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ORDA eyes new riverside trail by Olympic ski jumps

LAKE PLACID — The state Olympic Regional Development Authority is exploring the possibility of constructing a new river walk trail at the ski jump complex.

The preliminary plans follow a series of planned upgrades at local Olympic facilities, in collaboration with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, designed to develop hiking experiences for visitors — with new trails and with hiker amenities at facilities such as the new base lodge at Mount Van Hoevenberg.

ORDA Nordic Program and Events Manager Kris Cheney-Seymour told the North Elba Town Council during its regular meeting Tuesday, June 9 that the authority hopes to create a new trail along the West Branch of the AuSable River near the ski jumps, possibly within the next two years or so.

The goal is to make the trail a loop with interpretive signage and seating, he said.

Town Councilor Emily Politi asked who would be responsible for building and maintaining the trail long-term. It would be built by ORDA and by staff of the Olympic Jumping Complex, according to Cheney-Seymour.

The area where the authority would like to build the trail is partially on land owned by the town of North Elba. Cheney-Seymour asked the town council to consider giving ORDA the authority to use that piece of property.

The council took no action on the proposal Tuesday.