To the editor
I feel compelled to write to add my support to the Rails- to- Trails initiative recently started in our community.
My family has utilized many trail systems in different places around the United States and feels that such a system leading to and from Tupper Lake would be a wonderful asset to our community, bringing immeasurable dollars from a multitude of tourists.
In Colorado, we took an 18 mile trip along the Colorado River on our mountain bikes. While we brought bikes, our friends rented bikes from a shop at one end of the trail that trucked them to the beginning of the trail with their rental bikes.
After our trip, we spent the rest of the day shopping in their stores and had dinner at one of their restaurants. The small village had a booming tourist business, boosted in large part by a trail system that catered to bikers and hikers.
Near Rochester, NY, we bike the trail system along the Erie Canal, through many small villages and towns that cater in large part to the mobile tourist that pass through their limits. We travel 15-20 miles, taking in the sights, shopping and eating before heading back to our friends' house. Small shops and restaurants are numerous and appear to be doing a great business every time we have visited.
Recently, while visiting Cincinnati, a group of us ran on a converted rail to trail system that travelled along a river. Again, numerous shops and businesses catering to tourists were present and appeared to be very busy.
My friends, family and I have utilized the rail corridor biking, skiing, running and snowmobiling. We have biked and run the track from Rollin's Pond to Tupper several times in the past. We have snowmobiled to Lake Clear and to points beyond. The corridor is beautiful and highly underutilized, primarily because it is difficult to use it in its current condition, with the rails preventing extended travel for snowmobiles and preventing bikers from being able to pedal unimpeded.
If converted to a trail system, I think many people would be excited to explore this region. The proposed spur from the Rollin's Pond and Fish Creek campgrounds would bring in thousands of tourists looking for a way to spend a day or looking for a meal to share with their family members.
The Adirondacks are a stunning tourist destination, yet is something that most locals take for granted. The conversion of rails to trails would attract immeasurable tourists to enjoy all of the natural beauty the area has to offer.
Tupper Lake has the opportunity to support an endeavor that would result in tremendous economic benefits for years to come. Furthermore, they would have a world class trail system out their front door for all locals to enjoy.
It is imperative for all in favor of conversion of the rails to trails initiative to show their support. Please visit the website www.thearta.org and click on the "sign up now" button to assist this cause.