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A thought on the rails

February 25, 2011
Lake Placid News
To the editor:

I can’t express often or strongly enough the importance of converting the Adirondack travel (Remsen to Lake Placid rail) corridor to a year-round recreational trail.

Following the economic impact study contracted by, we are convinced the $400,000-plus advantage to the economy should be sought immediately.

Let me begin with the obvious: The corridor is already a snowmobile trail; removing the rail would greatly improve the trail use and extend the season, and the salvage value would more than pay for the work. Other rail trails in the area function quite well with only the rails removed and no costly improvements.

The impact study is useful but I think much less dramatic than it would be if it recognized the entire corridor. They used about 9,000 in-Park snowmobile days as a basis. Old Forge has sold about 11,000 multi-day passes just for their area this season. Camoin Associates said, “If the entire route were converted to a trail, it would be a different animal; it would be a national attraction.”

If the study had looked at what would happen if the whole corridor becomes a trail, the results will be huge — not just the immediate corridor, but all the branches this trunk would serve. The trail impact would be an ongoing investment in the future, not a dream of the past. (Not an opinion — this is shown over and over all over the country)

The unit management plan adopted in 1996 was signed and accepted for five years. Option No. 4, as outlined in the UMP, is for a trail without rails, so the principle is already accepted.

Save money; make an economic boon; win, win.

Scott Thompson

Eagle Bay


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