Rail trail would fill a great recreational need

To the editor:

Seems that a reasonable compromise between the train and trail advocates is to keep the tourist train going from Utica to Old Forge and convert the remaining miles of corridor into one of the finest bike trails in the United States.

How much will the rail-to-trail conversion cost? How long will it take to accomplish? Who will manage and maintain it? These are important questions that need to be addressed by state officials when they review the management plan for the corridor. But one fact stands out in this debate. The Adirondack Park has an abundance of trails for hiking, climbing and skiing, a great many gorgeous waterways for paddling and boating. What we lack is a safe, scenic, easy pathway for bicycling, walking, jogging, etc., one with interpretative signs, historic markers and map locators.

The proposed Adirondack Rail Trail, tying together Lake Placid, Ray Brook, Saranac Lake, Lake Clear, Tupper Lake, Beaver River, Big Moose and Old Forge, will fill this one great recreational need. Then we will no longer have to leave the Adirondacks to take a biking vacation on rail trails somewhere else. I would just hop on my bike, pick up the Adirondack Rail Trail at the train station, pedal out from there as far as time and energy permit. So natural, so much fun, so needed.

Rachel Rice

Saranac Lake