To the editor:
I was in Washington, D.C. this summer during some very hot weather. Early every morning, hundreds of people were out enjoying themselves on the former Washington & Old Dominion railroad corridor. They were biking, walking, running, on a trail that stretches 45 miles from the Potomac River, near Washington, to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The W&OD Trail takes its name from the railroad whose trains ran along the right of way from 1859 to 1968. The demise of the railroad was hastened by the improved road system and increased number of motor vehicles. Sound familiar?
Our Remsen-Lake Placid line through the Adirondacks began operating in 1892 and ended service in 1972 for the same reasons. The demand for freight and passenger service had disappeared, yet the railroad bed has been sitting mostly idle ever since! This is one of our greatest resources, yet we are failing to take full advantage of it.
Scenery along the W&OD trail is like that from a train window, but the viewing is better when you are physically using the trail. When you are jogging or biking or just strolling, you are not only a spectator but a participant as well. Isn't obesity one of the biggest health problems we are facing in the U.S. today? Isn't "Get Moving" the slogan of the decade?
When you are outdoors in the fresh air, enjoying your surroundings in a healthy, invigorating way, rather than sitting in a train looking out the window, you are feeling better about yourself and the outdoors.
The proposed Adirondack Rail Trail would connect Lake Placid and Tupper Lake, and run from there all the way to Old Forge. It would be the best thing that could happen to the Adirondacks - for tourists and locals alike. This historic rail bed could easily and inexpensively be converted into a recreation trail that would be second to none in the United States.
Let's get on board with the other progressive communities in the country!