Wilmington is making progress

To the editor:

In recent years, Wilmington has been developing its recreational assets to make our community more attractive for residents, visitors and businesses. Our town parks have seen improvements ranging from new beach facilities and kayak rentals to a world-class mountain biking skills track to state-of-the-art skateboard ramps. State Forest Preserve lands around our community have new snowmobile trails, top-notch mountain biking trails and scenic hiking trails. The AuSable River continues to be one of our most valuable recreational assets. This time of year, seeing anglers with their fly rods around town is as common as seeing snowboarders and skiers in winter.

The town just co-hosted, with Team Placid Planet, a cycling event that draws people from the Northeast and Canada, and is gearing up for the fourth annual Wilmington Whiteface Bike Fest Weekend June 20-22. The weekend will include a “jump jam” with the Krushers BMX Stunt Team, a party at the beach with live music and local vendors, and two grueling races: the infamous uphill pedal to the castle on Whiteface Mountain and the 100-kilometer mountain biking odyssey to Elizabethtown and back. (The latter is tough enough to qualify some finishers for Colorado’s gritty Leadville 100 bike race.)

One of the newest improvements around town is the installation of signs to help people find our recreational gems, thanks in large part to grants through New York Department of State and the Essex County Public Health Creating Healthy Places program. Also thanks to an Essex County grant, we will offer a new mountain biking shuttle service this year, dropping riders off at the start of the locally named “Poor Man’s Downhill,” a 3-mile, 1,200-foot-descent screamer of a ride that follows a state snowmobile trail.

There is more work to do, and while we face many of the same challenges as other rural areas, the momentum is positive and the town is grateful for state and county grant funds, the support of the Whiteface Mountain Regional Visitors Bureau, Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, Olympic Regional Development Authority and Whiteface Mountain, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA), citizen volunteers and others helping to promote Wilmington’s recreational assets. We’re looking forward to a busy summer!


Randy Preston


Town of Wilmington