than 5 miles) have amenities along the trail. This is not possible along the proposed route because you can’t put a restaurant in the wilderness. How many people are likely to travel more than 50 miles of uniform wilderness without some commercial establishment along the way?

Second, Dick Beamish, in a recent letter, unwittingly acknowledged how impossible it will be to maintain a bike path here. In responding to my reference to the Bloomingdale Bog trail, he wrote: “He (meaning me) ignores the fact that the Bloomingdale Bog trail has not been maintained for at least 50 years because there has been no call for doing so.”

Precisely, Mr. Beamish, precisely. And you imagine it should be different for a trail that is five times as long?

Emmett Hoops

Saranac Lake